I am up at 5:00am for Miracle Morning. This morning is my power hour which means it’s my time to work on whatever I choose. Through heavy eyes, all I can think is another group of ladies: See Jane Write Collective.
I rejoined the See Jane Write Collective last weekend after being away for a couple of years. In an effort to be stricter with the household budget, I left it with the intention of coming back once I got my house in better order. I have and even though it’s only been a week, I already noticed a difference.
Here’s where leaving me up to my own devices to just sit down and dedicate time to my writing projects fails me: I never follow a specific writing schedule!
I have had designated days where I posted here over the years and moments where inspiration hit but never a specific hour where I said here is the time. Here is the quiet space. Plant thy buttocks in a chair and don’t get up! I also have been part of groups where we made spotty efforts to convene but inevitably, life gets in the way one too many times and the world shuts down because of a public health nightmare.
So what does See Jane Write Collective have to do with any of this? Knowing I was going to be part of a group of women led by freelance writer Javacia Harris-Bowser with access to online courses, webinars, coaching, virtual write-in and critique sessions was incentive enough to believe I can create the writing schedule I have long aspired to.
Last night was our first write-in session. It was comforting to speak openly about what I planned to work on, hear the other women share their plans and get to work! The hour I spent profoundly changed a few pieces I have been working on and I actually loved the quiet. My habit is to embrace the chaos of sound while writing but last night I opened myself up to the community of women, silently pursuing our writing goals.
As Miracle Morning came to an end, I thought about how much writing I will get to do if I stop getting in my own way.
Writing is not only a part of my work but it is sacred time for me to commune with creativity. I look forward to more of that with the women of the See Jane Write Collective.
2019 held lots of beautiful memories. It was truly full of firsts– indoor rock climbing, my first open mic, teacher facilitation training, someone telling me I could be an athlete (Strong woman, here I come!), submitting a short story, throwing axes, completing 75hard, my first pole fitness class, attending Summit of Greatness solo, the publication of The Digital Storytelling Project for Women of Color and my citation in “Liminalities” and finally getting around to buying necessities to distribute my E-book (coming in 2020).
I also experienced some of the most scary moments in my life– terrible anxiety, unexplained pain, calling 911 for the first time and spending many nights in the hospital with Hubby this summer (we are so blessed he is well). There were times when I did not know if our lives would look even remotely the same. I knew better than to wallow in sadness and feed into the defeat and sadness that sometimes threatened to overtake me but I wasn’t always successful. I had to trust God and our past triumphs over health trials guide us back to the place we were supposed to be.
I reviewed 2019 and it would be fitting to set goals for 2020. Because I have already started work on the goals I intend to complete for 2020 (the Spartan Trifecta, Strong woman competition, book selling, teaching writing next year ), I will continue what I have been doing. Anything else I aspire to do like more reading, writing, travel and volunteering will be done but I don’t want to see it as part of a resolve to be a new person, I see it as a natural evolution.
Evolving into this person who chooses her experiences, forgiveness and leaves who and what does not serve her behind.
Happy New Year to all of you.
I send love and peace of mind as we start a new decade and revolution around the sun.
These past 30 days have unveiled so much! I am certain I want to post twice a week: Tuesdays and Thursdays. My Tuesday posts will be health related–be it physical, spiritual, plant-based, mental or financial health. My Thursday posts will be writing related. I would like to devote that day to my work, featuring other writers and storytellers and general career and reading updates.
About halfway through this bloglikecrazy challenge, I felt the topics and the flow came easier than last year. I didn’t struggle the same way. There were only a couple of days where I felt like I had nothing to share but when I focused, the frustration disappeared.
If you ever feel like the writing process is stale, I encourage you to challenge yourself to bloglikecrazy or develop a plan of your own.
This week’s word is “cleansed.” Even though I am very busy during the week, I made the decision to move myself a bit more and incorporate more fruits and veggies via smoothies and juices. I ended up with a 8.4lb loss but that wasn’t the best thing about this week. It was how clean I felt. I was more clear, energetic and focused. I started to think about setting fitness goals like a race and it seemed more real than ever. I don’t want to get too excited. I am guilty of signing up for a couple things I wasn’t prepared to complete in the past so the next time I do it, I want to feel confident.
Knowing rather than guessing is best so I will keep putting in the work and accepting the results peacefully.
It’s the only way to I know to truly love and honor myself during this process.
We’re halfway through the year and I have been reading a lot about reevaluating goals for the reminder of the year.
At the end of 2017, I laid out my writing goals for 2018. They included finishing the 1st draft of my novel, pitching or submitting work each week, be open to speaking opportunities, apply for fellowships and completing an E-book.
Reflecting on the first half of this year, I haven’t pitched every week but I have had my work published on 2 sites. I was on a panel for James River Writers’ January Writing Show and had the pleasure of speaking to Riverside Young Writers. I haven’t applied for any fellowships but I did apply to be part of a digital storytelling conference (still waiting to hear about it). I haven’t finished the first draft of my novel but I did complete my first E-book available on this site:
I am proud of the strides I have made. I am letting go of the weekly submission goal. The goal that is most important to me besides keeping up with this blog is finishing the first draft of my novel. It is the one thing that matters most to me.
I don’t want to go into 2019 wondering what it will be like to finish.
The last few weeks I have been absent from my workouts. It started off because of intense pain in my ankles and I slowed down because I knew continuing to push would only make things worse down the road. I was limping around the house and that’s never good.
