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Archive for September, 2008

Today I wrote 2149 words in my book. This is the most I’ve written in a single day since I started.

There was no mystery to it. I created the space to write, both in my schedule and in my mind, and I wrote. I also had support in the form of an Integrity Day (thanks, Cath!).

I’ve created space tomorrow to write, too. I intend to have the experience of writing 3000 or more words with a smile on my face. 🙂

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In the past few days I completed two big goals:

1. Chapter 2 in my book

2. A song I wrote and recorded for my girlfriend

I devoted lots of time and energy to each, and it’s important for me to acknowledge my follow-through. So to celebrate, I’m requesting some virtual cheering (via comments or emails, your preference).

🙂

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Last night I went to a yoga class, my first yoga class in many, many months. I’d forgotten how wonderful it feels to move my body and use all of its muscles. And I’d forgotten how magical it feels to be in a space with other people who radiate such positive and healthy vibes.

I also stayed for the meditation class. At the end of the meditation, a phrase came to me, a phrase that I’ve chosen to adopt as my chief affirmation: I am so much more than I think.

This affirmation has two meanings to me:

  1. I am so much more than I think I am — This is a reminder that my essence is not contained in some finite being or identity named Curtis. This physical and mental separation I perceive is an illusion. We are all the same stuff. 🙂
  2. I am so much more than my thinking self — This is a reminder to experience the other dimensions of life besides my thoughts. Dimensions like stillness, my body and other senses, my emotions, my awareness (or higher self), my spirituality.

Thank you to Debbie for her awesome yoga and meditation classes, Asha for “dragging” me there, and Sara and Maegen and my other classmates for their presence and energetic contributions.

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It’s been 6 days since I last posted an entry on this blog — the longest time I haven’t posted since I began my first 100 Days almost 300 days ago. I find it a practice in itself to allow myself to choose higher priority tasks and not post to this blog. (Writing my book is progressing well.)

On Friday, I made the decision to stay in my apartment. A few weeks ago I’d received a notice that my rent was going up and I was asked to sign a new 1-year lease. My initial thought was, why don’t I shop around to see if I could find something better. After a few weeks, I found a great opportunity that made the move feel real to me, where as it was pretty hypothetical up to that point. Also, I’d talked to my property manager and he said that if I agreed to the rent increase, I could continue to rent month-to-month.

So by Friday I had two attractive options to choose from. A wonderful position to be in, yet there was still some fear. What if I didn’t choose the best option? So I quieted my mind and invited wisdom to speak.

Of all the voices that spoke to me, the one that felt wisest posed a question: Curtis, where do you choose to focus your energy right now? Moving would take a significant amount of physical and mental energy. Is that truly where I wanted to put that energy, or was there somewhere else in my life I’d prefer to focus on?

The clear answer was: I choose to focus that energy on my business, especially the book that I’m writing.

That’s when I saw that this whole thing about moving was a distraction. It was an easy way to create lots of change in my life so that I could feel like I was making progress, so I could feel like I was doing something productive.

The decision to not move became a call to action. If I was willing to channel the energy that moving was required, that means that I have that energy available to me. If I’m to not move, I intend to summon that energy and apply it to my business. I’m not going to not move and let that energy go unused.

I feel empowered by my choice. Another reminder that choice is indeed the source of our personal power.

An interesting epilogue: When I went back and re-read the description of my “perfect apartment” I’d written a few weeks ago, I realized that I’ve been living in it. This apartment fits those criteria almost exactly, especially the things that are most important to me.

When I move, it will be because I’m moving to something that fits me better. Right now what I have is perfect for me.

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I talked this morning with my friend Joanne about the insights and lessons I experienced yesterday, and she offered a valuable way for me to look at it. The key is surrender. Yesterday, I didn’t judge the movie as bad and I didn’t judge my choice of how to spend my time because I surrendered completely to the experience.

Today I explored that with mixed success. I surrendered in my writing and teleclass promotion tasks. I needed to re-surrender several times as my mind took me out of what I was doing to what else I could be doing. But all in all it was effective.

Later in the day I worked on recording a song I wrote for my girlfriend. I was struggle with some vocal parts and not making much progress. Surrender became difficult as the mind jumped in with its judgment: “You’re not good at this and it’s going to take a long time. You should be doing something else instead, something where you could be more productive.” In fact, it took a good 30 minutes to recover from feeling like I’d completely wasted my time.

So as with anything, there will varying degrees of difficulty with this surrendering practice.

Two other colors in this rainbow: Joy and outcome. I’m also learning to see how many of my actions are in fact born of judgment–in other words, motivated by “I should.” Most of those lack both a sense of joy in the doing of them, and a clear outcome. So those two factors will also be a guide for me:

  • What is my desired outcome with this action?
  • And how can I experience joy in the process?

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Police closed off and evacuated my block today because a bomb was found in the parking garage behind my apartment building. (Read the details here.)

I’d left early in the morning and saw the street closed, but I didn’t think it was anything more than a street closure until I tried to return later that morning. Once I’d heard the details, I knew it would be an all day thing. So there I was, unable to get back to my apartment and office which contained everything I needed to be productive.

And it was perfect.

Coming off the heals of yesterday’s observation about the anxiety-filled middle ground between relaxation and productivity, I saw this as an opportunity to let go and relax. I literally could not be productive. What was I going to do, worry about all the things I couldn’t accomplish that afternoon?

So I called a friend who agreed to play hooky from work, and we spent all afternoon at the movies. I can’t tell you how amazing it was. Most of the time when I’m watching a movie, there’s a part of me that’s thinking about what else I could be doing. A part of me that’s running an opportunity cost calculation, comparing the movie with whatever else I could have spent the time doing. Needless to say, I don’t enjoy most of the movies I see.

But today was different. One of the movies we saw, Tropic Thunder, was complete crap…and I enjoyed every second of it. I don’t remember thinking even once that I could or should be doing something else. I was there in the experience, free of judgment. That’s it, really. It’s the judgment that was missing. What I’m realizing now as I write this is that I have a habit of judging myself about how I’m choosing to use my time.

Judgment is a key player in whether I experience life as heaven or hell.

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Today was another Sunday in hell. Of my own creation, of course. I was torn between wanting the day off to relax and wanting to use the time to work on some projects. So I spent the day wanting, and not experiencing much relaxation or productivity.

The worst part is that when I’m like this, I’m not appreciating the people I’m with or the environment I’m in. That’s why I sometimes don’t remember things and I leave friends exclaiming with exasperation, “You don’t remember that? But you were there!” Actually, I wasn’t because I was in my head in the future.

(Note: The past few hours were peaceful and productive because I finally became conscious of the hell I was creating.)

This is related to my tendency to hold on to things, mentally and physically. Case in point: A friend was purging his movie collection and gave me some videos he thought I might like to see. Very thoughtful, yes. But I hung on to them more out of a sense of obligation than sincere interest. So they became 10 more things to add to my to-do list. Crazy, right?

But it’s the mental clutter that really wears me down. The perfectionism and dozens of ideas that are the source of so much anxiety.

So the best thing for my productivity this week is to practice releasing my attachment to as much clutter (mental and physical) as possible. That will be what I watch for.

And I’ve already packed up those videos to donate to Goodwill!

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