A new love has come into my life. Might have been nice if it had been a man (maybe… that’s another post * I mean, I’m not anti-man or anything * it’s just that I keep forgetting to seek out people to date * shit, I’m getting off track) but nope… it’s a dog. I met her months before… a happy, healthy sweetheart of girl prancing opposite my fence line wanting very much to play with my dogs. Continue reading
They – the people who perpetuate stuff like this – say that whatever you’re doing at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve is what you’ll be doing the rest of the year. I’m sure they didn’t mean this literally but instead as a suggestion to be doing something you want to be doing as you ring in a new year. So, here I am, sitting at my computer, writing a little something that may or may not be read by another living soul but that doesn’t matter one damn bit to me. I like writing. I like sharing what I think about what is going on around me. I like looking at my thoughts on a page – perspective is offered. Continue reading
I went to the doctor yesterday for a routine physical. The topic of stress came up and I immediately dismissed it. “Stressed?! I’m not stressed. I have no reason to be stressed!” Yep, I actually said that.
My tense shoulders and waking up with a sore jaw from grinding my teeth would say otherwise.
I am experiencing stress.
The funny part is that I knew. I have been all up in my head, caught up in shit-storm of thoughts. My normally quiet mind has been on overdrive lately. Why? Hell, I don’t know. I have some clues but the thing is, as much as I have been taught to believe otherwise, stress doesn’t come from out there (or the stuff going on in life). It’s an internal thing. A message from the body saying hey! you’re caught up in your thinking. Wake up, yeah?
And for the record, I didn’t see this all on my own. I had help. Because I was on a call with Michael Neill. Yes, that Michael Neill. (Squeeeee!!!)
I knew it. But I couldn’t see it. Continue reading
WAY back in the day, when the Internet was a young, tender thing and wav files (HUGE wav files!) first began circulating, some clever person recorded what is now available via YouTube at a fraction of the bandwith. It effected me profoundly. And it never fails to crack me up. It is my hope that you enjoy it just as much.
I’m a Jonathan Fields groupie and I love everything the man produces, says, teaches… If he wasn’t married, I’d stalk him. I listened to his interview with Milton Glaser twice because I was so fascinated by what Glaser had to say and it seemed that Jonathan was very open in the interview and, sweetly, a little star struck.
Glaser’s comments about a couple of New York’s great educational institutions got me thinking about what I suspect goes on in these places of higher learning (although Milton was speaking of specific high schools). I say “suspect” because my own experience with school was very brief. A few semesters at a community college in Virginia was enough to show me that computer science was a major most likely to make me psychotic as opposed to gainfully employed. Writing, I’m good with. Writing code… fuck that. As much as I hated the programing classes, I loved being in school because I love learning. Still do. I left college without a degree but I learned how to learn; how to teach myself. So I feel like I got my money’s worth and then some by about a million fold. I’ve never run across another major that inspired me enough to return to university (no, I’m not European I just like how they phrase it better so I’m adopting my imaginary mother country). That being said, art school of whatever type or some sort of degree where they churn you out a better writer has always been a temptation. Not because I wanted the piece of paper but because I “suspect” that these programs present their students with blocks of time that they must dedicate to their specific projects or honing their particular craft. They might not have been projects that students would have chosen on their own but completion was a requirement. And in that requirement, an extremely valuable lesson would have been learned and that is how to apply direction to inspiration.
A blog post authored by Danielle LaPorte, another teacher high on my love list, about her most effective time management strategy reminded me that these blocks of time I believe to be so valuable can be had without shelling out thousands going to university. (See how that just rolled off my tongue? I’ll have dual citizenship before I finish writing this!) Go read it when you’re done here; It’s good stuff!
I can create my own blocks of time. And so can you.
Purposefully decide when a block of time to do work is going to happen and map out a plan for the work that will be worked on. Show up and do the work.
