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Artist’s Way, Week 7-Almost tossing in the towel

There have so far been two times I almost tossed in the towel during the Artist’s Way. The first time was the second week in, because I simply didn’t have the energy to wake up early enough to both workout and write morning pages. I had only just started my workout routine and resented being thrown off that path so soon and replace it with morning pages. I prioritized writing over exercise as usual though, and now I’m glad I made that decision. It is insane how after two months, my entire lifestyle has now changed, and I’ve been able to work both these things in addition to sleeping meditation.

A little more than halfway, I wanted to give up again, this time because it was the second week in a row where things felt so rushed that I wasn’t able to enoy the fruits of reflection that the exercises had to offer.

Believe it or not, I did not get much out of the collage, which from what I’ve been seeing on the Facebook, is several people’s favorite part. I managed to scrounge together a little under ten magazines, and she only gave us twenty minutes to flip through quickly and pick images that fir our life or interests. The thing is, she also wanted us to have twenty images, and in order to get that many, I had to stretch my time into thirty minutes. It struck me how appropriate one of my magazines was for this collage, and how one of them I didn’t cut a single thing. And of course being a perfectionist, even though I don’t really refer to the magazines anymore, I hate the idea of devaluing them by cutting into them, or what a person would think if I lent it to them, or if I accidentally cut out a part of an article that mattered to me. In any case, I ended up with a mostly cliched collage-love, working out, travel, excitement…the one thing I was very surprised by was how many phrases I found that matched the idea of growth (a quarter of the images surrounded just that). I was also pleasantly surprised I found things surrounding natural healing and healthy eating habits–something I’ve been working at for years.

Thanks to the exercises, I also wound up in a Buddhist temple, got to light incense in honor of what the Buddha represented, and got invited to join in a class. I was out of town on Sunday, otherwise I would have attended their Sunday service just to see what it was like. I still intend to this upcoming weekend. It’s funny because I was sad that I missed the Chicago Architectural Tour where they opened all these amazing buildings to the public for the weekend–and this temple was one of them. It’s funny because I’ve considered myself spiritual but not religious. For a while in college I was looking for a religion that fit me, and although Buddhism appealed to me (Both because I had friends who followed it and I liked that it dealt with enlightenment more than an omnipotent power. Additionally they seemed non-judgmental of other religions and more accepting overall). However when I tried to follow it in college I just felt pretentious, mainly because most of the people at my school seemed to use it as an intellectual/spiritual superiority over us uninformed non-Biddhists. I really didn’t want to join in on this or “fake it ’til I made it.” How ironic that after three years of practicing nonreligious spirituality, that circumstances would lead me back to Buddhism. It’s funny because everyone has been recommending meditation and rhis would be a supportive network to start doing that.

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More Pretty Flowers – Bougainvillea

These are one of my favorites types of flowers, peeking through the metal gates in Mexico.

Don Charisma

It always surprises me when people say they don’t have anything beautiful to photograph where they are. These flowers are by the side of the road, and there’s a building site behind. If you look closely the leaves are dusty from all the work that’s going on, it’s condo building central in this area.

Enjoy 😀
DonCharisma.org-Balcony-Sunrise-Panorama-Wide


DonCharisma.com-logo-4 Our fantastic photos are available to buy at Photos.DonCharisma.com . For our blog readers we’re currently offering a 15% promotional discount – use code dc1406 at checkout.
Taken in Thailand, Asia © Don Charisma

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Too far apart

This is beautiful.

Cristian Mihai

many“There are too many of us and we are all too far apart.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

I’m writing these words knowing that people from all over the world are going to read them. People of all ages, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, of different religious beliefs. Most of them, I’ll never get a chance to meet. Most of them, I don’t know how they look like, what’s the thing they want most in this world, or what is it that they’re afraid of… most of them are perfect strangers to me.

Yet, simply by writing these words with these strangers in my mind, having the certainty that my words will reach them, they become a little bit more than strangers. They become human beings, just like myself, and that is one of life’s greatest achievements.

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Guest writers are welcome here

David Snape and Friends - The place to show off your hidden talents

Just a quick reminder, you can always come and do a guest blog anytime you want. This is the website that can reach to the world and we have had loads of successful stories already. They will be the most popular stories of this site.

If you want to publish your work, email me at davidsnape2@gmail.com and I will look forward to reading them. If you are lucky, your post will be mentioned on my radio show as post of the week.

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Updates, Life

From time to time, I like to look back on my life transitions. This last transition was particularly rough. I think when I moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota I was naive and starry-eyed, which made things easier. I seemed to think moving once a year, even across states, was feasible, as long as I was pursuing a vision. At 23 that vision entailed finding my own city, a new job, new friends, and leaving Chicago behind for good. A couple years of that, and off to Europe, was the game plan.

I always envy people who blog about living in a different country per year-Australia, Thailand, Japan, France. What kind of money do they have? Are they debt free? I think yes, I can do that. I can totally sell my car and do TEFL and uproot myself to another country. But somehow, I keep not feeling ready. I don’t think there ever is a point where you feel “ready,” but I know myself well enough to do know that if there is a leap to take, I will take it.

