Category Archives: Writing

New Posting Schedule

I’ve decided to change the posting schedule for this blog. I’ll post regularly here on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week.

With my extra time, I will be working on three other writing projects:

  1. Working on the happiness book with Nat.
  2. Increasing posts on my travel blog, Where in the World?.
  3. Increasing posts on my imaging blog, Seeing is Believing.

Regular posts for the other blogs will begin around Sept. 25th though there is a lot of material there already. I hope you will visit those blogs also.

Michael

1000th Post

Today’s post is the 1000th post since I started this blog almost three years ago. This is a major milestone for me. It only seems like yesterday when I started writing on a daily basis. But, 1000 days later, here I am.

It’s hard to tell if many people read what I have to say. I know of some, but most I don’t. That’s okay, because I had two goals for this blog project. The first was to journal what I was thinking, feeling or experiencing on any given day especially on the topic of living a happier life. The second was that I wanted to share that writing with at least one other person, hopefully more. I’ve met both of those goals.

I have to say that I have had a multitude of emotions over the last 1000 days while writing down my thoughts. At times it has been easy while other days extremely difficult. I’ve had insights that I’ve enjoyed while other days I couldn’t seem to think myself out of an open box. I’ve felt exhilaration and I’ve felt frustration. The common thread has been perseverance and dedication.

Bottom line, I’ve enjoyed this project. That’s my only reason for doing anything nowadays. I don’t have the time or the inclination for anything else. I want to extract the most out of my life. Doing things that make me miserable is not my idea of a fulfilling life. So, I look for ways to be happier and many times I’ve chronicled those techniques here. Not all will work for you, but many will. We all have to find our own way. That’s okay, but we can all help each other just a little.

The number 1000 is a great number to me. It feels like the completion of something; not the end of something, more like a chapter closing.

I look forward to what the next chapter brings. I’ll be sharing some of that right here.

Michael

“Remember me”

You know that  little check box that says “remember me”?  It’s  a regular feature on most websites that require a log-in and was at the bottom of the WordPress screen as I logged in a few minutes ago.

“Remember me” is what I should be saying, with a big, not just big but GIGANTIC question mark – like this: “REMEMBER ME?”as it has been a very long time since I’ve written in this space. (Hello?  Hello?  Are you out there??)  I’m not missing.  I just wandered.  Wandered off. Wandered for a bit.  Wandered away.  Wandered afar.  Wandered around. (I can go on and on about it…) Really, I’m still out here and haven’t forgotten about being in this space, either.  Sometimes (well, I probably should say “often”) it’s a juggle for time, for priority and many things racing to be first in line.  For instance, in the midst of writing this ever-so-brief blog I was interrupted to: put the bassets out; put the bassets to bed; feed/water the outside cat, TJ; try to unhook the hose from the spigot as it is freezing tonight (no luck on that one);  put the laundry in the closet (it has been on the floor for days – probably 10 days).  Now, I look at the clock and I have to stop and go to sleep.

No worries. I’ll be back.

Namaste’,

Flo

No Blog Tuesday

Did anyone read my blog for Tuesday?

Apparently I didn’t even write one. I’m not sure what happened. I was working on a consulting project and somehow I was transported to today, Wednesday afternoon sans a blog post for yesterday.

I don’t know if in the last two years I’ve ever completely forgotten to write my post. I’ve been late. I’ve had technical difficulties but nothing that comes close to totally forgetting.

Hmmmm. Do I need a vacation? I just returned to work after a 5 1/2 month vacation. I’ve only been working for a month and two days. That can’t be it. Could it be low blood sugar since I’m currently on Phase 1 of the South Beach diet?

How about brain freezing due to the frigid weather up here in New England? Was it because I watched American Idol for two hours last night and was overcome by the excitement of the program?

No, I actually think I was taken by aliens, you know, the Close Encounters of the Third Kind type. They only returned me this afternoon.

I feel fine but electronics seem to act up when I’m near.

Have a great day!

Michael

Writing Struggles

Sometimes I go through periods where writing is very difficult. In fact, it’s can be quite a struggle at times. The last week or two have been like that. It seems like every time I sit down to write, whether it’s the blog, the book or anything else, it’s just hard to get anything out.

I talked to Nat about this tonight and he made the analogy about training for sports. The best training is when you show up. It doesn’t matter if you are having a bad day or a good day. Showing up is the key.

Deep down I know that I’m improving by writing regularly, but during times like this it is hard to be objective. But, I don’t stop. Little by little it works itself out and then I move on to another level. It’s a strange feeling sometimes, but friends can help you stay objective and on track.

I think Nat’s advice can apply to life in general. Show up every day regardless of what is going on internally. Don’t shut the world out. Be involved. Be present. Observe. Listen.

I’m feeling better already.

Michael

Great Progress

Friday night and today were all about book writing. Nat and I made enormous progress and in fact reached every goal we had for the 1 1/2 days. We are currently three weeks ahead of schedule.  :-)

When you are working on a huge project like this, it always feels great to complete sections. Many times when we work together, everything just seems to click and flows quite readily. This last session was no exception except for the fact that it clicked more than usual.

It felt like inspired action. Inspired action differs from action because it comes from somewhere other than the mind. It feels like a pressure or extreme passion to do something and if you don’t do it you will burst. Typically, inspired action almost always taps into deep levels of creativity, generates great results and leaves a feeling of satisfaction that doesn’t compare to normal action.

Today was full of inspired action. That in itself generates more passion for the next phase.

Michael

A Good Day

More and more often, I’m finding that a good day includes successes in more than one area of my life. Today there are four areas to feel great about.

