Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Take on the Responsibility for Making My Dream a Reality

When I'm writing, I get into that state of flow where it becomes highly meditative.  I guess you could say I fit my contemplative practice into the cracks of my everyday life.

First of all, doing things in accordance with your core values is absolutely essential. Many people drift through life super busy, but never actually work on the things that matter to them.

Secondly, to-do lists suck! I have eliminated most of them from my life, and it feels great. Sure, some might say that they need them to get things done. But honestly, if your life is so complex that you need lists to manage it, you may want to relax a little and simplify what you're doing.

To me, lists and structure is so contrary to what life is supposed to be.  It's so easy to get distracted and sidetracked. I find it helps me stay focused on my values and vision just to repeatedly ask myself, "What are my priorities?"

Right now, I'm really working on simplifying my life.

I sometimes find myself feeling so overwhelmed that I don't even know where or how to start and I lose all efficiency in my work.  Focusing on one thing at a time ("single-tasking") and just letting the rest go until I have the full time and energy to spend on it is the way to go.

I remind myself that I can’t worry my way out of worrying, and that the most effective use of any moment is to fully do whatever it is I’m doing.  The rest will get done later.  That, I’m learning, is the most important part of simplifying.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pale Walls of Dreams, Between Myself and All I See

I love road trips.  I really love them.  I can’t get enough of them. It may have something to do with my childhood.  I can't remember taking a single trip in my childhood that involved an airplane.  I adore flying, but I love having all the random experiences you have that can only happen on the road.

There is something amazingly wonderful about having the experience of arriving somewhere understanding exactly what it took to get there; seeing the land, interacting with the people at each of your random stops, seeing new cities, exploring the culture outside of your own place of residence, and experiencing the weather in a way that can’t be experienced when you fly to a destination.

There’s also something awe-inspiring about exploring the many different winding roads of my own country.  It intrigues me.  I find the differences and similarities in the landscape from state to state to be fascinating.

Driving from New Mexico and ending up in North Carolina, eating BBQ in Mississippi along the way—these experiences keep the mind fresh and life interesting.  Some of my best travel experiences have been on the road.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I Never had to Search for My Destiny; I Only had to Obey It

I have been thinking about the value of visualization lately. It is so crucial. I think it could easily be said that anybody that has succeeded at anything has visualized what they want - and visualized it very clearly.

Lately I've been taking a long hard look at who I want to be-- instead of who I thought I had to be. It's been an interesting journey.  I feel like a little duck on a pond, wondering which part of the shore I should paddle toward.  Full-time fashion blogger?  Write a novel?  Write short stories for magazines?  Self publish cocktail recipe books?  Do I want to write freelance for someone else?  Do I want another person taking credit for my writing?  Who do I want to be?  Do I want it all?  Can I do it all?  These are just a handful of important questions I ask myself every day.

For me, I think that what is most important is to feel good about what I am doing.  It is not easy creating your own path in life, but one thing to remember is that you can still make money while doing what you love! I think it is a common misconception in our society to think you are trading off money for passion or purpose - you can have them both and then some!  But you have to follow passion and purpose first, not the money.

The reason it is called the road less travelled is simply because most of us spend our time living a life that was laid out for us, step by step. Get our high school diploma, go to college, get a degree, get a job, make a living to support ourselves, find a partner, have a family, support our family, work hard so we can enjoy life later, kids grow up and move out, retire from our jobs and finally you can enjoy your life—or what is left of it.

I know plenty of people who have spent a large amount of time in college just because that is what society told them they must do, but the moment they've graduated they have no idea what to do next.  Some manage to find a job within their area of expertise, but then realize that it's not really what they want to be doing.  Some love the path they've chosen to study.  Some get degrees only to work minimum wage jobs. 

The point is that living on auto-pilot only avoids the process of introspection and the journey towards finding purpose. I've spent a few years in college myself, but finally admitted to myself that it simply wasn't the kind of environment I thrive in.  I may have no financial security, but I think that's a myth to begin with; nobody has financial security. And even if it existed, would you sell your passion for that security?  I believe that when we do what we're passionate about, and focus on serving the world by adding value, it's only a matter of time until you attract the resources you need to keep your passion going.  We live in a universe of co-operation and co-creation.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I Find My Strength in Passion and Love

There is something about stillness and quiet that seems to open the mind.  I think that by eliminating some of the normal “noise” going on in our lives, we are able to finally hear what we’re trying to say to ourselves.  For me, morning is the best time for this to occur.

I prepare my mind for writing by silencing inner chatter.  I remind myself that I am confident that there are many ideas available to me.  I then allow the ideas to flow into my mind and then onto paper.  This almost sounds like writing as prayer.

I find the best way for me to start is to go outside and take a walk – ideas come to me naturally when I'm outdoors.  I may have to deliberately focus on stilling my mind if nothing comes to me, but that is a rarity.  When I get home I start writing.  If I get stuck along the way, I go for more walks.

Since I write every single day, there always seems to be a part of my brain that is on alert for story and article ideas.  At that time, the only thing that registers is ‘huh, that could work!’   Then as I am doing something quiet, like walking or running, my mind starts to formulate the direction the story/article will take.  It’s not really a deliberate or conscious process.  Thoughts are still just drifting through.  Finally, when I am ready to write, I sit down, block out the world, and let the story unfold.  In order for all this to take place, I need to make sure I have ‘quiet time’ every single day.  It’s good for the soul, and good for the stories.

For me surrendering to the writing process and allowing ideas to come up organically is powerful and exciting.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

So I Say to You, Ask and it Will be Given to You

Negative beliefs are born from our wounds and stories.  Although is seems so obvious to me now, I never realized how much negativity in our lives comes from a sad event, etc.

The pain prevents us from seeing the wounds we've worked so hard to conceal or forget about but I strongly believe that once you've gotten a glimpse "behind the veil" so to speak, you are forever changed. There is a fundamental growth that happens when you are able to look deep within and discover the hidden parts of yourself.

I think the most important thing I've learned is that change is a process which means there will be times of growth and times of regression. Instead of expecting myself to "overcome" my negative beliefs or instantly require myself to be more positive (and beating myself up when I'm not), I try to be patient with myself and honor wherever I am in the process. Also, I don't think it's so much about sustaining the change as it is about approaching each difficult situations as a new opportunity to make the conscious choice not to let these thoughts and feelings completely control my actions.

Surrender is about vulnerability and receptivity.  The opposite of surrender is resistance and control.  And it all comes down to fear and trust.

To truly open our hearts, to truly wield our inner power, we must be willing to participate in life.

This requires both owning our part in situations, and allowing experiences to unfold as they will. Accepting others’ actions and emotions without making them fit into some box as a hero or demon. And especially releasing our mental constructs about how life should be, what we should or should not be doing, and how other people should interact with us.

Letting go of past situations didn't mean I was immediately healed from them. That's certainly not the case. I still experience feelings of intense fear and unworthiness. I still become frustrated with concepts such as dating and wondering if I'll be alone forever.

However, in each of these moments I realize that I have a choice. I can either sink deep into the comfort of my negativity and marinade in it because it makes me feel safe and then act out in ways that are harmful.  Or, I can acknowledge the feelings as they occur and then choose to manage them in more effective ways (i.e. calling a supportive friend, writing about it, etc.). It's all about creating a kind and forgiving relationship with yourself instead of an adversarial (I must control myself) type of relationship.