For some time I’ve been writing chapters to a book. I had the idea of putting some of the chapters on this blog to see if any of you had comments on the subject matter or the writing style.
The working title of the book is I’m Probably Dancing. If you read the book’s Introduction (below), you will see why I chose that title. If you have the time, I’d appreciate your comments…
Book Title: I’m Probably Dancing
Not long ago I phoned one of my sons and got his voice mail. I heard him say…
“Hey, this is James. I’m probably dancing right now, or doing something else amazingly fun, so leave a message…”
When I heard these words, I felt that something had gone terribly right!
When I finally did reach James, he made a comment that I will never forget. “Dad,” he said, “In my whole life I think I’ve known only three people who are actually doing what they want to be doing instead of what other people think they should be doing.” And he named the three which, of course, included himself.
Think about this: How would you like your children to grow up and tell you they are doing exactly what they have always wanted to be doing? What else could they say that would make you more proud of them and think, just maybe, you had done a good job of parenting?
If you are an adult, how would you like to be able to say to James, “The reason you only know three is that you haven’t met me!”
Unfortunately, I have met people all over the world who are not doing what is in their hearts to do. Instead, they are doing something someone else talked them into doing.
If you aren’t sure what I mean by “what is in their hearts to do”, you will understand as you read this book. I hope you find yourself being convinced that you really can do what you want to do. And, until you are doing what you want to do, you will continue to live someone else’s life instead of your own. You may even be good at living someone else’s life, but it will never be your life. You will continue to be unfulfilled and always have that gnawing feeling that you are taking someone else’s path to a place you were never intended to go.
By the way, what does James mean when he says, “I’m probably dancing right now or doing something else amazingly fun”? It means that, after doing many other things in life that our culture might consider more “respectable”, he has been willing to accept the truth that he is never happier or feels more fulfilled than when he is performing. Can a “real man”—and a spiritual man at that—also be a great dancer? Meet James Davis who is an inspiration to a lot of people, including his Dad.
This book is dedicated to those who are doing what they have been told they “should” be doing, but who would rather be doing what was in their hearts to do. I hope you are encouraged and inspired as you read of the people I’ve come to know.
I warn you that I am not going to avoid controversy in writing this book. I think some things need to be said about an increasing narcissism and self-centeredness in our society. Narcissism and self-centeredness are not what this book is about. This book is about ordinary human beings, in relationships with one another, finding the freedom—and giving one another the permission—to be all they were created to be.
I have purposefully made each chapter short, covering one, main point. After reading each chapter, put the book aside. Consider your life and how it does or doesn’t relate to what you’ve just read.
Then, write and tell me your own story: Did you discover you were living someone else’s life? What did you do about it? Or, perhaps you gave yourself permission as a child (or adult) to do what you were meant to do. Tell me about that, too. I like stories…