This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Motivated Mondays: The Artist's Way check-in for week 5

Whew! Was it ever a busy week during week 5. We're now on Chapter 6, at the halfway point. Pat yourselves on the back that you've made it thus far. If you have catching up to do. No worries. Catch up. There is no judgment working on the Artist's Way. We all move to the beat of a different drummer, but we do want to stay on some kind of beat. So keep pounding the animal skin. Don't set it down because you're worried that you just can't get the rhythm. Of course you can, and you will. Just keep reading.

Last week, in chapter 5, we read about possibilities. This week's it's all about abundance. These are good things, folks. We're talking opportunity to excel, at whatever level you happen to be on. If you keep moving, you're going to go forward. So just trust in that spiritual force that's driving you and you have no idea how. Just trust in it, and keep your eyes open for what's next.

Despite the set back in my schedule that I experienced because of an illness my dog experienced. (She had a cluster of seizures but is doing well now), I still managed to get through the week with a few successes bagged -- and several possibilities for the future. Not a whole lot that was definitive, but I've learned long ago to see the beauty in a possibility. I encourage you to do the same.

The Morning Pages and the Artist's Date, and even the exercises, took a back seat in my house. But I did manage to read chapter 6 on Sunday morning. I'll be off on an assignment for most of this next week and have a deadline at the start of next week, so I'm not sure what will happen with TAW on my end. I choose to believe I'll get done what I get done and be perfectly okay with that.

I am seeing progress. And from the notes in my book, I've seeing growth. I wrote at the top of chapter 6 in 2004 that I hoped to be able to get out 3 queries by the end of that week. That was all I could even consider managing then. Now, three queries is a daily goal. I've since embraced the idea of abundance. And even money issues I once had no longer exist. I see the world as ready to give, and I am ready to accept.

Now, to be sure, I don't feel this way every day. I have my days where I'm not that optimistic. But my overall expectation is pretty high, and I choose to focus on the overall, rather than the once in a while.

I also realize that I am actually quite good and indulging myself. I am more apt to do that than not. I rarely argue with myself about cost. I always believe I'll make it up or replace it. I have gotten pretty good about not worrying too much about money. That is not to say I don't want to earn more of it, that I don't get frustrated from time to time that I seem to have to work extra hard for it. I'm okay with that as well, as I've chosen a career path I enjoy. So work is just not anything I dread. I love the work I do. What I would love more is to put out more of it.

And that follows what Julia Cameron says we should do: I will take care of the quantity and let God take care of the quality. So I know there is always more I can do. God gave me the talent; it is my job to use it to the best of my ability.

Anyway, those are the thoughts that I'm having at this point in our work with The Artist's Way.

Please post your own comments, and trust that I'll return the dialogue when my schedule permits. It's going to be another busy week for me.

Have a great one yourself!

Motivation for Mondays is a part of a weekly Twitter party called #MotivatedMondays initiated by Lorrie Shaw, a professional pet sitter, a regular pets contributor at, and pet blogger in Dexter Township, MI. Together, we post a combination of inspirational notes, links to motivational blog posts, and tips to help kickstart your week ahead. Look for us online every Monday morning--and throughout the day--if you need to kick start your week or want to share your own motivational thoughts.


Teresa Bitler said...

I'm a week behind. I left last Sunday (10/24) for a press trip and conference that didn't finish up until two days ago, so during that period, I didn't work on anything for TAW. Okay, well, I wrote morning pages one day.

I had to deal with a lot of insecurities during the writers conference. That's something that I'll be writing about and working on affirmations for over the next week or so. To a certain extent, I felt out of my league. I felt like the editors saw through me and knew I hadn't written any international pieces. I felt like an imposter.

But, at the same time, there were moments when I did feel like I belonged. I think that's a good sign.

I just now finished reading chapter 5. I thought the Virtue Trap was very interesting because I fall into that probably more often than I'm willing to admit, at least at the moment. I'm going to spend a few days contemplating that chapter and then I'm going to read Chapter 6. Hopefully, I'll be caught up by Monday.

Kim said...

