Thursday, July 31, 2008

On Letting Go

Letting go can be hard for some people. Very hard for others. When you let something go, or even contemplate letting something go, there is sometimes this feeling of panic. "What if I never, ever, ever find a vase/dress/house/potential mate like this again?" Some people have a hard time letting go of objects which have sentimental value. Other people have trouble letting go of people in their lives, even relationships which no longer serve them or are toxic.

For me, the hardest thing to let go is my idea of how something should be. Even if the truth is staring me plainly in the face, yelling "Yoo-hoo! I'm right here~Pay attention to me." I will sometimes keep going right along doing the same thing I've always done and wondering why things are the way they are.

It reminds me of that saying, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

Working for myself has been eye opening on many levels. One thing I noticed is that I'm a boring boss! What I hated about previous jobs were being micromanaged, feeling chained to my desk, and feeling that I didn't have any freedom to come and go as I pleased. Looking at the way I've been working over the past few months has made me take a step back. Yes, I do have the freedom to come and go as I please, but I haven't been doing it very much. Instead I've been sitting at the same desk, in my same office, in front of the same wall and window everyday. I type, I write, I do transcription, I invoice, I make phone calls, I fill out deposit slips and pay bills all at this desk. Why? Because I feel guilty. "Real self-employed people don't fritter away work hours doing frivolous things. Real writers sweat blood to write good articles. Real bosses put their noses to the grindstone and work hard, even when they don't feel like it."

Well, I've been trying this method, and I have to say, it sucks. Not only that but it's making me very unhappy. I have even started dreading work (again).

So, no more. This week I have made some small changes and I'm going to keep making changes until things feel right, feel better and more natural to me. I have let go of a small medical transcription account that I've been doing for about a year to free up more time and energy for what I love to do--write. I am going to take more time to research new work and spend more time working on my fiction which I absolutely love to do. I'm also going to build in some breaks to my day. And yes, if I decide I really need a 15 minute cat nap or a 20 minute yoga break I'm going to take it.

What's the sense of trying to be in control all the time? It's not reality and it's not fun either. My goal now is to learn to just go with the flow.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mr. C

Inspiring. Absolutely. If you want to see a superhero in action, a modern day Bible disciple, check out this link.

Also check out this link to a video of Mr. C. He makes all his own clothes. From scratch. That alone makes him slightly heroic in my mind. . .

He's crazy, wonky, and absolutely in love with all he believes in. He's also written a fabulous book, "The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical". This is the book I mentioned a few weeks back--I finished it in about four days, but needed time to really absorb it. . . I'm not sure I really have done that fully.

It will be added to the Green Lending Library. If you'd like to read it, email me and I'll mail it to you.

Today, I wanted to write something inspiring. Something hopeful and fresh. But I feel sick today and am having computer problems--two things that don't pair well with happy, inspirational posts.

So instead, I will talk about my new writing friend, Peggy. We met at a writer's conference a couple of weeks ago. It was a wonderful conference and very informative. But the part I liked most was meeting other writers. Sometimes writing can feel very much like a big bubble, like I'm alone on a desert island of writerdom.

But getting back to the inspirational theme of this message. Peggy has the awesome fortune of writing for Guideposts and Positive Thinking magazines, two publications which I love for their positive messages. She also has an adorable dog who is her diet partner. Check out her blog to learn more. I bet you will come away from your computer feeling inspired.

Monday, July 7, 2008

On Creativity and Saving the World

Sometimes it's rather easy to let one's creativity fall by the wayside. Like many "do gooders" I tend to let my worries about the world get away from me. In fact, it can feel downright frivolous to want to "waste" time painting or playing with my art supplies.

It's been months since I last had a creative project. This is in part because I was transitioning into my new career as a writer (finally, work that I love!). But it's also partly because I feel a little guilty spending time on creative stuff when there are so many more important things calling my name. Volunteer here? Donate there? Could I swing a short-term mission trip?

But I've been reminded that without replenishing my well with some creative endeavors, I will run out of steam. I just re-started reading Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" I'm not sure if I can follow her full 12-week program, but just reading the introduction this morning helped me unclench my stomach and take some deep breaths. "It's okay to play now and then," it reminded me. "It's not going to make less for someone else if you run a paintbrush through watercolors or tear some paper scraps into a collage. It's okay to do some self-nurturing."

That's a message I really needed to hear.