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.
When I was a kid growing up in Rhode Island, I attended a re-enactment of an historic event—the burning of the British ship the HMS Gaspee by ticked off colonists in 1772. I remember my Dad pointing at the flaming replica ship and saying, “See it? It’s right there!” At least I assume it was flaming: I couldn’t see it, because I was looking too hard, too far out in to Narragansett Bay. And I missed the whole darn thing.
Flash forward to this past weekend, when my husband and I went camping with our kids and four other families. We hiked in with all our stuff strapped to our backs, the kids ran free between campsites, we cooked fabulous food over an open flame.
While we were in the woods, one of the women we were camping with commented on how much she liked one of the plants that was growing wild. Another woman told her it was mountain laurel. “I have one of these growing in my front yard! I can’t believe I didn’t recognize it.”
I kept trying to justify the time I spent curled up with the iPad by finding some deeper meaning that I could relay in a blog post. I mean, there are a couple of cool things to be learned—that sometimes working on some area that feels totally unrelated to the area you want to target will get you the precise results you want. (Or, in Candy Crush terms, if you want to clear the jelly, you’ve got to clear some non-jelly spaces too.) That there’s always another chance. That you can always ask for help. But really, it was too much of a stretch to assign spiritual meaning to Candy Crush.
Except for this: Beauty, synchronicity, and even success happen when you honor your desires. (Click to Tweet!)
Greetings after a week off! Last week my family and I made our annual pilgrimage to Block Island. A tiny speck of land 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, that island is my happy place. In addition to being beautiful (imagine a mini Ireland) and smelling divine (think honeysuckle and salt air), going there feels like traveling back in time 50 years. Cell and wifi reception are iffy at best. The big highlight of the day is going to get ice cream or sitting on the lawn overlooking the Atlantic with a tasty beverage while the kids roll down the hill. Heaven.
One of our annual activities is kayaking. This year, I had my four-year-old, Teddy, in my boat. He was wearing his brand new Block Island hat and we were having a great time exploring the Great Salt Pond.
The only hitch was that it was pretty windy.
Last week I was going through notes I’ve made on calls with my coach. Here’s what jumped out at me:
“Hurrying is based on fear, and fear is ultimately destructive.”
I remember clearly when I wrote that sentence down. I was feeling like I was hurrying through all the things I wanted to get done in a day, and then feeling frustrated because I felt the results I wanted weren’t doing me the favor of hurrying along. It felt gross—all angsty and busy-bee-ish and “What am I doing wrong?”-ish. But I didn’t exactly know how to move past it. And so I brought it up with my coach. (Man do I love working with a coach! Have I mentioned that here before? I really really do.)
I’m willing to bet there is what I call a brain loop standing in between you and that thing.
Brain loops are thought patterns. They’re mental grooves that you’ve traveled many times before and they always lead back to the same place—which is where you are right now, not having the thing that you really want.
Brain loops are based on beliefs, and are fueled by judgments.
Here’s what a typical brain loop (that has been way oversimplified for the sake of relatability) looks like: