150 Steps In November

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150 Steps In November

Postby Mannix » Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:04 pm

OK, here's the challenge. Take 150 steps towards your goals this month. Nothing big - just little steps that take you where you want to go. A step is something that moves you towards your goals, and either takes at least 15 minutes or is emotionally difficult (like making a call you've been dreading). A goal is anything that moves you forward towards what you want. It doesn't have to be part of a lofty, thought-out goal. If you want to get in shape, your exercise sessions are steps. If you think you ought to get out more, getting out is a step. Each day, check in with the steps you've made so far.
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Re: 150 Steps In November

Postby jXL » Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:53 pm

001. Resolved to commit 90 days to living as a Painter. 002. Checked in with class rep about today's class - it was cancelled. 003. Reorganized homepage contents to suit my new path. 004. Read up three or four articles on my favorite painter de jour. 005. Organized closet for winter, and have one tray for painting clothes. 006. Decluttered study room, including my art desk (finally!) 007. Did Morning Pages in my big sketchbook. 008. Brought my big paintbrush from study to bedroom meditation table. 009. Drew up a list of things I would need to change in myself as a Painter; one of them is answering Painting, when someone asks me what I do for living. 010. Texted a friend who is into art collecting - to see when would be a good time to visit him. 011. Pasted up two A4 pages of printed images on a clip board, propped against wall on art desk. 012. Began NanoWrimo! (on my second break right now...) 013. Researched my fave novels, collected images, posted on my homepage. 014. Realized that it's all related; Pre-Raphs and Demian... to me it's all the same. Painting/Illustration... I'm getting there... going from splitness to whole! Focusing on my passion! 015. Reading up on fianances/prosperity - because I want to be worry free in that dept. for the next 90 days! 016. Shared my commitment on Facebook. 017. Shared my commitment to a certain extent on my homepage. 018. Checked out my previous stuff regarding writing and username... and my blogs. 019. Took some photos of eggs... 020. Listening to music that reminds me of the past, to help with writing the kick-off 5,000 words. OK. That's today... :P
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Daze of the Said

Postby Lynx » Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:52 pm

Thanks Mannix for relaunching us for yet another month. Between this thread and the resistance discussion in Deep Discussions, I feel the growing spiral. Just had this morning an explicit discussion with my GF about abandoning independence and hiding in a fulltime job. Had hoped she would have caught the clues along the way, but she's never been apt with puzzles. Reverse credit: 1. So, had been waiting for a time to make sure she's tracking my changing circumstances, and that's off the list. 2. Finished my shifting through my notes for my book on my thumb drive. 3-7. Awoke today with a structure for my book chapters. (This is big, worth at least five goals). Counter - credit -1 We managed to lose a large-hard-to-get and no-longer-made- white plastic pyrex server lid. Gone. Can't figure where it's gone to. I suspect there's a dematerializing zone in the kitchen that also has our high-end Trident paring knife. Forward credit I have to be extremely careful to hold off my todo list until the morning of the day itself. Make it too early and I lose all motivation to actually do it. Feels like the list is 'telling me what to do.' It was facing such a long and set list that I pitched up last month that led to my feeling "what's the use" and concluding that independence is over for me. 7. Read one chapter in the history of leadership philosophy book. 8. Deeply process, yet again, the impact of the death of the daughter of my good friend and co-counselor at tonight's day of the dead party. 9. See if I have any entries for my luck journal due to the party. L Tags: 9, sad times, independence
"Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs." Vaclav Havel
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Joy Luck Fun Club

