A Challenge

I have the good fortune to have a friend who writes to me, using actual paper, pen and ink.  This friend is very creative.  A month ago, she included this little envelope in her letter.

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I haven’t opened it yet.  I haven’t written anything on here for a long time.  I want to know what’s inside it.  I know that my friend is telling me to get back to putting thoughts into words, and I thank her for it.

I do well with simple, time-boundaried challenges.  For example,  I’m currently working my way though a series of mediations associated with my OBOD druidry studies.  I gave myself one lunar month to do it, from one new moon to the next.  I complete it today.  That works for me. It’s a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

I am curious about the reasons why I stopped writing so much on here.  Partly it’s because I’ve been happily partnered.  I’ve had less angst to process.  Things have been simpler, and more private.

So, here’s a small challenge/goal for me, from me, supported by my friend.  Write three more posts over the next three days, so that I can find out what’s in that envelope.

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I miss email

 

I miss email.

I started emailing about 20 years ago when I was still in high school (secondary school in Ireland.) I joined a couple of mailing lists and it allowed me to connect with a druid community far away from me. When I travelled, I sent group emails to my friends, updating them on my life and journeys.  Then social media and Facebook and messengers came along and we all stopped emailing. The immediacy of messenger services like Viber, WhatsApp, and FB Messenger is wonderful. Group chats for family and friends keep us all connected.

But I still miss personal email, the digital letter.

I have a friend who sends me a handwritten letter once a month. It’s a beautiful thing. I have replied occasionlly with my own handwriting, but my handwriting is difficult for even me to read.

More and more I want to nurture the deeper friendships in my life. For me, part of that nurturing is going to take the form of personal emails, digital letters from me to thee. The other person might not reply but some will.

It might be my introversion, but a message from you, just to me and vice versa is deeply connecting. I feel more in touch with someone who writes a letter to me once a month, and whom I never see in person, than someone I met socially.

I have heard people bemoan digital communication as the death of the art of letter writing. It doesn’t have to be.  Open your heart and your browser. Write to someone, tell them what’s happening in your life.

 

 

 

 

Soul speaks #tarotwriting 1

To force myself to write something today, I asked the question “What is it my soul wants to express in writing?” and drew a tarot card from the Druidcraft deck.

Strength is my favourite card in the whole deck. It’s one that speaks to me of many things.

But what does it say today?

It tells me that I can love those unruly parts of myself. The lazy bits, the sex obsessed parts, the “unproductive” parts, the indulgent, the biscuit eating and porn watching. It reminds me that owning all that is power, and strength, and vitality.  I may be on this “spiritual” path, but the person walking it is animal.

Thinking today about a man I am attracted to, I was reminded of how wonderfully one track my mind can be.  I love the hunt, the quest, the animal attraction I feel at times. There is so much aliveness in that. Breath and heart beat. Eyes and blood vessels dilating. Take more light in, more oxygen in.  Asking: What makes me come alive? When does my soul sing? When does my hear rejoice?

Doing wild and crazy things with my tribes. Sleeping as long as I need to. Passionate embraces.

Disappearing into the dance.

And in there is also wisdom, growth, the knowing smile that I’ve been here before.Every time around I learn something new. I am wisdom and passion, care and recklessness. I know this man, this animal. I care about him.  I mind him. He reminds me to let loose, to love even when it hurts, to retreat to lick my wounds, to burn fiercely and brightly, to hunt, to chase, to indulge. We walk together, senses alive, in strange lands. We walk alone to high places together.  We dance together, with our wild and beautiful tribes, hearts open, tears flowing, joy surging.

A Hundred Days?

  
Day Three of #100DayChallenge
I have committed myself to a one hundred day challenge. I did this via my tribe using Facebook as a tool. Several of my friends have taken part in 100 Day challenges before and they’ve really enjoyed it. 
I used to write a lot. I want to write a lot. The more I write, the more I have to say, and hopefully, the better I become at saying it. In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron writes about how the secret to creative output is high volume. Not all of it will be good, but some of it will be great. 
My challenge to myself is to write a blog post here on Thinking Barefoot for 100 Days. Each post must be at least 100 words long and it must include a picture. The picture above is my view whilst writing this post on my phone. Unsurprisingly, I’m on a train, again. 

To help me, and my friends who said they’d also like to do their own 100 day challenge. I have created a closed Facebook group for those of my friends and I who are taking part. I’ve committed to also posting on that group everyday to remind us all to take part. Without that sort of accountability, I don’t think I’s succeed. With it, I have a chance. 

I’m worried though. I’m worried that I’ll loose interest. I’m also worried that in time I might start to overshare, disclose someone else’s secrets. I’m also hopeful and a bit excited too. I might, just might, create something beautiful. 

Twice a week, even on a bus

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As I write, I am sitting on the bus from Mallow to Cork city. The bus is full. Most of the people on the bus are middle aged Irish women reading books or newspapers.

This wouldn’t be my ideal choice for a writing environment. At the start of this year I decided I wanted to and was going to write more on this blog. I posted roughly once a month in 2013. For 2014, I have committed to posting something – anything – twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Today is Thursday and something must be posted. I am fully aware that some of what I post will be drivel. Some of it won’t be. I have a lot to reflect on and I have a perspective to share. I commit to sharing it.

Turn Down The Noise

Today’s Daily Post question asks if I would choose to be a) able to write but not read blogs or b) read but not write.

I don’t write enough. I read. I read a lot. A common theme in my life over the last few years has been learning to ‘turn down the noise’. I’m easily distracted. I subscribe to a small number of blogs using Google Reader. That number is periodically reduced. I am never without my Kindle. I always have a book or two on the go. It’s been that way since I was ten years old.

It’s interesting that this topic has come up today. I am considering starting The Artist’s Way next week. I’ve read it before and listened to it as an audiobook. I start every morning with Morning Pages: three handwritten pages of what ever is on my mind that second. I love the feeling of following my own thoughts and being present to them on paper. I know that at one point during the twelve week course of The Artist’s Way, there is a moratorium on reading. I could do with that in my life. It is so easy to justify reading. Reading = Good. But reading also equals distraction and procrastination.

I have moved into an apartment with free wifi. This is both a blessing and a curse. It has only been a few days but I remember why I was considering having no internet connection at all. The internet sucks time and energy. There is always something to read online. I have a wonderful little application on my mac called Freedom. It blocks out the internet for a set number of minutes. It’s an amazing tool. It turns off the noise.

Several years ago I read a book called The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Survive When the World Threatens to Overwhelm You. At the time, reading it helped me to put my life and my reactions into perspective. I was living in a busy city and I was frazzled. Having a label, a name I could use, helped me to say ‘enough’. I don’t know if the HSP label still applies to me. It probably does. I can’t sleep with noise or bright lights. I have to take frequent periods of solitude to be happy but the happiness I feel in that stillness is beyond compare.

With the noise turned down, I can hear my thoughts and I can sense my direction.

Given the choice, I would spend huge periods of my life with the noise of the human world turned down. That choice is mine. Social apps on my smart phone, Facebook, podcasts, that next song on Spotify. So many distractions, so much noise.

I have much to write about and work towards over the coming months. With the noise turned down, and the distractions aside, I will explore that work in doing and writing, not reading about it.