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Posts Tagged ‘Inspirations’

I’m sure many of you have seen this by now.  THIS is the power of passion and vision.  9 year old Cain knows what he loves and what drives him, and seeming limit in resources and lack of interest from other people had nothing to do with following what he knew was his to do.  He just created for the love of creating and he used what he had right in front of him and the power of his heart and mind to do it.  Beautiful beautiful beautiful.

 

I’ve mentioned in the past my love-hate relationship with social media;  THIS is where its power and value is and I could absolutely get on board with something like this.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

 

You can also go here to contribute to Caine’s college scholarship fund.

 

So if you haven’t seen it yet, without further ado…

 

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That’s a little how I am feeling right about now. Just finished Week 4 of The Artist’s Way (so perfectly titled “Recovering a Sense of Integrity”), which included among many things, “no reading” for the entire week. TAW was written quite a while ago, so I have taken it upon myself to update that to include anything I use as a distraction/escape (TV, internet, email, facebook, texting, etc). A few “needed” slips here and there, but overall I stayed true to the course.

What is so powerful about the “reading deprivation” week is that while it can be terribly uncomfortable at first (what do I do? sit and stare at the wall…stare…stare…stare…hungry?…eat…stare…stare…), you quickly start venturing out and playing. You also have NO CHOICE but to listen to your own voice because you no longer have anything else drowning it out. This can bring up a myriad of emotions (excitement, fear, anger, grief, joy) as you start to realize how you really feel about your work, certain relationships, habits, the color blue….And here is the most awesome part of all: all emotions and thoughts are TRANSITORY. Holy crap, does this mean you can’t even trust yourself?!!?

Ok, slow down, cowboy. No, it does not mean that, and in fact, quite the opposite. It means give FULL FAITH to that Voice within, knowing that while you listen deeper and deeper and deeper, you have COMPLETE permission to change your mind about ANYTHING at ANY given moment. And nobody else gets to say diddly squat about it. Not that that will necessarily stop them. But that doesn’t have to mean anything to you. Unless you *choose* to LET it.

So what did I do this week? I had an incredible extended Artist Date. It started with hanging up white string lights in my space. Then I enjoyed one of the guided meditations that I have on CD that I have been meaning to do forever. I enjoyed it so much, I immediately followed it with another. Then a meditative sea salt bath (no book!). Then the (solo) party really began as I cranked up a “cheezy mix” cd my sister made me for my 36th birthday back in September, while I simultaneously made dinner and baked a Funfetti birthday cake. Pilsbury of course. The birthday cake ingredients were bought on impulse earlier in the day, and while no nearby birthdays were on the horizon, I didn’t see that as any reason to stop me. Oh, and as it was “no reading” week, I attempted to get the necessary ingredients without actually reading the box. Only to discover AS I WAS MAKING the cake that it called for “3 eggs *OR* 4 egg whites” not “3 eggs *AND* 4 egg whites.” Oops. Looking inside my bowl of mostly liquid with some batter mix, I shrugged and said what the heck…it’s a done deal, let’s see what happens. Well, let’s see what happens turned out to be one of the best happy accidents ever, because holy momma this was one moist and delicious cake if I do say so myself (and I just did)! So let this be a lesson: if you are in mid-creation and you think you screwed the whole thing up, don’t necessarily scrap it altogether. Try considering to just keep on going and see what comes out in the end!

The rest of the Artist Date included a candle lit dinner with yours truly, followed by streaming, “Exit Through the Giftshop” on Netflix. Great great great great movie. Great.

Work was this weekend. And here was where the Voice could no longer be ignored. The satisfaction with my job went quickly South, and this left me with a lot to contemplate. Being that I couldn’t read or go on the internet after a long 12+ hours at work, I found myself writing after work. And writing and writing and writing.

Side note, speaking of writing, that Creative WRITING class I took via Gotham=complete crap. Nice teacher, but boy does the class NOT AT ALL follow the description. The class should have been called Creative Reading and Discussion of that Reading and Listen to the Teacher Talk and Talk and Talk and TALK About Movies and Everything Else He Finds Interesting Especially His Own Writing. I’m just sayin’.

So, re: my job, of course the plan has never been to work there forever, although I truly had no idea how dissatisfied I was with it until last weekend. So what am I doing about this? I don’t know. It’s not like I have any plans to leave or look for another job. It’s just where I am right now, and I’m acknowledging it. If anything, it is catapulting me into more “outside of work” work that fulfills me.

And, re: Integrity…what is also so interesting is the synchronicity of The Artist’s Way work, this week’s work in particular, and how I am looking and listening and stepping into and owning the integrity of my own voice around a situation with my family. Examining this fine line of being open and having compassion and willing to give, yet also not crossing the line of it being at one’s own expense, at the expense of one’s own mental and emotional health and wellbeing. Because if you aren’t taking care of yourself first and foremost, you’re *not* listening to what is True, and you’re not really good to anyone else anyway. The PLUS side to this (and which coincides with that god-awful creative “writing” class) is that there is a nudge (and also from Jeff W) to perhaps starting writing some sort of memoir(s)/personal essay(s)/one-woman piece(s) around my experiences. Letting that simmer for now, but ideas are boiling.

