If I were to ask you about your expectations for yourself, my guess is your expectations are quite high. I know my expectations are high.
High Expectations can wreak havoc on your self worth.
Even now, when I am here in Flagstaff with my Mom serving as caretaker, I have had high expectations. This morning I realized my schedule right now is a lot like it was when my children were young. My schedule is not about what I would most like to do, it is about what my mother’s needs are – and my schedule will be molded around her schedule.
Because of this, I have lowered my expectations about how many hours I can work on my writing and my business right now. I am in the midst of studying how I am investing my daily time over this week and then in future weeks, I can plan accordingly.
Almost magic: set aside a time that works – a very short amount of time
I have also discovered I fare better no matter what when I set aside time for writing, even a small set aside-time rather than left over time. For me that comes in early morning and late at night.
The most important part of writing is to show up at the keyboard or notebook or screen and string together words.
Sometimes your words won’t be good at all.
Poet Mary Oliver wasn’t always perfect with her writing, either?
This morning I listened to an interview of Mary Oliver on the “On Being” podcast. She said many of her poems get thrown away almost immediately. This made me feel such a sense of relief! Mary Oliver sometimes wrote badly?
After winning many awards including the Pulitzer and being one of the top selling 20th Century American poets, the fact she continued to throw some of her writing away gave me peace and reminded me – my expectations are better served in the time I show up rather than the results of the writing.
Where Meditative Writing & Lowered Expectations Meet
There are three distinctive ways to keep yourself in a meditative state of mind as you write instead of a judgmental, closed state of mind.
- Celebrate the fact you showed up to write rather than the results of your showing up. Witness the pleasure of the practice.
- Praise your efforts rather than your outcomes. Rejoice in the perfectly imperfect.
- Shine a light on the lessons learned instead of your lessons missed, lost or unnoticed. This is a space of love and possibilities.
We write meditatively when we pay attention to our breath, our body and our surroundings – while paradoxically letting go of everything except the writing itself.
Inhale: set your intention
Exhale: pick up your writing tool
Inhale: Start and continue your writing.
On the way to writing this article, I researched negativity bias and how that impacts the creative process. Is this a subject that would interest you?
Please let me know in the comments.
Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world. She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet and workshop facilitator whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people’s creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in soon!
To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session, call or text her at 661.444.2735