Bengal Cat Pictures, Exercise, I-L, Writing

I Want…

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Wanting, needing, desiring are all part of human nature. From the time we are born, we want and need to be fed and sheltered. “Want” and “Need” intertwine.

As very young toddlers, what we want runs into a resounding “No”.

For most of our developmental years, we’re taught need and want are different.

You need to do your homework. You want a shiny new bicycle. Later…You need a job (to pay your bills), and you want a shiny new car.

There’s a general consensus of what people need, but when you ask people what they want you’re likely to get two different types of answers.

Answer 1: World peace, the end of genocide, the end of disease and hunger, eternal youth, the end of global warming, clean air and education for all.

Answer 2: Car, boat, diamonds, the newest game, the newest of anything, losing weight and looking better.

I propose taking this want down to a personal level, but beyond the material.

What I want should start with the question of who do I want to be?

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Yes, Who do you want to be? What do you value most? Are you living in harmony with those values?

Do you know what they are? Have you thought about them lately? Do you know the path you need to take?

If you aren’t already trying to attain them, are you willing to make the five minute commitment towards them? (See post of February 16, 2015 if you aren’t sure how the five minute commitment can propel you to success.)

There are many ways to clarify what is most important to you and many books written by many people on the many paths one can take to realize those goals. If you check your library or book store you will find a barrage of suggestions and ideas.

I have a few suggestions of my own, but first the traditional questions:

If you had a week, a month or just a few months left to live, what would you do?

How do you want to be remembered when you are gone?

For the religious: What accounting of your life do you wish to make to your god or religion? What would you like your divine judgment to be?

My own take on the long list of questions to ask yourself includes the following:

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What do you value most? How do you do your part in what you value most? Make a list of the values first. Maybe you wish to live your life with integrity, authenticity, honesty, perseverance, living in accord with your religious beliefs, money, success, fame, or maybe you wish to find eternal life in what you pass on to the next generation.

What moves you? Inspires you?

When does time disappear for you and you enter “the flow”?

The next set of questions from the mundane to the exquisite inquires as to how you reach those goals.

If you want to scale to the top of Machu Picchu, how much exercise and fitness do you need to fit in to your daily life?

Or how much weight do you need to lose to comfortably climb into a raft and face white water, or ride a horse for a day or more without feeling guilty about the load the poor creature is carrying? I, personally, love both these activities, but have over the years have loaded on too much weight to enjoy those adventures. Five minutes a day and then another five. A commitment and a lot of thinking on how to get there, and for me there is a reward well worth the time and work. It’s hard and a large change in habits, but the five minute rule helps me move forward.

If you want to write a book, how much writing time or grammar review, or commitment do you need to make?

If you want to take the challenge of writing a book with the support and company of others dive into National Novel Writing Month http://nanowrimo.org/

Or if you want to learn how to sail, what’s keeping you from achieving those goals? How do you remove those obstacles and follow your dream?

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If you want to make a difference in the climate, in the treatment of animals, in the dire plight of millions of needy people around the world, what small steps can you take to add your commitment to the wellspring of a movement of people who share that drive. Sometimes all it takes is a small step forward.

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It’s worth five minutes a day to ask yourself if what you are doing on that day takes you closer to your dreams. If your work is not what you love, is the pay or experience worth it or do you need to find another path?

It’s worth it to take an hour a week to review and plan and see where you can take those first few steps to launch a dream.

If your dream is already launched (congratulations), what do you need to do to see it through? And what after the celebration of one dream come true, what is the next one you’ll pursue.

I wish all of you achieve your dreams and desires, large and small. I also wish that once you’ve found your crowning glory, you move on to the next quest.

May you always dream.

~ lisa

For those of you who have graduated past the five minute rule. Try the 30 day Challenge. This Ted Talk by Matt Cutts is eloquent and encouraging. Give it a try!

http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days

 

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E-H, Exercise, Writing

Five Minutes

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A second, a split second, or a few seconds and one’s life can be irrevocably changed for better or for worse.

 

These instances are a fact of life that happen to all of us, but second in importance in matter of time is the lowly, easy five minutes.

Five minutes can turn a life around. A five minute commitment can dissolve excuses and launch us into the future we want.

150215-TG3-2150353I realize that some of you have your lives completely together, but for many of us the five minute rule can make all the difference. It’s not instantaneous, but it works.

A chief excuse for all of us when we want to add something in our lives comes to down to the time we must sacrifice for the new idea. There is never enough time. We are harried, over-booked, and often too exhausted to take up that which matters most to us (The excuses blog post will be coming soon).

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Examples of applying that extra five minutes to our lives:

Many of us when we want to achieve fitness, so we join a gym, drive there, drive on to the next destination and get in those work-outs. Many resolutions start that way and many fail so try the five minute method.

If the drive there and back takes too much time, decide what you can do at home. For the price of a gym membership (which are great it you use them), you can buy a few things you can use at your house (no commute time) or even some major gym equipment for your house. The problem still comes down to the commitment to use it.

I suggest the five minute increment step. If we think about it, we can all spare five minutes. Start with getting dressed for a work out, walk to your work out space, say hello to it, and then return to your daily life. Less than five minutes. Once you have those five minutes mastered, take five minutes and pick up your weights, sit on your machine, or roll out your mat. Less than five minutes. Make it a routine.

I can almost guarantee that you will quickly become annoyed with this routine. Don’t give up on it. Since you’re already down there, spend five minutes on your intended exercise. Even five minutes a day of exercise is better than none. Your muscles will start learning the expectations. Thus habits are made.

