Commitment to Growth

Tonight I was a wanderer. I had an itch for some meditative ocean time, so I cruised my way 2.5 hours over to Westport to listen to the ocean. My goal was to meditate on deleting some limiting self-beliefs, inspired by listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. Link is non affiliate, just sayin.

As this site’s theme is primarily what pops in my head as I’m learning how to live life while I’m in this current meat suit, some posts are long, some are short.

I highly recommend you getting some ocean meditation time. It was a great way to spend six hours for me. I’m rebooting this and writing more often, I hope to offer some value to others wandering and wondering through the wonderful thing we have here on this little planet of ours.

G’night.

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Favorite New Podcast: The Matt Report

As a WordPress developer, I typically spend a lot of time reading blogs, magazines, forums and other online media related to the discipline. I hadn’t really thought of the utility of listening to WordPress specific podcasts. My podcast diet until recently consisted mostly of 3 shows: The James Altucher Show, Mixergy, and occasionally The Tropical MBA.

I think having a variety of sources of learning and discussion around any topic you’re interested in is a good idea, and mixing media types is important for me personally. I usually have a couple of books I’m reading at a time, and an audiobook or two for when I’m commuting or traveling. If you’re looking for a highly inspirational story – one that resonates personally with me and my past struggles – I’d recommend listening to this episode of The Matt Report with Clinton Warren. The rest of the episodes I’ve listened to are great as well, and a must for any freelancer, regardless of the specific area your business focuses on.

If you enjoy the podcast, please share!

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Thoughts on busting through a maker slump

I’ve been in a maker slump as of late. Somewhat different than a creative slump, I have ideas in spades, projects to work on, and no lack of direction on how to start them.

So how come it seems like I need a 12 step program for napping?

These maker slumps are something I’ve been known to have, though typically they don’t last as long as this one, which has been creeping up on me for a few weeks. Perhaps it’s the late summer in Seattle, and a particularly nice one at that, that makes it hard to sit in front of the computer some days and grind it out when you know the rainy season is right around the corner. I did recently get and get over my annual sinus infection/allergy phase, which has been known to kick these slumps into gear and give them enough momentum to outlast the actual mild discomfort.

I’m writing this post as an exercise in trying to break out of the slump by acknowledging it, and hopefully getting at some root causes. Hopefully I can identify some of the habits that keep me in the slump, and some that I am forgetting about that work well for me during productive periods.

A few that I know right off the bat that are perpetuating the slump:

  • Slowly ramping up my coffee and energy drink intake over the last two months, resulting in a net loss of sustained energy and a lot more peakiness, but less actual functional brain power.
  • Spending too much time thinking about the slump, and in many ways beating myself up about it.
  • Recently (and happily) got involved with some local community groups and expanded my social circle, so my mind is naturally a little more interested in human interaction and things usually forgotten, like “going outside.”
  • A lack of exercise that usually leads to a general malaise is having greater repercussions than it has in my younger years.

Having gone through a similar, though paradoxical period last winter, where I’d wake up and write/code/create and look up and it would be 8-12 hours later with no effort, it is encouraging to realize that while right now is frustrating, it tends to be a temporary condition.

As recently mentioned, I have curbed (somewhat) my sharing of each and everything I do on social media, there’s no need to time-stamp every time I’m going to the bathroom into the annals of internet history (when else do people play Candy Crush?).

The writing of this and perhaps this cup of coffee (still on first one, amazing how doing something lowers that consumption) has jogged my memory on a few things that I tend to do (or not do) when I’m in effortless crush-it mode.

  • I consciously spend less time on media I need to actively focus on. So video of almost all sorts is out, other than some TWiST or Mixergy on occasional eating breaks. Music with words is eliminated, and I listen to some favorite streaming options, as opposed to playlists that I have to actively choose.
  • I let the phone go to voicemail, and usually have it in quiet mode, or occasionally airplane mode if particularly deep into the zone. I turn it on during smoke/food breaks to check messages.
  • I eat breakfast and take a 20-30 minute walk in the morning. Breakfast might be an Access bar or a banana, but it helps get my metabolism moving out of sloth mode.
  • I write more. A friend told me to do this a few years ago after he read The Artists Way, and after finally trying it, I said to myself “get the f%$& out of here, this actually works!” Turns out getting stuff out of my head and onto paper or pixel helps me get closer to the “mind like water” state that is so crucial to getting things done. A ton of it ends up in my pocket notebook, Evernote, or slips of paper on my desk, with some ending up here.

Well damn, that felt good to get on paper and get out of my system, I think that’s been gestating in me for a bit.

I’m off for a walk, some breakfast and when I get back to the desk, I’m going to start out with some Sonic Universe. Happy Saturday, loyal readers, and enjoy whatever phase of the creative and creating spectrum you may be in. Could be just your batteries recharging.

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