Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Giving Up?!?

I gave up last night. On everything. Writing, working, being a husband... heck, I gave up on the very gift of Life itself.

And now I feel a whole lot better.

Honestly, everyone always told me throughout my life to never give up, on anything. Fight, no matter how much it hurts, or you'll never get a job/get into university/pay the bills/have a relationship/achieve anything. Don't stop, not for one second, not for one billionth of an atosecond, or it will all vanish and you'll spend the rest of your life as a worthless FAILURE!!!

That's a fair bit of pressure to put on someone.

And let me tell you something about giving up... it's pressure free! No stress. At all. But how, I can hear you asking, will I pay those bills/finish my homework/raise the kids/clean the bathroom/make something of myself? Not my problem. But Tim, you can't do that! Too bad, I just did.

Want to know what I did last night, after I gave up on everything? I kicked back on my couch and played Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick on my Playstation 2. That inspired me to watch Army of Darkness again, so I did. Then I played with my cats, Karma and Ron. I scooped the crap from their litterboxes. I even cleaned and refilled the almost-empty one! Then I lay back on my bed and read a good book before turning in for the night. Not once during that time did I feel so much as a smattering of pressure, even when the Terror of the Deadites threatened to overwhelm me (no, that's not a metaphor for something, I'm talking about my Evil Dead game).

And this morning? The morning after I gave up? I got right back into things again. I did a solid chunk of writing, I met with a friend to play chess, then I returned home to blog. This afternoon, I'm planning to make another video.

I feel great. Refreshed and Relaxed. And I owe it all to giving up.

But only for one night. I just needed a little break from things. Perhaps I should have simply called what I did last night a break, but that wouldn't have sounded nearly so controversial or upsetting. Besides, all we really have is the present moment, so giving up for a moment is just as real as giving up for a lifetime. But it doesn't have to be for a lifetime. You have the right to change your mind and get back to it any time you want to.

Giving up isn't a bad thing. It's just a thing. Some things should be given up on. I joined a team in high school that turned out to be a haven for bullies, but I stuck with it (and was fairly miserable) because of all that never-give-up talk. Abusive relationships should be abandoned, harmful situations avoided. You're doing nobody any favours by sticking to something that brings you pain. That word 'retreat' was created for a reason.

When life gets to be too much, just give up (or, if you prefer, take a break) for a little bit. Enough to get some wind back in your proverbial sails. Your problems and responsibilities will still be there when you're done, I promise. And you'll be better prepared to face them.

Even if it is the Terror of the Deadites.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November News

Normally I like to write my posts out longhand before typing them here, but today I'm just going to wing it. There have been times when I've planned to write a post and then forgotten about it, and I really want some kind of regularity here!

November was an interesting month. As noted in my last post, I attended the Mastery workshop. That was a fantastic experience, and one main benefit I've noticed is that I am more social now. That is great for me, since I tend to be a loner most of the time. Creativity comes from the world out there (imagine me pointing to an 'out there'), from people and places and new experiences. I don't get much of that cooped up in here (now imagine me pointing down to the floor). Now that my cold is gone (I was sick for six days), I can get out and do stuff.

My writing continues to suffer. Part of that can be blamed on the aforementioned tendency of mine to stay in. Most of it, however, is due to continuing life stresses. I'm getting better at coping, but some things are out of my hands. Nevertheless, I've nearly completed six chapters in my new book, I'm So Goddamn Sick Of Vampires!, a new supernatural teen comedy. I have chosen to put I, Suicide on hold for the time being, though. I feel I have a really strong story to tell there, and I'm happy with the eight chapters I've written. I'm sure I will return to it sometime in the not-too-distant future. For the time being, I need to go with what's working. Sick Of Vampires is working, and is keeping me going.

That's it for now. Time to head out into the world!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend With The Mastery

I want to do a quick shout-out to The Mastery of Self Expression workshop, which I had he pleasure of doing last weekend. Run by Larry Gilman and my good friend Tammy Cunningham, it was an experience like few others in my life.

The essential premise of the workshop, hosted in cities throughout the world, is to help people overcome the blocks that prevent them from being who they really are. I attended the three day workshop with ten others, all complete strangers to me but the best of friends by the time we parted on Sunday evening. Larry and Tammy led us in a series of exercises to identify and overcome our blocks, while several Mastery graduates participated in providing us with a safe and supportive atmosphere.

I'd talk about the exercises, but the Mastery is something best experienced fresh, without too much prior knowledge. One thing I can say, however: it was intense. I have never been more open and honest among strangers, and I saw transformations in my fellow participants that were exciting and exhilarating to witness. The benefits of the workshop depended on each participant, what they wanted to get out of the weekend, and how much work they were willing to put in.

Am I now a transformed person, free from all my troubles? No. It was a workshop, not a religious experience. However, I do feel more confident, and my life goals seem clearer. I expect to reap the benefits of that weekend for months and years to come.

So that's my shout-out. Drop by their website and give it a look-see. If you need a new perspective, and are willing to put in the work, the Mastery might be for you.