Visualize it to become it

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I teeter on the edge—close to abandoning my passion once again. But in the quiet of morning—that fuzzy space when daybreak balances in the silence—my husband’s body presses against mine, his arm draped over me. Sheets askew, strips of sunlight strain to penetrate the shutter seams. And his mouth brushes my hair as he speaks: I haven’t seen you write lately. It isn’t how these words string together to form meaning. It’s what he doesn’t say: I notice you; there’s something missing. As I often do with my hopes—my feelings—I tamp them down; the ashes turn cold from neglect. Yet even though I pretend I’m okay, that I’m happy, soon the need to seek solitude and inspiration along the mountain trails will become a tangible draw. But it’s now that I see a glimmer among the dust motes: the spark of resolve as it ignites. I visualize myself as a successful writer. A published novelist. I’m back.

What do you need to visualize?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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The only guarantee in life

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If you spend too much time
thinking about a thing,
you’ll never get it done. ~ Bruce Lee

In my recent post—“Are you ready to do the thing?”—I talk about the one thing we’ve always dreamed of but have never done. For each of us, that thing probably looks different. Yet no matter how many good intentions we entertain, it won’t happen unless we make it happen. Or until we’ve run out of time. This, for me, is the catalyst. Because if I imagine a future in which I never did “the thing,” I could never forgive myself. I’m at a point where I’ve exposed my fears—of failure, of wasting time, of not being good enough (you name it, I’ve thought it)—and simply run out of excuses. And here’s the bottom line: There are no guarantees. We will never know if we’re good enough, or if we’ll fail. But there is one certainty: we won’t know unless we try.

What are you waiting for?

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Are you ready to do the thing?

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Now that I’ve been reading and writing again (see “A new way of thinking…”)—essentially, practicing that which I want to become greater at—I can’t deny a rekindled motivation. And the vision I have for the future is now more than a pipe dream: it’s a plan. Complete with deadlines and manageable goals mapped out. During a recent workshop exercise, the leader had us close our eyes and imagine ourselves a year from now. That we’ve done “the thing” we’ve always dreamed of—written that book, earned the degree, gotten that job, took the trip, retired early. What does it feel like? How about three years… five years… 10? How does it look? Then, we repeated the exercise, only we never did the thing. It’s a year from now: how do we feel? How about three, five and 10 years later? What do the people closest to us say about it? The truth is: time goes by whether we do the thing or not.

What’s your thing?

A new way of thinking: what I learned on ‘sabbatical’

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After my last post, penned two months ago, the mojo I’d regained (see Change up the rules…) suddenly vanished without warning. I felt uninspired. Specifically: unmotivated to read or write. Worse yet: I feared I’d lost my love of the written word; hence, my sabbatical of sorts. But I never strayed far. I attended a writing workshop for six weeks to keep my finger on the pulse of creative plotting strategies. I also wrote an article for an online trade magazine. And, during it all, I picked the artistic minds of several writers and learned a new way to approach my writing: with permission to play. Not only does this concept eliminate the pressure to “get it right the first time” (be honest, does that ever happen, anyway?), but it also inspired a vision for one, three, five plus years down the road. Most importantly: I’m reading and writing again. As a wise yogi once said: Whatever we practice becomes greater.

What do you need to practice more?

Image source: http://www.mindylacefieldart.com.

Make it work: just do it

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In my post, “How to discern the answer you’re looking for,” I talk about a trek into the desert that brings clarity to a dilemma and, although not a make-or-break-me situation, it’s a debate I engage in with myself on the daily (isn’t that a fun, hip phrase?). To write, or not to write—that is and has been the question for decades. However, during said hike, I discover, with certainty, that the desires knit into my heart prior to conception are not without a purpose (although TBD). So why don’t I jump for joy and shout with exultation?! Because life. And its plethora of more pressing goals and commitments; the battle between self-care and self-indulgence; the act of self-sacrifice to put others’ needs ahead of our own. But wait! To make it work does not mean all or nothing, nor does it require a choice of one dream at the expense of others. To make it work means: just do it.

How do you make it work?

Photo source: https://www.pinterest.com.

New year, new you: back to the basics

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Prior to Jan. 1 each year, I prepare a list of goals to aim toward over the next 365 days. This year was no different; however, come New Year’s Day, I abandoned several of my plans to focus on immediate, more pressing needs: my relational, mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. Although fraught with copious amounts of kicking and screaming, my resolve birthed a new plan to Let go and let God, if you will. Once I stripped away the myriad tasks that occupy my planner and relinquished control of outcome-driven objectives—in other words, after I surrendered my own agenda—I returned to the basics that I write about in “Falling into place…” Not only have I been blessed with second chances, but a foundation has been laid so that, when it’s time to revisit my original goals—maybe where I left off, maybe somewhere different—I’ll be ready. As a new and improved version of me.

What new goals, if any, have you begun in 2018?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Are you doing what you’re supposed to do or what you want to do—or both?

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Recently I texted my big sister and dumped a “woe is me” montage on her. I suck as a writer. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I’m champing at the bit. Her response: Breathe and pray—the words a balm to my spirit. Oh dear heart, if you, too, are a person who strives, strives and strives some more, it’s okay (normal even) if you don’t know where you’re going. Just breathe and pray. And ask yourself if you’re doing what you’re supposed to do or what you want to do. Because, as my sister reminded me, these might not be one and the same. You have been created to do magnificent things. But what you think is your passion might only be the tip of the iceberg. Already eight days into NaNoWriMo and, truthfully, I need to regroup. To breathe, pray and search my soul. To discover what will truly make me happy and then do that.

Are you doing what truly makes you happy?

Photo source: http://www.framesandfreckles.com.

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