Postby Lynx » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:22 am

Yo, Vote early, take a bag lunch, Ipod, book, portable chair. I'm feeling myself divesting from my 33 years of independence. There's a child:where's the fun:part inside of me. Oz: It's shrinking oh, nooooo. lots happening today: 10 (20 steps retrocount). giving key to new elevator company @ 2. This has been a 4.5 year effort. Ever since the old company treated me poorly and lost an easy client for ever moment. I just remembered that contract ending date and waited. Then found a new company using our condo's bidding process, persuaded the owners to vote the change, held the board's hand as the various due dates needed to be dealt with (90 day notice), kept the board president from attempting to "negotiate" after all my hard negotiations to get the proposals (what, pray tell, had he imagined I'd been up to? geez), soothing my anger, helped the old company remember to provide services for the last 90 days, reminded the old company they really had to come service the equipment (missed visits), clarified that some mysterious leak was not on our machine, and getting the key from the old company's technician. 31. Drafting conference proposal. update: done 32. Asking a friend if I might stay over to avoid early morning traffic to early morning ferry for a gig (yes!) in two weeks. update: done 33. Finishing a book that's research for my book. update: done 34. Starting calls, email for client background interviews. on hold while client finds new date 35. Locating my short article on Lean tools I use every day to send around to my lean contacts. (Lean is short hand for Toyota Production Systems. It's showing up everywhere now. It's only been 55 years). update: done, entered into computer, printed out 36. Oh, watch some of the returns roll in later on tonight. Record the 7 PM Daily Show coverage. update: done. Way to go Obama! 37. Call insurance company to work out kinks on commercial insurance. update: begun, update 2: of course it's not a straight line update 11.8: done! The cust. rep did a fabulous job. Lynx tags: condo, elevator, lean, election, fun
Last edited by Lynx on Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs." Vaclav Havel
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Re: 150 Steps In November

Postby Jane B » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:08 pm

Hello all, Happy November even though I'm a bit late. And congrats to all of you Americans who won your elections. As mentioned previously, my goals this month will focus mainly around my translation business: getting through the long term contract that is ending in a few months and working to expand my business to avoid a slump once that contract is over. Been putting in extra hours to make prospective calls in addition to my regular work. I'm glad that despite the need to shift my priorities to my income-generating work, I still have obligations related to my music that ensure I will be keeping up with it no matter what. My band has three shows coming up between now and the holidays, so there'll be lots of stuff to do in preparation for that. I went to see a show a few nights ago; the first band of the night was a local metal band and the singer could really scream. I went up and introduced myself after the show, asked him about his singing/screaming, if he ever experienced any pain/problems, if he had any tips to give me, etc. etc. He told me he trained using the Zen of Screaming DVDs, which I am familiar with (and own illegal copies of :o ) but had been putting off using because I was working on the stuff my voice teacher was giving me. Now that I have decided to interrupt my voice lessons due to this shift in priorities, I will consider training with these CDs (and yeah I will consider buying them if I find them useful). Perhaps I will gain some insight from a different approach. I will post in response to others later on.
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Re: 150 Steps In November

Postby Mannix » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:05 am

Hi, everybody, How about the Election Night last night? I had the returns on television when they first announced Obama's election. I felt more emotional than I'd expected - I think it was the impact of a major historical event unfolding. It was also exciting to be in line at the polls as the sun came up yesterday. The lines were long, even at 6:00 am, but they moved steadily. My husband and I waited about 45 minutes, but were able to come home and take a nap before we had to get up for the rest of the day. My first step for this month is to try and stay on track even with a time-consuming obstacle. I'm scheduled to perform at a violin-guitar wedding ceremony this Saturday. Well, my booking friend hired someone who doesn't read music. And he's never peformed at a wedding. :evil: That means we have to pre-select and rehearse every piece we're going to play. Not just the music in the ceremony, but the prelude music and music for the cocktail hour - a total of 90 minutes. Plus the music my group uses doesn't have guitar chord symbols, so the guitarist has had to look up the chord symbols for all this music. We rehearsed last Saturday for 2 1/2 hours, and had a grand total of 5 songs picked out. Plus, I've been asked to rewrite the bride's processional piece so there are 3 beats per measure instead of 4. Meanwhile, my booking friend has left town and won't be back until after the wedding is over. Are we getting paid extra for all this prep time? No. We're rehearsing again tonight, but the guitarist can't make it until 8:00, so it's going to be a long evening. I also discovered I have some other errands that have to be done this morning. Grrrrr..... so I'm a bit grumpy today. Thanks for listening, everyone. Lynx, I know exactly what you mean about preparing the to-do list in the morning. I've had many experiences where I've planned a super-busy day and just done nothing. In fact, that may happen today. Good luck with future discussions with GF. Was she supportive of your views during your discussion? Sorry you're having such sad times. Mood-wise I'm relatively positive; I'll try to send some of it to you. (Warning: may be mixed with feisty grumpiness. :D ) jXL, welcome to the thread! Jane, good luck with your business efforts, and keeping up with your music study. Guess I'd better get going on Wednesday's stuff. More later! -- Mannix
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Re: 150 Steps In November

