StormyKat's Training Journal

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Jax replied the topic: Re:StormyKat's Training Journal

While in person groups may be more beneficial when you go, since going is a challenge, I'm going to challenge you to join an online group. I just joined one on facebook that I can invite you to. It's totally low key. Or maybe just pair up with an accountability partner, like Boom who is also a writer. Or Shamus who needs to start a book. If you aren't friends with him on facebook I can link you. Basically, let's work with where you are at right now and take one small step forward.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Re:StormyKat's Training Journal

Was just reading a book.... and the author had an interesting line...

"It takes a lifetime to write your first novel; and the second one in a year."

Writers write. Every day. Like brushing your teeth.
It is not always "another page in the novel"... it can be 'an idea to use some time later'; a character write up; thoughts on a rainy (or sunny day); random ramblings. The constant is -- you write. Every day.

Once it becomes a part of your daily routine, then you can start focusing on THE Novel... or short story... or biography... or latest rumors your Feline Overlords have shared with you. (come to think of it... how scary would it be if, each night, they are whispering great secrets in our ears as we sleep!!!)

ahem... ANYWAY... in person or online... as Jax noted, it helps to have others there to inspire (or nudge) you along.

Now, sharpen that quill and smooth out your parchment. May the Muses be plentiful.
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  • Katie (StormyKat)
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Katie (StormyKat) replied the topic: StormyKat's Training Journal

My stress levels have been through the roof the last few weeks, thus everything else fell away. It has been all I can do to relax when I get home from work (and it doesn't look like it is going to get better anytime soon). My face literally hurt from the tension. My left eye has been twitching for about a week straight. (I think some of that is computer eye strain so looking into getting an eye exam). Stress makes it about impossible to write. I just can't find the energy to write or be creative. But on the other hand, I have gotten the fire going under me to work on that cat blog again. Because I need to get away from work and the stress. And I would really like to get some income from writing. Also it is a great project to work towards.

In other news I am taking part in a Mindfulness Challenge on Twitter with some other people I have met through #thebloggesstribe. For the month of September we are all trying to fine tune our mindfulness skills. I have been having mixed results. The first few days were really bad because of the stress. Now that we are getting into double digit days I am starting to get a little better. At the very least I am noting when my mind is racing, even if I am not mindful I am at least aware that I am not mindful. It helped calm me down yesterday when I had an anxiety attack the minute I woke up. I just was so stressed and freaking about the million things I had to do. I was also nervous about going camping last night. It was my first time and I was so nervous. I noted my anxiety, rode it out a bit while I finished stuff. I started to calm my mind while I showered, then sat down and meditated. I had low level-I am out of my comfort zone and there is no central plumbing anywhere-anxiety much of the afternoon and evening. But I was also so present in the moment. We went on a hike, and enjoyed a delicious pizza. I got to see deer running on the sand dunes. I stared up at the stars and the brilliant full moon in the pitch darkness. It was wonderful.
It was wonderful to get away even for a little bit. I think getting away from social media and the constant news streams were the best parts of it. I can stay glued to my phone reading about the hurricanes, fires in the west, earthquakes and social justice issues plaguing us right now. And then I freak because I can't do nearly enough to help and I don't have the money to support myself, let alone other causes. So it was good. For the first time in a few days I am calm and peaceful.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: StormyKat's Training Journal

“I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"

Death thought about it.

CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”

― Terry Pratchett, Sourcery




See... even cosmic types know how special feline overlords are!
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Katie (StormyKat) replied the topic: StormyKat's Training Journal

Cats are nice. :)
I'm reading my first Terry Pratchett right now... Good Omens. And my friend has a plush Death on his couch.

Cats are nice. Especially when they are super energy conductors. I woke up from a dream the other night and I was so angry from the dream. I couldn't get back to sleep I was so bleeping angry. Thankfully Sneakers is an energy super nova, so I touched him and said "take this!" and then passed out. It was helpful. Thou gh I spent all day Saturday agitated from the dream...anyhoo. Cats are nice.
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Katie (StormyKat) replied the topic: StormyKat's Training Journal

Last week was quite the headache. The universe beat me over the head with several 2x4 and kept beating me until I listened. I wasn't ready for this 2x4, so I panicked and froze and had the worst ongoing anxiety attack I have had in a long time. On the plus side I think I am getting better at hearing what the universe and my body are telling me. It is just a matter of actually listening and acting on those messages.

Last Tuesday I was having a very hard time at work, and was very ready to walk out the door and not come back. On my lunch break I got a text from my cousin about a job opening as a teacher assistant for grade school in a nearby suburb. It is better hours, better pay, holidays and weekends off, closer to my house, less stress...a thousand reasons to take it. Everyone from my co-workers to my family to my spirit animals (Eagle and Unicorn) told me to apply. My new doctor told me to apply. I was all set to apply. Then I froze. I kicked and fought and screamed at the universe. I just finished the application and submitted it about 20 minutes ago. It is done. We can only see where the universe goes from here. If nothing else, it gives me some ideas for future job prospects and career changes come next school year.

