Monday, September 19, 2016

onward -- day 10: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

pulling it together
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 10

The final challenge is just what you'd expect. I'm done! I'm soooooo not done! haha!

I really enjoyed the writing more than I expected. I loved figuring out what's holding me back the most and seeing how much I am already heading down paths I cherish. My life is pretty awesome right now!

My favorite challenge was day 3. We just had to describe our perfect day. I was lucky in having just recently had several perfect days and thus getting to just describe what happened. I really do enjoy wandering the country and hearing and telling stories.

My huge breakthrough was that I can be incredibly more intentive (new word?) about my progress! I'm so easy to please that I just love and appreciate any success that comes along. The breakthrough is that I'm allowed and even expected to go out and actively seek success, as well. I can wish for things! I can work for things! All I was missing was just simply pausing each day to review where I'm at, what I want next, and choosing tasks to get me heading there. Each day I can do that!

So that's basically it! My next step is to build projects. I have several things I generally do each month. I turn those into projects that I list along with the overarching project of finding new projects! Then daily, I work the projects.

Simple, right?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

on the road -- day 9: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

working on the road
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

In my own way, I'm already happily location independent. I do find myself having to catch up after I return to a home base sometimes. When I'm on the road, I don't keep up with any work. I don't keep up with exercise goals. I sometimes find myself screaming from one place to another because of poor planning on my part.

Natalie's challenge, then, is to create a day of adventure and fun that includes keeping everything running, as well. This is where I'm at. This is my own current struggle.

For exercise, I've set the goal of stopping every 60 miles or so and walking. I don't always do that. Sometimes it's from laziness. Other times it's from poor planning and needing to keep going. I also find myself scared to try certain walks or hikes because of my current physical limitations.

For work, I find myself starting with the premise that driving is good for clearing my mind and getting thinking done. Then I let my mind wander aimlessly, or listen to the radio. It's good for a while, but I feel I can plan in more productive activities while I drive. I can practice recording stories with no audience present, for example. I can plan ahead and have books and podcasts lined up waiting to teach and inspire.

Finally, I find lack of internet makes me incredibly lazy. I feel I can't do anything. I can! I can again record video and audio practice sessions, or even final versions. I can write and write and write.

What should help me pull all this together is the goal from day 8 of reviewing my projects daily and choosing three big tasks to accomplish each day. No matter where I'm at, this can always happen. Yes it can!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

adventure -- day 8: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

Adventure is one of the greatest parts of my life right now. I'm always travelling and often specifically choose new routes or hidden paths. I love hiking even though it's extremely difficult for me right now. I'm hoping that focusing on physical health and strength for a while can help with that.

I also love road trips. Driving long distances gives my mind just enough to do in the foreground so that I can process and meditate and really calm things down in the background. I love to take different paths and routes that I find along the way.

The other week, for example, I drove down a smaller highway over a winding mountain pass. The highway followed a swift river for some distance. Every mile or so, there would be a pull out big enough for me to park and just enjoy the sights and sounds. Just as it was getting dark, I found such an area where I could park right on the river bank. It was getting dark, so I decided I'd stay there for the night. I was worried about bugs getting into the car, so I just cracked the windows down a little bit.

I soon realized I need not have worried. In the dusky light, I thought I saw huge moths flapping past. I finally got a good look and realized it was a handful of bats! I had never seen bats hunting at dusk. They kept swooping and fluttering around silently. I can only assume the heat from my car had attracted their meal for the night.

It's just such serendipitous events that I hope to enjoy for the rest of my life! I love getting out in nature and seeing what a beautiful planet we live on!

Friday, September 16, 2016

action a day -- day 7: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

one imperfect action
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

This challenge is easy. I simply need to follow through with my reviews from my Day 5 schedule. That's it. My biggest breakthrough from this exercise is that I'm just letting things happen "naturally" which is to say without any true effort on my part.