Postby jXL » Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:10 am

Hi Mannix, thank you for the welcome! Hi everyone... I didn't realize we could post things like introductions :roll: of ourselves here! But after reading yours, I think I might share some info about me... Currently in Grad School, and preparing for thesis & exhibition. My Goal is to Paint/Write/Research for my thesis. Congrats & many best wishes with your new president! - - - 21. Wrote 5,000+ words as kick-off for NaNoWriMo. 22. Read up on Cat's Eye essay. 23. Wrote some ideas for NaNoWriMo. Structure. 24. Began reading up on Prof. Ko's book today (5+ pages). 25. Showed up to class today but Prof. wasn't there. 26. Returned library book on Talking With Animals. 27. Ran into a graduate friend, who is now teaching as newbie-professor! Quite inspired! 28. Thinking about Landscape & abstract side of my paintings so far... Will it link to my thesis & novel? 29. Wonder if I should refocus work to Cover-Art and Illust side of Literature works? 30. Thought about incorporating examples of Lit & Art in CDI books... 31. Went to GaGa Study. 32. Saw works by one student's thesis work and talked to her a little bit about her methodology and experience. 33. Talked about her work with another friend of mine, and how it differs from my style. 34. Bumped into another friend on subway and showed her my sketchbook. 35. Lovingly admired works by Balthus in my sketchbook many times today. 36. Researched on Bildungsroman and Kunstleroman on Wiki and added it to Evernote. OK. That's all for today!
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Re: 150 Steps In November

Postby Mannix » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:05 am

jxL, please share. We also like to hear about your triumphs and challenges. 1 bad thing, 1 good thing to report from this morning: 1. Bad! I went down to the local music store to pick up specially ordered sheet music I need for Saturday's wedding. It turned out it was the wrong song! The store ordered a different song with the same title! Then they reported the song I need is out of print! Argh! I called my friend who booked this job and she is going to try and arrange the melody and e-mail it to me. This gig is getting to be much more of a hassle than it's worth. 2. Good! One of my students for today has called and canceled. So that gives me a little more time and one less excuse to avoid my goals in the midst of a busy day. And I can take a few minutes for lunch. Yay!
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11/5/08 it's a new day

Postby Lynx » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:32 am

I am African American and used to play a lot of Bid Whist. After a set was finished and the next dealer began to deal the cards someone would say, "It's a New Day" to remind us all we were 0-0. That's where matters stand today. The Dems have the lead in the governorships, the state houses, the house, senate and The President! If this isn't time to show some spine when is? New Day jXL=check out phinished.org if you haven't already. Since I'm no longer in school I eventually found this forum for the spirited support I witnessed at phinished. 38. spend .5 hours learning to email in a blog to blogger/google 39. forward email about insurance to ins. company and follow up with call to resolve issue. 40. meet with supervisor for one of my contracts just scheduled 42-50. Get list of board members for my next gig and begin to email/call them. 51-52. Get to at least two libraries after my meeting and get my passport stamped. Seattle voted in 1998 to enlarge and remodel our libraries and that project finished in September. Along the way we got an internationally acclaimed new Central library. They followed up on a suggestion to have people get a passport stamped at all the branches and enter a contest for fabulous prizes (books?). I'm treating it as my farewell tour out of independence and having a pretty good time with it. Last night I got one stamped and she offered a second because that branch has mold issues and is closed again. I took it. On the way to another branch I was diverted home by a heavy rain storm. I travel by bike/bus combination and it got too wet. (retro goals for stamped passports) 53-70. done Mannix: thanks for the vibes, I'll just deflect the grumpy. I've been brooding a lot about my weird life at this stage. I read an article in the Sun where the writer shared a thought her hippie aunt told her. The writer was about 14 and waited a "whole 20 minutes" for her aunt to finish meditating and open her eyes one morning before asking her what she was doing. The aunt said, sometimes all I can do is sit with the sadness. I've added that to my morning mantra: If necessary just sit with the sadness. It's mine. Actually, it's a fine sadness, burnished and polished to a high sheen. No other like it in the world. And my jewelry, friend, companion for the rest of my life. Like the Billie Holliday song Good Morning Heartache. L tags: sadness, new day, obama
"Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs." Vaclav Havel
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Re: 150 Steps In November

Postby Mannix » Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:32 pm

OK, now I'm back to :evil: (Lynx, I'll try not to send any of this emotional noise to you.) The person who booked this Gig from Hell says we have to play that piece for which no music exists because the wedding programs have already been printed. She can't find music for it anywhere, and apparently isn't going to arrange it, and says she "is now giving up." I feel like she's sticking us with a big problem. Play this song. Oh, by the way, there's no music for it. Oh, and by the way, you're going to have to go to a different location for the second half of the job. :roll: :roll: :roll: I really resent all this extra work and worry. All right, I'm done. Thanks again for listening.
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Re: 150 Steps In November

