Monthly Archives: June 2012

eat, pray, blog

I was in the bathroom doing my hair in curls around five this afternoon.  J was taking us out for Saturday night family dinner.  The last time we had a night out was before Ms O and I left for the Phoenix last April.  That was Nandos.  Barbeque was the craving then.  Tonight, the craving was for sushi and suku yaki.  So we decided to go to Koganei, one of the best Japanese restaurants in Toronto in my humble opinion.
But this blog isn’t about food.  Nor is it about family dinners out.  It’s about this talk that I caught by Elizabeth Gilbert of the Eat, Pray, Love fame on nurturing creativity.  Which is why I began with the hair in the bathroom activity.  I always watch something interesting when doing my hair and I find TEDTalks very engaging and always interesting.
Here, watch Ms. Gilbert being her brilliant self and if you’re as touched as I am, do return for more from me.  I’ll share about the things that piqued my interest and do let me know what did it for you too.

So how’d you like it?  Next to Dr. Brene Brown’s TedTalks, I love Ms. Gilbert’s for her inspiration and willingness to be vulnerable about her fear of “this being the last and only great thing I’ll ever write in this lifetime…”  I’m really interested in what she shares about That Thing In The Corner and how she’s managed to create a some sort of a compromise with it:  Let the records show…I’ll show up and do my part, now you do yours.   

I can relate to the following seven accounts:

1)  I know what it is, what it’s like, what it takes to show up.  And the painful flip-side: to not show up.  Some days, this can be the damnest and hardest thing to do.
2)  I, too, grappled (and continue to) with this feeling of emptiness after a big song-and-dance number.  As with the African transcendence story, I know how the Allah/Ole factor fades and indeed, what’s left is a bereft being, ordinary and feeling the emptiness even more deeply.
3)  I, too, have brushed up with this genius/divine creative entity/Socrates’ daimon many times – in the shower, while washing dishes, on a relaxed walk outdoors, while biking, while cooking, while doing the most mundane tasks imaginable.
4)  I, too, have ran to pen and paper and sometimes to the voice recorder app on the phone and noted the project down.  Some came to pass, some didn’t.  But from my personal experience, when I listened and obeyed, it almost always brought so much joy, not necessarily success and money, but sheer joy and a feeling of being propelled forward and if not to realizing a dream, moving closer to it.
5)  I, too, remember conversations with That Thing (I call mine The Voice that sometimes sounds like Morgan Freeman but most of the time sounds just like a wiser, more benevolent version of me) where I bargain, beg, whine for reassurance, another chance or plead for thanks-but-no-thank-you-ma’am-sir.
6)  The times that I chanced and trusted and showed up were the best times.
7)  The times I didn’t listen, ignored, rebelled against the Work, I got hurt, more confused and feeling like square one do-over round the mountain we go again.
Which is A-ok.  If one likes doing it the loooong way.
So with that, I wish you short-cuts and showing up in a most Olé kind of way!

‘Ole!’ to you, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.”(Elizabeth Gilbert)

oxygen

~breathing~
@ The Elmwood Spa, Toronto
April, 2012

Blogging.  You are an enigma to me.  
I find myself deserting you and then I feel…this…lack of oxygen and I know.  I know it’s from lack of writing.  And not just empty writing but engaging writing.  Writing that digs down deep.  Writing that begins with one, one that needs to breath.
I did just that today.  Began again.  Deep in the pages of my personal and intimate journal.  One day at a time.  Inhale, exhale…breathe.

It has been a challenging week.  One where one, then two, and then three kids get sick.  And as most bouts with the bug go, after the tiring run, I start feeling that all-too-familiar itch in my throat too.  
One oxygenated day at a time.  Inhale, exhale…breathe.  
The most valuable lessons I learned (and relearned) this week come from some truly amazing teachers. I’m going to sum it all up below:
1)  Minimum Daily Requirement 
Your secret and most potent weapon is to always go back to the tried-and-tested-and-true: write some, walk some, sit a while some…and do something towards the good daily, even if it’s “minimal daily requirement”. ~ Julie Fleming, author of The Reluctant Rainmaker
This came after a coaching call with Julie, an almost hour long discussion on how to get back on track when feeling like crap for a long stretch of time.
2)  I am 100% responsible for my own happiness.
“I know now that I am 100% responsible for my own happiness.  It is a state of mind that is cultivated by my own choices and habits, not things or people.  Yes, my children make me happy.  Yes, sitting at the beach and watching a sunset makes me happy.  But I cannot rely on other people and my environment to make me happy.  I don’t ever want to make the mistake of thinking my happiness is dependent on something–a different job, more money, another child, wood floors, a remodeled bathroom, etc.” Kelle Hampton, author of Bloom, Finding Beauty In The Unexpected via Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Blog
  
I love her book, The Happiness Project.  I love her blog, too.  Such great pick-me-ups and reminders on how to focus where we truly need to focus in this ADHD world.


3)  Big or Small

One of the things that I’ve learned, that I didn’t know before that [TEDxHouston] talk exploded, is how hard I’d been working to keep my career small. And that was a little bit heartbreaking for me, because I usually thought of myself as being pissed off because I couldn’t get my work out there enough. But really I think I was engineering that, because I was afraid of these things that actually happened, like the personal attacks. ~ Dr. Brene Brown, On Being Vulnerable

The third one hits hard and deep.  I, too, have been working very hard at keeping small.  The reasons are too many and way complicated (read: boring) to write about here.  So I won’t.  

Just thought I’d share these with you today.  

One oxygenated learning/thought/day at a time.

Inhale, exhale…breathe.


Today’s sharing-is-caring question: What keeps your levels of oxygen in your soul system up?