Preparing For Love

I have a confession to make. I’m a Mind Body Green junkie. Every time I have a free moment, I check my Feedly reader to see if anything new has been posted to the site. Whenever I find an article that really speaks to me, I bookmark it right there in Feedly. I also, from time to time, accidentally hit the bookmark tab on my touch screen while trying to open an article, so not everything in my “saved for later” file was put there on purpose. That’s okay—it keeps things interesting when I go back to take another look.

This morning, I scanned my “saved for later” articles hoping to find something inspiring. I landed on an article posted on July 20th, 2014—11 Steps To Prepare You For The Greatest Love Of Your Life.  I don’t know for certain if this was one of those articles I saved on purpose, or if it was filed there as a result of a slip of my finger. I’m guessing it was an accident because I don’t recall being in that headspace last summer. In fact, if memory serves me, I think I thought love sucked then.  By the way, I don’t feel that way anymore. I now genuinely want to find the greatest love of my life.

What fascinated me when I (re)discovered the article was that I am, in fact, very deliberately practicing all 11 steps. Is this a coincidence, or did the advice seep into my subconscious?

Earlier this year, I made a firm decision to stop settling—I don’t mean just in relationships, I mean in everything. I decided that I was ready to step up my game and claim, for myself, more of what I truly crave. I got darn good at letting go of all the crap that’s been holding me back. I’m done with waiting for someone, something, or some situation to come along to make things better. I finally really understand that I attract everything that comes my way. I truly get that I need to live in a way, and think of myself in a way that matches all of my deepest desires. I’m doing my best to be happy with what I’ve got right now, and to create a welcoming space for more great things to come my way in the future. My process is shockingly similar to steps outlined in the MBG article.

The 11 steps to prepare you for the greatest love of your life, as prescribed by Dr. Naomi Pabst, are:

  1. Be your best self.
  2. Create a life you adore.
  3. Get your affairs in order.
  4. Enthusiastically invite in love and partnership!
  5. Open to the mystery of life.
  6. Remember the purpose of a relationship is to love and be loved.
  7. Take care of yourself.
  8. Put your past in the past.
  9. If you’re a woman, cultivate your feminine qualities.
  10. Be soul-led.
  11. Exude mad, passionate love of self.

If you’d like to read what else the author has to say about each of the 11 steps, click here to go to the article.


For day 17 of The Daily Post’s Writing 101.

Look at the stream of tweets you’ve favorited over time. Why did you favorite a particular tweet?

I used bookmarked blog articles instead of tweets for today’s inspiration.

Public vs. Private

I think it’s fair to say that most (possibly all) people behave differently behind closed doors. For instance, if you saw what I was wearing around the house yesterday, you’d still be laughing. I bet you, too, do many things in private that you would not do in front of an audience.

For day 16 of The Daily Post’s Writing 101, participants were asked to consider the question:

If you were forced to make your blog private, would that affect your writing?

Yes. I know for certain that it would. I do write privately, and there are sharp contrasts between what I put out into the world and what I hide.

style

The writing I share with others is tidier than the writing I keep to myself. I try not to ramble for others. I don’t want bore my readers with irrelevant details and too many words.  It’s a practice that I should adopt for my private writing too.

context

When writing for others, I often feel I must include backstory. It’s not an issue when I’m writing for my eyes only.

feelings, oh-oh-oh, feelings

I don’t shy away from writing about my feelings, but there is a difference between what I write for myself, and what I choose to share with others. I use my private writing to decipher and digest my feelings—I use my public writing to share and release them.

protecting others

When I write about others publicly, I sensor myself (to varying degrees depending on who and what I’m writing about). I want to respect the privacy and reputation of others—that often means I must omit details from my story. When I write privately, I can say what ever the heck I want about others.

secrets

We all have secrets, don’t we? You won’t find them in my public writing.

 

Having said all that, I do blog publicly mainly for my own amusement.  It exercises different writing muscles than my private scribbles. If others enjoy it, that’s icing on the cake.

A Room Without Books

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

— Marcus Tullius Cicero

I don’t like to keep books on display.  A collection of books, in my eyes, looks junky. It reads as clutter. I keep all of mine on the far end of the highest shelf in my bedroom closet.

