Last year started and ended the same, happiness landed and is still here.
~~~Instead of making New Years’ resolutions, I give myself a mental tune-up, so I’m prepared for whatever happens during the year. I call this: fine tuning my attitude, or developing more perfection, of a mental habit, for simplicity.
First, choose a new inspiring calendar I can read each day of the month. My favorite collectibles are Nicholas Kirsten-Honshin’s breathtaking artwork, capturing Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings.
January’s Zen, most appropriate thought for the beginning of the year: “Around us, life bursts forth with miracles–a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere.”
Second, continue to pace myself with longer meditation, new yoga poses, and deeper reflection for a clearer mental path.
~~~Writing a monthly blog hasn’t been to be swept into the crowd of social media. This journey is very therapeutic. My perspectives aren’t how to write a synopsis, or how to find an agent. There’re countless resources for that. I’ve chosen a more personal approach, giving thought to each word. It’s my intention when read, there’s a takeaway of who I am, and results in someone’s own reflection. We writers breed endless thoughts running wild inside. . . that eventually pour like hot butter onto the pages we write.
The first productive day of 2018: Overhauling Mental Habit of Simplicity, essential for writing.
I know removing clutter will allow more space to process. However, I really need to fine-tune my mental habit, because I keep getting tangled into a cluttered ball, which I surmise in a twisted way, leads to my writer’s block.
Completely clear the desk again. Yes, I feel the juices percolating. Surely, now I can be more productive—but—my concentration isn’t focused. Maybe my mind craves a little more stimulation. Okay, bring back the old friends: cup of coffee on the desk, assortment of pens, a few notebooks containing random story ideas. Don’t forget the small plate of cheese, crackers and cut apples. Now I can write!
After a good writing session—counting 500 words on a new idea (inbetween polishing off several query letters), it seems my mind craves clutter to feel productive. Why is the mind more comfortable with clutter? Maybe my mind wants more because it knows I’m happier being surrounded by clutter familiarities. Maybe my mind sees acquiring clutter a necessary process of writing to actually be a writer. Tricky thing: my mind. Part of it wants less clutter because it knows less reduces jumbled thoughts causing that writer’s block.
Creating space is good, but in the end, it seems my mind finds dissatisfaction—if it doesn’t have mental stimulation, it will be bored, and won’t allow anything to be written. So, I think, maybe it’s not so bad to keep my coffee cup, turn on my jazz, and sit by the window enjoying the view.
One of the words in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Zen quote for January is: awareness. Maybe inspiration doesn’t have to be packaged into some austere formula of perfection.
I think this year will start as the old one ended—uneven stacks of my favorite books in my office, full to partially filled notebooks I got as presents, the latest travel magazine showcasing Italy, and, of course, coffee in my favorite cup I purchased in Paris—now that should be enough to write for hours.