Posted in Coaching

What Does It Cost You?

I don’t know that Aristotle actually said this but this is the energy I’m taking into the week.

I’ve been working on my self-discipline for a couple of years now. At one point, right around when I turned 30, I realized I never really got anything done because I wasn’t disciplined enough to stick with it.

It wasn’t anybody else’s fault, though I may have tried to blame them. It was mine.

It’s really easy to start something, look it over and go “this is crap”. It’s easy to walk away from things that are harder than you thought they would be.

Modern day humanity is all about the convenience and there’s nothing more convenient than quitting. ( Note: There are valid times to quit. That’s not what I’m talking about here.)

A question I learned to ask myself is simple. It’s “what does this cost you?” Or “what is this costing you?”

It’s a question that aims for the heart of the issue. If you’re tolerating and settling then what are you missing out on?

Maybe it also plays off our collective FOMO (fear of missing out).

Either way, when I began asking myself and really digging into the answers I found a lot of my failures had to do with my lack of self-discipline.

I never finished a story or a book. I never invested in myself through making sure I worked out. I never truly made creativity into my career.

There were reasons for all of these but they all boiled down my starting and stopping once something became difficult. As a result I didn’t trust myself to follow through on the things I wanted to do. In my mind it was better to just daydream about them instead.

So this week I want to ask you, what are you tolerating or settling for in your life? What is that costing you?

Posted in Coaching

The Art of Distractions

If there’s one thing I excel at, it’s distracting myself.

Social media has compounded this down into a concentrated little problem that affects everything I do.

I sit down to write and find myself scrolling while the limited time just slips away.

I tell myself it’s ok, but is it?

No! Of course not. The more I scroll the less time I have for creativity, for really getting into the flow.

World events haven’t helped. If anything I might argue that we’re constantly in need of distraction right now.

I used to call these little distraction breaks “brain breaks”.

That was before I realized the true nature of how distractions disrupt our work patterns and flows and the nature of being trapped within a social media algorithm.

My “brain breaks” frequently knocked me off task and resulted in who knows how much time spent trying to get back on task.

It wasn’t always like this. At one point I left my phone laying face down on the other side of the room or in another room altogether while I dug into my creative practice. At that time I was also a pitiful social media user at best, posting to instagram once every few months and checking Facebook only when someone asked me to.

The trouble began when I actively sought out ways to promote my writing. That meant leaning into social media, at least that’s what I thought. Over time I found myself writing less and scrolling more. I was effectively trapped by the algorithm. It learned my moves, thoughts … I swear it eaves drops on my conversations.

To counter this I’ve come up with a couple of novel ideas.

One is, of course, using screen time which is built into apple devices. Another is reverting back to leaving my phone facedown somewhere else. I can access social media from my computer but I’m far more likely to do it from my phone.

I’ve also considered removing the apps from my phone however I worry that will drive me to check it more from my computer, thus continuing the disruption process. Another consideration has been downloading an app that would effectively lock my phone down during certain periods of time.

So far the combination of screen time and leaving my phone face down seems to be working.

What are some of the ways you keep yourselves free from distractions? Do you use any apps to keep yourself off your phone or social media?

Picture from the Pexel’s photo library – shows two people hugging while checking their phones over each others shoulders

Posted in Coaching

Every Action

Raindrops splashing down into water and causing ripples

Every action we take ripples outward from ourselves, affecting other areas of our lives.

In this sense the idea of karma, or energy attracting like energy, continues to play out in a more physical way.

How do we begin truly recognizing the impact of our actions?

It’s easy to say but practicing momentary mindfulness around the actions we take and words we speak can be difficult.

One of the questions I ask myself before taking action is “is this worth it?”

This is a simple question that can open so many doors. It can be the deciding factor between working a little more and taking some family time. It can also help reveal where your priorities are and lead you to dig deeper on why you have the priorities you have.

This is especially helpful if you’ve been feeling out of alignment with who you are or want to be.

Tell me what other ways you use to judge your actions and words beforehand. How often do you notice yourself practicing this type of momentary mindfulness?

