Monday, December 17, 2012

Streaming Consciousness

This is something that I do with a friend. He gets is in(coherencies) going, and inspires me to do the same. So here I am, resting on my unable to rest, projecting toward a non-project when projects could be created or worked upon. That is the could-should. Maybe that is the official title of that disease. The Could-Should. I believe I just diagnosed myself. The Could-Should is what gets in the way of peace, or dare I say relaxation. 'Relax' is an icky, dirty and annoying word. It's the word that I am told to absorb when I am too inspired or too opinionated or too tired. Ok, maybe something Could-Should be done about too tired, but even so, you can see the nasty pattern here. Relaxation is Sedation for people who dare to go red on a gray scale, a way to ask people to tune their radio dial back to the mono-tone talk station. I am not suggesting that this is all-out, planned conspiracy. What I would like to suggest is that it is an unconscious movement that we propagate in carefully unchosen words. Relax. There are few words that are more annoying to me.

This streaming is not being created to suggest that people should not have personal time. On the contrary, I am trying to learn how to get it and how to balance it and how to enjoy it without creating guilt from the feeling that there is always something better to do, because I know in my hear that I do not believe that. It is in these nuggets of time that the creative individual formulates some of their best, most true and real thoughts. So important. How do we let it be important without being sucked into the vortex of 'Relaxation'? To blindly check out is to rob yourself of those potential formulations. Saying this, I am not suggesting that one should never watch television. I think what I am suggesting is that you should watch with every part of your eyes and ears, rather than glazing over and witnessing only a portion of the craftsmanship that goes into creating what you are watching.

Streaming Consciousness, all inspired by an email to a streaming friend who also muses on such things. I noted to him surprise that he thinks people do not tap into or appreciate their personal time enough. I told him that it must be evidence that he is really enjoying what he is doing these days. Why else do people cut short their free time? People who truly enjoy what they do are ALWAYS eager to be back at their work, not wanting to miss time to put toward getting better at the thing that moves them. I suppose this is why I should not be worried about rewriting a grant for RS over break. I should KNOW that I will reach a point where I cannot handle 'relaxing' anymore, and that I will itch to be back at spending my time on the thing that moves me. So, perhaps it is less about free time and more about whether or not any given person is moved by something. In that, there is hope for people loosening up on their protection of 'free' time and their projection toward retirement. THAT is more sad to me that people who tick off their time until the weekend. People that work doing shit they don't care about so they can enjoy themselves in retirement. I am certainly stating the obvious here and know that none of this is new to you, but boy, it sometimes feels good to complain to an agreeing ear, yes? Agreeing?

Regardless of approach, reach inside yourself and pull out the guts to examine for awhile. Just be sure to shove them back in before they go bad. You know how tight-rope walkers often have a pole with a weight of some kind on each end? What happens when there are three weights? I have not yet figured out how to successfully balance them all yet. Yet. That's funny. Actually typing that makes me realize how ridiculous it is. I think this is part of the way we fuck ourselves over; setting ourselves up to think that one can ever find perfect balance, a stopping place. Like all the things will fall into place in a magical moment and the rest of your life will make sense. That would work . . . if the world stayed stagnant while you were growing, letting you figure it all out before the rest catches up. I cannot even say that this sounds boring - yeah. It sounds icky. Stagnant must have been the right word.

Minneapolis hip hop rockin' the speakers, making me long for the home place that serves as a bass, letting me situate so I can go out an appreciate, always coming back to that sound.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Writing Environment

It seems that being in an environment where I am writing all the time, let alone writing all the time about things I care about, has subtracted from my ability to put some good time in on using writing for personal musing. Not only has this blog seen a whole lot less action, my personal journal has as well. I suppose I feel that the writing I am doing for school has a very personal element to it, and that has allowed me to feel it is sufficient. Either that or I plain and simple sometimes need to switch from work to a more mindless activity for escapism. That outlet has frequently been TV. At least it is pointedly chosen TV, and not just channel-surfing. I don' think I have it in me to channel surf.

It's interesting; this lack of personal writing, when I realized it, made me feel sad and a little guilty. I suppose that if my personal writing suffers at the hands of grad school training to help me further pursue my personal-professional-blurred-line passion of dance, then it is probably acceptable. Pulling these thoughts out of my head and into words makes them seem much more ridiculous, which is probably a good thing for my guilt problem. Any thoughts, Lisa?!

