• Elizabeth Bartasius

Turmeric & Other Barriers to Entry

Fresh turmeric steeps a healing tea. Their roots, like a mound of deformed caterpillars, don’t inspire beauty however. When I peel the skin, my fingers turn orange. Plus, peeling is an extra step, more work, and not so easy on irregular-shaped, ugly bugs. The minuses thwart my desire to grow/buy/grind my own turmeric. As a substitute, I simply toss a jar of the ground spice from the grocery shelf, add a teaspoon to hot water, stir, and sip. Not to mention, I enjoy many curry meals and apply the yellow anti-aging paste for a mud mask.

My favorite swimming beach is a thirty-minute drive from my cozy bedroom. Thirty minutes of curvy, clunking roadway before I can relax into the salty-languid water. (Tough, I know. ;-)) Sometimes, the energy it will take me to maneuver all that way negates the reward I might feel. Instead, I opt for the quickie version: five minutes to a seaweed-filled, wave-y beach. On those days, I don’t experience the crystal-clear waters inviting long, fluid, meditative breaststrokes. But, the spry dip leaves my hair salty and my heart restored.

When I lived on the mainland, jetting to and fro to Colorado, for instance, was a brisk 2-hr flight at a mere $250 dollars. To get off island, I now budget for a minimum of $1000 and locate my toothbrush and pj’s in an easy-to-reach side pocket; I’m in for, at least, a 12-hour trek across oceans and lands, plus the frequent overnighter in a hotel airport. Consequently, I’ve become selective about where I choose to put my time, money, and most of all, energy. Also, never underestimate a change in context. Rather than having to slosh through “in order to” arrive at my destination, travel time is now an official spa-designation: “me time” for journaling and mind mapping and vision boarding new ideas, stories, and anything else that sounds like fun.

A new book project goes the same. Writing 1,000 words, let alone 50,000 for a novel is a daunting process. When there is no form to operate under, no devised theme, no outline, no guideline, it’s easy to shove my chair back from the laptop and wander (for the thousandth time in 20 minutes) to see what’s in the fridge. Some days, I can’t wait to paste sticky notes with written plot points onto the dry-erase board and then bolt to the laptop to type out the flow of prose that inevitably comes. Other days, my back hurts to sit erect, the cliffhanger from the American’s episode I watched last night haunts me, and I am forced to abandon my muse for a $4.50 ridiculously-sweet Chai latte at the Bistro. I bewitch myself back to the task with the promise of “set the time to 5 minutes” or “just write one paragraph and you win!”

You see where I’m going with this? Barriers to entry are all over the place:

In our housework,

Our homework,

Our office work,

Legacy work,

Spouse work,

Parent work,

Spiritual work,

Healing work,

Play work,

Book work,

Lawn work,

Mind work,

Heart work.

If we shine the light on the barrier, call it for what it is, then we get creative with the break-through. And, break-through we must!

What is most important to you? Where are your barriers to entry?

Go ahead, find them.

I beg you to dig them up.

‘Cause we got to get jiggy!