Category Archives: living in the moment

A Matter of Perspective

image by Kerem Yucel via sxc.hu
image by Kerem Yucel via sxc.hu

Introduction
have you ever stopped and just looked at the world? Yes it’s full of evil people but there is also incredible good too. For the longest time I looked at the world as a horrible place because I just looked at the bad stuff and ignored the good.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that the world isn’t so black and white and that beauty can be found in the darkest of places because of the indomitable human spirit that tells us that while things are bad if we just dig down deep and find the will to carry on we’ll get through whatever obstacle is in our way.

We Are one
It’s so easy to divide people along identity politics, socioeconomic status and religion, but the truth is we more connected than we think. Everyone is just trying to make sense of this world the best they can and though we may disagree about how to go about things at our core we are all the same and we need to embrace that.

There are more similarities than differences that unite us but it has become the fashion to demonize those who disagree with us and set up echo chambers so no dissenting points of view can get through to these safe spaces.

The truth is being exposed to a wide range of opinions is good for us and a lively debate of our core values is healthy and ensures we aren’t living in a bubble.

Truth is Beauty, Beauty Truth
The world is a wondrous, constantly changing place that offers up an unending smorgasbord of facts and knowledge to all who are open to learning new things.

Yes while it may seem like progress is slow in actuality there are discoveries and breakthroughs happening all the time.

Conclusion
Sure if we focus on the bad in life that will be all we see but if we choose instead to look at all the good there is we will be infinitely happier. And though it may seem we are more divided than ever remember at our core we are the same and the indefatigable human spirit bonds us all.

How Not to Get Burnt Out

Lately I’ve been on a poetry kick. I’d forgotten how much fun playing with words could be. The simply act of string words together and making magic out of nothing.

Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect every time, we don’t stop to have fun with what we’re doing. No one likes grinding out piece after piece so you can make a living. But that doesn’t you have to hate the process.

When you free yourself to have fun playing around with words, it releases your creative juices. Stop trying to impress everyone and concentrate on yourself.

You can always go back to the piece later. The point is to write fast and have fun while doing it. One technique I’ve found that works is to use written kitten or some other program that rewards you for typing X amount of words.

Another technique is to let the characters decide what happens next. This can be scary at first because their decisions can radically the plot line you had in place.

This is a good because it means you’re tuned in with the world of your story and have freed yourself to play around. If something doesn’t work, don’t worry be happy. Keep going until you’ve reached the end then do the big edits.

The point is to find your passion and allow it to take you over so you can reach for something beyond the ordinary and transcend the mediocre things you’ve been producing.

When I write it’s first for myself. Then on the rewrite I keep the reader in mind and remember to kill my darlings so things don’t get bogged down by dead wood and fluff.

I also take time away from writing to work on other things and recharge those creative juices by watching movies or TV, or reading something.

The point is we need to strike a balance between producing the best product we can, while indulging the creative side of ourselves. Otherwise we run the risk of getting burnt out and no one likes when that happens.

Work Through the Pain

image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu
image by Stancu Alexandru via sxc.hu

Does anyone else suffer from allergies? In additions to medications this past year has been a rough one for me with regards to seasonal allergies. Some mornings I’m fine, others I wake up with a stuffy or runny nose and can barely get my eyes open.

Sometimes I had to spend entire days with one or both eyes closed because of the intense irritation and photo sensitivity. OTC medicine has helped but it something that still crops up. yesterday and today my right eye has been acting up. But you know what?

I’m writing anyways, because I’m not going to let my allergies stop me from keeping on task. Sure the headaches and eye strain are annoying, but I write through it because a little bit of pain or discomfort doesn’t get to me.

So often you read about how people struggle to find time or inspiration to write, and while that is true, it’s also true that anything worth having in life you have to fight for. And that means sacrifices have to be made.

I don’t know what your issues might be but if you want to achieve your goals then that means working through the pain. I don’t just mean the physical, but the emotional and psychological pain as well. Since getting serious about being a writer many issues that I thought were behind me keep popping up.

Anger, abandonment, control issues, and other baggage from my childhood get dredged up when I write. At first my response was to tamp them down and I’d freeze up until I was calm. But I’ve since learned you can’t do that because it saps your energy and will sabotage you every time. So now when all those past issues come up I write through them and channel those past hurts into my characters.

While a cathartic experience it doesn’t address the root issue, which is why I’ve began journaling to get out these emotions and maybe help others who are going through similar experiences. I never tried to do this before and don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I’m giving it a shot anyways.

In the past I’ve pushed people away and didn’t see any value in relationships beyond what I could get out of them. I prided myself on being cold and detached, above the petty concerns of those ruled by their emotions.

The truth was I was the one ruled by my emotions. Too scared to feel anything lest I lose control or get hurt. So I deluded myself into believing I didn’t feel anything at all.But my emotions are still there, buried under the wall I built to insulate myself from the world.

No man is an island unto himself. Humans are social creatures and you need to be around others. I try to be sociable though I often find myself in awkward situation and missing social cues. It’s so easy to retreat behind the walls I’ve built, but I don’t want to be that person anymore.

If you want to change the world and have an impact on people you can’t play it safe. You have to take risk and get out those walls you built. It’s not fun or easy, and there will be times you don’t want to do it. But do it any ways because  the end reward is greater than staying in the place you are right now. Sometimes you have to work through the pain to get where you need to be.

The Fickle Mistress Which Makes Fools of Us All

The way we perceive time is an illusion.  Far be it from a constant stream, our memories about events is a mishmash of the truth mixed with how we wanted things to have happen.

The past is immutable, no matter how much we want to think otherwise. Things weren’t easier or better when you were younger, you were. The world wasn’t all rainbows and gum drops, you were naive.

We all have regrets but that doesn’t mean we should be a slave to them. Learn from your mistakes and move on. It’s pointless to try to change the past because then you would change yourself. Who you are is the sum of all the events that have shaped your life from the moment you were born.

We all have goals for the future but remember it’s in constant flux, so we must be open to the prospect that our plans must change if things don’t work out the way we want them to.

This doesn’t mean you stop dreaming or setting goals. No, it means being realistic about achieving them. If you find yourself in your thirties without a contract maybe it times to give up your dreams of being a professional athlete. Likewise if you’re pushing fifty maybe it’s best you give up the notion you’re still a young stud.

Cognitive dissonance is a trip that can delude us into believing things which aren’t true because they are comforting. “I can stop drinking anytime I want to,” says the alcoholic. “I don’t have a problem,” says the drug addict as she sells herself for that next hit. The point is whether you want to believe it or not the truth remains the same.

So often we get stuck pinning for a past that never was and a future that may never be we miss out on what’s happening in the present. This moment, right now is all we have. For better or worse it’s what makes up the bulk of our life.

We can drift from one millstone or achievement, or we can choose to live in the present, acknowledge the past and the lessons it can teach us, and shape the future the best we can. I thought I had everything figured out and then life came and threw those plans out the window. I’m a control freak but I’ve learned to adapt on the fly and live in the moment. The question is: do you?

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