I’m Breathless *

* More about this title at the bottom of this post.

Lauren’s 100 day challenge has got a rocky start, with four extra hours of writing emails, at 5 PM.
The fun one is to her creativity coach Sara.

Hi Sara,

I was going to write you a raving review on my last two weeks!
And I made notes. Notes!
I really thought nothing could ruin my almost euphoric mood this Monday,
but I definitely underestimated the efforts of the housing cooperation who’s doing the renovation.
So I spent the last two hours, typing an email announcing I can’t cooperate anymore, unless before the end of the week, I receive a new planning which includes all previously agreed upon dates and arrangements. 
“And I’m no longer open to discuss this in person, 
since we already did one of those, and I never got that agreement in writing.”
I m afraid my heart will be bothering me again tonight, that’s how worked up I am.

This is a very long email, and I fully give you permission to not read it.
As you know I need writing to get my head around things, and it will probably be tomorrow’s blog post.
Take what speaks to you, and what is acceptable time-wise, and discard the rest.

So. Those two hours for the email to the building cooperation (it took so long, because I started swearing every time I got all worked up, and had to delete that and start again) were of course meant for something else.
To work on my business and do yoga.
I started a new challenge today.
It was kind of a gift to myself, because I started two challenges;
One in August 2017, Reboot 
And one at Christmas 2017, A Hero’s Journey. 
But they both kind of fell through, and it were the last six months my cat Max was alive.
I tried to stick with the yoga/health challenge after his death, but it didn’t work.
I just didn’t feel it anymore.
So now I m on a new 100 day challenge, called “Reboot, A hero’s Journey”. It will run until about six weeks after I can have a new cat again.
And it’s about daily writing, daily daylight (oohhhh daylight is so nice….) cycling or walking, daily yoga, daily working on my books and daily sales and marketing.
Sales and marketing doesn’t have to be going all meme-ing on Facebook, it can be very basic stuff. Like cleaning up my free sites and claim their domain names properly, or build a webshop for The Netherlands.
It’s more a general term with everything involved in the sales process.
Because that is one of the most important revelations I had last week:
I actually like the business part of what I do.
It is tempting to think that if I don’t make money from my art, and get a real job, I would drop back to just blogging, without trying to sell books.
Tempting, but untrue.
I had even kind of distilled the image of my “work” as a publisher: that the publishing job, was the cash flow part. And it was this part that held the key to making money/ not having to go into a real job.
And that is true.
I can see myself as a publisher.
But what is not true, is that I would somehow not do that part anymore if I have a job with a salary already.
The marketing and sales aspect has always been a part of who I am.
I would do it at night, after my job, just like I would with the writing.
And that was very comforting: to understand that I m not just playing publishing house.
That it’s who I am. I like doing that.

So I m now going to consult my notes for the other things.

Section 1 Mistress success formula!

This is so cool! You know what I discovered?
That I was right, about this whole mistress thing.
It is indeed not some thought or identity that I adopted because I m a mistress, and then just decided to rise to the occasion.

I was right thinking it is a sexual preference; Rooted in certain kinks and turnoffs that will not be met any other way.
But it ran even deeper:
That these preferences were actually just the sexual expression of deeper core values, which influence everything in life.
And if I would run a certain opportunity, or choice, by a mistress profile,
I would immediately be able to see if it was a fit,
or (more likely) why it wasn’t.
Why I would be paying a price doing this certain thing, or going that certain path.
The interrelated underlying principles I found were: 
1. Freedom. 
Especially freedom from expectations. A lover and a mistress choose for each other every time, and they have no obligation. In my business I recognize this as resistance to sell my hours again. It wouldn’t feel like I m building my ideal business (where ideal means: one I would also run if it didn’t make any money) if I would start selling hours. 
2. To let go of outcome. 
A mistress’ payoff is only in the moment. Contrary to more conventional relationships she doesn’t invest or endure, for future benefits. In my business this was the epiphany that marketing and sales should indeed only be done, if I was okay there wouldn’t be an outcome. And I discovered that was the case; it did make me happy to acknowledge I just do them for the pleasure of doing them.
3. Do what lights you up. 
This is related to 2. letting go of the outcome, but that one was more about NOT doing what DOESN’T light you up. This one is (drum roll) that if something lights you up? You actually do it!
You never say: “I m sorry but I can’t”
Instead you recognize the importance, and the uniqueness, and maybe even the spiritual value of encountering something or someone that moves you, and you do it! Because it lights you up! No buts!
And finally; 

4 Keep your options open.
This makes total sense, because if you commit to something, let’s say worldly (any other commitment than to listen to your inner voice), you can’t be free, or do what lights you up.
In my new business I recognize this as resistance to offer services where you can buy my presence at a certain time (as said in 1.) and in particular lower end or groups. With private clients I feel way more freedom to see it as something where we choose for each other every time, although it’s still not ideal.
I d much rather have my meetings/ me appearing be based on good will, and only with one person. So that it’s clear we’re there voluntarily.
There is no taking for granted. 

Section 2. What I really am (surprise! it’s not a writer!) and what I really need

I realized, and we’ve touched on this before, and you have even told me this on several occasions, but I am indeed no writer.
Even though I write until my fingers are cold; I am no writer.

I really am that expressionist.
I get inspired, and then I build a model inside of me, or a new thought, and then it comes out through writing.

That is why I don’t understand why any writer would want to write on assignment, since the writing is only the expression of the thought. But it’s the mental play that I like. The getting inspired and then starting to clay with all these different ideas and making them into new ones.
This has also helped me to formulate what it is that I need most in order to do this work of being an expressionist:
I need inspiration, and I need time and space to get my head around it.
I have 2, I don’t have 1 so much.
Which is why I ve started looking around for networking groups or opportunity, clubs or cafes where people meet more informally. Circles which you would normally associate with networking, but for me it would just be to get inspired.
To find people who lift me up!
And I them.
And it also made me realize that if I do get a normal job, I m way better off being hired because I m really good at finding meaning, and the thoughts and structures and motivation behind what meets the eye;
Than I am in a job where I write.

And a job that inspires me, and can be fuel for my home writing.

Section 3. The Prada bag

I actually ran into a Prada bag, which I of course had to have, because it lit me up, and felt like it was the missing piece in my new identity of LS Harteveld. It was nearly new and (only) €300 in a vintage clothing store where they sell these amazing things.
And I got all certificates to go with it, so don’t be mad at me.
But you have to understand that the bag was speaking to me.

I look forward to our talk tomorrow.

Best wishes,

An unexamined life is not worth living

I m Breathless is the forty-fifth chapter from Project M. 

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About I’m Breathless

I’m Breathless is not a song title –
It’s the name of Madonna’s album, which she made inspired by the movie Dick Tracey, where she plays Breathless Mahony.
I’m Breathless as well as the movie Dick Tracey were released in 1990.
1990 was an extremely productive year for Madonna.
She was on her Blonde Ambition tour, which was documented for the 1991 movie Truth or Dare/In Bed with Madonna.
And she recorded her first “sex era song” – Justify my Love – with Lenny Kravitz. That single and video were released in December 1990.
Below a video where a fan shows all her collectables from 1990, including the casette tape and album of I’m Breathless.

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