TM

Courage

There’s this place, it hides behind the trees, bushes and cobwebs of the last forgotten piece of your mind.

It comes into play at certain times in your life. It’s the cornerstone of who you are, but you’ve probably never met, made friends with or celebrated it.

It’s called “Stillness”.

Your stillness, it wants to meet you, but your relationships, jobs and life burden you with attention.

Their attention means more to you than stillness and quietude. Quietude, that’s a word I saw recently and didn’t actually know its meaning.

When I researched the word, I found its meaning was something I’d been embracing in my life for the last year and half.

I’ve done this a few ways:

  • Daily Meditation
  • Removing obstacles that impeded my dreams
  • Removing negativity as much as possible
  • Writing as much as humanly possible
  • Leaving a job that sapped my energy

After doing all of the things I listed above, and some I continue to do, I’ve seen the Quietude fill my life and those I hold dear.

I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes using the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique of meditation.

I hadn’t done any of these things prior to beginning TM and I feel it is the reason I’ve been able to accomplish these things.

It has centered me, stripped away who I used to be and has given me the courage to not care what people think about me, nor care whether they care at all.

I’ve begun to live the life I’ve always wanted and because of it I’m happier, feel more fulfilled and understand the meaning of the words clarity and quietude.

I have clarity of mind, spirit and soul and quietude gives me the opportunity to see who I could be in the future.

Without TM I never would have had the courage to do any of these things.

Bri

Being happy is of the utmost importance. Success in anything is through happiness. ~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Happiness is defined in many different ways. Each one of us defines happiness as something particular to ourselves and who we believe we are.

But, it’s only when we find true happiness we truly understand its meaning.

Our modern lives are filled with Starbucks, Wal-Mart’s and Target’s.

Some of us define happiness as that first taste of coffee in the morning. We only view it as such because we’ve never seen true happiness or we’ve seen “glimpses” of happiness.

Through our lives we see glimpses or fleeting moments of happiness, the birth of a child, our wedding day. These are only glimpses of true happiness. We don’t think about the moments which come after, and if we do we believe there will be bliss as there was in those moments.

We rarely think about the times when our child will be a teenager and we want to strangle them, or when our partner does something to upset the relationship.

The glimpses of happiness give us a perception of that exists only for that moment, but when we see everything later in our lives we may see how naive we were at that moment or how young we were in our thinking or maybe physically.

Happiness is defined as the moment you feel alive. The moment you’re happier than you’ve ever been and though the glimpse of true happiness is stuck in the moment, what would you do to attain true happiness?

To reach for that cup of coffee and it no longer has that wonderful taste, but everywhere around you things are brighter, you notice your wife’s smile in a way you never had before or you sit in the car singing with your daughter because she wants to.

Society defines happiness by monetary means, can you buy this car or that house, but remember you can’t take those with you.

Happiness is something else, it makes you think about the way you treat people, the way you look at the world and possibly, and more importantly, how you view yourself.

We walk through our lives looking for happiness. We strive for it every day. We yearn for the feeling of satisfaction in our lives, but there’s always something missing in the equation, something small, something we’ve overlooked…ourselves.

Happiness can’t be gained by monetary means, it can’t be bought, and most importantly, we must look inside ourselves and see who we are to discover true happiness.

We must look at the life we’ve led, the actions we take and the way we run our lives in order to find happiness.

The glimpse of happiness is only that, a small look.

I’ll be honest, when I first looked at myself after beginning Transcendental Meditation, I didn’t like the person I was.

I talked down to my wife and kids, and I didn’t know who I was or what I was put here for.

After the first week of TM I sat down with my wife, apologized for the person I’d been and asked her for forgiveness and if we could keep going.

She looked at me as if I had something growing from my skull. It was that look that made me understand all the pain I’d put her through and all the things I’d have to make up for.

The one thing I discovered about the relationship I’d had with my wife before TM is that she loved me more than I loved her, and I’m trying to make up for that.

Today I still feel she cares more for me than I care for her, but I’m trying to be a better man for her and for our kids.

Realizing you’re not who you believed takes you out of your comfort zone and makes you look at yourself in ways you’d never do without help.

Today, I’m the happiest I’ve been in my life. My wife loves me, my kids are monkeys climbing over me whenever they get the opportunity and my family is proud of the man I’ve become in the past year.

There’s more important things than those you love being proud of you, being proud of yourself matters more, and today, after all that has happened, I’m proud of who I am now and the only person I need to approve of my life is the one typing this. He’s the only person whose happiness matters at the end.

There is nothing that can change the way I acted before TM, but TM has taught me that every day is a blessing and that every breath and every choice we make creates a better world for ourselves and those around us.

I choose to live in the moment of now and live in the life I have not one that can be bought, because honestly, happiness is never bought, it’s earned through pain, hardship and stress and at the end of our lives we can look at the people we’ve made happy and those are the people who love us.

It’s only after nearly losing everything I found true happiness.

A soft flurry, like shredded tissue paper from God’s hands fell around me.

I watched the three of them play, one snowball, another.

