Getting-Ready-to-Get-Ready Syndrome

Getting-Ready-to-Get-Ready Syndrome

The symptoms of Getting-Ready-to-Get-Ready syndrome include feeling like you can’t possibly move forward until you lose ten pounds, get a degree, receive permission, know the right people, have enough money, get more experience, pay your dues, or obtain the right equipment.

The trick to defeating Getting-Ready-to-Get-Ready syndrome is doing fifteen minutes of research. (And yes, this can be one of your fifteen-minute daily tasks.)

If you assume that you need to do something before you can do the thing you really want to do, please check that assumption — especially if the source of your information is your own mind. Google it, ask around, and, most important, ask someone who’s already done the thing you really want to do.

Chances are good that you’re over-complicating things.

There was the photographer who was convinced she couldn’t market herself until she had digitally optimized all her photos for her website, which would have meant weeks if not months of painstaking work. I asked her if she had one photo that she thought of as iconic, and when she said yes, I urged her to place just that one on her site. She was up and running twenty minutes later.

Lara was a highly intuitive performer who was feeling a pull toward embarking on a second career as a life coach, but she was feeling discouraged by the two years and several thousand dollars that certification would take.

Now, I admire and respect the people who’ve gone through coach certification, but it is not a prerequisite to being of great service to people.

When I pointed out that she already knew enough to at least get started with a few clients, she brightened right up.

Last I heard, she was running high-end retreats once a month in Beverly Hills — further proof that if you can deliver outstanding results, nobody really cares about your credentials.

And finally, there are the countless men and women who’ve told me that they can’t possibly get started on X, Y, or Z until they lose weight.

Honey, your destiny doesn’t care how much you weigh.

You can find a lover, sell your art, star in your show, and earn your fortune with the body you have right now. And it’s entirely possible that you will become so busy and happy working on your project that your body will self-adjust and become closer to your version of perfect.

After all, there’s nothing like joy to create health.

Does It Have to Be You?

Does It Have to Be You?


1. Write down all the activities that you typically do in a day, such as:

drive in the car pool
do laundry
pay bills
make phone calls
work out
get the mail
work with clients
play with the kids
plan upcoming travel
coordinate volunteers for charity event
go to the grocery store
cook supper
watch TV

2. Now put an asterisk next to the tasks that only you can do.

So the asterisked items might be:

work out
work with clients
play with the kids

3. Find a way to get the un-starred items off your plate.

You may need to hire someone, or you may need to simply ask some of the other grown-ups in your life for help.

Teach the kids to do the laundry, and get a co-chair to work with the volunteers.

Yes, you will have to get over some of your perfectionism — nobody else is going to do as good a job cooking dinner or sorting the laundry as you do.

But guess what? You have bigger fish to fry.

Your creative life is never going to take precedence over your everyday life unless you make it happen.

A Prayer for Hoping against Hope

A Prayer for Hoping against Hope

And as you stand there

Hands clasped in front of you

Eyes downcast

Concealing the disobedient pounding of your heart
It dawns on you:

Here we go again.

And while you no longer allow yourself the long, elaborate
daydreams in which everything works out perfectly,
You catch yourself thinking: Well, it could happen.

And though you have long since given up making bargains
with God,

You find yourself whispering: Please.

And since you have — years ago — quit telling
Anyone anything about anything
Because honestly,
The things people say, such as,

“Oh, it will happen for you, I just know it!”


“I have a friend who went through the same thing and then one
day, just like magic. . .”


“The minute you stop wanting it, that’s when it will happen.”

Oh. Okay.

So you haven’t told a soul.

Except, after long consideration, your very dearest best friend.

And you know the odds are against you.

And still

You know that life is not a numbers game and
The Lord does, indeed, move in some very mysterious ways and

Haven’t you earned —
And there you stop short.

Because life is also not about earning or deserving,

And it doesn’t matter how hard you’ve tried or how much you’ve
sacrificed or how positive your positive mental attitude has

What matters is reality.

