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Archive for the ‘smoke up the ass!’ Category

Tomorrow I leave for Massachusetts for the 10-day Vipassana course. I remember about 3 years ago a manager at the restaurant I worked at told me he was leaving for a 10-day silent retreat. Now I know what he was talking about. He actually did that right after he quit, so I never heard how it went for him. I’m curious!

I have had a lot of different feelings arise since I first signed up for this course. I don’t want to do it… I don’t want to need it… What if this makes me more in my head? What if I go crazy? I probably do need this… I’m going to be so busy this summer! I definitely should not do this.

I almost cancelled my course reservation, and then I had a conversation with my friend Jamie. (Or, as she’s known around this blog, matthewbrownjackson.) She pointed out that this could be an opportunity to get grounded as I began my wild summer (which includes performing 13 solo shows in Canadian festivals). My friend Olia pointed out that I could look at this as another exploration, another experiment. And, that I could simply enjoy getting away from my day-to-day life for 10 days. And when I spoke to Nisha Moodley, she also gave me great advice: To go into this openly, knowing I might like it, and I might not, and either is okay.

So I am taking all of these thoughts with me as I begin the course tomorrow. I am mostly excited to step away from all my to-do lists, all of my facebook & Internet addictions, away from all my mailing lists and emails to tend to, away from the trains of NYC, the worries over money and everything else. I’m going at this openly, knowing I am fine with it and fine without it.

What I am really hoping is that once I “see things as they really are,” which is one of the main ideas behind Vipassana, I’ll be able to come back to my life right here and enjoy it even more, laugh at the ridiculousness of worry, and be even more present with all the great people & experiences in my life.

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Okay, and guess what!! The ultra-awesome, empowering & joyful Stephanie St.Clair (of BLISSBOMED) is going to be writing a guest post right here! I’ve written about Stephanie before. She’s an ongoing source of inspiration and empowerment to love yourself, love your life, and bring all of that juicy love into your relationships. “Like” her on Facebook and get all of her juicy & uplifting thoughts to bring some light into that status feed.

So be sure to check in and see what she has to say. I can’t wait to get back and read it. Or—-go ahead and SUBSCRIBE (to the right of the screen) and you’ll get an email when the post is up! Go ahead… subscribe! 🙂

See you guys mid-May!

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Hola!

I am excited to have a couple of regular contributors at the moment, Jamie and Faith. (And myself.:) )

I want to welcome all new readers, and let you know that this blog is yours, too! The whole purpose is to create a space for any and everyone to commit to doing anything they want to be doing, and to share the process of “doing it” with us! (And anyone they give this link to!) Some people have written songs, others, writing challenges, and lots of wellness and spiritual goals too.

So you can see on the sidebar (—————–>)

that I (Blue) and Jamie (matthewbrownjackson) are contributors to the blog via wordpress. And Faith emails me her posts and I post them. So there are all sorts of options. Olia began writing here and has taken off with an amazing blog of her own!

If you’d like to do anything, and share it here, send me an email! (imdoingitdammit@gmail.com) Or just leave a comment!

I recently put that quote up at the top, because I’m a big believer in following your heart’s desires. (And taking the time to learn exactly what those desires are!!)

enjoy reading,

Blue

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Update, 11/24/10: I think I was blowing smoke up my own ass with promises of calling people and checking in. Okay, I am not actually doing that! That’s up to you to keep me informed… but please do! And I’ll post it all here!

I want to clarify a bit about how this whole blog works! And how it can be a tool for you to do anything you want to.

The purpose of this blog is to offer support and accountability, and an open, public space to commit to doing what you want to do. How?

1. You choose the thing.

Perhaps it is a physical challenge like running a 5K, or a creative challenge like writing a screenplay. Or, it is just for fun like “go ziplining.”

Whatever it is, it just has to excite you. Preferably send some goosebumps all over when you think about.

It should have some sort of measurable result, with an end date in mind. It is is a goal you can clearly DO, or not DO!  “Become more artistic over the next three weeks” does not give you a clear way to go about it. “Paint a picture every day for three weeks, starting today” actually gives you something tangible to work with.

2. You commit to doing it, via this blog.

Write a post, email it to me via “imdoingitdammit@gmail.com” and I’ll post it! That’s all you have to do!

3. You stay in communication with us here at imdoingitdammit.com on your process and progress!

That’s where the support and accountability comes in. You are much more likely to finish if you have a whole team of people cheering you on and asking how it is going. This blog is also a great place to vent breakdowns and frustrations, and share breakthroughs on what it feels like to be in the midst of accomplishing a goal. The communication can be in the form of me checking in with you via phone or email and writing updated posts. Or if you like to write, you can write your own updated blog entries.

