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

 

Inspire Daily– ed.2

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If you’ve ever tackled a big piece of work… this is a constant issue, am I right!?

Whether it’s a whole freaking novel being birthed from your brain, or a 40×60 painting etc… finding the inspiration to keep going strong for the hours or weeks or months or years it takes to push that baby out can be one of the toughest roadblocks.

I’ve spent years in the past waiting for the moment it feels right to write Aubrey’s story… begin that novel… make that art piece etc. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned through those experiences, its that there will never BE a right time. 

The best times of my life have happened when I am dedicated enough show up in my own life daily and make something happen, whether I feel like it or not. So let us continue to have the courage to look inwards, acknowledge our dreams, and make daily baby steps through self made inspiration… walking together all the way 🙂 Let us support each other.

Yours always,

~Fioza

 

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Feelin’ the love!

70 followers and counting in just over two weeks! You guys continue to take my breath away 🙂

Two weeks ago I would have laughed at the notion that such success could be gained in such a short amount of time… especially when it comes to putting networking and me in the same sentence. (Getting 20 likes on a facebook post is a good day for this lady!)

If there’s any segments you’d like to see added to my site, please let me know by commenting below! 

Love always 🙂

~Fioza

…looking forward to the journey ahead…………………………. 🙂

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

 

 

 

Inspire Daily #1

Every day, you beautiful people inspire me to go forth and do what I love. So every day… I’m going to inspire you back 🙂 Deal.

So today, Im gonna get you out of your rut! Who doesn’t like inspirational quotes to start the day?

Ok…get ready… the bombardment awaits!

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“The Earth is only a little dust under our feet” people!

And doubt is the #1 killer of dreams! Bonafide fact there… mhmmm.

We are writers, creators, dreamers and makers of the wildest of dreams. So let not this dust stop you from creating a world more beautiful than the one in front of your eyes.

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…So chase them! What are you waiting for? You have to be brave enough and bold enough to chase after those balloon dreams. I don’t know… they seem kinda intimidating to me but I believe in you!

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…and afterall, isn’t it crazier to NOT try? Think of all that’s at stake if you give up now.

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I know it seems like there’s no clear path ahead… no promise that you’ll get where you want to go… but you know the answers. Reach inside and ignore the external pressures of daily life and you will find without a doubt where you need to go. Your job now is to make sure those visions reach all of us because hell… they’ll be greatly missed if not.

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And make one I will. I hope you’ll follow me in blazing your own path through this beautifully hectic world of ours.

Take this inspiration and make today a day worth living.

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Always yours,

~Fioza

My inspiration as a writer

Sure beats the hospital!

Today I’d like to share my celebration of this wonderful man’s return home after a long battle with surgeries and cancer. 

My grandpa, James Parker returned home from the hospital today after weeks of recovery and a major operation. Just weeks ago we shared a terrible discovery that he had developed a second kind of cancer (he already had battled another kind for around 10 years). 

When we found out I was unable to hold it together. With the surgeon in the room and my whole family trying to be strong- the news I heard sounded like a death sentence and I lost it at the thought of loosing this wonderful soul from my life. 

My grandpa on the other hand looked at me and quoted what I had told him when I was only a young girl. With a smile on his face he said “well you know what Jamie? Like a wise girl once told me… We’re just gonna have to deal with it”. 

And what else could be said? Truly that is all we could do. You move on and deal with the things you’re dealt with, or you simply refuse to move. That’s all there is to it. 

As a child, I don’t know if I was as wise as he thought I was, or if I didn’t truly understand the gravity of the situation. My grandfather on the other hand has showed me more strength and optimism out of one person than I could have ever believed possible… And is continuing to do so even in the face of Chemo and stage 3 cancer at the age of 78. 

This man is my hero. The fact that he published a book and has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and given me countless words of advice and inspiration comes second to the frame of mind and lifestyle he has taught me throughout the years. I wouldn’t have half the optimism I have if it wasn’t for him. 

If you have a hero like my Grandpa, please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear about the people that helped shape your lovely minds 🙂 

~Keep on being positive and “dealing” with the roadblocks life throws you. We will be victorious ❤️