During my fight with the universe, I developed the worst anxiety I have had in a long time. Work was awful, there wasn't enough time to do anything. All I wanted to do was rest. I needed rest. I needed to come home from work and not think about resumes and cover letters. I needed to not write blog posts or worry about creating a brand or keeping up enough tweets. I needed to not worry about the projects I am working on for Christmas. I needed to nap. I needed to watch tv and read, and play games on my phone. But I couldn't. Partly because the deadline for the job application is Wednesday (9/27) and it was taking every fiber of my being to force myself to work on the application. Partly because I was so anxious I couldn't rest. I just simply couldn't relax enough. There were too many long days last week too. Saturday I started the relaxation process. I was to fidgety to sit through The Force Awakens, it got paused a few times. I did sit through the movie and get a few things done Saturday night. Sunday I worked on the application a bit and then took a long nap. ;) I realized that part of the reason I was having such a hard time at work was because of my attitude. If I go in thinking work is horrible, focusing on the negative energy and the bad juju floating around there then yes, of course I will have a bad day. If all I can think of is how much I want to leave (which I am not sure is even completely true) then of course every call is going to annoy me. I went in with a better attitude today. Tomorrow will be the real test as I have a horribly long day ahead of me. I do know that once we get another person or two at the front desk I am taking a few days off. Because if I stay I need a break.
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Katie (StormyKat) replied the topic: StormyKat's Training Journal

My stress/anxiety levels have been through the roof lately. And by lately I mean since the end of August. I just don't seem to be able to get it under control. Part of it, I know, is that I just need to get better at making myself go for a walk or exercise. And I need to be better about just making myself meditate. If I can get myself to learn that playing a game on my phone is not the same as meditating, even if the repetitive motions are comforting. I suppose from there, I "just" need to really sort out my priorities between writing, working on photo books for Christmas, blogging (aka different writing), reading, resting and the rest of life. Maybe get a routine going. Make better use of the free time. And not push myself so much. Aside from my usual balancing act of work/life/doing too much, the news just is killing me (possibly literally if I keep these stress levels up.) I can't listen to it. Between the hurricanes, disaster recovery periods, more hurricanes, the government trying to take away my health insurance and now another horrible shooting, I just can't handle it anymore. Going to talk to my doctor tonight about ways to address this. I try to avoid the news. Yet, I know it is important to be informed and ready to speak out against the things that are going on that I don't like. And yet, the self-care that has worked for me up until now no longer works. Because stress and anxiety are constantly being thrown at me in ways I am not prepared for.

I also have been feeling that I need to get back to basics with Jedi studies. Really get back to studying the Jedi code. This comes, in part, from this past Monday. (Aside from all the horror that was in the news) Monday would have been my grandma's 88th birthday. I miss her. I miss her voice and I miss not being able to talk to her and I get very sad when I realize I won't see her again. I worry about my grandpa too, though he won't really talk to me on the phone when I do get to speak with him.
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Kol Drake replied the topic: StormyKat's Training Journal

I will address the end first -- Re: The NEWS

Since the advent of the Turner Network/CNN 24/7 news 'cycle', the services rendered have gone down to tube with the 'instant spew' of the Internet. Where, once upon a time, journalists had to ferret out a story; confirm it with FACTS and reliable sources -- now they repeat any junk the InterWebs tosses onto the screen -- correct or wrong -- just to fill in those many empty hours of 'waiting for real information'.

The stress levels incurred from hour after hour of 'speculation', "informed (NOT) ex-experts", and any idiot who wants camera time... we get 95% dreck instead of 'confirmed news facts'. Sadly, some have become so obsessed with wanting the latest 'instant spew', they no longer care if it is true or not -- just that it adheres to their current worldview. Truly sad.

For those with empathy and who care about their world (and the people who share it), all this spew can add tons to the load you already carry on your shoulders. Tough Love advice? Something 'bad' happens; okay... hear it/read it/surf it and then... TURN SHIT OFF. Stop watching 24/7 news and/or checking the online spew feeds. If you are spending more than an hour a day 'intaking' all this krap -- you have wasted 40 minutes of your life each day. Be informed, but not a bottomless pit of spew.

See the neighborhood; the city; your state; your country... shining examples and glaring flaws... but don't let it become an obsession. I know we have more than one or two course lessons about 'obsession'. This is why we teach stuff like that. It is a very easy 'trap' to fall into.

Re: Playing a game
We all need 'time to play'. It does help with stress. It can also become an excuse 'to escape'. I play. I draw. I arts. I also am guilty of vegging in front of the TV at times. The thing is, you can still take time to meditate -- without cutting into your 'play time' IF you so desire. Long, long ago -- (so long ago I can't find it at the moment) -- I found a nice app one can 'do' on their cellphone -- which asks questions to gear a meditation 'just for you'. Figure, if you have the time to answer a few questions, you can get a semi custom meditation 'thing' and then -- during a break time or while munching lunch... or petting your feline overlords -- you can pop on and 'do' some meditation time. It does not have to cut into 'real life' as much as most fear.

Sorry the last few months have been so stress filled.
Between hurricanes, civil unrest, and crazy Poophead-in-Chief, it's been MANY weird months. Don't give up on humanity just yet. We've had to clean some pretty nasty fans covered in ... well... let's just say, it was not perfumed water. It takes time and concerted effort but we WILL wake up to 'the crazy' and the pendulum will swing back the other way.

Just remember those immortal words from Master Yoda

Cake mix leads to Oven;
Oven leads to Icing;
Icing leads to Cake.

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Kol Drake replied the topic: StormyKat's Training Journal

Brandel found this little 21/2 min 'meditation' video about 2 years.

F*** That: An Honest Meditation

Think there is even an 'app' version in the comments below the video.

:P
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Kol Drake replied the topic: StormyKat's Training Journal

On a more serious note...

A very good InterWebs friend (and author) wrote a most excellent entry concerning Depression Management.
He 'knows' this stuff... because it is deeply a part of his own day to day Life.

Well worth the read

>> Chris Galford -- Depression Management: Public Perception vs Internal Wars <<
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