Most importantly, this is all about you doing what you want to do, and part of that involves taking that first step. Taking it out of your imagination or fantasy and seeing what is like in reality! Being open to whatever it ends up looking like, and everything you encounter along the way.

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Update: I am also totally hard on myself. I would love to deliver on my goals of checking on everyone who wants to join me over here but realizing I don’t actually follow through on it. So, it’s all good, join me for the fun on here if you want!

So I have found that I am a bit stuck with this blog.

I’m taking a class right now which involves creating a project in which involves other people. Sounds simple, right? Many people in the class are putting together charitable projects, or even family-oriented projects. Most importantly, these projects have to be something in which the other people would actually get something out of their participation. You have to start thinking about someone besides yourself.

I went for creating a community blog. Why? I love to write. It was easy for me. And I got to do this thing I have wanted to do: the bikram yoga 30-day blablabla.

Um… hmm… I managed to completely bypass thinking about someone besides myself and think ONLY about myself. I based this entire project around ME.

So what happened? Well… it didn’t exactly catch on like wildfire as I had thought it would. (Notice I’m the only writer, with the exception of a few gracious contributors?) No one has really been inspired to “Take Something On” in their lives and write about it. I know, it is still early, these things take time. But I don’t think it’s just that. I think the problem is I have only been invested in myself, in my growth. And I have to be concerned about something more than passing my class (one which you can’t even fail) and making my blog look good and successful. (Maybe if I keep changing the format people will think it looks pretty and be distracted!)

The thing about deciding you’re going to “do something, dammit,” is that it is more than a five-second decision. It is also more than just pulling something out of your butt to do because that might be kinda fun.

The whole point is to choose something that simultaneously excites and challenges you. Something you will feel incredibly accomplished for doing, or just have the time of your life. And we don’t all know what those things would be for us, or if it would even be worthwhile to add that to our list of committments.

In my conversations with other people about what they would like to be “doing dammit,” they are somewhere within the process of discovery. Maybe they have never thought of something they wanted to do before. Maybe they have already done a lot of exciting stuff. Maybe the one thing they are curious about is time-consuming, expensive, physically challenging, or downright impossible, and there really are a million reasons why they don’t want to do it tomorrow.

So, for someone to actually CHOOSE something they REALLY want to do, and then DO IT, takes more than a five-minute conversation. It is a process, and if I want to actually encourage and inspire other people to do that, I have got to be completely invested in exploring what really interests other people about their lives.

And here is what I am getting to: I haven’t been. I have not been invested in anyone but myself. This blog has really been here to serve me so I could do my damn yoga. And once I finished, I got bored. With all my writing about my bikram challenge I was able to sneak in and still get some inspiration in there. But I didn’t do the actual work of being truly invested in anyone besides myself. After all, I did my damn thing.

So, okay, we are all on the same page here? You get that I am totally selfish. Alright good, now that’s out of the way, I am really done with that. I am ready to be totally into you. I’ll tell you this—when I do actually step out of my own way I find there is a big passion for going through this process with other people. The core idea of this blog is to commit to doing absolutely anything you want to do, and now let me add that you are also going to get support for doing that thing. And if writing about it feels like work, I’m totally open to interviewing you or checking in about how it’s going or not going and doing the writing myself.

Okay, now what did someone famous say? Oh yeah… something about fun shit… and doing it!

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Just to update you on my challenge for the past Wednesday to Wednesday, which was to be on the Internet for less than two hours a day, and do something fun every day, I definitely achieved the Internet goal. It helped that I got a 3-day Jersey gig which involved spending a 16-hour day in a parking lot. I realized I didn’t plan so well by needing to do something “fun” during this gig. I was directing traffic in the cold and sometimes rainy whether. But perhaps it was my subconscious still finding the fun. I got to drive a golf cart around, and ride it! Also I got free giant hot chocolates two days in a row. And I read Harry Potter (Book 2, Chamber of Secrets) before going to sleep both nights in my Holiday Inn hotel room. (Yep, they put us up! I mean, I can direct traffic like no one’s business.)

So, I would say there was definitely some success from taking on these two goals. As far as the Internet goes, my next goal is to regularly set intentions for what it is I’m doing. And if that includes an hour reading blogs and watching youtube, FINE! But I am done with the addictive, depressive stuckiness that happens when I am resisting doing something else in my life.

And I am just adding a playfulness to all my days. I’ve been in a very strict hardworking mode for a while, which often sends me around in circles. I want to have more fun even while I work.

So now I am playing with some ideas of what to do next.

Things I want to do:

Swim!

Breathwork meditation (Perhaps taking a 7-minute practice on for a month!)

