Chasing Inspiration

Friday, March 26, 2010

Soundtrack Friday

Okay, I thought my blog was posting all the posts I created ahead of time properly. And silly me, I didn't check until a friend asked me if I was on vacation. *sigh* Technology is great, until it doesn't work.

I've been a fan of Mr. Mister and Richard Page for years. Since their first album. And not, Welcome To The Real World was not their first album. It was their best known, but not their first.

When I was searching out information on Richard Page in a lame attempt to see what my teen crush was up to these days, I stumbled on a YouTube video where his daughter, Aja Page, sings a cute, folksie song titled Firefly.

If you know me, you know I like fireflies. I am still bitter Fox pulled Joss Whedon's TV series Firefly. I enjoy Owl City's song Fireflies. Firefly Lane is one of my favorite books by author Kristin Hannah. And I think the actual insects are magical.

To find another song that uses fireflies as a metaphor, well, I had to get me some of that. So I bring you Aja Page and her sweet song, Firefly. If you like it, I know it's available at iTunes. Yes, I purchased it. Like I said, I like fireflies. *grin*


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Living In The Moment

I started a series last year about making time to do that thing you've been wanting to do but never getting around to. We started with being honest. And listening to the words we use. I do believe that this is one of the first steps toward making time. I could go on further about the language we use, but I was struck this week about living in the moment.

How does living in the moment correspond with making time? I hope to begin to sketch that map for you, but first, let's look at living in the moment.

Living in the moment is about being in the now. Being present. Awake. And aware. We often sleep walk through life, not fully aware of how we impact others and how they impact us. We react. We let the world run roughshod over us and our intentions. Of we simply let life pass us by while we attempt to control it.

In order to make time to do the things that matter most to us, we need to be aware and awake in the moment. This moment. We need to be aware of the things that impede our progress and aware of the things that support it. While I could go on and on about this, I want to focus on one thing - being aware and awake in our choices.

We are constantly making choices. Yet how many of us are aware and conscious of the choices we make? Why did I choose that outfit to wear to work? What drove me to order that latte instead of water? Why did I choose to open one email over another? These are decisions we often make on auto pilot. And while many of those decisions may not hurt our intentions of making time, they can if we aren't aware.

Here's my example. I made an agreement with myself that I would write every evening for 30 minutes. I put it on my calendar, on my PDA, and told a few friends my intentions so they could help motivate me. The first week went great. Then my unconscious choices took over. I had an opportunity to have dinner and drinks with a friend I hadn't seen in ages. Of course I would connect with her. And I didn't write that night. At bed time I told myself that was okay, I would write tomorrow.

Later that week I got into a conversation on renovations with my husband. That took longer than expected but instead of stopping and evaluating my evening, I made the unconscious choice to stick with the usual evening routine of watching reruns on TV. More and more evenings were taken up with unconscious choices I made because I wasn't awake in the moment. I was on autopilot.

Some would say I didn't want the writing badly enough to stick to it. I say I did, but I had to wake up enough to be aware I was my own worst enemy. When I woke up I was able to stop the routine, stop the unconscious choices and ask myself what mattered more - writing or that thing I had always done. Sometimes the other choice won, but I was deliberate in my choice, acknowledging what I was letting go in order to sit with my husband and watch TV or spend an evening with a friend.

When we are awake and alive in the moment, I believe we can be true to our intentions. We can see patterns of behavior that aren't helping us and work to break those patterns. We can be honest with ourselves and about what matters most.

Are you awake in this moment? If not, what can you do to become more aware and more intentional?


Monday, March 01, 2010

Books Read in February

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield -- I don't remember this book. I guess that's not a good sign. I know I read it because it was for bookclub. I do recall I enjoyed it. Hmm, maybe I'll need to do a reread so I can post something intelligent about it. :)

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah -- I. Loved. This. Book. It made me cry. Seriously. Bawled at the end like a little baby. Actually sniffled through the last third. If you like reading about families and have an interest in Russia, you will love this book. It tugs the heart, sucks you in and doesn't let you go even after you read "the end."

Lake Magic by Kimberly Fisk -- This debut novel reminded me what I used to love about contemporary romantic fiction. This book was tender and bright and a lovely read about loss and love and the power of connection. Kimberly is an author to watch!

Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl -- Victoria's third contemporary romance is her best yet! Seriously. I actually read it from the library and then went out and bought it. It's sexy, poignant and fun. The heroine is complexed, flawed and every woman without being boring or melodramatic. The hero is yummy and equally as complex. This is a great story.

Ghost Moon by Karen Robards -- I enjoy a good tale by Karen Robards but wasn't connecting with this story. It felt sluggish to me, but that could have been because I was dealing with a cold when I was reading it. It was suspense lite and paranormal lite with a good romance in an interesting setting.

Sea Swept, Rising Tides & Inner Harbor by Nora Roberts -- I love the Quinn brothers. Nora does an amazing job writing men and writing family dynamics. Have I mentioned I want to be her when I grow up? It was a great treat to revisit the Quinns of Chesapeake Bay. I haven't reread the series in years and as part of my downsizing efforts I am trying to find new homes for many of my books. This means rereads of books I've been holding on to for years to see if I can stand to part with any. I just can't part with the Quinns. If you haven't read this trilogy, do so. Now!

Tempting Faith by David Kuo -- I like biographies and autobiographies. I enjoy understanding what makes people tick. I think learning about different social issues is important. I thought this book would be one of those tell alls that's more about sensationalism than really trying to understand what really happened, at least from one man's point of view. I was entertained reading this book. I think I understand the religious movements within the last 10 years of politics. I don't think I've heard the entire story, nor will I. I'm not sure if I recommend the book or not. I think if you're willing to read more than one side of the issue, I am. But if you only want to read things that will support your point of view and can't keep an open mind, skip this book.

A Lick of Frost & Swallowing Darkness by Laurel K. Hamilton -- I used to be a huge fan of Laurel's Anita Blake series but the series kind of strayed off the path too much for me. Then I found her Merry Gentry series and have loved every book so far. This weekend I read two of her latest in the series, thanks to a co-worker who was kind enough to loan them to me. Questions are answered, court intrigue escalates, and storylines come together to form an amazing whole! More questions are asked and the series takes a turn, but it's a turn that makes complete and total sense to the world LKH has created and the characters who reside within it. I have the latest book to read. I can't wait!