I like to say that I am relaxed and focused BUT I am not. The harder and more I tried, the worse I feel. Logic would say I should stop trying so hard and just relax. Sounds easy but it is very difficult to do. I am restless. My stomach is in knots. I’m trying to stop thinking but I am bombarded with thoughts. Relax! Quit thinking!Let everything go! I could feel the gears in my head going round and round, trying to make it work.
It doesn’t work that way. So here I sit, tap, tapping my anguish onto the page, doing a brain dump. It’s more or less Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. In my case, it’s the Afternoon Pages. It works. I’m finding relief externalizing my pent up angst. Sometimes my thoughts drive me crazy, into a frenzy. I’m like that girbel on the wheel, going nowhere. I lose so much time and energy in this state. It’s better that I can exercise my fingers and let it all out in words. I can call it my brainstorming. I get ideas. I get relief. I get somewhere.
I’m working on getting out my quirks and kinks. I’m focusing on what I can do. I try not to blame other people for my short comings. It’s tempting to throw it on others, but in the long run the only control I have is what I do. That sucks but that’s reality.
I had to abandon my Afternoon Pages yesterday. My mind was overloaded and stimulated. The day was getting on and so was I. So here I am the next day. It is late morning. I have time only to tap a few words before making lunch. I’m appreciating the tips from Chris Bailey’s The Productivity Project. Our/my attention span is short and getting shorter. There are so many distractions/things to check. For me it’s a constant scrolling – what is the temperature outside, what is the temperature in the greenhouse, messages, emails, social media….I didn’t realize how disruptive all that was for my brain until I cut back.
It’s not all that easy. It’s become such a habit. I find myself reaching for my smart phone whenever there is a lull, which is every few minutes. It helps if I leave it in a different room and if I ask myself if it’s important knowing a particular thing. What difference would it make? Quite often the answer is no difference and of no importance.
Now it is after lunch. I’m sitting with my cup of tea. I intend to finish this post at this sitting so the dishes can wait. If I was to do the dishes, it would lead to other chores. It would be more difficult to come back and refocus. That’s what happens with distractions. It costs more time and energy. When I am in a flow, I should go with it. Multitasking does not lead to flow. It makes me frenzied and freezes me up. It’s better for me to focus and do one thing at a time. Another important tip in being productive. It’s also important to know when to stop and that is now. Tomorrow is another day.
Another morning, another second cup of tea. It’s warmer both in and out of the greenhouse. I’m very hopeful my tomatoes will thrive and bear fruit by June. I’m not exactly thriving. Another slow morning. I think I am a bit under the weather. I will give myself a break today and stay off the ski trails. They are not their best anyways. It has just been an outing to stretch my legs the last two days. Even the Wildwood Golf Course was a bust. I had a few almost oops! But the fresh air, open space and the sky was worth the effort. It was a little country inside the city.
I’m happy to find my way back to the keyboard. These morning conversations are helping me to start the day. They’re a help for my mental health. I can mutter away and not bother any ears except the ones that want the bothering. I can get things off my chest, brain storm and start a creative process. They also help me by keeping track of things, a journal of gardening, cooking and whatever I have been doing. They’re kin to Julie Cameron’s Morning Pages. I like to use whatever tools I find to make life easier and more fulfilling. I love learning.
I’m learning it works to talk myself through difficult tasks. I ask myself what is it that makes it hard. Then I ask myself to describe and do each step. I try not to label myself lazy anymore, that it is just my brain thing. Thus, my laundry is folded and most of it put away. I still have those idiosyncrasies where I can’t put everything away or quite finish a job. I can work on that. I’ve fed Oscar, my sourdough starter, readying for starting some dough this afternoon. I’ve been trying for the last couple of days but haven’t muster enough energy. Today is the day.
My brother has just texted me telling me that our parents got their first Covid vaccines. Everything was very organized. It’s a huge relief. The sun is up and shining right on the greenhouse roof. It is -5℃ outside and 1.8℃ in the greenhouse. I’m looking forward to a great day.
I’ve made very good time this morning. I set my timer to do my Morning Pages for 30 minutes and wrote long hand on whatever came into my mind. I got my 3 pages within that time. Problems and angsts are not a bad thing. They are fuel for thought and words on the page. The exercise is the DustBuster for my brain. It clears up all the nagging guilt, shoulds and coulds. Want to give it a try?
I have a chicken carcass souping in the Instant Pot. I’ve been feeling like hell in the mornings lately. Every inch of my body is stiff and hurting. I am taking time to resume my long abandoned qigong routine. Movement helps the aches. I’m just lazy and stupid not doing the practice. I have a couple of Francesco Garripoli and Daisy Lee quigong DVDs. They’re beautifully done and easy to follow. 40 minutes is time well spent. Too bad they are no longer a couple.
I’ve chipped away at my day. Doing in little blocks of time works best for me. The floors are vacuumed, the dishes done, the laundry washed and hung. I still feel hellish but if I give in to my aches and pain, the dog hairs will irk me and get into my head instead of staying on the floor. If the laundry is not done, someone will be missing their longjohns. It’s difficult and easy to throw them into the machine and push some buttons. I concentrate on the easy part. I think of how nice it is when we get home after our walk to a hot cuppa and a snack. And the walk was over and done. We got some exercise and alot of fresh air.
Now it’s time to say goodnight on this 10th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m not pleased with my writing but it’s the best I could do today. And I’m still here.
On this 9th day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I am remembering my goal of change and renewal. Nine days into the new year and challenges, I’m feeling a bit sagging and tired. This morning I managed to write one page for my Morning Pages. I’m the better for doing them. I leave my angst on the pages. I don’t have to carry them, weighing me down the whole live long day.
