If this was your wake up call, what would it be?

Seems like every time I turn around, someone I know is going through something big:

… Friends with cancer.

… My father facing health challenges.

… A neighbor’s house catching on fire.

… My cousin’s husband dying.

… Even my own roll-over car accident a few years back now.

The circle of those affected feels like it’s getting closer to me, like a tightening loop.

And it’s got me to thinking…

 

…Is there anything I’m not paying attention to that I want to be?

Am I going to wait for my next wake-up call, or what if I just paid attention now?

 

Change the rules that keep you in the dark.

Last night, we saw The Croods. I loved the message at the end: “We changed the rules that kept us in the dark.” (I love that they really spelled it out; it’s a kid’s movie after all.)

And that got me to thinking even more.

How am I keeping myself in the dark, operating out of fear rather than reaching out for tomorrow? Or living for today for that matter?

As writers and creatives, one of the biggest challenges we face every day is our fear. No wonder we act like we’re confronting our own mortality. On some level we are.

But I don’t like this question.

I’ve never liked how people say, “If you knew were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?”

Maybe there’s something too cynical about me to fully appreciate that question, but there are things I commit to doing on a regular basis that I’m darn sure I wouldn’t do if I knew I’d be dying tomorrow, but I can’t live like that on an ongoing basis. Things like exercising and flossing and making sure my kid’s lunch is made, that yeah, I don’t think I’d pay attention to if the world was going to end.

On the other hand, I’m okay with it in the big picture.

But what about the big picture of our lives? I’m down with looking at that and making sure that what we’re doing matches with where we want to be now and where we want to end up.

Writing.

It wasn’t too long ago that I got the message, “Write like your life depends on it.”

And I’m writing every day now, which is a heck of a lot more than I was doing at the time. Which was rarely, if at all.

But am I writing like my life depends on it?

Not yet.

So am I going to wait for the next cosmic two-by-four, or am I going to do something about it?

Well, you already know the answer, right?

Do something.

Saturday I got out a pad of paper and started redesigning my schedule to put the focus on more writing. It’s not quite where I want it to be, so I’m going to do some more work on it today. And then I’m going to begin the process of shifting my schedule more and more in that direction. It’s okay with me if it takes a little while to shift; it’s a kind of gradual herding things into the right corrals. But it works.

Having fun.

The other persistent message that I simply have to do something about is FUN.

I’m good at working hard, you probably know that about me by now.

And I’m fairly good at really luxuriating when I give myself the chance. (I just love taking days off and putting my feet up and watching movies and eating great food and treats.)

But I just don’t give myself the chance very often.

I come from a long line of self-sacrificers and workaholics and the buck is going to have to stop here, now.

The funny thing is, I’m still not sure what I truly want it to look like, this fun thing. Writing is fun, but it’s also work.

I think it’s more about lightness of spirit and regular adventures. I hesitate to schedule time for fun. But I also used to hesitate to schedule time for writing, and look where that got me!

What if fun was worth making time for?

That sounds like a ridiculous question even as I write it.

But sometimes my brain needs an excuse to think of things in a new way.

Being appreciative and being present.

And last, I think my perhaps my biggest one, is about appreciation and presence. I’m so good at appreciating things in other people, but not so good at appreciating them in my own life. This is huge, and hard to admit. I’ve got more work to do here.

My recent tech shabbats have shown me about the power of being present and not checked out into my own little world. So I’m getting there. And there’s more. There always is.

What about you?

If this was your wake-up call, what would it be?

What is the voice of your spirit asking you to pay attention to right now?

What have you been neglecting but you know, deep down, you want to attend to?

If the Universe was going to give you a whack upside the head with a cosmic two-by-four, what would it be trying to tell you?

Your turn

We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Anything you’re tolerating? Ignoring? Things you know you want to do but aren’t? What if you chose to tackle them head-on? I’m sure I’ve got a few more of them. Seems like it’s time for an inventory.

Warmly,

 Jenna

Coming Attractions

~> Monday, April 8th. Through April 8th, my OnDemand webinar, “10 Practical Tips for More Consistent Productive Writing“* with the Writer’s Store is on sale. Use the code ONDEMAND413 at checkout to save 50%.

~> Thursday, April 18th. Register by April 18th for the next session of my Writer’s Circle (starts April 22nd). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Writing. I’ve finished my read-through of Progeny and now I’m starting in on the editing and polishing in earnest. I’m also beginning to outline my next project, tentatively called Do Over, which will be a sweet little time travel romance. Can’t you just see it already?

