Posted in #RevofKindness, Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Mindful Monday, Parenting, Unschooling, Writing in Freedom

Kind Energy and Mindful Parenting: #RevofKindness and Mindful Monday

Week Three of the Kindness Challenge is all about kind energy. I went through the week contemplating the subject, wondering what to write as I watched my own energy, and kept myself open to the energy around me. I was very aware of those moments when I didn’t reach my own ideals for kindness, or my belief that we are responsible for the emotional energy we bring into a situation.

I was realistic but kind in my accountability to myself.

  • No, I didn’t do as well as I might have in every moment.

  • Yes, I am human and fallible.

  • Yes, it was an exceptionally hot and humid weekend – the first we’ve had this season.

  • Yes, I had one of the worst migraines of my life on Thursday night, to the point of incapacitation.

  • Yes, I am the mom of a preteen who is changing rapidly and sometimes turbulently.

  • Yes, sometimes events can occur that need to be dealt with, and which I find frustrating.

  • Yes, I overreacted.

  • Yes, I apologized for that, in a way that was sincere, and helped to heal the little tear in my relationship with my daughter.

  • Yes, I’ve (maybe obviously) analyzed the situation and interaction, and my role in it.

  • Yes, I’ve pinpointed where I went wrong.

  • Yes, I’ve figured out ways I could improve my reaction in similarly stressful circumstances.

  • Yes, I’ve spent some extra time with my girl, exploring the situation more calmly, sharing our viewpoints on it, and finding resolutions together.

  • No, this isn’t the way I was raised.

 

This was the least kind I was to anyone this week. Maybe it’s a bit ironic that it would be the moment that showed me how being mindful of my own energy, and moving toward greater kindness, have changed our family life, and my own.

I think it has to do with knowing that my least kind used to actually frighten my children, in a way that was uncomfortably like the way I was frightened of my own parents.

Changing that dynamic to one of kindness and partnership was the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I’m not perfect at it. I intend to keep getting better, though, for the rest of my life.

Learning kindness with a new friend. <3
Learning kindness with a new friend. ❤

After the tempest, my daughter and I went to my local write-in, where I had some creative social time with others who understand that the voices in my head belong to real people, and she got to hang out with a friend, and get the mozzarella sticks she was craving.

Later, in the predawn hour, she invited me for a walk. We strolled slowly down our quiet country road, enjoying the cooling breeze after the heat of the previous few days, chatting, admiring the neighbor’s Memorial Day bunting and talking about the reason for the day. We listened to the male bullfrogs singing for their potential mates. We meandered back home, and went inside just before a rainstorm opened up. We snuggled and laughed together until she was tired and ready to sleep.

No, I’m not perfect at this whole thing, but I am better than I used to be. The proof is in the infrequency of emotional storms in our lives, and how quickly they clear once their immediacy passes. We move from the heat of the moment to looking for resolutions, skipping over the common parental technique of punishment – we don’t need that, here, because we talk things through, and I trust both my daughter’s intentions and her ability to do better. After all, if I’m not perfect after nearly 47 years of life, it’s not that realistic to expect her to be perfect when she hasn’t yet lived 12, is it?

Aiming for the sweet spot of kindness with this girl!

Together, with as much kindness and mindfulness as we can muster, we’re learning.

This post is a part of Silver Threading’s Mindful Monday. Find more mindfulness by clicking the link.

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just Jot it January, Life Writing, Love Is In Da Blog, Mindful Monday, Unschooling, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom

Sometimes Clumsy Mindfulness: Mindful Monday, LoIsInDaBl Day 15, and JusJoJan Day 31

This is going to be my last triple-duty post, at least for a bit, because this officially ends my Just Jot it January 2016 make-up posts. The final prompt is clumsy, and comes from Judy at Edwina’s Episodes.

I’m not quite ready to begin ‘making up’ the first couple of weeks of Love Is In Da Blog just yet, but I am totally on board for daily posts, and I will be catching up once I rest a bit from my belated JusJoJan catchup marathon, and move a couple other projects along a bit. Today, the prompt is loving mindfulness.

