Writing

Writing Routine

 

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Creativity is not something I associate with the word routine although I do love a good routine. Each morning I wake, say the rosary, meditate, write affirmations and then sit down to write. But first coffee. I don’t have a particular routine around my writing, though, but I’m starting to build one. First, the morning pages. I was writing them by hand for a long time, filling up notebook upon notebook but a couple of things happen when writing at length with a pen. I grip it hard and the nail of my ring finger digs into the palm of my hand leaving a throbbing indent. Also my hand goes a bit numb after a while. And then I discovered 750words.com and I moved my morning pages online, which is cheating, I know, but better than nothing. It also makes my writing searchable which is great.

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Life

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect hinges on the theory that a small change (such as a butterfly flapping it’s wings) can cause a much larger event halfway across the world (such as a tsunami). I think of this often when I’m trying to retrace how life gets off course for me in just a short amount of time. Three weeks ago, said life was humming along. I had a faithful morning routine which entailed prayer, journaling, exercise and morning pages – all before my job which starts at 9 a.m. I had weekly commitments I didn’t veer from. AA meetings, yoga practice, meditation, meal planning, laundry and cleaning routines. And then the thing happened that knocked it off kilter.

What was the one thing that caused my life to tip over as though it was teetering on the edge of a cliff? The first chink came with a funeral which caused me to miss my weekly yoga practice. The funeral wasn’t optional as it’s crucial to be there for the important people in your life during times of loss. The funeral, also, was ripe with life lessons for me and caused me to think hard about some things like bucket lists and what’s really important in life. Next came the death of our beloved Murphy and this has caused much sadness and perhaps a low grade depression. Getting out bed in the morning became difficult but Thanksgiving was coming and a trip to Florida was on it’s heels.

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Life

Simple morning routine and prayer

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With routines, I’ve learned that simple is best. Wake, 6-Minute Diary, then meditation followed by a short prayer. It is simple and quick, nearly idiot proof. The whole thing takes less than 20 minutes which makes it easy to accomplish. I’ve tried making more complicated routines but they were never managable for me. They included drinking a glass of lemon water (oh, the lemons I’ve had to throw out!), writing morning pages, gym time and creating a to do list for the day. I’ve learned that it takes time to build morning routines and to take it baby steps at a time, to give myself small successes first.

Although I have been a lifelong Catholic, fitting prayer into my day has not always been a priority. My prayers were always selfish, coming fast and furious when things got rough. Please get me out of this. Please make this better. If you help me with this, I’ll be a better person. Selfish. Don’t get me wrong, I’d pray for others too. If I knew of someone hurting or sick or in need of general support, I’d definitely send a quick prayer their way.

My prayers for today, though, are thankful, asking for help to stay in today, to keep myself free of fear, self-pity and self-seeking motives.  I ask to be shown times where I can help others instead of worrying about myself. When I pray during times of hardship, I’m praying more for grace to face something in a more accepting manner instead of making a situation go away. Without our trials and darkness, I’m pretty sure the sun wouldn’t shine so bright on easier days.

I also wanted to make my daily prayer more personal so I wrote my own. I used words that were in my heart, words that feel authentic when I say them. Am I more peaceful today because of prayer? I don’t know. But I do know I am more peaceful, accepting and resilient than I used to be.

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend!

MC