The Right Time

I’ve not found the right time exists to do anything worthwhile. Sometimes we get caught up waiting for the right time, but that’s a long, unproductive wait. My quality of writing can reflect my mood, so I like to ensure I’m in a good headspace before clicking the publish button.

God, I will take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality.

Julia Cameron ~ The Sound of Paper

My friend and I continue to Marco Polo every week. She’s a writer as well, but we have different styles. We share this one secret to sitting down and enjoying what we write, and I’m here to share it with you. Write before work.

It sounds easy, but I’m dedicated to my work, so it doesn’t take long for the inner critic to start in on me not to write. I’ll have nonsense thoughts similar to, “You’ve got so much work on your plate today, and need to do that first”, or “You have people looking for you that need your help.” The inner critic will make any daily activity seem more pertinent than writing.

My friend and I’ve found if we dive into our work/job before writing, we won’t write that day. I can force myself to write after work, but it’s not fun, and it usually gets trashed. Writing should be fun, so I write before work.

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

If you go to work early, try getting up a bit earlier to write. There’s no need to agree with our thoughts that we don’t have the time when we can make the time. Plan on it and create some space to write. By taking time, you’re inviting it to be the right time.


Here’s more tips from Barb on how she writes:

The Right to Write, The Blank Page, The Bottom of the Page, and Watch Your Time

Grace and Space

I was texting with a friend while she was getting ready for work, and wanted to wish her a good day. The words clicked along the tiny keyboard as, “I hope your day is filled with grace and space.” Those words reminded me of my friend Dawn, who uses them as her tagline when signing off.

Today hasn’t gone as planned. My landlord scheduled his handyman for today to make some much needed repairs. I don’t know if you remember our dog Winnie, but I’ve mentioned how people make her anxious, especially if they enter her house. I placed her on a lead, walking her with me around the house, but she knows that means someone’s coming in.

I wasn’t able to get much work done sitting at the kitchen table. The handyman was walking from room to room, in and out of the front door, and his power tools made unfamiliar noises. I decided to step into my bedroom just to have some space to breathe, with Winnie in tow. She relaxed and immediately hopped up on my bed which is a treat for her.

I grabbed my laptop and sat down with her. As I’m typing there’s a lot of loud noises coming from the other room, but from where I sit, you can hear the rain coming to a halt. There’s a Cardinal eating birdseed outside the window and heat is coming through the vent to ensure we stay warm. I’m suddenly not worried about what’s not getting done and instead realizing what this day has to offer.

It seems all we really needed was to step into some grace and space.

The Blank Page

It was 2019 when I first tried implementing the Morning Pages into my life, and it was a struggle. I tried and failed many times, but never stopped completely. In 2021 it finally clicked, and today, the page feels like mine.

Looking back I see it as playing with pages. You have to find the page that’s right for you. I kept bending the rules, but in reality there’s not many rules with the Morning Pages. It’s pen to paper, first thing in the morning, therein lies the name. One thing I always came back to was a standard size piece of paper, but today the page looks totally different than where I began.

It’s blank with no lines and it’s not in a notebook.

The blank page

I’d continually try different forms of paper and encourage you to as well. I’ve used journals and spiralbound notebooks. Notebook paper worked for months, but then I purchased some paper for a project at work. I only needed 25 pieces of paper to print out some letters, but the smallest sized box held 100 pieces. This paper is pale gold parchment, and if you’ve never held a piece of parchment paper in your hands, you need to.

Each morning I sit down at my desk, pick up a pen and let it glide across the blank page.

The Right to Write

You gotta write everyday and I just learned Morning Pages don’t count as everyday writing. Those pages are simply there to catch yourself thinking.

One of my most loved writer’s is Julia Cameron, and I’m going through her course, ‘The The Right to Write.” Listening to Julia’s sage advice is similar to listening to my Mother if she would’ve written. This course was given to me by my son for Christmas. He asked what I wanted this year, and I know how much he usually spends on me at Christmas, so I told him about the course. The course has more meaning as a gift.

I imagined sitting and watching hour long videos, but that was only in my mind. Julia is smart in making each video one minute or so long, and breaking each lesson into tiny clips, which leave you hungry for more.

