inner peace, inspiration, mindfulness, Uncategorized, writing

Week #1– Mindfulness… I’ve been doing this all wrong!

I’ve practiced mindful living before… how hard could this be?

Boy, could I not have been more wrong! In the beginning, I had imagined this week’s challenge panning out so differently than it did in reality– but I guess reality has a habit of doing that to our visions now doesn’t it?

For this week’s challenge, I attempted to cultivate inspiration through mindful living. Attempt would be a good word to describe it! Not to be hard on myself but really… what ended up happening was anything but what I had planned. What I had expected was mornings eased into through yoga and meditation, getting outside and getting in touch with and my inner dialogue while trying to make it more… eh… should I say, forgiving? (There’s a special word to describe how she usually talks to me, but I’ll save your eyes this time.)

What I did realize– however backwards and unorthodox the journey it took– really did open my mind to how I can nurture a more mindful practice in my day to to life from this point forward.

Try leaning into the discomfort instead of denying it the validity it holds in your life

“Try leaning into the discomfort instead of denying it the validity it holds in your life” my grandmother suggested from across the diner booth table. I took a moment to munch on my hash-browns and paused to truly process what she had said. It was simple, just like she had mentioned… something we all latently knew inside, we just need to hear it phrased the right way or be reminded of every now and again for it to hit us. But man did it hit me then.

Every day I was waking up trying to find a schedule that would distract me from my worries and anxieties. When I was stressed, I would leave the house and go for a walk or do a short meditation where I stopped thoughts if I heard them coming to me or go to the gym to exercise my body so I stopped focusing on my mind. And yet, whenever those activities were finished, there were my anxieties… sitting there– waiting for me. Never once did it occur to me to listen to them… to give them the time of day and acknowledge that they did hold some validity. (Even my insecurities and insecure… sheesh talk about needy!)

But really! Our anxieties, even when blown out of proportion, usually do hold a grain of truth and reasoning behind them. Take mine for example:

  1. Continuing my education– “You’ll have to go back for at least four years… and that means dealing with four years worth of American college bills and debt” (valid) “You’ve already spent three years pursuing art and now you’re switching to a different field of study? Takes a lot of time. (valid) “Oh my GOD! I’m gonna be poor and overworked until I’m forty and it’ll probably take that long to even enter my field of study! (… ok now, slow down there mind… not really valid)
  2. Getting a new job– “I have these dates I requested off at my old job… but now I have to tell my new boss I can’t be there all these days after just starting!? (valid… though my future boss is a human being who understands having a life)
  3. Balancing art commissions– (no wait… all invalid. Completely invalid. Nothing but over-perfectionism and unnecessary worry)

So really… how much is there to worry about? Way less than our minds trick us into thinking there is! And doing mindful practices the way I did this week is like having all the right shiny new tools but not having a clue in the world how to use them.

From now on, I want to live walking hand in hand with my emotions.

From now on, I want to live walking hand in hand with my emotions… to take little moments to identify what I’m feeling, acknowledge the good and the bad, and allow them to take the space they deserve– not the space my previous ways have allowed them to hold.

Although finding inner peace was a bust, I’d say this “failure” has taught me more than I could’ve asked for. With my eyes opened I’ll walk toward a brand new week.

See you next time

~Fioza

 

writing

New Beginnings

Just as each season in nature brings change in its path, so too do the seasons of our lives…

… So it seems my new season has begun! (To entertain my rather corny metaphor). It’s been a long while since I’ve visited my poor neglected blog… but this time I’ve come back with a clear change in mind. I’ve remodeled my site and given it a new direction.

A Year of Inspiration will be as much a journey for me as it is for you. In the beginning of each week I’ll be deciding a new topic to enjoy life by. That’s a bit oddly put… so for example: This weeks topic will be mindfulness. So all week I’ll be focusing on making sure I live mindfully- whether I practice meditation, yoga, eat healthier or simply catch my negative thoughts. At the end of the week I’ll do one big post detailing my experience and how my point of focus effected my day to day life. (But really guys… mindful living… that’s this week’s topic!

I haven’t spent enough time with this doohickey yet to figure out if I can post videos… but I’m hoping I can throughout the week if I get time to try something really interesting. If not, I’ll be posting those through my site’s Facebook page and Instagram.

M’lovely partner in crime Gregory will also be posting as an admin of the page with short stories based on the weeks theme! This all is still in the pilot stage so things may change if the format doesn’t end up being as helpful as I’d imagined… but I’m hoping that in doing this I will recreate a healthy relationship with my passion for writing while also nurturing a better attitude and relationship with myself and life in general.

Thank you always and I hope you enjoy A Year of Inspiration!

writing

Inspire Daily- ed.7

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Emerson often reminds me of things all too important to forget, but this one really hits home.

