I have been following for quite sometime, the "morning pages" protocol of Julia Cameron's - "Artist's Way." I never missed a day for a considerable length of time. I was including the "artist dates" doing the various suggested exercises. I dabbled in some sketching a vision board (I should dig that out and see if what I was "visioning" has in anyway been reconciled in my life). It did jumpstart my writing to some degree, though I have not returned to the regularity of previous periods of my life. Also during that time I decided to take up the "electric" guitar.
This week I haven't done any morning writing at all - until this very moment. I don't have preconceived focal point or subject matter. It will be written and posted as it comes off the keyboard (with a token proof-read). I did manage this week to each morning do my fairly basic stretching/Qi gong routine and morning prayer and meditation. These practices don't define me - however they quite likely shape my willingness to continue, at all (with anything). I don't care about what anyone believes, with regard to what the observance or practice of these things "says" about me. If the last two years has taught me anything, it's that:
a) I don't look to anyone or "institution" for my well-being; b) I simple cannot define myself by the (often hostile) views, biases, and fears of others.
I have, since commencing with the electric guitar practiced every single day for some nearly 280 consecutive days. Principles that I gleaned from the Artist's way - i.e. continuity, lessening/dropping self-criticism, in this case - being willing to make really bad music (you should hear some of the sounds I can coax/squeeze out of that guitar!!) On some fronts, over the course of this extended "play-date" I have made improvements on certain specific techniques - which is pretty satisfying. There is so much more I want to learn - which at times is daunting and left unchecked could ultimately fuel my giving up. So I go back, to "keeping it simple," what am I working on "today!!" Eventually if I live long enough the weave of assorted techniques and guitar and music fluency I might actually be able to play something.
I look at my guitar practice and my "spiritual practice" as one and the same. Both convey a self-love platform that infiltrates my person and directly influences how I interact with the world around me. Both have been a saving grace for me over this last two years as my access to more and more of what was considered "normal" day to day facets of society became increasingly restricted and cutoff altogether.
I saw to it that my guitar practice and morning observances for body and soul (while I believe unnecessary to compartmentalize - for the sake of acknowledging their parts of the whole of my being, I will make those distinctions; happened every single day - regardless of what the world was dishing up and my initial and lasting responses to it.
This reinforces for me that no matter what governments and their appointed minions implement in terms of draconian measures, there are some inherent things that those bastards cannot touch or take away!
I have spent countless hours engaged in online dialogue (which has taught me - written "communication" unless exhaustively comprehensive and even still, will be misinterpreted, misrepresented and seldom leads to anything like connection or understanding) to the contrary it opens the door to, slander/libel, abuse, prejudice, shaming, & character assassination. In short these interactions are in no way fulfilling, fruitful, up-lifting or even healthy.
So I tease out my part in wishing to engage in them in the first place and conclude - I actually don't. I will make my stand, live my life through seeking the direction of my heart and soul and leave others to do the same. "Live and Let Live." Your Life Your Business! I don't need to change your mind or defend my choices.
As the Course in Miracles inquires: "Would I rather be right or happy." I know what's right for me - my mistake, has been in trying to spend, any of my valuable life time and energy, explaining or defending that to anyone else - the end result has never produced anything akin to happiness.
The fear, the deprivation, the losses - the very real concerns for the future for me are legitimate. They also if left unchecked can become overwhelming and suck the joy out of what is still available to me. You want me to line up to enter you retail store... no thanks - I'll pass (do I actually need what you're selling ... turns out No! I do not) restaurants and gyms lock me out (do I really need to pay for the pretentious "atmosphere" and over-priced food - apparently I haven't gone hungry, with no restaurant access) and I'm not sure, even if gyms did "welcome" me back, that; I would wish to support these establishments, that claim to be about health and wellness, yet they participate in discrimination and policies, that have nothing to do with wellness.
I'm not sure I need to be engaged with "social media" (which often is the epitome of anti-social) but should I choose to continue in any form - I will state my views as I wish. I will no longer engage, trolls and abuse. I may or may not employ a 3 strikes and you're out policy. I would like to give space for "a bad day" - a misunderstanding - even a messy conversation to arrive at mutual understanding (an agreement is not required - except with respect to respect). In the absence of that the conversation is over I have no intention to engage abuse/bullying.
Herein lies the morning musings, hot (or not) for my current stream of consciousness.
R. O'Neill (February 04, 2022)