Blog hope via @RockablePress

After a sleepless weekend of trying to figure out how to better manage Social Media, I made a decision. I keep seeing this  “How to build a successful blog business” ebook from Rockablepress.com. I’ve been hesitant to buy this book mainly because I think I should be able to find everything I need just by perusing sites. However, this has clearly not been working for me. I’ve been trying this social media/blog business for about a year now and still have had no success, no comments, no user interaction. In all honesty, it’s getting pretty old. I’m tired of feeling like a failure. I research all the time how to make this better and I still haven’t been able to do it. Granted, I lack a consistency that is essential to success. But I think it is more than just that. An obvious answer could be that there are so many blogs out there, already established, doing exactly what I am trying to do. So what’s the point? Why do I keep trying? I’m not sure. That existential question of what’s the point when there are so many other more talented designers/artists/yogis out there has been plaguing me for a while. Put me in all out crisis really. Lacking reason, motivation…the understanding of the why. It sucks walking down a path like that. So I am attempting to put the energy out there that says, I want to figure this out. Or I’ll have to give up and decide I was not meant to be a blogger.

To blog or not to blog

And it’s not just about making money on a blog. I already have a few jobs that pay. That’s not what I am after. I am after the interaction. I want to know if others have the same struggles, same excitement and just similar experiences as I do in this world. I don’t think I am so weird that no one has similar experiences. There has to be millions of people out there that like art and yoga. Hell, I’ll appreciate an either/or at these stage. I just want to share and have others share. I guess I just want to jump on the band wagon and do what everyone else is doing, and connect with people like everyone else is. I just want a piece of the online experience/success. I don’t want to be passed by as some ignorant nobody who couldn’t figure it out. I’m not ignorant, and I am a somebody. At least I think I am. Maybe you will too, eventually. I just need some help figuring it all out.

So, I bought the @RockablePress book. I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but I am hoping it was a good investment and it will help me make my blog, my time, my efforts worthy of a good investment and a good ROI as well.

We shall see, and this blog will be the evidence. Here’s to hope.

Fear of the darker parts of the soul

Yoga mama  posted this quote:

 

We have a fear of facing ourselves. That is the obstacle. Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing to a lot of people. A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves. That is impossible. We can’t do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our excrement, our most undesirable parts. We have to see them. That is the foundation of warriorship, basically speaking. Whatever is there, we have to face it, we have to look at it, study it, work with it and practice meditation with it.

Chogyam Trungpa

 

 

I speak purely from myself here, but I find that when I fear facing myself, it’s not because I don’t want to acknowledge my undesirable parts. I am fully aware of these chunks of myself that are on constant display for the world. I lament on them, they consume me. I am in constant self-reflection attempting to “better” my self, and yet find I fear success. I fear being able to do something well. I fear my true artistic power. I opened my closet last night and realized I have a ton of art materials. I have some dating back to my first college class ages ago. What this tells me though, is that I have a lot of materials I am not using. My friend, has one book and a few watercolors and one paintbrush. Maybe a set of pastels. But he has portfolio upon portfolio upon portfolio of work. He sits down and commits himself to his art. He does not fear it. He knows he has talent and shares it with the world. Me? I’m so scared of trying that I am not even sure what my preferred medium is! My place is a disaster area so I am constantly cleaning. This is really just a defense mechanism to help me avoid sitting down and doing art. I even have am a graphic designer for a company and yet fear graphic design when I get home.

 

How do you get over your graphic design fears? I sit down in front of my computer, excited, inspired, millions of ideas filling my head. And POOF! all gone the minute I open Illustrator or Photoshop. And then I find myself wondering what my idea was and what program should I be doing it in. I will fail if I cannot figure out how to focus and not fear my creative energy. If you do things, things get done. And I am not getting anything done b/c I fear doing things.

 

 

Another example is bakasana, though this is a successful example (but I hope it doesn’t take me as long to get over my artist fear). For a decade, I couldn’t do bakasana. This was totally my water break. I couldn’t even try for the longest time. Well, that’s not true. The first time I was introduced to bakasana, I was tricked into doing it. Clever yoga instructor. She led the class through the movements step-by-step without us any the wiser of what we were moving into. Place your hands on the ground, shoulder distance apart. Start to really bend at your elbows finding a drishti slightly in front of you. Place your knees on the back of your triceps and then lift your feet and bring the big toe mounds to touch. I was in bakasana without even realizing it. And I was soaring. I was confident and zestful. But when I tried to do it again I couldn’t. I tumbled forward. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it. I showed my friend what I was trying to do, someone who had never done yoga before, and she gracefully moved into bakasana with ease.

 

A decade later I am only once again experiencing the pleasures of bakasana and can nearly hold it for five breathes. Of course, now there is eka pada galavasana or eka pada bakasana. There’s always something new to try and something new to experience.

 

But, to bring this back to the beginning quote, it isn’t my fear of the darker parts of my soul that inhibit my ability to accomplish, I’m aware of the darker parts. In fact, my issue is that I am so aware and so deep in them, that I fear the brighter, more vital parts. The parts of power, the parts of graceful poise. I would like to not fear success. I would like to actualize the artist power I feel slumbering inside of me. I’m just not always sure how.

Finding in your seat in life – an unexpected lesson.

Shanti. A beautiful picture from Yoga Journal.

I was surprised the other day by yoga. I thought I had a decent understanding of the philosophy of yoga and had invested ample amounts of time in Karma yoga. However, I had an interesting experience that taught me a lesson I did not expect to learn from yoga.

