Friday’s Focus—Again

It’s been some time since I’ve been here last. Did you miss me? I did! Literally. Things have been so hectic with the selling and moving from our home to not only a new house but a new state,  I feel as though I lost myself in the process. Everything was put on hold that didn’t have to do with the day job, lawyers, bankers, or real estate agents. The only writing I was doing were checks and emails. Subjects of blogs and short stories swirled in my head borne out of people we met and circumstances but there they stayed, behind the wall of my mind and never making it beyond the thought, “Oh, I should write about that.” It’s time to breathe life into those stories and writings again.

Last night, I decided enough was enough and sat down to the keyboard to let my fingers do the walking so my mind can do the talking, and well, here we are. Again. Still feeling my sea legs in the new place, I look for corners and spaces as new homes for my yoga mat and books. Settling into a daily routine of day job mixed in with the new neighborhood sounds will take awhile, but in the meantime, I’m growing accustomed to the sounds of hammers and saws sprinkled with a few swear words from my husband, which has actually been helpful to use as a gauge on how well (?) repairs have been going!

This move is the cap of what has been a fierce 8 months (actually the last 3 years) of continuous major life events. Feeling tense and uptight had become very familiar feelings for me. Sitting within these new four walls, with the dust settling and the boxes slowly being unpacked, I can still feel the anxiety continue to surround me, which is exactly what I had wanted to change. “Maybe it’s too soon,” I tell myself. “I need to give myself time to slow the twitching and unwind from the hectic pace,” I add.

Almost as a ready response, I hear the words “no matter where you go, there you are” echo through my head and immediately recognize the truth in it. No matter where you go—house, hut, country, or planet you move or travel to, if the changes you seek aren’t made within, it won’t matter what zip code you land in.

I knew better than to expect a complete whoosh of having all my problems disappear as I watched the tail lights of the moving truck leave, but I guess to be honest, on some deep level, I must have expected it to happen all the same.

How we experience things all comes from our perspective, and if our perspective, our basic way of seeing something, doesn’t change, our experiences and our views will continue to be more of the same. This week, as I get myself back into my writing, and once again set my sight on the changes I want to make within (and without), I’m consciously refining my perspective of what each day can bring. This is not about seeing the world through rose-colored glasses but rather taking off those glasses to get a clearer and more honest view. One of the simplest and most profound ways of doing this is by intention, which is something we can all do.

Even if you don’t have any plans of moving or traveling any time soon, you can still set your intention and perspective anew each day and welcome yourself home.

IMG_1904#takingitdeeper

 

Advertisements

Friday’s Focus—Something From Nothing

There are some days, as a writer, it feels like I have nothing to say. The muse is off playing with the dog or helping some other writer slouched over their keyboard. Sometimes all that seems to fill a page are half sentences or phrases that start out hopeful but stop short of being anything more than a glorified bunch of nouns, verbs, and adjectives and the paper is littered with the glitter of wanna-be quips and stories.

For me, the way ideas come and thoughts develop into whatever they want—stories, poems, essays, doodles—changes depending on the medium I use to bring it forward with. It’s been interesting to notice how characters change and the endings shift depending on whether I use a computer or a good old-fashioned pen and paper. Hands down, my favorite way to write, or at least get started, is using pen and paper. I’m an admitted paper-a-holic and just can’t resist blank notebooks; paper that just begs to be written on. The pen also needs to be right and together, in the right combination, it’s as though the story is already there and the ink simply reveals it.

Writing with a pencil gives an entirely different feeling. I find my writing takes on more of the feeling of a doodle and I tend to edit more. The words feel “sketched” and less “committed” than ink. Writing with ink is like changing your Facebook status to “in a relationship.”

Finally, there’s the keyboard. I find that writing on a computer releases a completely different stream of consciousness. This may be the easiest of all to write with but it is also the coldest and least personal way of working to me.

