This Blog Is Ten Years Old

This blog is 10 years old this month. 

Who knew??

I didn’t even realize it until yesterday.

I was reading through the archives of a blog I just discovered. The author’s archives went back to 2012. 

It made me wonder how far mine went back, so I checked.  

And lo and behold, February of 2009 was my debut here. And I have amassed close to 700 posts. 

When I first started, the idea here was that I would be on the lookout for things that inspired me, and then write about them. Thus the title, Inspiration Location. 

That didn’t last long, though. After a while I just found myself writing about whatever I was obsessing about at the moment, inspiring or not. 

Now the idea is to chronicle my thoughts as I tend my streaks and develop my projects. 

Back in 2016 I self-published a little book called The Project-Driven Life. It’s basically tips and tricks for finding out who you want to be when you grow up. It involves tending streaks and completing projects. 

 My next project is a book called The Yoga of Everything and I have  started maintaining some streaks that will help get it finished: writing 1K words daily, reading, meditating, and blogging here once a week.

But, back to that new-found blog. 

Whenever I find a new blog, the first place I go is to the About page.

I want to know: Who is this person? Where do they live? How old are they? What do they do besides blog? Do I have anything in common with them?

I want to see their picture. I want to know a little of their backstory.

I don’t have an About page currently. I changed WordPress themes recently and forgot to include one. 

Maybe that’s a lie. 

Maybe I didn’t forget. 

Maybe it’s just that I hate writing About pages. They never seems to fit me and they keep going out of date as my life morphs and changes.

For example, if I say I’m a 66 year-old yoga teacher living in northern Pennsylvania, is that an accurate description? It’s true, of course, but is it my true deal? 

I don’t think so. 

What if I say: I’ve been writing every day in personal journals for over 40 years?

 Now, that might be getting closer.

I think it’s because if you’re the kind of person who writes down your thoughts every day, and keeps doing it obsessively for decades, you’re defined by that activity.

We are what we repeatedly do. ~Aristotle

 And you also find out that you’re that weirdo that needs to write down your thoughts every day. 

But seriously, a journal is a place you go to describe yourself, analyze yourself, contemplate yourself. 

In words. 

And then, if you do a strenuous amount of editing, take out all the gibberish, remove the nonsense, and give your words a beat to dance to, voila, you have yourself a post. 

Which is basically what I do here.

And have been doing for 10 years, apparently. 

If you’ve been following along here, for however long. Thank you. It makes me really happy to have readers.  So onward!

Persistently. With reverence. For a long time. ~Patanjali

Giving Up Procrastination For Lent

Drowning man

I was going to do something for Lent, but never got around to deciding what.

I don’t want to “give up” anything; I want to add something.

I want a new challenge, a new activity, a new project.

I did the digital declutter in January and started a book club in February, now I really need something for March.

I could (re)commit to Edna’s O (my new reference book about endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, anandamide, serotonin and oxytocin) and say: FIRST DRAFT: By Easter I’ll have a first draft.

I could do that, but it doesn’t meet one of my Project-Driven Life criteria for a new project. It doesn’t check the “excitement” box.  And it really needs to. Or else I’m not going to be happy.

At the same time, I also realize that happiness isn’t a requirement for a worthwhile and enriching project.

I realize too that happiness requires struggle. (I wholly subscribe to that Stoic tenant. I do.)

But, I also need stim every day, even painful stim, if necessary. I want to feel as amped doing my work, as I will for having done it.

And truthfully?  This research really does excite me —once I’m in hip deep. So why all this sissy toe-dangling at the beginning? All this reluctance to get wet?

Once I’m in I know I’ll be fine, happy as a clam in fact. But it’s the anticipation of that head-hitting-the-water dive into the deep end every day that stops me, that fuels my procrastination. That’s the real struggle, not the actual work.

So I resist. But not for the next 6 weeks. No!  For the next 6 weeks I’m going to slay the resistance monster, make it numero uno on my To-Do List every day.

