New Year, New Focus

Birthdays and deaths always remind me of the finite life span we have. Perhaps because it was just my birthday, and because I just lost someone, I’ve been focused on how I can make the most of my time. Time’s not a renewable resource, and we never know when our clocks about to run out. Yet we spend a majority of time mentally striving, reaching, wishing, yearning for somewhere other than here.

For longer than I can remember I’ve had rules for myself about career markers and what that meant. “I’ll be happen when [fill in the blank].” But the further into my career, and no matter the marker, that blank continuously changes and I’ve struggled celebrating the small victories along the way. There are things I’ve always wanted to do, but set aside as if I needed the permission of career success to allow me to pursue those dreams that weren’t necessarily tied to financial return. These self created restraints haven’t always been helpful. Yes, they’ve created productivity. But with wins came striving for bigger wins, and I didn’t necessarily take time to sit in a space of gratitude and reward myself with one of those dreams that weren’t directly tied to career.

I’ve slowly been trying to break the cycle of constant striving. Going to India for 3 weeks in December was eye-opening in terms of how difficult it was to experience my surroundings without feeling as though I should work. As I move into the new year, I’m shifting my focus away from career wins being an equation that leads to reward. The rewards are less and less, sometimes nonexistent, the busier I get.

Therefore, I want to restructure my mental rulebook. What I’ve categorized as rewards in the past, might actually be necessary activities that lead to inspiration directly tied to career. After all, I’m a writer. A writer needs experience. Blissful experiences, though seemingly outside the box of “work,” may lead to other work, whether through inspiration, serendipitous meetings, or by the very fact they allow the mind space to marinate on ideas.

With age comes experience and through experience, hopefully wisdom. But wisdom can only be integrated into life by diving into the present, and not missing the present because of incessant striving.

Whether it’s travel, restaurants I’ve always wanted to visit, time to listen and discover new music, diving into esoteric studies, or learning some new activity, I’m hoping to integrate these things I’ve so often pushed aside in the past, into my day-to-day, to allow for the balance between striving, gratitude, growth, and presence.

My three favorite discoveries of the week:

Song: Anything is Possible

Restaurant: Daniel

Spa: Sojo Spa

Flight of 2012

On New Years Day I stumbled upon this quote at a Cuban Restaurant in Jersey City.  The food was “eh” but the quote struck my fancy.  So did my company; but that’s another tale for another day.  In case your eye sight is struggling: “Many times I feel like…I need to fly!!! But then…I forget…I don’t have wings!!! But there is something about it that I just can’t stop trying!!! Again….Again…And Again!!!”  The quote felt near and dear to my heart, so I needed to know more about it’s source: Duda Penteado.  I wondered who this “Duda” was as I ate my questionable food.

Google delivered the message: DUDA PENTEADO

I read through his biography and came across the reason for the serendipitous brunch moment.  My eyes landed on the quote to lead my mind to this one: “Philosophically, my mission as an artist is to empower and to create dialogue about difficult issues…A great artist has the ability to capture the imagination of future generations and say something of direct relevance to them…my art pieces are not an end in and of themselves, but a means of arriving at a fundamental human truth: the struggle of the carnal and the divine in our lives.”

When people ask me why I like acting and writing, I may just send them this.

While I’m still working on my “mission,” the word choice of Duda’s has been a beautiful kick in the ass towards the winning field goal.

I’m ready for my flight into 2012. Happy New Year folks.

Standing in Pooh’s Corner

It’s been over a month since I’ve written. After the last post and looking back over a year of introspection, sometimes over indulgent, I really wanted to think about the year to come.  How to open doors to new possibilities, perhaps a new focus, perhaps the same focus with a year of wisdom bouncing around…

So what did I do? I opened A.A. Milne’s “The House at Pooh Corner.” I bought it in Paris a few years ago, because I was obsessed with Winnie the Pooh growing up and couldn’t resist purchasing.

Just watch the Pooh Bear LOVE:

Chapter 1: Pooh was sad to find that Piglet wasn’t home and says, “…I shall have to go a fast Thinking Walk by myself…”

With that, I followed Pooh Bear’s lead and went on a thinking walk.  Really, any excuse to go on a Thinking Walk and wander and see what stirs…

Every day I push and push hoping to achieve something, when in fact, each day is an achievement in itself if seized.   I’ve done a lot this past year.  Sometimes it’s difficult to see the steps climbed while climbing.  Sometimes I feel like I’m in a hurry to get somewhere, but I’m not sure WHAT that “where” is.  When I’m over excited and want to DO too much to achieve WHATEVER it is I’m trying to achieve, the wise David Spaltro reminds me to take a look at the tracks I’ve left the past year, see the growth, slow down, and not to rush.

The most applicable Winnie-the-Pooh quote I stumbled upon was this: “Rivers know this: there is no hurry.  We shall get there some day.”

With that, I’ll say thanks to all who’ve inspired me thus far and I eagerly await what’s in store next.  But I’ll try not to fetch what’s next mistaking the future more rich than the present.