The Heart of the Matter
July 06, 2018
The Finger Snap

Writing with red pencil3.jpg

The following story is included in my just-published book, Storytelling for the Revolution -- one of 40 "moment of truth" stories in the book that have, embedded within them, the potential to uplift, awaken, and transform.

Two years ago, I travelled from Woodstock to Malibu to work with Prem Rawat, for a few days, on a project he was very passionate about -- the launch of his new enterprise, RawatCreations. More specifically, he was asking me to write about his approach to photography and the five photos he wanted to feature on his website.

The first of our meetings went well. We spent an hour talking about photography -- his early boyhood fascination for it, the conditions necessary for high level results, and his own nuanced creative process. Later that night, I wrote what I thought was a pretty good description of the ground we covered, and emailed it, fingers crossed, to his secretary.

The next morning she called me to deliver his feedback. "More spices", was the message, the implication being that my writing was too bland.

So I got busy for another few hours and generated version 2.0. This draft, I thought, was far superior to the first -- better organized, more accurate, and with just the right amount of spices. Happy to have accomplished my goal, I submitted my writing to Prem's secretary one more time.

A day passed. I went for a long walk. I reread what I had written at least five times. Then I got another call from his secretary, asking me to meet with him one more time -- an invitation that quickly revealed the two sides of my psyche. The first? "Wow! I get to hang out with my favorite person in the whole world." The second? "Oops! I probably screwed up!"

When Prem walked into the room, none of these thoughts were apparent. He was, as far as I could tell, completely present, happy, radiant, and ready to dive in once again, holding, as he was, a copy of my most recent draft in his hand.

"I'm not going to give you any rules," he explained, scanning my words and suggesting a few approaches to the writing I hadn't yet considered. To me, it felt like some kind of psychic surgery was being performed -- him deftly reaching into my last draft and pointing out what needed to go. After a few minutes of elaboration, he stood, turned, and began to exit the room. As he did, I heard these words come out of my mouth: "So... it looks like I'll be up late tonight working on the third draft".

That's when he turned to me and snapped his fingers. "You mean," I said, "this is supposed to be easy?"

He snapped his fingers again. Then I snapped mine. Then he snapped his. Four finger snaps. That was it. Then he pivoted and left the room.

Thirty minutes later I sat down to write again, but this time the writing flowed much easier than before and the quality was recognizably higher. While I knew my task mattered, I also knew that the main effort I needed to make was to be in the moment and trust what I knew.

Two years have passed since that day. My finger snapping moment with Prem Rawat continues to uplift and clarify every aspect of my life. In a way, it feels like a sacred seed has been watered in me -- a seed of awareness now growing from the inside out -- a seed that infuses all of my choices, especially the stuff I assume to be difficult, with ease, simplicity, and grace.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at July 6, 2018 04:30 AM

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Welcome to Mitch Ditkoff's blog about what's really important in this life: Peace, gratitude, love, joy, clarity, and the effort required to wake up and smell the roses. Enjoy!

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