And reality says: It’s possible.

So you dwell in possibility.

Between the dark and the daylight.

No longer storming off, slamming doors, and swearing, “Never

No longer crying out in agony because you had been so sure this
was It.

No longer elated by another promising sign.

You are here now.

Committed to enjoying the ride.

Trusting in the friendliness of the universe.

Awakened to your heart’s desire.

Knowing that there is no such thing as false hope.

All hope is real.

Real. Hope. Now.

It’s all we have.

And who knows?

Perhaps the best really is
Yet to come.

Because We Trust  in the Rightness of the Timing

Because We Trust in the Rightness of the Timing

morning glory photo

Attribution Some rights reserved by mira66 on flickr

I got this AMAZING email to day from Patti, who first got the “home study” Overcoming Procrastination Toolkit and got so much out of that that she’s now enrolled in the Get It Done Teleclass that starts tomorrow.

“Dear Samantha –

A short tale:

Awhile back, about 18 months, when I started grad school, I misplaced my morning prayer practice, along with my creative soul and writer self. (They got buried under piles of intellectual material.)

Recently, via your help with ‘pure preference’ (from the toolkit which I bought, and which inspired me to just take the live class!) I was able to recognize that I don’t want to be in grad school. At all.

So I’m leaving it. I want to get back to my creative writing. My prayer practice is part of that for me. It’s the way I center, pray for the life of the world, attune my gratitude, make space for the divine to come in, align with life, let go of sorrows.

A few days ago I started it again. I feel much better, needless to say.

And yes, the angels noticed. Quickly.

After I finished this morning, I checked my email, and first up was one from the editor of a lovely small journal asking me if she could use one of my poems in the upcoming issue, because it’s about mandalas and she felt the poem spoke to that. Appropriately, it’s called ‘Morning Glory.’ It reminds me of these morning classes, as well…of your teachings. I’m so looking forward to tomorrow. Blessings. –Patti in VT”

Here is the poem:

Morning Glory

In the morning’s garden glory

a small fern, the size perhaps of a thought,

begins to uncurl, opening itself to an as yet unknown world,

lacy fronds from its spiral core, a dancer awakened and unfolding.

It does what so many of us cannot do:

trust in the Godness of itself and this divine movement,

in the undeniable rightness of the timing

that tells it now is the moment to begin revealing its soul—

On this morning, like so many others

I sit under the oak and watch it, surrounded by a dozen

ordinary sparrows who flutter and chit. They land nearby

rightly ignoring me. The air

is a gospel of call and response

against a background of song pure and perfectly in tune—

a harmony that refuses to be undone

by human savagery or neglect.

The sun moves over the mountain by inches

warming the mist which draws back into itself

invisible again like its cousin, the wind.

Overhead thousands of leaves create a holy canopy

as if a bride and bridegroom are standing underneath

vowing solemnly to love each other without restraint.

Every creature, every song, every stone and leaf stalk

is a word of God, a gift, an eternal communion—and now I know

that it is only when we become insignificant and vast

we discover we must no longer beg to partake,

or break ourselves apart in order to carry the shame

of what we do, and leave undone

Instead we can listen and watch with each new soul

for the constant unfolding of Godstuff.

We can do what we must do—now—

not because a frenzied terror has gripped our hearts

but because we trust

in the rightness of the timing

and because we know that our smallness

is precious, and enough.

–Patricia Frankel, June 2009

Totally GLORIOUS, Patti! This just thrills me to my bones.

Anybody else want in on the Get It Done Teleclass?

Meet Chaos With Compassion

When everything starts to feel out of control, it’s easy to get hard. Hard-headed, hardhearted and hard to get along with.

When we get rigid, we often try to exert some autocratic form of control (“Get into bed right now, young lady!”) which leaves everyone feeling alone and depleted.

Next time your world starts spinning, take a deep breath and concentrate on softening your heart.

Let me know what happens, OK?