Yesterday, I was listening to Tim Ferris’ podcast.
The topic was “The Magic of Mindfulness”. Mindfulness is defined by Tim as “a present-state awareness that helps you to be non-reactive”.
It’s an arena I’ve dipped my toe in a few times, but never fully jumped into the pool. I’ve tried meditating with “Calm” (it’s an app). It’s a really great way to start the day but for me it works best a reset button during it; perhaps when I’ve lost my focus.
But mindfulness isn’t just about meditation, it’s about being more appreciative and aware of your surroundings. it’s about focusing on the present and staying in tune with what’s right in front of you; which is increasingly important in our hyper-stimulated world.
When I went to visit my brother and sister in-law in Omaha, Nebraska this summer, we made a souvenir stop at a quirky little shop called City Limits. It’s like an expanded spread of trinkets you’d find at Urban Outfitters, minus the clothing.
I picked up this little $2.00 magnet quoting the great Ernest Hemingway.
You’ve heard the phrase before, I’m sure: “Write Drunk; Edit Sober”. The man wasn’t lying.
For me, a glass of Pinot, a Cherub + Lupe Fiasco-esque playlist and a blinking cursor are usually the perfect lubrication to get the words flowing.
But even that doesn’t work all the time.
Ever since I decided that I was going to be a writer, writing has gotten really hard. I think I’m still pretty okay with spelling and punctuation, but the act of stringing thoughts together to form meaningful sentences is agonizing. And paragraphs? Don’t get me started on paragraphs!
I remember when I was drafting my “It’s not good-bye, but I’ll see you later” e-mail to my fellow co-workers, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to say or how I wanted to say it. That was especially weird because I had drafted it in my mind long before that day. Leaving wasn’t necessarily a matter of “if” as much as “when”.
I felt an unreasonable pressure to write something compelling or inspiring since I just told people that writing was going to be the next step. I’ve written thousands of e-mails before and this wasn’t really any different. It was just me saying “thank-you” to the great people I’d worked with for the last three years.
But there I was, staring at a blinking cursor trying to sum up my experiences and gratitude in a single e-mail.