My Merry May: #Project30Days

Dear Readers,

I’ve thought over if I was going to attempt another Project 30 Days, and have decided I’ll have a go. This month is to try to find inspiring quotes relating to and about confidence. I figured I’d look for one each morning, think about it throughout my daily routine, and give you an update on it at night, before sleeping. Hopefully I’ll be able to think of more innovative post titles for this project than for the last one!

Anyway, I’ve found this really great website that has a whole bunch of quotes about different topics, and today’s quote comes from that website. Take a look at the following:

“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.”
~Henry Miller, Sexus

Now, I know this is a long one, and a lot to take in at first. I had to read it a couple of times before grasping the entire meaning. Here are my personal views on this particular piece of text.

First, focus on the first statement. Every day, we slaughter our own impulses. To me, this was completely self-explanatory. I took it to mean that we are our own worst critics. We’re always saying negative things about our particular desires to do good, or strive for progress. If, for instance, I have a desire to become a concert flutist and perform around the world, chances are the first thing I’m going to say to myself is, “Yeah right.” Those two little words, that one tiny thought, is a direct hit on that impulse. Add those little things up–I don’t have the money, I’m afraid to travel, I can’t play well enough, I don’t have the endurance, I’ll never be as good as my role models–every one of those ideas is like shooting a tiny arrow into that impulse. Enough arrows, and that impulse will fade away, and you will lose the desire, as well as the motivation. In short, I’ve got to lighten up on the pessimism when venturing into uncharted territory.

Now, the second statement is longer, and a little more complex. This one simply says that the result of slaughtered impulses is how we look on other people’s works, particularly those we admire. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I feel rather envious of those flutists who are younger than I, who have made it into a highly acclaimed orchestra, or even those who are older–I wonder why I haven’t lived up to that kind of excellence yet. It makes me wonder what on earth I’ve missed, and then I realize that in many cases, my lack of self confidence and faith in my own abilities has held me back. In short, it’s our own self doubt that is preventing us from getting further up the ladder, and we tend to recognize this fact most keenly when seeing other people walk right past us in the line of progression.

The third statement is also simple. Every man is capable of uttering the most profound truths. All he has to do is become quiet. Get rid of all the noise of “what if,” and seek for “what is” instead. Once you know where you are, what you are, then you can run with it, with confidence. When you become honest with yourself and accept who you truly are, it’s then that you can allow yourself to truly shine how you were meant to shine.

The fourth and fifth statements in this quote are thankfully short, and very simple. They say we all come from the same source, the same block of wood, so to speak. The author labels The Source as Creation. To me, this relates to God, and as a result, we all have a part of him there inside of us. You, readers, can label The Source how you most see fit. From my point of view, though, I consider the source to be God and associated crew. With me so far? Hope so, cuz here comes the best part!

The last statement is, I think, the longest, and yet the most revealing of the entire quote. After saying that we come from Creation, it reiterates all the kinds of people there are in this world. Kings (people of power), poets (writing in general), musicians (art in general) are all part of the same block of wood. All we have to do to find that talent, that ability to shine, that perfect self confidence, is to open up and discover what is already there.

So, those of you who tell yourself and other people that you have no real talent, think again. It might not be music, or poetry, or art, but who says those are the only things in which people can be talented in? What about those who know how to hold good conversation? What about the talent to defuse a tense situation? What about the talent of making people think about and refine their own belief systems?

Honestly, with that quote in mind, there’s really no reason for such talk. So, guess I have to scratch those kinds of statements off my list! Time for me to quit stifling the tender shoots and start having faith in my own criterion of truth and beauty.

And with that, I close. See you on the other side of morning!

Most Sincerely,

Bobbi

Day 30: #Project30Days

Dear Readers,

Well, today’s the last day of the month and also my Project 30 Days challenge. Personally, I consider I’ve had quite the success with this. I set a goal to blog every day as much as circumstances allowed for it, and if I missed a day, I’d post twice to make up for it. In short, I thought to set a goal for thirty posts for thirty days. This just so happens to be the thirtieth post.

