Category: attitude

On Judgment

I had an interesting experience that I learned from and reminded me of a few good lessons as well.

A friend and I talk a lot about spirituality, crystals, tarot, etc. I invited them to this Facebook group that touches on many of those same topics (Awakening Community, which I found through Victor Oddo.)

Their initial response to looking through the group included gratitude, but also this line: “I’ll have to sort through the attention-seekers.” Then when we talked later he cynically or skeptically mentioned he’d have to sort for “vampirism” and “backwards trolling.”

These things really irked me. My initial feeling was that it’s kind of ironic to judge people for being negative, because that’s perpetuating the cycle. And, that sometimes, these very things he’s poo-pooing are also awakening symptoms. People don’t like change. They lash out. They hiss at what is new. I believe that if someone is coming to a community like that, there are a few things that can happen:

  1. They are truly curious and have a desire to know, so their request is sincere & we’re projecting onto it.
  2. Something is calling them there, even if they don’t know what or how or why yet. It’s on a “woke” community to come around and give that person a big group hug and welcome them. We all felt that way once, too.
  3. We as a community need to recognize how “weird” and out-of-the-norm this kind of stuff is going to be for many people – just like it was for us – and have patience. At one point, I hardcore rolled my eyes at unicorns. Almost every time I saw something in the form of one.  And now it’s practically my spirit animal. Sometimes, we are repelled by the very thing we need …

I tried to give my friend my own understanding and verbal bear hug, by pointing out these things. It gave him food for thought and helped him consider a wider perspective.

And I gave him credit: he’s a straight white male who’s interested in expansion and awakening, which is amazing. He’s going to be an important bridge to the patriarchy, as this process continues. And, sometimes we do need sentries. If a few people in the group become problems, it’s my hope we will be able to self-police or not give them the attention they seek.

Kind of proud of myself for speaking up. Normally I wouldn’t have said anything, or would have apologized for “judging” or “lecturing” my friend, except: I’m sick of that. Apologizing for who we are. PHEH. And, at the end of the day, if we can’t talk about it, then how is anyone ever going to know?



T-Minus 55: 55 is not as close to 60 as I thought

Holy shit! (It’s your weekly panic mode.)
Hello. It’s me
Today started out in a flurry of anxiety and flightiness (i *was* FB chatting at work – never a good idea for my focus.) I then helped my friend do mock interviews at GW, and then got my hair cut.
The mock interviews is one of those things lately where I’m like, “man, I’m at this place in my career …”
But, no. I need a break. I will work on resumes & shit once I’m rested, and on the road.
It’s going to be such whiplash. I don’t even slow down on my days “off.”
After the hair cut (gee, was it maybe finally sitting still for ~ 1 hour?) I felt really, really sad.
Maybe it was that and that I told my hair cutter I was moving. He also had *just* smoked up (annoying!) and was acting weird/giddy.
Anyway. It was a beautiful spring cotton-candy sunset, all pinks and oranges. Sigh.
I cried a little on the way home & was unsure what to do. I ended up: Library, food, Netflix. It’s good to give myself a break sometimes. It still feels hard to move sometimes. I can’t tell if that’s post-breakup sadness, or tsunami-of-moving overwhelm.
I did upload all the photos I took, and cleared one SD card. Progress! I also tidied up my place after totally ripping apart my box of “papers to save.” In reality, the 11x8x11 box contained probably only 1″ worth of papers keeping. Sigh.
I also am creating space around waiting until 30 days before the trip to post everything. Which means I have 25 more to get things “done.” And I have the week of April 15 off so it’s perfect – “come anytime!”
I’d like to finish up photos this weekend just so I can have the choice & get that off my plate. But still.
I did come across a treasure trove of old poetry of mine. That doesn’t even count the stacks of notebooks I have. I’ll have to get around to typing those up. Hopefully that’s something I can make time for before or on the trip. I also wonder if I could ask Janet to do it. Hmm … (yes, it’s nice to have a transcriber. 😇)
Brida inspired me to get a book on Natural Witchery – a friendly how-to written by one of the coven. (I got the Dummies’ Guide to Angels … ugh. What is that tripe? It’s so … condescending. Like someone’s educating you via finger guns. Wikipedia me, at the least. It’s going back.)
I will admit that the idea of tapping into the feminine has helped me take comfort against the influx of fear and loneliness I feel. “Ok, I can embrace ‘not needing a man.'”
And I can tell I’ve done a lot of healing in this area – the feelings & reaction are not as deep and panicked as it once was.
Maybe I am filling my newfound time with more “things to do.” Maybe I am filling it with nervous energy. Idk. It’s interesting times, mate. The balance of living and creating, being present and moving on.
I’m still a little stressed with what to do about my art (sigh.)
No way my car is going to be big enough to get this all stuff to my parents. Decisions will have to be made. (“Winter is coming.” The saddest part is – this is the least amount of stuff I’ve had!!)
I also need to start phone calls to friends next week.
And call Uncle Steve this week.
Tomorrow is a big day: get my car thoroughly inspected (be sure my baby is road-ready!), my final doctor’s appointment, and first post-breakup therapy sesh. It will be an interesting one!
Off to read some of this book on Tarot card meanings by Juliet Sharman-Burke.

