My 10 Minute Rants

I’m starting a new regular post called My 10 Minute Rants. It stems from a writing exercise, and I thought, why not share some of these unfiltered mind utterances. So here goes the first from 1/18/17.

As I watched the sun glow against the oncoming train. My mind wandered into a new world. The world of those that surround me. I started thinking about the lives of those I do not know but that I sit beside each day on the metro north train that snakes its way along the Hudson from dusk till dawn. I can’t help but wonder what is happening to them, does this election affect them, do the care. I can’t quite place my finger on my curiosity other than to say it’s fascinating to know the world is so much bigger than me.

I live in my small but broad world. No matter who we are there is a bubble that surrounds us keeping someone at bay. For some the bubble is larger and more pliable, it doesn’t break easy and allows other bubbles to connect and travel with them. Others break at the impact of something new. Instantly bursting in fear due to its fragile nature and limited experience. It is when we connect and float together that the world opens and shifts, even if we are still floating in our own private sphere. Being able to take others for the ride or jump on to become a part of something greater, it is that pliability that ensures we will live on and change the world.

I am terrified to live small. I don’t want to break, I want to be able to look at things differently, from a new perspective; one I may never have known if not for the freeloading bubble that latched on. It’s sad too when that bubble lets go, sometimes never to be seen or experience again, at least not in the same way or from the same perspective. But the experience never dies, in fact, it is passed on to a new traveler along the way at another time, perhaps when it, or you needs it most.

Often my isolation can send me floating off, distant and alone. But I know my sphere is durable and will latch on again at some point somewhere in time. There is so much to see, to learn and to teach. Yes, I too can teach. I can and should share what I know, what I have gained from those who were once a part of my journey. It is how life works. We build these worlds that seek out and connect to one another, then drift off into the unknown.

Namasté

©NicholeDonjè

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Let’s Talk in the Now -Part 1

Finding the truth is the only way to move forward.

I was watching the inspirational Brenè Brown on Super Soul Sunday (my happy addiction), as usual I was moved but, this time I had a different take. She discussed how people rarely talk about their journey when they’re down, it’s after the fact; which though inspiring, often in the end, after we’ve tried following their advice or walked a similar path and failed, we are disappointed both with the world and with ourselves. It’s easier to share what we have been through when we have made it to the other side, but what about when you truly question if you’ll get there. This profoundly made me consider where I am in my life right now.

What I am realizing is that I want to talk about it now as it’s happening, to share my fear, the struggle and the triumph. In Rising Strong, Brene says we as a people look away, and sadly, it’s true. I’ve found all too often when people ask, how are you? They either don’t really want to know, or they cannot handle the reality of what you want to share. More than once when I have been going through something, someone I know will see it in me and ask how I am or if I’m okay. The response is often unsettling. More than once I have worked to put aside my lack of trust to be vulnerable, hoping to be heard. What all too often happens is quite honestly painful.

1. The person shifts subjects as you tell them that you’re struggling and moves on as if they had never asked the initial question 2. They jump in and rant how shitty the world is (and in turn tell me all their issues, often negating mine), or 3. Though well intentioned, they are determined to be hyper positive. They want to fix it, make it all better, and give me all the answers that quite honestly often there is no answer to. All of these responses tend to make me either no longer want share my actual truth or make me feel as if they don’t really want to hear it. Sadly I know that I have been this person too and I want to change.

To listen, to hear with compassion and love, that’s what I want. It’s what we all want, to be heard. It’s the person I want to be, and I’m working on it.  I’m nostalgic for my childhood and college friendships. The long nights talking about anything and everything, wholeheartedly enveloped in and committed to one another’s lives. It gets hard when we realize that most friends cannot be this for us. I have so many friends, all of whom I love dearly and many who I know love me. But this is rare.

I ask myself, what I am doing differently or wrong. Is this just the way relationships work now? Did I miss something? I certainly hope not. Perhaps we are all just afraid to share and make ourselves vulnerable in this unpredictable world. Maybe that is what this time of technology has taught us. Stay safe, type it don’t say it; read it don’t hear it. If it’s at a distance it can’t hurt me. I really do wonder. All I can do is work on me and hope that I find in myself the will and commitment to rebuild these ideals, to make such closeness real again.

Namastè

©NicholeDonjè

Read, follow, and investigate with me. Who Am I?

 To those of you who read this blog, thank you for the encouragement (you know who you are). I’ve been putting off posting this for almost a month. It was the kick in the ass I needed!


THE WHO AM I PROJECT? Finding myself through the layers of my own baggage, bullshit and fear 

Take 1
Something of a Prologue

Today I begin
a challenge beyond my brain;
one to reach my soul.

From the beginning I am asking that this be a dialogue.  So please follow the blog from the site directly and not just Facebook or Twitter (comments on those sites don’t translate for a blog). I suggest setting the notifications to once a week. I want this to be a shared journey and not just me yacking at me (I already do that).

I did it – I made my “ASK” (thank you Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking). That was my first big risk on this journey, the second is this post! Please post comments and ask questions, I would love this kind of communication and sharing. And lastly if you see a post that means something to you, share it (anywhere and everywhere).