Hardest news for last. My sweet almost-17 Lucy girl (who has been treated for CRF since last May, (and very successfully so) became blind this week. I don’t care how many cats you have known in your lifetime, you have never met anyone else like her. She is almost human. She might actually be human. Emotional, smart, (manipulative, haha!), demanding, beautiful perfect little creature. And so to watch something so innocent and that loves you so totally unconditionally (and not only because you feed her, although you better feed her when she demands it) suddenly lose her bearings and not really understand what is going on…just completely breaks my heart. I took her to the vet on Tuesday (which, you know, she LOVED), and her CRF numbers are up, although not terribly so; and so we are on a new regimen with her fluids. She was very depressed all day Tuesday, but has been more active and upbeat since then. The vet says cats adapt very well to blindness and that it is harder on us humans than it is on them…which I am sure is true. Does that make me feel any better? Usually I embrace change. Sometimes, though, I hate it.

Despite the up-and-down-ness of this post, we (Jack and I) are in a very good spot. It feels a bit like the storm before the calm before the storm of getting ready to settle into the next big thing. We are focused and ready and grounded.

Listening.

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Riding home on the 6 and then L trains from work tonight, I finished up my latest read, “Writing Down the Bones,” by Natalie Goldberg. While reading the very last pages of the afterward (which is in interview format via Tami Simon of “Sounds True”), I was so wholeheartedly moved that I was oh so nearly brought to tears right there on the train (can you say, “awkward”?).

The excerpt is below, but what I also want to say first is that I love how she says (via her own personal “guru,” Katagiri Roshi), whatever it is that you love, that you want to be doing more than anything, make THAT your practice. In fact, not just make it, but that IS your practice. For her it is writing. For me that would be acting, for another it might be math, painting, building, cooking, etc. THAT is the (spiritual, no religion necessarily needed) practice of your life.

What she says below also reminds me of the late great Mystic of the Theatre, Elenora Duse, who said that the point of it all was to forget the self. To me that does not mean to discard the Great Self that is within you, that is pushing and pulling you in all ways to become and express and be all that you are to be, your whole reason for being. It means in the pursuing of your (own personal) practice, forget that small self, that objects, throws a tantrum and a fight, says you can’t, you’re not good enough, talented enough, IMPOSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE. Because the truth of it is that’s really none of your business. So look at yourself squarely, tell the truth about what your joy is, release “control” of any needed outcome to it and just get busy “practicing.”

Excerpt from the afterward of “Writing Down the Bones,” by Natalie Goldberg:

“Q: What does “Don’t be tossed away” mean?

A: Don’t be tossed away by your monkey mind. You say you want to do something–(example)”I really want to be a writer”–then that little voice comes along, “but I might not make enough money as a writer.” “Oh, okay, then I won’t write.” That’s being tossed away. These little voices are constantly going to be nagging us. If you make a decision to do something, you do it. Don’t be tossed away. But part of not being tossed away is understanding your own mind, not believing it so much when it comes up with all these objections and then loads you with all these insecurities and reasons not to do something.

As I got closer to finishing this book, I had tremendous fear both of failure and success. I stopped working on “Bones” for almost six months and became a baker at a restaurant…..One day during a break I took a walk…and I fell down sobbing, and I said, “Nat, you have to do it for Katagiri(her “guru” mentioned earlier in the book), forget about yourself.” And that gave me the drive to do it. In my mind I grabbed on to Katagiri and told myself, “I’m doing it for him.” I have as much insecurity as anybody else, but I don’t pay attention to myself so much when I’m in the process of doing something that I really want. I don’t think, “Natalie, do you want it? Don’t you want it?” Because that fear of success and failure stops me. If I think of myself, I get caught in myself, like everyone else. First my insecurities, then my overblown idea of myself. I swing from one extreme to the other. But if I forget myself, then I can do it. Don’t be thrown off by yourself or anyone else. Let your big mind move forward.

At the time I was writing this book, I felt this tremendous love for Katagiri Roshi. When I say love, I mean beyond anything I’d ever felt. And maybe I needed to share that with readers. But that great love was something bigger than good or bad. He had pulled true Natalie out of me. So, big Natalie wanted to do it for big Katagiri. And now what I understand is that big Natalie and big Katagiri were never separate. But that’s not psychological. That’s the truth.

The great freedom for me came when I understood that we were never separate and that I was him and he was me. That huge love helped me not to be tossed away. In completing this book, I felt a willingness to step up to the plate. It was my time to stop clinging to myself, to take deeper vows. To take on this writing life, and the practice was for me to realize that I was capable of what I was capable of.”

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Six Word Stories

What is your 6 word story?
 
 
 

Fuse–inspiring band with HEART that I saw Saturday night at the Grisley Pear
 
 
 


Blue Valentine: Best movie I have seen since I don’t know when…honest, raw, real…a TRUTHFUL love story
 
 
 


Phillipe Petit: “Man On Wire” (see the entire documentary!)
 
 
 


The Artist’s Way

Life Changing 12 Week Creative Spiritual Journey
 
 
 


Natalie Goldberg’s, “Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within”

“Writing Down The Bones”
 
 
 


“Black Swan”: Challenges ideas of “perfection”
 
 

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