Walking the Inner Balance Beam

My life is shifting in some big and rather wonderful ways, on a lot of fronts. I will hopefully be able to get more into specifics on that in my next post, but basically, if I can focus myself and keep really organized, I can make full use of the opportunities that life is thrusting at me. And I want to. I’ve made vast organizational strides the past couple of weeks. I’ve also set myself back on a regular creative schedule. And I’ve carved out quality family time too. But now, my brain is rebelling, in a very self-sabotaging way.

Internally, I am a creature of contradictions, a walking oxymoron. Hot-blooded and passionate and emotional while simultaneously cold and logical. Wanting order and structure and everything in it’s proper place in my daily life but needing mess and chaos to create (seriously, when I paint or draw, smudges always end up on my face, and when I bake, flour gets everywhere). Craving a sense of belonging while needing my independence. Knowing basic truths – about myself, those I’m connected with, and all of humanity – through my intuition but questioning the validity of that truth since I lack hard facts to back up the intuition. Empathetic and caring until I get overloaded and then I have to step back, so I send mixed signals to others and end up feeling as though I’m separated in a bubble of my own creation. Highly sexual and sensual but with a strong moral compass and also exuding purity to the point of almost having a Snow White effect on animals and children (and some adults). Business-oriented but with the need for regular playtime. Feeling confident in my abilities while feeling that confidence waver if I don’t get positive feedback. Wanting to nurture and love while also wanting to aggressively go after what I want in life. The artist constantly struggling with the intellectual. And so these contradictions battle for control, and I’ve struggled to find and maintain balance and usually successfully walk the line. With the new position and path I’ll be taking, though, all of these mental struggles are rising to the surface.

But it’s not just the inner balancing act that needs to happen, but the outer as well. Because I don’t live by myself, but in a family, and beyond that, in a community. So how does one decide what to give and what to take? How much can a person love and nurture and support others until they wind up being taken advantage of? How much can someone carve out time for themselves at the expense of others before it becomes selfish? And are those questions answered differently depending on who you talk to? And it’s when I get to this point that I realize my focus is gone and I want to just stop thinking for a while and retreat to my inner realms of fancy, which if I linger too long in, causes me stress and exhaustion down the road.

But I had an amazing realization last month and that is this: I am no longer afraid of myself and my potential power for change. It was a huge moment that began growing from a meditation last September, and it caused some shaky times in the following weeks as I readjusted to my new self-view. I accomplished my 2014 self-improvement goal, though, which was to learn to move despite my fear, and the world has now opened up a new path for me. I will not allow myself to throw these opportunities away or trap myself in old patterns of doubt and self-debasement, and instead will learn to balance everything with grace and strength.

The real trick is now that I no longer fear myself, I have to learn to trust myself, even with all of the inner dualities. That’s going to take a little more work.

On Writing and Creative Endeavors in General

I recently saw a production of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit”, and one throwaway line has haunted me.  The medium is asked if she is working on any writing at the moment, and she replies “Every morning, 7 to 1, regular as clockwork.”

Six HOURS daily to write!  Tonight, I wrote for an hour and fifteen minutes, and I found myself so easily distracted because I’m not used to having that amount of time to dedicate.  But SIX HOURS EVERY SINGLE DAY.  What couldn’t I accomplish if I had six hours every day to work on my creative goals, plus an hour maybe to exercise?

Aside from school, though, I’ve never had that time to commit.  And one could argue that school doesn’t really count because then you are doing what other people want you to do for the sake of education.  The projects may contain your life’s blood, but probably not the very essence of your soul.

I will continue to carve out the time I can to work on my creative projects, and I hope that someday I too can say I spend six hours a day writing or painting or making music or making things with my hands for other people to buy and love, and that the rest of my day is spent with my family, helping my son and any future children to grow into wonderful human beings, cooking nourishing food, maybe time to nurture myself a little along the way with meditation and exercise and relaxing with a good book.  It’s a beautiful dream.  I hope we get there some day.

Writing cycle has been broken!

Today I wrote TRIPLE the amount of words that I’ve been wont to do recently.  My concentration is getting better!  Woo hoo!  Now I just need to triple the tripling, and I’ll be in business.  :-p

And as a side, how do you all deal with the siren pull of the internet and social networking?  Do you make yourself write first and then browse, or do you have to get your browsing out of the way and then write?  I write first, and then let myself browse, but then sometimes I get pulled away from writing sooner than I should.  I would like to just designate certain times for each and say that while I’m writing, I am not to touch the internet.  I just don’t know if I can stick to that rule.

Writing Confessions

Confession: I have a hard time keeping deadlines that I set for myself.  Meeting contracted obligations are no problem at all, but meeting the deadlines I set for myself are next to impossible for me.  Maybe I need to write myself contracts?

I was supposed to have finished “The Cephalopod Maid” Friday.  Then I was supposed to have finished it today.  But I am having a really difficult time keeping focused for longer periods of writing time.  I had gotten so used to carving out 100 words here, 300 words there, 500 words on an absolutely glorious writing day that now that I have an hour or more to write every day, I let myself get distracted after only a few paragraphs.  Not good, so not good.

But I will get used to the shift.  I’ll finish this story, because I’m really enjoying the two main characters.  Maybe it will lead to a longer story with them down the road.  And I’ll get my daily wordcount higher.  My brain will adjust to focusing for longer periods on writing again. I can’t beat myself up too much.  Well, I can, but there’s no reason to… this time.