Not everything you write is meant to be published. I believe that’s the beauty of the Morning Pages. I can lay exactly how I feel to the page. Julia expressed the importance of writing them by hand, instead of typing. She described typing on a keyboard instills speed and accuracy, but writing on a page by hand brings depth. Those ‘first thing in the morning’ thoughts run deep, which I’m grateful not to publish.

Everyone has a Writer in them, but writing wants to be released everyday. If you need a permission slip, here it is my lovely. You have the right to write.

Close the Door

This weekend my bedroom door fulfilled it’s purpose. I can count on one hand how many times this year I’ve closed my bedroom door. It’s been used, but not as a door.

I hang my winter robe on the top-left corner, so it’s readily available every morning as I walk through the door. The door handle is dripping with handbags that I’ve been wanting to sell or give away for months. Today the door stands clean and ready to be used as an actual door when needed.

Photo by Storiès on Unsplash

What prompted this revelation? Two dogs and a cat.

I first noticed it while responding to a friend’s Marco Polo. I get excited when I talk and my voice reflects it. While trying to record the Marco Polo, our cat would try to sit in my lap, or he would stalk me if I were walking while talking. It became a distraction and I’d lose my train of thought.

Over the weekend someone called and I was excited to hear their voice, but this time here comes two dogs and a cat, circling around my feet with excitement too! It reminded me of how kids know when you’re on the phone and will appear with the most urgent of need at that very moment.

These toddlers have four legs.

I retreated to my bedroom, but they came scurrying in. I grabbed everything hanging on the bedroom door and tossed it on the bed. Scooted their furry butts out of my room, and slowly shut the door. The door slid into place with a click, and a soft thump. I liked the sound it made when it shut. Click, thump and then silence. I’ll keep it cleared off so it can serve it’s purpose, and may we always know my darling when it’s time to close the door.

Writing gives us a place to say what we need to say, but also to hear what we need to hear.

Julia Cameron-A Right to Write

Honoring the Light

Some people walk into our lives and never really leave. They are the chosen few who make an impact and stake a claim to a piece of our heart.

His name is Coyote. Cool name, right? He’s a cool human. I met him in Fearless where he was largely in charge. He laid the groundwork for me to start working with Zen Habits, and taught me everything I needed to know up to a point. I loved people’s expressions when I’d tell them, “I work with Coyote,” so when he told me he was leaving Zen Habits, I was devastated.

I’m still not over it.

I believe that’s the point though. Some people create a space in your heart and when they leave there’s a void. There’s no replacing Coyote, so we keep in touch. Instead of mentor and student, we get to be friends. He hosts an online meditation twice a week and I show up for at least one of them. It’s my way of honoring who he is by showing up in his life and supporting what he lays his hand and heart to.

I’d love for you to join us. He begins the guided meditation at 9:00 am central time, every Thursday and Sunday, and it lasts 20 minutes. He’s even going to host it Thanksgiving morning, and I can’t really think of a better way to express Thanksgiving than by meditating. I’ll place the details below.

Coyote [he/his] hosts a meditation Thursday and Sunday mornings at 7am Pacific, 10am Eastern, 3pm London, or 4pm CET. Join in a few minutes before this time as we start right at the hour. Here’s the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/6505206774 You can sign up for email reminders, and/or listen to previously recorded meditations here: https://coyotejackson.com/meditations/

Join us in honoring the light.

Greenlight

When driving down a straightaway it’s exhilarating when every stoplight is green. I can usually breeze right through half a dozen on green before one turns to red and calls for a stop. Once you stop, there’s a wait involved before it returns to green.

I get excited for greenlights because they mean go, and I’ve always been the type person who is sitting on go. Fall is here, we’ve turned our clocks back for daylight savings time, the holidays are upon us, and year end is right around the corner, but I’m still keeping an eye out for the greenlight.

Over the weekend I drove into town to pick up some household items, and leaving the store I decided to exit the way of a large intersection full of stoplights. As I pulled up to the intersection every light was red, so I stopped and wondered out of all the red lights, who would get to go first?

I was turning right, so it was no big deal because we can turn right on red in Texas, but this intersection was full of vehicles just waiting and hoping for their greenlight. Looking up at the stoplight in that moment I saw a green arrow dropped down in place of the red. My lane was first to go.

That’s the thing about greenlights. You don’t know it’s yours until you pull up to the red. It’ll turn green when we least expect it. Keep your eyes open for the greenlight.

