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The Master Cat by h.koppdelaney from Flickr Creative Commons

The Master Cat by h.koppdelaney from Flickr Creative Commons

Creativity and inspiration, like many things in life, arrives in waves and cycles. Seeing that truth as a problem when the wave is out or the cycle is quiet has never been helpful to my peace of mind. This week, there hasn’t been any inner urging to post about a particular subject and I was tempted to skip a week. It happens to bloggers all the time. Who would ever notice?

Different thoughts went through my mind like butterflies. Blogging once a week is a practice that is serving me well; if I skipped a week would I ever return? Doing things mindlessly, like an automaton, isn’t so good–yet, it didn’t seem as though my habit is quite that bad. There’s no need to compare any of my posts with any other, whether mine or another bloggers.

I decided to take extra care with brunch and not think about it. It can be pleasant to rest and not have something calling to be expressed. Showing up here is a healthy practice and contributes to my feeling that all is well and it doesn’t have to be a bigger deal than it actually is.

I found a great picture that demonstrates how I’m choosing to approach this lull in what I wish to blog about. And like a cat, I might spring into action when there is something to spark my interest again.

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Observations About Giving Up

There are a lot of things I don’t know. Sometimes I’m amazed that I got to be this age without learning some basic things–things that seem like trivia to me–that other people take for granted as fact.

Today I’m writing about something I do know and I don’t really care anymore who believes it or not.

I am very empathetic, which is I can feel what it’s like to be something or someone. People who are not wired this way don’t have a clue. Also I’m very observant and very interested in the creative expression of others. In the particular genius of others.

So, I notice amazing, amazing people with talent and they are seemingly not recognized and supported. Brilliant blog posts. Moving pieces of art. Singers on the street corners of my city. You know what I’m talking about. They are reaching for the stars, putting their hearts out there and they have drive, passion and the willingness to work hard.

Often what comes back is apathy….like they are creating in a world full of zombies.

Anyway, then I feel their bewilderment and bitterness. Cliches come to mind. “Leap and the net will appear.” “Do what you love and the money will follow.” “Build it and they will come.”

But this is the part that I know and I’m not going to attempt to convince anyone. Everyone else is responsible for their own journey.

Our world is changing rapidly into a new one. It really matters what choices we make and how we travel in attitude and energy and all that. Things are not as they appear and everyone needs to navigate according to what they feel is best.

It is totally worth it not to give up now. Well, perhaps one needs to quit doing something and begin something else. But keeping calm and carrying on? Nurturing our dreams and talents? Expressing our gifts? Having some faith?

It is so worth it. It sucks sometimes, things look unfair and I have really crappy days. No way do I want to give up. I don’t want to look back on this time and feel that I wasted it in whining and pouting.

And that’s why I keep rocking whatever I’ve got in the moment. And I’m thrilled when my fellow humans keep putting it out there even if it appears no one is paying attention. There is more attention on what we’re doing than we realize.

What Writing Education?

There are always blogs to be found on writing here and once again I’ve just been reading some and am reminded that I’ve never been taught to write. That I recall. I was taught spelling in school, about nouns and verbs and such–punctuation but I don’t recall ever being taught to write. Which is odd because I like to write and I want to and I guess I’ll need to teach myself. Which I’m willing to do.
I grew up in a small mid-western town of about 750. There were 43 of us in my high school graduating class and it was a very poor school. Half of the young women were pregnant or had children, the Viet Nam war was still going and only a handful of us would go on to college or leave the area. A surprising number of us are deceased. If anyone wanted to be a writer, they were keeping it a big, big secret. Good idea.
My family lived way out in the country. I spent an unusual amount of time being isolated there. My mother had an eighth grade education and English was her second language. Often in school, I would be reprimanded by teachers or ridiculed by the other kids for pronouncing words incorrectly or just talking weird. Everyone had a kind of hillbilly accent which I wouldn’t learn until I left the area.
I read a lot of books, as many as I could get my hands on. There were very few books in our home and I made good use of the library. I recall a big deal about being allowed to check out Michener’s Hawaii because of a sex scene in it.
Having remarkably few conversations, my thinking voice and also some verbal exchanges became a mixture of the language in books, my mother’s style of speaking and what I picked up around me.
When I was working in the blue collar jobs I had, it didn’t go over well when I used big words. But often they were the only words that would come to mind when I was trying to express myself. Wanting to please, I would often attempt to tailor my speech and expression to whomever I was speaking to.
But it was often awkward and expressing myself still is. There’s often a feeling of not being clear or understood. And I don’t care as much but I am intending to learn some basic writing skills because I know things that I don’t have words for.
It’s almost a duty that people share what they know because we all need to teach and inspire each other.
More and more I realize how important it is for everyone to take responsibility for their own education. I made better than average grades because I wanted to be a good girl and I was a good memorizer. (What ever happened to that?) I didn’t really understand much though.