Postby jXL » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:42 pm

hey dear friends, it's fun getting to know you more! :P Lynx, thanks so much for the phinished.org link! Mannix, sorry to hear you're feeling resentful about the extra work and worry... Totally wishing you fast, rewarding, suitable alternatives for you on that! 37. Come up with debt resolution (grad school loan) plans. 38. Track expenses. For this week. 39. Decide on new weekly routines. 40. Meditate on my career track - they need a professor for webdesign which I heard about yesterday. Do I need to to stick to painting, or do I go with the flow?!
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good luck, bad luck, it's all the same?

Postby Lynx » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:13 pm

My too new good luck studies is putting up a pop quiz: All today: 1) a client I desperate need for the cash has to postpone my work due to the unexpected change of plans by some of the people. Good luck thinking: well, I can rest more and get better results at the other work I have to do the rest of that week. 2) I work with families with adults with disabilities helping to organize networks to support the focus person and/or the family when the need arises. Just last month I resigned from one of my two families due to vague support for my role and lack of understanding of it on the family's part. Today I had a conversation with my supervisor about the other family and came to understand the family rep is unhappy with the state of the network and does not understand her role in subtly and not so subtly snuffing several sparks that could have built some momentum. After a careful discussion and feeling that I stay employed at the pleasure of the family I offered my resignation. It was accepted. Good luck thinking: could have been done badly, say over the phone or by email. 3. Left to go to another library to get my passport stamped. Can't find my gloves. Go back in store, no where. Go back to library (up the block) not there. Gloves are close fitting neoprene water proof beauties that reach past my wrists. Natch. 4. Go do some minor shopping and realize I don't have my scarf. 5. Pedal arm on bike falls off bike. 6. May have bent rear wheel trying to jam part back on for a temporary fix. Falls off in middle of intersection. Retrieve part and don't try that again. It's going to cost some time and hassle getting this fixed. That wheel might be expensive. Good luck thinking: could have fallen off in a really dangerous place. 4. continued. I definitely remember scarf at the coffee shop, go back, find scarf. Look again for gloves, then take bus to prior stop where I'm sure I had them (another library). No luck. Look across the street when I'd waited for the bus two hours before, don't see them. Good luck thinking: they're gone. Don't dwell on it, use the back up pair until you can replace them. OR, they might be at the bus systems lost and found and I could go see if convenient. I'll call to find out. Also good luck thinking: at least I hope I lost both together so someone can enjoy a pair. Maybe this is their lucky day and I had this annoying role to play. Reminded of a great New York vignette. A writer is riding the subway and sees a woman get up and leave. On the other side of the door she realizes she'd left one glove on the bench. As the doors close she quickly takes off the other glove and ... tosses it in the car! Gotta love NY! Oh, on the good side, I picked up from the library a book I happened to see by chance on the interlibrary loan shelf at one of the first libraries I visited. My challenge is to not tangle with my partner seeking some support she doesn't know how to give. Sometimes all I can do is sit with the absurdity. It aint easy. Lynx Tags: lost gloves, NYC, lost scarf, broken bike,
"Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs." Vaclav Havel
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thoughts that frame/finish

