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 13: Speakoutsam Serves

My magic hour is 8:00am. When I started writing everyday, I noticed that this is my peak time for producing quality output. It also helps that I have the whole office to myself so I have silence and solitude to keep me going. 

I like keeping my desk cluttered with my paints, journals, and art materials. Visual clutter motivates me to ironically empty my mind through art journaling and writing. This setup gives me the semblance of control in an environment which I am not yet in charge of. 

Journals, paints, and coffee are my creative essentials. 

Journals, paints, and coffee are my creative essentials. 

I have observed that most writers put off their creative goals because they are busy with work and other commitments. I must admit that I was once like this too. I blamed writer's block and a full schedule for not putting up my blog sooner. I also claimed that being in finance since I graduated in 2008 has not helped me improve my writing. However, I realized that these are merely excuses. Everything changed when I took my Braver Goals  class with Arriane Serafico. She taught me to create a budget, follow a schedule, and commit to a fixed timeframe to finally launch my blog. I also realized that I need help with initial content generation. I then chose to enroll in the 15 Days of Writing True and Writing Room classes to improve my skill and technique. Since then, I have pinpointed my strengths and areas for improvement. I also keep it real in the official class Facebook pages, where I read my classmates' works and post mine.  I am still a work in progress, but I can say that I love writing because it gets me excited to live mindfully and be thankful for everything that is worth experiencing and writing about.

As I am now on Day 13 of my 15 Days of Writing True class, I am committing myself to continue blogging and sharing my life online. Sharing my work to others was nerve-wracking, until I eventually got the hang of it. I still have my 100 Days Project, so the habit and discipline of writing is here to stay (and even beyond that 100-day mark!). From my interactions with my classmates, I have noticed how merely posting my works could already help them. In the same manner that reading others' essays have helped put things into perspective for me, sharing my thoughts might inspire someone else or drive others to dialogue. My voice is light and readable. I know that I can use it to motivate others to write and promote my passion for good food, books, and my advocacy (social entrepreneurship). 

I hope that our online community at the 15 Days of Writing True will foster collaboration and further interaction beyond the class curriculum. It motivates me continue writing if I could be of help in any way to help others. I will continue to speak out so I could serve myself by validating my voice, and driving others to do the same as well.

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 10: Intersecting Ironies Intercepted

Editing a previously written work, especially a personal essay, can be daunting if the original version was composed with emotions running high. I was tasked to do that for today's challenge and I have decided to work on Day 4: Intersecting Ironies. I also thought of reworking the essay in longhand using the official printable class stationery. 

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I ended up enjoying the activity. There is always room for improvement, and this essay definitely went through some changes. As you can see below, I have crossed out a number of words. Editing is a tedious job, and I have mad props to those who do this for a living. 

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Now that I plan to write often in my blog, I definitely have to be more diligent with my posts. Editing and revising are mandatory in order for my writing to attain street cred. I am grateful for this exercise and I look forward to applying it to my daily writing.