~> Unplugging. Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. Join me!

~> Reading. Finished How to Train Your Dragon: How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse* with my son. Now we’ve started in on A Boy and His Bot* by Daniel H. Wilson. I also finished Crucible of Gold* by Naomi Novik (loved it!) and then plowed through a re-read of Do The Work* by Steven Pressfield in one afternoon. Next up is finishing Adventures in the Screen Trade* by William Goldman and then tackling Making a Literary Life* by Carolyn See. Or maybe the other way around. I never do like rules. :)

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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The end of the world as we know it, part deux

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about “the end of the world as we know it.”

So many people’s lives are shifting in difficult, challenging ways right now. I do feel like we’re starting to come out the other side of it, though, don’t you?

I’m reminded that even when things look disastrous, beneficial change is usually occurring.

Somehow this will all work out

When it’s happening in my own life, I like to say, “Somehow this will all work out, even if I can’t see how yet.” I believe in myself and my ability to make good, long-term choices for myself, and to get the help I need to see myself through difficult times, so even when it feels like things will be tanking forever, I remember that somehow I’ll see it through.

The right and perfect path

When it’s happening in someone else’s life, and it looks like they are crashing and burning, I hold out the same kind of hope. I believe that they are on their right and perfect path, when even from the outside it looks like a train wreck. Rather than staring overly at the debris or trying to fix it for them, I do my best to view their situation from a place of higher, spiritual respect that they are doing the best they consciously know how to handle their situations.

Love them through it

Certainly their choices may impact my own decisions about how, when, and if I choose to interact with them. I may even choose not to have them in my life any longer, but I can still view them, their lives, and choices with compassion.

So as we see our loved ones losing relationships, not living their dreams, sabotaging their lives, or just plain going through a rough patch, remember to love them through it.

As you see yourself struggling with painful emotions and circumstances, love yourself through it too.

Notice your capacity for compassion

The challenges I have been through myself this year, too numerous to count, have vastly increased my capacity for compassion and understanding for others. At least for me, that’s what this “whole 2012 thing” has been about.

What about you? What do you notice about your own capacity for compassion?

Your turn

Click here to share your thoughts. I love reading your comments and insights.

Also, thanks so much to all of you who celebrated with me for my birthday, in the sale and otherwise. I am grateful for your presence in my community.

Warmly,

 Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> Start the New Year Off WRITE. Register by December 28th for the New Year’s session of my Writer’s Circle (starts December 31st) and receive a special, rare, bonus savings of $30 on your first session when you use coupon code NEWYEARWRITE (you can also use this code to purchase a gift membership for the writer in your life who needs a little extra support). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com.

 

 

What I'm Up To

~> Daily. Working on rewriting my script, Progeny, with my mentor Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.* Right now I’m reworking my overview of mini movies 5 to 8 before diving in to the second half of the rewrite.

~> Reading: The Guardians of Ga’hoole* with my son. Watching on Homeland, Sports Night, and Castle (my motivation for going to the gym). Reading Adventures in the Screen Trade* by William Goldman and Scriptshadow Secrets* by Carson Reeves. I highly recommend both of them. Also reading snippets of Devil Said Bang* by Richard Kadrey. Sandman Slim is a great character.

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The end of the world as we know it

I’ve been writing a lot about staying on course and listening to our own inner guidance about what we’re passionate about and called to take action on. Today’s post ventures a little father afield into a broader context I’m noticing for so many people right now: radically changing circumstances. Enjoy.

I’ve been interested in the idea of the world “ending” in 2012. Curious, waiting to see what will really happen, and anticipating something along the lines of Y2K.

In other words, not much.

My sense has always been that if December 2012 truly is the “end of the world,” that it would more likely be “The end of the world as we know it,” meaning that things will change radically and significantly as we pass through the final months of 2012… perhaps even being so lucky as to emerge into a new state of higher consciousness as some of the spiritual leaders suggest due to some kind of major world-wide changes or events. 

That seems like a good thing. I’m down with it.

As I’ve observed this year unfolding however, I’ve been caught off guard by the way this massive change is playing out. I’d expected to see it on global scale, but instead (at least so far) I’m seeing big shifts on a very personal scale.

So many people around me are experiencing sudden, sweeping change. Their loved ones are dying or being diagnosed with major illnesses. Relationships are crumbling apart and unexpected truths are being revealed. So much is happening and so many people are affected and in crisis. Even people who seem “immune” because their lives appear fairly stable are getting unexpected phone calls that send their lives spiraling in entirely new directions.