How to Quit Your Day Job

I’ve listened to the Being Boss podcast for about a year now. The two powerful women at the center of that, Kathleen and Emily, are modern & engaging. In this episode, they share how they left their day jobs, how others do it, and what you need to do to prepare. They recommend having a plan, but reveal that a large financial safety net isn’t always required. To hear the whole episode:

When you’re feeling your lowest, the real you is summoned

A particularly relevant and beautiful Note From The Universe today. Imagine if every flower hated itself when it was a seedling in the dark dirt, underground: 

Sometimes, when you’re feeling your lowest, Lauren, the real you is summoned.

And you understand, maybe for the first time ever, how grand you are, because you discover that vulnerable doesn’t mean powerless, scared doesn’t mean lacking in beauty, and uncertainty doesn’t mean that you’re lost.

These realizations alone will set you on a journey that will take you far beyond what you used to think of as extraordinary.

There is always a bright side,
    The Universe

RIP Bowie.

I went as Aladdin Sane for Halloween 2015 … Shocked to hear the news today. He was creating until his last. Here’s to the ultimate confident creative. RIP. 

What’s your list?

As I mentioned yesterday, Neil Gaiman‘s 2012 commencement speech at U Arts Philly contains a number of gems for writers.

One of the best was the reveal that his career was driven by a list of things he wanted to do, which he’d made when he was 15: “I didn’t have a career. I just did the next thing on the list.”
 Fifteen is great, it’s when you’re old enough to have seen some of the world and really imagine the possibilities, but young enough to be in tune with your likes and wants, without all that boring stuff that taints it, like bills and whatnot.

I wonder what 15-year-old me would’ve said? Many of the things I’ve already done – be a journalist, live in a big city, travel. Granted, these things look and feel different than what I envisioned, but I still did them.

And, a better exercise: what would your list look like today? Very appropriate, this first week after New Year’s Intentions/Resolutions, and what with Mercury Retrograde just starting.

Today, my list would look like this:

  • Visit lots of natural places, especially National Parks in the Western US
  • Finish my first novel
  • Write more fiction
  • Have an online presence  
  • Spend more time with my family 
  • Meditate on what I love that could earn me money
  • Paint more  
  • Have more time and space 
  • Lower resting heart rate, less neck pain, more strength

How about yours?

Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech: On Writing

Neil Gaiman‘s 2012 commencement speech at U Arts Philly contains a number of gems for writers – “everything I wish I’d known starting out”:

  • “[…] the prospect of four more years of enforced learning before I’d become the writer I wanted to be was stifling.”
  • I wrote, and I became a better writer the more I wrote, and I wrote some more, and nobody ever seemed to mind that I was making it up as I went along, they just read what I wrote and they paid for it, or they didn’t, and often they commissioned me to write something else for them.”
  • He made a list “of everything I wanted to do […]. I didn’t have a career. I just did the next thing on the list.”
  • When you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are doing. This is great. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. You do not. And you should not. The rules on what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by going beyond them. And you can. If you don’t know it’s impossible it’s easier to do.”
  • “If you have an idea of what you want to make, what you were put here to do, then just go and do that. And that’s much harder than it sounds and, sometimes in the end, so much easier than you might imagine.”
  • As a journalist, he “was being paid to learn how to write economically,  crisply, sometimes under adverse conditions, and on time.” 
  • Sometimes the way to do what you hope to do will be clear cut, and sometimes  it will be almost impossible to decide whether or not you are doing the correct thing […]. Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be […] was a mountain.”
    • “And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain.”
    • “I said no to […] proper jobs that would have paid proper money because I knew that, attractive though they were, for me they would have been walking away from the mountain.”
  • “I learned to write by writing.”
  • “The problems of failure are problems of discouragement, of hopelessness, of hunger. You want everything to happen and you want it now, and things go wrong.
  • “I decided that I would do my best in future not to write books just for the money. If you didn’t get the money, then you didn’t have anything. If I did work I was proud of, and I didn’t get the money, at least I’d have the work.”
    • “Every now and again, I forget that rule, and whenever I do, the universe kicks me hard and reminds me.”
  • “I don’t know that it’s an issue for anybody but me, but it’s true that nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. Usually I didn’t wind up getting the money, either.  The things I did because I was excited, and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I’ve never regretted the time I spent on any of them”
  • “The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It’s Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police. In my case, I was convinced that there would be a knock on the door, and a man with a clipboard (I don’t know why he carried a clipboard, in my head, but he did) would be there, to tell me it was all over, and they had caught up with me, and now I would have to go and get a real job, one that didn’t consist of making things up and writing them down, and reading books I wanted to read. And then I would go away quietly and get the kind of job where you don’t have to make things up any more.”
  • “[…] now they had to earn a certain amount every month just to keep where they were. They couldn’t go and do the things that mattered, and that they had really wanted to do; and that seemed as a big a tragedy as any problem of failure.”
  • “And the mistakes in themselves can be useful. I once misspelled Caroline, in a letter, transposing the A and the O, and I thought, “Coraline looks like a real name…”
  • “[…]whatever you do you have one thing that’s unique. You have the ability to make art.”
  • “Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.
  • “I didn’t stop and look around and go, this is really fun. I wish I’d enjoyed it more. It’s been an amazing ride. But there were parts of the ride I missed, because I was too worried about things going wrong, about what came next, to enjoy the bit I was on.That was the hardest lesson for me, I think: to let go and enjoy the ride, because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places.
  • “Someone asked me recently how to do something she thought was going to be difficult, in this case recording an audio book, and I suggested she pretend that she was someone who could do it. Not pretend to do it, but pretend she was someone who could. She put up a notice to this effect on the studio wall, and she said it helped.”
  • “And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.”

-Neil Gaiman

h/t Tim Ferriss

Friday Funday

Book: Unbroken, Laura Hillibrand
I’ve never read any of her books, but the opening is crazy, and I’ve never wanted to run as much as when I was reading the beginning (and I hate running.)

Listening: iTunes Radio Pop. Sometimes you just need some solid pop music, and I like the introductions I got to it last night.

Eating: Blue Apron. (Well, not me, I’m still eating TJ salads, heh.) BA is all the rage with my friends, and Justin cooked us an amazing, healthy casserole with this seasoning that mixed Old Bay AND Cajun seasonings. SO yum.

Inspiration: Farnam Street, What book has the most page for page wisdom?
Relationships: Jane Gaparick, A love that keeps you hanging
Life: Google searching ‘Life purpose and financial insecurity’

Joined up with NaNoWriMo.
NWW (novel writing workshop) exercises.
HWWF MOOC exercises.
1st session of poetry coaching today at noon!

Positively. Take the positive tack, if the negative one starts to crop up.

Scarves, headbands, colored jeans, fat rings, yoga clothes for class later today.

Hope you are having a great day & have a great week ahead!

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