Practice the mandolin

Go hiking upstate

Buy myself a new jacket

Go to bed.

Oooh. I’m going to do that last one right now.

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My friend Jen Curran is a woman who does it, dammit. When I was just starting this blog and describing many things people want to do such as: losing weight/doing yoga challenges/quitting a job/starting a business/ETC ETC!, I realized Jen had done all these things and immediately asked her to write a guest post. She writes a blog that has inspired me since she started it, follow my bliss. In fact, that’s how we became friends. I was stalking her blog and wrote her fan mail. She continues to inspire me with her bold choices (both on stage and off…) and her approach to life. Basically, she rules.

I’m stubborn. And sometimes bossy. And my boyfriend often laments the fact that when I decide I want something, it’s hard to stop me from going after it – even if it’s ill-advised. In fact, since I was a little kid I’ve always tended to operate independently and impulsively.

So when my dear friend Blue asked me to write a post reflecting on my own experience relating to her blog, I realized that “I’m doing it, dammit” has been my methodology for as long as I can remember.

Of course, my impulsiveness hasn’t always been for the better. I’ve gotten in trouble with the law, I dropped out of college for two years, I wracked up debts it took me forever to pay back. I bought things I couldn’t afford and made choices I couldn’t undo. I even once shaved my head on a whim. (I don’t recommend it.)

But there’ve also certainly occurred a few memorable incidents in my young life where being stubborn in my convictions and grabbing the bull by the horns has actually paid off.

I lost 115 pounds in my early twenties when I finally decided enough was enough in terms of my weight problem. I’d been unhappy and heavy for far too long and I’d hit a point where I refused to feel so awful any longer. I knew I had no choice but to finally tackle the issue, and once I started, I didn’t want to stop. It’s not that losing weight was easy, it’s that I was too stubborn to give up.

I had the same experience with quitting cigarettes in my mid-twenties. Something inside me – or perhaps something greater than me –made the decision for me. When I finally knew it was time for me to quit, I thought, I’m doing, it dammit. And that was that. I know not everyone has such an easy time kicking that habit, and I probably got lucky. But I also felt intensely convicted about stopping.

And I quit my desk job last year in similar fashion. I’d been employed as an office administrator for years and I didn’t want to work at my low-paying long-hour’d job anymore. So I started a blog about how much I wanted to quit. Except I didn’t act spontaneously this time – I actually spent nine months saving and planning and writing posts about what I thought I might do when I finally quit my job. In the meantime, I worked on creating a small baking business with a friend and plotted my next steps as a writer and an actor too. But despite months of planning, I still didn’t know exactly when I’d be ready to actually give my notice to my boss. Then I woke up one day and just knew it was time. I quit the next afternoon. It was one of the best days of my life.

Now, almost a year later, I’m happier, more professionally fulfilled, and know more about myself and what I need in a job than I’ve ever known before. And I’m glad I didn’t stay at that job for a day longer.

Being spontaneous and courageous in your commitment to yourself and your goals – saying “I’m doing it, dammit!” especially when you’ve been hemming and hawing for way too long – can be terrifying. But practicing making bold choices can also help you to feel powerful, confident, and secure no matter what you do. Take a leap of faith and trust that that universe will catch you. Do it a dozen times and you’ll almost feel like you’re walking on air. There’s nothing quite so rewarding.

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I have no idea what to do!

That’s what a lot of people have said when I have told them about my blog and this project. This leads me to believe we should all write down a list of things we want to do. I’m going to go do that right now.

Okay, I’m back. I just wrote my list. I found there are two categories: the near-future list (things I can easily do in the next few months) and a little-bit-less-near future list (might take extra planning/saving/the hand of God). I don’t think I like the idea of “bucket lists.” So, I have these things I want to do before I DIE? Really? Do you happen to know when that might be so I could plan around it? How about just doing this fun stuff now?!

So, okay, here is my near-future list:

1. Join a gym with a pool in NYC. Swim x/times a week.

2. Dance and sing songs in my room for month. (This immediately makes me happy. Might be a good spiritual practice.)

3. Go to a mediation center in NYC.

4. Go hiking upstate in the mountains.

5. Go horseback riding.

Here is my little-bit-less-near-future list:

1. Travel to South America.

2. Travel to Central America.

3. Travel to France.

4. Work on a farm in Ireland.

5. Learn to surf in Hawaii. Then, surf in Hawaii.

The second list is much more expensive than the first. I better start saving my pennies! But the first list is very doable in the immediate future. I’m already plotting what to do once I’m done sweating in a yoga studio for the next 20 days. That’s part of the fun of doing things on the list: freeing up space for doing the next thing!

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