Immersion

I have been reading a lot lately about the concept of immersion in relation to creative non-fiction writing. You find a subject of interest and then immerse yourself in that culture/trade/way of life, whatever it may be. In memoir style writing, YOU ARE the subject. You are essentially immersing yourself in your own life. Not in a “head in the sand” type of way (unaware of what’s going on in the world surrounding you, or uninterested, caring only for yourself). Rather, in this refreshing, self-enlightened kind of way, albeit incredibly vulnerable at times. You learn what made you, what moves you…tapping into memories, emotions, hesitations, and ambitions that shape you in one way or another.

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When you lose someone close to you suddenly, you begin to think about all of the lingering questions you wish you would have asked them and the stories that were yet to be told. That was, in part, the reason for me to begin writing…the realization that there were many adventures and tales unique to my Father that died with him. Narratives I will never be privy to. I decided I didn’t want the same to be true of myself. And then, as if to cement that way of thinking, I came across the following piece of advice: “Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that – but you are the only you.” – Neil Gaiman.

One definition of immersion is “deep mental involvement”. In a world that’s become obsessed with being “involved” in the lives of others (even those they’ve never met), the idea of developing a deep mental involvement in my own life, an awakened consciousness, is a concept I’ve welcomed with open arms. Something I truly hope sticks with me through the remainder of my life, whether that life includes a future in writing or not. It’s something I want my children to observe and to learn because what this world lacks greatly, is compassion. And I believe compassion cannot be shown without understanding, and understanding can’t be achieved without consciousness and recognition. We understand others when we can relate in some way, either with feelings or experiences, aspects of ourselves that we must learn to be in tune with if we wish to tap into them for the better good.

To write about something, actually, to write WELL about something, one must have a level of interest that mirrors passion. I have, through this process, become  increasingly passionate about my life…how, where, and with whom I spend it, and most importantly, how I view it. As my immersion deepens, I have found the following state of being to be less and less elusive:

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And that is what I wish for anyone that is reading this. Now, and for the coming New Year.

 

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Wordless Wednesday

The tranquility of nature….

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North Lake Tahoe, October 2015

 

*Side Note* So apparently I stick to a challenge about as good as I stick to a diet (haha). Totally failed with the third day of the quote challenge! Got super busy with work then took some time off for the holiday and to accomplish some projects around my home (which I actually succeeded at), to make my life a bit more organized/put together. I missed reading all of your posts and connecting with you, but definitely needed the little break from electronics that I was afforded. Hope everyone enjoyed time with their loved ones last week and I’m hoping to catch up on what I’ve missed from all of you talented people!

3 Day Quote Challenge – Day 2 

We’re half way through the week! And I’m here to share my quote for day 2…


I love these words because they are a reminder to me of how much personal growth I’ve achieved in the past year. It’s been said, until you learn how to have a healthy relationship with yourself, you’ll never be able to build healthy relationships with others. I’ve learned that you can’t rely on others to support you, or believe in you, or lead you in the direction you need to be going in life. You have to learn what’s best for you, what fulfills you in life, then act on it, whether other people are on the same page as you or not.Writing is a perfect example. You could spend hours pouring your heart out on paper, and you might very well be the only person that reads it or appreciates it. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t accomplish something. The more we focus on doing things simply because they’re good for us or they make us happy, rather than for instant gratification or attention, the more content we will be. 

Now the three bloggers I am nominating today are:

Ugly Forever Blog
Stories From My Diary
Loud Thoughts Voiced Out

The rules of the challenge are as follows:
1. Three quotes over three days
2. Thank the person who nominated you
3. Three nominees each day to complete the challenge
4. Inform the nominees

3 Day Quote Challenge

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Hello to all my readers! I was nominated by my blogging friend Angela at Never Forget, Never Regret to join in on the 3 Day Quote Challenge, which I’m more than happy to participate in (as you can see from the majority of my posts, I always try to include an inspirational/relevant quote). I know from personal experience there have been many times where I felt discouraged, unmotivated, uninspired, and then I came across a piece of wisdom that was exactly what I needed to hear. That being said, here’s my quote for day 1!

quote-day-1

The older I get, the more experience in life I gain, the more I recognize the value in consistently living my life with the “glass half full” outlook. I don’t always succeed, but when I do, my days are brighter, I’m more productive, and I know the impression I have on others (especially my children) is a favorable one. Just as negativity breeds negativity, optimism breeds optimism. It’s just a matter of us making a conscious decision each day as to which end of the spectrum we want to be on.

The three talented bloggers I would like to nominate to participate in the challenge are:

To Those Who Have Ears

Keekel

Millie Schmidt

The rules of the challenge are as follows:

1. Three quotes over three days

2. Thank the person who nominated you

3. Three nominees each day to complete the challenge

4. Inform the nominees

Hope you all are having a great week! See you tomorrow for day two of the challenge!

 

Sunday & Someday 

I’m laying on the grass in my front yard. My body long and placid on the oversized beach towel, soaking up the unusual warmth from this mid November afternoon sun. I started out sitting on the front porch as I often do to drink coffee and read. But as I stared out onto the sunkissed grass, it looked too inviting. At first I felt a bit childish, but not enough to stop myself. Looking up into the same trees I’d seen since I was that 11 year old girl….carefree, unjaded. As I lay there, I close my eyes. Not pretending to be laying by the ocean, exchanging the cool, overgrown grass for some warm sand. In fact, I feel pretty content with where I am, loving that it’s Sunday and I’m home, I’m rested and indulging in this time of quiet. It’s therapy to me.

I open my eyes and fix my gaze on this particular bird, flying higher and higher…observing his technique and at what points in his flight he tucks his long black wings by his side instead of outstretched. Soon enough that single bird becomes two, and then three. Then off they go, disappearing from my sight and me wondering where they are going.

I’m so soothed I contemplate falling asleep out here. Playing out a scenario in my head, one where I fall asleep and wake up to be that 11 year old girl again…laying outside of the new home her parents purchased. A clean slate, a mind full of wonder and pureness. I quickly compile in my mind a list of the most obvious things I would do differently from that point in my life until now. We all have wished we could turn back time on more than a few occasions.

These words came across my feed the other day…their truthfulness both enlightening and chilling. The quote is from Tom Hawking: “It is one of life’s greatest ironies that wisdom comes only with experience, and it reaches it’s apogee just as we are deprived of the chance to use it.” This “irony” is one that never escapes me. Wishing I had known years ago what I know now and that the experience from which that knowledge was derived hadn’t contained so much heartache. Realizing now the things that weren’t worth worrying over and the ones I should have worried more about. The people I wish I’d devoted more of myself to and those I should have never invited into my life to begin with. And especially, all of the time wasted on valueless pursuits.

But living in the past (as most of us are well aware), only robs us of the present. And if there’s one beautiful thing about life, it’s that every day is an opportunity for a fresh start. I may not be able to go back and press the reset button, but I can focus on making better decisions going forward so that twenty years from now, I’m proud of thirty year old me and all of the me in between.

Thoughtful Thursday

My quote or “thought” for today comes from Allan Lokos, author of one of the most insightful books I’ve ever read: “Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living”.

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(From the book Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living)

Being honest with ourselves and about ourselves is crucial in our quest to become the best version of “us” that we can be. It may not be easy to address our own faults, but the end result of self awareness, self restraint, and the practice of healthier habits (whether it’s our reaction to trying situations, our dealings with others, or even our dealings with ourselves), is a beautiful one. I truly believe in never becoming complacent with who we are. Rather, always striving to become a more well rounded, compassionate, contributing member of society.

I hope everyone is having a positive week!