I love how non-judgey and encouraging you are. I try to channel that kind of voice instead of the normal harsh, judgey, perfectionist voice. So, thanks for that. Here's my post on Week 5:

BIKE LADY said...

Kim, I posted my thoughts about your TAW work on your blog, as I generally do. Here, I'll focus on Teresa's post.

Teresa, it's great that you're not beating yourself up over not being able to actively participate much at the moment. What you're doing is going to make a difference, no matter if it take 24 weeks, instead of the suggested 12.

It's good that you recognized some insecurities. You can take those insecurities now and write about them in your Morning Pages, where you can see the truth. You are not less than anyone. You are where you are. I don't think it matters that you've never written an international piece. I'd let that idea slip right out of your head. You will write whatever pieces you are supposed to write. You are not an imposter. You have great ideas. And you will figure out a way to sell them, because that's what you're already doing. That's your reality.

When I've had similar insecurities, I've considered the ideas I have more carefully, and I've realized maybe my talents fit elsewhere. Or maybe that kind of story isn't the kind of story I'm meant to write at the moment. Maybe I have more travel to do first. Or maybe I have more to learn.

Whatever the case may be, it's not about judging. It's about figuring out where I'm supposed to be at any given moment. It may not be at National Geographic Traveler. But it could be, if I come up with the right idea. And maybe I'll never come up with the right idea for a particular magazine. I know I will come up with the right idea for the right magazine or outlet. I'm satisfied with knowing that.

Whatever the case, I know I have stories to tell. That's my talent. That's your talent. And my stories are not your stories. Nor are your stories mine to tell. As long as I remember that my experiences and my knowledge is what brings the uniqueness to the table, then I no longer need compare or rate myself based on anyone else. It might be helpful for you to remember the same. Your unique point of view and thoughts about the world are what makes your stories sell. Think about that whenever you find yourself falling into the insecurities trap.

Ah, yes, the Virtue Trap. I can understand how that would be a difficult concept to accept. Mothers and wives fall into that one easily. It's not always easy to get out. Sometimes, you have to stand up for yourself and be brave about it. Not easy to do when you feel as if that would rock the boat. Sometimes, we need to rock to boat if we're to stay afloat. It can be done gently, and it can be good for all who are involved. That is something to contemplate seriously. Good luck with that.

Diane Faulkner said...

Part I

In week five, I guess I took your advice of last week to heart. I slept. I slept, and slept, and slept. On that Wednesday, I went to rest on the bed at about 4:00 p.m., and woke up at about 11 a.m. Thursday. I just collapsed.

Dealing with my dad, which I've now turned into a blog, My Life with Dad, on WordPress, has - as usual - drained me. Not only did my dad start drinking again, he's kind of gone of the deep end. Depending upon which shrink report you want to read, he's either has paranoid schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Either way, he's un-medicated, so combine that with chronic alcoholism, you get someone who gets himself into trouble that sends him to the emergency room or jail - or both in his case.

In June, Dad went missing. I filed a missing person report on him, and about six weeks later, one county over from where I thought he was living (he's actually homeless), police found him and then promptly put in him jail, because he was wanted on an outstanding bench warrant for missing a court date. This time, it was for passing bad checks. In his defense, he wouldn't have known he was passing bad checks, because he probably thought he had plenty of money in his account since he collects both social security and a General Motors pension, both of which are direct deposited. Every couple weeks, he should have more than enough to live and play on and still have enough to save - but he didn't. Dad had put some random guy on his account as a joint owner, and either the day of or the day after his deposits, his account was drained. He's now broke and freshly out of jail.

I've had to take out my powers of attorney papers and reset his accounts with Social Security (no easy task) and General Motors (less difficult, but not easy). I've had to notify Medicare about his situation and order a new card for him. I've also had to find which bank Dad banked with, notify them of his situation, find a local branch here in Florida (Dad's in North Carolina), and close Dad out of his joint account and open a Power of Attorney account that only I have access to in order to protect his money, not only from him, but everyone else with a sob story to suck funds from Dad.

