Finding Passion and Freedom in All Forms

I go through long phases of hard-core dedication to blogging. Schedules work for a while, but then I just want to rebel.

I have a different perspective on what I want this place to be. I don’t want to make it completely about advice or inspiration from a “Do this” sort of perspective.

I want it more to be about how I am going about living my life and living in a way that is free, passionate, and bold.

Share how I’m doing it. How I’m making my way through muck and bullshit and money problems and still paving a way, in whatever way I can dream up.

Yeah I’ll still write some inspirational stuff, too, but not because I have a weekly schedule, but because I really feel like writing it.

You know? I don’t like anything to feel forced. Feeling forced feels disgusting. Forced, or fake, or whatever – no. I believe in everything I say and suggest, but I don’t want to plop myself down and say “Okay inspire people.”
People will be inspired or not – it’s not something I can predict.

I’d rather people be inspired by what I do – not what I say.

And sometimes, honestly, I want to lie around and read. I want to go for a dip in the lake. I want to laugh at stupid videos. Sometimes I just want to daydream, or float in the river, or draw elaborate drawings while listening to music or podcasts.

For the last few months I have been overwhelming myself with information, and while I love doing that I eventually need some time to EMPTY myself. I get too full. I need space. And so, while I am dedicated, I can only do that for so long before I need a break to actually integrate that info and then make room for new stuff.

If we get too full of outside information, it doesn’t leave room for our own thoughts and ideas. And that’s where I am at right now. The emptying phase. The time where I cultivate. And the ideas and creativity are alarming. I can’t keep up. I write it all down and want to do it all. It’s crazy – and so much of me is like AGHHH because I just like to chill out in nature and read books. I’m easy to please. I want to eat delicious plant food and write.  I want to go on road trips and dip into swimming holes and go surfing on the coast.

That’s all I really want. Freedom.

Freedom is my #1, it’s my only real goal in life. To do whatever I want – because this is how we are meant to be. We aren’t meant to be tied to anything, we aren’t meant to slave away and grind.
And so this blog is going to be about passion, yes, but really, it’s about finding freedom in all forms.

Lovingly,

Lorra

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Consume or Create?

“The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.” Steven Pressfield: The War of Art (this is essential reading).

How much of your time is spent on the consumption of others’ creativity?

I have noticed for a while that I am so inspired by the beautiful creations and visions of others, that I spend the majority of my time watching or reading or being immersed in THEIR worlds instead of creating my own.

I don’t think this is a rare phenomenon. In fact, I think almost everyone is like this. And I want to be the opposite.

I want the majority of my time to be creating. I want to be a CREATOR. And not just for the sake of ME. I want to create community and connections and growth and beauty so that there is a boom of magnificence. If we all create and support one another in our visions, we are going to be much happier people.

Here’s the thing – I don’t want to stop enjoying the work of other people, obviously. I just don’t want to have it take up the bulk of my time. And this is difficult since I am a person interested in so, so many things. This is why I wrote out my ultimate purposes – this helps me focus when I get sucked in by other little interests that don’t serve me long-term.

I think you likely know your ultimate purposes, and when you do, and you keep this in the forefront of your mind, you can decide what is actually worth your time and what is not.

There are also so many amazing people out there to be inspired by and gain knowledge and guidance from – so many – so how do you choose? Well, you need to choose or you are going to be sucked up too much in other peoples’ worlds and never be in your own enough, in your own space where you create your OWN world to share with others. You may be the inspiration or leader that someone else needs to look up to in order for them to come out of THEIR shell.

And so, I look at all the people who interest me and inspire me, and I realize that I need to choose who I REALLY want to learn from. Who speaks to me on a soul level?

Who is just frivolous fun (which is fine, if that’s what speaks to your soul), and who do I feel I really mesh with, who would totally understand me like a soul sister or a soul brother? Who I understand, even if I don’t know them (yet)? Those are my people. Those are the people who I want to support most, who I want to learn from, and those are the people that I want to spend my precious time on, because the rest is for ME, my world, my family, my causes, my friends, my most cherished activities.

The search for endless inspiration is a distraction from doing our own work. We don’t believe in ourselves enough to go ahead with it – we seek the constant guidance of others instead of letting what is inside us come out naturally, without any coaxing at all. We just have to sit down, work, and let it manifest on its own.

Everything that you CHOOSE should be aligned with your highest purposes in some way. Even if you have a day job – make sure it aligns SOMEHOW with your deepest and most intense desires, because then your life will always satisfy you, or at least the majority of the time.

