On Your Worst Days

Letters To Myself

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On your worst days you are a work of art because what makes you a masterpiece isn’t your perfection it’s your scars –Jayne.Press

On your worst day, I’m going to be here building you up. I’m going to tell you you’re beautiful and smart and strong. It’s ok to be scared and it’s ok to be tired and broken. I’m going to let you rest and when you’re ready to get out there again. We’re going out there, but we aren’t going out there blind, no, not this time. You are going to be aware of your feelings and your surroundings and when you’ve had enough, you’re going to speak up and say “enough.” Then you are going to rise up and walk away.

Because you are worthy and you are loved.

We got this. We are going to get through this.

-Sasch

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My Mom Intentions

The Art of Momming

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This months intentions I’ve set for mothering are spending quality time with my oldest, creating and being aware of teachable moments with my youngest, but most importantly taking time to enjoy motherhood everyday.

Spending planned quality time with my oldest is one of the best things I started investing in. It allows me to step away from all my responsibilities and just listen to her stories. (And let me tell you, she’s got stories for days which is amazing since she never really talked as a kid.) I love hearing her stories. I want her to know she’s invested in in more ways than one, not just fed and housed, but really focused on and paid attention to. So I started putting one day a week aside for just us two to bond. She always seems a little brighter after we are done with a planned hang out. I say planned because I feel last minute hangout session don’t really serve the purpose. I have to mentally prepare myself to focus on our time together or else I bring my work with me. So when I set aside the time ahead it really makes a difference. It allows me to be fully present.

The other intention I have is being aware enough to take advantage of teaching moments for my youngest. These are my favoritest moments of motherhood. Seeing my babies learn something new, lights up my life. She’s happy. I’m happy. Sometimes we celebrate. Sometimes it’s a silent understanding. But it’s always a good feeling to see my babies grow. Especially because I can get so wrapped up in other things.

I get wrapped up. I get wrapped up in my kids meeting their milestones. I get wrapped up in getting them to where they need to be. I get wrapped up in chasing my own dreams. I mention all that because it’s normal and I know every mom can relate to it. I forget to take time to enjoy my life with them. So the last thing on my list is also one of the most import, to enjoy momming. I try to get on the ground with them, share funny moments with them, and do things to create joyful moments. I like to remind myself the good things about being a mom.

I never really thought of setting intentions for momming. I used to just make lists of things I wanted to get done around the house. They were never really things to build intentional relationships with my girls. I assumed it would just happen naturally. And yes, I do think in many ways relationships get built naturally, but I think this way gives our relationship more value. I do value my family very much. So they’ve been added to my monthly intentions and I hope they grow and evolve into deeper and even more meaningful relationships.

I mean we have a entire world to survive here might as well make the strongest connections I can with the people I love most.

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Show Up and Bare it All

On Writing

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When you look at a writer’s work, you can’t look at one piece and know the whole artist. One piece of work is just a bleep on the radar. Especially in today’s world. You can’t just look at one post, or one blog, or one short story, poem, whatever. You have to follow the artist. Follow them with the intent to understand where their work is coming from and for the most dedicated followers, where it is going. How is it evolving? How is the artist evolving?

We don’t know Leonardo da Vinci from just the Mona Lisa. We know him for his writing, his contraptions, his relationships with other artist and intellectuals of his time. We appreciate da Vinci for who he was entirely. Would he be so well admired if we didn’t know about him outside of his paintings?

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The point here is, show yourself. Show who your are outside of your art. You are not one painting, you’re an entire collection. You are more than one work of art. You’re a gallery. You are Picasso’s works before, during, and after his Blue period. That’s about 50,000 works.

Which also means, keep writing. You can’t stop at just one piece. You have thousands more to create and many more late nights ahead to fight against sleep. Every time you finish writing, a little piece of you changes. I’m not sure whether something is added or subtracted. I’m not even sure if it makes you more whole, but it adds to your collection and it makes you a little more whole to the viewer.

Bare it all

Showing up is great but you gotta do more than that. When you write, take the risk. Don’t be afraid to bare it all. You cannot take a snapshot worth keeping without baring some part of you that you hold sacred. Don’t worry about how people will react. Bare it in the most artistic way possible, then move on to your next work.

There’s going to be days when writing is an inconvenience, write anyway. There’s a million reasons to take the night off. It may seem like just one night away from writing, but it’s not. Writing everyday is proof you’re here and awake and fighting for something.