Bee is also efficient, and has paired her month-long hop with others, including Silver Threading’s Mindful Monday, one of my regular weekly blogging stops. A bit of a windfall for me, as I get back into the swing of things, while at the same time adapting to my Accomplice’s midwinter vacation.

 

All that is a little clumsy, isn’t it?A lot of words to say where this post fits in, and you haven’t even had a chance to read the post yet.

I think maybe that says more than it might seem to. You see, I’ve made a practice of mindfulness for the last several years. Without it, I couldn’t possibly have made the huge paradigm shifts I needed to make in order to become the unschooling parent I wanted to be. It was necessary to look at every aspect of my parenting, and that, by extension, led to examining my approach to the rest of life – my marriage, my relationships with my family of origin, my friends, and the larger world.

What I resisted the most, though, and have come to lastly and rather clumsily, is my relationship with myself.

Like many women, and maybe most mothers, I tend to focus more on the services I can do for others than those I can do for me. Western culture paints an image of the selfless mother, giving and giving to her family, stretching herself thinner and thinner to met the needs of others.

It’s never really mentioned that, if we approach marriage and motherhood selflessly, we are by definition subsuming ourselves. Or, put differently:

We. Are. Subsuming. Our. Selves.

Don’t our loved ones deserve wholehearted, full-souled love and service?

Don’t we deserve to be ourselves, to be something beyond the roles we fill in the lives of others?

In my journey into radical unschooling, I released a good many of the trappings society gives to the role of ‘mother’. If there had been nothing of myself to replace that with, I might have alienated myself from my children – and that would have done nothing for the relationships that are at the heart of unschooling.

So there’s a real, external reason for prioritizing the care and keeping of me. But that’s really not the point.

If I never nourish or inspire my own soul, I’ll lose myself. Without myself, I have nothing. Nothing for anyone else, but, more importantly, nothing for me.

 

So, even though it’s clumsy, in the last year or two, I’ve put increasing attention on being mindful of me. What does that look like?

  • Rather than attempt to be awake or asleep on my family’s schedule, I honor my own rhythms. I don’t need as much sleep as my spouse or children, and, especially at the new and full moons, I tend to be nocturnal and highly creative. I treasure those quiet hours. I couldn’t fully indulge in this tendency when my children were small, so it’s something I really appreciate now that they’re older.

  • I have my own morning rituals. For years, my Accomplice has generally risen earlier than I do, and gone to watch game shows in the living room. It’s his way of waking up; he needs to cocoon himself. Only in the months since I first read Amy Kennedy’s #onegoodcupproject post, I’ve realized that what I need upon waking is time with my various journals, and in meditation. I’ve also learned that I do best when I change up the meditation, so I’ve been exploring various techniques, such as the tangling drawing shown here.

  • I seek out movement and exercise that suits me. A lot of my activity is hometending, in bursts throughout the day – writing is sedentary, so I set a timer on my phone and hop up when it chimes. I also love moving firewood, mowing the lawn, walking, swimming, and tai chi – generally, low-impact but strenuous activities that allow me time and space for inward focusing.

  • I take time for my own pursuits. Both of my children, ages 14 and 11, enjoy spending a good deal of time in their rooms, engaged in their own pursuits. While we still have more time to just be together doing things we enjoy than we’d have if our kids had school, homework, chores, or punishments, I also have far more free time than I did when they were small and needed me for most of life’s essentials. I use some of this to attend a weekly write in with my local NaNoWriMo group, and to attend tai chi classes. More, I give myself time to write and blog daily, because those are both integral to my personal happiness, and feed my journey into mindfulness.

  • I’ve given myself space. Space to learn and grow in, to create in, to dream in. Physical space, in my cozy little study, and inner space, in unscheduled, flowing spans of time to simply be.

Yes, I’m still learning, still more clumsy than graceful. But that’s if I only look forward to those levels that I haven’t attained yet. If I turn back, though, and see where I’ve come from – well, I’m a prima ballerina!

How about you? Have you been mindful of yourself lately, are you in danger of becoming selfless, or somewhere in the middle, like me, learning and growing as you go along?

