Tag Archives: meditation

Just start

Staring at a blank page is a scary thing. Lately, thinking of even opening a blank page is scary. Why is that?

Writing is hard, says the voice in my head.

What goes on inside the mind on those days (weeks, months) when nothing seems to connect? What is the mind seeking? What does the mind fear? What prevents the connections of creativity from coming together?

It is that the mind is seeking that is the problem. Stop seeking and just write.

Positive thinking is helpful. Don’t get stuck in a rut in the first place is also helpful. But what if I can’t avoid it?

What if the ideas aren’t flowing when I sit down to write? What if the fear engulfs me and I can barely breathe? What if just remembering all those techniques that I know will help is what the mind is struggling with?

What if you just start anyway?

Ha! If you can just start anyway, you’re a step ahead of me. But wait, I did just start. I’m writing right now.

So it is the negative thoughts that hold me back? If I had just thought positively about my experience of writing, if I had just let myself feel the joy I get from writing, I would have started so much earlier? Is that how it works? Nah. Too simple. I’ve been fighting this for weeks.

Develop a habit, then.

Develop a habit? Like, get up 10 minutes earlier every morning and open my notebook and take my pen in hand and put it on the page and just let the words flow out of me whatever they are?

Yes. Don’t write when you have something to say. Don’t wait for an idea or a reason to write. And don’t expect to share it or publish it. Just write because you like to write.

But what if I want to share it? What if my aim is to have a blog filled with interesting and witty pieces that others enjoy reading?

That will come.

What if it doesn’t?

Do you think not writing will give you the result you’re seeking?

No, obviously. But…

‘What ifs’ and ‘buts’ are your enemy. Name them. Invite them in and sit with them. They will reveal themselves to you as the very demons that hold you back and keep you down. You will not enjoy their company for long. When you have had enough of them, ask them politely to leave. They have no place here. You are too busy writing.

So, I should meditate on this? Spend some time in quiet reflection, sitting with my demons, letting them in, experiencing their company so that I can know them?

Yes.

But that’s as hard as writing. I sit every morning and the most I’ve accomplished is a series of loving kindness meditations to help like myself better.

That’s a start. It’s important to like yourself. But you’re listening to someone else tell you how to like yourself. Have you sat in silence and listened for your voice?

Do you mean, have I listened for you? Who are you?

I am you.

Then why are you so calm? Why aren’t you always freaking out about everything that needs to get done and all the time on this earth that you’re wasting because you can’t get out of your own way?

I live in a different world. I am internal. You, I really, have crafted a world where I exist as a writer. Where I meditate daily and for long stretches until I am ready to get off the cushion, where I write uninterrupted and with passion whenever I feel like writing, which is often. This is a world where I’m not torn in different directions by outside forces. I live in a world where everything is perfectly aligned with my goals to create.

That sounds wonderful. Can I come in?

No. You are us in the external world. You have competing priorities and many other benefits in your world: family, friends, work, entertainment, nature, beauty. Do not wish to leave those things. They are inspiring.

But all that distraction kills my writing.

No, it doesn’t. You must look at it as inspiring. You have seen this before. You have connected two ideas in a book you have read with an article you found online and it inspired you to write for hours. Do you remember?

Yes, that was a creativity charged moment. I felt so alive!

You can feel that again. But you must first sit quietly with why you are not doing that. I understand you’re busy. That’s why I suggested the writing habit. It’s boring and routine, but necessary when you live out there.

You’re right. Of course you are. Sounds like you have time to figure these things out. I wish I did.

You will figure it out as you write. Just start.

The tsunami off the coast

For about three weeks now, I’ve been feeling the slight rumblings of what I think will be something terrible.

It’s like the ground is shaking ever so slightly, almost imperceptibly and very deep down.

I can feel the tilt in my world; not noticeable enough for anyone else to feel it. No one is asking if I’m OK. But I know it’s coming.

It’s far off the coast right now, roiling and boiling in its darkness. It’s deep; it’s dark; it will be all-encompassing when it comes. It will move things that I have put in place and wash away things that I need to have. It will probably flatten me and drag me around and injure me and suck me under.

It starts small. A forgotten task on a to-do list. A chore that I keep putting off. Later mornings, sleepless nights. Ignored reminders and skipped meditations. More junk food and less good food.

The bad habits creep back. The good habits start to slide. I spend more time angry and negative and less time upbeat and hopeful.

I can tell it’s coming by the books I choose to read: Atomic Habits by James Clear, Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson. I’m trying to ward off the storm. I’m trying to find my way back inland before the tidal wave hits the beach. I’m not succeeding.

I’m buried up to my knees in thick, wet sand and every step is a full-body effort. The fear that I won’t make it to high ground in time slows me down even more. It soaks through my brain like the spray from the ever more violent ocean. The tectonic plates that I can’t see, the ones that form a stable foundation for my ocean, are starting to shift and push against each other. They come alive in revolt because I’ve not been doing what I promised to do. I’ve not been building on my solid foundation. I’ve been tired and weak and whiny. I’ve been letting my foundation slip. And the slipping will cause a tsunami.

I see small breaks in the clouds as rays of sun shine on the dark ocean. They brighten those spots and I feel that if I can just get to them and bask in the sun for a bit, I can help calm the ocean before the tsunami builds way out there and crashes over me, dragging me around and tearing me away from solid ground.

The tsunami is coming.

But the tsunami can be calmed.

I will meditate every morning for at least 10 minutes right after I workout.

I will write one page every morning before I log in to my computer.

I will drink green or herbal tea instead of coffee after I have one coffee each day.

I will snack on fruits and veggies each day.

I can calm the tsunami.