Tag Archives: spokane

The Artist’s Way: Week 5

6 Nov

Chapter six, Recovering a Sense of Possibility, was all about learning what we want and how we limit ourselves.  I found it the most interesting and approachable chapter thus far.

The Basics

Morning Pages: 7/7

Artist’s Date: Super hard this week; I could not relax and I did not feel terribly creative.  I finally just watched Battlestar Galactica in the bath.  It was more passive than creative, but it was some nice, quiet time with myself.

Tasks: This week I did the majority of the tasks.  I love making lists and this week was all about lists designed to give me a little insight into what I want and what I can do.

  • 5 Things I Would Do If It Weren’t Too Crazy
  • 5 Things I Would Do If It Weren’t Too Selfish
  • 10 Things I Love That I Am Not Allowed To Do
  • 19 Wishes
  • 5 Grievances I Have With God
  • 5 Things My Wealth, 65-year-old Self Will Do
  • 10 Ways I Am Mean To Myself
  • 10 Items I Would Like To Own

Affirmations

  • I can do this.
  • Progress, not perfection.
  • I am focused and disciplined.
  • I have a beautiful, healthy body.
  • I deserve the wealth of the universe; I return it with joy and enthusiasm.

What I Learned

I’m starting to see that my problems are very basic in nature: Fear of deviating from that core story poverty mentality is huge for me.  I still see life as a zero-sum game, so if I have something good now, that means I can’t have it later.  Next week we work on recovering a sense of abundance, something I think will be very helpful for me.

* * *

I found it illuminating to look at the things I don’t do out of fear of selfishness.  Are these things really selfish?  What does it mean to be selfish?

If it weren’t too selfish, I would…

  1. Get the hell out of Spokane today.
  2. Buy nice clothes.
  3. Resume my annual trip to my favorite music festival.
  4. Let go of the friends who rarely put effort into our friendship.
  5. Spend more time, money, and attention on my appearance.

What are your selfish desires?

Core Story: Religion

1 Nov

St. John's Cathedral, Spokane, WARecently I’ve been thinking about how faith has shaped my core story.

I grew up Catholic, but around the age of nine, I began questioning that and soon rejected it on feminist grounds.  (Seriously.)  In high school I began to do some reading on Wicca and paganism, which had an appeal, but a lot of what I was reading was historically and scientifically inaccurate, so that didn’t take either.

Later I identified as an atheist, but I’m not.  I might not believe in the Judeo-Christian god, and I might have problems with the idea of a variety of rather specific gods and goddesses to choose from, but I do have faith that there is something larger than myself, and something worth a bit of reverence.

Last year I tried going to Quaker meeting (the unprogrammed version) and I enjoyed it.  It was an hour each week to sit in contemplative silence, giving attention to faith and waiting for something to speak to me.  I’ll probably continue that in the future, but it’s not a practical choice for me here in Spokane.  It allowed for me to be agnostic, but still actively interested, which I appreciated.  (Several members of that particular meeting were Christ focused, but no one felt moved to evangelize.)

Looking back, faith has always been a part of my core story.  I remember having endless discussions with my more devout friends, and even going to church with them purely out of (respectful) curiosity.  It’s always been an interest and right now it’s an interest I would like to pursue.  I don’t need answers, but I would like to have room for both faith and doubt in my life.  I would like to find a way to satisfy my appreciation of science and fact while still giving attention to my faith in the as yet unknown.

* * *

If you’re comfortable, please tell me about your faith or lack thereof.  I am always very interested in how people feel about this subject, so I would love to hear your thoughts.  Also, if you have any relevant books (besides obvious choices such as the Bible) that made an impression on you, I would appreciate the recommendation.

People, Places, Things

27 Oct

PerfectI’ve been thinking about the environment I want to live in this week; moving to Spokane has made me aware of how important my living environment is, beyond my immediate home.

During my last trip home to rural Michigan I saw deer, coyotes, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, possums, porcupines, turtles, turkeys, and hawks.  There are a dozen lakes and two rivers within ten miles of where I grew up.  My community was small but close-knit.  Even now, years after moving away, I’m still welcomed with genuine affection every time I come back to visit.

