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Archive for the ‘writing therapy’ Category

One of the ideas behind this whole blog is that there comes this point in time where you’ve wanted to do something for a while, and finally, you are done with excuses and the desire to DO IT wins out. And you say IM DOING IT DAMMIT!

And I think there is something really useful about that amount of time that passes by while the desire grows stronger and stronger. Napoleon Hill talks a lot about the necessity of a “burning desire” in Think and Grow Rich. It is an intregal part of any type of success. And the Abraham Hicks folks talk about eagerness and desire, how those feelings are part of the process of manifesting what you want.

All that seems obvious enough. But I’ve noticed that over the past several months I’ve attempted many challenges after the bikram challenge. The bikram challenge was something I had wanted to do since I began practicing bikram three years ago. I had an absolute burning desire to do it. It became my complete focus during that month. It was almost easy! I desired to go to class each day. But since then I’ve tried a few different things: daily yoga stretching, daily meditation, 40 days of writing therapy, or just having fun each day. And each of those have been more challenging. Or, I just haven’t taken my committment to doing them daily quite as seriously. I think it’s because a lot have come from an idea: This would be good for me. Not: I am dying to do this.

There’s nothing wrong with any of this, of course. All of this has been such an interesting experience. The meditation continues to be extremely important. I did finish my 3 months of 15-minute meditations (mostly using guided tracks). It culminated in my extended holiday vacation with spending almost an hour doing various meditations! (Now I am working 40+ hours a week. Not so easy to keep this up daily. I miss it when I don’t do it.)

And the writing therapy opened up something for me too, though now I am in show-mode, focusing mostly on getting my show ready to go up at the PIT in a little over a week (GAH!). So I have dropped the ball a bit on that.

Making committments to DO STUFF seems to only reaaally work when it’s something I reaaaally want to do, and reaaaally commit to.

I am starting to see the importance of letting that desire build up a bit over time, rather than immediately being impulsive to committing myself to something in hopes of a breakthrough. Because when the time comes to really do it, I want to be ready to really do it.

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Did you listen to any of Marshall York’s songs this month?
He wrote 31 songs in 31 days.

Wow. Ie.
Such an inspiration to keep on going and creating even when it feels like the bucket is empty. There are some really amazing groovy jammin rockin songs in there—Check it out! His work reaaally inspiiiiiires meeeee.

Meanwhile I’m on day 13 of my writing therapy. I missed one day.  I just totally forgot! Oopsie. I grant myself one free pass. Okay, and another day I only wrote a paragraph. But for the most part, I have been doing this dammit. This may be material, but I thought to myself: I better do this now because soon I’ll be so enlightened that I won’t have ANY anxiety. THEN, what will I write about? Ah well, Pema Chodron finds material, although she is a Buddhist nun, so I will probably have material while I wait in line for pizza and beer.

Something really cool happened today. There was this one portion of my show I haven’t been able to nail down for the past two shows or as I’ve come back to it this time around. And I find with writing there is this dance between doing the work and trusting that the answers are going to come. And when they do, it feels so, so good. But I am just loving playing with this writer side, and getting more ideas of expanding outside of solo shows into all sorts of creative goodies.

I’m pooped. Watched three shows at the beautiful new PIT theater. I want to play some improv. I miss doing the funny.

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Olia is off to college! Her own college, that is. She’s put together a curriculm of all she wants to learn and do. Her committment is what I admire most. Her committment to doing all the things she wants to be doing each day, no matter what mood she is in. Jamie mentioned a week or so ago about having one of those days that felt like Olia’s College. In the “ideal life” conversation, that’s what I see for myself. That each day i will wake up, on my own schedule, and do all the things I love doing.

For the past year and a half, I haven’t had a full-time job. In fact it’s pretty amazing how little I’ve worked during this time. Especially considering I only began collecting unemployment a couple months ago. And tomorrow, I start my full-time temp job as a proofreader for the next three months. I am not only excited to make some cash money, but also to have a bit of consistency in my schedule for a short time. I’m ready to be playing in the world a little. (Funny, when you work in an office, it seems like you are detached from “the world.” And then, spending most of the daytime at home, it also feels detached from “the world.”)

All my time off has been really useful for getting me where I want to be mentally and emotionally. I’ve had so many hours to focus on reading, writing, meditating, sitting, taking walks, taking trips, taking workshops. I have basically allowed myself to be driven by however I feel each day, with some basic goals. The major goal being: just to feel good. Just to enjoy wherever I am and whatever is happening.

At a certain point you have to say: Okay! I feel good now! Days will change and moods happen, but I am ready to let go of this story!

It’s similar to writing a show. I am continually tweaking this one in hopes of its perfection. Perfection in my eyes, saying the exact thing I want to say. But at a certain point, I just have to say: Okay! It’s perfect as is in its imperfection! Now I am going to let it be exactly that.

And go out into the world and create the next one.

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I have been reuniting with some old loves.
The first one is acupuncture. I’ve been putting together my own therapy, with the mix of comedy writing, meditation, and now also acupunture. I love acupuncture because I can go in and speak to the acupuncturist for about five minutes: “I have a lot of anxiety. I think too much. Having lots of emotions come up.” And he says, “Okay, great.” And then I lie back, and he finds the right points and gets things moving where they are stagnant.