If I spend the time each day to review my projects or create new ones, then choose three tasks to accomplish based on that review, then commit to accomplishing those three tasks, I will be screaming down the path of success in no time. I'll stop worrying that things aren't getting done. I'll be heading down paths I never dreamed of because I'm actually heading down paths! I'll finally see what's next because I'll be taking active productive steps into the dark and shining the light of action on the next step and the next and the next!

Whew! I can't wait! See you out there!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

findiing my tribe -- day 6: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

finding my tribe
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

I'm shy. I'm starting with that because finding and contacting a mentor is a huge challenge for me. Yet I've found my tribe. Twice, in fact. I discovered the South Sound Story Guild from Olympia, Washington in 2005 and then in 2014, I joined the Utah Storytelling Guild. I meet with both groups as often as possible and have discovered great storytellers to learn from.

Funny thing, though, is that I feel this was a huge task for me. I get this mindset that I have to do things my own way because of my disability. Storytelling isn't that way, though. I should seek out mentors who are doing what I would like to do. I have forged friendships with members of the story guilds, some of whom I'd call mentors.

I'm learning of people out there who I really admire. I hear not just their stories, but stories about them. I would like to meet them and talk about building a career out of wandering and storytelling. For this challenge, I'm planning to contact Bil Lepp and Christopher Titus. I love their styles and watching them on stage makes me feel like they're just chatting casually.

I'd like to ask how much work is hidden behind those stories they tell so easily. I'm curious what their typical day is like as they move from project to project. I think that's where I am right now. How do I organize myself and build habits that will improve my chances at success in this business?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

daily routine -- day 5: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

daily routine
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

To make money as a storyteller, I think about several things each day: current projects, finding and scheduling new projects, and the art of storytelling itself.

current projects
I always have several projects coming up. These can be classroom visits, or storytelling meetings, or open mics or whatever. Whenever I get an opportunity to tell stories, I need to make sure the stories are high quality and carefully chosen for the particular audience. I need to be challenging myself, as well, so I'm not always repeating stale material.

finding projects
At first, not all will pay or pay well. That will come. Daily, I just need to focus on meeting people and finding those who would like or could use a storyteller. It's pretty simple. I like the goal of meeting 5 new people a day. I'm terrible at it, but I like the idea. Part of this is focusing on my calendar and planning events around trips so I don't get stuck driving three states overnight.

art of storytelling
I also create material. I am an artist, so I produce story videos all the time. This gives me easy marketing and repertoire showcase tools that are ready to show off anytime. To create all these stories, I love reading and wandering through topics and stories to inspire and enhance my own stories.

how and where
Each day, I review all the above and pick three big tasks to work on. I love libraries, but all this work happens anywhere there is decent internet. If I am headed somewhere with poor internet, I plan ahead tasks that won't require connection. After I finish the big three, the rest of my day is mine to play and get physically healthy again!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

superpowers -- day 4: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4

I don't like to talk about what's going well in my life. This superpowers activity is all about that, though. My friends and family had to remind me of a few superpowers I'm quite fond of.

tenacity and confidence
I found early and have many stories about things I'm not supposed to be able to do. The things I'm most proud of in my life are all from sticking to it and believing a project will be worth the energy and work. I failed miserably at the beginning of every one of those things. I'm always messing up and I'm always okay with that. I know failing is just the best teacher. I can learn how to do this... every time if I'm that interested. This superpower can be a weakness, however. I sometimes have to be forced to give up and move on with my life.

writing and speaking
I speak in stories. I think in stories. I write in stories. This helps me be understandable. I have a good intuition most times for what a particular audience is looking for and how to help them understand whatever topic they're learning from me. People tell me I explain things in a way that doesn't make them feel dumb. I find stories of my own learning and early failures help them realize they can get it.

humor and inspiration
I'm not sure these are a superpower. If they are, they are subtle. If I'm trying to be funny or inspirational, I feel like it always comes out wrong every time. When I'm getting into something, however, a natural sense of fun is always there. I don't get it, but I'm always hearing from others how they are inspired by something I'm doing or saying.

