Day 14: Painting, Writing, Being

Drawing my  Lunchboxdiet  dinner last night

Drawing my Lunchboxdiet dinner last night

Living with hypothyroidism can be quite tedious. I have to follow a 1,200 calorie diet and workout on a daily basis in order to maintain normal thyroxin levels. I also take thyroxin before breakfast so I have to make sure that I take my medicine and eat brekkie at the same time everyday. I was diagnosed when I was thirteen, and I am now thirty, so I am already used to it. However, I still have to design my life around my condition. I cannot take graveyard or shifting work. I also have to avoid working in stressful environments. I have to get enough sleep and avoid vices such as smoking and drinking. This is why I choose to live mindfully so that I can have a quality existence even if my condition has limitations which shocks many people. 

Drawing is calming. Go check out  Cafe Lugud , a social enterprise coffee brand.

Drawing is calming. Go check out Cafe Lugud, a social enterprise coffee brand.

Painting makes me happy! Go check out  Cafe Lugud , a social enterprise coffee brand.

Painting makes me happy! Go check out Cafe Lugud, a social enterprise coffee brand.

My diet is easy to observe because I have already trained myself to be disciplined with my portions. Right now, I am subscribing to a food delivery service, but my current paycheck is insufficient to cover the cost. I have to improvise by using nutrition apps and buying prudently at our cafeteria. This will commence in June and I cannot wait to begin eating "normal" food, albeit in limited quantities. 

I cheer myself up by drawing and painting my food and coffee. This makes me appreciate the nourishment and caffeine more than the limited quantity that I am allowed to consume. Rather than eating for the sake of simply indulging, I make sure to eat like I mean it. I drink coffee to fight the sluggishness that comes with my condition, and I do not shy away from third wave coffeehouses if my budget permits. After all, there is nothing more awakening than a cuppa with unique flavor and story. 

Writing has helped me focus on the best things in life, such as my home, my family, my relationship, and the fact that I am working in a safe and stable company. I get to realize the nuances of the mundane with my daily writing. Now that I am also in the middle of my 100 Days Project, I get to find the story in each instance and the flow in every sequence. I get to appreciate the ordinary and filter out the moments I would rather let go of. Naturally, writing has also enabled me to learn from my mistakes. Words keep me grounded without holding me back from enjoying the best things in life.

I may not be the best painter and most verbose writer, but I paint, write, and live what my senses perceive in HD. It is my hope that you will also find your flow so that you can be creative in living and being.

 

Day 12: Searching Through Sam

View from my office window

View from my office window

I am fortunate to work in an area where there are trees. I find greenery soothing and comforting. While I will always be a city girl at heart, I find myself being drawn to pocket parks and sidewalks with leafy shade. Whenever I am stressed out, I look outside and think things through while staring at trees. I enjoy lunchtime walks to see leaves falling with the wind and I find the sun to have a rejuvenating effect in me. The same goes when I walk to the train station after work. I pass by tree-lined sidewalks because they seem to energize me as I make my way through the rush hour crowd.

I love trees so much that I prefer to workout at our local park. I did not avail of a gym membership because the idea of breathing in recycled air during cardio exhausts me as it is. I look forward to my weekend aerodance classes because I get to be surrounded by trees and plants. The happy paradox of oxygenating greens and repetitive dance moves motivates me to finish my routine. I feel renewed by the time I end my workout with a brisk walk around the park, because I am breathing in relatively fresher air in the city, thanks to my leafy companions.

If you will search through me, you will find that I am powered by coffee, but propelled by trees. An awakening cup of coffee and a burst of energy from trees are enough to jumpstart my day so I could hustle smarter. I also like dropping by chapels in the middle of the city to align my goals with a higher power. I probably do not need to search thoroughly anymore as I seem to be aware of what keeps me going. I just need to nurture my growth mindset to creatively live a more meaningful life.

Day 11: Just Keep Writing

Scribbled a quote by my   Braver Goals   mentor  Arriane Serafico

Scribbled a quote by my Braver Goals mentor Arriane Serafico

The best decision I have made this month was to launch my blog along with the first day of my 15 Days of Writing True class. I have observed in my previous blogs during university that I tend to write sporadically if I do not have a guide or an end-goal in mind for all of my posts. This class has then propelled me forward with daily assignments and the discipline of writing at the same time everyday. I chose 8:00AM because I had the whole office to myself and I could focus on writing as my tasks have not piled up yet. I enjoyed it so much that I also began my 100 Days Project, which entailed a commitment to produce written output for the next 100 days. I also observed the need to hone my technique, so I enrolled in the Writing Room class. I have decided to integrate my assignments for this class in my 100 Days Project and so far, I am feeling the flow.