My current paper library consists of 23 books. That’s it! Most of the time, as soon as I finish a book, it gets passed on to someone else who may enjoy it. Occasionally, I will read a book I absolutely love, and know for certain that I will want to read it again and again—the “keepers” go on my out-of-the-way shelf. 

At the start of the year, I decided that it was time to edit my library. My goal is to reread everything on that shelf and, if I don’t still love it, it goes. So far, I’ve reread about a dozen of those books. Only 3 of the ones I’ve revisited made the cut. The rest were donated to charity, or thrown in the recycling.

Thanks to digital books, I read a lot more than I used to. Now that I don’t have to think about where to neatly tuck away the books I take home, I don’t hesitate to buy them, or to borrow them from my local library’s ebook collection. And you know what? I like reading on an electronic device better than a traditional book. My Kobo Touch is lighter and easier to hold than a book, I can adjust the font size, and it’s not backlit—it reads like paper.

I’m pretty sure that Marcus Tullius Cicero would not feel at home in my space. I certainly would not have felt at home in his. I wonder what he would think of e-readers?


For day 15 of The Daily Post’s Writing 101, I chose one of the four passages included in the assignment email as my jumping off point.

The Switch

“This feels so wrong,” said Phoebe.

“Relax, sis. Nobody will ever know the difference,” Melanie assured her.

“I look like a whore!”

“You look exactly like me, when I’m not sick as a dog, that is. Are you saying that I look like a whore?”

“When you go out looking like this, yeah, you do. For the love of God, Melanie, it’s the middle of the day! Must you make me show off so much flesh?”

“You’re such a prude, Phoebe. Just go! The wallet with all of my ID is in the purse on the kitchen counter. You probably should take my car too. The keys are hanging at the door.”

***

Phoebe nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard the siren. A quick glance in the rearview mirror confirmed what she had feared. Those red and blue lights were for her.

“Umm. Hello. Umm. Umm. Licence and registration please,” said the officer, who was clearly distracted by Phoebe’s breasts.

Shaking from head to toe, Phoebe fumbled around for the documents, and handed them to the officer.

“You seem a little nervous today, Melanie. Where are you off to and why were you driving 35 in a 70km/h zone?”

When she realized she handed him her twin’s driver’s licence, she began to cry. Between her sobs explained to the officer that she was on her way to the polling station, and she was taking her time getting there because she didn’t yet know who to vote for. “It’s such an important decision, you know. I have to be sure,” she said.

 The police officer did his very best to console her, and then he sent her on her way.

***

“Where have you been? It’s nearly midnight,” said Melanie.

“It’s been a rough day. I needed a drink. And another. And another. And another.”

“But you don’t drink.”

“I do now!”

“Where’s my car?”

“Bob’s Tavern.”

“Did you vote?”

“Yup!”

“Thanks, sis! I knew you could pull it off!”

“Oh, you’re very welcome! And by the way, YOU, voted for Harper and YOU have a date with a bald 300 pound police officer this weekend.”


For day 14 of The Daily Post’s Writing 101—Recreate a single day.

…let’s try something new: write a post that takes place during one single day.

Also for Andy Townend’s Dark | Side | Thursday.

I Always Wake Up

Have you ever been driving downhill when all of a sudden, you discover that your breaks don’t work? Do you know what it feels like to push the petal to the floor and feel no resistance? I’ve been in that situation many times.  Nothing catastrophic has ever happened to me or my car—I always wake up before the crash.

Have you ever been shot? I have—again and again.  For me, it feels hot where the bullet pierces the skin. Then, the heat slowly radiates through my body from the entry point. I’ve never once had a bullet removed—I always wake up before medical attention arrives.

Have you ever found yourself on a set of poorly engineered stairs? Man, it’s frustrating when I can’t get from one landing to the next, or if suddenly the stairs reverse direction! At least once a month I end up stuck on a set of badly built stairs, until, of course, I wake up.

Have you ever walked into a house thinking it will be small, but find that it goes on and on and on? I love when that happens. It’s such a treat to keep discovering new rooms and all the treasures inside them. It sort of feels unreal. And then, as always, I wake up and discover that it really wasn’t real.

Do you ever have to pee really, really, really bad and every bathroom you find is either totally disgusting, or exposed to public view? This is almost a daily occurrence for me. It’s infuriating! Thankfully, it always works out in the end—I wake up and I get to use my own clean bathroom.

