The world is a circle. And colorful at that.

While I guess this applies to the globe itself, if you loosen your definition of the term circle. I’m using this metaphorically. In that, all things have a way of coming back around, and everything is interconnected more than we realize.

In a recent reading, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg, I’d forgotten how heavily the author drew on Buddhist principles and practices in her instruction.

One specific passage stuck out: “My friend who is a Buddhist said once after coming out of a meditation retreat, ‘The colors were so much more vibrant afterward.” Her meditation teacher said, “When you are present, the world is truly alive.’”

Be present, and seek out the vibrancy of the everyday.

Being grateful

Well, last week was Thanksgiving, and many of us probably shared some things that we’re thankful for in our lives. And if you’re not doing this, at least in part, every day, I’d like to suggest that you should be.

Gratitude is a powerful tool for motivation, mental health, and affirmative reinforcement. On and off I’ve tried to list three things daily, and while I am far from consistent, I do notice the difference when I wake up thinking gratefully vs. when I don’t.

Suddenly it’s November

Time is an odd thing. Odd in that it seems to do it’s own thing, regardless of how we feel about it. Suddenly, the end of the year is here. It feels like yesterday that I came to LA, and yet I’m about to celebrate my second holiday season here.

It’ll likely look different than last year, in a lot of ways. But, it looks significantly different than it did the year prior. 

I’m also on my last days here in Kona, and will soon be making my travels back to the mainland. 

So, time, can either slow down or speed up, and we try to keep on moving. Keeping up, or falling behind. But the best we can do is enjoy the moments we have.

Mornings are “you” time

In the ever-increasing rush of modernity, it becomes important to set aside time that you can just do things for yourself. For me, that’s typically the mornings. 

My morning routine as it stands now is to wake up, have my coffee, write for thirty minutes, and meditate. Sometimes it’s not that simple, but I do try and fit that in. 

Back on the mainland, it’s a workout almost first thing, usually an hour or hour and a half at the gym.

This is both important to build focus for the day, and to start off with a sense of accomplishment.

When to say yes

Thinking about Learning to say no, I think about when I was starting out as an actor. (Long side story, which I’m not getting into here – at least any time soon). 

But something I was listening to gave me the advice, “Always be working.” 

It didn’t matter if it was a volunteer role in an amateur production, or bit part on stage, or whatever! Just always be working.

And at the start of your career, it can be helpful (and also detrimental) to say yes to everything. Helpful because it can build up your network, bolster your reputation, and breed opportunities.

It can be detrimental, though, in that people may come to expect your extra effort or availability. They may see you later on refusing something, and maybe think that you’ve changed somehow.

A lot of it comes to balance.

Learning to say no

Maybe it’s more learning to learn to say no, since I have generally opted instead to say yes. First of all, I like saying yes. I liked being asked to help – in whatever way I can – and therefore saying yes is a bit of a reward to me. Even if it may mean considerable effort, time, a lack of sleep, and numerous headaches to pull off whatever it is I’ve been asked to do.

And yet… At some point, you just can’t say yes. Not to everything. Not while maintaining a balance. Not while pursuing your own goals.

I’ve had to turn down a few opportunities recently while accepting others. Do I always understand how I gauge which I’ll agree to and which I’ll refuse? 

No. No I don’t. 

At that point, it’s important to go with your gut.

The Busiest Month

Well, how about that. October is upon us again. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know where the year has gone, but it’s flying by. 

I’ve always liked that October was busy for me. I was usually involved with some theatre production, the performances often in October. I’d attend Halloween Horror Nights pretty regularly. I usually seemed to have a job or gig.

It’s also a great time of year. Fall colors – not so much in Florida, but I knew the foliage was changing elsewhere, so that helped. Cooler temperatures coming in. The first of three holidays – Halloween. 

Now I’m in California, and I’ll be spending most of the month in Hawaii. So, no colored leaves…? 

Who knows?

Deadly to creativity

It isn’t that writing is hard. Only that it’s so easy not to. Working on the computer, I can get lost in an email chain, a Twitter thread, or some random deep dive that the internet promises me will be fascinating. And it usually is.

But it’s the distraction that’s deadly. Deadly to creativity. 

I can’t say that you shouldn’t give yourself time to be distracted. 
But what I can say is, give yourself time to be creative as well. Time spent alone with just that creation – the one you’re working on. Because if you don’t give it time, it’ll never be created.