Feel Alive!

Choose to be whomever you please; imaginary or real.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Always Arriving

Perhaps we're all riding our own wave, and meet at intersections. Points in space and time when we discover each other, for a short moment or a lifetime, where we notice each other and attend each other's mentality but eventually must fade back into our own. A big web, constantly flowing, arriving, leaving, witnessed, unnoticed.

"The idea is to remain in a constant state of departure, while always arriving". -- Boat Car Guy, Waking Life

Fuzzy

I'm going to begin with why.

Why has the magic of my youth faded away?
Why does the magic slowly fade, like a distant memory, like a lucid dream I swear could have been reality?
Why does my mind so drastically shift as I grow into adulthood (am I there yet)?
Why must the years erode my love for wonder,  my faith in the unknown, my trust in another?

Why why why? So many Whys.

It's like my surroundings solidify as I grow up. They're kind of transparent throughout my childhood, and become fuzzy as a young teenager, and for a while it seems I can shift and control that fuzziness and make it do whatever I want. I can enter it with my mind and my insides, I can blend in with the fuzzy and take a ride on the fuzzy waves.  But then I reach a point where it's all solid, suddenly, changing states from gaseous to liquid to solid in just a few years. The more dense the matter around me becomes, the more dense time becomes; it's more real, it takes more control over my life, and I have a hard time avoiding it. Time was spacious when I was growing up, and now it is this dense, solid, ticking-tocking sound, that guides me through my days.

Believing in the incredible has now become work. INCREDIBLE: Where our beliefs are suspended for a moment. Suspending the mind's understanding to give way to the heart and soul's understanding of the world. Believing in this unbelievable, in the incredible, brings about more mystery in my life, more unexplainable events. If I am aware of one mystery, I start to climb the ladder to the higher mysteries of life.

But no, I should not dare go up that ladder anymore. I may lose sight of the solid ground below my feet, my concrete goals, my vision for the grand scheme of my life!

There has to be a way to hold on to this solid while swimming in the current of the spacious particles. There has to be.

hunger

Tony Robbins, "Find what makes you feel alive. What makes you wake up in the morning excited. Tap into your drives. Find that HUNGER."


Monday, May 1, 2017

Temporary loss

We don't know what we're about to lose.
We're unaware of how attached we are, how dependent we truly are.

I suppose this is why we must lose it, so we may experience the awareness of not having. We get so comfortable with it by our side, we do not realize just how blessed we are.

At least he's coming back.
I didn't think I'd feel this way today, I thought I'd be a-okay, ready to go, keep trudging forward with work and focus focus focus. But my heart is heavy because he has gone, and will not return for some time. That time will surely be a mere flash ... but right now, it feels as though it could be an eternity away.

Miriam Sonstenes wrote a hauntingly pretty choral song about those you love leaving ...
https://soundcloud.com/cypress-choral-music/i-am-leaving?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=email

I am leaving I am leaving
Don't you cry it won't be long
I'll hold on to one sweet memory
Singin songs until the dawn

Take my hand it's getting late now
Sing a song to dry the tears
Still in dreams I will remember
All that we lost through the years

Can you still see the reflection
of the stars a rising high
On the river at midnight
Not a cloud in the sky

Though it's springtime you're still waiting
Plant the seed and watch it grow
Leave your fears they only bind you
You will reap just what you sow

I am leaving I am leaving
Don't you cry it won't be long
I'll hold on to one sweet memory
Singin songs until the dawn

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Nature and Choices

I've always wanted to be a little gardening bee. For some reason, it's always been very intimidating, until I landed where I live now, a beautiful property in Saanich which was once developed and came with a garden plot, a greenhouse, and almost all the tools I'd ever need to do it.

So this year I put on my dirty clothes and got out there.

Nothing's ever felt better. Springtime in this place is blowing my mind, showing me nature's patterns and reflecting on human nature at the same time. We're all quite predictable; I mean, we are all born, and then we die. We are on a life path of growth and knowledge and experience, and through all of it we trust our instincts and let our bodies do the work for us. Our mind likes to get in the way once in a while, but deep down we know exactly what to do when. We know when to bud, when to bloom, when to shed our leaves. It's so much fun seeing it outside of myself in my backyard, with all of these different species of trees and soon-to-be fruit-baring plants.

On a somewhat different note, yesterday I was listening to a great podcast about choices.

I think choices are what separate us humans from other lifeforms on this planet. We get to reflect, wonder, decide. What was interesting about this podcast was how we could go about making these decisions, whether they're really silly like choosing a meal at a restaurant or pasta sauce at the grocery store, or making a grander life decision like a career move or buying a home. I feel like I get paralyzed daily by forks in the road. Sure, what I choose will certainly affect my life and change me forever, but what I have to realize is that every single option is viable. Everything I could say yes to is a possibility which is, most of the time,  equally beneficial or will lead me down the "right" path.

