Living

Add and Subtract

June 5, 2011

#trust30 here on a Sunday evening. The prompt made me angry at first. All of this “improve your life” bullshit, when the here and now is really what it’s about. I know because that’s where I’ve come from. I spent so much time pining for a better / faster / happier me that I was blind to my life as it was.

But, I hate quitting and I didn’t want to blow this challenge just b/c a prompt annoyed me. So I did some research to get the juices flowing.

Jonathan Mead – today’s prompt author – writes in “Preparing to Live” :

Trusting yourself matters, a lot. When we don’t trust ourselves, we prepare to live. We put life on hold. We delay doing what we want because there are more “practical” things to consider. We trick ourselves into believing they’re simply a necessary transition.

He also added this bonus to the prompt: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?

Here, where the above paragraphs overlap, is where I’m jiving because I’ve spent the past year coming alive. Learning to trust myself, listen deeply, create art again, and open my mouth when I have something to say. I stopped with all the self-improvement crap and focused on how I’m feeling. How is that better or worse than yesterday? And coming to the realization that the UP & DOWN IS LIFE. I won’t ever have a life free of frustration or pain, just like I won’t create art without anxiety and fear lurking in the background.

The trick has been to learn that the world isn’t black & white as I believed. It’s so much grey. It’s not about doing all you can to prevent heartache or anger, but to honor a space for those times and to revel in the times when all is well.

So what areas am I preparing to live in? These #trust30 prompts keep lining right up with my life. I’ve been preparing to live in a new job – a position that was created for me and that no one has ever filled for the college in any city. I am absolutely the first. Which is awesome and f-ing scary. No pressure, right?

I’ve had to bide my time between my current position and the new one. Tomorrow is my first real day in the new office. Tomorrow is the day I stop preparing to take on this new position and I start actually being in it. I am full of excitement and raring to go…

Besides that, my life is fantastic right now, because I’ve taken so much time adding in the things that make me happy and deleting those that don’t. Maybe a list would sum it up best:

+ Added in +

  • Riding bikes
  • Eating healthy
  • Getting enough sleep, especially taking naps when needed
  • Writing / creating more
  • Trusting myself
  • Listening to myself
  • Sharing my story
  • Taking photos
  • Team work

– Deleted –

  • Gossip
  • Trying to rescue everyone
  • Trying to do it all myself
  • Refusing to ask for help
  • Looking at the glass half-empty (still practicing this one daily)
  • Pressure
  • Guilt

Maybe I’m missing the mark on this one but that’s where I’m at. Radically living outside the bounds of what I deem “my normal life” right now is still more than I can handle, but I’m finding the more I trust myself the more I’m willing to move down a path that only I can create. It’s pretty cool. You add in a little of what you enjoy and you take away a lot of what you dislike. Sometimes it’s about actually stopping an action, other times it’s about just altering your take on things. But I’m still with Ali Edwards, looking more for Rhythm than Balance.

I’ll pocket this one for sure, bringing it out again later, roll it around in my hands and know that this prompt is an amazing daily reminder for me to live MY life – no one else’s. And maybe reading more Illuminated Mind would help too.

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3 Comments

  • Reply John Clinebell June 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I’m still working on eliminating gossip from my life. It’s harder than you think, especially when you don’t realize you’re doing it. There are, unfortunately, as with other things you try to ditch… many shades of gossip. It’s like Tolle says when you impart good news to people, there’s a moment of satisfaction you get from the person you’re telling not knowing. It’s impossible to wrap my mind around it (puzzle in a riddle syndrome), but I know in the end it’s all for the better. I just try to stay alert to it.

    How do you just get rid of gossip altogether?

    -jlc

    • Reply justine June 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      I guess I should clarify that I didn’t eliminate gossip at all… as you said, just more aware of it. One of my “numbing” tendancies – the thing we turn to when we’re overwhelmed or not feeling enough – is picking up the phone to bitch to someone. That habit, plus a few specific people who feed into that habit, are what I try to avoid when I’m feeling crappy and it lessens the crappiness. Never thought about the GOOD news satisfaction, but you have a point there. And thanks for commenting 🙂

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