BestThings: Wednesday Edition

I've been up since 6:30.  What the hell have I been doing all day?  Well...some of the best things, of course.  

Meditation. Lately I've been spending about 20 minutes a day listening to and meditating with Oprah and Deepak's most recent meditation program.  I was talking about this with my brother last night and meditation is nothing more than getting still, and listening to what your deepest, truest self has to tell you.  Getting past the surface monkey mind and just chilling out.  I find it starts my day in the best way.

Yoga.  As time goes on, I don't really have an option to not exercise daily.  Especially for one who can sit for hours at a time writing and doing whatever else on the computer.  I do a simple morning program with Rodney Yee, AM Yoga, that gets the juices flowing and puts me in a calm state of being.  It is one exercise program I have been pretty constant with over many years.

Walking.  Last night I took a walk up on the railroad tracks.  Sunset was approaching, it was cool and the light was too good to waste.  Walking is another thing that helps me still my mind and work out whatever might be troubling my mind at the time.  I never have a set speed or time, I simply meander around, and let my feet take me where they will.  This time I ended up over near the Waverly Golf Course.  I considered hopping the fence just to see if I could, but then decided it probably was not a good idea, and headed back home.

Watering.  The whole reason I'm staying on the houseboat is to water the plants.  There is something so soothing and rhythmic about taking care of other living things, even if just plants.  I do believe we humans are meant to nurture and take care of other living things, not exploit them.  I think we were given more sentient knowledge for a reason, not just so we could destroy other living things, but so we could nurture and protect them.  

Connor.  I got to spend some time yesterday with my 12-year old nephew.  He stayed the night with me on the houseboat.  I swear, this kid is 100 if he's 12.  I don't know, he's got such an old soul sometimes, and then other times he can be a silly, spacey 12-year old boy.  He hacked my Facebook account and made some comment about how I liked to smell his farts all day.  We went to a comic book store in downtown Milwaukie, and then stopped in at Mike's Drive-In on the way to take him home.  He's a good kid, always up to go adventuring with me.

I am continuing on in my journey of grace and gratitude.  Taking time every day to reflect on "BestThings" helps me stay in that flow.  There is ALWAYS so much to be grateful for.  As Deepak says, in every moment we have a choice to be grateful.  Can't wait to see what the rest of the day brings.  Happy Adventuring! 


Best Things: Saturday Edition


I intended to write this last night, but, well, I had a little too much wine so came home late and promptly went to bed.  I started this little exercise on Facebook as a daily reminder to me about all the great experiences we can have by making one choice.  This is all about gratitude, but it is less a list of what I am grateful for and more about "look what happened because I made this choice".  And, as a result of a choice, all the other wonderful things that happen after that.  I realized these lists were getting a little long for Facebook, and I wasn't getting them to my Twitter followers or anyone else, so I'm taking my "best things" list live and to the world.  Here's what happened Saturday:

I decided to go spend some time in the afternoon with one of my besties after work, instead of going home to take a nap.  As a result of that choice, I got to listen to the songs she is going to perform for her Voice audition.  We went and had margaritas and chips and salsa, once her husband got home, out on the patio at Cha Cha Cha in Sellwood in the warm, afternoon sun.  Then we wanted to check out the sales at this cool store called Bandita in Sellwood that is closing.  They were closed, so we ended up checking out Real Deals.  I got a clock for $2.90, and a cool, block wood sign that states "What You Love, You Are".  Exactly. And then, as we were checking out, the ladies told us we had one more surprise, and offered us lemon vanilla ice cream bars!  Who does that?  And it was awesome.

Fast forward to the evening.  It was around 6pm, no plans for Saturday night.  Out of the blue I received an unexpected message from an old friend and asked if I could join them for dinner and drinks and live music back at the Muddy Rudder in Sellwood.  We shared a pint, some dinner, got caught up and had a lovely time. We talked about them coming to open mic, and getting to know the community of musicians and writers there.  And, I forgot how awesome that place is! I stopped back over at my friends in Sellwood, watched the end of the Matrix and had a glass of really good red wine, which they had bought from Monks Gate Vineyards a few years ago when we were there together.  

What a rich day.  I could have decided to have a nap after work, because I was tired.  Or I could have decided to stay in Saturday night, and watch yet one more episode of Ripper Street.  But I said yes.  And out of those choices, came a myriad of wonderful experiences I would have missed if I would have said no.  I spent a lot of time saying no to people to define my own boundaries.  Now, I am all about saying yes.  I cannot wait to see what today brings! 

Quit Resisting This Shit.

I did it.  Finally.  It's been almost a month since I have written any words for my book.  Either of them.  Unacceptable.  So, after doing morning pages and working through another week of "Walking In This World", by Julia Cameron, I got out my pen and paper and wrote 600 words in 15 minutes.  For some reason, that timer thing really works for me.  And it keeps the creative juices flowing, keeps me connected with my story.  Steven Pressfield, best-selling author, calls putting off the work Resistance.  Here's a sweet little video that explains what I mean.  


Last week was not a good creative week for me.  I only did morning pages four days out of seven, was running here and there and just a little off kilter.  I started working on the sales floor at my job, and so I always get a little constricted when starting new things, so there was that.  Some early mornings, not sleeping well, etc.

I decided to devote this morning to creative work.  First I had to clean my room!  It's amazing how utterly messy a 10x12 space can get, but it happens.  I cannot create in an untidy space.  I took care of a few things I had been putting off, such as paying car insurance.  Probably not a good idea if I'm going to drive for Lyft. 

Lyft!  Yes, it launched in Portland on Friday, April 24th.  I have yet to give my first ride, as I have been a little resistant and nervous because that too is new.  So many new things!  Sometimes I get tired of being in beginner's mind and embracing the suck.  But, there is always growth in learning, and I think that is always valuable.  

I feel so much better having gotten some words on the page.  Some may view creativity as a luxury, but for me, it is a necessity or my soul will wither up and die.  It has to be my first priority.  So, that means if I work at 9am, I need to be up at 6am so I can get my morning pages in and get some words written towards my book.  It's just that simple, but sometimes I make it oh so hard.  

I am heading off for work at 1pm.  I am hopeful I only have a 4-hour shift to pull so I can get to open mic tonight.  No, I am not just hopeful.  I trust that I will be out of there at 5:30 pm so I can attend.  I am manifesting that shit right now.  We have these fun little things at work called "flex shifts" so you never know until 2 hours before if you have to work or not.  So I don't know if I'm working 4 hours today or 8.  Just some extra fun things working in retail brings.  

I need that extra boost of inspiration tonight.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll read some more poetry.  Open mic not only showcases some incredible talent, but feeds my well of inspiration so I can then go out and create more.  Plus, it's in Sellwood, which is where my novel is set.   Always good to visit the setting of your book, if you can.  At least in my opinion. They do say to "write what you know", don't they?  

Today I quit resisting my book, and asked my story what it had to tell me.  Turns out a lot.  600 words in 15 minutes?  Not too bad.  And so I soldier on.  I am at about 7,000 words so far.  Now, if I would have written every day for the last month, that would have been an additional 18,000 words...gulp....25,000 words...gulp... and I would have been a lot further towards my goal of 80,000 words.  See where Resistance has got me?  Nowhere good.  BUT, I am back on track and I kicked Resistance in the ass today.  Happy Monday!!!