Monk Mode

I’ll keep this short and sweet since I made some ambitious deadlines for myself this week that, at the time, I thought were reasonable. Now that I’m in the thick of it, I see now that they were somewhat unreasonable.

But, hey, I like a good challenge and all this stuff is creative anyway, so I won’t complain.

In fact, I almost skipped the blog this week. I have too much on the plate. But then I remembered that most of these deadlines are somewhat arbitrary anyway (people are reasonable and everything is negotiable, right?). It would be totally understandable if I missed one and if I skipped a blog. Who would even notice?

But I would know. I would notice. And when I make a promise to myself to get something done by a certain date, just like when I make a promise to myself to get something done for someone else, I follow through.

Even if it means I skip my hour-long yoga class that I love and do ten minutes at home just to stay sane.  I will write. Because I am a writer who does yoga. I am not a yogi who writes a lot. There’s a small distinction between the two, but an important one when it comes to where I focus my time.

The past few weeks I’ve been in what I consider “Monk Mode.” I’ve been getting up early, going to bed early, in a pretty set little routine (thanks to my puppers who really like to remind me that certain times of the day mean either walk or eating or playtime or porch time or pool time). I’ve been going to my yoga class in the morning (when possible), coming back and setting up the house the way I like it before diving into some focused writing. I have a quiet lunch at home while I read the entertainment trades and then take my dogs on a walk. I take a quick nap (I’m an excellent napper – 20 minutes to a totally transformed human), then have another round of intense writing or creating before Bonnie lets me know it’s time to feed and play with the pups. Maybe after they eat and play, I have another hour or so of creative time before they need a walk. After the way, I snarf some food then, maybe eek out a few more pages before I start my pre-bedtime relax mode.

And, at the moment, that’s it. I will change up the routine if people are in town or coffees must be had. But in weeks where I’m on intense deadlines like right now, I’ll only change it up to give me more time to write (sorry yoga, you got axed today). But I’m careful and thoughtful about when I change it up. I make sure there’s still plenty of routine available to keep me balanced even when I know one day will not be as productive as the others. So I don’t do coffees daily. And I don’t do drinks every night. I keep it balanced and protect the creative boundaries I need to continue to feel my best.

If I’ve ignored your text or been hard to pin down for a meeting, this is likely why. And I would apologize for it, but honestly I don’t feel bad. It’s called setting boundaries and I’m learning it and loving it and the people closest to me respect it, as I do their own boundaries.

So why am I sharing? What does this even matter? Those mundane details of your life mean very little to me, Briana (you may be saying and I’ll pretend you are so I can answer).

Well, here’s the funny thing about Monk Mode. I really like it. I’ve spent a ton of time traveling and on wonky schedules and all over the place. I haven’t had a lot of time or space in my world for routines. And, to be fair, I often avoid them because the wrong ones focused in the wrong places can make me freak out and feel stifled.

But this routine is a happy routine. It’s a productive little routine. Even though my weekends are all over the place and it’s more of a goal than a reality most days, it makes me feel like I’m focusing on and forwarding my career.

When I’m doing things outside of the routine, I’m working on my acting craft or taking meetings for my writing. I’m not immediately seeing the results of my work, but I know that doing a little every day and maintaining my focus will eventually help me to stay sharp. I feel inspired by the productive yet quiet lives of monks who spend much of their day devoted to the work they believe in, with small tasks and chores sprinkled in throughout their day. I don’t pretend that I’m a monk. But I do enjoy the quiet and focused time working (not to mention a good Belgian beer that some monks basically perfected).

This time of year can feel particularly tumultuous for me emotionally as I round the corner to another birthday and the age demons try to pester me about what I’ve accomplished with my life. But doing my best to stay in Monk Mode has kept them at bay. And has kept my own spiritual connection to both my more intuitive and more creative self even stronger.

Straight up Monk shit, yo.

 

 

 

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From Idea to Reality

metaphys 1This week, the first Metaphysical Comedy podcast was published. And I’m really friggin excited.

I’m excited because not only is a fun and interesting show that I think will make a lot of people laugh and be entertained. But I’m also excited because it marks another of those fun journeys from concept to reality that the creative process allows.

I wanted to do an interview-style podcast where, basically, people just told me ghost stories. But then I realized that probably wouldn’t sustain itself and I still wanted to interview people who maybe hadn’t simply had ghost interactions- but just on what they believed. I got an idea for the name, Metaphysical Comedy, wrote it on a post-it note and stuck it to the cork board above my desk where lots of idea reside. Many ideas make it into some form of reality while others sit there in idea purgatory for months and years never seeing the light of day.

But this idea kept nagging.

Then I met Jose. And he and I got along splendidly. And we talked about metaphysical things. And we disagreed on them but in a delightful and entertaining way. And I finally saw how this show would pan out.

He was as enthusiastic and added some great elements and ideas you can see at our website (metaphysicalcomedyshow.com)and has been an awesome partner. We’ve been interviewing people for a couple months whenever our schedules allow. It’s been a delight to talk to friends in a different way and to learn about my own mind while learning about theirs. We finally chose a launch date (this past Monday) and now it’s a thing that’s in the universe. And will continue to be in the universe as we release each episode.