When I lived in Tahoe I commuted 40 minutes each way in the winter; it didn’t matter how overworked, tired, or stressed I felt, I always enjoyed that drive.  Who wouldn’t?  I drove past Lake Tahoe, through picturesque mountain towns, and up to the breath-taking Donner Summit to go ski.  All of those gorgeous things were just part of my trip to work, part of my environment.  The people I met were usually interesting; everyone was pursuing some ambition.  My passion for skiing meant I fit in.

My brief stint in Reno was pleasant.  I could see Mt. Rose in the distance (but not too distant) and the Truckee River ran right through downtown.  At night the strip was a blur of neon and tourists.  Between the casinos and the high unemployment, there were a lot of desperate people, but I still felt safe walking alone.  I felt like I could be every part of myself there, without having to explain anything to anyone.

I haven’t found much to appreciate in Spokane.  The fall colors are nice, but that’s temporary.  The people I meet seem far more settled than I want to be.  People my age are married and own houses.  Good or bad, they have careers.  No one seems to be trying anything new, or deviating from the American dream if they can help it.  My wanderlust makes me an oddity, so I’ve stopped sharing much personal information.  I don’t belong here.

I think I have a lot to learn about the type of environment I want to live in.  I don’t think it’s the geography that matters (as long as I can ski), or the population density.  Instead, I think I want to live somewhere where there are interesting, ambitious people.  People who are eager to try new things, who like to experiment.  The people I surround myself with change my core story.

I plan to move  to Los Angeles this spring.  I’ve never lived anywhere like it, and I’m very interested to learn how I feel about that environment.  Will I find it challenging and stimulating?  Or will it feel too busy and overwhelming?  What will I learn there?

* * *

What makes an environment home for you?  Is it the people?  Is the setting enough?  Do you consider other things entirely?

Choosing to be a Wage Slave

25 Oct

One of the reasons I’m working on my core story is because I’ve never had a good job.  (Aside from teaching skiing, but working five months a year is not practical.)  I have some preconceived ideas about the type of jobs I can get and how I can be compensated for my work, and it’s well past time to get some better ideas.

I’m trying to create a career for myself, something that bring in the kind of money I want to make while providing me with interesting and challenging work.  I’m starting to get a sense of direction in all of this, so I’ve decided to keep my current wage-slave position.

Let me explain.  My current job doesn’t pay very well, I’m not learning much, and I routinely feel taken advantage of.  However, the hours and schedule are consistent, something I’ve rarely had in the past.  That consistency is allowing me to schedule time to work on my own projects, to make an effort toward creating a career.

I’ve spent the past month applying for a better job, but I don’t think that’s the best use of my time.  Looking for a new job is a short-term goal — I only plan to be in Spokane for another five months; spending time on the skills and portfolio that will help me create a career will help me achieve my long-term goals.

I’m having a hard time settling for this job, but I think I’ll be very happy I had the discipline to stay focused on the long-term when I’m looking for a new job in five months.  I can do this.

* * *

How do you prioritize between long-term goals and short-term goals?

Wonderful Spokane?

30 Jul
Spokane river as it flows passed Canada Island...

Image via Wikipedia

I just read through all of my Reverb10 posts.  A few of them are still very relevant, perhaps even more so now than ever.  Moving to Spokane, away from the awe-inspiring Sierra Nevadas, has decreased my sense of wonder dramatically.  To be honest, I routinely hate it here.  It’s a nice place, with nice people, and I’m getting that Biggest Little City in the World vibe (without the vice) that I so enjoy.  Unfortunately there’s nothing here that just takes my breath away the way Tahoe did.

I’m not sure Spokane is the place to capture the thrill of living, but I’m here for the next year.  I think the best way to embrace the situation is to spend time working on me and to experience a sense of wonder in my own accomplishments.  Maybe I need to be here so I can change my core story.

One thing that will help, is to take more risks.  I need to push myself in new ways, and I can’t let habit and security hold me back.  Living in Spokane is one of the safest choices I could have made; now I need to create my own adventures.

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