Might also be a good time to re-read The War of Art, and find an accountability partner.

Any takers?

I Think I’m Done

On July 1st I started writing my book here in short blog posts.

This was “Step 1” in the strategy to overcome my resistance to putting my work out there. The plan was to  use my blogging streak to chunk out the book. And you know what?  I think I’m done. Today when I sat down to write this post, there was no more content left to write.

I still have the Acknowledgements, and a Resources page and some structural tweaks, but the content is done. Two weeks ahead of schedule.

Tomorrow’s blog entry will be the 150th day in a row of this blogging streak which started on February 18th, Ash Wednesday.

As the string of days-without-a-miss has gotten longer, I’ve been getting excited about it. I’ve even wondered if I could last a full 365.

But tomorrow I’m going to bring this streak to an end.

Done.

So what happens to this blog now?

I don’t really know.

I’m thinking maybe a twice weekly posting schedule? Maybe just Mondays and Fridays? I could talk about Stage 2 of this process of self-publishing a book as I go through it.

Because this project won’t be “DONE,” done, until there is a bound copy of this thing for sale on Amazon.

(Remember Project Rule Number 2, right? The Goal: What will count as done?)

I could possibly go back to the, “What I Had For Lunch” kind of post where I talk mostly about my personal life and my lens on it.

I don’t know…

I’ve  gotten a few more readers since I started streaking every day here. It’s really cool, and so gratifying. Maybe you guys could tell me what you’d like to read here?

Personal life stories of a small town yoga teacher? Or how-to kinds of stuff about the few things I know how to do?

I’d really like to know.

Anyway, thanks so much for giving me a little audience to write to. This streak has been a fun ride for me.

Namaste.

Where I Went Wrong

I always thought I would be discovered. I thought some teacher or adult would tell me what I should be when I grew up.

I thought somebody would see my hidden talents and out me. Tell me,“You’re special.” Or at least: “You’re so good at that.”

At the time I didn’t care what they said, I just wanted them to tell me, for godsakes.

I was a kid. I felt confused. What should I be, what should I do with my life??

Then I was an adult. I felt confused. What should I be, what should I do with my life??

Then I was 50. I felt confused. What should I be, what should I do with my life??

Sound familiar?

I waited for some epiphany (that never came.) I waited for a significant conversation (that never came.) I waited for a compliment from somebody in power, some expert.

Nothing.

I had it all wrong. Totally and completely ass backwards. Nobody was going to pick me. I had to pick myself. (Go read James Altucher’s Choose Yourself, it’s brilliant.)

And you do, too.

Your vocation, or your career, or your path, or whatever you want to call it, is a total a Do-It-Yourself job.

You’re not Lana Turner. Nobody is going to discover you sitting in a drugstore.

You have to make your life from scratch, yourself. Your life is a process. You will figure yourself out gradually, one project at a time.

So create an exciting project for yourself. Doesn’t matter what it is as long as you feel amped about it. Then totally invest.

Don’t pray. Don’t meditate. Wait, no. Definitely meditate. Meditate every single day, but not with the hope that your vocation will be revealed to you during your meditation.  That’s not going to happen.

Your life mission will be revealed to you when you’re waist deep in some challenging and exhilarating project.

And, while we’re at it, there is no such thing as a life mission. But there are life missions. Plural. People now have 14 jobs over their lifetime. Not one. So you can lose that idea of working at the same place your whole life

Not happening. Old paradigm.

Careers are fluid now. We morph and grow into different kinds of jobs, different kinds of work. Everything is changing constantly.

I wish someone had told me this a long time ago. It would have saved me a lot of passive hang-wringing and worrying.

I wish someone had kicked me in the butt and said, Stop worrying about your vocation; stop asking that idiotic question: What do I want to be when I grow up. Just go out and DO SOMETHING.

Get a project, and grow up.