There have been a few days where I wasn’t able to think of anything amazingly profound or even interesting, but I blogged anyway. The times I slept before or forgot to write a post, I was sure to blog as soon as I could about the day before, and then write later that same day about my most current ideas. Throughout all of this venture, I’ve learned one major thing I need to work on, and that is coming to proper terms with my perfectionist nature. You can read more about my plans for that in previous posts.

Another thing I learned is that while I may not be receiving loads of comments on these posts, people are still reading them. There was a time where I thought more comments meant more readers. Come to find out, that isn’t necessarily true. I’ve had very few comments, but I’ve had more readers than I ever expected to get. To those of you who lurk and never want to show your faces, it would be really neat to know who you are. For those who have told me that you’re keeping up with these posts in some manner, thank you very much for your support and genuine interest. Even to the so-called lurkers, I say thank you for reading, even though you don’t tell me about it. You don’t always need to make a lot of noise to get noticed in the crowd–sometimes all it takes is to sit back in a corner and let everybody draw to you instead.

So, guess what happened today? Well, about an hour or so ago, give or take a bit, Da comes home from work and knocks on my bedroom door. He says, “I’m going to get the guitar.” (He had it sent into a local music shop to get it fixed last Friday.) There was a pause, during which I acknowledged this. The next thing he said was, “So, you want a couple of those whistles we were looking at the other day?”

Inwardly, I winced, because he’d already paid for my headphones, as mentioned in an earlier post. Given that he said he wanted to pay for those whistles, I shook off the feeling of guilt and simply said, “Yeah. I’ll take the nickel one in B flat, and a brass one in C.” It felt really weird, but it was good for me. I really, really have a hard time letting other people pay for stuff I’m wanting.

Come to think of it, I have a hard time letting people do just about anything for me, unless it’s really downright obvious that I can’t do it on my own–and by that I mean obvious to myself. Letting people open doors for me, buy me drinks, carry things, pull out chairs, paying for meals out, etc. There’s something in the back of my mind that tells me that I’m the one that needs to be responsible for myself, not everybody else needs to be responsible for me. On the other hand, there are cases where I need to let others do those kinds of things. Otherwise I’m being insulting! That is a little perplexing at times, honestly, but I get through it all right. something to work on, I suppose. Don’t cringe when somebody offers you things you know you could use. Or rather, don’t cringe so much. I need to find the balance between courteously taking what is offered to me and looking like a jerk for taking everything that anyone offers just because I can.

I half wonder if this stems from my lack of self confidence. It’s like, if I take responsibility for the things I want, I’m the one to blame for if something goes wrong, and that won’t be put on anyone else’s head. Kinda funny, when I think about it. I really think I go a little overboard sometimes! Yep, definitely need to find that balance somewhere.

So, I think, over the next little while, I’ll blog more regularly about the little things I’ve managed to do that normally I’d have a hard time with. It all starts with the small things, right?

In summary, I feel really, really good about the things that have transpired during the past month. It’s not just that, though. It’s the fact that I know where to start next month, as well. Given my birthday is not even a week and a half into May, I feel I can safely say that I’m going to start off my twenty-sixth year with a very bright outlook. Oh, and I got two new Generation (yes I know they look like Christmas toys) whistles to boot. I’m just about to head off to properly break them in.

So, I will close here for the time being. While I may not blog every single day as I have in the past, you can rest assured that I will keep more regular updates as to the happenings in my life. It seems to help me order my thoughts a little better, and better record the memories and ideas I will later be glad I kept. Like the careful preservation of a photograph, I’ll be able to look back on these words and treasure the memories from which they were written.

Thanks guys, for sticking with me throughout these thirty days. Thanks to those of you who have read from the beginning, in spite of my irregular updates. May you continue to find good things here. Think I can live up to it? I certainly will try!

Best of luck!

