Life At The Speed Of Sound

Life is going fast lately. Too fast. I feel as if I am out of breath most of the time.

Summer is just beginning here in Northern Michigan and, already, my calendar is filling up. Most days, I simply slide through until I go to sleep at night, only to do it all over again the next day.

Between work itself being incredibly busy, we have end of year things to do, a wedding to plan and home improvement projects to complete. In between are the four weddings, four open houses and several family reunions. Not to mention, in the middle of all of this I am working on a second draft of a novel. I am certain there is little cure for the busyness that comes with summer.

 

That means I need to change my focus. I’ve read recently an article by raptitude.com called ‘You Never Have Time, Only Intentions’. I would encourage you to check this one out.

Though I am still processing this particular article, the idea behind the article is that time isn’t tangible. Time isn’t something we “have”. The only thing we have is this moment.

Even when we believe we have lots of time, the only thing we truly have is the intention for that time. The time will move on regardless of any action on our parts.

Living in the moment is difficult for me on a good day. On a bad day, forget about it. I’m only holding on until it’s over and I can go to bed.

One of the ways that I have been attempting to live in the moment is through an exercise (thanks, Katey Schultz) I learned about through a recent class.

I tend only to do this particular exercise on those mornings when I have lots of time. Slowing down helps me to settle my mind and move through my day with a more open attitude.

In this particular exercise, I divide an hour into four sections of 15 minutes each. With music playing and a timer set, I can forget about how much time I have left.

The How To:

The first 15 minutes is light reading, non craft related. I’ve been reading Brene Brown and that has been interesting for anyone who has read her. Currently I am reading ‘Daring Greatly’.

The second 15 minutes is devoted to journaling. During these minutes, with the timer set, I write my morning pages.

The third 15 minute section is for to meditation or some kind of movement. My yoga teacher hands out a 10-15 minute yoga practice each month and those have been handy for me to spend some time focused on movement. I don’t sit still very well.

The last 15 minute section is about feeding your soul. This can take whatever form you prefer. It is during this time that I focus on some of the other creative areas I am interested in, such as photography.

Although each section can be shortened to 10 minutes, I haven’t worked through it in that manner. It is possible if you don’t have that entire hour to dedicate to this exercise.

Since time is so fluid, being mindful of my own intention for the time I have is one of my goals this year. Most of the time my goals are just dreams or wishes. I would rather have the intention of living moment by moment than a goal. I just may find more success.

Morning Nest Building

Morning Nest Building

This morning I watched a small bird strip bark off a cedar pole for its nest and was, once again, reminded of Wendell Berry’s poem, Peace of Wild Things. Here are his words:

 

Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

I hope you are enjoying the return of the sun and longer days. And, I hope you take the time to enjoy the peace found in nature.

Lost in the Memories

Rembrance
Looking for hope.

Swamped by Memories

Have you ever had a week where your memories completely overwhelmed you? One of those weeks where you functioned on autopilot, only doing those things you needed to do since your brain is occupied elsewhere?

I did, recently. I’d been working on some issues from my past that seemed to be affecting my future, and I got stuck. For me being stuck means my creativity is affected, and I become hard on myself. My inner critic appears to go into hyperdrive, and I struggle to break free.

During this struggle to break free, I find myself looking for ways to help alleviate the emotional pain and discover the motivation to work again. It’s not easy to ensure that the memories no longer have power but that is the goal.

Some things that have worked are:

1. Don’t fight the memories. If the memories appear to be taking over, let them – if only for a few minutes. They won’t last, and fighting seems to give them more power. Memories with power are the last thing you want.

2. Write them out. Journaling is a good way to release all of the emotion that is attached to memories. Sometimes the very act of writing can change your brain to help you heal.

3. Find a place of non-judgement. Memories are something in our past that can have an effect on the future. There is nothing we can do to change them. Judgment, i.e. good vs. bad, can give power to memories and will affect your emotions. Accept the memory just as it is, and you can get past it.

4. Find a trusted person to share the memory. Finding that person is more difficult than it would seem because not every person is capable of handling the more difficult memories. And, not every person is someone to be trusted. At times, seeking a therapist may be the best option, and they have the training to help you process your past.

5. If you are a creative, set a goal and stick to it. During the middle of stuckness, setting a goal of a 15-minute free write or 500 words each day, regardless of the content will help keep your creative juices flowing. Sticking with the habit in spite of where your emotional life will help keep your inner critics at bay.

Freeing ourselves from old, painful memories is possible, though most likely difficult. A lot of things can get in the way of your creative life, and just life in general, but you can overcome to find healing. It takes time and patience, and often a bit of help.

Healing is just another step in finding your intentional life.

For other tips on living an intentional life, check out the rest of my posts.