Postby Lynx » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:56 am

I started 10.9 to list the thoughts that frame my life. Working my down the list has changed my understanding of the times and what I must do. It's been a month so here I end the list.
    8. When life doesn't feel 'easy' I'm uncertain how to handle it, flow with it in awareness. I doubt myself, doubt circumstances, wonder if I'm missing something. Taoistic difficulty at the beginning/beginner does not always serve me. Perhaps, thought thru, or intuited or felt, at the beginning might be more my style. 9. These constant details to stay solvent, working, with income, things like email, invoices, calls, etc. pick at me. I feel eaten by gnats. 10. My book is sorely needed, but deep down I fear the family hex will fall on it too, and I'll not find its publisher, market. etc. 11. This poverty will prevent me from going to DC to research Rickey/Robinson archives and I will be scooped. 12. Everything can turn around in a blink.
#8 & 9 = is this ever true this week. My body starts to feel like it's been sprayed with artist spray mount then dropped in a vat of down feathers. This has become milder over time, still not pleasant. My mind feels like it's the TV static pattern all gray dots and such. A different tact: let's see. Tease out more impersonal supports (this is vague) say, my dreams, I Ching, random 'signs' as where to attend. If nothing's really positive going on distract myself on things that still make a contribution, say entering receipts or tweaking a bit of writing. Remind myself, no matter how long it seems to take, this too shall pass. This too shall pass, this too shall pass (harp music) B/W scene, I'm waking up in my bedroom. I just was in an amazingly sad place, oh, and you were in it, and you! You too. .... Whew, I'm glad that nightmare is over! #10 Right now, the book is one of the distractions and I'm discovering a lot. As I talk about it with people (as one of the few positive angles I can speak of) there's a decent response. I've worked out the basic format over the last several days and think I'll address it in chunks. Afraid to actually begin as the written text never feels up to that feeling my imagination stirs when I think of it. Some write to get the expressed version ever closer to the felt one. And sometimes, I am surprised that the written surpasses what I felt. Right now, the audience is one: myself. 11. When I get my fresh job after my first vacation completing a promise I made to my mother, I'll take my second vacation in DC. Or perhaps if there's a big enough gap between when I accept and when I start I'll be able to travel for research w/o worrying about the funds. 12. I would tweak this: a positive return to the day and things can turn up in a blink. L tags: life framing thoughts, book, loss, uncertain how to respond
"Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must step up the stairs." Vaclav Havel
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Re: 150 Steps In November

Postby Mannix » Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:56 am

Hello, everybody, You'll all be pleased to know that the bride was very happy with our performance at the now-infamous gig. At first, I was afraid she wouldn't be and later realized I was blaming myself for something that wasn't really in my control. You see, just before the ceremony I noticed that the minister and an elderly lady I assumed to be a grandmother were lined up ready to walk into the garden. The groom was standing in the back. I interpreted this to mean they were ready to begin the ceremony, so I began the ceremony music. As soon as we started, they all walked away. Grrr! Now what do I do? Stop? Keep going? Where did they go? I decided to continue the piece, but they didn't come back. I finally had to walk up to the groom and ask him what was going on. It turned out they were waiting for the bride to arrive, so we waited in silence and played the same first ceremony piece when everyone came back. I thought they might be angry we repeated that first tune, but they weren't. And I can't read minds anyway. They didn't designate anyone to communicate what was going on, so I think I did the best I could given the circumstances. The next big challenge is to catch up on the goal work I didn't do while I was pulling my hair out over this job. This week is going to be very busy. An Alexander lesson this morning, 4 music students this afternoon, more students and another gig tomorrow night, etc. The goals I set for myself a couple weeks ago are not going to get done in that time frame. So I need to reassess what I can realistically get done this week, and avoid scheduling too much stuff so I rebel and do nothing. It was interesting to notice all the changes in my body as I was stressing over this wedding. I'll have a lot to talk about with my Alexander teacher this morning. Will try to get back on track with numbered steps, too. Have a good day, everybody, -- Mannix
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For Lynx

Postby Mannix » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:13 am

Hi, Lynx, Wanted to add a "good-luck" thought to your story about losing those nice gloves. It's so close to the holidays, you're just in time to ask for a new pair for Christmas. Or pick up a brand new pair on sale. I understand a lot of stores are starting their holiday sales before Thanksgiving. I hope you're giving yourself time to get mad, etc., at these frustrating events. I don't mean to necessarily wallow, but I think it's important to acknowledge you're angry about losing the gloves, the bike breaking down, issues with work. I know I would be! (You probably know all this anyway, though. :) ) Re your feelings of uncertainty when life gets difficult, I think I know what you mean. When something unexpected happens, my mind says, "This wasn't supposed to happen. I don't know what to do." Then it shuts down. It's almost like I'm waiting for a commercial break in my life! Your comments about flowing with it in awareness seem to be the right approach. My Alexander teacher would say, "stay present," respond to what's happening, not to fears, etc. I have boatloads of self-doubt when I'm in an uncertain situation, too, but it's seldom that my level of doubt corresponds to how well I performed. (I've usually done much better than my doubting self believed. Witness what happened at that wedding this weekend!) You probably know this, too, but I would say most people experience self-doubt in unexpected situations. I was surprised to learn that my Alexander teacher's teacher still experiences internal messages of "You don't know what you're doing" even when she's demonstrating an aspect of the technique, something she's extremely familiar with. Hope this helps you, -- Mannix
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