As part of Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Year workbook, I wrote a list of 100 things to do in 2014. My blog has been fairly quiet lately, but that doesn’t actually mean I have been! A lot of the energy previously used for blogging has been diverted into other exciting projects on my 100 Things list. 🙂 I finished my second free gift offering for newsletter subscribers at Brigid’s Grove (if you aren’t signed up yet, fill in your email on the right hand side of the screen at the BG website and you will receive the free book within 24 hours). This freebie is a 56 page book of earth-based poetry. Most of the poems were originally published on my other blog, but there are several released only in this book (so far).
“…Medicine Woman reminds you
to sleep when you’re tired
to eat when you’re hungry
to drink when you’re thirsty
and to dance
let her bind up your wounds
apply balm to your soul
and hold you
against her shoulder
when you need to cry.
she’s ready to embrace you…”
Even more exciting from a personal perspective is that I actually finished writing my thesis. Yes, after all my many days of joking, “Oops! I didn’t write my thesis today!” I suddenly really did write it. I had more done than I thought and all I needed was some class-free, focused writing time (my spring school session ended this past Saturday) to get it to a finished position. It might be a first draft if significant revisions are requested/needed (the format is somewhat non-traditional), but I’m hopeful it might be a last draft too! I’ve been working on my D.Min since 2011. I realized last year that I had almost the right credits to do an M.Div first (since my existing master’s degree is in social work instead, I had to take a LOT of M.Div classes as part of the D.Min program), I just had to add a thesis and a couple of classes to the work I’d already done. So, I call it a “pitstop,” because I don’t really need to do it and I’m actually working on something else, but…here I go! I also found out recently that I really only have three D.Min classes and my dissertation left. I’m giving it at least another year on the dissertation though. When I started the thesis idea, I had more like eight classes left, so it seemed like further away and “might as well.” After two partial starts and two different prospectuses submitted, I switched gears again and I actually used my Earthprayer book above as the basic frame or structure for the thesis. I’d been attempting to work with a 400-page document and then I realized it was way too much. The Earthprayer book had ended up being a distillation of some basic themes from my year in the woods experiment and I thought, “ah ha! I’ve accidentally been working on my thesis without knowing it!” I developed it with articles and essays and my theory and process of theapoesis and magically I produced 84 pages and 26,000 words! (My thesis handbook says it should be 80 pages and 25,000 words. Go, me!)
I also booked an official screening of the Red Tent Movie: Things We Don’t Talk About. It will be held in Rolla on August 2nd in conjunction with Rolla Birth Network’s annual MamaFest celebration and it is the first ever screening of this film in Missouri! Before I booked it, a friend surprised me with this lovely little Red Moon painting and said it was for me to use in my eventual Red Tent. I felt motivated after getting it and booked the screening the next morning.
After doing this and apparently feeling the freedom of being off of work for the next two weeks, I took advantage of a full moon special and somewhat impulsively decided to sign up for the Chrysalis Woman circle leader program! This was on my Leonie Dawson 100 Things list with a question mark. Now, it is a question mark no more because I signed up and paid…hope it was a good idea! I’ve only downloaded the manuals and listened to the first week’s materials so far, but I really like it. It feels very thorough and comprehensive and feels like a good value for the discounted price it was being offered for. I’m still a little surprised at myself that I did it though!
I read a post from Elisabeth Esther a few days ago about being all blogged out and I realized this feels true for me too. I’ve been diverting a lot of my writing AND creating energy this year into other projects that I feel really good about and my blog-time is simply falling lower and lower on my priority list.
I also read this post from The Minimalists:
It was Henry David Thoreau who famously said, “It is not enough to be busy. The question is: what are we busy about?” And if I were to append his quandary, I’d say, “It is not enough to be busy. The question is: what are we focused on?”
You see, there is a vast delta between being busy and being focused. The former involves the typical tropes of productivity—anything to keep our hands moving, to keep going, to keep the conveyer belt in motion. It is no coincidence that we refer to mundane tasks as “busywork.” Busywork works well for factories and robots and fascism, but not so great for anyone who’s attempting to do something meaningful with their waking hours.
Being focused, on the other hand, involves attention, awareness, and intentionality. In my case, people sometimes mistake my focused time for busyness. That’s because being completely focused apes many of the same surface characteristics as being busy: namely, the majority of my time is occupied.
This helped me understand why I bristle I little bit when I am described as “busy” or people say that I’m “too busy,” or whatever little cracks people tend to make about being an “overachiever,” or whatever. While I sometimes feel too busy or overloaded or stretched too thin, etc. it doesn’t feel like busy work or “filling time,” it feels like being focused and enjoying lots of projects/being firmly and passionately devoted to quite a few things at once.