When the flu makes you pause…

I have had the flu – or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, the flu has had me…

I am now recovered, although it has taken more days than I was intending – viruses are careless with our intentions…

And, after the first frail futile days of burying myself in novels and tissues, it has been an opportunity to pause…

To reflect…

To re-assess and re-align…

I have been disturbed by how easy it is to drift from my ‘true north’ and to not notice that drifting in the minutiae of day-to-day…

… how easy it is to take the easy well-trod route instead of navigating by my own stars…

Time for a course correction!

Thanks to this pause, I have been able to recognise what I have doing to my dreams and goals (simple answer: not as much as I need to!) through fear, through habit, through erosion by daily grind.

And I can, and have, trimmed my sails and reset my course.

I recommend taking a pause now and again (though I also recommend leaving viruses out of yours, if you can!)

Stop, breathe, check where you are heading.

Is it truly where you want to go?

It is very easy to drift with life’s currents – even a small shift can lead to being dramatically off course over time. Best to take that moment to pause and adjust…

Big waves on the New Plymouth waterfront

Feeling the rawness

I originally planned to write a completely different post this weekend, but that will have to wait.

I’ve spent the past few days feeling raw – easily moved to snarkiness and/or tears, feeling the need to hide, wanting to scream in frustration but afraid to let others hear…

Today it has eased a little – thank goodness.

I’m still not quite sure what set me down this track. There’s not one big thing I can pin it to. Just the usual host of grinding everyday mundanities and minor frustrations heaping themselves up into a stinking pile… nothing I can really explain, or feel that I can expect others to understand.

Which makes writing hard – and my dancing wild and unfocused (catharsis ahead of technique).

Grey days and the looming threat of wet and wild weather don’t help me, but then I felt like this when the sun was shining too.

I know that there must be some point to it all; some inner wisdom I need to uncover or something. I have to know this. It is my hope.

I suspect it is time to take stock and review.

To plan my escape and my sprint for my dreams.

To dance wildly and channel my raging energy into some sort of release.

To lick my wounds, assess the damage, and figure out the best way to heal.

To breathe, release and let the rhythm of life flow through me.

Wish me luck 😉

 

The ‘D’ Word

If you’re anything like me and most of the rest of the world, you’ll have grand dreams and plans and visions of how you’ll live your life next week and what you’ll create when the stars align to perfection – which is lovely and good, but…

What about today? Right now?!

You may well have heard the saying: “your actions and decisions today are your habits next week”

It would be nice to write this off as trite Pinspiration. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much true.

Which brings me to the ‘D’ word – my bugbear – DISCIPLINE

Not the kinky kind (unless that’s your dream 😉 ), but what the Free Dictionary defines as:

Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.

AKA Self-discipline and its close cousin, self-control…

Now, if you’re still anything like me, you know that all those wonderful ideas we had at the start of this post are going to take hard work to reach.

And you’ll know that the best way to do this is disciplined (that word again) hard work.

And you’ll also know that the reality is that after you’ve worked your day job all you want to do is eat easy food in front of the telly and not be self-disciplined or self-controlled (unless it’s the kind of control that keeps you awake too late finishing that cool novel) because it’s too hard and you’re too tired…

… which gets us exactly nowhere nearer those dreams.

So, what to do?

I suggest “thinking small”.

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we must devote hours of blood, sweat and tears towards our Art everyday, and if we can’t do that, then we might as well not bother. I’ve fallen into this trap more times than I like to confess to.

The truth is small steps work.

And it is from those small steps, those little regular choices, that our discipline is formed.

You may not be up for three hours of hard graft, but can you manage ten minutes (or even just five) of playing with your Art?

If you do that everyday, that’s over an hour of work each week – which is a whole heap better than none! And if you do that every week…

Having read this same advice many, many times and ignoring it (which means I won’t take it personally if you do the same – honest), I have now realised it in my bones and have decided to actually try following it.

I’ve realised that half an hour every afternoon gives me

  • ten minutes to dance,
  • ten minutes to paint, and
  • ten minutes to do some housework.

For me, that’s three important steps towards my goals every afternoon – in manageable, doable chunks. I’m not going to clock watch – my ‘ten minutes’ is more an encouragement to keep it small than it is a precise measure. I figure I’m more like to run over than under, because usually it’s getting started that’s my sticking point, but that’s another post…

So, while you can feel free to nag remind me about my good intentions (and I promise to report in), my challenge to you is:

What ten minutes each day will you do?