Stuck on Writing a Children’s Book (Desire)

I don’t think there’s any more appropriate way to start off this blog than to describe where the metaphor “getting stuck on a branch” came from.

It came to my mind during one of my weekly sits with my small and modest meditation group on Kibbutz Hannaton.

I was just sitting there, eyes closed, and practicing to just notice things (sense things, be present, etc.) and this image of a monkey getting stuck on a branch continued to appear in my mind.

The monkey would get stuck and be unable to sense anything because he would be too stuck on an emotion.  He would not be able to let go of the branch, get down, and continue on with his life.

After the sit, I thought about the metaphor and recognized that I really liked it.  In fact, I thought it was brilliant!  I thought it would actually be a really helpful image (for me, my relationship with my spouse, my children, and living in community).

I even told some friends about it.

One of whom suggested it would be a great idea for a children’s book.


Yes, it would! I thought to myself.

And, I got stuck.

Stuck on wanting (desiring) to publish a book.

I spent hours, days, weeks, months (and yes, almost one year) on this short 16-page book. I sent it to dear friends and family, recent acquaintances, professors that I’ve never met, mindfulness professionals around the world, and even I read the book to many of the kibbutz children.

And to be honest, the book wasn’t even that good.  It was ok.  I actually still think the concept has merit.  But, that’s about it.  If I were to try to sell the book today, I doubt I’d sell more than a dozen copies (and undoubtedly, the buyers would be my friends and family).

And, it’s only now, that I’m taking a step back and can realize the irony of this project.

That here I am trying to teach kids/parents how to notice when they get stuck, and here I was completely and utterly stuck on a branch without no awareness at all.

Stuck on desire… to write a fantastic book that would influence millions of kids, to be popular and travel around the world with this book (and take my family with me on the journey), and more and more.  The sky’s the limit, and so was my “seeing”.

That is, the book, as it were, was never going to go any place (at least not now).  But, I couldn’t “see” it.  I couldn’t accept it.  My ego was way too stuck.

And, instead of applying my energy this past year on practicing mindfulness in my life and bringing it more to the world, I spent my time trying to explain it.

And, I totally missed the point.

And, I suffered.

And, it took me way too long to realize it.

So, (image: raising a glass), here’s to the creation of this new blog.

Which I hope will take me to a place of being very open and vulnerable and honest, about admitting to all those times I get stuck in my life.

With the ultimate purpose of becoming not only a happier person, but a person who is less blinded by reality, as it were.

It shouldn’t be difficult to find these situations, as they happen all the time… the only problem will be deciding from which to choose.

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5 Responses to Stuck on Writing a Children’s Book (Desire)

  1. allison August 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    shira – i totally, totally love this. it works in a way the children’s book never did. it’s alive! thank you for sharing your mindfulness practice with me in this way. i look forward to reading your next post.


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