“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” –Vincent Van Gogh
Ah, that was a push in the direction I needed. I’ve been saying for so long that I’m stalled in my writing, but guess what? I’m not writing! Maybe that’s why I’m so stalled. Gee, ya think?
I suffer a very common insecurity that writers often experience: I sit around and say “I can’t write.” Followed by those self-defeating thoughts like “Who am I kidding? Who’s going to want to read what I have to say?” and “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t compare to and will never be as good as (insert author name here).” It’s a vicious cycle and one that I need to get out of already.
So if we follow the logic here in this quote, whatever we say we can’t do, just start doing it and we’ll be proven wrong. I like it. I think I’ll take a page from Van Gogh’s book and just start writing dammit and silence that voice inside me once and for all!
What about you? What is it that you continue to say you are incapable of doing? What would happen if you just started doing it? Does this quote spark something in you?
Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night
(courtesy of Pixabay)
“If a train doesn’t stop at your station, then it isn’t your train.” ~ Marianne Williamson
How many times have you fretted over what didn’t happen for you? That relationship that you so wanted to work. That job that you just KNEW was going to be the answer to your prayers. That dream house that you bid on but then lost because someone came in with a higher bid. The account for which you were competing. The dog at the shelter that you so desperately wanted but when you went back, he was gone. And on and on it can go.
The bottom line is: If it doesn’t happen for you, it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s as simple as that. No use spending time questioning why or how or beating yourself up that you didn’t do all you could’ve to make it happen. The could’ve, should’ve, would’ve’s can really wreak havoc on your peace of mind.
Wouldn’t it be so much easier – and healthier– if you simply accepted that it just didn’t work out? And be at peace with the fact that it wasn’t your train…
But what if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t take no for an answer? You fight and manipulate and try to bend things in your favor. Here’s what Marianne Williamson goes on to say about that train:
“Don’t try to flag down the conductor and convince them to stop there, even if their own map says that they should just keep going. You may not realize it, but there’s another train trying to come toward you, unable to get into your station because a train that doesn’t even belong there is being delayed there by your intensity.”
Chill out. Be secure in the knowledge that your train is on its way. The one that just passed and didn’t stop for you: it wasn’t yours. But your train WILL come. Know that.
Have you chased trains? Have you desperately tried to change outcomes? If so, did you ever find that you should’ve left well-enough alone?
Planning to enjoy your life is not the same as enjoying your life. ~ Alan Cohen
I wonder if we realize just how much time we truly waste and how much of the present we actually miss? So many of us spend entirely too much time in the future, planning, plotting, devising, that we miss the right here, right now of today.
Too much dreaming of the future neglects the present. And how much of our forward-thinking is spent worrying? How much time do you think we waste worrying about things that never happen and may not ever happen? We lose so much valuable time to anxieties over the future (and regrets from the past) — time that we will never get back. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting and often productive to think about the future and it’s sometimes rewarding to think about the past but we need to spend more time being in the now. There is a deep appreciation that can be found through living in the present.
I was reminded of being in the now the other night as I watched the lunar eclipse and rejoiced in the sight of an awesome blood moon. I wasn’t thinking about what I should or could be doing. Instead I just enjoyed sitting in the yard and watching the eclipse unfold. Normally a rather impatient person, I found it relaxing to just sit and marvel at this rare occurrence.
Living in the present also brings about a sense of gratitude. Being grateful helps anchor you in the here and now as you become keenly aware of that which has made you grateful. Not to mention that practicing gratitude is extremely good for your heart and soul!
Alan Cohen’s quote, “Planning to enjoy your life is not the same as enjoying your life,” really brings the reality of planning into view. It’s good to plan ahead, but don’t spend all your time planning. Instead, make a commitment to spend your time LIVING in the now.
Do you find that you spend too much time in the future (or the past)? How do you practice living for today?
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. ~ Jim Rohn
Isn’t this sure the truth?! For without discipline, we may never achieve goals. Sometimes I find it hard to be disciplined, especially when it comes to my writing. I’m the least disciplined writer ever…which is why I’ve never finished my book. I don’t know why I shy away from it. Probably lack of confidence. But if I would only insist on some disciplined habits, I might just be able to leave that lack of confidence far behind me.
I shy away from discipline because it involves restraint…restraint from doing what I want to be doing instead of doing what I should be doing. I can’t say that I’m completely undisciplined. Obviously I have a good degree of discipline as I’ve been self-employed for over twenty years and a good portion of those years were spent in the advertising business. There is real discipline involved in that business because it revolves around hard and fast deadlines. So I know I have the ability to be disciplined. I just need to make myself be disciplined when it comes to writing.
When considering self-discipline, one has to persist at difficult or unpleasant tasks until they’re completed. Well, I did that with my garage a few months ago. I stuck at it until I got it all cleared and cleaned out. That was successful discipline. I’ve just succeeded in cleaning out two spare rooms over the last few weeks too.
But on the other hand, I am the queen of procrastination…even on projects that I very much want to complete (like my book). I need to work on developing some effective discipline habits.
How do you get disciplined? What has worked for you? Rewards? Incentives? If you are a writer, how do you make yourself sit down and write? What gets you motivated? What are your tricks of the trade?
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain
I just saw this Mark Twain quote on a blog the other day and it made me stop in my tracks. Have I experienced that other important day yet? I don’t know that I’ve figured out why I’m here just yet. I have some ideas but nothing that makes me go, “Yes, this is it. This is exactly why I’m here.”
I just turned 53 and still searching for my raison d’etre. Have you figured out why you’re here??