Monthly Archives: August 2011

Slow down and Breathe.

If I were my own best friend I would remind myself to…

slow down and Breathe.

The black ink text:  there are days when I am so overwhelmed and scared of where my life is headed that I can barely even find the time to BREATHE. or pause. or stop. or look up. or look down. at all. or think a single coherent thought that does not run into another coherent barely (becoming less so) thought… then there is a break.  A MOMENT.  A Pause. AND  A  BREATH   of fresh air.  or even just air.   and the fear subsides a little bit.   with BREATH.  and I feel less overwhelmed. with all of it now. breath holds space.  Hold on.   BREATHE.  But life is like the ocean and it crashes back down over me but I’ve caught my breath now.  I can tread a little loner.   Hang on.   and BREATHE.   Hang on.

The penciled text (in between the lines): keep breathing. tread water. keep going. you can do it. you can do this. keep breathing. look forward. look up. you are strong. you are powerful. you are blissful. breathe. breathe. READ the SUBTEXT. know where you stand. know who you are. try to think and feel and be in the world. be free. breath. in/out. over and over and be here. be here. breathe. breathe. be. breathe. slow down and read between the lines. pause. breathe. swim. breathe. stay afloat. breathe.

***I wrote and drew this on a day that was utterly chaotic, overwhelming, emotionally charged and very long. I remember coming home, sitting down and having no idea how to process what had just happened. I started by free-writing what had been foremost in my mind. Then I went back with pencil and scribbled in between the lines what I had been trying to tell myself all day.

I realized after I drew this that I do this a lot. I have the “front-and-center” thoughts that tend to dominate what I am doing. Then there are the subtle, quiet, underlying thoughts in the background. These “background” thoughts tend to be focused on staying calm, slowing down, giving myself space. I am working on bringing those “background” thoughts more to the forefront. I wonder how that will change my attitudes and relationships with the world and those around me?

Do you have different internal dialogues in your head? Have you ever sat down and written them out on paper? Are you talking to yourself in a positive voice or a negative one??

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Be a superb meteor.

If I were my own best friend I would read Jack London (c. 1905)…

“I would rather be ashes than dust!

I would rather that my spark should burn out in a

brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dryrot.

I would rather be a superb meteor,

every atom of me in a magnificent glow,

than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The proper function of man is to live,

not to exist.

I shall not waste my days

in trying to prolong them.

I shall use my time.”

***There are so many things to say about this Jack London quote. First, there is the idea of fully living life. Second, there is the intimation of life being brief. Third, there is the idea of living to live, and not focusing on how long that might be. I love all of it.

None of us know how long we have in this lifetime. Of course most of us hope for a long and fruitful life, but if you were given the option of a great, but brief sojourn versus a long but dull existence what would you choose? Why not make your mark today? It doesn’t mean your life will be shorter. It just means you will be living more fully. Why not burn brightly? Why not blaze? 

Perhaps the secret lies in living so fully – by burning so brightly your life may feel as if it is passing by quickly – but it is really that you are using each moment to its utmost. Thanks Mr. London. I will live like a superb meteor.

Open doors.

If I were my own best friend I would tell myself…

Look for open doors.

Walk through. Explore. Live.

*But look out for the frame (open doors can still leave a bruise).

***I would love to say this one is purely metaphorical, but it’s not. Quite recently I opened a door (wide open), strode confidently and quickly forward, and bashed my forehead right into the door frame. It was a brilliant move. It left a nice bruise. 

Hence, my practical advice to myself, is to look for the frame around the door. It can (and will) leave a bruise if given the opportunity.

My theoretical advice to myself, is somewhat similar: seek out open doors. take chances and walk through. but be aware there are risks associated with each new door you enter. With every opportunity (or open door) there are chances for growth and change. With change there comes risk and with risk there can be the chance of injury. Just like an unnoticed door frame! However, even with the risks I will keep seeking out open doors.

Have you run into a door frame lately, literally or figuratively?

Friday Night.

If I were my own best friend I would remind myself…

Friday night takeout = Bliss.

(whew. survived another week.)

***It really is the little things that can make the biggest difference. Surviving a long work week to come home and cook Friday night dinner can be the last straw. Getting to splurge on Friday night takeout can be the best thing that happened all week. Cherish the little things.

Thanks for Weekends.

If I were my own best friend I would tell myself to…

Listen to what others are grateful for:

  1. 3 days weekends
  2. date nights
  3. a view of the mountains from the bedroom

***Thank you for letting me know what you are thankful for!  I love it when a post presents itself and I get to imagine and draw pictures for the thoughts. Fun!

I’m also equally partial to 3-days weekends or maybe 4-day weekends, 5-day weekends… what about a 2-day workweek and a 5-day weekend on a regular basis?? I think someone wrote a book about that… a 4-hour workweek?  It’s ringing a few bells; I might have to hunt that down! 

 

Plant seeds.

If I were my own best friend I would tell myself…

If you have planted seeds of doubt…

weed them out.

Instead plant love, faith, confidence, acceptance, and belief.

And watch them grow.

***I think of how often doubt creeps into my mind. I’m going about my daily business and all of sudden – poof- there it is. Doubt. My plans suddenly seem a little less certain, my convictions a little weaker, my decisions a little more indecisive.

Doubt reminds me of the way blackberry bushes grow in the Pacific Northwest. They are ruthless!  They seem to be able to grow anywhere (especially where you don’t want them). They get huge if left uncontrolled. They have sharp, nasty thorns that can cut you down. And it takes great persistence to get rid of them. All of this applies equally well to the concept of doubt.

Weed it out. Then simply replace doubt with something more positive: love, faith, confidence, acceptance, and belief are just a few to get you started.

Have you experienced doubt? What did you do to get rid of it in your own life?

Smile!

If I were my own best friend I would tell myself to…

Read a favorite quote (and live it!):

“Smile! If you can’t lift the corners let the middle sag”

– unknown

*** Such simple advice! I love the idea of a flat mouth with a pump under each side to lift up the edges. The pump does not work, so it is removed and you simply let the middle droop down. Voila: a smile!!