Salt Water

I have a routine I follow with some fair regularity, and it includes going to the gym a few mornings a week. But a couple of weeks ago, I was really having a week. And on my way to the gym on Thursday morning, I stopped at Playa Cochles.

cochles

When I pulled my bike over, I thought I’d just stop for a moment, take a breath, and keep going. But that first breath of fresh beach air felt so good that I took another, and then another. Then I got off my bike, locked it to a tree, and sat down on the beach, just a few feet from the water’s edge.

I’ve wanted to do this so many times before – I ride back and forth by this beach ten times a week. But stopping always felt so…indulgent. I mean, I have a plan. I’m going to the gym. I can’t just not go to the gym and to go the beach instead.

It’s ridiculous. I know. But that’s how I felt. Until that morning a couple of weeks ago.

I sat there on that beach without one iota of guilt in my bones about skipping the gym to just sit there.

That was unusual. And amazing. And freeing.

I sat on that empty beach just enjoying the sound of the ocean for about 25 minutes before it felt like the sun was burning right through me.

So I went for a swim.

There is something about being in the ocean when you’re not having a good day that just makes it a good day. I once read that there isn’t any problem that salt water can’t fix: sweat, tears or the ocean. And that is the damn truth if I ever heard it.

I was gifted with all three that morning.

And it was so healing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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100 Moments of Gratitude

Centenarian birthday candles spell out '100'

WordPress is telling me that this is my 100th post.  In almost five years, I’ve managed to sit down and write something on this blog 10o times.  For some people, that won’t seem like a lot. But for me, it is.  It could have been more.  It could have been less.  But I made it to 100.  Each word I put down here has been one less word, one less worry, one less burden to carry on my own.  Here, I can lay them down and let them be.  I can come back to them if I need to, but the words, the worries, the burdens, aren’t mine to carry alone anymore.

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You wanna be startin’ somethin’

http://filthyskins.blogspot.ca/2012/08/art-yo-art.html

Since graduating from university 12 years ago, I’ve had six unique jobs in four different industries.  And I’ve loved them all for their own reasons.  All this variety has limited my depth in each industry, but has given me a breadth and a set us transferrable skills that I know will continue to serve me well.

But, there has been something missing in all of these areas – art.  They all involved working with different people, working on different projects and stepping outside my comfort zone to some degree, but none of them involved art.  And don’t give me that blah blah “you can find art in anything” blah blah.  The industries were health care, banking, government and property management.  I found fun and learning in all of them, but not art.

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You look like an artist

Over my 35+ years, many people have graciously said all kinds of nice things to me.  Things like, “You look pretty today” or “I love your scarf” or, more recently, ” I really like your writing.”  That’s one of my favourites.  I also love, “Thank you for helping me”, not because I thrive on that acknowledgement, but because it is nice to know that I was there for someone when they needed it.  That means the world to me.

I don’t usually hold up a compliment for too long when I get one.  I usually savour it for a few sweet moments, then store them deep inside in a little gratitude box in my heart.  I don’t wear them loudly, but I never discard them either.  I go back to them when I need to, but usually they stay safely tucked away, never to be lost.

But there is one that keeps bubbling back up – one I can’t just tuck away.  It gives me a secret thrill every time.

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My practice to develop my practice.


So it’s Day 5 of November, and that means Day 5 of NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month.

I’ve tried this before, and have been unsuccessful.  But this is a new year, a new November, and I’m at it again.

I know several people who are attempting NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month, and I admire their insanity.  50,000 words in a month?  That’s almost 1700 words a day.  (Thank you Dashboard calculator.)  I’m lucky if I can get 500, so I really admire those who are going full-on.  But if I can do 30 posts in 30 days, it will be more writing in one month than I’ve ever done in any month before, and I will consider it a great accomplishment.

Writing is something I have always struggled with.  I haven’t struggled with actually writing – there are always words, and sometimes, they’re even strung together well.  But I’ve struggled with the practice of writing.

And a practice it is.  Or should be.  As with anything else one wants to do well in life, consistency is the key.  And that’s what I’ve been missing.  I’ve not had that in my writing, or in too many other areas of my life.

But 30 days would be consistent.  If it takes 21 days to form a habit, what can I form in 30?  I’m aiming for a practice.

So this is my practice to develop my practice.

There are several things I have implemented to do this, but the most important one is to turn the tv off.

These days, after Amira goes to bed, it is so easy to zone out in front of the tv for a couple of hours before going to bed.  The days are long, and I’m always so tired.  But the simple act of turning the tv off is such a freedom – all of a sudden, there is time to do other things!  The energy to do them is another story, but that’s where having a practice comes in.  And I’m not doing an Ironman Triathalon here, I’m writing a blog post.  I can summon the energy to do this.

And I want to.  I truly want to.  I know what comes with a diligent, consistent practice.  Improvement.  And I’m looking for that more than anything.

And so it’s Day 5.  And I write.

Be –> Do –> Have

A couple of years ago, I took a self-development class that introduced me to the concept that people live their lives with a Have –> Do –> Be mentality.  This idea really hit home for me.  I saw in this simple concept the way I had approached writing my whole life.

When I HAVE the right desk, I will WRITE (DO), and then I will BE a writer.

When I HAVE the right computer, I will WRITE, and then I will BE a writer.

When I HAVE the time, I will WRITE, and then I will BE a writer.

When I HAVE the life of a writer, I will WRITE, then I will BE a writer.

And it wasn’t always about writing.  It also meant:

When I have no more fear, I will share my music, and then I will be a musician.

When I have some inspiration/time/ideas/whatever, I will do that thing I want to do (sing/write/dance/etc) and then I will be what I want to be (musician/writer/dancer/artist/happy…)

I spent my whole life waiting for inspiration to strike and fear to dissipate.  I thought when those things had been achieved, I would do what I always wanted to do, and be what I always wanted to be.

But in that class, I got clear that you be who you want to be, do the things that person does, and then have the life you want.  Not the other way around.  It was time to stop waiting for time/inclination/inspiration, and just be.  And do.  And then I would have.

So now I’m not waiting to have a writer’s life to write.

I am a writer.  So I write.  And that’s what gives me a writer’s life.

I am a musician.  So I write and play music.  And I have a musician’s life.

I’m not waiting around for inspiration to strike and lead me to the life I want anymore.  This concept gave me the access to design the life I want, not wait for the life I want to happen to me.  Artistry and joy and freedom are not dependant on outside influences or resources.  It’s all at my fingertips.  It’s not what I have, it’s who I be.  It’s up to me.

It’s not Have –> Do –> Be.

It’s Be –> Do –> Have.

BE who you want to be.  DO what you want to do.  HAVE the life you’ve always dreamed.