Right Behind the Problem Lies the Solution

Right Behind the Problem Lies the Solution

How the heck did I miss that yarn over? 

What you see below, is sadly, a distant memory. Ripped back because of a missed stitch on one of the foundation rows. In that moment of discovery, all of my warm and fuzzy knitting feelings were scattered to the wind. My happy moment gone. All I could feel was frustration and the thought of having to count my cast on stitches again made me fee quite impatient.

This activity that gives me so much pleasure, can also the source of pain. So what does this show me? It teaches me that the object [knitting] is not the primary cause.  It’s how [I react] to the object because of this way of thinking– why is THIS PATTERN giving me a headache? Flipped around– why am I allowing this pattern to give me a headache? The poor pattern did nothing.  On it’s own, it’s totally neutral. It’s neither good, nor bad.

The object is secondary. The thought, feeling and emotion, primary. It all starts in this crazy thing called the mind.

I’m still starting at the empty needle without fresh new stitches, but I think today will be the day to push through. Wish me luck!


What is Real Contentment? Can You Buy It?

What is Real Contentment? Can You Buy It?

In the mud, grows a lotus.

When I woke up this morning at 4:30am, the first thought that came through my mind was this feeling of contentment and where it really comes from. I know it comes from not trying too hard at anything. It comes from resting in the moment and not labeling anything good, bad or indifferent.

 I can create grand plans, but there are always tasks that do not get a nice big black line through them.

No need to label good or bad. What’s good or bad for me, may not be perceived this way by someone else. This proves that everything is subjective and up to perception, but we believe with conviction that what we see and think is the ultimate truth, when in fact we are the actor in our own movie and our mind is running this tape over and over all day and night.

Seeing the lotus in all that is banal and sometimes downright ugly can be difficult. However, seeing the beauty in everything is right around the corner, right behind the wall, or veil that is covering our eyes. Today, I’m opening the shutters of my mind and heart to let in what is happening right now.

The clock is ticking on my morning schedule. Upon writing this post, it’s 5:54am, with the primary goal to simply write for the sake of writing. I was hoping to press publish within a half hour. The words didn’t come as effortlessly today. It’s raining and I was hoping for a run at 6:30. My guess is, that won’t happen unless I’m willing to get drenched. A nice misty Paris rain would be OK, but it’s a crazy thunder and lightening downpour and I’m not a “rain or shine” kind of runner.

Then there’s my written “morning agenda” thingy– I love the idea of a plan, but over planning and analysis leads to paralysis. This week, I’m trying the “practice of imperfection” by putting something out there each morning no matter what…typos and all.

That agenda thingy...

That agenda thingy…

Magical mystery of what comes next.

On a recent episode of On Being with Krista Tippet, she interviews Paulo Coelho, author of the amazing book, and one of my all-time favorites, The Alchemist.  At the beginning of the interview, Paolo mentions how he likes to allow his day to unfold without any plan in mind and there’s something magical about the mystery of what comes next. The idea of letting go in this way scares me because it means the ground is falling away from under me. It means that I have no control. This is what my mind thinks, but this is not reality. The truth is– I never really had control at all. The only thing I have real control over is my mind, my thoughts and reaction to the world around me and what it serves up each day.

Life is not a 24/7 party. Pleasures are fleeting and we get more of what we don’t want most of the time, but we fight and fight subconsciously for the pleasure. It’s just a habit and part of the human condition, but recognizing and accepting this is the beginning of the breakthrough, then you’ve got to buy into it and believe it with all your heart.

I’m not trying to be a downer here, because this is actually something you know. Constantly focusing on our own agendas can be disappointing. Placing focus strictly on satisfying our own desires, gives us more of what we don’t want.

Forget your pleasures and focus on how you can make others happy. This will work wonders for your own happiness.

Do you know how it feels to be content? It’s amazing when it happens, because for me, it’s never from a groundbreaking experience. Usually, it’s something like driving and looking up at the clear blue sky and thinking about how perfect that is. Or, it could be from just sitting in silence and doing something that sets me on fire like writing this very post.

Studies have shown that there’s no increase in a person’s happiness after they make $75,000 a year.  In fact, after this number is reached, happiness could possibly even decrease. What does this say about all that we strive for in life? I’m not saying making more that 75k is bad, it’s just how do we view that money we make. Once we make enough to cover the necessities and the bottom line, the question becomes: What is the true meaning of happiness and contentment? Where does it really come from if it’s not from outside?

Contentment is something money can’t buy, and from contentment comes wealth. Not material wealth, but the promise of something WAY better…inner riches.

Make mindfulness your mantra and CLICK here to take the FREE 7-day challenge! 

Bringing Order to My Scattered Mind

Bringing Order to My Scattered Mind

Last night, as I was just about to turn off the “devices,” I stumbled upon this post, by Adam McLane. My plan was to start winding things down for bed, but instead I felt so energized to write. Adam’s post really spoke to me. It felt as if this was crafted just for me and my chaotic and at times, scattered mind.

What really appealed to me most about this post, is that Adam has a lifestyle like I do– he has only a few hours each morning to write and without fail, must ship his blog posts no later than 8am to be BISAW. (butt in seat at work) He practices a morning habit each day that entails  start his post at 7:00 am, and pressing publish by 8:00 am. That means he must write, edit, create artwork, and promote the post on his social networks all in one hour!

I love the idea of racing the clock, because it creates a sense of urgency and momentum. The fact that something worthwhile is finished in one hour is satisfying, but the reason I don’t ship in this way each morning, it because it’s not perfect. It’s 4:52 am, and I wonder, it possible to push publish by 5am even if it’s not perfect.

The Thrill of the Chase

Embracing the idea of imperfection is liberating, and the exercise of writing and publishing a blog post each morning is the practice of this. The idea of pushing that publish button in one hour no matter what is scary and exciting at the same time. It’s like opening a vein for all to see. Did I say something silly, is there a typo in this post? Maybe, but it’s a practice on #whydoicaresomuch.

As I write this, I’m reminded me one of my “insanaknitting” sessions when I suddenly decide that I should make a knitted gift for a named recipient within 24 hours. It’s crazy, but of course that’s what makes it a challenge. There’s this part of me that wants to see just how fast I can actually knit a cowl with my super-human knitting powers.  wonder what it is about the thrill of the chase that makes it so exciting.

Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS)

A few months ago I started something called The Morning Cool Down podcast, which I’m totally loving by the way! However, I’ve got a disorder that you may be familiar with, it’s called Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). I’ve got 1 of 3 ebooks in the works, and I want to post to my blog, write the ebook and upload the podcast all in one morning. I seem to fall short every day because I someone believe I can do it all, and I’m convinced I still can.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to plan each morning with ONE main objective each morning, but there’s a huge blockage, because I just can’t be satisfied with this approach. There’s a really big wall that I just can’t accept or get past. I get up each morning thinking that time is somehow finite and I have all the time I need if I just use one Pomodoro at a time.

I like to believe in the concept of the 15 minute mentality of just doing one thing for 15 minutes, then moving on, but I’m also a Brian Tracy advocate, who has always preached the “single handle” approach which means do ONE thing until completion. Then of course even more reinforcements come from John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire who’s acronym is:

 and look at the wild success he’s made for himself.

 If you only had two hours a day to do the work you enjoy most, what would you do?