REIGNITING A SENSE OF FREEDOM
Last week, this process was a breeze. This week, I’ve discovered two things.
- It’s actually very time consuming and I’ve not done some of the ‘tasks’ set in the book. Excluding the 40 minutes it takes to write my daily morning pages, I think I’m going to have to set aside 30 minutes a day to keep up with things. But that’s okay, because I want to do this properly.
- All this introspection is bringing emotions very close to the surface. I had a ‘bad’ day yesterday – didn’t get out my pjs and lay on the couch watching TV and eating rubbish – but that’s okay too, because I’m getting closer to the heart of things that are important to me.
But the process remains exciting. I’m learning a lot and my creative juices are really beginning to fire.
Weekly check in.
How many days did you do your Morning Pages? How was the experience of doing them?
I wrote every day, but one day I only wrote two pages, and yesterday (Saturday morning) wrote just over one page. Friday evening was a bad night and I found myself unwilling to write down exactly what it was that was bothering me in my Saturday morning pages, and that’s why I stopped so abruptly.
(Long story short, I checked out my ex’s new wife’s Facebook page on Friday night – I know, I know, a mad thing to do!! – and saw a photo she’d taken on their latest holiday. It feels like he’s had more holidays with her in 3 years than he had with me in 37 and that hurts.)
However, this morning (Sunday) after withdrawing from the world yesterday, I woke up and went straight to my MPs. And it helped. A lot. Being able to be honest, to know that no-one is going to read my thoughts in my MPs, allowed me the freedom to explore feelings and solutions I might not have considered if I’d felt someone watching over my shoulder.
Did you do an Artist Date? What was it?
I wasn’t particularly inspired for an Artist’s Date, and because I left it till the end of the week, I was fumbling around for an idea. So I ‘borrowed’ one from Julia’s book. She talked about one client who had gone to a coffee shop in the morning to read the newspaper, so I decided to adapt that.
I used to be a voracious reader and would often have 3-4 books on the go; one in the bedroom, one in the bathroom, one in the sitting room and one in my bag. After my ex left me, I found it hard to focus – particularly on reading. Last year I’m lucky if I even read 4 books.
So for this Artist’s Date, I decided to go to a coffee shop, sit outside in the warm summer sun and spend an hour reading a book I’ve been wanting to read for over a year.
Which is what I did… except when I bought my coffee and sat down, I realized I’d left the book at home! But that was okay. I sat there for a while and sipped my coffee, then went home, sprawled out on the sofa and read solidly for an hour.
And it was great. The time allowed me to get into the story, to get to know the characters and fix the world firmly in my mind. It also made me realize that setting aside time to read on a regular basis – not just on an Artist’s Date – is something I should try to do more of because I really enjoyed it.
Did you take your Walks? What did you notice along the way?
Rather than just take two twenty-minute walks a week, I’m trying to walk for twenty minutes every morning. And I did that every morning until yesterday and today.
By NOT walking, I realized just how important those walks are for me. They need to be part of my routine. Once I’ve been outside, I feel set up for the day. And I’m wondering, if I had forced myself to go out for my walk yesterday (Saturday) morning, might I have had a better day than I ended up having? If I’d gone out, got some fresh air and exercise instead of pulling the covers back over my head and retreating back into sleep, would my mind have been clearer? Would I have perhaps not felt so sad?
What ‘aha’s’ did you discover this week?
As well as doing Julia’s book, I accompanied my daughter to a documentary of Rachel Hollis’s RISE workshop. It was very inspiring, but left me with some questions – which I was able to work through in my morning pages.
Rachel – and other motivational speakers – seem to say that there’s nothing you can’t do if you work hard enough for your dream project. Don’t have time? Then get up at 5am or work later in the evening once the kids have gone to bed.
Being retired and with no-one dependent on me any more, I have all the time in the world to work on my dream projects. Or do I?
One of the things I’ve been very critical of myself for is putting everyone else’s needs before my own. First it was my husband’s, and then the kids’. But… is that necessarily a bad thing?
I would like to leave this world with one tangible thing that I’ve done. I think most of us do. In my case it’s a book. But I find myself constantly distracted at the moment with babysitting for my grandkids or hanging out with friends. I’m having a great time with them, but I’m getting no closer to getting that book written.
So, am I copping out, or… is the most tangible thing, is the most important thing that I will leave behind, my family and some amazing friendships?
The one thing I’m most proud of is my kids. Of course they have their own issues – who doesn’t? – but they are good, kind, thoughtful, empathetic people, in loving relationships, raising their own good kids.
Yes, I would love to leave a book behind that people might still read 100 years from now, but perhaps the most important thing is that I love my kids and they love me. I love spending time hanging out with my friends at the lake, chatting over coffee, or going for a walk along the river, shooting the breeze. True human connections. In the end, isn’t that what matters most?
Maybe we need to be kinder and more forgiving to ourselves if we don’t achieve ‘the material dream’.
Or… am I copping out?
Did you experience synchronicity this week? What was it? Did it give you a sense of connection?
I think I said this last week, but there were a couple of times when I thought about something, and then something connected to that thought happened later. But can I remember what they were? The answer to that – LOL – would be ‘no’.
What did you find in your Memoir that you would like to explore more fully?
Because I was the youngest in my family – by quite a margin – there are things that happened in the past where I’m a bit hazy on the timing. So I’ve been e-mailing my siblings to get their feedback on things we did as a family. It’s great to get their input, and has got me thinking…
What I’d like to do is write down all the Memoir questions in Julia’s book, and when I next see my siblings, record their answers, so I can present their oral memoirs to them and their kids and grandkids. Once memories are gone, they’re gone. What a treasure I think it would be for their kids/grandkids to have those memories captured.
So, that’s my weekly report in. Are you following Julia’s programme too? If so, what insights have you gained that you’d like to share with us. We’d love to hear them.