The Chatterbox…#MondayBlogs

There’s a chatterbox living in my brain.

Her voice is a combination of my own, and the words of (what seems to be) every book I have ever read.

Lately, I really need that voice to shut the hell up. Sometimes, that many words flowing all the time are nothing but a huge distraction. And they distract me from the words that are most true.

I noticed, while doing my long run, that all of the running advice and articles and training plans were just floating around in my head throughout my entire run. The thing is, I need to run my own race. All of the rest is a suggestion. But, the words of those “experts” keep rolling around, and I begin to doubt myself.

Until I consciously observe what I am doing.

Sometimes, being an overly-analytical person is crippling. It definitely doesn’t help with nervousness, I can tell you that much. Plus, I think that those analyses are just a fancied up version of me criticizing myself.

So, mantras and music. Today, I employed one of the techniques I use while writing: music. I didn’t run to anything close to what I listen to when I am writing! While writing, music is white noise. I stay in the story, and the world subsides. While running, music is a journey all its own.

Instead of listening to that chatterbox, it’s all rhythms and beats and lyrics drowning everything else out. Except for the obvious things. I can’t really go fully into music while running, I need to have more awareness of my surroundings than that.

Instead of fighting the doubt in my mind, I am just running. Only running.

Now, if I could only figure out why Punjabi MC seems to be so helpful to my running…πŸ˜‰

Happy #Monday. Blessings to you all…

Friday Philosophy…Ego

We all have an ego. Some of us, a bigger ego than others. :) Most writers who give us gentle nudges towards enlightenment seem to recommend living a life of humility, rather than egoism.

Ego. Achilles heel, or necessary motivator?

“To walk around with an ego is a bad thing. To have confidence in yourself is a great thing.” ~ Fred Durst

“More the knowledge, lesser the ego. Lesser the knowledge, more the ego.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos.” ~ Tennessee Williams

β€œMake your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.” ~ Rainier Maria Rilke

“Nothing kills the ego like playfulness, like laughter. When you start taking life as fun, the ego has to die. It cannot exist anymore.” ~ Osho

May we all move into playfulness, and out of ego. Blessings to you all! Never give up.

The Blackest Soul…#MondayBlog

“And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee,
This soul in its bitterest blackness shall be.” ~ Lord Byron

The theme of many blog posts this week seems to be the suffering of the artist. :) I’ve written on this before, wondering aloud (on the page) “Must there be suffering?!” I like to think that there shouldn’t be.

But, let’s be real.

Does anyone “become” an artist because they have a so-called normal experience of the world? Those quotes are easily explained by my own belief that one does not become an artist: it’s intrinsic to your identity.

Being an artist, I think, means experiencing reality through a different lens. Whether the lens is rose-colored or not, to be different is to suffer. Whether the suffering is the small insult of childhood (was anyone else the target for arm-breaking in Red Rover?), or the square-peg-in-a-round-hole of the awkward twenties, there is suffering. But sometimes, that suffering is large. It sucks the air out of the room entirely, and comes back to visit, again and again, as a monstrous elephant that likes to perch on your chest while you chase sleep through anxiety. Sometimes it manifests in a very real disease, ripped out of every hard kernel of darkness inside you.

Suffering exists. That is not to say that we shouldn’t pursue health and healing at every given opportunity. Create the opportunity if that is what it takes. But don’t deny the journey.

Write the story. Speak the raw truth. Let the chips fall.

Because acceptance of the wounds left by that suffering is where freedom begins.

Blessings to you all.

Friday Philosophy…Perfectionism

I strongly feel that perfection is the enemy of creativity. If you don’t ever give yourself permission to be less than perfect, how the hell do you ever get to explore your ideas and take risks? On the other hand, that drive can really take you far. The only problem is that you may never feel a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction if you fall short of that flawless performance. As a mother, I always tell my children that the important aspects of any task are giving it their best, and enjoying every moment of what they do.

So, for this (tardy) Friday Philosophy, I’m sharing some quotes on perfectionism.

“I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” ~ Anne Lamott

“If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.” ~ Brene Brown

“Gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect.” ~ Chinese Proverb

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” ~ Salvador Dali

“If there was nothing wrong in this world there wouldn’t be anything for us to do.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

“I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent.” ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Enchantment…#MondayBlogs

We fly each night
Witchy women
Dreams that carry us
Across skies
Burdened by stars

Planetary motion
Lifting our blood
Casting a song
Through souls that never meet

Only sense
Connects us
A web of unseen truths
A spell cast
By the heart

A mind with vision
To see

We are the poets
The artists
The writers
Who dream

And bring those dreams
To life
With the truest magic
Of belief
Set to canvas and page

Resurrected memory
Of the magic we are

Friday Philosophy…Mountains

Of course, this can be a literal post. If you haven’t figured out from different posts in the twitterverse lately, we have escaped the dreaded desert heat (119 degrees today) by fleeing to the mountains. Tonight, it’s supposed to drop below 40 degrees! I’m so excited! Haha.

Mountains are not just those literal, spectacular beauties, though. They represent the challenge, the climb that we experience as we journey through life. As a runner, mountains seem to bring suffering and total exhilaration.

“If I have someone who believes in me, I can move mountains.” ~ Diana Ross (Note: sometimes, you need to be that person who believes in you.)

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.” ~ Muhammad Ali

“Mountains are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.” ~ Anatoli Boukreev

“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.” ~ Tennessee Williams

“There are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.” ~ Walt Whitman

“If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start by lifting stones today.” ~ African Proverb

Blessings to you all…Never give up!

Writer’s Retreats…#MondayBlogs

We’ve all heard of these by now, right? Writers participate in a getaway, during which there are workshops, and other writers to get to know, and sharing and commiserating and writing. It’s idyllic. Well, unless you’re an introvert who gets a little clammy about going away with brand new people to basically be totally naked and vulnerable (hello, writing!) for days on end. 😦

Then again, where is it written that we need to go to any official retreat to get at least some of the benefits?

Brene Brown once said during an interview that she grabbed some of her dearest friends, and gave them a talk in order to map out her book. Some writers finish books in a hotel room, free from any of the usual life distractions and within easy access of room service.

I find that the simple escapes can fuel the writing fire for me. In other words, I slip into “accidental retreats.” For instance, last summer’s trip to Hawaii: massive writing time. It wasn’t on a project that is near finished, but the change of scenery, climate, activity, all of it just kept the words flowing. And, I didn’t ignore my entire family.

Moral of the story: create your writer’s retreat! Who should be there with you? Where should it be? Who would you love to have as a mentor? The only limit to this is your own imagination.

More to come from me later, in about 2 weeks or so. πŸ˜‰ I have a tired body, the best view in the world, and creativity going endlessly.

#Monday love and blessings to you all!