1. Job. I had to pull together a group of 7 people on very short notice to take a meeting with some people who had traveled half way across the country to meet with our company. Many of my colleagues pushed back their own priorities to accommodate the visit. I was grateful, and the company that traveled to meet us was grateful. There is nothing like a spirit of cooperation to make a group of people feel great.

2. Writing. Michael and I spent the late afternoon and evening working on a writing project that we have underway. Michael is great at organizing us, and he put together a chapter schedule for us a few weeks ago. Tonight we realized that we are a few weeks ahead of schedule. So far so good. Both of us have a sense of progress, and I have the satisfaction of not being a source of frustration over lateness. Another double win. I like getting the project done, and I like living up to Michael’s expectations.

3. Christmas cards. I may write an entire blog post on Christmas card writing. It’s often a two-month-long ordeal for me to get all of my cards written. In fact, it’s been 3 years since I finished an entire set. Last year I didn’t write any, though I did leave the stack of cards I received sitting on the floor of my study for 11 months, in case I was inspired to answer them. The great news is that I finally realized I could answer them by starting early on this year’s cards. So starting November 30, I’ve been writing two cards per night, before bedtime, and mailing them in the morning. Tonight I’ll write two more. At this rate, I will have made a good bite out of them by Christmas. Not only will I feel good about reaching out; I will also feel good about cleaning the pile off my floor for the first time since January.

4. Finances. Thanks to my wife, we had some good financial news today. She works hard and is very clever with money. She is always taking the pressure off us with her hard work. So often, I find myself thinking, my wife makes my life so easy and so pleasant.

Oh, and there was actually a 5th great thing. Last night, an old, dear friend of my found me on Facebook. I had been trying to think for a couple of years how to track her down and catch up with her. Last night, lo and behold, there she was in the Friend Requests. I was thrilled and have already swapped notes back and forth with her.

The good news snowballs. I love that any time, and especially this time of year when the days are short, and we’re starting to gear up for winter.

Writing and Life

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. – Sylvia Plath

I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork. – Peter De Vries

Writing. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would be writing regularly, I would have laughed. But, here I am writing my thoughts down every day on more than one blog. I’m writing a book with my friend and business partner Nat. I have other writing projects in the planning stages. It’s all quite surreal to me.

Sometimes for me, maybe more than most people realize, writing can be difficult or challenging. I may not know what I want to write about. I may not be able to express what I’m truly feeling or I can’t quite get my point across. I am my own worst critic. There are periods when I have a lot of self-doubt. When I’m in a down mood (yes, it happens sometimes), I find it hard to write. Nat says when you can’t think of anything to write, that’s when you should sit down and write.

Just like in life, writing has its ups and downs; its moments of elation; its periods of illumination. Many times there are surprises. Other times I know exactly where I am going.

But, generally, I don’t know what I’m going to write about until I sit down to write. That’s the writing journey for me; a parallel path right beside my life. It can be frustrating at times, but mostly it’s fine as I’ve been trying to make my life more about being in the moment anyway. My writing discipline should reflect that, I believe.

Bottom line……I’m not stopping. I find it too personally rewarding to stop now. So, when it’s hard like today, I’ll sit down and find something to put down in words.

Have a great day!

Michael

What to Say

Have you ever been in a situation and not known what to say? Have you ever tried to write something and couldn’t find the right expression for what you where feeling? Did your mind become a literary wasteland where words and fully formed thoughts were hard to find?

Welcome to my world today. Not only am I having difficulty with writing this blog but it was hard all day where verbal and oral communication were concerned. Why is that? What is happening on days where this seems to be the theme?

I wish I could figure it out. On the surface it is like standing in a room void of furniture or other modes of mental stimulation. Deeper though, it feels like heavy introspection where your conscious mind has difficulty penetrating.

So, I’m left with one option. Acceptance. No blame. No judgment. No anxiety. No stress. It works in almost every situation. Just thinking about it has given me a few words to put down here. Acceptance helps to penetrate whatever barriers may be preventing you from doing something.

It’s the first step to making a shift or change.

Michael

Frank Warren

People tell Frank Warren their secrets.  All Frank does is ask for them.  Frank has been collecting secrets for the past four years and to date, has collected more than 200,000.

On April 26, I wrote of going to hear Frank, the author of four PostSecret books. Listening to him speak about PostSecret and meeting him afterward showed me how big his heart is.  It showed me how genuinely serious he is about collecting secrets and “protecting” them.  You might think the word “protecting” doesn’t apply, after all he has published four books and posts 20 postcards on his PostSecret.com website weekly ( 20 of approx. 1,000). By protecting, I mean he doesn’t allow himself to be in situations where the secrets or the process can be ridiculed, for instance he choose not to be interviewed on the David Letterman show, for that very reason.

Think about your secrets.  It can be a difficult thing to do, particularly if you consider yourself to be honest, forthright, honest, direct, and again, honest.  We all carry stories with us, memories of humiliation from grade school, embarrassing moments, and then our more serious and even debilitating secrets.  By simply sending him a postcard, Frank gives everyone an opportunity to voice those secrets, create momentum that moves a person in the direction of healing.

The presentation ended with the lights dimmed and Frank giving audience members the opportunity to share their secrets.  I sat there thinking “there is no way anyone would do that” and was I wrong.  Often heartbreaking and sometimes hysterically humorous, the audience members bravely shared their secrets with us.  While getting my books signed, I tried to thank Frank for all he has done.  My guess is, he hears this all the time.  I think I’ll tell him in a postcard.

Namaste’