Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal, Writing

A Tough Reminder

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

This year, I made a commitment with a few others to do The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron. It’s an amazing book about releasing your creative energy and efforts towards goals I keep telling yourself that one, maybe one day, I will get to.

With the beginning of 2019, it made perfect sense to make that some day, one day, into today. I have read the Artist’s Way before and one of its main tenets or laws so speak are to do Morning Pages by hand every day. The first time few times, I read the book I elected to type my Morning Pages, reasoning that my handwriting is terrible. Yet the morning pages are not meant to be shared, they are just to unblock creativity. And while I was diligent about doing them daily, I have to say it felt a bit mechanical. The other thing is that Morning Pages need to be the first thing one does when you wake up. It is to get access to your inner creativity without criticism.

And so this year, as much as I resisted it, I began writing my hand. I have to tell you, as a former stroke and a brain bleed patient, my handwriting has gone from terrible to horrendous. It hit me that what I resisted is the reminder that I am not whole, that each day is a blessing because of medication I take daily. With each activity that I take on, including crossfit, running, hiking or raquetball, I forget that I am not a 100% healthy person. I am beyond blessed for the opportunities I have been afforded in my life, yet writing my Morning Pages allowed me to grieve a bit.

To let go of old pain, memories that no longer serve me, to process so much of what I buried and pretended never happened.  I struggle to get the words out sometimes, and then there are days I ask myself what the hell am I doing. Yet each morning, I take out my notebook, sit in the morning quiet and just begin writing. Anything. Everything. Lists. To do tasks, thoughts about others, judgements. It is a brutal place as I connect to this constant river of thoughts and feelings, and it hit me that this goes on all day long.

What stories am I reinforcing? What self-limiting beliefs am I cultivating?  How much of my time is spent on “busy” work that does nothing but just that, keeps busy and not dealing with my life.  And so I sit, sort, sift and pray for clarity. Doing the Morning Pages has not become an act of purging. And the well runs deep.


Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

On Regret

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

One of the unfortunate realities of life is that we all must die. No big reveal there, but what hit me is how much more often I meet friends and families at funerals. There are those who I haven’t seen in years, and I remind myself to make sure to reach out afterwards, or we both make promises to each other to keep in touch, until the next time we really meet is at another funeral.

It hits me that as I get older so are my loved ones, especially the ones who were part of my growing up. And it feels one by one, one less person remains, and I wonder what lessons am I learning? What kind of life do I want to live that when my turn comes, there is more to be said. One thing is clear to me is that I do not want a big fuss at my funeral. I have never enjoyed being the center of attention. I prefer to work from the side, and the idea of celebrating me in any form has always unsettled me.

I find it extremely easy to give, but receiving always made me feel deeply uncomfortable. as I attend more funerals, more realization that my time on this Earth is short, the question that keeps coming up for me is: “Am I living the best possible version of my life?”  There are days I can say a resounding yes. On the days, I can be of service to others, on the days I can listen to someone without judgement, on the days I can perform acts of service.

Yet there are more often days when I am not the best version of myself, when I make up stories on why I am not writing, when I am not visiting or spending time with loved ones, when I don’t follow my passions a chance to breathe. But mostly, it’s the deep-lying regret of losing connection with so many in my life.

I have been blessed to have been on the planet for 47 years, yet I struggle to remember if what I have been up to matters. And so in 2019, I begin anew to do better, be better, to connect, to love and then yes, perhaps be in touch with the ones in my life no matter how long ago that was.

Happy Monday!