Their laughter and smiles infectious as they struggled to stay upright on the damp grass.

I stood at the top of the hill, a smile from ear to ear as I watched my wife and kids play and I wondered, “how many of these moments have I missed?”

When I think about the selfish person I was a year ago (and I’m not referring to suicide). I wonder about the times days like the snowballs and laughter happened, but I was too busy worrying about myself?

I could have done more for my wife and kids, I see that now, but then, I couldn’t see anything but my own ambition and ego.

Ambition which had led me astray, ego which had nearly killed my marriage, but now that I’m better and see who I was, I think about moments, small moments that I may have missed because I wasn’t paying attention to the “moment’.

But what thing stands out among everything. The person I was missed some awesome things, things which I’ll never get back, but I’m trying.

I look at my children playing, my son tearing it up on video games, my daughter and her Palace Pets, and I broke a promise to them, one I’ve been working to repair.

For my wife, whose trust and love I often took for granted, I try to make new moments for us. Moments only we know about, whether it’s laughter about me acting out something that happened at work, or doing one of the numerous voices I’m able to do, I’ve begun to find myself in the ego I once held sacred.

I look for ways to make up for the person I was, whether that’s my son telling me about school, showing me the details of his new Lego collection, or my daughter explaining the intricacies of which Palace Pet belongs to which Disney Princess.

I listen more to them now. My wife, I truly hear her. I don’t judge her as I once did. I take notice of her more and that’s the one thing I’ve noticed about TM and who I am now, I find myself more in love with my wife than I believe I’ve ever been.

I see the way she fixes her hair to try to hide the grey and the way she looks at me as if I were an alien when I respond to a question in a way my former self wouldn’t have.

I see all these things about my family, and to think, I’m different because of 20 minutes twice a day. That’s all I’ve changed.

Each day we’re stuck living someone else’s dream.

We go to a job where oftentimes, we’re creating something for someone else, because it pays the bills.

What if we decided to live our dream, pay the bills and still keep people happy?

This was something I thought about the other day when I was writing.

I work a day job, which I had considered my main job, obviously neglecting my writing and anything creative in the process.

That was until this past week, when I was struck with something, I’m not a writer. I’m pretending to be a writer.

What I realized in that “moment of clarity” is that I’ve been looking at my writing as a second job, sure it doesn’t pay the bills right now, but as long as I treat my writing as the second job and not the first, it will always suffer.

In this realization I thought, “Damn, if I think this way, others do as well.”

What do we do about it?

We rethink our creative side, redo the way we look at our day and come up with ways to put our creative efforts first, and other things second.

I say this as a husband and father, “If your creative side isn’t in first place, it will never win.

I have obligations, it’s not like I’m going to quit my day job, not right now. I see the time coming when that will happen, but it’s not right now.

The thing is, we all have things we want to do, but we put them in second place out of fear, shame or other reasons.

Fear of rejection, fear of someone not understanding and the fear of failure. And shame, damn, shame is the worst. When we look at the things we’ve failed at there could be a big list, and because we failed at those the shame and fear of it happening again makes us not want to try, not want to do it again.

But, when we come to the realization, as I did, that what we wake up for in the morning should be first. That the thing we want to do most in our life should be first, then, and only then will we discover the will to do it.

I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be hard. There will be people who say you can’t do it, there will be that damn voice in your head and when the voice in your head talks, tell it to F off.

The only way you’re going to do what you want with your life is to put your creative pursuits first and anything else second.

We live someone else’s dream every day, isn’t it about time we live our dream?

I’m discovering I wasn’t who I thought I was.

When we reach a certain point in our lives, we find that the person we believe ourselves to be, isn’t the one everyone else sees. This is either by accident or design.

I’ve always thought of myself as shy, reserved, but in my family life that’s not how I was.

During my time with TM, I’ve discovered I’m not the person I thought I was, I was much worse.

I believed myself to be a good husband, father and son, though quite a few times it has been the opposite.

I’d been demanding, belittling and sometimes cruel. I write this because I’m doing my best to be better in all the roles I listed above.

A few weeks after I started doing TM I had a self-realization moment.

I watched myself, how I acted towards my wife, kids and parents, and I didn’t like what I saw.

I’ve put up this facade of who I was, what my family life was like and it’s time to tear it down.

I no longer want to be the person who tells stories about his life, I want to write stories about others lives.

Growing up lies were told to me many times about many things, and I’ve found myself doing that to people I care about, not because it was planned, but because it was something I took as normal and in truth, if you love someone you don’t lie to them.

The lies I was told as a kid grew to shape who I am, and what I believed, but in shaping me they’ve allowed me to create this facade and build a wall around myself which I thought protected me from being hurt by others, which was a constant as a child.

My self-realization moment happened and I sat down with my wife, apologized for the man I’d been and promised that I would be a better man, it was a true awakening moment.

When I realized the things I was doing, I was overcome with emotion and had to think about all the things I’d done to people. It was as close as I can get to make amends for the things I’ve done in my life and the way I’ve hurt people.