Do It Now

The quote in the feature photo was sitting at the bottom of the page of my momentum plug-in. Everyday it shows some type of inspiration in big, bold letters on the page, but recently I’ve been steadying my gaze toward the quote at the bottom. It’s smaller font, but has more of an impact.

My week off was spent slowing down a little each day. By Thursday, I felt completely relaxed, yet attentive. On Wednesday my daughter told me I looked more like myself than I had in months. I took some time to ponder gift giving and my favorite type gift to give is something I’ve used and loved. It can be anything such as a candle, a book, or a chocolate bar that was more an emotional experience than a piece of chocolate should be.

I’ve been ordering small items this week with each person in mind. I don’t know if this would be considered early holiday shopping, or if you purchased your gifts months ago, but for me it’s early and feels right. I usually wait until closer to Thanksgiving, but as I Googled each item and placed it in the cart, that still small voice within was saying, ‘Do it now.’

I didn’t wait for a Black Friday sale, or combine all the gifts for free shipping, though some offered it. Each cost less than $20, but big and bold doesn’t equate to meaningful in my world. Love tends to arrive in small packages and will spread to take up every square inch it’s offered. This feels more intentional than previous years, and there’s an element of ease.

I haven’t found the ‘right’, or ‘perfect’ time for anything of worth, but in the past I’ve waited for better timing and it evolved into missed opportunity. Some believe timing is everything, and it’s celebratory when our timing aligns with a divine plan. This year is coming to a close my darling, so whatever you’re meant to do, do it now.

Gratefulness

It doesn’t take much to keep me happy, or content. Recently I noticed myself walking through the house at night barefoot and felt gratefulness. I haven’t done that in years.

My daughter and I have lived in houses nestled atop farmland. With farmland comes critters and at night a scorpion would sometimes make it’s way into the house. We learned quickly not to walk to through the house barefoot at night and carrying a flashlight was a necessity. If you saw something move across the floor, scream for assistance.

I became good at determining the various intensities of “Mom?!!!” She would stand still keeping an eye on the critter, as I retrieved a glass to sit over it. Once our heartbeats resumed normalcy, we’d devise a plan. It was a Team effort walking through the house at night, but today it’s thrilling to walk barefoot and not have to stare at the floor.

I’ve learned quite a bit about gratefulness and it doesn’t always begin as a positive impact. It doesn’t come gushing into our hearts and lives like gratitude. Gratefulness for me normally disguises itself as disappointment. When we pause in that moment and peel back the layers for a more in-depth look, we will see that in the end it was all a part of a greater plan.

Last week, a friend of mine posted a Duster style jacket on Facebook that was for sale in her shop. It caught my eye, and I gave myself the weekend to think about it, but vowed to stop by on Monday knowing I’d be in that part of town. I was excited to see the Duster and envisioned myself taking it home. When I walked into her shop, I saw the display hanging on the wall, like in the picture, but the jacket didn’t look the same. Maybe the original jacket sold because the one on display wasn’t my taste at all.

I left the store jacketless, but right alongside it came gratefulness.

All or Nothing

That’s the type person I’ve always been. Sitting here covering a blank page with thoughts, this page began as a title sitting in drafts waiting for some love.

When I was taking care of the yard this summer, I’d water all of the flowers whether they needed it or not. My daughter would look at a new plant and exclaim, “Thrive or die!” 😂 While some needed water directly, others would catch the overflow from the rain head and receive a little anyway, but with me holding the hose, there wasn’t a time where a flower received absolutely nothing.

I’ve been thinking about taking some time off from work and received the greenlight from my Team to do so next week. Friends are already asking, “What are you going to do with your week off, or what do you have planned?” My response has been, “Absolutely nothing”. I have some things in mind, but it’s mainly little things I’ve pushed aside while working.

I want to sit on my bench in front of the fire pit with a steaming cup of coffee and tend a fire. I want to drop notes in the mail to friends and have ordered some cards with each person in mind. I might give the bathroom a thorough cleaning because it’s been wiped down each week, but it needs some love. The only thing on my calendar for next week is a date with a man who I’ve put off meeting over work.

I want to find that fine line between all or nothing and sit there for a while. To quiet the mind and let my heart lead the way because the past few month’s personal lovefest has resembled nothing. That’s the thing about love my darlings. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.