My goal-setting class Braver Goals has inculcated in me the urgency to commence my passion project and do everything I can to make it work for the next 90 days. I chose my blog as my passion project because I want to write again on a daily basis. I used my hard-earned money to fund my annual subscription. Incurring the expense along with my basic needs has aligned my blog with my priorities. The simple knowledge that I have invested this much to fund my blog has given me the drive to write everyday and not slack off.

You might be thinking that I could have just started writing on a free blog. I have done that in the past and it has not prompted me to be diligent with my daily posts. When I paid for my domain name and website, it gave me the responsibility to fulfill my dream. I invested my funds, so now it is time for me to write. I cannot afford to have off-days because I worked hard to make this happen. For that simple reason, I have seamlessly found my flow.

Writing everyday has prompted me to be more mindful with everything. Every experience is a potential blog entry, so I savored my food, coffee, and books. I appreciated the lessons that only actual blogging could teach me, such as getting over typographical errors and editing my work. I also learned to write on the fly, which enabled me to economize on time and effort. On some days that I would feel insecure about my voice or worried that by the time my classes are over, I might run out of things to write, I counter them with action. I just write.

This blog is important to me because it is my dream to give my thoughts a home. I want my heart to be rooted in this home, so that my voice could continue speaking out the words I want to say. I want my flow to seamlessly continue, and it is finally happening after many years of not having the courage to be responsible for my dream. This is helping me find reasons to write and to drown out the noise and babble. With each day of my 100 Days Project, I am developing my writing habit as I hone my voice. And with that, I am being brave by sharing myself with every entry here on my island online.

Day 8: Lay Day

I appreciate that today is a break from the usual topics we have in the #15DaysOfWritingTrue class. We are tackling the very real ordeal called Writer's Block which can be caused by burnout, among other things. I used to experience it myself, until I put up this website and realized that writing can be a daily discipline. I picked a specific time each day (8am!) and wrote, no matter what. This everyday habit has banished my writer's block for good and maybe daily writing might help for you too. However, I do realize that enriching our lives in a holistic manner is more important than any discipline or writing technique. After all, we need meaningful experiences to draw from in order to produce quality work. I have previously shared about my habit of being thankful, and this has greatly motivated me to count my blessings and maximize my resources in order to have richer moments, memories, and lessons.

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I started my day with cheap coffee from 7-Eleven. I love buying my daily brew from there because I could see the arabica beans being ground and I love hearing the whole process. The multi-sensory experience magically wakes me up, along with the smell of my piping hot cuppa. I commenced my other e-course, Writing True and published my first output before checking out what my Day 8 assignment for #15DaysOfWritingTrue is. I have already fired up my brain so the productive break was a welcome distraction. I ate my breakfast and continued sipping my coffee. I listened to classical music and just felt so thankful to be alive, to be early at work, and to be in good health. I also realized how integrated my whole creative journey is and shared it so that others may learn from it. 

For me, taking another writing course alongside this one is effective in honing my skill and discipline. My daily coffee run has also helped awaken not just my tired and sleepy self, but my imagination as well (did you know that eavesdropping in busy places can trigger writing ideas? Just make sure you do it legally and discreetly, okay?). Lastly, having my own website has enabled me to have full accountability for all my posts and this has inspired me to write, write, and write.

Live your life around your passion while never forgetting your purpose. I assure you, everything will be all write.

Day 7: Word Yearn

1. There has to be a word for the high I feel after cardio. How my reluctance to even move has been replaced by superhuman radiance, and how my skin even glows at that.  

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2. There has to be a word for how coffee revives not just my sleepy self, but my soul as well. How my ideas converge as the caffeine flows through my veins. How my neurons burst with processing my life as I know it and how I will interact with the world today. How coffee just keeps me eager to fight even when my battles feel so futile to others. And when I win, I still have coffee because I want to feel the rush all over again. 