Distracted

There was something I wanted to write about–it was simple and yet seemed as though it might be helpful to someone happening upon this post some day. Now it’s gone and I’m going to let that be all right.

A few moments ago, I was very startled to see someone about twenty feet from me, smoking a cigarette on the roof next door and staring into my windows as I sit in the dark in my recliner. It made my heart start pounding. I’d been reading other blogs as I attempt to jog my memory about what I wanted to write.

I’ve been alert and productive lately but yesterday as I was being active I realized that my pain levels were going up. At that point I knew I needed to get the most important things done for the next few days because it would be awhile until I recovered.

That was true. I’ve had to take about four or five naps today and have been sluggish and spaced out while I was awake. In this situation, I remembered to move my consciousness vertically, instead of horizontally or heaven forbid, sideways. I’d be zombie-like, bring my attention into the moment and accept and make peace with where I was at. Then I’d gently reach for just a little higher perspective of what was going on. That can be done no matter what place we find ourselves in during any moment. After all, our lives are made up of these moments, like a tapestry. There’s contrast in a beautiful tapestry and every point isn’t dramatic and sparkling.

Well, that isn’t my lost idea of what I was going to write, but I think it’ll do.

Embracing Instead of Running Away

Today was one of those moving-through-molasses kind of days and I was cold also. A day to have the presence of mind to prioritize what’s really important and then rest.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m way better than I was last year. I know after we become aware of new insights, there needs to be an integration time where we let it settle in. And decide how we’re going to make a habit of the changes we decide on as a result.

Sometimes when the world is broadcasting panic-inducing information, it’s tempting to keep reacting and pushing forward until we remember it hasn’t worked so well in the past for most of us.

In my downtime today, not being able to focus on reading, I watched some television on Hulu. A show from several years ago called October Road is available and I watched a couple of episodes. The Dean of a nearby college told the main character, a young man who has written one successful novel that a writer embraces his life, he doesn’t run from it. Interesting. I wonder how true it is.

Of course, embracing our lives instead of running from them could be recommended for anyone.

Happy Valentines Day

Without pushing myself, I’ve greatly improved my cooking skills. It’s been an organic process and I’m finding it enjoyable. The results are good health-wise as I continue to adjust my diet. Now I have the experience of how it can be.

The art and writing goals are different. Even though–they’ve been life-long interests, I have to push and there are more doubts and fears. I wonder if it’s all a waste of time and energy.

The experts and coaches would say to practice, practice, practice. Most of them do not have serious health problems. When I read the creativity tips from others, I have to be careful not to feel shame and other worse feelings because of my condition.

I recently finished reading the War Of Art by Steven Pressfield. There are some very helpful ideas in the book, but he has been blessed with good health and is rather harsh about equating poor health with resistance and laziness. I give myself credit for not wishing anything disruptive to his health and choose to take what is helpful to me from the book and leave the rest.

People often take things for granted and and seem to assume that what comes natural and easy to them–well, it should be the same for everyone.

It’s still early days at the blog here. I sense that I’m on the right path even though I don’t have evidence to prove it yet.

Sunday Morning Odds and Ends

Actually it’s mid-day here and warm out (relatively), I’m able to walk without too much pain and my hair is clean. So, I’m wanting to get out and get some more food before it rains–30% chance.

Writing my morning pages went well today–it unearthed something that may seem a little shadier than the bright tone I attempt to take here. It’s about nuances–as usual–regarding human nature–discernibility to the degree of acceptance in the now moment and the degree to which one wants to grow and move on to better circumstances, how sometimes it’s better to learn from someone closer to us in proximity than someone who would sell us a bulldozer for the task of digging a small flower bed for the first time ever. About how good people can be highway robbers, because we are traveling in a strange land where that’s the way it goes.