But I have been feeling better and there has been no visits to the gym, dance class, videos or walks outside.
I am not sure why after being active for so many months that it has come to a stop. I feel static. I can almost hear myself make an excuse as to why I won’t workout tomorrow.
Tonight I was at writing group. We discussed if we fear what would happen if we make it in the literary world. I have to ask myself the same question in regards to my wellness journey.
Is there anything I fear about being on the other side of this struggle? Will writing about it now help me cross back over to where I was only 3 weeks ago?
I’m betting it will. If things are really going to be different this time, then I have to call myself out and pull myself out of the hole I sunk myself into that makes me feel stuck and scared.
I am hoping to look back on these past few weeks as a minor setback a year from now.
I can’t let it determine who I will be a year fron now.
As I was leaving the gym last night, I passed by a sign I assume that’s been for quite some time but I was just seeing for the first time: “Eat Food, Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.” Even though I subscribe to “Eat Food, Not too Much. All Plants”, it was a great reminder especially the “Not too Much” part. I had a one pound loss this week and although I am always happy to be going in the right direction, I know I have to be more aware of eating too much. I have big health goals for 2018 but I need to focus on balanced eating AND balanced thinking. There is an extreme part of my personality that is attracted to those plans that promise 30lbs in 30 days but there is nothing balanced about those plans. That is also “too much.” So while I will pause now and again at the lovely reminder at the gym, it will also remain a gentle reminder to aspire to achieve a balanced mindset, too.
Any reminders lately that got you back on the right track?
Time for a wellness update. I am not sure why this one is so hard for me. I was thinking about why some weeks I work so hard to fight for my goals and others make me want to crawl under the covers and not come out for a couple of days. My couple of days was this past week. I found myself doing things I wouldn’t normally doing. I know I am not scared of success, especially if it brings me closer to my health goals so when I do things to sabotage my goals even if it only shows up as a 2 lb weight gain, what does that mean?
It may mean that I am close to a breakthrough which doesn’t happen often. And if it doesn’t happen often, the lack of familiarity makes me freeze up and want to run back to the comfort I know, even if it’s not the healthiest place.
The difference is I recognize it and want to lean into whatever breakthrough is coming, no matter the discomfort or the uncertainty that makes me feel like I am breaking apart and coming together over and over again.
One of my writing goals for 2018 was to pitch an idea once a week to a publication. This week, I decided to really look at how often I was really pitching. I think I have only pitched once or twice. Instead of hanging my head low, I’ve decided to evaluate that goal. Does once a week work for me? Have I organized myself to meet this goal?
When I even take a cursory glance at it, the answer is No.
When I go deeper, I had to ask myself why I have not met the goal. I have been able to keep up with my blogging schedule, publish my first E-book journal, “What I Love About You: A Guided Journal to Writing Your Proposal and Vows” and take writing classes. In addition to the rigor of everyday life, I am aggressively attacking my health goals.
But none of those realities are excuses. I now have more time in my schedule to see how I can start making the time to pursue freelancing opportunities. It’s been a wonderful side effect of writing in my journal every morning. In addition to writing my prayers and gratitude, I’ve also included a to-do list. Writing it down has gifted me with tremendous clarity on the parts of my life I neglect.
Part of this clarity can be attributed to belief. Before establishing a morning routine, I didn’t believe I had time to write and pray just for me. I didn’t “believe” I was a morning person or and I believed I was a night owl. My transition is not miraculous but it is a result of sticking to the habit which created my new beliefs.
I believe I am the type of person who goes to bed early and wakes up early, too.
I believe I am the type of person who makes time for exercise.
I believe I am the type of person who schedules time to pitch editors and other blogs.
I believe I am the type of person who more often than not, finishes what she starts.
I believe I am a child of God who loves and works hard who intentionally makes the time to achieve her goals, has fun and gives herself a break when she needs it.
I have been thinking about what should be next in plant-based journey. I have thought about cutting out wheat, oil and finally going ahead and removing all soy-based products from my diet. It would be hard for me to stop myself from feasting on the chicken-fried tofu from Whole Foods but of course, I would survive. I can’t help but feel like there is something I am missing and something I am moving towards. In terms of what I am missing, I am missing consistent discipline with everything to be truthful. I have been able to maintain my blogging schedule, met my E-Book publication goal and will start working back on my novel and another project soon. However, when it comes to my self-care I am definitely slipping. I have not focused on doing both. I have thought about it but I would be a liar if I said I have taken consistent action. I’ve been missing dance class which I love and have been snacking late for no reason whatsoever. I wrote a piece about being scared to be empty in one of my writing classes. I could mull over the reasons why or try to develop an origin story for this fear but I would rather funnel that energy into moving, getting to bed early and forming new habits. I am moving towards a new me that is healthy and for the first time, is starting to see animals. I mean, really value them. I even told hubby I wanted to visit an animal sanctuary. For those who don’t know me, this has NEVER been me. I have never owned a pet or particularly cared to pet an animal. It was not for me or to ever be for me but eating this way has changed me. I find myself more curious than I have ever been. I don’t know where this newfound curiosity will take me but I am willing to follow along.
A important part of this blog is to focus on my wellness journey. My healing from it all-the weight, the PCOS, the psoriasis, etc..I know I don’t write enough or almost at all about it. I post what I cook on Mondays but not much else. I think I want Thursdays to be a wellness update.
I am not sure if I will include pounds lost or skin cleared but it will be real and it will be here.