Posted in stream of consciousness

As If

Your “Hi” is imperceptibly soft

A memory leaking from your innermost corners

A petal, already wilting

As if you know what’s coming

As if you truly believe

I won’t forever wander blindly into your arms

Guided only by the string that pulls me

Always directly with little lax

A tightrope for my heart to run away on

Photo from the Pexels free library – for the visually impaired, the photo shows an empty chair in the middle of a white room.

Posted in flash fiction

Whale Song Dream

At night, while the washing machine spins our soiled clothes, it moans like a haunted whale song. Notes echo through the dark rooms, tempting us to a depth we’ve never met before. Slipping away beneath the waves of sleep, the songs carry us until we’re resting on the backs of giants hidden at the bottom of the sea. Their skin, like velvet, holds us against the undulating weight of the water trying to carry us on.

“You aren’t meant to stay” 

The giants drop us, sending our bodies down into the darkness. We fall forever, deeper and darker than we knew possible, before landing in beds of sand. Small creatures, keepers of this new darkness, prickle our fingers and toes. The sand curls into the folds of our skin and dances through our hair. The itching is infuriating but the darkness is heavy. It sits on our chests like a bully on the playground, pummeling our faces with meaty hands.

Suddenly, light, a small beam reflecting from a hook strung down by a fishing line. It roots in the darkness, searching for the target, before finding the fabric of my gown. More hooks descend, each carefully hooking our linen night clothes and pulling us away from the sand. We ascend, past the giants, towards the light. Our previous fears fall away with each grain of sand taken by the tide. Anxiously we await the chance to truly breathe. 

Breaking the surface we are met with nothing but fishing boats rowing away.

Image from the Pexel’s photo library

Posted in flash fiction

Sangfroid, Instead and Vampires

RDP: Sangfroid
FOWC: Instead

Offering a sort of sangfroid, the music was unlike anything the crowd had ever heard. Notes weaving from the stage slid their ways into the patrons brains.

They swayed.

They bounced.

They flailed.

They … except Marlon. A singular bastion of disgust in a sea of enthralled fish.

Marlon watched the band jump around the stage creating a cacophony.

“I will never understand.”

“You don’t have to! Just let the music take you!” His right hand woman, Aileen, jumped around beside him. “I can’t stop!” 

“I can’t imagine why. Instead of dancing why don’t you help kill the vampires.”

Aileen spun away, joining with another vibrating group of club patrons. 

“Fine, I’ll do it myself.”

Posted in Coaching

What is Coaching?

I’ve been writing about coaching lately but I haven’t really explained what coaching is.

I’ve found that people have very different definitions of coaching. In my case coaching is the process of guiding someone to the answers they have within themselves and helping them to raise their awareness around their own energy.

For example, you will be less invested in doing the work towards a goal if you have an overall negative outlook and energy around that goal. Coaching facilitates exploring if your goal is truly what you want, raising your energy and outlook and also setting manageable steps towards the goal you wish to achieve.

It’s something often overlooked. We have the answers to our own questions/problems/desires. Sometimes we’re scared of them. Sometimes we can’t quite connect the dots between them. Sometimes we have to dig for them. Coaching facilitates those processes.

For me, coaching is about what you want and how to help you get there. It focuses on asking questions that are thought provoking and meant to encourage your inner exploration but also on goal setting and accountability.

In talking to the community at large about coaching and what someone needs and wants creatively from a coach and coaching relationship, I’ve been given a lot of good points.

Now I’m asking you guys!

If you were to hire a coach to help you creatively, whether it’s writing, another creative endeavor or bringing creative thought/processes into your job or life, what are some things you would want to be coached on. What qualities would you look for in a coach?

Posted in stream of consciousness

Gnaw

There’s something gnawing at the edge of my spirit

Small but persistent, hidden

Words once exchanged, hasty love

Bought sight unseen

Stored away in dark, cool places

It becomes secret doors

Scraped away in stone

And hidden ruminations

Based on smell alone

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Gnaw