All from an idea written on a post-it note.

Keep pens and paper around to write down your ideas. It’s exhilarating to see an idea become a reality.

Also subscribe to Metaphysical Comedy and share it with your friends 🙂

Podcast Episode 48- Thoughts (Show Notes)

On this episode of Femoir: The Podcast, we focused on our thoughts. Those crazy little whirlwinds that take over our every waking moment and help mold our realities.

This is the book I referenced, The Magic Path of Intuition (I said the wrong name… but this is the book! I’m already on my third reading. Easy to read and feels good in the bones!)

This is a book I read years ago (as suggested by one of my favorite all-time comedians, Gary Gulman), The Magic of Believing.

And here’s a video about the same subject that I also buy:

I know some of it might be too much (and you’ll hear me admit where I think the faults are in these arguments during the podcast) but I also know that when I live my life as if these principles are possible and true, it’s a much more exciting and happy life.

You Get Back What You Put Out

I hear people talk about how they’re not getting enough out of a  place/person/opportunity/job/whatever.

Now, I totally understand that there are certain relationships and phases and places that we totally give ourselves to and get nothing in return. Believe me. I understand that. Believe. You. Me. I get it. We’ll get to that here in a moment.

But I truly believe at the core of my being, that you only get back what you put out into the world.

For example, I hear people complain about Los Angeles all the time. All. The. Time. There’s too much traffic. It’s too dangerous. You have to drive too much. It’s smoggy. People are shallow. It’s too expensive. Wah, wah, wah.

Lots of these things are true. Or at least they can be if you choose to focus on them. If you don’t like Los Angeles- or wherever you’re living- actually evaluate why. And if it’s irreconcilable, find somewhere that meets your needs better. You’ve got an internet. Use it.

Sure, I’ve had my ups and downs living in this city. Because that’s life. And you get both ups and downs. But overall, I love this place. So much. It makes my little soul sing. I can picture different neighborhoods I want to live in. I have restaurants I want to be a regular at. I listen to people talk about preschools and take notes for my kids someday (in the wayyyyy future). It’s a beautiful paradise. The weather is absolutely amazing. The people are driven and focused. The best entertainers in the world call this place home. You can find really genuine, amazing, loving, supportive people. It’s my heart’s home.

I love Los Angeles. I’ve done enough living to know what I want from a city- what I can handle, what I can’t handle, etc. I know that LA’s strengths are really important to me and it’s weaknesses aren’t a big deal. As a result, I freaking love it. That’s not the case for everyone. I get it.

I’ve created an awesome community for myself out here filled with talented, hilarious, positive, incredible people. And I’ve done it by getting off my ass, embracing the opportunities around me, and expecting to meet awesome, like-minded people. Sure, I’ve met some duds. So be it. I don’t dwell in the shit. That would just be shitty. (teeheeheeeeeee)

Whatever you expect to encounter when you wake up in the morning is exactly what you will encounter. We create our own story lines and realities in our head based on our pre-conceived notions of the world around us. So if you expect to love a place and expect to find happiness and opportunity and great people, you’ll find it. If you tell a place you love it- and love it with all your being- it will love you back. Even if it sometimes shows it in a funny way you don’t understand at the time.

Worst case scenario, you give a noun (person/place/thing) your everything for as long as you possibly can and it doesn’t give you anything back. And you realize you’re all out of energy to invest in said noun. You re-evaluate, move on, and learn from the experience. And for the rest of your life, you don’t have to live with the regret that you held back or didn’t try your darndest. Odds are, there was something more wonderful waiting for you around the corner anyway.

So I guess what I’m saying is in a roundabout and rambly way is… put out.

Ladiessssssss….

Discovery of penny on ground changes cursed man’s luck

Henry Miller was having a rough week. Everything that could go wrong, for him, seemed to go wrong. He was feeling sick, gotten in a huge fight with his girlfriend in which she kicked him out of the apartment, and was on thin ice at work. It seemed every human interaction he had, he was beaten down and criticized in some capacity.

That is, until, he was walking to the bus stop and saw a small, shiny, copper penny sitting there waiting for him to discover it. He remembered the old adage, “See a penny/ pick it up/ all day long you’ll have good luck.” So, he did just that. He picked it up and was pleasantly surprised to see it was heads up. He knew this was a good omen.

Just as he walked to the bus stop, the bus pulled right up without any waiting. He hopped aboard and saw that there was nobody else on the bus, which gave him the chance to choose any seat he wanted and kept him from having to smell some of the other regular bus customers. Just then, his girlfriend called him and apologized for overreacting, and asked him to come bak and live with her. When he arrived at work, his boss called him into the office and said he was very proud of the effort Miller had been showing over the past week and that he was being promoted-even in this economy! A co-worker also gave him a pack of vitamins to help out with the sickness that had been plaguing him for weeks.

Miller is grateful to whoever dropped that penny so that he could find it. A part of him, is sure it was an angel.