I got a call from someone who claimed Dad lived in her apartment complex and owed $580 for back and current rent. One hundred deposit, plus $240 for September and October. Okay. I could pay that, but not until I got a copy of the lease with his signature on it, which I received. Amazing, though, how the rent changed from $240 a month to $360 in the time it took for the mail to come. I found that out when the bank manager in NC called to let me know he had a woman in front of him who claimed to be the landlady and wanted $720 to bring Dad up to date. Hmm… It was a lie, of course, but how am I to fight that lady when she wouldn't let me see a price sheet for the apartments? I told her a check already went out, which it did as I had ordered a check to be sent on-line, and that I would send another check for the difference. What I didn't tell her was that I had intended to find out who actually owned the building and would get to the bottom of how much Dad's rent really is. I know she's lying.

Diane Faulkner said...

Part II

Let me see, what else? Oh yes, it's always wonderful to have a parole officer call out of the blue to see if I could give any her any information on him. She told me that the place where Dad was living was not a great place. No great surprise there. And that she wouldn't go there even though she was armed. Well. That's always nice to know. She also told me that the woman who was trying to raise the rent probably was, and was probably skimming, but she didn't own the building. That's what I needed to hear. The officer asked about Dad's money, and I told her what I had done. She said she'd explain the situation to Dad so he and the nearly uncountable number of people who called throughout the day - and by throughout, I mean every 1 - 3 minutes for about 20 minutes every couple hours - wanting money and telling me what a bad daughter I was and how I wasn't taking good care of Dad. Lovely. Like I needed any more stress.

Of course you already know that I broke my foot during this time. I can't exactly hop in the car and drive up to NC to take care of everything. Interesting that I broke my foot immediately after drafting a letter to Dad to send to him while he was in jail. The letter detailed what I had done with his money when I thought he was missing and learned of the guy draining his funds. I finished the letter, got up, took a couple steps, and broke my foot.

I think it's significant that I had just completed something to benefit Dad. Last year, when I was hit by a car while power-walking (Friday), Dad was thrown in jail for god-only-knows-what, and his precious dog whom I love, was thrown in the pound. His deceased friend's kids, who called the police on him and let them take away Blackie, called me to let me know dad was in jail and Blackie was to be put down. It was like the universe was telling me to not help Dad, because it made it impossible for me to drive up to sort things out - for Blackie, not Dad. Another time I was helping dad, I nearly cut off a finger while trimming the hedges. Dad is an emotional vampire. He's narcissistic more than anything else. That, along with his other problems, has been what I have been dealing with for 27 years. Much of that time, I've been his legal guardian. He's a child. Truly. And I'm just done with him, except that I can't be, because he can't help himself.

His parole officer had a heart-to-heart with Dad. She convinced him that he needs to come back down to Florida. Nice of her to tell me that after she had him convinced. I didn't offer. I'm going to bring him back down here, though, because with everything he's been through in the past three years, he can't live much longer, and it will be easier for me to take care of things if we were in the same state at least. I will have strict ground rules for him, though. He will get into treatment. He will go to counseling. He will get on meds. He will not contact me for entertainment or visits. He will find appropriate friends. I sound heartless, I know, but my life is hell when he's around. I'm tired of dealing with all his dramas. He needs to learn how to live on his own and within his means.

With that, my synchronicity is breaking my foot after writing that letter. The universe is telling me to both slow down, concentrate on my crap - not dad's. My artist's date continues to be the little videos I find on YouTube. I've subscribed to my favorites now so I can always have a little happy in my day.

BIKE LADY said...

Oh, dear God, I'm so sorry you have so much on your plate, Diane. That's a lot, pretty much too much. But it's manageable, if you figure out what you need to do, and I think you'll figure out what's best for you soon enough.

Keep reading. I know you probably don't pray, but maybe you could just give it a try. Talk to the Diane in the sky, the one who's watching over you. Ask her what she thinks is best for you. Try to look at life from her perspective overhead. What would she say to a friend going through a similar thing. Write down what she says in your Morning Pages. Let it sink in. In time, you'll know what will be best for you. This is tough stuff, no matter what.