Tag Archives: choice

Saying No to Survival Mode

What do you do when you’re running behind schedule? Run faster?

Since I started rolling with the Small Product Lab, ideas keep flowing, take on shape, expand…just wonderful! I love this creative energy and I want to do everything at once.

Of course I can’t. I can have – and I do have – several larger and smaller projects in progress, so I always got something that fits my current circumstances and mood and keeps me from getting into a rut. But it’s not possible to do two things at the same time and give them my full attention.

So the usual questions are Continue reading

The Slump Swamp

ein zweihändiger Dunk

Image via Wikipedia

The Second NaNoWriMo 2011 Mid-Weekend Review

Oh I love the simplicity of my novel wordcount this week: a fat, round O. Concerning the blog post wordcount I’m getting more and more confused about which day it relates to…

On the positive side, this week I’ve done several thousand knots (real ones, not speed) on a macramee project for a friend of mine, made a shoulder wrap as a birthday present for my niece and knitted one whole sock – in other words, I used the procrastination method to finish some things on which I had procrastinated before 😉

I just found this gem on lifehack.org: How to Procrastinate Productively– I’m so glad I’m not alone…

I’m not tired, but my brain still wants time-out from any sort of reading and writing – hence my crafty activities, and the delay with the blog posts. At the moment it’s only my stubbornness that makes me sit at the computer (and don’t ask how many times I corrected the spelling of the word “stuvvornss”).

How are you doing? Have you taken a plunge into the slump swamp or done a wordsprint slam dunk?

(In case you’re looking for something to procrastinate with, say “plunge into the slump swamp or done a wordsprint slam dunk” aloud, three times, as fast as you can 😀 )

Maria

My word count Day 12: blog posts: 0 – novel: 0

Btw: You can still join the Writing Buddies 🙂 – and it’s not too late to sign up for NaNoWriMo 2011, either – you’ll find it easy to compete with me at least… 😉

Easy access to all posts this month via a new menu category: Specials >> November 2011: NaNoWriMo – But Not Only.

Pain and Pleasure: Life’s Incentives

NaNoWriMo – But Not Only | November 2011, Day 7

This post is inspired by Elizabeth’s Mirth and Motivation article “Musings: The Road To Forgiveness…

“What do you prefer: pain or pleasure?”

If this were a survey question, my guess is that most people would choose “pleasure” – or laugh at the silly question. Who in their right mind would want to choose pain?

But how many times a day, a week, a year, during our life, are we doing exactly that?

Sure do we have a right to feel hurt, upset, insulted, humiliated, cheated on, missing out. We need to experience illness, loss, grievance, sorrow, fear, anger, disgust. These emotions make up an important part of our growth process as they help us develop kindness, tolerance, compassion and understanding – towards and of others and ourselves.

Yet, how often do we choose to let our emotions go and move on…and test what we’ve learned, in practice? Isn’t it more like we insist on our pains, nourish them by repeating (at least in our minds) painful incidents over and over again? How often do we pass our own unhappiness on to others, think of revenge, or deal out disguised digs?

Those fleeting moments of triumph or temporary tension relief have our egoic Me-Selves believe we’re doing the right thing, but, honestly, does this strategy make us happier?

How about experiencing AND overcoming them, and – by finding our own individual solutions – contributing alternative ways of handling problems to the Pool, knitting the network of community?

Pain: The stick for our donkey

Conflict causes pain – and pain causes us to move.

If conflict didn’t cause some major or minor emotional, mental or physical pain to Me-Self, what would actually make us look for alternatives, for solutions to our problems?

As long as we hurt we find it difficult to focus on our desires, to define what it is we want, but we certainly do our best to get away from the pain, to stop it.

The Allegorical Portrait of Elizabeth I with Old Father Time at her right. Death is looking over her left shoulder while two Cherubs remove her weighty crown. so she became princess but not queen

The Allegorical Portrait of Elizabeth I with Old Father Time at her right. Death is looking over her left shoulder while two Cherubs remove her weighty crown. so she became princess but not queen (Image and caption via wikipedia)

The donkey’s carrot: Pleasure

Great pleasure can be derived from hurting others, paying back and paying forward the pain we have received. Addiction to this puny feeling of triumph (and the illusion of power and control that comes with it) is what turns little bullies into big bullies, makes them join up with their likes, and attracts others who crave a dose of this wonderdrug.

On the positive end of the pleasure spectrum there is warmth, a comfortable chair, a good meal, a chocolate bar, a new pair of shoes we don’t really need, a hot cup of tea after a brisk walk in the rain, a good conversation or a fun night out with friends, to enjoy what we are doing,…

…and we think we are happy. Well, we might be, occasionally, but pleasure is not happiness, only a temporary reward. Seeking pleasure does not solve our problems, it only indicates the choices we made.

Dukkha and Happiness

Whatever is felt is within suffering.
Gautama Buddha

The First Noble Truth often is translated as “Life is suffering.” Many people new to Buddhism tune out as soon as they hear this. But the Pali word dukkha also refers to anything that is temporary, conditional, or compounded of other things. Even something precious and enjoyable is dukkha, because it will end.
Barbara O’Brien

Happiness is “non-dukkha“: overcoming, lasting, independent, unifying – the ultimate reward for detaching from Me-Self and its notions, and returning to our true I-Self  🙂

Pain & Pleasure & Writing

I’ll skip the pains and pleasures OF writing – you sure have figured them out for yourselves. 😉

But there’s another writing aspect, one where your experience of pain and pleasure comes in handy: Moving the story forward by exposing your characters to pain and pleasure. Without problems and obstacles, fears and rewards, where would there be conflict, choice and change?