For the ambitious type… planning for dreams ahead to become possible and constantly learning from our past mistakes in order to grow can entirely consume our lives. If I know one thing about myself it’s that I routinely forget to LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

My talents and my jobs become my sense of identity- which can become dangerous all too quickly. When writers block hits, it’s personal! Suddenly, not only will I not be able to write for a week… anxiety rears its ugly head and my entire future is doomed, as well as my self worth.

I should be focusing on the bigger picture… remembering…

I am more than my dreams and ambitions. More than my accomplishments, my talents and my “successes” or lack there of at times.

We are enough. As we are. Nothing need be added.

Always yours,

~Fioza

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writing

Inspire Daily- ed.6

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For us life planners, this can be a hard one to follow (myself included).

Looking back, my life has not gone according to ANY of my plans… but somehow I’ve ended up in places better than I could have ever dreamed imaginable.

Let go of the pressure of perfection.

Do what you love, relax and open your eyes to life’s surprises. If you’re so caught up planning out your future, you won’t have a chance to appreciate what’s right before your eyes.

Yours always,

~Fioza

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art, inspiration, writing

Art as Prostitution

“So why are you in the business of commercial art and not fine art?”

My program coordinator posed this question to us this morning in my Advanced Photoshop class.

Money money money… Yes! That is why!” he exclaimed with a smile on his face.

  • You don’t tell the client it took two hours, you tell them it took four!
  • Don’t share your secrets with others around you, hide them and get ahead!
  • Learn shortcuts, detach from your art
  • And most importantly, do what the client wants!

“We are in this business because we like to prostitute our trade” he joked.

Were willing to do just about anything for a price.

 

I listened to the lecture and felt the curds of vomit begin to form in my stomach. It’s just not right… simply not right at all. Which of us creative people desire to sell out? To think only of what somebody else wants from us and kill all of the scraps left of our creativity?

I’m pretty sure when we were children, not a single one of us would refuse to punch our future selves if we heard ourselves talking like that. And yet… here I was surrounded by classmates who were eagerly shaking their head in agreement, laughing jovially, and awaiting his nuggets of wisdom.

 

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I’ve known I was in the wrong program for about a year now… but it still saddens me to see so many people brainwashed and to think that at one point he had me too.

Why is it, I wonder, that today’s society in America puts so little emphasis or appreciation into the arts?

By no means am I saying that the professions we hold in such high esteem are anything less important then what they’re made to be. Or that all commercial artists think this way. Hell yes we need doctors! We couldn’t do so much of what we do without engineers, mathematicians, teachers, scientists and everything in-between! Yet… it seems to be a common denominator throughout the human race as a whole that these jobs keep us physically living, able to function, evolve longer lifespans to survive. 

But we live for the arts.

What would we do without our music on our way to work? Without the movies we go to see with our families and friends? Our T.V. shows? Our books?

Our art sets our mood and allows us to escape the pressures of this world if even momentarily. 

Without it… would we really enjoy life? It’s said to be unessential… cut from school programs while logic and reasoning is shoved down the throats of our future generation. All for what? So we can keep progressing… get a stable job… make a good sum of money…but be numb to the life around us past the age of 12?

I think it’s time for a reset. I think it’s time to cultivate our individuality and creativity. To think outside the box and stop running towards desk jobs and benefits with paid vacations.

It’s time to start asking ourselves the big questions… Who are you? And who do you want?

I’m done listening to other peoples’ fears. Done with group mentalities and doubt and security. There’s no guarantee that any of my stories will become published… no promises that my words will be liked… nothing. I have a dream and a purpose and I’m going to start riding it unaltered towards the light I see until I reach it or die trying. Even if I never reach my goals… at least I can say I lived life the way I wanted, and not the way some client told me to.

Life’s to short to spend 40 hours a week hating it… Live a life you won’t regret.

~Fioza

writing

Inspiration for characters FROM characters- new blog segment

I do not create my characters… they create me.

•          •          •

Starting this week I will beginning a new segment to talking2myselves. Seeing as there are over 300 developed “characters” in this noggin… and I say “characters” very hesitantly to describe my babies whom I love dearly and live and breathe to me… as much as my fellow readers…

well anywho! What I mean to say is…

my characters will be posting on my site as admins themselves. If they wish to share a part of their life they’re going through they may post it!

I hope that getting to share my babies from their point of view instead of me speaking for them, I can share a little bit of my daily “process” (so to speak) with you.

I cannot stress enough that my learned ability to listen within for their voices… connecting with them and formulating meaningful and lasting relationships… letting them live and breathe not only as a part of me but separately as well, is THE key reason my world and characters have authenticity.

So please… if you’re having a hard time connecting with your inner family, talk to mine– or even roll play as one of your own characters.

What would Rebecca say?… and answer those questions until Rebecca starts sassily answering them for you.

From my family to yours,

~Fioza

 

writing

Inspire Daily- ed.5

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A quote from my favorite series, Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya… Momichi nailed this one.