Writing can become your best friend, if you let it. There’s an intimacy in writing everyday that you can’t get from most relationships. It becomes your secret place and a place you can go where you’re allowed to be authentic. Writing can’t love you back but it sure can feel like it. Stay committed and you’ll be rewarded in a million priceless ways.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

— Louis L’Amour

Writing everyday keeps you in the flow. I feel, when I miss days of writing, it takes more time to get back into the story or into a place where I’m willing to share. It’s like anything else, once you step away, it can turn into days before you’re back in the flow again. When you’re in the flow, it doesn’t feel like it until you’re out of it again. Stay consistent. Write every day, even when you don’t feel like it.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

― Maya Angelou

If you stop writing, you leave things unsaid. You lock stories up inside you that could be shared with the world. Write it out. Write it down. It may not seem like an interesting story now, but I can promise you, there’s someone out there that will love it. You just have to find them. But write it first, worry about finding them later.

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Allow Your Characters the Space to Become Monsters

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Let your characters choose between right and wrong. See how they react in a situation. Sometimes they surprise you and they respect themselves far more than you think. Same in life, you have to let people choose to make the wrong decision. If you take away the chance for someone to choose between right and wrong one, they will never know if they were capable of making the right decision, and neither will you. Your mind will always wonder how bad they would have fucked up if you didn’t step in. You gotta let them be themselves. It gives them room to grow and trust themselves. Making mistakes is the most important part of growth.

So let’s just say we step back as writers after we place our character(s) into some fishy ass situation. Now we think from their past experience, do they know how to step away from something that will destroy their life? Have they learned yet to say no to self destructive behaviors? Are they constantly sneaking around and making bad choices? Why would this time be different? If you step in without thinking and don’t allow your characters to be honest with themselves, the future is going to become murky. The rest of the book will be built on this need for control that you have as a writer and you are going to have to delete the rest of the book and return to this point where you stepped in for your character. Which in turn doesn’t allow your character to be themselves but forces them to be what you want them to be.

Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”— 

We want to be surrounded by people and characters who choose who they want to be because that allows them to be honest with us. When we surround ourselves with honesty it’s much easier to be honest with ourselves and grow into the person we were truly meant to be.

This means that your characters are going to do things that make you really upset. This means that you are going to have to forgive your characters. This means you’re going to have to have a healthy attachment to your characters. If they don’t piss you off, are you connected to your writing? If they piss you off to the point that you can no longer write their story in an honest way, is there something you’re hanging on to that’s hindering your inability to finish? These are questions we need to ask ourselves as writers within and outside of our stories.

Let people show you who they are. Let them write their own story. Let them destroy themselves. Let them become the hero of their own story. They might surprise you. They might disappoint you and do exactly what you thought. But either way they are going to grow from the experience. You are going to grow from watching them. They’ll show you who you don’t want to be or they’ll show you they are someone who you can truly admire.

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What is Worth Fighting For?

There should only be a few things

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If you allow it too much to fall into your bucket of things worth fighting for you’re going to get off track from your true calling. It’s easy to end up fighting battles that aren’t yours to fight. For me, there are only three things I think are worth fighting for, relationships as in my family and friends, my dreams, and being honest about my truths. Anything outside of that, is a distraction or entertainment.

I want my family and friends to have a life where they grow up knowing their worth, their voice, and what they bring to the table. I want to bring those things into their lives. In the past I did drop the ball on those things but I have rebuilt myself so many times that the only thing I want to bring into their presence from here on out is encouragement, empowerment, support and what ever else goes with loving them unconditionally.

My dreams have been my only reason to get out of bed. I lean on them. My hope is that my dreams will outlive me. What else is better to have in our darkest times than hope in our dreams?

I was a quiet girl. Sometimes I was a coward to keep the peace. Sometimes I blew up because I kept my mouth shut too long. I’ve made a lot of mistakes by not being honest about my feelings and about who I am as a person. Sometimes I even say things I don’t mean when someone treats me as if I’m worthless. And for those inappropriate things I’ve said, I’m sorry. I reacted and I shouldn’t have. I understand some things I have said can’t be taken back, but I will show you with my actions that I didn’t mean them. Please know, everyday I push myself to be honest about how I really feel. Everyday I try to explain why I’m angry, sad, or quiet. I’m not out here trying to be malicious with my honesty. I’m not using my honesty to prove to you that I can say things that are going to upset you. I’m honest because I know it’s my best option.

Those are my priorities. Those are the things I want to focus on. What are your top three priorities in life. I’d love to hear them.

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Make Way For The Things You Love

Embrace the Pain

“Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing.” -Fight Club

Life is full of pain. I’m not here to sell you sunshine and roses. We are going to suffer.

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We’ll face times when our entire body aches from head to toe. It might be hard to breathe. To do the things we’ve always done without much thought.

Then it hits us. We’re falling apart. We wasted so much time worrying about gaining aches and pains that we missed out on opportunities. We missed out on people and places and things.

But here’s the thing, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late gain new opportunities. It’s not too late to be honest. To go back to the things you loved and loved doing.

How?

You embrace the pain.

You sit and feel every ounce of pain and you stare it in the face until you’re too tired to do it any more. Then you wake up and do it again. It’s not going to be easy but just keep going. It’s going to take time but it’s worth it. You’ll get through it, then all those monsters you tucked deep inside you, become your tools. They become your reminders of how far you’ve come and how you’re strong enough to keep going.

The more you show up to face your monsters, the more you can learn to use them as tools for your growth and advancement in life. The more that you use them as tools, the smaller they shrink. Eventually the fear of facing them becomes a memory and you have moved on to bigger and better things. The monsters are still there, but now they don’t hold you back from the things you love. Tamed monsters make way for you to love the things you love in a healthy wholesome way.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. Kahlil Gibran

Being able to love those closest to you in a healthy and wholesome makes room for so many other opportunities.

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I Write For My Family

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I write for my family. When I first started writing a few years ago, I was an anxious mess. After writing and learning to accept the many different aspects of myself in order to build honest characters, it made it much easier for me to understand those around me. I can listen with more intention. I can see when there is a miscommunication or when someone needs to define their terms.

The world becomes a weird place when you take the time to understand what makes us human. Well, at first it does. After a while the weird stuff becomes normal and you forget it’s weird stuff until someone looks at you funny for talking about the weird stuff. So when I noticed these things, I wanted to make sure my daughters were handed the weird place too. I hope they find some guidance in their weird place from mine.

There’s a lot of great reasons to write for your family. These are just a couple of mine but they keep me going

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Use Honesty as a Tool

Use Honesty as a Tool
In Your Writing
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Being an honest writer is about leading to the truth or at times, allowing yourself to be lead to the truth. Being an honest writer isn’t telling all the dirt about your character right off the bat or at all for that matter. It’s a guidance. It’s knowing what truths to tell. It’s knowing what truths you keep to yourself to gift others that marvelous feeling of expansion. It’s our duty as writers to allow uncertainty in some moments. Let them have that space where maybe just maybe, it might work out in the best or worst way possible.

I think we can apply this to our own lives too. There are times when calling people out in an innocent moment can be an act of pride rather than an act of love. Sometimes we jump the gun and spill all the ugly stuff without even getting to the stuff that leads them to the truth on their own. We have to let them stagger around a bit to figure out how some things in this world operate. The same goes for writing.

When we look at honesty this way, it becomes more of a tool. We can wield it around at times of distress or times of victory. We can use it as a reward or even as a punishment. There’s so many ways to use honesty as a tool of guidance. It can bludgeon. It can destroy, so use it wisely and when you do decide to use it, use it with confidence.

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Dear Writer, Your Ability to Focus on Today is Amazing.

For Writers Editing Their First Draft

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You stayed focused on today and that is amazing.

When you focus too much on tomorrow it takes away from today. If you took your time and slowly carved away at your words, that is true craftsmanship. You can’t rush art. You know what you have in mind. Put it together. Try it out. If that doesn’t work, it’s ok try another way.

The first draft of anything is shit.”— Ernest Hemingway

Writing doesn’t come out perfect on the first draft, if it did everyone would be a writer. (Well, I think everyone is a writer but that’s for another day.) A huge part of being a writer is editing your work. That is the art of writing. So if you know what you want to change and edit, you are already on the right path.

I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them — without a thought about publication -and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside. — Anne Tyler

I love how you poured everything into these new ideas. It shows courage. It shows you’re in this for the long term. You’re no quitter when you let everything hang loose in your first draft. Now it’s time to let it all unfold in flames and into your story.

I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent — and when you don’t, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. — Malcolm Gladwell

Don’t give up now. If you’re feeling like quitting, accept the thought but don’t dance with it. Think of negative small talk as background noise rather than allowing it to become a suggestion. You created something that came straight from inside your head and placed it on paper. You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Just keep going. Keep taking it one day at a time. You can do this.

“Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist. It’s perfect in its existence. The only way it could be imperfect would be to NOT exist.” ― Jane Smiley

Well, that contradicts the first quote but I agree. The first draft it is not meant to live up to impossible expectations. It’s meant to come alive and that is just the beginning of it all.

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“Strength…”

 

Strength, where does it come from?

 
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Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.– Arnold Schwarzenegger

Strength comes from perseverance. It comes from facing the fears we never thought we could handle. Strength comes from so many things but the one place it truly comes from is in the mind.

Strength is an inside job. It’s facing yourself with authenticity. It’s about learning to accept the parts of you that you hate so you can accept those parts in others.

I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ’Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”– Thomas Paine

Strength is about showing up for yourself when you don’t want to. It’s about advocating for yourself. It’s learning to change and heal so you can trust yourself. Because you are trustworthy, and worthy, and valuable. You deserve someone who knows and understands you to speak up for you and who better to do that than yourself?

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