Here some ideas – and great unstuckifiers, especially in the loooong middle part – on how to make your characters suffer…and grow:

  • give your characters superficial desires to lead them astray
  • not only the villains cause problems – let your characters make the wrong decisions, and have them deal with the consequences
  • when your characters begin to struggle harder, let them dig an even deeper hole for themselves
  • to make things worse, let them – despite their best intentions – drag others with them, and feel the guilt

The problems don’t need to be giant: A long series of wrong moves has a great cringe factor 😉

You are looking for biggies, though? Use your writer’s imagination to exaggerate: A cranky kitten turns into an angry tiger – dirty socks on the floor become an ongoing struggle worthy of Sisyphus – the weeds and slugs in your garden are the jungle in which your MC gets lost – too much chocolate makes your MC dangerously complacent,…

Hey, that’s life! Detach and keep smiling the Inner Smile 😉

Maria

My word count Day 6: blog: 884 – novel: 1250 (5 pages)

Btw: You can still join the Writing Buddies 🙂 – and it’s not too late to sign up for NaNoWriMo 2011, either 😉

Easy access to all posts this month via a new menu category: Specials >> November 2011: NaNoWriMo – But Not Only.

NaNoWriMo – But Not Only | November 2011, Day 5

The First NaNoWriMo 2011 Mid-Weekend Review

I’m beginning to have second thoughts about mixing a-post-a-day with writing a nove (even though I lowered my novel-goal to 25k)…but I’ll stick to it, for this year – maybe it gets better.

The problem? Basically, writing a blog post takes not more time than writing fiction… but my novel is first draft, and nobody will read it as it is.

My posts are published right away, which means revision, perhaps finding images or quotes, linking everything, formatting, editing and updating a few times because I keep finding flaws or forgot to add the right categories and tags. I should have thought that after 50+ posts this would be a routine procedure, but it’s still slow – and all those details eat a lot of my writing time. – My choice, my problem = challenge to find a solution.

“Magnifica” develops slowly, but I’m still satisfied with how it goes. The new scenes are interesting to write because I look at my characters from a different angle this time.

What also helps is my last year’s experience – mainly that I’m not worried anymore about getting stuck, and up to now it didn’t happen. I’m also much more relaxed – having practiced all year round how to switch my mind chatter off is paying off now: no total immersion, no early burn-out symptoms, getting other things done as well, and turning on writing mode within a couple of minutes.

It flows gently, but it flows.

How is it going for you? Have you met with specific problems or surpassed your expectations?

Maria

My word count Day 4: blog posts: 0 – novel: 750 = 3 pages

Btw: You can still join the Writing Buddies 🙂 – and it’s not too late to sign up for NaNoWriMo 2011, either 😉

Easy access to all posts this month via a new menu category: Specials >> November 2011: NaNoWriMo – But Not Only.

How Does Synchronicity Affect Our Lives?

This post consists of a comment I wrote onSynchronicity: New Age Fantasy or Face of the Future?, a brilliant article by Earthpages.org – the comments are well worth reading, too 🙂

Over the last years, synchronicity has become normal to me, but sometimes it still feels “weird” to talk about it.

It began with remembering certain “coincidences” which led to asking “could I possibly repeat this”, testing, trust, conviction and regular use – which, for me, confirms and reinforces further that synchronicity is “real”.

During the past few months I’ve noticed a rapidly increasing number of people, locally and on the internet, opening up to this concept, and once they open up they begin to experience.

Image of the top layers of the earth's atmosph...

Image via Wikipedia

What does synchronicity imply?

So how does synchronicity manifest on a larger than personal scale, that is collectively for communities, countries, globally, universally? Combined with taking responsibility and choosing trust and peace over fear and fear-mongering, a lot has been accomplished; a few examples: the Wall in Germany coming down 1989, the peaceful (at least on the side of the “rebels”) Egyption revolution this spring, the Belgians doing very well without a national government for about 500 days already. (see also: “Political” and “Politics” | Definition | Etymology)

Looking at synchronicity from a theoretical point of view, the trend converges towards Zero Delay = Now = instant connections and exchange. In our time-dependent system (including our experience of time being linear) we may still be heading towards Now, but acknowledging the small now’s (= every moment) is part of the whole, already.

Collective consciousness consists of individual consciousness-es contributing to the whole – or put simply, sticking one’s head out takes courage, but the more people share our opinion, the easier it gets to talk about it, and the more “normal” and accepted it becomes. This happens with every technical or artistic invention, every scientific or philosophical insight which contribute to the “pool”.

What next?

What I’m wondering about is: What is the next stage, what does synchronicity imply? What do we need to learn in order to cope with synchronicity on a grand scale? In my mind, this comes down to learning how to choose and focus on how we want our world to be – rather than stating or complaining about (and thus focusing on) what we don’t want.

What do you think?

Maria

“Political” and “Politics” | Definition | Etymology

What do “political” and “politics” mean to you? Can you identify yourself with one of these two common statements?

  • “I don’t get involved in politics. What could I do, anyway?
  • Politics are the job of politicians. That’s what we vote and pay them for.”

Even people who’ve never been “interested in politics” their whole life have lately joined the discussion. Global crises of all sorts  and uprisings, which in the past may have only “happened  to others”, knocked at our front doors and entered our homes unbidden. And if they haven’t yet, maybe they will, soon…

how to deal with existential fear - The Scream painted by Edvard Munch

how to overcome existential fear?

Fear is contagious – and fear is the worst consultant ever. Fear shuts down the thinking part of our brain by triggering the Fight-or-Flight response, spiralling us back into an animal state of uncontrollable emotion and instinct.  Continue reading