Tag Archives: Challenge

The 117th Day

4 Sep

“Do you write?” someone asked me today.

A few months ago, I would’ve mumbled a sorry excuse in answer to their question – something along the lines of “I love writing, but….”.

Today, I am able to say “Yes, I write. I write every day.”

This realisation hit me with shock, surprise and a feeling of immense well-being, like jumping into freezing water after a hot sauna.

I write! I said to myself.

I write every day! I exclaimed in my head, barely believing my own words.

I love writing and I write every day! I repeated over and over again.

I am no longer the girl who “does not have time to write”, or the girl who “has run out of inspiration”. I am no longer envying those with a regular writing practice or wondering when I’ll finally start creating something.

Now, I make time and I invite inspiration; I keep up a regular practice and I am creating every day.

Every day, I put pen to paper. Every day, I invent, or describe, or tell. Every day, I do what I love.

Achievement

NB: This is my 117th day of the 120-day “Do What You Love Challenge”.

Three Months of Doing What I Love

11 Aug

Three months ago, I started the 120–Day “Do What You Love” Challenege, in which I decided to write every day for 120 days. The creator of the challenge – Pollyana Darling – recently sent me a few questions about my progress, and I’d like to share my answers with you.

 

 

Have you completed your challenge every day in the last forty days?
No, there were a few days when I did not write. I can give all the excuses I want about it, but the truth is – I simply did not make the time to write. In my last month of the challenge I must force myself to write, even when circumstances make it difficult to do so!

Have you noticed any repeating patterns in your creative/learning process? If so what are they?

For the whole duration of the challenge, I have written mostly in the evening before bed. This means that I didn’t have as much time or energy to write. I have yet to learn to prioritise writing as my first activity of the day!

How have you broken through any challenges you have faced?

1)       The challenge of motivating myself to write every day.

2)       The challenge of setting aside time to write every day.

3)       The challenge of letting myself write what I feel like writing, without setting myself limits or giving myself rules.

What is your relationship to doing your Challenge each day (what do you think/feel about it)?

I love it! Writing gives meaning to my days. I look forward to the moment when I can sit down and write; I really enjoy these moments of creation.

Has your relationship to your activity changed over the last 80 days?

Yes. At first, it was difficult to get into the habit of writing every day and now I cannot imagine a day without writing.

Have you noticed any improvements/changes in your activity since you began the Challenge? If so, what?

I have noticed that practice is the only path to good writing.

What are you doing differently now that you didn’t do before the Challenge (can be related to the Challenge or not)?

It’s not what I do that is different, it’s what I think that is different. The challenge has made me realise that writing is a very big part of my life and I am now accepting this completely. I think writing, so I live writing, so I am writing.

How do you feel about finishing the Challenge?

It is not finishing the challenging that arouses the most emotion in me, it is having started it in the first place that gives me the most joy.

Source: The Keep Calm-O-Matic

I Choose Beauty

4 Jul

I have been using Louise Hay’s 2012 “I Can Do It” calendar every day this year and the daily messages in the calendar never fail to transform my day in a positive way.

Today’s message, for example, is as follows:

I am free to be who I want to be, living my life as I choose.

As I sat down to do my morning writing, all my thoughts revolved around this beautiful and enlightening message. The following words flowed from my pen:

I choose travel.

I choose learning.

I choose writing.

I choose nature.

I choose yoga.

I choose walks.

I choose loving relationships.

I choose honest friendships.

I choose simplicity.

I choose hard work.

I choose challenge.

I choose games.

Image rights: The Guardian:The Observer

I choose creativity.

I choose beauty.

I choose health.

I choose reading.

I choose flowers.

I choose quietness.

Image rights: Glitter and Pearls

I choose movement.

I choose dance.

I choose photography.

I choose contemplation.

I choose taking my time.

I choose music.

 

What do YOU choose?

Dreams are like Dandelions

27 Jun

It is said that if you make a wish and blow off all of a dandelion’s seeds in one breath, your wish will come true.

But have you noticed that there are always one or two seeds left clutching on?

And, have you ever thought about just how representative this is of making our dreams come true?

In order to make a dream come true, we need a lot of energy to make the necessary actions. We plough forward and our initial enthusiasm gets us closer and closer to our dream. In this way, we blow off most of the dandelion seeds in one go.

Then, suddenly, we come across a challenge – the dandelion’s two remaining seeds cannot be blown off with our first breath, with our first attempt.

We must pause.

With the dandelion, we use this pause to take a new, bigger breath, in order to blow with more energy than the first time round. With our dreams, however, we are tempted to stop altogether, because, unlike with a dandelion, we cannot see that there are only two seeds left to blow off, only one last effort to make.

All of the dandelion’s seeds will fly off if we give enough energy and if we persist when the seeds resist.

The challenges we face when realising our dreams are just like those seeds.

Chris Ratzlaff Photography

Take a deep breath and make your wish come true!

Embracing the Unknown

30 Jun

Three weeks have gone past since my last post. A whirlwind of events, thoughts and feelings provoked a natural pause in any ‘creative’ activities. In the past three weeks summer arrived unexpectedly, friends came and went, I grew a year older, I gave my month’s notice of resignation, I was reunited with people who I haven’t seen for two years, I cut my hair shorter than it has ever been, I saw breathtaking sunsets, I cried from happiness on several occasions, I came across confusing and irrational conflicts, I prayed, I listened, I got unexpected answers from unexpected places.

I am once more at a time of the great unknown. Yet for the first time, I welcome the unknown like a friend. In the past few months, the unknown tested me, challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone. The unknown revealed parts of my character, both positive and negative, that I had never known; it revealed desires to which I had never admitted; and it made me stronger by showing me my weaknesses.

It is not in my perfectly planned and organised life that I learnt about myself, but it is in moments of uncertainty, of turbulence and of absolute incomprehension that I managed to grasp, even a little, at my true essence.

Our first meeting with the unknown is like our first meeting with silence. It seems like there is nothing but emptiness Footprints on Beacharound and no matter how loud we scream our questions, we get no answers, except for an echo, in return. Yet is is not from silence that we should expect a reply, it is being in silence that allows us to hear our own answers. In the same way, it is not the unknown that will guide us, but our inner guide that will emerge once we’re in it.

In today’s society, we’re used to receiving answers and advice from a variety of external sources, whether it’s a GPS, an agony aunt, Google or a phone call to a friend. We rely on other people to tell us how we feel, what decision to make and which route to take. Yet what would we do if we got lost in a foreign place with no street names, no map, no phone and no passers by to ask for directions? What if we had to find our way without any external help?

In the past few weeks I came across a problem to which I had no answers…about which I didn’t even have a clue. I needed help, advice, guidance, yet I couldn’t think of who or what could offer me help in such a situation. I felt that rationalisation, discussion and writing out pros and cons would not be good enough. This was not a matter that the mind could solve. This was a matter of the soul.

And so I prayed. I sat in silence and I searched for an answer deep within. And something unexpected, something that no one else would have advised, yet something that was so perfect for the situation came to me. My intuition gave me an answer that I couldn’t have received from anywhere else.

So today, I will rejoice in the unknown, because it is the unknown that makes me listen to myself, that helps me understand myself and that gives me freedom.

A quote has been running through my mind all these weeks, which truly captures the beauty of embracing the unknown:

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planed, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” ~ Joseph Campbell