(Yes I think the title is too cute, don’t you?) So I’ll keep this one simple. This post is an encouragement to myself and to you all to meditate. Sitting still for a few minutes, like only 2, really does make a difference and there are all sorts of studies to support the hype. From positively changing the structure of the brain, to improved focus and concentration, to decreasing social anxiety, just do it! This does not replace prayer for me, I do that too, but I find that can be a lot of me talking (or complaining) and very little listening. However, when I sit still and listen to my breathing, or just say thank you, I can hear my directions for the day. I have found that it’s not about getting “it all” done, but about choosing the “right” things to do in order to move you closer to your goals. Meditation helps me to avoid busy work or comparison-itis and allows me to stay closer to what I want and need to get done for the day.
Myths about Meditation
Source: Psychology today
Having an empty mind—nope, in fact, when you start meditating, you’ll find it’s quite the opposite
Sitting in lotus position—nope, you can sit on the couch (just don’t lie down, you’ll fall asleep)
Chanting in a language I don’t understand—nope, not unless that floats your boat
Buddhist, Hindu or religious—nope, not unless you make it so
Getting my “sit” together,
This quote from Dr. Angelou represents the way I see life and what I come back to in times of hurt and pain. In light of all of the divisiveness in the country and really the world, lets try to remember we are more alike than we are unalike. Let us start from where we agree, and work to solve the tough problems. We all want the best for our children and families although we may prioritize our preferences differently. Remember love conquers all.
This is for my creatives:
As artists, we must be diligent in protecting our ears and eyes! Pay close attention to what you consume– what you allow to pour into your spirit on a daily basis. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the never ending news cycle. Following the news cycle and the internet nonsense on an hour to hour and second to second will drain your energy.
This is not about being naïve or oblivious to the things around you, but as a creative person, as a person who wants to uplift and change the world, my heart must be full of love and my mind must be clear in order to create. We don’t have to completely disengage, believe me, I use my negative feelings in my creations, but I make sure to selectively engage in the world (news, people’s issues, pop culture).
I spend a lot of time reading and listening to podcasts from experts and fellow creatives doing what I’d like to do. I would encourage you to do the same. Here’s some of what’s on my nightstand and on my podcast:
In the company of women: inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artist, and entrepreneurs. Author Grace Bonney
Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond (when I get upset, looking at the pictures and understanding the physics behind the universe puts things in perspective.)
The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn. (She’s gotten me to understand creative entrepreneur ship. I call her my English girl and she’s been instrumental in my writing journey)
The 21st-century creative by Mark McGuinness (I feel like this man has cracked open my head– he totally gets me! He articulates the good and the bad of being a creative and his discussion of being productive as a creative is totally what I need to hear)
Ted Radio Hour (good stuff!)
Joel Osteen (loong time listener)
Trying to create more than I consume,
No this is not our table.
No we haven’t really started cooking yet.
No I have not started any sort of Christmas shopping or planning.
Yes, I forgot it was Wednesday and I needed to post.
Yes, I am behind on my National Novel Writing Month words.
Yes, I feel both books I am writing suck at this point.
Yes, I blew my diet a few days early (Just on thanksgiving I told myself)
Yes, I checked work emails and got annoyed.
Sound like anyone’s internal dialogue? (Well not you happy all-the-time optimists, but the rest of us.)
But reality is what I perceive it to be, and I can change it at any moment:
I woke up this morning.
I have enough creativity and courage to write books.
I can revise my first drafts, they are supposed to suck.
I have food to eat.
I have a healthy family surrounding me.
I am warm and safe and loved.
I have a steady income.
Try to take just a few moments to look around and say thanks. These times of year can be challenging for everyone for various reasons. But keep it simple and enjoy the little things, not everyone has the basics this year.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, flinging themselves from tree branches, jumping around, and chattering nonstop. He meant that our minds are in constant motion, “unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable.”
Um… yes, that’s me! As a creative person in particular, I can have quite the monkey mind. In addition to day to day of life, I also have ideas constantly flowing in and out of my head. And then on top of that, I try to grab on to those ideas in the moment so I don’t forget them. How do you gather up and then execute umping/flinging ideas? Not a good recipe for success.
So… in addition to meditation, I decided to get a planner. Not just any planner, (because I’ve used planners before when I was suuuper type A) but this time I bought a super trendy (and expensive) customizable planner from Erin Condren, some of you may have seen it on my Instagram, if not here it is:
The version I selected has three vertical sections. While some people divide the sections into morning, afternoon, and evening, I decided to divide my sections into Home, Dance (which includes teaching), and Writing/creative entrepreneurship. (I am pretty pleased my planner has nothing has to do with work 🙂 My day job has its own lengthy and never ending to-do list, but those tasks stay on their own notepad.)
After playing around with this planner for a little, I realized it was causing me to think about and plan for 2018, which is a great thing. It is very exciting and sexy to start thinking of new goals in January, but why don’t we start planning now? Think about the things you want for next year like health or business-related goals, and start to plan for them now. Start to put things in place now so come January 2018 you are continuing on what you started rather than getting started on something new with everyone else. I am already planning for and researching things I plan to do in 2019.
Getting started now,
A few weekends ago, I was asked to teach a dance class for a birthday party. I got a play list, worked on the choreography for a few weeks, and then got to teach it to almost 20 kids (and some moms) for 90 minutes.
This WW (really Thursday, I know) is short. Keep doing what you love. It’s never too late. Keep dancing, keep creating, and keep going. Eventually, your vision will come into focus.
My hubby is super laid-back but he dropped that one-liner the other day that completely changed my day and stopped me from questioning myself.
So I’m being a little vulnerable here, but sometimes I get a very clear picture/vision/understanding of my purpose/calling–what I’m supposed to do in the future. I am a visionary and dreamer, so that’s par for the course.
One particular day, I saw some things that were slightly different from what I had been envisioning for myself, but way better than what I had dreamt for myself. I was brought to tears clearly seeing a possible future. I just became so overwhelmed with the clarity of the vision but instead of enjoying it I told myself I was crazy. So later that day, I told my husband that I clearly saw some of my dreams manifesting even better than I originally imagined, and although I really really wanted to believe it, I just thought I was crazy and making stuff up as an escape.