From the heart- a 15 day journal exercise Part 12: the moment of death

I am re-reading Stephen Levine‘s A Year to Live- how to live this year as if it were your last as a personal exercise schedule to take time to slow down and truly listen to my heart.

Recall:

Part 1: Catching Up with Your Life

Part 2: Practice Dying

Part 3: Preparing to Die

Part 4: Dying from the Common Cold

Part 5: Renewing Evolution

Part 6: Famous Last Words

Part 7: Fear of Fear

Part 8- Noticing

Part 9: A Commitment to Life

Part 10: Fear of Dying

Part 11: Fear of Death

Part 12: The Moment of Death

1. Journal exercise:  What are you saying goodbye to today in order to expand?

I am saying goodbye to NYC 2017.  Can’t afford it. Wasn’t meant to be.  But I say hello to what NYC truly means to me.  Deep in my heart.  For I am an artist.  That is my NYC.

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 1.26.08 PM

2. Capture chapter highlights:

Some say the moment of death occurs when the heart stops.  But the heart never stops, for when it is no longer contained between opposing ventricles it expands slowly into its inherent vastness without missing a beat, expressing the truth it has embraced for a lifetime…

Death like birth is not an emergency but an emergence.  Like a flower opening, it is nearly impossible to tell exactly when the bud starts to become the blossom, or when the seed-laden blossom begins to burst and release its bounty.

– Stephen Levine 

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 1.30.15 PM

3. Explore another source regarding listening to the messages from the heart:

Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.

If you want to be a brilliant tech entrepreneur, but you can’t handle failure, then you’re not going to make it far. If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the 80-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.

What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? Are you able to stay up all night coding? Are you able to put off starting a family for 10 years? Are you able to have people laugh you off the stage over and over again until you get it right?

What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually.

Might as well pick one with an olive.

– Mark Manson

0e295381bd34a5805e054e8a6c363b2e

4. Today’s angel card(s):

 

 STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL ART PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT! 

Still willing to eat that shit sandwich!

It’s been a year and a bit since I came across this article by Mark Manson that asks 7 fabulous and profound questions re: finding your life purpose:

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.19.59 PM

I just LOVE his questions!  I really recommend you read the article and contemplate the questions.

As I read through them, all I did was nod, nod, nod- yep, yep, yep- without a doubt, I have found my life purpose.  Obvious.  Obvious.  My mission is pretty clear- to awaken creative expression– and that includes to continually awaken my own.

img_1794

To combine TRUST with pushing through, to SURRENDER along with doing what it takes.
For example, Mark asks:

1. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF SHIT SANDWICH AND DOES IT COME WITH AN OLIVE?

Ah, yes. The all-important question. What flavor of shit sandwich would you like to eat? Because here’s the sticky little truth about life that they don’t tell you at high school pep rallies:

Everything sucks, some of the time.

Now, that probably sounds incredibly pessimistic of me. And you may be thinking, “Hey Mr. Manson, turn that frown upside down.” But I actually think this is a liberating idea.

Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.

If you want to be a brilliant tech entrepreneur, but you can’t handle failure, then you’re not going to make it far. If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the 80-hour work weeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.

What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? Are you able to stay up all night coding? Are you able to put off starting a family for 10 years? Are you able to have people laugh you off the stage over and over again until you get it right?

What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually.

Might as well pick one with an olive. 

So I am willing to eat many more shit sandwiches.  Doing what it takes- to put a roof over my head, food in the fridge, to embrace my life purpose, to express myself and to help others do the same.  

Embrace embarrassment. Feeling foolish is part of the path to achieving something important, something meaningful. The more a major life decision scares you, chances are the more you need to be doing it. – Mark Manson

 

Ok, Molly, I’ll eat a shit sandwich for you.

I had a very anxious week last week.  It was a crawl to the finish line.  It was a mix of grief, self-doubt, money stuff, fearing I don’t have what it takes to succeed in this life, blah blah blah.  It’s familiar, having suffered from anxiety all my life.  But last week was particularly hard.

I was a blubbering mess at one point (or actually many points).  That’s OK.  I’m allowed.  I swallowed my pride and reached out for help, used my tools and I am ever so grateful for my community of support.

But what goes down, must go up- and, lo and behold, the week ended with some wonderful conversations and interesting developments regarding my project Molly!

[Me, who usually shares everything, can’t share the details with you.]

But let’s just say. I am now fully immersed in preparing for the next stage.

 

  


I came across this article by Mark Manson last week that asks 7 fabulous and profound questions re: finding your life purpose:

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.19.59 PM

I just LOVE his questions!  I really recommend you read the article and contemplate the questions.

As I read through them, all I did was nod, nod, nod- yep, yep, yep- without a doubt, I have found my life purpose.  Obvious.  Obvious.  My mission is pretty clear- to awaken creative expression– and that includes my own.

And Molly is my biggest expression yet.  And oh, I am ready.  To combine TRUST with pushing through, to SURRENDER along with doing what it takes.


For example, Mark asks:

1. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF SHIT SANDWICH AND DOES IT COME WITH AN OLIVE?

Ah, yes. The all-important question. What flavor of shit sandwich would you like to eat? Because here’s the sticky little truth about life that they don’t tell you at high school pep rallies:

Everything sucks, some of the time.

Now, that probably sounds incredibly pessimistic of me. And you may be thinking, “Hey Mr. Manson, turn that frown upside down.” But I actually think this is a liberating idea.

Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.

If you want to be a brilliant tech entrepreneur, but you can’t handle failure, then you’re not going to make it far. If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the 80-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.

What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? Are you able to stay up all night coding? Are you able to put off starting a family for 10 years? Are you able to have people laugh you off the stage over and over again until you get it right?

What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually.

Might as well pick one with an olive.

So, dear Molly- you have taught me to embrace my life purpose.  To clearly state- I am an artist.  You have been gestating since 2003(!)  and I am willing to do what it takes to birth you.  Labour has begun.

At one point last week, I walked around the lagoon a few times, for it was the only thing that made any sense as my anxious demons directed sweet insults into my ear.  I sensed that I met Molly and the boys at the end of my lane that enters the park.  We walked together.  I was wobbly and tired.  But they walked with me.

Yes-

Everything sucks, some of the time.  

But this project moves me forward quite unlike anything else in my life.

So I am willing, dear Molly, to eat many shit sandwiches for you.  

Embrace embarrassment. Feeling foolish is part of the path to achieving something important, something meaningful. The more a major life decision scares you, chances are the more you need to be doing it. – Mark Manson