 

I have begun a little freelancing with my yoga studio and we were going to work on a trade and in doing so I found myself in a quandary. The business side of me understands my prices, why I charge what I do and I have it all thought out and solidified. I have a solid billing system and things work for me. But when pressed with coming up with an hourly number for my yoga studio, a little voice in my head said, “Really? You’re going to charge your normal prices, really? Come on Karma yogi, really?”

 

I was struck at how awkward it seemed to charge my yoga studio so much for my work. I thought and pondered about it for a while. On one side, the yoga studio is not lacking in business, it charges me a lot for my unlimited access, and my work is quality and my time is precious. But on the other side, the humble yogi in me wasn’t so sure. It seemed to me that a discount was tolerable in this situation as I felt it would be karmically positively charged. I mean it’s yoga.

 

So, I made up my mind to charge much less than I normally would for other clients. This was going to be a special exception to my rules. So, proud of my decision, I sent off my hourly rate to the manager of the studio, a woman I admire and look up to as a mentor.

 

Her response was a quote from the Gita:

 

“The secret of karma yoga is never to accept a wrong situation, a situation in which you are exploited, discriminated against, or manipulated, because it is bad not only for you but for the exploiter as well.”

And then she proceeded with her own interpretation:

 

Not that I am an exploiter but part of Karma in the Gita is finding our ‘seat’ in what we are actually worth. This practice allows for others to step on the path to self-recognition of worth. Ya know? So please rethink what you would like to charge us for your services that is fair and worthy of your beautiful talents and that is what we will move forward with.

I was humbled. I thought I was being the “good yogi” by lowering my prices, when in fact, I was doing the opposite. I had no idea. I was so surprised by her response and the quote from the Gita.

 

In the end, I charged my normal prices, and the response I received from my yoga teacher, was that she was proud of me.

 

In the end, yoga continues to surprise and encourage me. It is continually encouraging us to find our own seat in life, and be aware of and acknowledge my own self worth.

 

You too, are worthy. Where is your seat in life?

Syncing with the seasons

I have many times said that I am an inconsistent person. That my habits cycle as the moon does. I was discussing this with my acupuncturist/hypnotherapist last week, hoping that she could somehow help me find balance and consistency. In a nutshell, she said she could help me direct my energy there but that I must do something every day to cultivate the habit I was trying to assimilate into my life.

As I was finishing up my yoga asana this morning and about to proceed to my meditation pillow, it occurred to me how good I felt and that this should be a morning practice, that I can wake up 30 minutes early to help my body feel wonderful. And as I began my meditation outside, and felt the warmth of the sun flow across my body, it occurred to me how great the sun is and how its’ warmth helps me feel good about the day and that I should meditate for at least 10 minutes in the morning sun before going to work to help prepare me for the day. And so I sat in meditation content and placing an intention to make this routine a regular morning routine for me.

And I sat there basking in the sun.

And then it occurred to me. The idea of making this a morning routine is a great one albeit not a possible one. Well, I should say it’s not possible to make this a year round morning routine, that I could make it a summer morning routine, but I couldn’t do it in the summer. I experience four seasons. To wake up at 8:00 in the morning in the summer is to already have the sun risen but it in the winter, this has not yet happened. My routines cannot be the same because the environment I am basing my routines on is not the same. I need to tune into these seasonal changes and sync my energy.

I do not know why it took me so long to realize this. But for whatever reason it is happening now. I have long thought that my inconsistency is a bad thing, a weakness. But in reality it is simply nature, earth nature, animal nature and human nature. And it doesn’t have to control me. I can adjust myself accordingly to find balance in each season. To find consistency in change.

The life of my dreams

Some days are harder than others. Those are usually the days when I realize I have complete control over my life and that my lack of satisfaction and forward movement are all my own fault. That’s when my thoughts turn really destructive and I humiliate myself.

It’s when I realize exactly how lazy and scared I am. That I’d rather sleep instead of try. When I would rather dream, instead of actualize.

I have this amazing dream of how I imagine my life to be. Me being slim and healthy and an awesome yogi, an avid reader, a functional empath…Me and my man successful at art and life and happiness. Having art nights all the time and people salivating for our work. Being happy and free.

 

It takes time and discipline to get there though. As everything in life does. And apparently I would rather sleep than act. I keep having epiphanies on life and have even shared them here. But those thoughts and ideas do me no good if I can’t manifest them into reality. If I can’t stop sleeping through life and take action. That’s the biggest failure of all, but it seems to be one I am okay with. I must be okay with it since I’m not cultivating the habits I dream of. I am not taking action.

How do you take action in your life. And assume ownership of how it’s turning out per the decisions you are making?

Peace first, then art.

I really don”t do enough art. I”m ashamed to admit that I look at so many other artists that I become paralyzed. The fear of not being as good stifles me.

And the irony is that I would rather sit here and type, again, about how I want to do more art, than actually do art. My to-do list is miles long, and I have yet to cross anything off. I keep getting resolved to do more, to actually develop my artistic style to live my art and yoga life, but I don”t follow through. I go to the bars, watch football, watch Extreme Midget Wrestling, watch a movie, hang out with friends…everything else.

It”s depressing.

I am getting better about developing my home yoga practice. So that”s positive. And I definitely meditate more. I guess that”s just my learning curve. I am finding peace through yoga and meditation first, it seems, to hopefully explore art without stress and angst.

For being an artist and a yogi…I”m crazily stressed-out.