Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When I'm Stuck...

Off and on, for about 20 years, I've been writing morning pages... well, sort of like morning pages. Technically speaking, according to Julia Cameron in the Artist's Way, we need to write every day (did for a few months, rarely since then), in the morning (rarely), three full pages (often four) and in longhand (half the time on my computer). The only part I do consistently is write from my stream of consciousness, uncensored... whatever comes along gets written.

When I get stuck, I often write, "What am I blocking; what don't I want to write?" And that seems to bring forth whatever it is.

Tonight when I signed in, I realized I haven't posted here for four days. Stuck. What am I blocking; what don't I want to write? I don't want to write about failures. I don't want to write about how it feels like I'm slipping in so many areas. I don't want to write about how I get insights about how to live more mindfully, with more gratitude, with less clutter, with more honesty and above all with less overeating. I have a moment or two of compliance.

Then I slip, slop, slide down the hill into my old ways.

My sister-in-law is in a mindfulness group, learning how to eat mindfully among other things. She takes time before eating to smell her foods and to look at them with appreciation. She takes time to give thanks to every growing/living thing that contributed to her meal. She swallows every bite completely before putting more in her mouth.

What a great way to eat, eh? Yes! I remembered to eat like that only one time. I don't want to write about all the times I start a program that obviously will benefit me, then fall away from it. I don't want to write about how falling away from one thing contributes to falling away from others.

I don't want to write about how much I need to embrace imperfection. I guess there's a part of me, maybe even a big part of me, that wants to be perfect. A dear OA friend gave me a book on that subject*... maybe it will help. I seem to be in a critical, judgmental mood tonight. Antidote: list 10 things I'm grateful for...
  1. sunshine today
  2. my two quilting-beading-stitching buddies
  3. shooting star flowers
  4. all the beautiful colors and textures of moss
  5. people who work diligently, carefully and cleanly
  6. our cat
  7. people I don't even know who support my artistic process
  8. morning pages
  9. a book on embracing imperfection
  10. my husband
In case my husband is reading this, these are not in any particular order ;>)

I'm still feeling stuck and critical, but maybe a little less so.

*The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. One thing she says that makes a lot of sense to me is that "shame loves secrecy." Maybe that's part of the reason why both an AA-based program and blogging help me. I can't live in hiding, in a state of shame, so much when I blog and go to meetings.


  1. I remember that kind of thing used to be called backsliding. It sounded so comfortable and fun, that word. And it's what I naturally do sometimes, fall into old, comfortable patterns. Once I notice it, though, I stop and take a look and see if that's what I really want to do, after all.

    One of the things I didn't like about The Artists Way was morning pages. They were nothing but a big, pointless chore for me and I didn't stay with them for very long. Instead, I make sure that every morning I look at something beautiful and acknowledge it. I think I'm going to add a list of gratitude like yours to that, even if I only think of things and don't write them down. Gratitude is a wonderful feeling!

  2. I've never heard of "morning pages" but I like the sound of that exercise. Although not in the morning. That would be bad...very bad. chuckle. Unless you would call 3 AM morning...

    I so identified with this post, with your list of why you sometiems avoid writing. I think most of us also avoid for the same reasons.

    I also think that sometimes that avoidance is put on us by other bloggers in that we don't want to be negative or drag others down, so we avoid writing our truth.

    I can only avoid so long, then I don't care if I get negative comments about my negativity :}.

    At any rate, this blog speaks truth and truth is never truly negative. Hard sometimes, but truth always brings light.

    Thank you for this post. It will help ease some feelings of "being the only one" and will allow others to share their reral experiences, too.


  3. I get that thing about wanting to be perfect. I think that many of us would like to be the perfect friend, wife, mother, homemaker. Yet we all understand that there is no such thing as perfect. What is the model for a 'perfect' person?

    Even that constant stiving to be perfect is an imperfection. And imagine how difficult it would be to live with the perfect partner! Their perfectly wonderfulness would only server to highlight your own imperfections :-)

    No, I think that imperfect people are more interesting. But I think that you judge yourself very harshly. I guess that is something else that we are all inclined to do to some degree.

    One day, I'd like to see a list of ten good things about you. I know that your readers could write that one easily but most people would struggle to do about themselves.

    What blocks us from acknowledging and writing something good about ourselves?

  4. Morning pages..yes..yes..yes.. for about 20 years now..currently I am on her second book in the series..Walking in this World...My harder parts have been the artist date and the weekly walks as suggested..but that too is because I am blocked..but working on that one!


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