That I’ve caused pain to my wife, who’s stood by me through everything and put up with my attitude and being an ass, shows how much she cares for me.

I realized that my wife is the best thing to happen to me. She’s never judged me, or anything I’ve done. She’s loved me for who I am and ignored or tolerated the person I was.

I find myself in a new place, devoid of having people who only want me around for their own means and I’m learning that I have more control of things and who I’ll be in the future than I thought possible.

I say these words often to myself, but they ring true every time. Our life is our own, how we deal with it defines who we are to ourselves and others. Who we choose to be is under our control and no one can tell us who we are but ourselves.

 

Our life, our writing and who we are come together often. Sometimes we discover those who help us need help more than we do.

Each day I wake up, meditate, kiss my kids before they go to school and I always tell my wife I love her

The last part has many reasons, the biggest being how much she’s saved me in the 16 years we’ve been together.

When we first met, I thought she was something she wasn’t and she thought I was a kid who had a few issues.

The more we got to know each other, and when we started dating, I discovered she was as broken as I was and that together we became one whole person.

Tomorrow we celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary and she’s done more to help me find myself than anyone who’s ever been in my life.

She’s never questioned my motives, never told me I shouldn’t follow my heart and gave me the wonderful kids we have.

She’s my editor when I need help, my confidant when I need counseling, and she always believes I can write better than what I wrote before.

I see more of myself in her every day and I since starting TM I’ve begun to understand why we’re still together and why we need each other.

She’s the best part of who I am and I’d never have the courage to write anything without her love and trust.

I see now that I’m better than I was, but I’ll always be better with her in my life than I could have been had we not met and helped each other when we needed it most.

I find comfort in her by my side and I know I’ve found the person who makes me better.

Moon in the sky

Standing in the middle of the room, to my left are people milling about waiting for “him” to come on. On my right are people reading books, one particular book, my book.

I sit down, my hat pulled low across my head, hiding my eyes behind sunglasses, because they give me away every time.

My phone buzzes for an incoming text message.

Agent: Where are you?

Me: Milling about with my fans, why, where are you?

Agent: I’m trying to keep the people backstage under control. They think you’re not going to show. They’re going crazy. They got the food you asked for and the tea. They want you to come backstage.

Me: Alright, I’m on my way.

I exit through the front door–my fans never noticing I’d been sitting next to them–make my way to the rear entrance.

A large man who looks as if he worked for the mafia guards the door.

Mafia guy: They’re waiting for you.

He says in a very strong Scottish accent, which I wasn’t prepared for, open my phone–wondering whether I’m in the right place–look at Google maps and think it’s broken until my agent comes out.

Agent: B, where have you been? They’re losing their minds in here.

Me: It’s fine. I’ll start in a couple of minutes and everything will be alright.

Agent: Very well, I’ll tell them you’re here and that they should start getting the stage ready for your speech.

Me: Thanks. I’m going to use the restroom first.

Agent: Whatever, just be ready to go onstage.

#

The previous story is how I imagine my first signing going, though I haven’t written a published work, I do write every day, and not just blog stuff.

When I think about the writer I am and the things I think about when I’m published it always comes down to this scenario, I’m not sure why.

I’m sure other unpublished writers think about their first foray into signing, readings and speeches, but lately that’s not been on my mind, I’ve just been writing.

When you sit down to just write your mind goes through processes of trying to figure out whether what you’re writing is any good, but that happens when you’ve taken the next day to read through what you’ve read, though I try not to this always happens.

As I write every day, a lot of my thoughts are on the characters I’m writing at the moment and not what comes next.

I write the first draft just full-blown, the second draft starts after my first read-through when I get an idea about what the story is about, who my MC is and what will happen when I clean everything up when I do an outline, which is what comes after my read-through.

I only start the second draft after I understand what’s going on, and why. After my characters are thoroughly in my head, and not leaving there. I set out to discover what my characters are truly like, but thinking like them, talking like them–which is often fun but can scare my kids–and making choices the way they would.

After all this is finished and I have a better idea of things, I start the second draft, it wasn’t always like this.

When I decided to write a novel, I’d start then stop, just to get the opening right. I’ve written two books in ten years and I’ve recently had my eyes opened to a different way of doing things.

This eye-opening wasn’t just induced by meditation, but by reading more subjects and listening to books on tape. Listening to books on tape by a great narrator can help you understand dialogue better.

When I found myself reading books just to see where the story originated or where the MC first chose their path.

These little things have changed the way I write, the way I rewrite and how I perform my day job as well.

Keeping track of the small changes in your writing makes a huge difference in how well you understand your writing and how much you understand your characters and what they want in the story.

On a side not to this post. I’ll be giving away three books the end of September. Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch, On Writing by Stephen King and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. These books have helped me either learn about TM or helped me with my writing and I’ll be giving them away.

I’ll do this on my last post of the month, so you have plenty of time to get your entry in. Either comment on the blog, share on Twitter with the hashtag #delusionsofink. Share on Facebook and tag the blog. Here is a link to the blog’s Facebook page, the link for my Twitter profile is here.

Thanks for enjoying the blog and good luck.