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just Jot it January, Life Writing, Mindful Monday

It’s All Connected: Oneness for Mindful Monday and #JusJoJan Day 26

Have you ever had an epiphany? You know, that sudden ping that opens your eyes to a new way of thinking or being? That thing Oprah refers to as an “Aha moment”? That’s what this post is about, more or less. It’s a combination Mindful Monday Healthy Living and Just Jot It January make-up post, for the January 26 prompt, “Oneness”, brought to us by Carol at WritersDream9.

Have you let that aha moment slip by, or embraced it, finding ways to make it truly your own?

One of the most paradigm-shifting realizations I’ve had in recent years has to do with the inter-connectedness of things, and how it impacts my entire life.

The Vulcans have a koan given to them by Surak, who brought logic to a passionate people.

“The spear in the other’s side is the spear in your own; you are he.” 

Yes, I know that Vulcans aren’t real. Or are they? If I believe them to be real, if others do, too, and if they’ve become a part of our culture, then, in some sense, aren’t they real?

Whether or not you believe that they are, I do, and I take that koan to heart. I’m not inclined, these days, to seek revenge or even retribution against those who wrong me. It’s not exactly “turn the other cheek” – I was abused, as a child, and so I know intimately that there are those who would happily take the opportunity to use my cheek to vent their own emotional chaos.

It’s more an awareness. If you hurt others, you hurt yourself, because we’re all part of one another; far less separate than we often tend to think we are. The emotional energy that leads to lashing out at others is toxic – not just to the person we attack, but to us. It’s better, and far healthier, to learn new ways of handling our own emotions. We can become responsive, rather than reactive.

What’s the difference? Reactivity happens instantaneously/ It’s the ifight-or-flight reflex. It’s the domain of the limbic system – the oldest part of our brains. It can lead to crimes of passion, hurtful words, and other sudden explosions. The limbic system doesn’t allow for rational thought. It’s a survival mechanism for those times when we need to react instantly, and taking the time to think things through rationally could get us killed.

Responsiveness means waiting out that limbic reaction. That takes about ninety seconds; after that we can think again. Deep breathing can help us get through that minute and a half; so can separating ourselves from the situation that triggered the response. In his excellent book Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, Thich Nhat Hahn suggests getting still and accepting our emotion rather than fighting it. We’re told anger, fear, jealousy, and other strong emotions are ‘bad’, but, in truth, they’re simply powerful.

There’s something to be learned in these emotions, he advises. Rather than trying to get rid of the feeling, it’s better to turn toward it, to quietly ask it what it’s about, and what would ease it.

When I began doing that, I learned something very valuable about my powerful emotions. Many times, I was angry because I wanted someone else to act according to my own preferences. I wanted to control what others did, and their failure to do as I wanted led to my own furies.

That’s where my wise friend Mary comes in. Once, several years ago, I was angrily recounting an argument I’d had with my Accomplice, when she looked at me and said, “The only person you can control is yourself. The question is, what are you going to do about it?”

It was another paradigm shifter. Yes, I could go on and on in what I saw as righteous fury. But I wasn’t getting anywhere that way, and I was poisoning my marriage and my own soul.

At first, the responsibility of being in control of my own actions and reactions was terrifying and confusing. Did it mean that I simply had to accept behavior from my spouse or others that I found intolerable? That he had no accountability for his own actions?

The answer to both of those questions was no. What I did do was wait for the hard feelings to ease, and then, when I felt we could talk without getting embroiled again, I told him calmly what Mary had told me, and that I wasn’t angry at him anymore, but that I needed to figure out how to deal with behavior on his part that I found personally untenable. That opened the door to a more honest, less emotionally fraught conversation, and a process of change that is ongoing. From that point on, I began to learn how to disagree, and even argue, with him in more productive ways. Eventually, he responded in kind, and things have been getting better ever since.

Just this morning, my Accomplice shared with me that I’d done something he found a bit stressful. Not wrong, just stressful. He told me that he wanted to share it, because he didn’t want it to build up and become an issue between us.

How is all this connected to health and mindfulness? Well, happier marriages offer greater support; give us a partner to help us as we navigate life’s stressors.

Taking responsibility for my own actions, and releasing others to theirs, keeps me from a great deal of angst in my life. Living in a way that accepts others and embraces peace rather than retaliation means that I live in a kinder and gentler world than I might, otherwise. It frees me up to simply live, joyfully, focusing on what makes me happy and healthy.

