Family, Inpsiration, Journal, MITT, Writing

Awake to Write

Darkness veils the upcoming day outside. Yet I hear it waking up. The deep quietness of the night passed a while ago.I know because I woke up before to hear nothing but deep silence.  I don’t need to look at my clock to know it’s before 6am. Muffled bird chirps reach my ears.  I groggily ask myself for the 1000th time, do I really want to wake up?  I already know the answer, hell yea.  The voice recedes, and I sit up. The dog instantly at alert, it’s walking time! I wish I could tell her that she has to wait, that I have first I have to invest in myself. So in goes the protein shake, and I head to the library. I can no longer say I don’t have time to write. I now have two hours that I are devoted to creating words, and they don’t just stop there. I also turned off my inner editor. For now, I write till I can write no more and instead of sitting there with my fingers poised over my keyboard either deleting what I wrote earlier or bemoaning that I am out of ideas, I keep open several times. A story, an essay and now a blog post.  I heard that from a Timothy Ferris podcast in which one of the participants suggested there is no such thing as writers block, just that for now you had run out to say something for the current piece. So you keep moving.

Oh yeah, and a timer. Because no matter what I need a reminder that this is my time to write. And I can choose to waste it or make something out it because once the bell rings it’s dog walking time. This routine just started, and already it feels like this is something I should have done ages ago. The reality is, there is time to do everything you desire. The question will always be how early do you want to get up to fit it in. I can either be complacent and complaining about the lack of time, or I can suck it up, wake up and get to it. Either way, it’s the life I create for myself. For me, that means being a writer, one who writes daily.

What will you do to make your dream come true?

Journal, Myself

Nanowrimo, Movember, Turkey Trot and Random Thoughts

nano_12_winner_detailIt’s been almost a month since I last blogged. In that time, I managed to write 50,000 words, enough to be considered a winner for Nanowrimo, grow a moustache for Movember and raise almost $600 and completed my first month at crossfit. I also managed to reach my fastest 10K ever (1 hour, 11 minutes and 11 seconds) where at the end I seriously felt like throwing up. For you non math majors. that’s an average of 11 minutes and 27 seconds, nowhere near Hussain Bolt, but for someone like me, a great milestone. Someone marvelled at all the things I am doing, and my first instinct was to tell them about my wife’s patience and secondly about Zen Habits, the Sea Change Program, but then it also hit me. It is my unwillingness to just be comfortable. I mean what’s the point if I am not growing, not learning, not doing something with my time, energy and money? Don’t get me wrong, I am also constantly failing, and as Leo says that’s part of habits. That’s part of life, the learning process. If we don’t fall down, how else can we learn to get back up.

Are there days I feel lazy? All the freaking time.

Do I give up?  More often than I care to admit.

Do I struggle at working out?  I have to finish a crossfit class where I actually got through the Workout of the Day.

So these past four days, I just slept in and rested and just did nothing. And as much as I felt recharged, I also felt anxious. I am not content. The next step is getting that first novel draft edited, do some charitable work that allows me to use my talents (if I have any) to help others, and get my weight down to the ideal of 210 pounds. Also, all along to spend time with my wife that is meaningful and lets her know that she means the world to me.  I know my ambition and lack of communication are a lethal combination sometimes in how I inform my wife of my goals. I am sure its frustrating for those close to me to not know what’s going on in my head, but trust me it’s all geared towards me being the best me I can be.

Hang on tight, its gonna be a wild ride.

Food For Thought, Myself, Writing

Nanowrimo, Movember and Life

thSo I am now at 10,000 words, more than I have written in decades. I am also clean-shaven for Movember after a decade. It’s funny to me when I speak to other writers lately about the reasons why they cannot do Nanowrimo. From “I have to outline to no time”, I have heard it all. But recently a theme has come up. What if it’s no good?  What if it’s a waste of time. That’s the really big worry . It comes down what if I spend hours upon hours for 30 days and have nothing to show for it. Just 50,000 words of crap. My answer is simple. You won’t. If  Nothing else you will write something unique, different. Just let go. I am in the middle of a Novel, something I thought impossible a few years ago. I am 35 pages in, and I admit I am dying to edit, to delete, backspace some of the shit that spews out of me. I dawdle on Facebook and Twitter in the early morning, but I am writing. I am inching forward. 630am every morning so far, I am giving myself the permission to be a writer.  9am I call it quits, and then my day starts.

I hope to start Crossfit soon so I can begin prepping for Spartan, and I am nervous. Isn’t it a bit much to add that to my life. Also, trying to do Zen Habits where this months habit is to spend mindful time with loved ones. Give them at least 10 minutes without interruption.  And then there are some who have suffered horrific losses. One death. One fighting Cancer. It’s a strange and unpredictable world that teaches us that if not now, then when? Seize the day before it seizes you.

