Boundaries, Imperfection, Inherent Self-Worth, Self-Care

Meh, revisited

It’s interesting to see in my illustrations, perhaps some subconscious messages poking their little head into the sunlight. The kitty saying “Meh,” a perfectly reasonable and appropriate thing for a cat to say in popular culture’s telling of cats. But I could have said anything. Or nothing at all. Good ‘ol Beanie could have just napped on his couch:

Or a couple of days ago when this seal balanced the veritable world atop his nose–something like Altas performing at Sea World. I’ll say here for the record, “I like the work;” but I wonder is my sub-conscious getting grumpy? Perhaps my muse is sending up smoke signals?

A few days ago I scrawled down these words; “Every time I try to lower the stakes for myself, I want to raise them somewhere else.” When I consider doing fewer drawings each week a voice in my head says; “Great, then you can post everyday!” Or, “Great! That means you could do more detailed work!”

One of the voices in my head is a workaholic Tigger. The balanced, rational part of my mind knows I can’t do everything. The balanced, rational part of my mind defends my right to decide what is enough. Workaholic Tigger will always bounce back with an offer of more work.

Success! You’re on the list.
David Burns/CBT, Resistance, Shame, Somatics

Questioning Procrastination

What are the steps involved in doing the work? 

Get tiny. Can you go into the room? Can you sit down (if that’s required to do the project). Turn on the computer, etc. . . 

Where do you get stuck? How does it the stuck-ness manifest in your body?

You might want to note when Resistance pipes up and what it says. 

What value is resistance protecting for you? 

Is it a value you want to serve? If the answer is yes, maybe it’s time to ditch the project? 

Maybe you’d rather serve a different value and finish the project? 

Maybe there’s a negotiation you can have with the work and the project so that you can do it on more agreeable terms?

Songwriting, The Song Well, Tunesday

Tunesday: Shuffle of Moonlight

Every Tunesday I post a boldly imperfect, one-take song draft of a song, which gets written from the prompt posted the previous Saturday.

Success! You’re on the list.

In the shuffle of the moonlight
She whispered in his ear
The memory of a raven
The dancing of a deer

In the Gossip of the moonlight
He new he didn’t care
Of his promise to another
In the strut of love’s affairs

Orphans never lose their loss of home
Drift together in the river’s flow

The secrets of a river
are the stones it can’t ignore
Like the rustle of a first kiss
That flutters on it’s shore

Goosedown feather blankets
The weathered brush of wool
A lover is a soft bed
that scratches at you too

A jewel round on your shoulders
A joy beneath your tongue
The murmur of the soft sound
of the hush of two as one


Accept Discomfort and Notice it Change

I’ve been studying Resmaa Menakem’s “My Grandmother’s Hands” for the past two months. The center piece of the book—almost literally the middle chapter and page, is the Five Anchors. The center piece of the Five Anchors is: accept discomfort and notice it change.   

The first step to really learning something, of course, is being able to remember it. I was recently working on memorizing Five Anchors. I tried to remember them in reverse order. Sometimes that’s a way I jog my memory).

5. Discharge any remaining or excess energy 
4. Stay with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the experience 
3. ??? 
2. Notice the sensations, vibrations and emotions that come up
1. Sooth and calm my body

It’s interesting to note what won’t stick in my mind. Sometimes it seems like it’s just a quirk of my memory. Other times it seems like something in me is being avoidant. With the third anchor, (accepting discomfort and noticing it change), it felt avoidant.  

Resmaa calls staying present with and accepting our experience “clean pain.” Dirty pain, is simply discomfort we avoid—it’s pain procrastination. It’s human to procrastinate and avoid from time to time—The lesson in dirty pain is it’s nearly always preferable to be present to and accept pain and be done with it.  

Music Theory, Songwriting, The Muse, Writing

Saturday Songwriting: The Trainer’s Whisper

I woke up started flipping through my “Definitive Paul Simon Songbook.” What would be a good song to play around with? I settled on “You Can Call Me Al.” It’s a fun song. A simple riff, given lots of texture in its recording, with a bright chorus. There’s a lot a person could glom onto and focus on.  The part I might be cool to play with for this week is that the melody in the verse mostly trends downward.  In the chorus, the melody mostly trends upward. It’s a cool way to differentiate the two sections.  What if you were to write a song in which the melody mostly arcs downward in the verses, and mostly arcs upward in the chorus?  (Or vice versa)?  

The Prompt:

Here’s a link to Pablo Amaringo’s image, Huasi Yuchana

The Musical Idea: