Signs You’ve Matured During the Pandemic

For the Conscious Writer

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First, regardless of how you feel, I want you to accept that you are at the peak of your mountain right now. Sit down and enjoy the view. In other words, appreciate the fruits of your labor. As a conscious writer, you are not just writing but also changing who you are for the better.

You appreciate your lover within.

You’ve taken this year to learn and accept the parts of you that have either been hidden or unloved. You can look in the mirror now and adore so much more of you. You can hold more of yourself as worthy and loved. After years of being shown how small you are, after years of listening to how unlovable you are, you’ve decided to let those negativities fall away. Those negativities were parts of you that you held close, those are parts of you that you called love and you have learned to let go of them.

You know you are both successful and still growing simultaneously.

Growth is a lifetime adventure. There are things you have mastered at one point in your life that you may need to relearn while in a different season. There are things you have yet to master. Some people mastered things you may have never had trouble with accepting. Some people can do things you have yet to understand.

You’re not like others while being exactly like others.

The paradox of being the same but different. In some ways, we are like those around us and in other ways, our choices and values make us different.

You’ve found ways to enjoy doing the things you dislike doing.

For example, getting out of bed and writing even when you’re tired. Resting when you think you should be working harder. Cleaning when you’ve been up all-night writing. Taking time to make a healthy meal when you’re so exhausted because you know your writing is better when you’re healthy. These are just a few things and they can be vastly different for everyone.

You’ve learned to have healthy attachments.

This one is so strange in today’s world for some reason codependency is admired and cultivated. Especially for moms. We are taught that mothering should come at the sacrifice of our dreams but that just isn’t true. Friendships are expected to be ride or die and show up even when you have nothing left to give. These ideas create very unhealthy attachments. It’s important to keep dreaming as a mom and it’s important to be able to say when you just don’t have it in you support someone. The same is true that it’s important to learn to ask for and accept whatever answer you’re given.

You allow yourself to rest.

In this world we are pushed and pushed and pushed until we are so tired, we become robotic and inhuman. Our conscience dies. Our dreams die. Our creativity turns to rage, impatience, intolerance, and animalistic impulses. We forget who we are. In this world, it is a rebellious act to rest. It’s offensive to take mental health days but we’ve learned to stand and say, “I need to rest and that’s ok.”

You’ve learned to let go and embrace uncertainty.

No matter how much planning, you know things may not go how you want them to. The more you try to control things the more you have realized you’re not in control.

Look at how far you’ve come with keeping your commitments, self-discipline, and acceptance for yourself and those around you. These are amazing things to appreciate. Many other people don’t have the awareness to appreciate the value of these accomplishments. You, however, have worked to be able to see these things. You should be proud of yourself.

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Encouragement for the Lost

For the Conscious Writer

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Friedrich Nietzsche

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There are going to be times of feeling completely lost. Like you’re in a room without even a sliver of light. Or that moment when the lights go dim and our eyes are still adjusting. It doesn’t feel good at all. These moments lack certainty. In these moments of complete darkness, our only option is to first surrender to it. You could fight but it would be a waste of energy to react hastily or it could cause more problems than need be.

Remember why you’re writing. Why did you take the path of being a conscious writer? Then write. Doesn’t matter what it’s about, just write something. This moment of separation from your larger vision is precisely that, a moment. It will pass.

Ride on discipline or the intention of developing your discipline. These moments in the fog, motivation falls into the background. Being tired and overwhelmed can make this journey feel impossible or too big for us to handle but those are just feelings. You are strong and you are capable.

Remember that this is bigger than us. This entire thing doesn’t rest on your shoulders. There are many of us taking a similar path. There are many of us shouldering the weight of honesty. The point of saying this it to remind you that you are not alone. It’s important to be aware that your story is unique. Your contribution is imperative and since your work is this important, we need you to work in a way that will keep you moving forward and keep your head in the game.

Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. -Disney’s Lilo and Stitch

There has been a need for conscious writers throughout history. Storytellers hold the keys of history, culture, evolution, wisdom, universal ideas, and finding joy in times of distress. You are on the right path. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. There is no story too big for you to grasp. Keep carving.

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Meditation, Protection, Transformation

For the conscious writer

3 things you need in your daily writing ritual

Meditation, Protection, and Transformation are the three things you need in your locker as a conscious writer. Without these things, you can still move forward but not efficiently and there will be more setbacks than need be. Here’s some reasons why:

A.Without meditation, you can’t quiet your busy mind. There are to-do lists and things you want and need and there are a million things and people tugging at your heart. It gets messy

B.Without protection you spread yourself so thin you can’t think and the chatter gets so pushy it becomes the boss of you. You lose sleep, you lose focus and you fall away from your purpose faster than you can say Scarab Beetle.

C.Without Transformation, there’s no growth. You sit around like a stagnant worm inching around the same things over and over again without positive results. Life loses its meaning. You miss out on opportunities and your mind becomes rigid and stuck on ideas that no longer serve you or those around you.

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When it comes to being a conscious writer, these are all things that will hold you back from forward movement. We want great stories to hand down and pass around the world. A way clasp hands with those willing to listen. We want to move forward so we can be closer to our purpose and our life goals. So toss these three things in your daily writing rituals and you’ll be sure to see forward movement.

Meditation

Let’s start with Meditation. I spoke on mediation before. This is such a helpful tool and it’s the in thing these days. There are tons of resources to help you learn to meditate. Once you find one that suits you it will engage your imagination, give you solitude, and it quiets the chatter. Those are just a few reasons meditation will benefit your writing.

When you meditate, you let go of all your thoughts and you allow new ones to flow in and out. The new thoughts can be keys to what’s missing in your story. They could also bring new story ideas or help you let go of an idea in your story that you’ve been clinging on to. And what’s better than a moment of peace in this busy world.

I meditate in the bath. I close my eyes and sink right under the water. I haven’t always meditated that way but recently that has been the most helpful way. I don’t really like getting my hair wet before bed, but I do like having a good writing session before bed, so it’s worth the sacrifice for me.

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Protection

Protect your space. As conscious writers, we come with a boatload of empathy which means we know when someone needs our help but we have to say no sometimes. When it comes to your commitment to writing at a certain time or a certain season you have to protect your space. It is absolutely mind-numbing how quickly my writing space disappears when I don’t respect and protect it. And it’s so so easy for me to just slip up one day and let it snowball into shorter and shorter writing sessions. This writing thing is a commitment. It’s ok to take shift your routine or have emergencies but remember that this space is absolutely worthy of your protection.

Protecting this space doesn’t only mean protect the time you write but also protect your ability to put forth your best effort. If you can’t figure out how to use the distraction to improve your writing it has got to go. People, things, movies, blogs, whatever. If it isn’t improving you or your writing, it doesn’t belong in this space.

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Transformation

Now, this is something we must allow to happen to us. It’s not exactly something you chase. It’s something you allow to happen to you when you work daily toward a goal. You can’t time it. You can’t plan it. You can’t predict anything about it. It happens and you just gotta let it happen.

You allow yourself to transform by allowing yourself to not like the same things anymore. To allow yourself to be wrong or better yet to realize how long you’ve actually been right. You step up more. You shut up more. There are so many internal shifts that connect to so many different things. Let yourself transform by letting go and accepting the person you are becoming, even if that person isn’t someone you ever thought you were going to be.

And there you have it, three things you need in your daily writing ritual. Do you already apply these things? Why? How are they working for you?

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Stepping Out of Your Story and Embracing the Powerlessness of Someone Else’s

For the Conscious Writer

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The great thing about writing you’re own stories is that we have a good idea about what is going to happen. What can be interesting is when we have to leave our stories and gain that sense of powerlessness when we enter into someone else’s story

There’s two aspects to this, one is when we actually engage in someone else’s art. We give our sense of control over to the creator. It’s a mutual agreement between creator and viewer. This aspect provides more of an escape. It’s letting someone else take the wheel of perspective for a moment. It’s liberating and entertaining.

Then the other aspect is in reality when we have to accept that others might make choices we don’t agree with. This isn’t always a mutual agreement. Sometimes the repercussion for some else’s actions are thrust upon you, and there’s nothing you can do about them. The thing you can control is your own thoughts and actions.

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We can’t ever be completely powerless while we are alive and conscious. We can think. We can strategize. We can chose to stay completely unaffected or lash out. We could even think up entirely new situations in our heads and prefer to engage with those ones over reality. We have options. Some choices are better than others but we have them.

The great thing about learning to accept powerlessness as a conscious writer is you get to see things from a different perspective than your own. You can use these moments as tools to understand why someone would do something you can’t imagine yourself doing. Good and bad situations. It’s great practice for character building

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Which leads to, the next thought. Learning to take note of how you feel in moments of powerlessness. Try to stay aware of how you’re feeling when someone’s consequences are thrust on you. This can be a profound experience when you listen and question the thoughts racing through your mind. This is where the great characters live.

Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness.

David Whyte

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A Letter to My Characters

For the Conscious Writer

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Dear Characters,

I’m am here. I will always be here forever and always. I will learn and know each and every part of you and help you bloom into the person that you were always meant to be. No matter what choice you make, no matter how many times you fail, I will be near you. Some choices or things you do, may disappoint me or make me cry. They may make me proud and brighten up my day. Either way, I’ll still need your existence. I’ll still seek you out.

I know your past. I know your thoughts. I know your true purpose. Who you’re going to be isn’t set in stone, until you show me with your actions. The calculated ones, the impulsive ones, the mindless ones. They define you, they take you to who you’re going to be. Show me who you are. Show me with your actions what is in your heart and that’ll make sure you become who you’re destined to be. That will make sure you meet yourself exactly where you’re meant to be.

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It doesn’t matter how strong you are, or how smart, or what gifts and talents you were given. All that matters, is when I throw you into a situation, that you be authentically you. I do hope you learn that these situations are molding you into the person you were destined to be, but hear me out, you can act like the person who you want to become. The trick is to be that person in detail. Now, when I say the person you want to become, I mean you aren’t stuck in your flawed or limited behaviors. I mean, if you want to be a writer, then you must be writing. Be writing when the dragons and fairies and handsome princes come barging into your door. I say this because regardless of your true purpose and of your past, and of your thoughts, if you were writing in the darkest and brightest moments of your existence, what are you then, other than a writer in the midst of living.

And if there is ever a moment you feel you are without purpose, I can promise you, you were not brought into existence without purpose. Not for one moment.

With so much love and gratitude,

your creator

P.S. I can’t explain all the bad things that happen in my own world, but I can give you life that’s worth living. Realize that your life is a gift to me.

Right Now is Important

For the Conscious Writer

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“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” — Abraham Maslow

We get wrapped up. At least I do. The story eats away at me. I forget what it feels like to just be in reality for a few hours. I obsess my characters and the words and the genre. I could spend hours editing my book and not even notice I’m still editing when I put my computer away.

They say stay drunk on writing, and that’s a fabulous idea when you have the lifestyle to do so. So I have to make time when I’m present in my house in all aspects, not just in body. I need to have my mind right here next to me, in the present.

“Always hold fast to the present. Every situation, indeed every moment, is of infinite value, for it is the representative of a whole eternity.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I am overwhelmed from editing. I am frustrated with my lack of solitude, right now. So I spent a couple hours today being present. Not being focused on my book. Not planning things to do for it or my writing. I just floated around the house laughing with my family, playing on my phone, and thinking about Hannibal. I even took one of those long showers. Yup, my skin’s silky smooth right now. (Stay at home mama’s you know what I’m talking about).

So, as Conscious writers I think it’s important to be intentional about being present outside of your writing. It’s great to jot down ideas when they come but enjoy your life. I read something saying that we write to live not the other way around. Your writing should accentuate your life, not drag it down. Enjoy your family. Enjoy other creative’s works. It’s ok

We get the guilt. Like, if we’re not writing or thinking about writing, we’re not working hard enough. I think the “you should be writing” memes are funny. I laugh and I share them because we do get haunted by our work. We do get overwhelmed by our need to finish. A little anxiety to get a job done is important, but it shouldn’t deprive you from being fully present when you’re not writing. At least not to the point of guilt and shame.

If you are writing and/or editing everyday you are investing. If you’re writing when the house is asleep, that’s huge. Seriously. Allow yourself the freedom to be fully immersed in your day so you can come back to your writing with fresh eyes and a full heart.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” — Mother Teresa

Get Out Into the Storm

For the Conscious Writer

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You know those snow storms when it’s freezing cold and there’s so much snow it’s literally coming out of your ears. Yes, those. Ok so now let’s say you’re finally dry and warm again all snuggied up in your car. Then you pull into your driveway, and all you’ve wanted is to be inside your home. But then you realize stepping out of the car means stepping into the freezing cold snow storm. That’s what you have to do with your writing.

You’ve got to brave the storm. It’s not so much about being fearless. It’s more about accepting a temporary amount of discomfort to get you to your goal destination.

We’ve all had those days where we curl up on the couch and zone out for as long as humanly possible. Those are nice days. Some of us can sit longer than others, either way the point still stands, it’s comfortable. It’s nice to be unbothered by things. But this isn’t the garden of Eden. You’ve got to get out there and work the ground and pop out some book babies.

Learning to embrace the storm is learning to embrace the life handed to you.

I’m not sure what makes you uncomfortable and truth is you haven’t experienced all the things that make you uncomfortable yet. You may find that you’re more comfortable in a certain scenario than you thought would be. You may find you are extremely uncomfortable but the consequence for enduring that discomfort is a positive one.

So let’s just say you’re writing right now, ask yourself are you in your warm and comfortable car? Are you staying too safe? Too comfy, cozy, and dry? Just think, what’s on the other side of the discomfort you feel right now? Pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers? Your favorite Tyler Durden inspired robe? Don’t delay the inevitable. Step outside your comfort zone and freeze your tush off.

“To reach only for that which pleasantly enchants you is the least of imagination, if even imagination at all, by the obvious reality of remaining within your means. The greater of imagination is parallel to risk. It extends beyond your comfort zone or haven, or sense of beauty, or what you personally believe suits you in exploration of what may not.”
― 
Criss Jami, Killosophy

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Overwhelmed

For the Conscious Writer

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When writing a novel, there’s going to be many days where your work feels much bigger than you. It will loom over you the way any large thing does. You feel like little David from the biblical story of David and Goliath. It’s about a little shepherd boy who other’s believed didn’t qualify for the task. A Cinderella story, if I may. Spoiler Alert, he managed to kill his giant with a talent he acquired while watching over his flock of sheep. A sling shot. So the moral here is, you are just as qualified as any other writer. Use the skills you’ve acquired to make it this far and face the giant.

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What’s the Next Lesson?

For the Conscious Writer

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Intentional learning is part of the writing process. The best way to learn intentionally is to set learning goals. The great thing is that anything you learn can be incorporated into your writing. So think about what you’d be interested in learning. What would spark your curiosity? Then follow the rabbit. Creating your own learning goals gives you a sense of control, which in turn makes a more interested learner, which in turn makes an intentional learner. It all works out.

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A good teacher appreciates a student that’s interested in learning. So why not be your own teacher proud of your own interests? This is a great way to get to know yourself. It builds confidence, trust, and knowledge within yourself.

Intentional learning is one way you can show up for yourself in ways no one else can. There’s an interesting stream of thought that happens when you take an interest in something. Our thoughts begin to bubble and flow only adding more and more questions. Sometimes our curiosity can take us places we didn’t originally plan. I think it’s marvelous. And I think it’s even more fascinating that we can almost see the train of thought through our search history. But that’s another topic for another day.

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. –Socrates

Check out my last piece, “How to Let Go While Feeling Everything

How to Let Go While Feeling Everything

For the Conscious Writer

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“Attachment constrains our vision so that we are not able to see things from a wider perspective.” Dalai Lama

As a conscious writer, it’s important to be able to let a story go. It starts during creation, even though you shouldn’t think too much about what to get rid of while in the creation process. Sometimes we really want something in a story that doesn’t fit no matter how much we want it there. Then, there’s editing that’s basically deleting everything you just wrote or a good portion of it anyways. And then, there’s editing from other’s perspectives. And last but not least the final product is bringing it out of hiding and letting it go free into the world.

“You only lose what you cling to.” Buddha

This is why learning to let go is important. Writing isn’t a selfish thing no matter how much of a passion of yours it is. If you hang on to things that are no longer useful for your story it’s going to detract from the meaning and power behind your words, behind your life’s work. Same with hanging on to anything else.

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The best way to let go while feeling everything is learning to have healthy attachments. A good reminder is that none of this is truly our own. Not the people in our lives and not our art. They don’t belong to us. They are meant for their own purposes and their own lives. That is the best start to developing healthy attachments. (Another way of saying it is non attachment.)

“It is a sign of great character and strength to be able to lose your attachment to anyone or anything that isn’t good for.” Anonymous

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