Thursday, May 13, 2010

Here I go!


May 13, 2010; 7:37 PM

Wow, so I might as well come right out and say it: Sitting down and writing tonight is a difficult thing. I want to and I don't want to.

I finished teaching at 6:30 and reflected today on some things that happened earlier in the day, while preparing my simple (microwave) dinner. And then I decided to treat myself to a TV break. So, I went upstairs with my meal and I started watching the final episode of Jamie Oliver's “Food Revolution”. . . Awesome show, by the way. Awesome, but not what I felt I should be doing. No. What I should be doing is writing, I felt this.

Let me take a step back. Starting with this morning. When I woke up, as part of my daily “routine”, I used my little computer program that tells me my destiny card for the day. Here was today's:

The Nine of Diamonds is often associated with financial losses of one kind or another but its true meaning is that of a completion in regards to some values that we have been holding. For this reason, it could be an indicator of the ending of a certain kind of work that you have been doing for a long time, or the ending of a certain pursuit. This could be the pursuit of some financial goal, some relationship, or some other 'thing' that is valued.

When money does seem to be lost under the Nine of Diamonds, keep in mind that this is just the preparation for a new cycle of incoming money. Sometimes we need to spend some money to stimulate more to come in.

“Hmm, well, that doesn't sound too great,” I thought. “Haven't I been dealing enough with losing students, and the income that come with them, already? Let me hope this is wrong.” But, as always, I was also curious to see if anything would come of this, as I very often see the Destiny Card theme play out, emotionally and otherwise, over the course of the day.

Later in the day, I did lunch with Keith. (We had rescheduled his lesson for the week to be today, rather than tomorrow, and to be preceded by lunch.) I was in an interesting frame of mind—riding pretty high, I guess you could say—and didn't have a lot of tolerance for his semi-pre-scripted tales, but rather than come up with my own things to say (too much work), I would act goofy, and gear my energy towards bursting Keith's bubble. Which, I have to say, I was occasionally successful at, due to my overwhelming persistence and audacity. (How long can you keep seriously rambling if someone is poking you in the nose or staring cryptically at you through their water glass. Okay, childish, I know, but effective.)

His vocal lesson was also geared in a somewhat unusual way. Rather than focusing on technique, and starting with the usual warmups, etc., we spent the whole time going over instrumentals + vocals for a new song that he chose—Gary Jules' version of “Mad World”.

And then, at the end of the lesson, Keith stepped out of student mode into friend-advisor mode, and he started grilling me. Is this a song that I would be interested in adding to my repertoire? And by the way, what solo gigs did I have lined up? (Ummm. . . none.) And what was I working steadily towards to ensure my progression towards my own happiness? (Uh, what?)

Still in my amused frame of mind, I pondered for a while that he was so convincingly stuck on this point of me needing to do something to be happy. Why, didn't I already seem happy? I really didn't want to talk about it—I just wanted to cherish my 90 minute break before the rest of my teaching ensued—but, under some duress, I tried to explain how I wasn't worrying about these things right now, that I just working on being more fully in the moment, on re-programming my worrying brain to be more grateful, on modeling joy in teaching/helping others.

Keith didn't totally buy it. He kept trying to convince me that I should commit to a 21-day program geared towards something that I cared about—for example, writing. I started to get more defiant and irritable, and he finally and reluctantly left.

But it did stay on my mind. Because in truth, upon reflection, I do want to commit to something. I just don't know what yet. The easiest and most basic thing seems to be to commit to my own reflection and creativity, to consciously set aside time for it every day.

And I've decided that, despite my earlier obliviousness and petulance, I am, in fact, ready and willing to make this commitment. In fact, I think this is actually what the nine of diamonds is actually about. It's about dropping my refusal to commit to myself. It's about dropping the preference for a foggy but indecisive non-future and choosing instead to commit to my own creativity and self-regeneration.

So, here goes:

For 30 days, I commit to doing the following every day:

  1. Meditate for 10 minutes in the morning.

  2. Engage in 20 minutes of writing (any type—including reflective, poetry or song)

To help me with this process, I will be following the journaling protocol set aside in Cheri Huber's book, “Making a Change for Good”. Meaning: In addition to doing my 20 minute writing commitment, I will also be journaling briefly at the end of each day on how the day went. As an example, here is my journaling activity for today. . .

(You can click on it if you'd like to read it.)

. . . So why don't I go ahead and complete my assignment now, shall I? After a small break, that is.

Break at 8:30, Resuming at 8:46

Okay, I'm back. I really dislike staring at a computer for a really long time. So, I decided to take a break. And bonus—during my break I made a phone call, finished washing the dishes and persuaded Huxley to come back inside. I feel so accomplished!! :-)

So, ANYWAYS. . . Where was I? Right. My journaling activity. Got it. So, my assignment for today is:

Decide where you will sit and what you will use for your journal. In your journal write your answers to these questions:

  1. What does “self-discipline” mean to you?

  2. What is your history with self-discipline?”

Hmm. Okay, here goes. . .

  1. What self-discipline means to me. . . Okay. I feel like there are several ways I could answer that one, ranging from “a self-made prison” to “making an ongoing commitment to something that is valuable for my own self-growth”. But even though I often feel like the former, I'm going to go with the latter, which I think reflects a deeper truth.

  1. My history with self-discipline. Okay. Well, as one might expect from answer #1,

    it's pretty varied. I have made short-term (10, 20, 30 day) commitments in the past, including a “Commit to Sit” meditation challenge (30 days), a month trial vegetarian diet (which converted me to be a “real” vegetarian), a raw food fast (21 days—amazing!), and one other time (about a year ago) through the Making a Change for Good. But I've also had many more times when I haven't committed to things, or I've made a short-term commitment that then fizzled away. So, yeah, pretty varied.

Oh, and a far as the deciding where to sit: I will sit in my meditation room (no brainer, there). And as far as what to use for my journal. Well, I just took another small break, hopped online and started up a blog. So, I'll be using that.

So, there it is. A small step, yes. But also real, decisive and committed.

Wish me luck. And see you tomorrow. :-)

Signing out at 9:20 pm (Phew!)

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