Of course, I can, and have begun writing something with one medium and switched over to another (beginning with pen and then moving to keyboard) and every time I do the story changes—for better or for worse. I’m not talking about editing or revisions but rather that fact that I experience a distinctly different flow with each medium and the words just come out different.

When I began to write today’s post, I couldn’t find the rhythm no matter what I tried to write with. In a last attempt, I opened my laptop and like a Seinfeld episode (which is really about nothing), I began to write about nothing, but it ended up turning into a something (which is still about nothing). So this is my Seinfeld post; one that is really about nothing except to say whether you’re a writer, an artist, a musician, a chef, or you do anything that’s creative, if you’ve found your usual way of doing things isn’t working so well and you feel that your muse has abandoned you, try things from a different angle and see what happens. Don’t stop. You never know what something will come out of your “nothings”!

Have a great weekend!

#takingitdeeper

IMG_1653

Now.

Every single one of us.
Has something to say.
It’s not just a story.
It’s their story.
It’s your story.
It’s your time to tell it.
It’s your time to write it.
To draw it.
To sing it.
To be it.
Will you?
Or.
Will you let it remain.
In your mind.
In your soul.
As a thought.
As a desire.
As a dream.
Let’s make it so.
And be.
Who we have been.
Dreaming ourselves to be.

#taingitdeeper

Being in Balance While Counting to Zen

Two weeks into the New Year and I am beginning to feel the realignment of balance and the recognition of coming back to a new normal. A new normal for me.

Each morning, as I sit quietly in the predawn, there is a sense of unfoldment, teasing me in its reveal.

The release of previous holds on me are shifting in ways that are creating a deeper understanding of past patterns and situations. Looking back at them, I see how necessary they were in order to build the ladder to the stars that are now aligning.

I continue to pray and listen to a response as I sit on my mat and count to Zen, riding my breath while it moves in and out of this body I have reclaimed.

It’s not enough to just feed the body.
It’s not enough to just feed the soul.

The soul needs the body to give birth to its dreams and the body needs the soul to live and experience those dreams. The feast is an interconnected ying-yang circle of continual flow. Another relationship where one shouldn’t live without the other is the balance of the head and the heart. I say shouldn’t because many of us only live in one or the other, perhaps too afraid of making the connection or simply not knowing how. No judgement. Just acknowledgment.

There are so many things I already knew up there, but as the dots begin to connect, I now know the same things down there, adding color and texture to the monochrome that lay there before. I can’t help but sigh and drop my shoulders as I relax into this realization of deeper knowing in my heart, and wider understanding in my mind. A brand-new landscape, for sure.

I’m excited at the hints I’m seeing of what’s ahead. A work in progress, that’s me but aren’t we all? We’re just at different stages of the artist’s vision. As the day deepens believe me, the loftiness I start the day with is something that needs constant attention because it’s so easy to be pulled one way or another and before I know it I’m taking another deep breath and counting to Zen. But circles aren’t always perfectly round I remind myself—that’s not the important part. The important part is that there is a circle and that the connection remains.

And tomorrow I will sit again, curious at what will unfold but knowing that whatever it is, I will be adding a new rung to the ladder that I’ll use to climb and reach the stars.

From Where I Sit

I’ve been feeling very restless the last few weeks. Most likely because the intensity of my day job has substantially increased recently and I have been tethered to the computer daily, mired in the learning curve of java, html, and creating Web pages in a deeper level than I ever knew, or care to, for that matter.

I sit in my home office, surrounded by monitors and keyboards, and after hours of intense focus of staring at the computer screen, sometimes I need to look at something more 3D, so I’ll look out of the one window that is in the room. From where I sit, I can just see the top of the garage roof and an audience of trees behind it. The view is especially lovely when it snows or rains.

My eyes follow the raindrops or the snowflakes as they cascade from the sky and turn the tree tops into white-laced forests or drooping branches, saturated with moisture. If it’s a clear day then I watch the clouds parade by. And if I tilt my head just right (or slink down in my chair, just so), the roof disappears and all I see are the trees and it’s then that I imagine myself  in a place far, far away.