I'm not sure that is what I sat down to write this morning when I had an urge to contribute to this blog, it just came out. I am finding my mind wander to when I moved to Canada, and how many pictures I posted. I think perhaps I should do that here. Let's see what I can find . . . Well, that was not super-successful . . . I seem to have taken a set of photos for this purpose. Perhaps soon.

I find myself trailing on to the idea of relaxation. I am finding with my first day here that is not planned out, I am already feeling antsy. I decided to fix that antsyness by sitting down to write, and am now feeling even more antsy for the fact that isn't feeling so productive or needed. Perhaps what I need is to do nothing for a little bit. But I feel like I try that and it never goes so well. My head has already moved on to what I might do when I am done with this. I could guilt myself into feeling bad for not being capable of 'relaxing,' or I could just accept my fate as a freak who needs to be on the move. I am not finding much exciting about the idea of sitting around when there are people to see and things to do.

What made me think it might be a good idea to 'relax' is that I do not seem to want to write about school right now, the thing that has been taking up all my time. Maybe I just do not want to write. Or not on here. Stopping.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Settling In

Wow. I remember how close a friend this blog was when I moved to Canada. I wrote a post practically every day for a month, and after that, at least a couple a week. My habits clearly slipped upon returning home, and now I find myself again, sitting with this blank page and making it .... not blank. I'm not sure if when I chose to write on here, I think someone may read it. There is something that makes me decide to make this publicly accessible, instead of hidden in my journal. During my last move, it WAS a handy tool for those who actually tuned in to this to catch some details about my life changes. Perhaps this will be the same way. I DO have some subscribers I guess :)

It is strange to think that unlike my last move (I guess Chicago isn't really counting in this context), this will not be my only outlet to writing. In fact, I will be spending an inordinate amount of time writing and analyzing the writing of others. That is very exciting, particularly considering that it will all be writing about dance. A strange lack of feeling on this day before classes; the day before the start of each year of my undergrad, there was an amount of 'oh god, here we go again.' I am not feeling that way today.

I do not know if it is because I am just not entirely certain what I am getting into, or if it is because it's all dance, all the time. I think it's the last one :)   I actually brought book I borrowed from my advisor with me on the bus yesterday because I wanted to read it for pleasure! I feel so much more invest now in dance, because I have had the chance to really define on my own what I think is important, and can make a lot of my own plans now for how I am going to share my thoughts. I am feeling strangely content today, though can feel that this content-ness is about to get dropped on it's head when classes start.

Not much more beyond for now. Business as usual. Take the morning, hold it in your hand, and mold it to what you need. GO!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quite the time...

Quite the time, in a lot of ways.

Quite the time to feverishly plan, yet attempt to live out the moments as they pass. Quite the time to pack. Quite the time to do nearly too much to make not quite enough. That, however, seems to be the name of the game, in ways. In ways. I do not say this because I desire to resign myself to such a scenario, but to help myself be comfortable with it as I work to make change.

i.e., I am not proud of wearing a 'starving artist' badge, like the boastfulness that comes off the friend you have who wears their badge of 'busy-ness' pride. You know who I'm talking about. Everyone has at least one of these. Don't get me wrong, I like, every now and then, to commiserate about the levels of  busy required to keep my cash life flowing, talking of these things with people who share my situation. But if it becomes my badge of honor, someone please turn up your music as I speak. Maybe I'll take the hint.

Wandering in and out of satisfaction with myself, I imagine that most of things that are currently (and usually) hanging me up are just that; things I imagine. Somehow, that does not make them any less real in the conceptual place that is my mind. These products of my imagination love to make me feel guilty; am I not spending enough time with my friends? Have I taken on too much? Did I teach a good class? When I think deep in on it, I KNOW I am doing great things, and that friends, family, co-workers and managers are satisfied with me. This is the bitch of being a person with high expectations.

In those very few scenarios where we question the worth of our performances, we get caught in a tangle of self-questioning that can pull down progress. I chose specifically to avoid saying self-doubt, as I do not think I doubt myself. I DO question, as a curious mind cannot help such a habit.