Monday, September 12, 2016

perfect day -- day 3: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

perfect day
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

I'm warm and relaxed, though the air is chilly. The birds have slowly turned up their volume over hours and hours. A breeze blows over my face, either through a window or outside. The air smells like nothing and like the entire world. The sky is just lightening up with reds as the sun hasn't quite peeked over the mountains yet. I lay there letting the dreams sort themselves out and watching in fascination as ideas spring up and mingle and dance themselves into perfect little stories.

Eventually I get up and wander over to a place where friendly faces greet me for breakfast. I eat slowly and read and write. Sometimes people will have time to share a moment or swap a story. I mentally wander through my day and try to imagine how it will all go. Then I drive. The mountains roll like super-slow-motion ocean waves past my car. The sage brush and dust and occasional dairy flavor the air as I drive. I stop often and walk whatever trail or path catches my fancy.

This day, I'm due to share stories with a class my friend teaches about five hours away.  I get to the school and sign myself in. I walk the empty halls to the classroom and share my stories for the day. The kids share and create along with me and we all laugh and create realities together.

I eat and drive again. I find a favorite spot along a river and park. I snuggle into my blanket and watch the sun set. The roaring river drowns out most other sounds and I disappear. Eventually I'll feel that same chilly breeze blow over my face as the birds and world and I awake again.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

finding my why -- day 2: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

finding my why
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2

The day 2 challenge really got me thinking. Natalie had us listen to a podcast interview she did with David Mead who asked two questions to help pinpoint why I do whatever I do:

  1. at my very best, what has been my contribution to the world?
  2. how did that contribution impact those around me?
Those aren't quotes. That's just how I understand the concepts. The podcast is about 40 minutes long and is an excellent listen if you want to delve into this yourself. Here's me thinking out loud (?) about the questions.

Some of my best moments are when I'm challenging my perceived limits. I love playing the piano with two fingers. I love how I type with three fingers of each hand. I love riding a bike and driving my car. I love wearing shorts in the winter. I love making people laugh and seeing them change as they relax about my disability. I love showing them that if I can do it, they could too. I love that all my great accomplishments have been achieved by just trying the thing and then doing the thing.

What I find after the fact is that many people are inspired. They really do see themselves doing something they thought they couldn't do. I in turn am inspired as they push their own limits and do amazing things and become amazing people. I tell everyone again and again to just do what they love. That they can create their own selves any way they want.

So this isn't quite final. I'm surely going to play with it more, but:
I get up each morning to constantly challenge myself and others so that we can all experience the very real freedom we each have to be and do the great things we dream of.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

current challenges -- day 1: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

current challenges
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1

My biggest challenges right now are probably physical and mental health. Physical health includes physical fitness, general health issues, and hygiene combined. Mentally, while I'm no longer extremely depressed very often, I'm still pretty darn apathetic about everything. I just don't care enough about very much to stay with plans or work on projects longer than a good beginning.

I've studied enough and understand clearly the two are related. I know that if I really get into a good active lifestyle, I'll find myself automatically and naturally becoming intensely curious and consistently devising and working through projects. I also know that if I can get through the apathy fog, I will automatically and naturally become more active and healthy physically.

It's clearly a chicken and egg sort of thing. I've tried working on bits and pieces of mental health and physical health... not much luck. Then I realized I could work on just one. Next I decided that physical health goals are much more easily defined and measured. Progress is undeniable. Even when I'm the most depressed, I can see that I'm walking more, fitting into smaller clothes, and so on. Mental and emotional goals are harder to measure. They are deniable under depression's dark view of things.

So recently, I started focusing on just my physical health. I started with movement. I counted steps and active time throughout each day. After just a few months, I can report it's clearly working! If I look back and see myself progressing in storytelling and other projects, I'm finding that was also when I had been most consistently active physically, as well. It's going to be a long process, but I think I'm finally heading down a good path!

Friday, September 9, 2016

project: 10 day freedom plan blog challenge

Yeah. I've been on the road all week, so I'm starting late, but there are 10 writing assignments as part of this challenge. I'm planning to post all 10 in the next couple of days. Here goes!