Today was supposed to be a much simpler post.
It was going to be a simple layout of how I do my notebook…ahem how I aspire to do my notebook, both for the monthly layout and the daily one.
However, I think I need to own up to a different issue, one that ties in pretty nicely with the last Life post that I put up, Your Schedule is Not Your Life. Because shortly after putting up that post, I clicked into my Editorial Calendar (a great plug-in for WordPress) and planned out the next two weeks of posts here. Three times a week, writing prompts about love, about life, about practice.
And then Thursday we got on the road, and drove to Cleveland to visit our friend the author Ferrett Steinmetz (yes, I’m name dropping, but only because I want you to do a search on Amazon for him and buy all his books) and somehow in spite of being in the car for hours I neglected to write a post for Friday.
And on Friday, when we were again in the car for many hours on our way to Gettysburg (where I was presenting on The Defining Moment among other things) I again Completely Forgot to write any post at all, much less the post about Love I had planned.
(That one had the working title of “Yelp Yourself” and was supposed to be about the joy of making lists of things you loved. For example, I recently started a list of cigars I enjoy. Guess what I didn’t update when I had a lovely Diesel cigar Saturday afternoon?)
As I mentioned, I can’t pretend that I didn’t have time to write that post. What I failed to do was set aside the time to write it. Time was spent on Twitter, reading the Star Wars comic series (a much better way to prep for the next movie than trying to watch Episodes 1-3), and driving and teaching. My partner Natasha and I took a tango class that was great – but that was ninety minutes that I wasn’t writing.
The good news, though, is that I can see where the way I spend my time can be changed. I don’t even have to “give up” anything, and I can leverage things to be rewards for habits. For example, I can set a boundary for myself: No twitter on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday unless the blog post is up.
I still get my dose of dopamedia, but I have a motivating factor to get it done proactively. In fact, that motivates me to do it the day before, scheduling things so they release at 8am on each of those days.
Becoming The Me-Whisperer
Any good dance lead will tell you they don’t really “lead” their partner — they create a space for their partner to be and then “invite” them to occupy that space. It’s similar to the idea of the horse-whisperer (caveat: I’ve neither seen the movie nor read the book so I may have a false idea of what that word means). Basically, instead of berating yourself for not sticking to habits, calling yourself a failure, or trying to muscle through things…create a space for yourself to do the thing you want to do, and make it inviting. Make it as joyously inevitable as your soft bed at the end of a hard day, or a warm shower after coming in from a cold one.
It’ll be easy to see if this works: just come back on Wednesday and Friday and see if the post is up! Meanwhile: what are you going to whisper yourself into doing?
1 thought on “The Interrupted Practice”
Not a terrible analogy, the Me-Whisperer. I’ve seen the movie, it has a nice stillness to it, quiet, reflective piece on overcoming trauma. The score is lovely. The money quote for you (from IMDB):
Annie: [reading] A million years before man they grazed the vast empty plains, living by voices only they could hear. They first came to know man as the hunted knows the hunter. Before he used horses for his labors, he killed them for meat. The alliance with man would forever be fragile. For the fear he struck deep into their hearts was too deep to be dislodged. Since that neolithic moment when a horse was first haltered, there were those among men who understood this. They could see into the creature’s soul and sooth the wounds they found there. The secrets uttered softly into troubled ears. These men were known as the Whisperers.