Seek  long-term gratification instead of short-term entertainment so you feel warm and accomplished, instead of hollow and anxious. I think so many of our addictions and neuroses could be cured just by simply expressing ourselves without fear and without caution. Instead, we must simply become vessels for our muses – to speak to the rest of humanity through our words, images, and actions.

~~~

Image above from Vali Myers personal journals.

Beauty Amongst Chaos

There are days where I just feel flat.

I don’t mean chest-wise (cuz I don’t care) – but just…blargh.

I’ve had a lifetime of teeth issues, and no matter what I eat, I will continue to have issues because of the bombardment my teeth have taken over my life. So I won’t blame fruit, or raw – actually they improved going raw, so there.

Anyway, it was a few weeks of dental appointments, and today I just had enough. I got into a “why me?” mode and said eff it to everything and just binged on kale chips (could be worse…) and sat around watching Sailor Moon and Game of Thrones.

Not really my style. I tend to be a doer, EVEN if I am watching something, I am working on a project of some sort (like my zine that has taken me years – it’s almost done).

Eh, anyway, my point is that even though I get this way at times, I know it’s not going to last. Usually I am upbeat + positive and in a pretty lofty state.

Ever hear that idea that people are afraid of their own power, and that they are more afraid of success than failure? I think I am in that state.

I have this series of books in my head, these amazing characters that I think about all the bloody time – and the idea of writing them scares the crap out of me, because I know they would be epic, and the length and time and care I would need to take in order for them to live up to what I’ve concocted is absolutely daunting.

I have to do it, though. I think about writing sprees all week, when I am working – I feel like when I get home I need to just hunker down and write. But then I get distracted by something – this is the downside of being so fascinated by everything – I am what Barbara Sher calls a “scanner – though I do get in states of obsession. When I finally enter that state, I am unstoppable.

I can be obsessed with many things at once – and I get so flustered and baffled at how to do it all that I am overwhelmed, and just end up reading or something. Often I act. This is why I am so in need of work that allows me to be free of a schedule – when not at a typical job, I am constantly working on projects – I don’t feel restrained by time, and so things flow so much more easily. This work needs to be writing! And so, I write, as always. Either here, on paper, fiction, memoirs, letters, little comics, zines, lists – anything. It is constant.

More often in winter is when I get flustered,  from a lack of sunlight and lowered spirits. I know how to combat this now and it is why I have continued with this blog instead of giving up like I have in previous years. I just push, now. I think to myself, “Who the hell cares what anyone else thinks? It doesn’t matter if you feel like poo – write about feeling like poo. Do it anyway, any sort of criticism won’t matter tomorrow, or in the grand scheme of things. None of this matters” – and it really doesn’t. One day, everything anyone has ever created will be gone. We will all die. Humanity will disappear. That does not mean that we should not still procreate and make beautiful songs and books and it does not mean we should not treat one another and ourselves and other creatures with immense kindness and respect. And so I say what I want, and I want others to believe in themselves, too.

We are all really good at something, and anything we love, we can do.

I have always envied the people who can obsess over one thing – they tend to be the most amazing, shining examples, the inspiring ones. But there are others who are great at many things and those are the ones I relate to. When I am really into something, I stick to it, too. I have always stuck with writing, drawing, and within the last few years, healthy eating. If I still lived near waves, I would have stuck with surfing – man, do I miss it.

When it comes down to it, the whole reason I want to be healthy is so I can continue to have the energy and confidence (and happiness) to continue, because otherwise, I will just look at the world and think “Why fucking BOTHER?”

But I know why I bother – because this is reality. We are alive, we’re here now, we might as well enjoy the beauty amongst the chaos. There can never be enough beauty.

~~

“Sometimes I get a little sad, and I feel like being alone. Then I talk to my cat about it, and he reminds me I’m James Franco. Then we dance.” — James Franco

The Beauty of Words

I was lazily dreamy the other day, thinking as usual about my life – this is a constant musing for me – how to make my life better, more exciting, more meaningful.

It’s daunting – there is a strong dichotomy in me – the one side being the free, joyous vagabond, and the other being the hard-working, focused, serious activist.

A balance between these two is difficult – it’s hard to be enamoured with beauty at all times when there are horrors aplenty around – and I don’t want to ignore them. So how do I choose?

I try to remain an optimist, but there are times when I just feel there is no hope for the world.

So during my lazing in bed that morning, I thought – “How can I make the most of my life while still doing something worthwhile for other people? AND stay happy?”

I thought about what made life beautiful for me, and what I realized was it was words – they may be fictional or not, but they have the power to do so much – distract, inspire, teach. Almost all my passions came about because of something I read, at some point. They may get me to notice something out there that I never would have seen or appreciated, or they may delight me enough to try something new, or they may spark other passions I never would have dreamed of.

I’ve had a love of writing and memoir and fiction since I was a tiny child – I spent hours as a kid writing at the typewriter, and hours as a teenager in the computer lab at school. I would sometimes stay until 9pm when the school closed completely, because I had nothing at home to use.  When I  was in grade 8 I started my first novel, of which I hand-wrote 130 or so pages, and let my friends read. I’ve written many zines, and several short stories, one of which was edited by favourite writer at the time (Storm Constantine) and featured on her webzine.

The only consistent thing I’ve ever wanted to be is a writer (as well as a surfer). Sometimes it seems like such an unimportant goal in the grand scheme of things  (plus everyone seems to want to write something and call themselves an author) – but this world needs more beauty. Especially coming from individual people – there is so much acid and bile and wastefulness from the majority – to spread beauty through passion is of utmost importance!

And so I decided to dedicate myself to this pursuit of beauty. To immerse myself in it. The same importance can be put on music, art, film – but it should be a singular, intense passion, or the work will not be inspiring. Anything can be of inspiration if there is insane dedication and bliss behind it.

What is your obsessive passion? I want to know. Do you spend the majority of your day doing that? I must spend my days writing and reading, or I become increasingly unhappy – this is clearer to me all the time. My clarity increases the healthier I am, but unless I am focused on the things that fill my soul, health is a dead end. It would be like traveling to a faraway place, only to get there and say, “Okay, time to go back” instead of enjoying the result of arrival. Doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile, but better to enjoy the outcome as much as possible!

The more I write, the more I love it. The more I read, the more I want to read. It’s constant inspiration. It’s necessary. And so people need constant beauty around them to remind them that life IS worth living, if only for the splendor of their surroundings, the creations of others, and the hope that may trickle through them as a result. Without hope and beauty, we’re doomed.

~

For some great writing books these are the ones I recommend.