When you disconnect to reconnect

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Disconnect to reconnect
Sometimes you just need to pack a bag, hop in your car and drive. This past weekend, I disconnected from email, phone, texting and social media, and drove five hours into Ponderosa pine country in Northern Arizona. Chatting over a steaming dark roast with a photographer and the lodge’s reservationist aka bartender aka waitress aka housekeeper, warming my city toes by the crackling fire [read: genuine log], reading and napping (a lot), fueled my urgent need to escape my commitments, reconnect and breathe in each (higher-altitude) moment as it transpired—unplanned, unhurried. And afterward, as I repacked to return to reality, in between my rolled up sweaters and scarves and unsuitable footwear to hike in the remnant patches of winter mud and snow, I tucked a travel-sized wedge of the peace I discovered and the lessons I learned in a little log cabin in the woods. Now I need to unpack and put these gems into practice.

What is a favorite way for you to disconnect to reconnect?

[Image credit Jeroen van Oostrom and freedigitalphotos.net]

A soul-weary, dried-up muse

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Soul-weary_dried up muse

 

[Image credit: digitalart]

My muse is dried up and I feel soul weary. I want to write, I need to write … I have to write. But I don’t know what to write. So what is the remedy? Do I force myself to stare at a blank computer screen/piece of paper until inspiration strikes? Do I chalk off my dreams as silly whims? Do I give myself a break and identify that what I’m going through is a season and all seasons eventually change? Each of us processes setbacks differently. Reading, for me, is a perfect escape from reality. I think I’m going to read until I can’t read anymore—or until my muse is unstopped and I can fill up that one void only writing can satisfy. And just like anything else I’m going through—whether an emotional, mental or physical challenge—I need to remember to be gentle with myself. It could be that my soul is simply preparing for a much-needed breakthrough.

How do you recover from setbacks?

Stop and smell the ocean breeze

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[Image credit: Rawich]

Yesterday I had one of those days where I spent a little too much time pacing myself (i.e., looking for excuses).  My 15-minute breakfast after working out took almost an hour.  My chore time turned into chatting with friends and “playing” online.  I did get a good 40 minutes in at the gym, however, plus wrote out my grocery list and menu for the week, showered and wrote a little bit.  But if I plan to make more time to escape into my literary fantasy world, then I need to do less pacing and more crossing tasks off my list.  Or maybe I simply self-inflict too much in too little time and who cares if there’s cat fur all over the floor and that the dusting hasn’t been done for four days.  I’m definitely my own worst enemy.  Especially when I know that 20 or 30 years down the line I doubt I’ll be thinking: Wow, I’m so glad I kept up with all my chores.  Instead, what I like to believe you’ll hear me say is: I’m so thankful I followed my dreams, stopped to smell the ocean breeze and quit sweating the small stuff.  

Are you a work first, play later kind of person or just the opposite?