Which is why we have to embrace the difficult task of decision-making. Decisions are something I'm getting better at over time, but have always struggled with. I usually choose the path of least resistance, but am finding now that this is the easy way out.  I should be doing what feels less natural to grow into the person I want to become. A stronger, more intelligent human making my own decisions, not letting form or availability guide me down a road I've travelled too often. This means going inward and really asking myself what I want and what this choice will teach me. Making a choice, even in a more mundane situation, means having more control over my life.

Even in the garden, choices are everywhere! If I'm the only one making the change happen, I constantly have to choose what, where, when. Nature sure is teaching me a lot.

Every day, we're asked questions. Every day, we have to make decisions. Isn't it more thrilling to choose the option you usually wouldn't?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Learning to Let Go


Balance.

Going for it, while going with the flow.

Understanding where you need to be, but not having to be there right away.

Finding focus, while remaining open to paths and alternative possibilities.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The motivation to do it

How do you get up in the morning? Do you bounce out of bed? Do you start humming your favourite tune on the way to the gym after a quick smoothie? Or is it more like a struggle, tossing and turning until you finally turn off the snooze button and make a cup of coffee, unsure of what the next step is?

I'm a little mix of both, depending on the day. Most days, it's pretty tough getting into something. If I'm about to do something exciting, or if it's a day "off" from everything I have to do, it's usually pretty easy. But uncertainty rules my days.

I figure many of us experience this, certainly those of us who work for ourselves, at home, making our own schedule. Here are some things I've learned to do when I want to clear my head and get moving.


1. Make a list and rough schedule the night before

If I can wake up and know exactly what I have to do, then I can get out of bed much more easily. Knowing what happens in my day before going to sleep means that I know how much time I have to spare or waste. Deadlines help me focus: finishing something is no longer just for me, it's for someone else, and making others happy makes me extremely happy. I like to use Google Calendar lately, and try to be as precise as possible.

2. Listen to Podcasts

I've recently got into podcasts like never before. I tried a few times in the past but was never interested until now. Finding the right podcast is crucial; I like to find ones which are uplifting, interesting, positive and filled with the wonders of the world. I want to know more about love, what great things people are doing in the world, and how ordinary folks like me got to where they are today. I highly recommend: On Being with Krista Tippett, Ted Radio Hour, and How I Built This.

3. Journaling or reading

If I've got too many things on the brain, getting started with work can be impossible. I need to dump my thoughts onto paper and clear clutter. Otherwise, sometimes it's about filling my brain with good, positive information so I'll go check out a few sites (for example, Behance, an inspiring portfolio site, helps me see what other artists are up to), pick up a good book, or listen to podcasts, as number 2 suggests.

4. Surround myself with my own work

As a freelance artist, it helps if I paste my own work all around me. In my little studio -- really, just a bedroom I took over which has a small table, a printer, and really bad lighting -- I decided to put some of my favourite previous work on display to remind me of what I love to do and why it feels good to finish projects. My current work is also on the walls, to see how much work has been completed to date, which helps me visualize timelines and feel great about getting things done (even if they're just small things).

5. Plan for exercise or fresh air

The thing I hate the most is having to be inside when there's a gorgeous blue sky calling me. If it's so distracting that my work ends up taking longer, I just go outside and take a walk or even take some of my work with me to a coffee shop. The first certainly means more productivity, but the second usually feeds my soul with some social interaction and people watching. Gotta do what feels right.

6. Fit meetings in throughout the week

If I am not drowning in work and deadlines, I like to have 2 or 3 days of meetings. Spreading them out makes me feel good: I like to get out of the house to talk about work, to stay inspired, to connect with my clients, and to keep the momentum going. After meetings I will usually get things done twice as quickly, since it's fresh in my mind and I feel what the client is looking for.

7. Don't beat yourself up

Since my artist brain is always turned on, it means that I am constantly "at work" in my mind. If I'm in my studio and things aren't coming out, it's frustrating. I end up sitting there for an hour, zoning out half the time and being frustrated from seeing no results. This is when I start beating myself up, and it's absolutely counter-productive. When this happens, I'm better off leaving the studio for an hour and getting rejuvenated with something like exercise, getting out of the house, talking to a friend, gardening, or going into town. No good work can come from ruminating, and beating myself up will get me nowhere fast.

8. Evening work

If I can't get anything done in the daytime for any reason, I like to set up in the evening. Evening time has a special feeling for me: it's dark, mysterious, and calm. I light some candles, find a way to do my work in the least amount of light as possible, and stay more focused. The only downside to evening work is that gatherings and events can at times creep up unexpectedly and they're hard to turn down. Working at night is absolutely my favourite.


And now, to work I go!