This photo is of the Seekonk River, which runs not so far from my house in Providence. The photo is not exactly, but pretty darn close to, the view I see when I’m sitting on my favorite rock.
I get to this spot by walking down my quiet street, crossing a busy boulevard, climbing up a stone wall, following a trail through the woods, walking down a hill through a cemetery, and then following a tiny path. The whole route takes about 15 minutes.
And then I sit on this rock and gaze out at the view a couple minutes. After a little while, I close my eyes and meditate.
(This is an audio recording of the sounds I can hear from this rock—it’s one minute long and makes a nice listening meditation if you have need of such a thing. There’s a little wind noise but I like to think that adds to the authenticity. =) )
Here’s what I haven’t told you yet: At regular intervals in the days leading up to my talk and definitely on the morning of,
I was quaking in my ballet flats.
Seriously. I had an upset stomach. I felt like I was coming down with something. Part of me wanted to sneak out the back door and keep walking.
Why? I mean, what in the heck??! I wanted it, I went for it, I was so psyched. I had done just enough preparing. I loved the folks in the crowd, it was a totally supportive atmosphere.
This past weekend I attended my first blogging and social media conference – Blissdom Canada. Except it was so much more than that. It was a lovefest, really, amongst a tribe I hadn’t realized I was a member of. I laughed, I cried, I learned how to outsmart Facebook’s algorithm, I ate nachos, I made tons of new friends, I chatted until I lost my voice, I gave a talk. And I had a vision.
A pretty big vision. That I’m imagining could come with a nice-sized check. =)
The vision came on the last day of the conference, when I attended a Pitch and Play panel. There were brands in attendance who are currently looking for bloggers to help them tell a particular story about their product, and we were encouraged to pitch them if we thought we and our blogs might be a good fit.
First, a little back story…
Last week I wrote about a different perspective on what’s really going on When the Doubt Shows Up.
I have a cool update on that story that I wanted to share.
(Here’s a brief recap if you didn’t read last week’s post—if you did, feel free to skip this paragraph! This weekend I’m attending Blissdom Canada, a social media conference in Toronto, tomorrow. I’ve been signed up for months and was very clear that I wanted to check it out when I bought all my tickets. Then last week I had a wave of doubt and spent a good chunk of a morning on the phone with the airline trying to change my ticket to come home early. I found out it would cost $600 to do it. What that experience ended up doing was getting me to re-commit to my initial vision of going.)
Next week, I’m flying to Toronto to attend Blissdom Canada—a blogging and social media conference I’ve been half-thinking of attending for years now. I’ve never been to Toronto, and I love the opportunity to put aside some of my many roles (tucker-inner, grocery shopper, dinner planner) and dive into thinking about work. I know I’ll come back refreshed and excited to see my kids, I’ll have gotten some great thinking and some great working done, and I’ll have scratched my itch for seeing someplace new. It’s definitely a win-win.
So why did I spend an hour of yesterday morning trying to change my flight and come back early?
Because this is what happens when I, or you, or anyone, makes a decision based on a true desire:
In my eight years as a freelance writer, my goal was to wow every editor I worked with. I prided myself on turning in extremely clean copy that typically needed little editing. Basically, I wanted to be a dream to work with.
No pressure there, right? Noooooo. None at all. =)
I mean, yes, my intentions were honorable. I wanted to do a good job. But it went further than that. On some level, I needed to do a good job. Desperately. Because being insanely responsive and delivering pristine copy was how I proved my value to myself. It was how I justified being able to make a living doing something I loved, that so many people thought was impossible to do, and to do it out of my home while wearing sweats. If I didn’t knock it out of the park every time, I just felt so danged unworthy.
See, Scott is obsessed with electric cars. Obsessed! He is an early adopter by nature. Whether it was breakdancing in the early 80s or the first iPhone (remember those folks who stood in line for hours? Yep, he was one of them.) And whatever his current fascination is, he goes all in. He has no interest in hybrids.
For the past several months, Scott has been up late at night watching You Tube videos that chronicle people retrofitting their cars with electric motors. He has been reading reviews of the electric car models that are currently available. He has been scouring online forums for news of electric vehicles that are still in the production pipeline.
Imagine those thoughts, fears, concerns or complaints as a bunch of balloons. And let those suckers go.
If they seem to stay stuck to your hand, or your metaphorical fingers won’t loosen their grip, imagine cutting the string.
You’ll still be here. You’ll still be safe. You’ll still be real. And so will those balloons. There will just be more distance between you and them.
Hello – I’d been planning on doing fun things with this newsletter during the month of August. But then life took on a heavier tone last week with the news of Robin Williams’ suicide and the travesty in Ferguson. It triggered some thoughts to dislodge from deep down in my psyche, and I thank you in advance for giving me a forum to share them in. I wrote them down last week, and didn’t think I would do anything with them. But a week later, I feel that if a nutty week like last week happens and we don’t actually do anything different, it’s a missed opportunity. SO…I hope you will find them helpful – I know it helped me face my feelings and do some course corrections in my own thinking and actions. Peace.
This morning I actually got out of the house to go on a walk. I had mentioned it to my trainer yesterday, that I wasn’t moving enough, that it was feeling like something I ‘had’ to do, like eating broccoli, and I was unmotivated. He suggested finding some way to go about it so that it felt fun and happy and less like “move your butt, lazy bones”. Then he tossed out the idea of downloading podcasts on to my phone. Bing! I had honestly been wondering how to find a way to listen to more podcasts; I love them so, but they require too much focus to listen to while writing and since my kids are generally around in the times I’m not working, I don’t have a ton of focus then either.
Not too long ago I wrote about how one of my favorite words is “and”. There’s another one I’d like to add to the list:
I’m not talking about when you use “yet” as a substitute for “but”, as in, “I really want to do this thing, and yet….”
I’m talking about when you use it at the end of a sentence.
I’ll give you an example.
I was talking with a freelance writer friend yesterday. We were having a little telephone pow-wow about work and life. And she mentioned that she was writing a bunch of stories on topics that interested her, but that didn’t pay much. And she was kind of thinking that maybe she’d have to give up on her dream of writing about these subjects that were near to her heart because they were too much work for too little money.