When I feel particularly antsy, I get up and walk to my living room window where, now in the winter, I can see the lake across the way through the bare branches. Sometimes I can’t resist the lure of leaning on crossed arms against the sill, with my forehead pressed against the glass and just watch the play of the sun on the water, letting it mesmerize me and lull me into a quiet space of prayer and meditation.

As a yoga teacher, I learned that yoga lives just as much off the mat as it does on. Some say more so—doing asanas doesn’t make the world go around but following the wisdom of the teachings of Yoga does. As a Shamanic practitioner, I learned the importance, and yes, I’m going to say necessity, of reaching out and connecting to the energies of nature and the Universe; our ancestors, guides and teachers is essential if we are to grow individually and collectively as a human race and maintain and sustain a thread of creativity, abundance, and positivity. Some days, I’ll admit, it is an effort—yogically and shamanically but it’s an effort that is worth making.

I can’t let my days be completely ruled by fear and obligations of unknown and yet to be learned work skills. Yes, I need the work—I have bills to pay like everyone one else. But I see clearly now, more than ever, that when we allow one thing, one aspect of our lives to overrule and push out everything else that is a part of who we are, a disconnect happens and we get into trouble and the restlessness, feelings of unworthiness, insecurity, and general unhappiness kick in. I can’t keep going like that. I won’t. It’s time to get reacquainted with balance again.

I will still do what is asked of me and fulfill my obligations but on new terms.  I am actively rededicating myself to my practices and bringing them off the mat and into the world and I am birthing it with drumming, and rattling and dancing with the ancestors.

There is always so much to do, places to go, people to see—an abundance of distractions and with only so many hours and energy to do it all, I will let my window gazing—arms folded on the sill and forehead against the glass if need be, to lead me into the prayers and meditations and practices that will get me there. Back to balance, back to home.

Friday’s Focus—Creating From Your Inner Twitch

There is a feeling inside all of us that makes our fingers twitch, our toes tap, and our voices hum, and if you tell me you’ve never felt it, I won’t believe you. We ALL experience this at some point in our lives.

You may not know what that urge is or that inkling or feeling is, but I’m going to let you in on a secret—it’s your creativity calling out, begging to be seen and heard.

It’s like a deep itch that nothing quite yet has scratched. You feel like there is something inside that is so full, so ready to burst but you don’t know what to do with it, like the energy before a storm except you feel it all within you.

Today’s focus is on releasing that creativity and letting it out to be seen and heard. Listen to your creativity today instead of the critics and let it go!

Paint, draw, doodle, take photos, compose a tune using the drums or keyboard on Garageband; sing in the shower or in your car, create a meal with whatever’s in the fridge; dance even if you look like Elaine from that episode of Seinfeld.

Let it out and use today’s focus to create from your inner twitch!

Have a great weekend!

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way…

Friday’s Focus—A Mad Lib™ Moment

I always loved doing Mad Libs™ as a kid and was thus inspired for today’s Focus to get some creativity rolling for this Friday!

Have fun with the fortune’s below and if inspired, reply to this post with what the Fortunes of your Creativity had to say! I’d love to see them!

The Fortune Cookie

The [noun] of [adjective] [noun] will [verb] in [place] of [pronoun] [adjective]!

The Fortune Cookie

[Verb] the [noun] of [adjective] [noun].

The Fortune Cookie

[Noun] is not a [noun] to be [verb] but a [noun] to be [verb].

 

Have a great weekend!

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way….

Friday’s Focus–Clouds

When was the last time you looked at the sky other than to see what harbinger of weather it may bring?

Take some time today to look up at the sky and notice its color and shapes of the clouds.

How blue is the sky?
If you had to name that shade of gray, what would it be?
What shape is that cloud?
Ask the Universe a question and see if any cloud shapes change to a shape that can be an answer.

