This Christmas Eve

Each end of the calendar year, I like to take stock of my professional activities. I like to start planning for the next year as well.
 
Looking at this blog, I note how little I have published this past year.
 
I have always loved blogging.
 
To share with an audience of faithful readers about issues that matter most to me.
 
I may have the hope it would rally to my views of the world.
 
To invite someone with a different point of view to consider mine and discover a new place.
 
But I have never tried to convince or create any mass movement for my personal ideas.
 
My activism has always remained very confidential.
 
I discovered that communication is not – what a paradox! – my strongest suit.
 
It led me to feelings of being misunderstood often. To feelings of loneliness and solitude.
 
I like to tell stories. I don’t actually like to explain things. Yet I always force myself to explain things out of fear of creating confusion. Confusion would upset my sense of order and strive for perfection.
 
Such effort costs me time and energy, and both deserve rewards.
 
 
Could it be the reason why I stopped blogging in 2018? I barely shared anything on social media as well. I concentrated all my time elsewhere that was not public writing.
 
 
When I was a student, I dreamed of being an interpreter and I studied foreign languages.
 
When I was a child, I dreamed of being an actress. Instead, I played the games my gender, origins, culture, family, or country expected me to play. I have been pretty good at it.
 
I dreamed of a career in which I would have created a safe haven for people to come to resource and learn how to grow their talents.
 
Instead, I had two children.
Each became in their own way my teachers of new very foreign languages.
 
This year, Christmas week offers me a haven of tranquility that I would like to taste.
 
I do not celebrate the holiday so I enjoy the peaceful break for myself.
 
Looking back at the year.
 
I am trying to remember all those who left this world this past year. It is leaving holes in my heart and nostalgia for the memories we had together.
 
I am trying to give the benefit of the doubt to failures and difficulties that I encountered. To let them be springboards to create better results next time I try. The lessons they teach bring wisdom once we repeat and practice the exercises and persist.
 
Persistence is key.
 
This blog is still here!
 
Even though it lacked consistency I hope it can still play its role, for me, as well as for its visitors.
 
To all, I wish a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. May we all have many opportunities to spend some time together. I look forward to this miracle of interconnectivity.

The power of feed-back

Lily of the gardenI have really been wondering why I stopped blogging as often lately.

One of the reasons could be because I am too busy. But it does not sound right. I do spend lots of time doing things that take time that I could skip and write instead. I have been writing regularly and consistently for days in a row, with discipline and determination, but I have never chosen to write and share publicly.

Because when I choose to share publicly, I am being very careful of what I have written.

I want to choose the proper topic, so that it would be appealing to my readers. Interesting and informative. Also thought provoking and inspiring. It then becomes more difficult to decide what will fit the criteria.

Then I censor myself a lot.

Then I doubt my syntax, grammar and style.

Then time goes by and somethings comes up to cut the inspiration.

If I get distracted, I lose track of what I had wanted to write about.

If I get interrupted, I lose the desire to share about the initial idea, and maybe another topic starts invading my feelings and my need to share about, but it does not fit the criteria of either being interesting, inspiring or thought provoking, it has become more selfish or attention grabbing and I resent those blogposts from others so why would I do the same to my readers and impose a boring self-absorbed post with no added value?

So in the end, I keep writing for myself, privately, with least efforts to correct, rewrite or build a real blogpost that would be looking like what I have wanted to do in the beginning when I had in mind to share my one day at a time, in a fashion that would draw attention to my passions and topics of choice. And in the end I resent myself for being quite lazy after all and neglecting my readers and my blogs, both in English and in French.

A sad reflection on a depressed mind.

Many around me often wondered why I was not taking medication for my depression. I have recently been working with a coach with the goal to achieve relief and inner peace and transform my outcomes in life, in order to truly shine and reach my full potential. I have shared with her about my mental conditions very early in the process but luckily for her, this was not a condition that she had ever suffered from, and since she is not a therapist, it was not easy to predict how difficult things were going to be in the process of our work together: I dreaded the moment when she was going to let me know that I needed to try medications again otherwise we were not going to see any progress arrived at a certain point, the same way it had always seemed to happen every time I had been determined to work on myself.

This could mean that indeed, the solution IS medication so that I can lift the lid that blocks my path to self development. Unfortunately, every time I meet that time, I have to remember that I have been on medications and that, if I have to agree that the medications were useful in some ways, they were killing so many of the other things that make my life have a purpose in other ways, and in the end the benefits were fading to the point of disappearing completely to leave me worse than before and I started being able to relive again only after I had finally weaned from the medications!

