Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Travelling Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Travel with others most always is fun and and a challenge. It hit me that so much of my time in the past got wasted for wanting to move things along and if everyone would just listen and then we would get to the next thing. And then I take a pause, become present in the moment, and take in the fact that right now only this moment matters.

I realize that all of us are unique and have our own wants and needs, but that means taking responsibility for myself, keep myself in check. Wanting things to be a certain way just invites grief and impatience and really just waste times that could be better spent being in gratitude for being able to travel with others.

But, and this is a big but. It’s easy to say to shift perspective, but when habits are there, they are hard to break. It takes time to walk expectations and desires back and just enjoy the vacation instead of wanting others to behave a certain way.  It’s a tough lesson that I struggle with, and I admit some days I fail at it. But then in those glorious moment when I succeed like when I take a walk on a beautiful trail, in the bright, sunny, chilly day. Listening to a customized playlist by a dear friend, I got a chance to reconnect and reset.

I don’t always get it right, but I am learning, and at the end of the day that’s all that matters.

Family, Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Unfinished Marathon

Uncertainty: Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

There is a constant nagging thought inside me to do more, to be more, to explore more, more, more, more, and yet there are days I do the same things over and over.  A guilt inside me reverberates through my soul, pushing me to try new things, to explore, to question, to not sit still. Each day feels like an unfinished marathon.  I look at the goals from the past, current goals, and then my to do list, and it hits me that it will never be enough. I will never get everything done, and you know what, that’s all right.

It can be easy to look at all that I am not achieving, or maybe, just maybe it might be good to see what I finished the days before. Not to sit on my laurels but to give myself assurance that I am not sitting still, not stagnating, not spinning my wheels. A reset so to speak because it can be easy to look at all the lists and convince myself I did nothing. And I take the moment to review, and celebrate. The thoughts that I tried something new and failed. Those memories are the best ones not because of the failure but because I tried.

It is easy to count failures and ignore them as opportunities, the time I took to step off the ledge of comfort and uncertainty and took a leap of faith. It was never to succeed, but to grow, learn and ignite a new fire to keep trying. I admit there are days it can feel hopeless to fail at so many new things, those are the days when it feels like a marathon of failure.  And then I take a breath, and I let out all the failure and breathe in the opportunity.

A new day.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Night Song

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

One of my early morning perks is the ability to read and write in the quiet, but today as I wrote I got the urge to listen to the Album Night Song by Nusrat Fateh Khan and Michael Brook, and then I heard my favorite song on there, Lament, and it hit me that sometimes the quiet allows me to bring in things inside me that I cannot adequately express. The song reminded me of God, My Dad, Aunt, and in that moment I relived happy and sad moments, and my throat tightened up with grief and longing for them. And then I read the Artist’s Way, and in that morning quiet it hit me that only in these moments do I allow myself the luxury of thoughts and emotions that are the undercurrent of my daily life.

i use this time to process, to grieve, to learn, to create, and to really just be. Not caught up in to do tasks, or the  next worry of the day, but a chance to just relive my past and be in gratitude, the good and the bad, the mistakes, the opportunities, the old friendships, the betrayals, the many people who, at one point, were so central in my life, but I have not spoken to now in years. And it hits me that this too shall pass.

Only in these moments do I realize that in the hurry to go from one thing to another, there is so much to learn, and be present for. It is a daily struggle to remind myself that this, this right here, this moment is all that I have as a guarantee. Each other moment a gift for me to either squander or to appreciate. Some moments I success, but a majority I fail, but instead of lamenting the losses, I sit in appreciation of being able to experience Nusrat at his finest, and I know, this moment, this real moment, I got right. And for now, that’s enough.

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.