Whew! I’ll maybe get back to you on that–there is a wide gap between my consciousness and my ability to find terms and words and organize them with clarity, but this is important for me because it fine tunes the way I can handle obstacles on my journey. The audience I’m writing for, persevering people with huge challenges, willing to take responsibility, have self-authority and who are about a mile behind me–well, they are not on the internet reading WordPress blogs. And that’s O.K. I will carry on.

Reading a book about novel writing, I ran into the brick wall of not having an idea that I think I can manage somewhat for my first endeavor. For the time being anyway. And the little basil plant I’m growing from a seed (another post waiting) has survived the watering can washout from yesterday where it appeared to have vanished for a day. Win some, lose some. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which is which.

Giselle Bundchen, a super-mode,l has said that sunscreen is bad–causes cancer, I think. I only read the headline, but I guess some big company is not liking her saying that. From all the research I’ve done, I agree with her. Except now I’ve modified it to putting sunscreen on the face for graceful aging purposes.

And and obscure source I check out has found that for many people there is a generation of our ancestors that got too much sun which altered DNA and that the current “craze” for vitamin D3 is not necessarily good. They work with miasms and vibrational remedies. We really need to pay attention and do due diligence when it comes to choices we make. Pay attention.

Then there are those who are in survival mode and the question of sunscreen and vitamin D3 supplements is not at all a priority.

Which brings me to another personal insight. Take my word, I’ve not had many good people in my life. On the hierarchy of needs, (Maslow?), I get frustrated with the belonging and be loved need and attempt to jump to self-actualization. Who wants to be stuck when the world doesn’t cooperate? It seems I’ve been in survival mode longer than I thought or want to be. Yet, I carry on.

Lastly, my blog got a lot of hits. From a spammer with an acne med. site. At least this one wasn’t about porn. Now, somewhat cheerfully I’m off to brave possibly eventual inclement weather to score some healthy food.

The Gem at the End

The quality of discernment is worth cultivating. It adds ease, efficiency and flow among other things, to our lives. Our individual balances differ from each other and they fluctuate constantly. I’m getting more bang from my effort lately by paying attention to nuances rather than the grosser (for lack of an immediate better word) activities. How about you?

Some things are diversions and time-wasters for sure but sometimes a practice can feel that way as a kind of resistance. Like when you’re a kid and you just know that brushing your teeth is a total waste of time that could be spent doing something more fun.

Morning pages (from Julia Cameron) is a practice that has been very valuable for me and can also seem questionable–a waste of time and paper. Not so. For another to read what I’ve written in the three pages of longhand each morning, it would certainly seem so.

When I grow as a writer and blogger, I could look at what’s been written and take the good stuff, do some editing and post it here. But I’m not there yet and I like this being kind of an organic thing, not pushing myself too hard. It might be different for you. When you get glimmers of your leading edge, do you like to seize the moment?

This morning I was writing (drivel) along, mostly about my day and what I “should” do and what I felt like doing and (not doing), kind of pleased that I’d shown up again for the three brain-dump pages and I noticed I was at the point where I had two lines on the yellow legal-pad page left. Something I heard about therapy flashed through my mind–that lots of times the client beats around the bush for most of the session and then blurts out a deeper truth just when the session ends, when they can then leave–or escape.

I’d been writing about the weather and at the last line and a half, I abruptly switched to a different topic–as an empath, much of what I’m doing here and elsewhere in my life is to convince myself that I actually do exist as an individual. Wow–that is a subtle but also big deal to me.

Most of us can’t afford years of therapy and many wouldn’t choose it even if they could. Do they wait until something hits them over the head enough times? Maybe those who actively look for change are really in a minority from those who really want the status quo. Me, I want to embrace growth and change and writing morning pages is a welcome tool for that.

My Blog, My Friend

I’m not really prepared to write anything but I’m here and I want to get off the computer and go out and do things.

I’ve just been drawn in to reading blogs I subscribe to and following links and have learned some tips about blogging that I’m just not ready to incorporate.

The one for writers about having their real names easy to find–that one can go because I am learning the craft.

I already know that it would help my blog if I posted more pictures but I see there is a limit until you need to upgrade and I plan to be here for awhile.

As far as focusing on a topic–well, no. I don’t want to. Maybe in a few years I can have separate blogs for my main interests but that isn’t really a focus of mine right now.

I’m using shorter paragraphs and breaking them up here (another tip), maybe to an exaggeration but it’s a trial-and-error thing which I might likely forget soon.