A healthy diet and a regimen of daily exercise have been much more efficient, even if they are much more work than just taking pills and visiting regularly a doctor and a therapist. Every time I have fallen back off the horse, I have seen the depression come back very strongly. Unfortunately, the exercise and a lighter weight and better physical form have not kept the depression completely at bay, and when it has come back, it has also impaired my ability to sustain the very hard discipline that it takes to keep the healthy diet and exercise, because it impaired my interest in everything including those things that were helping.

Sometimes, asking for help is not asking for a fix. Today, I know that the kind of help I receive from acknowledgment is greater and more effective than any kind of medication. I need the stroke of compliments on a job well done despite the perceived imperfections of it. I need the recognition of the work I choose to show publicly because I believe it can speak to others and reflect on what is shining and burning inside even when I feel it not.

The need for consistency

Consistency - Target
iStock Photo

Sure enough, consistency is key to my organization. I have been wanting consistency in my life always, and at the same time, it faces the constant flow of change.

Change is the sign of life.

Art is another form of our world that emanates from creativity. It produces beauty. And then it stays. It does not change once it is produced. It becomes something different, but it does not change after it is produced. It will change others in the sense that art moves you. But it does not change itself after it has been created.

I struggle between two poles. My need for consistency. My aspiration for art.

When I write I can forget about everything in the process. I forget about the others. I forget about my pain. I forget about my worries. I forget about the rules and the necessities. I just create a flow and I navigate it.

Then I have to end the journey at some point because one cannot endlessly float on their back staring at the sky and enjoying the ride, and I have to go back to the bare necessities.

And I go back to my lists, and they feel so dull.

It is like having taken a wonderful vacation and returning to the old factory in a grey and smokey city in the last century. I drag my feet. I want to remember the journey. I am not yet ready to go back to work. The alarm clock screams at me. Time has passed. I am late and have missed my deadlines. Now it is rush hour.

Between dull and stress, my heart always hesitates.

Fifteen minutes #Trust30

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#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey. Sign up on this page to receive the prompts by email. 

Prompt:
You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live. 1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

Fifteen minutes. I have fifteen minutes. My heart is racing like mad. I feel so warm inside. My legs refuse to take me where I should go to escape, and I am staring at that clock that is counting minutes and seconds down. Already fourteen left.

They called and told me the angel was coming to pick me up, for the big trip, you know, the one you never come back from. I wasn’t expecting such a bad news, but I know when the door opens, it’s going to be over for me. What should I do?

I am calm. Just very hot inside. And my mind is racing. Who should I tell? who needs to hear the bad news before it has actually happened? Did I dry the laundry? What about the garbage? Tomorrow is pick-up day: it feels a little ridiculous to waste five entire minutes to run to the dumpster doesn’t it?

I didn’t tell my sons to clean up the living-room, they’ll probably know what to do, when they find out that everyone will come home to sit shivah with them. I don’t think they will remember that I had told them the room should always be ready for the unexpected, now they will think about what I had told them countless times, it will make sense. Shh… these are stupid thoughts, only ten minutes left, maybe I’d better tweet my friends or update my facebook status after all. But, hey? what to say, it sounds a little alarming.

I should rather make sure my passwords are accessible, in case I can’t even finish this post: it would then be silly that I had spent the last fifteen minutes of my life writing my best piece ever and that it never gets published.

I see some weeds around the rose bushes, my mother is certainly going to do something about it, I don’t need to go out and take them away, that’s a nice thoughtful tribute, and that will make her smile that I thought of her right now.

I have no outstanding bill. I could give the garage a call to let them know I will be a no-show tomorrow? Who cares? Never mind, they will find out. Fifteen minutes is not a lot. I should have sorted the papers when it was time, I will write a note to apologize for the mess, and all the stuff I kept and liked keeping that will make no sense to anyone. I didn’t mean to burden you with all this clutter. I promise that if I had been given a second chance, let’s say a couple of weeks, well, yes, I would have gone through it. Well, maybe not, I am sure I would have found other things to do to procrastinate again.

Three minutes left, that is just enough I suppose: now, I should calm down a little. I don’t want to look panicked. I want to look pretty and smiling, life is the most beautiful thing ever, it would reflect badly if I had been showing up like my last three minutes of them, I was ugly, tense and afraid. Here, let’s work on breathing deeply, for a minute. That’s all that’s left as a matter of fact.

A deep breath, and a big smile. Oh and let’s write it here too: love to all of you.