Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Morning Pages

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

Each morning, I sit on my desk and hand write three pages of whatever thoughts come to my mind. My brain feels like it’s on a dimmer that gets brighter with each word put on the page. At first, I repeat the same things over and over and the tasks for the day, and then sometimes write that nothing comes to mind, yet my hand keeps moving forward as if excavating my mind, and then little nuggets begin to fall out. It’s slow going work, and I admit some days I just want to stop and not write the three pages.

My hand aches from the exertion. I type most of the time as my handwriting is atrocious, yet I force myself to use the pen to connect with the paper. It feels more real as if I am making real what is going on to the page. Yet also what gets released are my doubts and wonderment if I am doing all that I can do in this life of mine.

And so word by word, page by page, morning by morning I keep filling up in the pages with hope, despair, desire, mantras, and random thoughts. Each of those filled out pages become vassals of my thoughts and feelings. Each time I near the end of the three pages, my hand feels lighter, my thoughts quicker and cleaner, and I close the book with the realization that as long I have the Growth mindset, I can keep moving forward, keep learning and know that doing the work ensures I get to the destination even when it feels I am stuck in self-doubt and insecurity.

And so I do the morning pages. I do my reading. I walk the dog. I wait for inspiration. I continue on a path of discovery, knowing no matter what I am richer for it. Even if some days I have nothing to show for it.

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!

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

On Eve’s

It’s hard to believe that 2019 is almost here. In the morning quiet, I contemplate what the new year will bring, but then again I realize that in order to move forward, I get to look back and see how far I have come forward or back. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to see some goals that I write year after year still looking at me, mocking me, making feel that I got nothing done this year. Then I look at all the new unexpected things that I also added that made my life not only better but different.

I also there is a long road ahead, and there is so much more I need to do, or do better. To make others feel acknowledged and loved, to let them know that they are thought about even if I don’t see them regularly or if I do to find better ways to show my love for them. Each day is a new 24 hours to spend either the same way or maybe, just maybe a bit differently. I keep thinking of the quote by Jack Kornfield (but most often wrongly attributed to the Buddha), “the trouble is you think you have time.”

It is true, I forget that I meant to tell my dad more often that I loved him, or to my aunt that her joy in the world brought me joy. And now it’s too late. It hits me that I spend more time doing tasks or being in service, yet those closest to me (my wife, mom, sisters) don’t get as much intimate time as they deserve.

So I spend this Eve making the promise to make those around me feel more loved. If I manage that, I consider 2019 to be a success.