I read a blog post directed at writers about why their blogs suck. Again, LEARNING. It had to do with comments. People read my blog and don’t comment and that’s o.k. with me. I know it’s work to come up with something even if you like a post or if you don’t. Right now, I’m not writing to get people to follow me. I read other blogs for inspiration and information (and distraction) not to network.

What the hell am I trying to say? I’ve read some great tips on how to improve my blog and while I am willing to keep them in mind, I’m not willing to change until I feel like it. O.K. maybe I’m resistant and stubborn. It’s way more important for me to practice being authentic than working for support, approval and attention.

I really look forward to writing this everyday. Even on the days that I wonder if I can make any sense at all. It is having a cumulative healing effect and is positively impacting other areas of my life. No matter how many other frustrations and failings happen during the day, I can write a post. Accomplished.

Every single day, there are numerous things I could go into a rant about and so far, I believe, I’ve refrained from doing that.

My blog is my friend, no matter what anyone else thinks of it or whether they comment or not. Or whether anyone even finds it. It is amazing that I have perfectionist tendencies and high standards for someone who could be observed and labeled as a world-class, clumsy, slow, ineffectual loser. What a great job I’m doing of not letting all that ruin and discourage my experience here.

Now, no matter what little humiliations and glitches and annoyances I experience the rest of the day, I have successfully completed another blog post. And I did the shorter paragraph/breaking up thing. For today, anyway.

The Art Room

Yay me! I’m following through on bringing more artistic expression into my life. No matter how long it takes.
I’ve noticed that even though the morning is an awkward beginning for me, whatever I engage my mind in, I’m in that mode for awhile. When I write “morning pages” in longhand it activates that part of my brain and then it’s easier for me to read and comprehend what I’m reading.
That’s not so good for me physically though, if I want physical accomplishments that day. Which I certainly do.
So yesterday morning, after I was finished writing, I gently tore myself away from the sticky track of words and began coloring in my coloring book.
The coloring book calls for colored pencils. I got the book at an art fair held in a local park this summer. The one I chose was Wetland Critters. The artist is Sue Coccia. It’s difficult to stay within the very intricate lines. I can feel how good it is for me although I don’t have words to describe that.
When I was finished, I intended to do some needed maintenance activities in my apartment. Instead I wanted to mess with the painting I’m working on now–an old stone bridge and it’s reflection in the water. I took advantage of the ease energy of doing it while it was available to me. Frankly I’m overwhelmed by approaching artistic expression after more than 35 years.
The process felt good but the painting looks too splotchy and ill defined now. My hands tremor but I think I’ll get a tiny brush and use dark gray dots to define some of the areas. And I’m still wanting to paint people.
I’ve been diagnosed once with ADD. Also random, exasperated people have accused me of having ADD when I wasn’t being who and how they wanted me to be. Unless they’re paying me or supporting me, I don’t care anymore.
And I don’t label myself although in my research (I love to research for solutions–thank you, internet) I have found techniques that are useful to me.
One of the descriptions I’ve read–and it’s like how my brain works–is that if the brain were a house, and numbers were like an upstairs bedroom and words were like the kitchen and social interaction were like the hallway, most people could just walk from room to room. Some people with so-called ADD can access those rooms but it’s like they can’t just walk through the doorways. They have to get a ladder, crawl out a window and place the ladder against the outside of another room, climb up and crawl through the window.
That’s how it is to varying degrees and I’m learning to improve this (one of my many, many projects) and that’s why many goal setting techniques recommended for the masses do not work for me. When my schedule is somewhat flexible, I need to consider what I’ve got going for me–and which room I’m in.
When I have commitments and obligations to other people, I am very, very conscientious, considerate and dependable to the degree that I can manage. I work harder at it than most people, often to my detriment.
I am a survivor and I have a certain kind of intelligence that has gotten me this far, even with the lack of information and support about the best way for me to navigate in the world.
And when I get better at my own navigation, I’ll be someone who understands what it’s like for many other people who are struggling.
Things are not as they appear. And I have a huge, huge clue about how it’s not wise to judge other people.
And I guess that’s of way more value to me than people who are now appearing to be way more functional than me in the 3D world. Bless them, I’m glad many of them are operating so efficiently.
So when I find myself in the art room of my brain, I’m going to play. Even if it looks like I’m making a mess.

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