Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Birthing my passion project

When I stopped working as a technical writer four years ago, my plan was to focus my energy on two writing projects: one fiction and one nonfiction. I wavered between the two, unsure about which one to publish first. A writer friend told me to pick only one, but I couldn’t. They both inspired me at different times, tugging me in one direction and then the other. I felt lost and confused when my projects weren’t progressing as I would have liked.

Me, My Heart, and I :: Birthing my passion project

Two years later, I received inspiration for a new project. Even though I was excited about it, I wasn’t sure I could bring it to life. Doubts trickled in. I wondered why I couldn’t just publish the books I already started. I thought maybe I was procrastinating or deluding myself into beginning another project. Like all inspired ideas, I knew it was a gift I needed to honor and nurture with my love to bring it to completion. 

I became less active on my Living in Florence blog while I funneled all my writing about Florence into my passion project. I didn’t want to water down my ideas, thoughts, and creativity by publishing them first in my blog and then again in this project. Although, a few glimpses slipped through the cracks.

Once again, I found myself frustrated with the progress. I wanted to complete the project swiftly, but that wasn’t possible. As I was told by a wise taxi driver in England once, “Quality takes time.” And he was right. A creative project needs time to come into its own. I couldn’t push it out into the world before its time, just like I couldn’t hold it back either. When I allowed my project to breathe, I received more inspiration and guidance so my project would evolve into what it was destined to become.

Whenever I felt stuck, Florence would swoop in and lure me outside. She guided me to bask in her golden light, to traverse her piazzas, to admire her buildings, to visit her churches and museums, to lose myself in her shimmering river, and to revel in her vibrant skies. I thought she was distracting me, but later realized she was teaching me how to practice being more present and to go deeper into my heart. I couldn’t complete a project when my mind was in the distant future, fixating on fears and doubts. I needed the tranquility and the depth of the present moment to infuse my project with love. 

This project has allowed me to understand that I am an artist. Not because I create art, but because I let my heart guide me and infuse everything I do with love. 

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