30-Day Blog Love Affair:: Day #22!

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Today is Day #22 which means I’ve now written 21 blog posts in a row.  Wow.  What an interesting journey of the soul this has been!  I was telling a friend of mine a little bit about the process today and he mentioned that it is supposed to take 21 days to create a new habit.  Aha!  This totally resonated with me because I can honestly say I feel like writing this daily post has officially become a part of my everyday experience.  It is no longer “something I think I should do.”  Instead, it is  “something I actually do”—everyday.  In other words…

it’s now a habit.

Something that I’m realizing as a result of this process is that I actually operate really effectively within boundaries.  {Enter small cry of resistance from my free-wheelin’-no-rules-craving-bohemian-rebel-spirit here}  Yes, I still crave the ability to let my days unfold organically and I’ve pretty much done everything in my power to create this lifestyle for myself, but I am coming to terms with the fact that…

a little bit of structure is actually a very good thing.

I’ve also been experiencing this exact realization with my morning ritual.  For years, I’ve attempted to meditate in the morning, but honestly it’s been more of a battle than a zen-like experience—until recently.  Inspired by a friend’s suggestion, I gave up my resistance to the idea of setting a timer.  Meditating with a timer is a simple act really, but something I’ve always had a huge resistance to.  I’m sure this resistance stems from my years in the public school system where bells were in charge and, like cattle, we moved from one box to the next in order to learn the required subject matters.  Let’s just say, this was not my ideal learning environment and I’m happy to say my life now is ruled mostly by my own heart’s desire…kinda the opposite of a bell really.

However, when I finally decided to give my iphone timer the opportunity to dictate how long I would sit on my meditation cushion, I was finally able to experience those fleeting moments of zen-like peace.  Having the specific container of time allowed my decision making mind (“Should I stop meditating now?  Has it been long enough?  Should I get on with my day?  Is this even working?”) a break.  Instead, all I had to do was sit there and breathe until I heard the sweet sound of the harp alarm.

Perfect.

What is true with my timed meditation practice is also proving to be true with my blog writing.  Because I declared my 30-day commitment publicly, I no longer have the choice to put it off.  It’s just not an option.  Instead, my choice is simply about what I will write about and honestly that feels a lot easier than battling the, “I should write, but I’m going to come up with all kinds of reasons not to” voice.   What I’m learning is that…

freedom can exist, even THRIVE, within a set container.  Go figure.

The painting above is called, “Fly Free Between” and I think this idea of finding freedom between set rules/ideas/pillars might be what those words are all about.  Interestingly, I didn’t realize that when I painted those words, but often my words make more sense after the fact (divine intervention?  I think so.)  I’ll sign off with this quote that speaks directly to the idea of freedom within the banks of order.  Really loving this idea.

“Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.”
-Rollo May

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9 Comments

  1. Wonderful. I am inspired by structure as well, even though I do fight it. So great to see that you have started a new HABIT! I’m still just working to blog once weekly. Ha! Maybe I’ll try this 30 day thing. Thanks for doing it!

  2. Hi Flora,
    A timer – a great idea – I will do the same – having come from working 7 days a week for years….to ….just my time now – like you there was a block about – I am not going to be told or controlled – but it will be me controlling me – love it …and thank you for sharing.

    June ♥♥♥

  3. I so enjoy your blog. Writing at least three times a week has been my goal, and this morning when I couldn’t seem to sit still, when I had trouble knowing what to write about, I started off with the problem I was having and soon segued into figuring out what it was all about through the writing. One person commented that I put to words what she was feeling. Another, my 93 year old model for being an artist through out the rest of my life, slapped me around for being gloomy. So fun. So funny. I write because I think I have something to offer, and also because I’m learning so much about myself.

  4. I think structure is a very good thing. I work in a school where we count the sleeps to the long holidays, and I plan to do so much. However, without the routine of work and a heavily structured timetable, I tend to spend my days floating around with no motivation to do anything, simply because there is so much time and no restrictions. I am planning on setting a timetable for the next holiday – up early, walk by the sea, breakfast, housework, coffee….It’s mostly lovely, free, soulful activities, but within a structure, which I’m hoping will allow my creative mind to grow.
    Really, really loving this 30 day love-affair of yours, by the way.

  5. Powerful! You have put into words a battle i’ve been fighting for a long time… it makes so much more sense now. Thank you!

  6. YES! ox its 21 days to make a new way of being, isn’t that exciting! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  7. Thank you Flora. I struggle w/ my blog; it seems it gets pushed to the bottom of the list.. always. Popping over & experiencing the process w/ you has been so helpful & inspirational. xo

  8. What lovely observations Flora. For me learning to Blog has been like learning to drive. It’s a skill but it doesn’t determine where or when I go. I am so thrilled you have got your blog legs up from crawling or falling to a nice walking pace because you write really well, with fluidity and ease. I hope like learning to bicycle it becomes fun and can take you places you might not otherwise go. I really feel blessed to have been shown how to Blog and I love writing about painting, especially the style of painting I’ve been learning through you because it’s so dynamic and moves along with me. A Blog in you pocket is a nice way to be.

  9. You can also download meditation timers in the App Store
    I know a couple of yoga teachers who use them – and there seems to be quite a selection.
    Just plug in “meditation” you will see lots of stuff -

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