I take comfort in the talk I had with my spiritual guide Teal Swan at the Chicago workshop, in her reassuring me of the burning questions I had for her, and her telling me I don’t have to jump the Grand Canyon. What a relief it was to hear her say she wouldn’t ditch everything for an unpaid gig in Guatemala on a four month trial period either. I felt like I was betraying myself when the Tarot and the angel workshop seemed to be indicating that was my chance, and I had blown it. Anything that stresses me out so bad my head hurts can’t be good.

So, far from achieving my game plan, I went to Ohio to live with my parents for a couple months until I could find a job. I was hoping to leave the bulk of my things with them and save enough money to go abroad. As nice as it sounded on paper, it did not last long. There was no job, interviewing and hiring was slow, the house was cold, and I felt lost in the middle of nowhere with no social life. I was glad to have my parents, my cat, and my writing, but I felt even more displaced than when I lived in the suburbs of Chicago. I ended up using the same  strategy that landed me in Minnesota–applying nationwide. Luckily this time I had 2 years experience of a full time job under my belt, and garnered a lot more interest. While earning my TEFL (my backup plan) and finishing Nanowrimo (50k words in a month challenge), I found myself drawn back to Chicago. Initially I was dismayed at failing “the plan.” That’s not to say I’ve given up entirely on going abroad again at some point, but I think sometimes I have to just forgive where I am in my life and make the best out of the journey. As it turns out, people were not just telling me it’s cooler to live in the city than the suburbs to make me feel better. It truly is an event-packed city with lots going on and lots of cool people to network with. I pulled a classic me by telling my new company I could move within a week, and ended up being “homeless” for nine days; ie couch-surfing while I apartment hunted. With little more than a recommendation on the neighborhood and a newspaper listing as one of the best neighborhoods, I ended up moving to Logan Square in December 2014 and even accidentally moved 5 minutes walking distance from a high school friend!

Finding my corner

Today, my zulily copywriting exercise was rejected. After the high of getting a small piece published a few months ago, this was admittedly a downer. I felt that if I could not even write to sell a product, was I really that much of a writer? Granted I was not bouncing with enthusiasm at the project, but it made me smile for a little while doing the exercise, thinking this is it. It felt a bit like cheating on my “real” life, and learning how to do what I really wanted. It was more challenging than what I expected. What exactly needs to be said to make the site and the clients happy? I felt a bit clueless, although I was finally learning. Let’s face it; I wanted the romanticism of being called a copywriter. At least it was somewhat closer to my long term goal.

Can I really accomplish my goals simply by writing every day, applying myself consistently, and not giving up where others might? Can I really find an opportunity in a sea of competition? And yet I cannot help believing my voice is worth something. That I really have something to offer the world. We all do, in some way. I wonder if I am just being stubborn, insisting that I am a writer when it seems only my friends, social media followers, and I believe it to be so. If I have to work so hard to be accepted as a good writer in the professional realm, is it really meant to be? I have two half-finished novels under my belt and neither seems to be ready for completion. I have a finished game script sitting on my computer, begging to be finalized and set out into the world, with a rough draft for another game waiting behind it.

So: can your passion be a “side” hobby? Can it ever really come to full fruition in this way? In these times it seems less risky, even though I’d love to dedicate myself to it full time and have the drive and perseverance to see it all the way through. At times I really wonder what my place is in this world. If that big mystery isn’t the point of it all.

Substitute Princess- Korean Drama

+++I love Korean dramas on Netflix. Every now and then I’ll find one so addictive I have to pull a few all night marathons. The one that drew my eye this time is called “Substitute Princess,” aka “King Flower.”

+++The dramas I like have a main theme: a hard working, positive girl thrown into a rags to riches situation, with two guys vying over her, and family and friends who support her in spite of their economic struggles.

+++Jin Da Hua, the main female character, starts out an ugly duckling who has always liked her older brother. He is protective of her but does not reciprocate romantically. Her father gambled away 2 million, and the family has to sell off their grocery store. Meanwhile Terry, a public figure, must keep his fiancee’s accident a secret. He winds up offering Da Hua 2 million to get plastic surgery and stand in for her. Although the circumstances center around money, it quickly becomes about Da Hua’s loyalty- to her family and to Terry. Her persona matures, her affections are torn and begin to grow. Ultimately she learns what it is to be completely appreciated for who she is and what she does, even when she is unsure of her direction.

+++I like this story because  Da Hua remains true to herself, hard working, persevering, and loyal. She does not forget her values after experiencing a rags to riches change in lifestyle, although she matures and learns the difficulties of the corporate world. This is a common female protagonist in other dramas such as “Flowers over Boys.” These girls keep their head up and a smile on their faces that encourages me to persevere in the same way. I start to smile at work, the grocery store, and greet people with the same infectious attitude, These girls stay loyal to their friends and family even as they grow and develop a new love. Of course life would be more exciting as a Korean drama, but in the meantime  I’ll let Da Hua’s infectious character to continue to take over me.