I get good ideas while I’m pushing that pen across the page. But it does take up time. I’m feeling resentful about it. Rather than falling totally off my Morning Pages Wagon, I’ll set up the timer for 30 minutes to write them in the morning. I will stop when the timer goes off regardless of how many pages I wrote. I have to get out of the all or nothing mentality.
It’s a blistering cold day. The wind is wicked. Sheba and I braved it in our respective coats for out walk. I had my phone in my pocket, just in case. The other day, a rabbit ran in front of us. I had my phone. I had time. But I was frozen by surprise. Today I was frozen by the temperature and wind. I was covered by my hat and scarves. I could just see where I was going. Nothing jumped in front of me. I already have my video project done and up before venturing out. It will have to do. Have a look. I’m proud of my effort. It’s good to have a project and to work improving it daily.
Egad! Look at the time. We had a supper invitation at a friend’s. He enjoys cooking and entertaining. We’ve been wined, dined and entertained. It was a fine evening complete with a little excitement of a passerby trying to rob our friend’s place while we were there. Now I’m trying to gather my wits to bring this post to a closure.
It has been a very fine day. We had an excellent exercise class this morning. The routine was completely new to us. It required more focus and concentration. We worked in increments of increasing difficulty. It was hard. It was challenging. I did what I thought I could not. It gave me confidence to try what I have not before. I want to close on that note. I want to have the courage to do new things, go new places, meet new place…till the end of my days.
I have heard that I’m my own worse enemy. It could be true. I’m always wrestling with myself, getting myself all knotty over nothing alot of the time. Life shouldn’t have to be that difficult or complex. It does not need micro managing. A little chaos now and again keeps it fresh and interesting. I need to loosen up, have a little fun and just do the best I can. Nobody is judging me except myself.
How am I going about doing it? Well here is the plan. It’s not well-laid but it’s a start. Movement/action is the most important thing. Otherwise I’ll be crouched and frozen at the starting line till I fall over.
Stop judging and comparing myself. It is probably the most difficult thing.
Try not to fall off the plan. If I do, I need to get back on or adjust if it’s not a good one.
Tend to things as they arise. Do not leave them for the morrow.
Read The Four Agreements again.
These are some of the things in my plan. They are enough for now. More can be too much and overwhelming. These grey wintry days are hard for me and my moody personalities. I can’t see my evil twins. They come from the inside out, erupting from within. I am without warning. But I am a little more cognizant now but often I forget till after the damage is done.
My moody sisters can stall me, leaving me open mouthed and stammering. What the hell? It takes a little while before things click and I take back control. But sometimes they do steamroll over me. I’m flattened and down without recognizing their handiwork. It is those times I fall off the wagon and lack the will/strength to climb back on. What is the use, was my mantra.
I try not to say that or other negatives any more. Words are powerful and what I tell myself and others matter. I have to change and sing a different tune.
The turkey soup is simmering on the stovetop. It’s a slow cooking morning. There is no hurry, nowhere to go, no need to be other than what is and where I am. I am feeling that magical, elusive peace and contentment of a child in the holiday lull of Christmas and New Year. It is wonderful. I’m feeling the same warmth and security of my childhood’s New Year’s Eve in China. I am snug, drifting off to sleep, listening to the chatter of my mother, grandmother and ‘aunties’ as they tend the fires for the pasteries they’re steaming and deep frying.
It is a grey morning but it does not bring any grey thoughts or feelings. I’m breathing in the aroma in the air. Turkey soup is good for the soul. I’m reading Julie Cameron’s The Artist’s Way again. I’ve had many years ago but only got through the first few chapters. I came away with her morning pages and the artist’s date. I’ve never given either much practice though I have come to this space to tap out my words. I’m finding resonance this second time around. There is a time for everything. The time is right, now.
December 28, 2018 9:20 am
I can be so easily distracted, led astray by so much news and information that is out there – on the Internet. I’m sure much of it is not important, vital to my well being. What I need is to bring my attention back to my Inner Self. I probably have a whole pile of stuff in my database yet to be tapped. I am a collector/hoarder of unused everythings.
The days are slowly getting longer. I’ve reached beyond tipping point. I’m heading towards the light, away from the darkness. It hasn’t been that bad this year. It hasn’t been bad at all. Snow flakes are gently drifting down. I welcome the snow and its whiteness. It IS winter and there should be snow. It adds a bit of normalcy to our now strange world of melting winters and sizzling/freezing summers.
I am a woman with a short attention span. That span is getting shorter with the Internet grabbing pieces of it here and there. I’m not successful in snataching some of it back. My mind is astir as if by a witch’s broom. Maybe it is the weather. Too many negative ions in the air. Today I have not read any morning pages from Julie Cameron’s The Artist’s Way nor from Stephen Jenkinson’s Die Wise, or Wayne Dyer’s Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. I’ve had Wayne Dyer’s on my bookshelf for many years and hadn’t realized it was based on the Tao Te Ching. Clearly it is a sign I need to mend my ways. But tomorrow is another day.
I’m feeling a little grainy and ruffled this morning, not wanting to start at all. The morning is still dark. It would be darker if not for the snow. I feel weighed down with the heaviness of winter – snow, boots, hats, scarves, mitts… Winter! It’s only October 7th. Maybe I will feel better after the effects of shovelling wears off. Maybe it will warm up and autumn can resume for another couple of months. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
There! I have ventilated, letting out my heaviness. Not exactly long enough to fit in with Julie Cameron’s Morning Pages. It’s not 3 pages, not even 3 paragraphs of ranting. I’m getting better, improving, not so long winded before I get going. Now I can concentrate on my glass half full.
Have you ranted? Give it a try. Do it any way that works for you. No one has to know.