Getting Back to Stillness

(Another copy and paste from my journal).

And that mindset of stillness is something I remember having many years ago. It was during those times when another version of me took over and did the writing. I have only experienced those times of “stillness” when I am writing. It is during those times that I hit a stride, I feel as though I am living or existing in a sweet-spot of sorts. It is like hitting a tennis ball at the right spot on the racket, the ball goes farther, faster, and seems to put no strain whatsoever on the wrist. Hit the ball with any other part of the racket and it will not go as far, it will no go as fast, and it will hurt to hit. The sweet spot is where it is at, it is where I want to desperately get back to. The sweet spot is when I am existing at the right place and time, and I am doing the right thing. It is when I am doing what I was made to do. No other time in life feels like the sweet spot.

Putting the mind into that space is not easy. We have constant input and, now at this point in my life, constant pulls for my attention (wife, kid, dog). Plus there is work, extended family obligations, etc.

I need to prioritize writing even more in my new routine (yep, another “new” routine). I need to sit down to write right away. Before walking, before taking any inputs from life, write. Up at 5, writing by 5:15. That should be the goal. Walk at some point during the day. I need a spot in the middle anyways that gets me up and away from the computer. A 30 minute walk and 15 minute stretch is good for that. Up at 5, write at 5:15, breakfast and stuff around 7. Shower then too. “Ready” for obligations by 8. Almost two hours of writing every morning. Yeah. That’s what I need. And journal first, like I do here, to warm up, get my fingers moving, my brain in motion, and then switch gears to something else. What that “something” is, I have no clue, as usual, but at least give my mind the opportunity to be still and figure it out. The routine of putting writing first is key. That way it gets done. I have accomplished the most important thing before anything else.

It is amazing to me how much we can lose our sense of self if we are not careful. I have lost what feels like all sense of who I am over the past twelve years, even more so in the past 6 years. I am only thirty-three, so still a child in many aspects of life, but I do know that who I was 13 years ago, maybe even as far back as 15 years ago (before dating and all of that), was the real version of me. That version had an unwavering confidence and the ability to enter into a mindset of stillness. I remember it clearly, as if it was yesterday, how that mindset felt then. The years of life since then, and the impacts I have allowed it to make on me have scarred that portion of my mind with a hard tissue that will take more time to remove. But, I believe, and hope, that with diligence I can do so.

This is not to say that the past, as a writer, is not valuable. It is extremely valuable and will most likely be what I pull from as I get back into the mindset of a being a writer, but the loss of self that was required is painful to reflect on. That sounds dramatic, maybe even overly dramatic, but that does not make it untrue.

As with everything in life, I am arriving at this point (this realization) at the precise time I was meant to. It is my job to not waste it.

Aaron Aiken @aa