Passion + Detachment = Contentment.

I’m excited to announce that my book The Abundant Bohemian: How To live An Unconventional Life Without Starving in the Process will be released in October.  Writing the book has been a four-year process and I’m really proud of the final product.  I’m hoping that untold numbers of readers buy the book, read it, and love it.

But that might not happen.

I have to be prepared for the book to be popular and I have to prepare for it not to be.  I have to prepare for the book to be well-received and prepare for criticism.

I was passionate about writing the book and that leads to expectations.  But I know I must detach myself from what comes next.  How other’s respond is out of my control, but how I experienced the writing of it was all mine.  The book was a labor of love; the lessons I learned and the people I met inspired me and changed my life.  I’m a different person than I was when I started the process four years ago.   That is the true compensation and value I received.  If others benefit and enjoy it, all the better.  But the experience justified the time and labor involved.

The act of creating is spiritually enriching, whether it be writing a book, painting, or starting a business.  If I told you to work days, weeks, even months on your masterpiece and said when you finished you had to destroy it, would you still do it?  You should.  That’s what Tibetan Monks do when they create their beautiful sand mandalas. The mandalas, which are elaborate sand “paintings,” are created and ritualistically destroyed once completed to symbolize the Buddhist belief in the transitory nature of material life.  And, sooner or later, everything we create will be destroyed.  We shouldn’t create for posterity, fame, or money.  We must do it for the experience of doing it.  Deepak Chopra describes this as being process-oriented instead of outcome-oriented.

We all want to be validated.  We want our work to be respected, appreciated, and consumed.  But the act of doing it?  That’s where the treasure lies.  I still want you to buy my book.  Please do!  But my joy in its creation isn’t contigent upon it.  But buy it anyway. :)