 

Enjoy this cutie at Commune!☕️ 

Enjoy this cutie at Commune!☕️ 

3. There has to be a word for the bliss I feel whenever I work alone in the morning. My best ideas pop up whenever I tackle tasks first thing in the day. I want a word for how I just enjoy this solo working state, because it makes me look forward to being in it again and again.  

4. There has to be a word for the feeling of being beautiful whenever I'm with the one I love. 

5. There has to be a word for the triumph of finding a book you want in a sea of options in a bookstore or library. How amidst shelves and shelves of books you just find a promising gem which could potentially move you. And how not purchasing it is just a sin, because it is like letting go of inspiration which was practically handed over to you by the muses.  

 

Day 4: Intersecting ironies

Me on a footbridge in the middle of EDSA. By this time, I have turned the music off already so the earbuds are mostly just a prop. 🚦 #nofilter 

Me on a footbridge in the middle of EDSA. By this time, I have turned the music off already so the earbuds are mostly just a prop. 🚦 #nofilter 

I was happy that today's challenge is to write about a thirty-minute detour. I actually did this last night, because I was looking for inspiration that I could draw from for #The100DayProject which I have started yesterday.

After alighting the P2P bus, I walked along the sidewalk instead of entering the mall. I may have been tired from work, but was in dire need of a change of scenery. I was initially worried about tripping over my skirt's hem as I was wearing a floor-length one, but I did not care anymore once I let the symphony of headlights, billboards, vehicle sounds, and traffic wash over me like a wave. I followed the crowd and weaved my way through the sidewalk vendors. They were selling street food which were tempting to try, but I trudged along, focusing on letting the surroundings take me forward, instead of ruining my appetite for dinner.

I was fascinated by the unspoken agreement between the crowd that the only way to go is onward. While I doubt if everyone in the crowd had a sense of purpose, I was certain that at that moment, they knew where home was, and that was where they were headed to. Like them, I let my feet instinctively take me towards the direction of the parking building where my car was waiting for me, but I was not ready to drive home yet. Since I seldom walk along this path, I was impressed as to how this urban tableau has recharged my senses. It is common to think of retreats along tree-lined paths or quiet mountains, so I really was not expecting to feel so connected to my own purpose of creatively sharing myself for the coming days in my writing challenges. I felt inspired by the onward direction of the crowd, the lights and sounds which is commonplace in rush hour traffic, and the fact that I was still walking, despite my fatigue from a hard day's work. I stopped a few times to browse through some of the goods being sold by the vendors. I realized that I ran out of prepaid cellphone load this morning so I topped-up from a peddler on the footbridge. It was after I checked my cellphone credits that I saw the vista which was sprawling in front of me. I was standing on an intersection right in the middle of EDSA, the busiest thoroughfare in Manila. I have just reconnected myself to the world through my prepaid credits, but I have also internally realized my sense of purpose in the center of city lights and the collective courage of the working class.

I am no different from anyone else in that crowd at that moment, but I was still going onward with a renewed sense of self to fuel my creativity. 

I got inside my car and started the engine. My mind was fired up by the spark of awakening I have experienced. I could not wait to share this on a writing challenge, and I was amused as to how I experienced beauty in a polluted and crowded highway.

This morning's thirty-minute scribblings 🎨

This morning's thirty-minute scribblings 🎨

I was inspired enough to bring my watercolors and brushes with me to work today so I could spontaneously do some art journaling whenever I have downtime at work. I got in the office hours prior to my shift (as usual, since I love how quiet my cube is) and was pleasantly surprised to see that today's writing challenge involves thirty minutes of focus. While I do not have the luxury of wandering away from my desk, I had my traveler's notebook and paints with me. I whipped out my journal and just let my hands convey what my mind could not process yet at that time. I also ate my breakfast of pancit and slowly drank the cup of coffee I bought before logging in. I drew roses because I realized that I can still dream amidst the atmosphere of work and transient silence. Before I knew it, my thirty minutes was over. I have produced a page on my art journal while managing to slowly appreciate my breakfast. And then I realized that there is joy in the mundane, if only we will unplug from the noise surrounding us and look inside of us.

So I found my purpose in the middle of EDSA last night, and this morning, I had a mini-break over brekkie. I have wandered without going too far, because I tapped into my creative core. I hope that you will also find yourself in unexpected places and settings, and may this help you move onward.