…To not forget a single memory can be painful. We’ve all suffered through hard times in our lives– times we would rather forget. But if we are to remain true to ourselves in this life, we must incorporate every  memory… because it is especially those painful memories that shape us into the beautiful human beings we are.

Remember and embrace my loves,

~Fioza

character development, inner peace, inspiration, writing

The Importance of Slowing Down

So, this past weekend was Labor Day… and as any of you who celebrate it know– it’s meant for anything BUT labor.

I went “upnorth” as us Michiganders say, to Gaylord with my lovely Greg and his family.

Inevitably… like any time I take a slight haitus from the everyday hustle and bustle of life, I found a strengthening in my belief of the power of relaxation and disconnection from stress/ routine.

Often times I find myself stressing for no reason.

Okay head, what’s going on?

No response.

You’ve got homework…school…work…a bit of a family crisis

Hum of panic begins brewing.

Hey hey hey! But it’s nothing we can’t tackle like we have a million times before right?

And still… no answer, just a lingering sense of discomfort that threatens to grow hourly.

My mind doesn’t answer, because I’m still working full speed. I believe full well in the saying “Dreams don’t work unless you do”, so I’m always throttling full speed ahead– completing classwork, building a portfolio, working, blogging, and balancing my world of 300 some minions… all the while trying to make room for relationships and “normal” life.

But here’s the kicker: In order to experience life and hold substance behind our voice, we must slow down and live in the moment. It is only then that we are truly open to everything around us. 

Watching Fred (Greg’s pup)… it hit me. The scene was gorgeous. Not because he’s the beautifully handsome little man he is, but because he wasn’t concerning himself with anything other than what was happening right here, right now. 

I practiced Fred’s way of life completely for those two days… and what happened was breathtaking.

Soubi, a character of mine I have known for 11 years now stayed with me for the entire time. I learned the truth behind his life before me… wiped away false tales I had thought I heard in the past… found his mother and father who I didn’t believe were alive… and truly… really connected.

Because of this past weekend I have un-erasable and irreplaceable memories and experiences with him that have grown a better foundation to our friendship and ability to communicate.

That ability… to slow down and LISTEN… is the best tool I can possibly offer you to connecting with your characters and writing. It is priceless and will shape not only the way you write, but the way you live.

So instead of scripting out dialogue and scratching your head over where to go next or how so-and-so would react… listen to so-and-so! Let them tell you. Build a relationship with that person and part of yourself and open your own door to the world inside your mind.

 

That’s all folks! Join me next time!

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~Fioza

 

 

 

character development, inner peace, inspiration, writing

Expand your World

My teacher once told me…

“you can never judge a piece of art without first participating in it.”

At first I must admit, I was confused. To participate in art? What does she mean? I’ve heard of some pretty crazy “participation art” pieces in my art school days but I hardly believed that was what she was encouraging for class… (look it up, crazy stuff! I won’t even mention the details here)

She went on to show us this piece

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(Guernica by Pablo Picasso)

Being a student of art, I do love myself some modern pieces and have a more than slight obsession with the Vienna Secession… so I loved it immediately. Though the majority of my classmates said they’d never want this on their wall.

The participation process she described to us can be applied not only to art… but to life in general

It goes: Participation- Analysis- Perception- Appreciation (Papa!)

  1. First, we instinctively judge the piece– With anything in life we do this… people, places, cultures etc. And it is killing our creativity and the wholesomeness of our lives.
  2. We must CHALLENGE our subjective opinion. Research whatever it is you’re judging. If we stay uncultured to things unfamiliar to us… we can never learn the perspective they have to offer. 

As human beings we naturally crave comfort, but for growth and opening to happen we must step outside of our comfort zones. It is only there that we will broaden our perspective.

3. Once we’ve done a little research into where that person is coming from, we will add our own perception. Just like a piece of art, every one of us will judge an experience differently due to their our past experiences.

4. Now that we have sat with that experience we can revisit it and truly know how we feel. We can find comfort in the fact that we tried. It’s ok if you don’t like that piece of art, don’t agree with parts of that religion, or don’t enjoy that individual’s personality. You’ve honestly looked at the inside of that experience and not judged it for lack of better words…by its cover.

Keeping an open mind is important to anyone, but I as a writer find it extremely important to my trade.

How can I write about a woman who lives in Turkey, if I don’t know what daily life in Turkey is like?

Jumping out of our comfort zones can help enrich ourselves and our stories, bringing a new substantive feeling we can no longer return from once we’ve triggered it. So here’s my challenge to you…

If you’re writing the story of someone struggling with depression… open yourself up to your own sadness and feel it with them. If you’re writing about someone leading a revolution… research revolutions of the past and understand the struggles they will face in their everyday lives.

Go out and live life… grip it in your hands… feel it! As one of my favorite writers once said:

 

“…I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived…”

~Henry David Thoreau