Five minutes is not just for exercise.

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Try five minutes for writing. Show up. Get the computer, laptop, or paper out. Say hello to it. Less than five minutes. Next step set a timer and write for five minutes. Every day, you can afford five minutes of time. Soon the new habit of showing up will extend in five minute increments to the time you need or want.

Try five minutes for walking, bike riding, gardening, reading, or playing with the co-inhabitants of your household whether they are dogs, cats, parrots or any other companion you’ve adopted.

Spend five minutes talking to your significant other or your child or your friend. Not five minutes of multi-processing, but five minutes of sole focus and eye contact and really listening to what they have to say. Let those five minutes incrementally increase. The desire becomes the habit and habit becomes what you really want out of life.

Think about what you really, truly want out of life and then show up. Five minutes is all it takes to start.

~lisa

IMG_4504-smallAs hard as it may be.

 

 

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Bengal Cat Pictures, R-Z, Writing

Silver Linings

Every cloud has a silver lining.

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I firmly feel application of this phrase should not be sought after.

In the Writer’s Paradox, I wrote about seeking out experiences to enrich one’s writing. To smell the air, walk the terrain and hear the birds. I urge everyone to seek after the whispers of beach, forest, town and experience all they can.

When you are told there is a silver lining sometimes it’s true, but hardly ever at the time you are experiencing the event. There are just as many things in life to avoid as there are to embrace. While these events, bereavements, losses, illness and many others can add a depth of knowing and suffering to your writing, do not seek it out.

Unfortunately, it will find you. 120804 -  - medium

Even the most perfect person(s) you know has demons haunting them, secrets not to be revealed, and tragedies striking. Sometimes the tragedy of one might be only an annoyance to another, but it is wrong to discount their pain. Empathy for those who suffer is better than suffering oneself.

That said, there is no place for anyone to hide. Something will happen out of plan. Sometimes the depth or width of an event is beyond comprehension. Sometimes we will never be able to emphasize since such tragedy is beyond us. But we can listen. We can be there.

When the out-of-the-blue strikes you, cope as best as you can, but as a writer keep those feelings, keep the logistics and the story wrapped around you. Set it in the corner of your mind. Someday you may use it. Someday the silver lining may suddenly appear.Redwood National Park

Perhaps my own recent trial would be a trifling to someone else, but for me a long bout of unplanned pneumonia changed me as I wrapped the experience around me. At first there was nothing, but the little pad of paper by my bedside gradually filled up with every silver lining I could find.

When the worst happens, even if you see a silver lining, it is for the person in the center to find it for themselves. Wait. Unless it is you. If you are at the center of cataclysm, big or small, file it away in the writing stock and when the pain has passed embrace the experience and count whatever it has added to your life.

All of life is there for us. Some good. Some bad. And some beyond words.

My hope is that everyone can find a silver lining.

My greatest hope is that you’ll never have to search for one.

~lisa

hiyu

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Bengal Cat Pictures, R-Z, Writing

The Writer’s Paradox

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The Hill is back meandering again. For those of you who are new, Rainbow Hill Meanders darts around with glee as the hill roams through the diversity of life, mythology, cultures and eclectic odds and ends.

  It’s been a long and exhilarating journey these last few months, but that is what brings me to today’s subject.
Writers are told to “write what they know.” I’ll be the first to admit compared to everything I want to know, I’m fairly ignorant.

The other adage is “write from your experience”, and I would add that there are so many things in life to experience, where will I find the time to experience all of it?

With a few caveats, I can agree with both pieces of advice.
It’s not easy to write about the ocean without knowing the taste of salt on your lips. Sure we can imagine the setting, but the details are in the sea breeze, in the force of the wind bringing sand against your skin and the air filled with the crash of waves and the call of birds.
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I could perhaps write forever about the beach from so many experiences in so many climates. There are movements caught in the periphery of vision, and the smell of the sea life on each wave rolling in. All beaches smell a little different, sound a little different and all of them can surprise you with something new.

There are so many great experiences to try, bask in, absorb and feel. There are so many things to learn and find and revel in the knowledge of. There is so much life that we can’t ever experience all of it, but we can expand our experiences by embracing each other whom we meet, by bridging the gap and exchanging our experiences, our triumphs, our failures, and our moments of wonder.

Back to writing.

As a writer you read everything in your genre or subject. Mostly as a writer you need to write. Writing is the ultimate goal. So where do all of these writing adages take me?
We all struggle with work/life balance. Writers add on read/learn/experience/explore and then write. Sometimes this is a daunting commandment. Other times it is the richest gift life has given me.

I’ve tried many methods over the years. This meandering blog is one of my favorites. After all, being a writer encompasses the love of sharing with others. We share our stories, our imaginations, our experiences and our dreams.120924 -  - medium-3
If I can share through words the tickle of a crab scuttling sideways across your hand and leaving a small trail of abandoned sand behind then I have shared with you. When I read, it is the other writer sharing back. If I can share a lively detail of dodging a tornado with friends then they can share their own lively tales back.

And back to the writer’s paradox. There are all those hours and connections that enrich us beyond measure, but then there is the solitary art of going into the flow, of coalescing all of richness into a story to share with others.

My wish is that all of the writers out there forever enrich us with their words, their art and the dedication of what is mostly a solitary endeavor. My wish is also that they may enjoy the world and people around them in equal balance.

May tomorrow always bring new discoveries.
~lisa
A pari of bengalsWhat do you think the best strategies are for balancing writing and experience? Life and the work it takes to share our passions? I would love to hear your advice.
 

 

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