Look up and let your mind go……

 

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way….

Friday’s Focus–A New Weekly Post

Inspired by a fellow blogger, Becky Due, I’ve decided to begin a new post every Friday called Friday’s Focus, where I will post comments, suggestions, and things that I hope you will read and take in and use to inspire you to help you create some time for yourself and be used as a reminder that no matter what we have going on in our lives and how many obligations we have (whether self-created or put-upon), we still only have ourselves and we need to make sure to keep that little bit of humor and [in]sanity lit as we keep putting one foot in front of another.

It’s so easy to lose track of ourselves because we’re so busy taking care of everyone/thing else. So I hope my Friday posts will be a reminder to laugh a little, create a little, go smell some flowers or at least smell something good (!) and love a lot–starting with yourself.

Today’s Focus

With the weather finally becoming seasonable where I live, every day the trees are showing a little bit more color. It looks as if Mother Nature was having some fun and took her paintbrush, flicked her wrist, and let the yellow’s and red’s fall where they may. Take a look around your neighborhood–even if it’s through the windshield of your car as your run errands–and notice any changes.

If the colors don’t change where you live, then what is different this time of year that brings a smile to your face–the cool breeze in the evenings? The smell of new paper and pencils of the new school year and all of its opportunities? Anticipatory baking?

Keeping it light and singing LiLoLa [Live, Love, Laugh] all the way….

Why I Do What I Do

Someone asked me the other day why I write. What was it about writing that attracted me and wasn’t I scared or nervous to put myself “out there”?

I write because I want to. I write because there is something inside of me that wants its own voice heard whether it’s a piece of fiction, a personal cry of injustice, or simply an homage to a sunrise. Do I get nervous making my writing public? Sure, but I do it anyway. I wouldn’t say I’m fearless or brave and yes, there’s an edge of trepidation that accompanies every piece I push out into the world, but it’s not enough to stop me anymore.

It’s only natural to feel scared. People can be downright petty, cruel, judgmental, and jealous but they can also be loving, supportive, inspiring, and forgiving. To the haters and their fears: I’m sorry you feel the way you do and that you have that much energy to waste being negative. I’m not going to let you stop me from sharing how I feel or what I want to say.

As I’ve gotten older and collected more stories, I care less about being judged and more about being heard, and that’s where I want my energy to go. What I write about is how I feel and about my observations and no one can say that my feelings are wrong.

Writing is the breath to my creativity. It’s the voice of my loves, likes, curiosities, and trepidations, and maybe most importantly, it’s the voice of my heart. I write because it feels good. It’s the kind of feel-good feeling I used to get with the first inhale of a cigarette or the first glass of wine after a long day and with it came that blissful sweet spot of release as I felt myself soften and relax.

Where do I want to go with my writing? I’ll let my stories take me where they decide. I’m proud to have already published a non-fiction book, but now as I work on my first fictional novel, other fiction stories are pouring out of me for the first time. Spontaneous mental scenarios and conversations between characters are now a normal part of my day that just begged to be noticed and written.

I would love to publish my fiction either as a self-published work or through more traditional ways, but these days, to be a published author also means having to be a lawyer, designer, editor, proofreader, and marketer, and if that’s not enough, you have to know how to tweet, pin, share, post, upload, and download to reach the maximum potential audience. To have all this control over one’s work is great, but I also see how it can be time-consuming and daunting. I get overwhelmed sometimes just thinking about it.

I’ve decided to stop worrying about all the things I’m going to have to do once my stories are ready and focus instead, on what got me here on a blog in the first place, and that is simply my desire to write and to create.

So here I am again, sharing my thoughts. A writer writing about writing, and maybe just maybe, giving someone out there reading this the courage to start writing and posting and a reminder to let the future take care of itself. Don’t stop dreaming of writing that best-seller or having thousands of blog followers. As Jim Morrison sang, “This is the best part of the trip, …this is the trip…the best part.”