So here it goes. I am making a declaration. I am going to commit one year to self-exploration and writing a book documenting my journey. I have been thinking about this for quite a while and after reading THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Rubin I see it is time to do something different. I know this certainly is not a new thing, but I am inspired by the idea of a yearlong dedication and research of and to one’s self. I started my journey in March without realizing it. I had challenged myself to commit to 3 things for 3 months. Honestly, I was not sure I could do it. The reality is that with a few glitches here and there, I was successful…until the discovery of a brain tumor that is. I admit my priorities and commitments moved elsewhere for a bit but here I am back on track.

I ask myself: How am I going to do this? What is my end goal? Do I take it on all at once or do a month by month thing? How do I assess myself as I go? Is it a “Happiness Project” or something else? I had all these questions. I am not a psychologist or a researcher. I am not a doctor or a professional writer. But, I am ready to share my voice, to commit. I love the idea of dedicating a year to self. So what the hell….I will give it a shot.

The expedition I am embarking on is one of truth and self-discovery. For years I have been fighting myself in so many aspects of my life with no idea why. I have taken classes, read books and seen a shrink. All of this work has helped. I now realize the wall I keep hitting is me. Over and over, as I start to move forward believing I am on the right path that voice in my head steps in and says; are you sure? Is that what you really want? Maybe you’re just on the bandwagon again.

Really…just REALLY?

So, in spite of the doubt and questions I commit one year to writing a book for me. I will examine my choices and decisions. I will do the things I say I want and explore why I have a self-sabotaging (or self-punishing) pattern.

Each month will have its own goal…yes Gretchen, that’s your inspiration. What would this entail? I will start with a list (by the way I love lists)! Here is a quick draft of my monthly commitments.

  1. Jump and Start (August)
  2. Health and Well-being (September)
  3. Home/ Foundation (October)
  4. Focus (November)
  5. Goal Setting/Education/Priorities (December)
  6. Time Management (January)
  7. Projects (February)
  8. Balance  (March)
  9. Review/Remind/Reset (April) 
  10. May (TBD)
  11. June (TBD)
  12. July (TBD)

It’s a start. As soon as I know May, June and July I’ll let you know. I will get more specific in my intentions as I go from here, but this will serve as a good platform to dive in. The working title is “THE WHO AM I PROJECT? Finding myself through the layers of my own baggage, bullshit and fear”. It is an extension of an art project I have been organizing over the last year. However, this is more personal since I am the subject. The art project asks the question of all who experience it (more on that later around month four).

The reality is that I have somehow lost track of who I am and what I want for my life. I do know “who” I am but not in the existential way I am seeking. I want to know why I’m here and my purpose in this life. I want to find passion and heart in all that I do. The only way to really accomplish that is to truly understand myself and to figure out what I want. For me this starts with why. Why do I continue to get in my own way? Is it that I really don’t know what I want or is it that I have told myself so many conflicting things over the years that I’ve confused my soul? Is it that I honestly don’t have the ambition or drive? Is it that I deep down know my purpose and it terrifies me? Or is it that my need to know WHY is my problem?

Even as I write this I’m thinking…this is silly? Who the hell is going to read or connect with this? At the same time, do I really care? What if no one reads it, but I have answered a key question in my life; if that’s the case then nothing else matters. I am a person filled with ideas and longings. Yet, despite what many think of me, I am also a person who I believe gives up easily. I don’t love challenges and I absolutely despise being bad at things. Failure is unacceptable so it’s better not to try (I don’t really believe that, but it is my perception of how I’ve lived). I’m not sure where it came from, but I have this deep seeded notion that I should somehow know how to do things (all things). I should be a natural and if I’m not, I’ve already failed. I know it’s not true and yet this is how I judge myself. I envy people who thrive in challenge; whose goals are to get better and better with ambition and enthusiasm, the ones who enjoy learning and failing until they get it right. I want to be that person. I wonder though if that’s who I am. I hope so. The goal in this yearlong exercise is to answer my question and teach myself how to embrace and accept who I am. I know I am smart, strong, and sometime courageous but truly believing it is what I crave most.

I will be using my blog to work through a lot of these theories and challenges. At least one weekly post is going to be dedicated to this work. We all need to be heard and I believe that there is something inside each of us that everyone needs to hear. I believe this about myself, but I have been unable to figure out what voice to use; which one is the loudest, which is the one I thrive in and enjoy the most. Is it my visual art, poetry, writing, theatre or something else entirely? Being heard as an artist seems daunting and almost impossible. My mind goes directly to how I make money as opposed to exploration and fun (which is why I became an artist to begin with). When did I start denying myself the fun in art? I am an artist. For me, this has many faces and forms. I am certainly not limited in the creative use of what I do unless I take no risks; I’ve never been willing to risk enough to fail. I never had the confidence. That is the intent of this book, to find that place inside of me willing to fail for freedom.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope you will join me on this exploration of self.

Namastè
Nichole

 

The Joy of a Sunset

image

Last night at a friend’s place for an Independence Day cookout, a nice group of us gathered to sit, laugh, eat great food and enjoy one another’s company. It was a perfect and the weather was wonderful. Soft cool breezes danced by as the music of Sinatra and big bands played.

With all that there was about a half hour where everything stopped. Everyone gathered along the wall smiling and sharing, taking in the joy of one of our greatest gifts here on earth…a simple sunset!

Namastè