It has happened for me too: Over the last 2 months, my personal life has been changed in an entirely unexpected way. I believe it will ultimately be all to the good — and — it’s been darn hard going through it.

It feels like the world is being adjusted — everything that doesn’t support us is being changed or let go of — in a radical, unalterable way.

I think I’m seeing “the end of the world as we know it” unfolding before my very eyes.

My world has certainly been irrevocably changed.

So has my best friend’s life. So has my cousin’s, my sister’s, and my friend’s life. So many changes are happening every day and everywhere.

Surprisingly, I feel 100 times stronger than I ever have before.

My resolve to keep writing no matter what has been astounding, and gratifying.

My sense of commitment to myself has been deeply reaffirmed.

It isn’t easy.

There are hard days and easier days.

But I have this sense that we’ll ALL get to the other side of this challenging time stronger, more connected, and more whole.

What do you think?

You know I love to hear from you in the comments on the blog.

Warmly,

Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> October 25th. Register by October 25th for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle (starts October 29th). Looking to feel passionate again about your writing? You must write to get there: http://JustDoTheWriting.com

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Working on rewriting my script, Progeny, with my mentor Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.*

~> Sacred writing time. My schedule is in flux right now but I’m still writing.

~> Reading: Eragon with my son. Loving Homeland, it’s amazing.

 

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Are you listening to the voice of your soul?

When times get rough and things go wrong, sometimes I wonder if I’ve misread my intuition or why I wasn’t “warned.”

I don’t have an answer for the warnings, exactly. When my friend was in a bad motorcycle accident years ago, I had a strong sense of anxiety all day before I found out what happened. When I was in a car accident a few years ago, though, I had no hints there was anything wrong that day.

And was there anything wrong? It’s hard for me to answer that too. Does being intuitive mean we are always “saved” from challenging and painful experiences? When I think about it from a soul perspective, I have to say: I doubt it. My personal belief system tells me that we “sign up” for life experiences that as spiritual beings in human form we want to judge as right or wrong, good or bad. Perhaps from a soul perspective, these experiences are purely neutral, and designed for growth.

I’m reminded of Sandra Ingerman’s Shamanic Journeying book, where she asked her higher self in fear, “But what if I end up homeless?” Her higher self’s response? “Wouldn’t that be interesting?”

And perhaps we just don’t always get to know.

Is there such a thing as “right” or “wrong”?

And, what if there is no right or wrong? What if life just is, and our intuition is our guide to a more joyful experience of life — but one that isn’t necessarily always easier? Is life truly a school ground designed for us to learn and grow, whether it’s hard or easy or fun?

It’s impossible to know.

We have experience

We do, however, have experience.

We have the experience of suddenly knowing something, without knowing why we know it.

We see flashes of images or hear sudden phrases, like the day I was driving by the hospital while I was pregnant and thought, “That’s where my son will be born” — EVEN THOUGH I was planning a home birth.

Do we listen?

Which brings me to my point:

When I had that thought, I very quickly thought, “No, that can’t be right. I’m not having my baby there.” And I didn’t stop to explore that intuitive (and ultimately correct) insight to understand it. Similarly, when my friend was in the motorcycle accident, I didn’t take the time to tune in to my anxiety and understand it. It was only after the fact that I understood it.

My truest experience of intuition is that it’s a very quiet knowing thought or glimmer of an idea — a whisper — and easy to overlook if I don’t discipline myself to pay attention. I like to think I’m getting better at this, but I’m continually reminded that there are more opportunities to listen.

Are you listening?

Seems like my constant lesson in life is listening, trusting, and listening some more. What about you?

Your turn

What’s your experience? You know I love to hear from you.

Warmly,

Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> September 6th. Last day to register for the next Life Purpose Breakthrough Group happening on October 4th. These groups always sell out (only 1 spot remaining) so if you want to discover your life purpose through the remarkably accurate tool of hand analysis, sign up here now: http://LifePurposeBreakthrough.com

~> September 27th. Register by September 27th for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle (starts October 1st). For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing. http://JustDoTheWriting.com

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Working on my script, Progeny, with screenwriter Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries.*

~> Sadly not going to Hollywood in a couple of weeks due to some personal family stuff, but I’m already looking ahead to attending the next event if possible.

~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.

~> Reading: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince.

 

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