Something that Abraham says is that you don’t have to know where your flawed thinking came from, or negative thoughts or neuroses. You don’t have to dig through the past to understand every little thing. You can just work on changing them now. To me that is freeing. It gets exhausting trying to pinpoint the moment in childhood or youth when something affected me in a way to decide I would never get in that situation again (and thus, close my heart, criticize myself before someone else could, etc., etc.). There’s absolutely some uselfulness to that work. But at a certain point it’s good to just say, “Let’s just get on with the feeling good!”

So that’s why I love going to acpuncture for the mental/emotional stuff. My acupuncturist, Robbie, said that’s something he loves too. He doesn’t have to figure out anyone’s problems, he just is able to give them the acpuncture so they can figure that out on their own. Which is yet another part of the puzzle I am working on—a deeper connection to all my own answers within.

And, I went to yoga for the first time in a couple of months last week! Vinyasa yoga! (Which is much different than hot bikram!) I really enjoyed the class. I felt like I had a strong foundation because of the time I’ve spent in bikram. I really enjoyed the postures, and being able to just change and go right after class and not deal with the whole showering thing. It felt like a practice I could easily squeeze into my day. I’m going back this week too. Yoga is such a great way to get out of my head and into my body.

Do you remember when I mentioned the Chakras exercizes a while back? I highly recommend checking this stuff out. The exercizes are so simple, the light chanting is so easy, and it is completely worth it. I’ve been working on just my root chakra. It’s one of those things where you just realize, “Oh… I feel a little more grounded than I did yesterday. Interesting!” Yup, it’s from the exercizes!

So it is exciting to be creating my own therapy. I don’t even think that’s the right word. Perhaps it is: my own Clarity. I’m creating my own Clarity.

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Is this funny enough?

Well, this writing therapy thing is interesting. I am glad to be ATTEMPTING to make each day’s writing funny, because it is not my go-to. I mean, once i am on a roll with working on something, i can get a flow going. But most of this stuff is trying to get that ball rolling. And that’s the challenge.

So the purpose of it is to take my life more lightly. To have a little more fun with the ups and downs. (and ya know, get some comedy material.) So it is funny that I then end up sitting at my computer stressing over if what I am writing is funny enough, if it fits the requirements. (Where is the lightness, honey bunny? Is this material, me sitting in angst trying to think of something funny or how to turn said angst into something funny?)

So then I just dive in and start writing. And jump all over the place. Something ends up coming up. Not quite SNL material, but hey… maybe more like Wes Anderson. Which is actually a much preferred direction. Or perhaps I am just telling myself that. Hey, if that’s what works! If thinking I am writing like Wes Anderson films gets me to keep writing, well I will keep that story up!

I am finding a different side of myself. More than the side that writes something and goes, “Ahh. It’s okay. I accept myself.” It’s a part that goes, “This fucking thing drives me nuts and I also might be insane!” That is fun to play with.

Okay, I will share a little tidbit that I wrote today. This was inspired by a part time job I worked today.

I’m working at a kids party, sitting there, still don’t know which animal is which. Amelia holds up a sea lion. “What animal is this?” “Seal!” I yell, with all the kids. She gives me a funny look and says, “Sea lion.” I look around. I’m yawning. In my head, distracted. Checking my phone. I think I just felt it vibrate! Nope… damn… Notice one of the kid’s mother with a giant ass engagement ring. Look at my hands. They need lotion. As I sit there, I imagine myself in 15 years, with short haircut, lines around my face, still just sitting there miserable.

It has possibility. It has to be a really bad haircut I am imagining.

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writing therapy

I am thinking about the whole “writing makes me feel better” thing. I had an episode in the coffee shop with my friend Maia the other day (my director as well). Not quite an anxiety “attack,” just a pushed-into-a-corner ball of anxiety that then grew into a giant animal and wallowed over and sat in the middle of our table yelling and screaming. An anxiety … “tantrum.” She’s met this anxiety tantrum animal many, many times, all disguised under different names and situations. She directed me to write a scene about the very thing I was fussing over because that seems to be the best way for me to get through things.

And it’s true. I think it’s because it forces me to laugh at myself. To laugh at the things that cause me inner turmoil or drama that can actually be quite silly. As I’m starting this new year, I have a desire to really complete this process of working out the emotional goo that continues to surface. There have been so many options that have presented themselves even in the past 3 weeks, and I’ve gone back and forth choosing what my best healing method, 2011 would be, to start the year off.

What I’ve decided is: writing therapy.
Writing funny scenes or stories about anything that comes up and drags me down during the day, and gets in the way of life. Generally this is a long-standing anxiety or story I’ve created in my head. All the more interesting!

Hmm… do I dare choose ye old 40-day rule? (time-tested, scientifically proven amount of time to make a habit really stick, which Olia pointed out in a post I can not find! ) Shall I be so bold? That scares me. What if I have days without anxiety?

Well, it’s okay to have a short scene. And then I can write about a fear of being too happy. (Cause that’s in there too! The moments when I feel totally at peace, I start to get nervous. “Is it over then? I like working through things!” HA!)

Okay… I’m doing it, dammit! 40 days of writing therapy! Writing about whatever ails me. And it has to (at least try to be) funny! The purpose is to play with all this stuff and lighten the heck up about what comes up in life.

I’m gonna work through my “stuff” in a way that is completely fulfilling to me, and also an opportunity to gather up tons of material! I don’t plan on posting this stuff on the sight… You’ll have to wait for the next show. 🙂

But of course, the process, baby. Gonna share all about the process. That’s what it’s all about, right?

It’s 3:16 am. Just got back from a catering party where i did the electric, the cha cha, and many other slides… Time for bed! Writing therapy begins tomorrow!

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