I fear that these tendencies might lead me to ruin if I do not continue to tread very carefully along the line of 'not quite enough' and 'a little too much' as I navigate how much I can take on at one time, both personally and professionally. So, the things I will continue to repeat to myself as I prepare to again jaunt to the rockies for a spell....

'You are not moving to China.'
'Learning how to prioritize is a constant process.'
'Life is what happens while you are making plans for the future.'

A thank you to the wise and supportive folks around me who understand that need to repeat, and know exactly what to tell me to include in that cycle :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Meditation Two: Addendum

The following are excerpts from text found on the website of Common Ground Meditation Center in Minneapolis, providing insight into Mindfulness Practice;

"Mindfulness is the practice of opening to and accepting life just as it is, whether we are practicing sitting meditation or cooking dinner. To begin we make the necessary effort to calm the mind and heart."
"This capacity to be present over time becomes a great friend."
That last one; what a way to say it. I want to repeat this to myself several times, every day!

Meditation Two

It appears that I have had a recent post about meditation. So it goes again, this time just with some observations;

The most keen thing I noticed today was how a sound within the scope of my attention could drive away a rouge thought. Most frequently, the sound was a truck. The meditation center where I practice is located on a relatively busy street in South Minneapolis, so there is quite a bit of auto traffic, even at 7:15 in the morning. I noticed several times my feeling that the truck sound that caught my attention took away with it a thought it did not want to have. I have been trying to focus in on listening to the sounds around me and feeling and listening to my breath in accordance with those sounds. That is precisely why it seemed so magical today when, three distinct times, I felt those trucks drive off with my extraneous thoughts.

It just feels really powerful to be in that much control of my mind, in such a calm way. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Yowza. I’m not sure that I am ready yet to write about this trip, but I have made several attempts and think this one will bear something. I feel funny putting this all down in writing because I feel like I have already discussed it at length with a number of people. However, it does still help me to get it down in the word. So here goes.

I really feel like this trip could not have gone any better than it did. That said, with a feeling of severe confidence, I hope I do not set myself up to bee TOO expectant (this is mostly in relation to financial aid). I just do not want to build myself up to the point that I will not be happy with what is offered if it is not full support. Now, all that can be done is wait for that letter.

I guess that is all for now. More to come :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I went again this morning.

I can see this being something that I'd really like to pursue. I am sure that a large part of it is that it is very difficult for me. It baffles me how something so truly simple can be so difficult. This is surely evidence that we pile far too many things into our minds. If we are not constantly juggling several thoughts at once, its as though we are not doing anything. Or is this just me? Should I be saying we? I think probably.

Another thing that baffles me is how much easier it becomes to meditate when in a space with several other people who are doing the same or similar. I guess this falls in line with the observation I have made of myself in reasons for enjoying dance class; feeling the energy of others is an extra motivator, something that holds us accountable in our pursuits.

I was explaining to Adrienne yesterday morning that I have historically had trouble with practicing anything on my own; yoga, meditation, even stretching. In going to Common Ground, I have discovered that maybe it isn't that I cannot do any of this on my own, but that the space in which I do it matters. Home is a place of storage, preparation, and yes, sometimes relaxation. Though I am thinking that relaxation and meditation or yoga practice are not nearly the same thing.

When I pause on my own at home to practice something like this, I almost feel as though I am marking time or not really doing much of anything. This may be due to the fact that home has many options for distraction, and I am not far enough along in being consciously mindful enough to let these distracts float out of my mindframe. Therein, for me, it seems that a space to go to is key in these practices. Somehow, when I leave home and go to a designated space, an activity becomes more real. I sometimes think this perception of mine ridiculous, but I suppose it is what it is, and if it is working for me, it's working!

That said, I am grateful to have found a space that feels welcoming and warm and is affordable. I am looking forward to continuing my visits. I am invigorated by this challenging yet simply activity; to be mindful.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Trust That You Are Exactly Where You Are Meant to Be.

I think that is what I did when I went to chase the sun this morning. I saw the reflection of the pink clouds on the windows in the building next door, and the next thing I knew, I was grabbing my coat. I also laid in bed for a half hour this morning before getting up, because that is what my body felt like doing. Granted, I mentally gave myself shit the whole time, but yet, I laid there still. Part of me agrees with the shit-giving, and another part of me is impressed that I managed that stillness.

It truly can be gratifying to trust your gut. Good thing my gut does not want to drink beer and play video games all day!