By any chance, are you too still enrolled in high school 25 years after graduation? If so, do you always forget to show up until the day of your final exam, and are you wearing clothes when you get there? Oh, man, every time I show up naked for my final I swear to myself that I’m not going to sign up for another year. I don’t have to be there, I’ve already got my diploma, but for whatever reason, I keep going back for one more year. It’s too much stress! By the way, all that worrying about being unprepared is never necessary—I always wake up before I have to write the exam. 

No friggin’ wonder I feel so bloody exhausted every morning!



For day 13 of The Daily Post’s Writing 101—Compose a series of vignettes.

Today, tell a story through a series of vignettes (short, episodic scenes or anecdotes) that together read as variations on the same theme. They can each be as short or long as you see fit — they don’t have to be the same length — but they need a common feature to tie them together, whether it’s a repeated phrase, a similar setting, or the appearance of the same person.

 

Daybreak

“Damn those birds”, she groaned, as she fumbled for her phone to dismiss the chirping. 

The cat at her feet let out a sigh, and covered his eyes with his paw.

Trying not to further aggravate the cat, she slowly reached for her journal and began to write. “Mornings suck…”


A 50 word story for day 12 of The Daily Post’s Writing 101—play with word count.

Writing Breaks

Before climbing into bed last night, I did one last email check. The Daily Post’s Writing 101 assignment for today, day 11, was in my inbox. It sort of threw me for a loop. I didn’t “get it”. My take on the subject is almost the exact opposite.

As much as we love to write, it’s important to take breaks — to live your life and have new experiences, and to reflect and recharge so you can come back to your desk, ready to hit the keyboard again. Not writing allows you to gain the distance from your words, and thus perspective, which are both needed when it’s time to edit.

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?

I may be in the minority here on the WordPress platform in that I don’t consider myself to be a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing, but I’m not a writer.

Writing is a break from my life, it is not my life. It’s one of the things I do to reflect and recharge so that I can go back to the everyday with a clearer mind and more objectivity. Writing helps to keep me balanced.

When I write, things that didn’t make sense suddenly do. When I write, I solve problems. When I write, I discover my true feelings. I have similar experiences when I run, when I garden, and when I shower. They are all replenishing time-out activities.

If writers need an escape from their craft, I don’t ever want to be a writer.

30 Days Of Self Care—Day 30

IMG_3425

Yesterday, before I was put out of commission by the worst headache ever, I was listening to a podcast at work. If I could remember what the podcast was, I’d link to it, but for the life of me I can’t recall it. Anyway, during the podcast the host asked her guest if he had ever read the book “Chi Running”. The title was familiar to me, but it took a moment for it to register that I own the book. I never did finish it.

During the last week of my last cat’s life, she spent a lot of time on my bed. I knew her days were numbered, so I played hookie from work and stayed by her side all day and all night. While she was sleeping, I would read “Chi Running”. She died (in the vet’s office) before I got all the way through the book. That was nearly six years ago, and I have not yet been able to continue reading it without her.

In the last 30 days, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about going back to the gym. Earlier this year, I was advised by two doctors to quit running and heavy weight training, and, perhaps, try something “easier”. I’m not the type of person who can go to the gym and have a leisurely workout. When I’m there, I’m there for two hours giving it all I’ve got. Every day that I workout, I’m on a mission to do better than the day before. This was putting “too much” stress on my body, and throwing my already unbalanced hormones further out of whack.

I’m doing better with the hormonal thing these days. In general, I’m handling all stress much better. I think I’m ready to test the waters again. I’ve decided to get a one month gym membership. If I can make it to the end of the month without crying all the time, I’ll try a 3 month membership, but, if at the end of the month, I’m once again a big snotty mess, I’ll do as the specialist suggested, and give yoga another try. I really hope this trial goes well. I do not enjoy yoga. Not even a little bit.

Getting back to the book I mentioned above. I took it off the shelf a while ago and put it in my night stand. I will get back to it right after I finish The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I know my furry little girl will be with me in sprit.

For tonight, I will be mapping out my fitness goals, and trying to figure out how to fit gym time back into my daily schedule.

Did you do anything to care for yourself today? If so, tell me about it in the comments below.