And look, I know there will be some voices in your head that start chiming in with whatever bullshit story that will make you stop doing your work. Or worse, keep you from starting it. Those voices… they are actually trying to protect you in a weird, fucked up way because they don’t understand what a badass you were put on this terra firma to be. Thank them and send them away to fuck with your crazy neighbor down the street. (Not really – I just wrote that because it made me laugh. Do not send voices or anything else to fuck with your crazy neighbor down the street. Send the crazy neighbor love. Energetically. Do not engage with the crazy neighbor. Because they are… well… crazy!)
Sorry, I got a little distracted. Sometimes I’m the crazy neighbor down the street.
Blocks of time… create them. Work them. Enjoy!
I try not to default to coach mode when friends are talking to me about stuff going on that they’d prefer not be going on. But sometimes, I am a tiny bit of a dumbass and words come out of my mouth that ought noughta. Like the line I delivered yesterday about them being ready to take responsibility for their life.
I do have more compassion than Attila the Hun which is actually why I said what I shouldn’t have said. Especially because I really understand where they are coming from, having been there and done that *. But I forgot that, having left there since I was done with that *, the words “take responsibility” can sound about as unappealing as shoving a firecracker up your nose shortly after lighting the fuse. Responsibility? Um, no thank you… I’m a little busy trying to decide between a razor blade versus a chemical cocktail as viable routes to permanent snoozeville.
Except… perfection is perception. My dream-come-true life is an ever evolving growth process. Just when I think I’m fully awake to it, I learn something new and level up. This life creation stuff is constant work. (Ew, work! Another dirty word!) But it’s work that lights me up, not the drudgery kind of work that comes from being somebody besides me but the work that makes me a better me. I hope I keep working (on me and on waking other people up ‘cause that’s what I do) until the day I drop dead because, having been there and done that *, I now know how glorious life is. Even when the cat has thrown up on the couch or whatever bullshit goes down on any given day.
Life is a game. Play it hard or play it soft but for fuck’s sake, PLAY it!
When you’re ready. When you are done with being there and doing that *.
In the meantime, just know – and yes, I am about to go cliche on your ass – this too shall pass.
*Disclaimer: Your that may not be the same as my that. All thats are individual. But all thats are universal in that they all seem to suck mightily while you’re in the that.
I went to Asheville last week to meet up with Kate McKinnon and the group of folks participating in the “Capture The Moment” workshop she co-hosted with Andrew Thornton. I wasn’t an attendee – just visiting and while I didn’t spend that much time (sadly!) talking to Kate directly, she’s such a dynamic soul that time spent in her air space is always an EXPERIENCE since one of her major talents is assembling interesting people who will ping off each other in wonderful ways. Plus she is so damn cool.
Another excuse for the trip was to meet IRL (in real life) some of the folks I chat with regularly on facebook. Ken Thomas was just such a person and I suspect we hit if off as we were soon chatting it up like old chums. When these IRL meetings happen, there is always the inevitable comparison with the person you created in your mind versus the real human being. Ken suggested that personalities were amplified on the internet and he added that I seemed to be particularly chipper. And I am. In person or otherwise. I told him that it was the result of hard won happiness.
In a flash, I was back home to attend our local, 2nd annual Muse Fest hosted by a couple of my favorite people, Tamara and Zan of the (not yet famous but soon will be) Social Design House and Gallery Up.
One of the attractions was the performance of Tennessee William’s one-act plays “Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen” during which the actress lamented her desire to simply fade away into nothingness, while listening to the rain, rain, rain…
As I stood and listened, I began to think I didn’t like the piece. The actors were very good and a better performance could not be asked of them. Of course, the writing was good. As it continued, I was struck with the realization that it wasn’t dislike that I was feeling so much as a refusal to relate to the words, as if they might transport me back in time to a part of my life when fading away would have been a most welcome option for me to choose.
The moment was an inspirited reminder of how far I have come. Of how we all have our dark times to get through. With that epiphany along with the warm, fuzzy feeling of COnNEcTiON that comes with full-on-present-moment-awareness, I was able to appreciate the talent I was experiencing and the evening segued into a fabulous weekend filled with more friends and more laughter.
So yeah, I think “chipper” pretty much nails it. Bonus: I learned what FTW means!