Imperfection, Inherent Self-Worth, Self-Care, Shame

Transitions

The last couple days I’ve been learning a bit about transitions. Once I’m in a rhythm and working, the work is easy. Moving from one project to another is often difficult. There are lots of reasons for this.

Today, and for the last few days, one of those reasons is simply that “The Fearless Challenge,” last week required a lot of energy and focus. In short, I’ve been tired.  

Also, shifting projects and shifting focus requires energy. Any move I make that isn’t straight ahead slows me down. It’s like turning a corner to juke an opponent on the basketball court, or football field. 

When I complete a project I it’s natural to pause as well. It’s same way an athlete will usually pause after scoring a goal or making a basket, things slow down for a moment as well.  

So here I am, mid-turn on Wednesday morning, typing out a blog which would “normally” be published already and there’s a part of me feels; “I should be doing better.”  

I’m aiming to go the other way.  I’m aiming to embrace where I am and keep moving forward.  

I started working on this half-finished illustration yesterday.  A beaver in a hammock above the dam it has completed. Looking back on what I just wrote, there’s a nice meta-synergy between the illustration and the words. I also realize I’ve been sort of aiming to rest and turn a corner at the same time. Which doesn’t quiet work, does it?  

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Fearless Challenge, Imperfection, Songwriting, The Song Well

Ship More or Hone More?

There’s a balance between shipping consistently, and aiming to create great work. One school says work your craft daily, and it will improve. That the process is the purpose. 

Another school says the work in honing the skill, making the craft as good as a person can.   

School one says the process of creation and completion hones the craft—do that as often as possible. The other says completion for its own sake, can lead to a shoddy product. There’s truth in both approaches.  

Is it only one or the other or could there be a mix of the two? What’s the best path forward? These voices duke it out in my mind a lot. 

[I end most blog posts with a fun drawing. This week I’ll posting a little musical sketch from “The Fearless Songwriting Challenge,” I host. To find out more join the email list below!]

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The Breeze in the window
And the cat is there too
It’s six in the morning
There’s songwriting to do

And the birds are all calling
As they flit tree to tree
The sun just arising
Just beginning to see

And it’s fleet as a fox is
It’s swift as a bird
The light on the house is
Music unheard

The Breeze in the window
And the cat was there too

Fearless Challenge, Imperfection, Songwriting, The Muse, The Song Well

The Skin of the Truth

For a long time I’ve done this thing I call the Fearless Songwriter Challenge. The challenge is to write seven songs in seven days. This week, I’m going to post the songs I’m writing during the week. They’ll be nowhere close to perfect.  Some of them likely won’t be very good.  That isn’t the point.  The point is writing. Sitting down and letting the work take shape. That’s how work gets done. And often, if I write seven in a row, at least one of the songs will be pretty good. (And that kind of is the point). If the Fearless Challenge sounds intriguing to you, sign up for newsletter or send me a message. I’ll send you a link.  

He don’t mind to playing chess with what she says is the truth 
He doesn’t sweat or shed tears for her broken home’s blues
Why walk that plank alone when they could slink two by two? 
Don’t ask them why they just sneaks by by the skin of the truth

He sits and listen at the bar for those cloven hooves
Some smile that might invite a night beneath a red, red roofs
A look that would like to share all their hidden tattoos
Don’t ask them why they just sneaks by by the skin of the truth

Some lovers lie by Gideon’s bible tying Gordian knots
Mo-telling what some bodies will do when some bodies get hot

It’s say that a grain of sugar can make a trial a treat
They say to lie is bitter, why’s lying together so so sweet
You’ll won’t catch his devil’s tale in a confession booth
Don’t ask them why they just sneaks by by the skin of the truth

Some lovers lie by Gideon’s bible tying Gordian knots
Mo-telling what some bodies will do when some bodies gets hot 

They say to lie is bitter, why’s lying together so so good?Don’t ask them why they just sneaks by by the skin of the truth

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Imperfection, Practice, Writing

Letting the Dough Rise

A friend was writing about sourdough bread and creativity.  How setting out the dough to rise reminded them of setting a project aside for a for a bit to let it develop, to let the subconscious work its creative magic. This sparked a few things for me. 

One is that the yeast and sugar will do its thing with the flour in the dough without any intervention on my part. I can trust the process to work. The same is true of creativity. Once I start the process of writing, (assuming I see the process through), I’ll get my loaf of bread.  

Also, it’s no help to the process if I intervene, trying to raise the dough faster. Here I’m thinking about how my ego will try to engineer great writing with thoughts and strategy. Thoughts and strategy aren’t writing. (Sitting down and writing is writing). The process is consistent.  Write a draft, quickly. Then walk away for a while. When I sit down again for draft two, improvements are obvious.  

But finally, and most important, when I decide the dough is no good and throw it out before I’m done, I don’t get any bread.  

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Imperfection, Inherent Self-Worth, Shame

The Secret

It’s been a while since The Secret by Rhonda Byrne was published. It’s premise is that anything I focus on hard enough, the universe will manifest. I don’t believe that’s entirely true, but it’s not all poppycock either; what I focus on and work towards is much more likely to happen.   

The other day I began wondering though, if The Secret were true, what is my responsibility for others? A person might say that others manifest their reality as well and so are responsible for themselves.  But why aren’t I manifesting on other’s behalf? I can manifest whatever I want right? Why is my vision board filled cars and houses for myself and my loved ones only? What is in me that when presented with a seemingly unlimited opportunity causes me to focus on my own material gain? Is there still some fear in me of a mean-spirited universe which provides abundantly for individuals but sputters and chokes when asked to provide for others? 

These questions lead me onto the muddy path of shame and self-denigration. I think I should be a better sharer. A compassionate view might be something like this; I can aim for and aspire to abundance that provides for more than just myself. 

Life on planet Earth has been duking it for 3.7 billion years. We only crawled out of the ocean with backbones about 450 million years ago.  Our lizard brains became monkey minds with an onboard pre-frontal cortex only about 200,000 years ago. Modern agriculture and the current industrial age? That’s less than 100 years old. For living creatures, living in abundance is nowhere close to habitual, never mind gracious. Still I can aim to remember that while The Secret isn’t true, it is true that what I focus on and work towards is much more likely to happen.   

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