Wednesday, October 21, 2015

50,000 words

When I write I tend to censor myself, I don't mean edit, I censor myself.  I don't even allow certain ideas or words to be written down.  I am not just referring to my blog, it makes sense to censor what I put on the internet, I do this with my own journals and my personal writing.   I recently have made the commitment to stop censoring my self in my personal writing and I have found it difficult, at the same time I have also been surprised by how easily the words flow and how much more I want to write.  How much I have bottled up, that is waiting to just get out.  

I have been staring at a door for years, I have had people putting the door in front of me for years, peering into the doorway with people encouraging me and have never comitted to walking through.  This weekend I made a comittment to walk through that door, to dedicate myself to something and find out what it looks like.    I signed up to compete in a contest to write a novel in the month of November. To write at least 50,000 words.  This link will give you more information if you are interested:

So while I am brainstorming for my novel, I have also been practicing writing without censoring myself.  To get the words on the paper, to worry about the editting later, to see where my thoughts take me and let the story unfold.  

I shared the fact that I was doing this with a good friend and he was excited.  He wanted to sign up as well and make a pact to share the novel at the end of the month.  This terrified me even more, so maybe it is exactly what I need to do.

I was so disappointed I missed out on a conference featuring some of my favorite writers, and Adam has shared some of the talks that he recorded with me.  Adam kept saying I needed to be there, I needed to hear these authors say that people who write, have stories that the world needs to hear.  That people that tend to have anxiety and depression have voices that need to be heard, despite what the mind says.  

I decided to listen to the voices that are telling me to do this and find out what happens, instead of the voices that are telling me I have more "important" things to do and I don't have time to write.  Now I am deciding that writing is an important thing to do, and some of the dumb stuff I do is just going to be left out.  

Question to consider: What is something you tell yourself you don't have time to do, but really want to do?  Will join me in November and see what happens if you decide that is important?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A more complete vision

I was driving home from the doctor's office today and a movie that I saw a while ago came into my mind.   The movie really affected me at the time, and so I thought about writing a blog post about it.  When I got home I decided since it had been a while since I saw the movie, I wanted to look up a synopsis of it, just to sharpen my fuzzy memory.   Instead of a synopsis I clicked on a review.

The author of the review was not terribly impressed with the movie.  He talked about how the movie was predictable and unoriginal.  He also critized the actress, claiming that her beauty shown through the make-up, unkept hair and lighting and so it was difficult to believe her predictiment.  That comment got me thinking.

The idea that our beauty and spirit can still shine even when are not at our best.  Even when we put up walls, and shut down.  That what someone else sees might be a better representation of how we are capable of dealing with a difficult situation.  That other people see us as more then our biography, and whatever role we are acting out.

When I got sick in China, Adam came back to the room at one point to bring me some food, and he kept telling me how much better I looked after resting a little.  I gave all kinds of excuses about why it might appear that way.   Except maybe he was seeing the strength that I had to get better, maybe he was seeing ME, all of me and not just the sick part.   When I get sick I tend to zoom in, and think of myself in terms of the illness.  I think that there is nothing more to me, then the fact that I feel awful.   So I brushed off Adam's compliment as pity.   Maybe he just was seeing me as a complete picture, someone that is capable of getting better and thriving again.   

The spirit is there to take care, so maybe the next time someone tells you how good you look, even when you don't feel like it, LISTEN.   It might just be the voice that tells you, it is going to be okay, and you are bigger then this current obstacle.  Now to see if I can practice my own advice!

Question to consider: Do you accept compliments easily or do you tend to brush them off?

Friday, October 9, 2015


This morning I had a few moments when I felt like "myself" again.  So I looked around for something to do and after putting in a load of laundry I sat down in front of my ipad to color.  I have been watching some talks on vulnerability, so I decided to put those on while I colored dragons.   

I loved coloring as a child, I was never very good at drawing, I loved to color.  To add something to someone else's work, to have the freedom to decide if if was the clouds or the sky.   To watch a black and white drawing that already had so much life change and evolve.  When I first bought this coloring book, Adam had to talk me into it.  The drawings are so spectacular, that I was worried about ruining the art.   I didn't want to make a mistake, the art kept calling to me though.   So I finally started, just by coloring the trees, and watched the art evolve and the lines tell me what to color and what to leave.   

I got stuck with frustration of not having the colors I wanted, and not having the skill to mix the colors properly to get the exact color I wanted the castles to be.  Finally I just started testing colors, and saw new possiblities.   

As I continue to work my way through this coloring book I am completely intimidated by all the blank space, by the artist that created the work, and I feel small.  I wonder how I can possibly add to the picture.   

So I look at what the artist himself wrote:  "Color it in.  Don't color it in.  Make Mistakes.  Make it your own."  

Everytime I sit down to color, I read those words, and when I worry about making a mistake, I say them outloud.  Because as I color I am practicing being kind and gentle with myself.  I am practicing being creative and falling down and learning to pick myself up.   I am learning to zoom out and expand.  I am remembering what it was like to be a child.

Question to consider: What simple things did you love as a child?   Can you find some time to add those things back into your life?  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Looking for the Moon in China

I recently got back from a 14 day trip to China, and the last night in Bejing I went for a walk.   I was sick at the end of the trip and had spent a lot of time by the window of my hotel room, coloring, reading, resting and watching the city.    That last night however I wasn't able to settle down and get to sleep, so I went for a walk.

I was just after the full moon, so I walked around the hotel looking for the moon.   I wasn't able to see it, maybe the smog or clouds covered it, maybe it was still low on the horizon and so the buildings blocked it out of view.  I felt small walking around  this giant city, listening to the chatter around me and looking for the moon.

I was out long enough to realize I didn't need to see the moon, I just wanted to be that person staring up at the moon in awe.   I went to a commencement once where Rodulfo Anaya was the speaker.  I have never forgotten what he said about New Mexicans.  He said that New Mexicans have this need to seek out natural beauty, whether it is just glimpsing the moon between buildings in a large city, we seek it out.   Growing up surrounded by so much natural beauty, gives us a craving to find it no matter where we are.   I believe looking for the natural beauty in life is what returns me to childhood, because I grew up hiking and playing in the mountains, watching gorgeous sunsets and dancing in the rain.   Part of my childlike nature is to appreciate the beauty around me, to stand there in awe.

I don't know if this is something unique to New Mexicans, I have met so many people that look for natural beauty.  Maybe we are all just looking for out childhood again when everything was new and magical.  

Question of the day: What brings you back to your childhood?   Where is the magic in your daily life?