Myself, Writing

Nightmares

failureSo had my first nightmare in a long time. It was surreal as it started in the middle. I am sure I was dreaming of something else, but I see a guy passing by, and for some reason. I call him a pussy. He keeps walking, but I know he is going to come back, and sure enough he does. I am on some stairs, and he begins walking up, and I begin blubbering that I was kidding, and didn’t mean to say what I did but like in dreams, suddenly there are 3 more people, and one grabs my hand, trying to force my wedding ring off while another grabs my watch, and then third has a razor blade. The old school kind that my father used to use when he shaved. And I start mumbling that I really didn’t mean it, but the razor keeps coming towards my right eye. The only one with a contact, and I don’t want to be blind. I don’t want to be squinting out of left eye which sees mostly blurs lately. I knew instinctively that they wanted the good eye, and as I woke up, there was an immediate fading idea that if only I had a gun to equalize the unfairness of the situation (there goes my liberal card).

The weird part is that I didn’t know any of the men well except for the first guy who suspiciously looked like the Reading Rainbow Gentleman Levar Burton (chucking anti-racist card as we speak).  Yes, I did try to figure out the dream, and I am pretty sure the entire dream was an allegory of my recent in ability to read, write or do anything workout related the past few weeks. Each day, I have this vague goal of writing and running, and while some days I am successful in writing for 20 minutes and exercising for 15, I know that’s not going to get it done if I want to be published or be in any sort of shape for the Spartan Beast which is fast approaching in September.

But, and this is a big but, I know I am doing something which is still infinitely better than the nothing I was doing before. So thanks to the Zen Habits, I practice self-compassion. I am giving myself a break even if they give me nightmares.

Journal, Myself, Preeti

The Stench of Self-Pity Part 2

BK Shivani said that just like you don’t yell at others constantly, we also need to be gentle with ourselves. Take a moment, think of all the negative sub talk that is going on in your mind. I know I am guilty of it. There was a constant river of berating myself for not being focused, not working out, not writing, not working, not being good enough, not eating well, not keeping up with friends, not being better and on and one.  This was the soundtrack of my daily life.  And I am pretty sure it’s yours.  We are constantly beating ourselves for what we are failing to do.  Yet we don’t take the time to be grateful for what we do have and what we are doing. I know I was guilty of that. I also know how silly one can feel being grateful for what we have. It just seems natural. It’s there. I want what I don’t have. We have this need for what we cannot ever grasp in our hands, yet each moment that we pass without thinking of what we have, we move further away.

Two years ago, I was perhaps the furthest I have ever been from writing and reading. Two very simple things that I have done most of my life, and at first I dismissed them as simple things that I would get to. Then I became addicted to social media, constantly checking and rechecking other’s updates about images, stories and things that in the long run did not add much value in my life. Don’t get me wrong. I am not bashing social media, but for me what I thought were simple things to ignore allowed me to use shallow posts to become my crutches.

So I began reading, then writing every day. Now I struggle with how much I can do each day with me adding learning Spanish, Meditation, and working out. I say all this not to brag, but that instead of the negative self-talk, I accept who and what I am.  Yes. there are days, many of them  infact, that I don’t get to all that I want to get done, but you know what? Its OK. I give myself a break. I now see that even when I dont get to do all that I want, I still get something wonderful, like an hour long phone conversation with a great friend, or getting to know something about Preeti that I didn’t know, or doing something completely new.

In a nutshell, be gentle with yourself. Stop the negative talk. Enjoy the moment. Take a breath. And then keep moving.

Cancer, My Past, Myself

The Stench of Self-Pity Part 1

Is there a better feeling than waking up to the quietness of a beautiful morning?  When the eyes are still closed, but inside you feel full of gratitude and love for all that is in your life?  Think I am full of shit? Few years ago, I would have agreed and perhaps even said that I was just trying to be a creative writer.  Yet, last year around this time is when I was still recovering from my brain surgery and prior to that, my wife’s illness and then before that a stroke  around the time a loss of a dear dear friend reverberated through  my soul. So I could say life was not fair. I could have whined, and been angry.  And honestly, I did. I cannot even read some of the stuff I wrote around that time because the stench of self-pity suffocates me.  I felt so sorry for myself that I engaged in soul deadening behaviors like avoidance, and pretending all was well. I stopped reading, writing or really doing anything that gave me true joy. I fought with people in my life with such a vengeance as if it was their fault my life was where it was.

I probably would have continued if some of the strangest things came together to salvage who I used to be. It began with a subscription to The New Yorker. I have been buying books all my life, and there are always piles of unread books surrounding my homes, but subscribing to the New Yorker was a new commitment for me. I had no idea that each week, a magazine that was extremely well written with VERY long articles would come to my doorstep.  Each and every single fucking week. So I began reading. Around the same time, a forwarded You Tube link of BK Shivani’s “Healer Within” caught my eye.  At first, I was uncomfortable with the Indian accents, but her words struck me into submission with their clarity and accuracy.  I also began doing Morning Pages from The Artist’s Way as well as doing Lumosity brain games while trying to learn Spanish (still struggling).

I didn’t realize at the time, but I had begun constructing a new me….

To Be Continued….