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, 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.

 

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Random

First April Monday

The quiet of the house surrounds me at my favorite part of the day. Just me and my thoughts and laptop.  I put the timer on for 25 minutes. Each morning usually the same:   I do my Morning Pages from The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, then write the remaining of the time till the bell sounds. Those 25 minutes allowing me to just flow and put down my thoughts and fulfill part of my vision of being a writer.  It is that time when I truly feel like a writer, yet there is a growing urge that this time cannot remain private.

With the first quarter of the year done, it hits me that visions are completed with action. This first Monday of April is a reminder that only actions can move me forward not just wanting things to be  a certain way. It is a lonely road as many won’t or cannot understand my desire to better myself. It is never easy to explain what pushes me so towards this path of betterment.I don’t always succeeds, but those times that I do, I know I am on the right path.

So the quiet of the house supports me in writing even though sometimes it feels that no one else will.

Food For Thought, Inpsiration, Journal

Tasks Versus Goals

In just a few days, March ends. We are 1/4 of the way done with 2017. That boggles my mind. Each month,  I take a few minutes to take stock of the month with the same question: am I living a life worth living?  The answer for this year so far has been a resounding yes. Are there challenges? Failures? Missed opportunities?  Of course, to say otherwise assumes that I am done learning, pushing myself and ensuring I am present for others. There is the constant urge to keep moving, to do more, be of service to others, but there are times I also know that I can get more task oriented rather than goal focused.

Last week, after speaking to my accountability buddy, it occurred to me while its fine to get through my to do list, I get to focus on what my vision is. It is not about lists or tasks, but creating a life that matters and makes the world better than when I came into it. It is that drive that gets me to be up before 6am most mornings because the excuses of “not enough time” no longer works if I truly want change.

Brownness, Food For Thought, Journal

Task Disorientation

03a50aaa6de20f2e334f7298d1524bcb Last week, my laptop stopped working, I had two flat tires, I was unable to get to the gym daily, and had a huge breakdown in communication with a loved one. I stewed about all the tasks I did not get to. Over and over, I kept scolding myself for not holding myself to getting my daily and weekly tasks to a point where I felt like a complete and utter failure. And then I took a breath.  I realized that yes I didn’t get to all my tasks, but how I handled what came up mattered more

I got a new laptop, got a great deal on the tires, and was able to have an intimate and vulnerable conversation with the loved one. Then there were other things, I hit 245lbs on my front squat, learned a bit about how to increase blog subscribers, discussed with my cousin about the podcast, revised a personal essay, saved the company from an HR mistake, and settled a claim for a client who was so grateful she hugged me 4 times.

It hit me that I still needed to not get so caught up in getting tasks done that I failed to accept what my overall goals were for myself. Too often, I lost myself in the to do list, and stopped living life when the whole point of the tasks was to live a life worth living. So I stopped and learned to be grateful for the blessings life threw my way. Thanked the universe for disorienting me, forcing me to slow down and know that no matter that I did not get to all my tasks the way I wanted, but I am still further from my starting point.

Food For Thought, Journal, Myself

Awake!

owl-drawing-tumblrMy eyes opened automatically. Time to go. No excuses, sleep already a stranger like a lover who skips out before the girl figures it out. None of the normal rationalizations of why I should sleep in appear. I look at the clock. 4:58am. I never imagined that would be me. My father has called me an “ooloo” [owl] all my life due to my penchant for staying up late. But nowadays, 10pm rolls around and my body starts calling for the bed. When you are working on all aspects of your life, and are on a path of self-discovery and betterment, time is not on your side. The excuses of why I “can’t” dissolve, and why I “can” become the norm.   It used to be I was up late to get things done, but really that meant that I got to them later and later. It also wasn’t efficient. Getting up earlier allows me to work on so many more things, and as the mind flags down at the end of the day, I know that I laid out everything inside me. I can also spend the evenings with my wife being present and the anxiety of future things to do dissipates, no longer part of my ongoing stress. I am getting shit done, and that’s all that matters.

To be sure, there are days when the bed is so warm, and my body so tired that getting up from there alone is a task that I am not up for. So I fall back, and you know what? That’s OK. I am learning to know my body. To assess my limits. Some days I just don’t feel like dealing with all that’s on my plate. A plate that I greedily filled up. That’s OK as well. It’s part of getting to know myself. There are days I wish I was an owl again, but really my plate can get bigger, and it will be. The owl may be no longer be my symbol, but it is still a symbol of wisdom.