Most Sincerely,

Bobbi

Day 29: #Project30Days

Dear Readers,
Yes, I know we’re into the thirtieth day already. Part of this Project30Days thing is learning that one doesn’t have to be absolutely rigid in sticking to whatever is being worked on. Honestly I would have written yesterday had I not crashed at an indecent time and slept straight through till this hour, which happens to be just about half past six in the morning. I’ll write a later post later today, so that I can insure I get an entire thirty posts in before the month is over. After all, it was my goal to blog every day. This means thirty posts in thirty days. If something comes up to where I miss a post, I make up for it by writing again that same day, or something similar.

A couple weeks ago, after a dream that affected me rather abnormally, I ended up talking to Da about how much of a perfectionist I am… or rather try to be. I’m so afraid of making mistakes that I don’t trust my own judgement in a lot of things that I’m perfectly capable of accomplishing according to other people’s (and sometimes my own) logic. This renders me unconfident (blame the spell checker for that one) to such a degree that I hold back on trying new things and making big changes. Even the things I know will be good for me, I have a hard time beginning the processes that will bring those changes about, because I’m afraid I’ll do something wrong and disappoint somebody along the way, whether it be myself or someone else.

Hmm, I’ve basically repeated myself from an earlier post. I’m getting a feeling of déjà vu here. Anyway, my point is that just because I end up writing a post a little later than normal, it doesn’t mean that I’ve failed at my task, so long as I recognize the fact and attempt to fix it later on. In cases where things can’t be fixed, which is often the way for many of life’s situations if you make a wrong move somewhere, the object is to learn from your mistakes, not kill yourself over the fact that you made one and failed to meet expectations (which are most likely your own as often as not.)

Over the past month, while writing these posts, I’ve learned, quite obviously by this and another entry, what my biggest weakness is. Actually, that’s not quite true. I’ve known I’ve had confidence issues for as long as I could remember. My problem is that I’ve never come to terms with that doubt or learned how to fix it. Fixing this won’t be easy at all, by any means. It’ll mean going out of my comfort zone in many cases, and we all know how keen I am for that… Haha. It will mean trying new things and ideas despite my fears, and getting through them. I’ve learned that stepping back helps in these cases, when feeling overwhelmed. Stepping back and looking what has been done, taking a breath and realizing not what’s left necessarily, but how to take on what’s left in little bits at a time.

With time, probably a lot more time than I’m willing to admit at the present stage, I’ll be able to establish true self-confidence in everything, and not just certain areas where I know I naturally will succeed. I’ve noticed I tend to avoid things I feel I’ll fail at. This includes things I don’t know how to do, or am learning how to do, I’ll avoid trying to do them until somebody gives me a reminder and pushes me forward a little.

That someone eventually needs to be myself. In time, I’d like to be able to try new ideas without feeling any uncertainty. As we all know this is highly impossible, given human nature, I’m going to have to learn to keep reminding myself how to get through those uncertainties, and to look past them to what lies beyond. It’s probably going to be frightening as hell at first, in some situations, but who says I have to start huge? As with anything, I’ll need to start working on this thing one little bit at a time.

I think, to start, I’ll begin by excepting that while I haven’t done absolutely perfectly in keeping to posting every single day, I’ve at least, or will by the end of today, have managed to get a post in for each day. Yes, thirty posts for thirty days, in spite of the fact that I may have posted some a little later than others. One little bit at a time, right?

Next step, to not be so prone to feeling like I’ve done something wrong when somebody is merely making an observation. If someone makes an observation and says whatever it is they’re seeing is wrong, I’ll wait for them to tell me so, in a direct, constructive manner, before making the assumption right off the bat.

I’d make a summary as to this whole Project 30 Days thing here in this entry, but I think I’ll save that one for my last post of the month, which hopefully, given everything goes well, will be written later this evening. For the moment, however, I think I shall close this post and reply to a couple of Emails I neglected to reply to last night.

Only one more post left! I’ll write hopefully later today. Best of luck today, guys. Or, if your day’s pretty much finished, sleep well when you do sleep.

Most Sincerely,

Bobbi