Friday, October 23, 2020

Fulfillment or Destiny?

Have you considered what contributes to your fulfillment? Not just enjoyment, but that deep sense of “This is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.” How does one go about discovering one’s life’s purpose or destiny? Somehow, I don’t feel fulfilled unless I’m expressing myself creatively.

At one time, I was sure my destiny was to be a singer. At another stage, my destiny was to be a teacher and choral director. Then, I saw my destiny as founding a music school. Upon retirement, my destiny became publishing a novel. Have all of these things happened? Yes. Have they fulfilled my life's purpose? Perhaps these career goals have contributed, but career goals don’t necessarily equate with destiny.

Some years ago, I read Eckhart Tolle’s inspiring book, A New Earth. It had such a profound effect on my thinking that I decided to read it again. In it, Tolle refers to this idea of
fulfillment as “awakened doing.” He defines "awakened doing" as “the alignment of your outer
purpose--what you do--with your inner purpose--awakening and staying awake.” It’s about discovering your destiny and then thinking and doing life in such a way as to fulfill that purpose.

Do you think every human is born with a destiny, a life’s purpose? While Tolle describes destiny as becoming “one with the universe,” I’m convinced that true fulfillment comes from becoming one with God. Actually, that’s what Tolle is saying, too, when he writes about “align[ing] your life with the creative power of the universe.”

If one is moving through life in a constant state of awareness or “awakening,” this process of finding one’s destiny is possible according to Tolle. However, it may also be gradual, even changing with different life stages. Why? Because finding and accepting one’s God-given purpose involves purging the ego. Ouch! Try accomplishing that in one sitting! Or even in one lifetime!

Yet, it’s exactly what Jesus calls us to do when he says in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).” Who are the meek? The meek are those without egos or rather those who are not controlled by their egos.

Ego tells us that we are better than/more deserving than others, that we must be famous, wealthy, and top in our field to live a fulfilled, purposeful life. Ego wants us to step on other peoples’ toes to get where we think we’re supposed to be, to achieve what we think we deserve. Ego encourages us to boast about our accomplishments instead of supporting and affirming others. Ego keeps us focused on ourselves and constantly seeking approval.

It is challenging to sort out whether one’s personal goals are in alignment with one’s destiny (God’s purpose for one’s life). It's even more challenging to rid oneself of ego. At my stage of life, God is inspiring me to write...not to become a New York Times best-selling author, but as another step toward fulfilling God’s purpose for me. How God uses my destiny is up to God, not me.

What creative fulfillment is God awakening in you?

Cindy L. Freeman is the author of four award-winning short stories and three published
novels: Unrevealed, The Dark Room and I Want to Go Home. Website:; Facebook page: Cindy L Freeman. Her books are available through or Coming soon: After Rain, Devotions for Comfort and

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Overcoming Writer's Block

Let’s be honest. Writer’s block plagues every writer from time to time. For me, it happens when I’m especially busy. I still spend time writing when deadlines or other responsibilities are looming, but I find it harder to be productive--to “enter the zone.” 

Here are some practices I’ve found helpful in staying on track with my writing:

  1. If the words just won’t flow, get up and do something physical. I prefer walking, but any type of physical activity can reignite a sluggish brain. 


  1. If your thoughts are constantly interrupted by a mental to-do list, make a list of everything that needs to get done that day or that week. Then, set it aside until your allotted writing time is over. The act of listing tasks seems to free your conscious mind of its nagging until you are ready to tackle them. 


  1. Move from your usual writing space. If you usually write at a desk, try taking your laptop to a recliner or sofa and vice versa. Sometimes a change in venue will be enough to spark your creativity. On nice days, try writing outside on the patio or deck. In the days B.C. (Before COVID) I would occasionally spend my writing time at Panera Bread or my favorite coffeehouse. I was shocked at how well I was able to concentrate in those public places. Of course, I always ordered food or a beverage so as not to take seating from paying customers.

  1. If you are a blocked fiction writer, stop and read a chapter or two of a classic novel. For me, nothing works better to start the creative juices flowing than reading Brontë, Dickens, Tolstoy or Steinbeck. After only a few sentences, I’m feeling inspired by the beauty of language as demonstrated by great literary masters.

  1. Free-write like you would in a journal, without making corrections, without deep thinking. I admit to finding this practice difficult. As an editor, I tend to want to edit as I go. But I’ve tried writing a first draft without correcting and it does work. You simply write whatever comes to mind without structure. You don’t worry about grammar, spelling or punctuation. This process seems to help me get past bludgeoning my brain for the perfect synonym or metaphor. 

  1. If you typically use a word-processing program, try writing long-hand for thirty minutes. Likewise, if you’re used to writing with a pen, try thirty minutes of typing into a computer. This sounds simplistic, but it seems to function like a factory reset for the brain. 


If you’ve tried everything and are still blocked, consider Rachael Cayley's advice. In her March 2018 blog post, she says: "Most graduate writers who are struggling with their writing are actually struggling with their thinking." Cayley suggests that writing through writer’s block is the best way to conquer it. She recommends changing fonts to indicate that what you write next is for your eyes only and will be deleted from the paper before it is submitted. Then, write exactly what your misgivings are: “I'm worried that what I'm writing here…” followed by “To figure this out, I need to…”1

Have you suffered from writer’s block? What have you done to unblock? Please share your suggestions. We’re all in this struggle together.