So, even though this post is a bit rambling, that’s OK, because all these things connect to one another in a spirit of oneness that feeds our healthy living.

Want more Mindful Monday learning? Follow the link!

Posted in Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Mindful Monday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom

“Smile More. Talk Less.” Wise Words for Mindful Monday

The title of this post was advice given to me years ago, when I was a waitress working the insanely busy lunch shifts at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Hundreds of guests would converge after every eruption of the Old Faithful geyser, those who’d postponed their meal to watch the “show” mingling with those who’d opted to eat first, and so were eager to get out to the boardwalk or up to the rooftop patio so that they wouldn’t “miss it”. Strangely, although they’d all come to see a geyser so predictable that eruption times were listed in the hotel lobby, and even though the geothermal feature’s very name gives testament to its famous reliability, a great many guests seemed to be deeply fearful that they’d come all this way, only to miss it.

With so many people in such a hurry, even a 300 seat dining room could get hugely chaotic. The pace was intense, and there was little time to make guests feel special – one of the biggest reasons I loved waiting tables so much. I often found myself torn between my desire to connect and offer that extra level of service, and the need to be moving so fast I seldom had time to stop and think, let alone take that moment to engage beyond introducing myself, giving the specials, taking the orders, and delivering their drinks and meals.

“Talk less. Smile more.” said my manager.

A smile and eye contact can be given in passing; it’s a sort of nonverbal “I see you” for the guest, and allows the pace and rhythm integral to successful waiting to be maintained. A smile at the table, again with eye contact, makes the business of the interaction more personal with no extra time needed. Smiles and eye contact while delivering food, checking back, clearing, bringing the check and collecting payment added that warmth that made the meal more pleasant for all of us.

I haven’t waited tables for years, now, and being a writer is an avocation with a different pace. I can set my own goals and my own schedule for attaining them. I can decide what areas of craft I want to perfect, and how I want to interact…it’s another aspect of mindfulness, knowing what will carry me closer to my current professional goals.

Right now, I’m in the midst of immersing myself in the art of revision. It’s my weakest area – I’m fast at drafting, and becoming much more efficient at planning and plotting. Revision is the thing that stands between me and publication at a rate that will eventually earn a modest income, and help me share my writing with more of those who may be touched by it.

So, as I learn and grow, my blogposts may be shorter for a while – more smiles than long conversations. Yes, I see you, and I’ll be with you as soon as I can be. I haven’t forgotten you, and I care – about each of my readers, and your comments. If I don’t answer right away, I hope you’ll think of those lunch rushes and the advice of my former manager.

This is a smile for everyone who visits. The conversation may be more scant for a few weeks, but I promise that it will pick up again once I’ve found a place of equilibrium in my learning process.

What are your current goals?

Do you ever feel a need to immerse yourself?

What would smiling more and talking less look like, in your life?

Want more Mindful Monday learning?

Follow the link!

Here’s three more smiles for you! =D =D =D
Posted in Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Mindful Monday, Writing in Freedom

Solstice Soul Treats for Mindful Monday

Happy Solstice!

I’m a fan of the night-time. There’s something about those long quiet hours that sets my mind to peaceful wandering. Sometimes I have Big Ideas, epiphanies, and revelations. And so, on this longest night of the year, it seems like a perfect time to get mindful….

And what I’m feeling most mindful about, on this first and  longest winter’s night, is the season at hand.

Somewhere along the way, Christmas became – something other than a simple religious celebration – either the Christian one, or those which it long ago supplanted. Instead, it’s become, for many people, and in many ways, a secular, consumer holiday – a season of chores and obligations and to-do lists, more than a simple, magical observance.

In the midst of the holiday bustle, today I’d like to offer something of a peaceful oasis, and an invitation:

Please join me as we pause in our busyness, and give our souls a little treat.

How do we do that?

Well, it’s different for each of us. To find out what it is for you, ask yourself what delights you. You get bonus points if it’s free, and if it doesn’t take more time than you feel comfortable giving to it. And you win the jackpot if what delights you can also benefit you in some way.

For me, the jackpot was decorating a bulletin board.

You see, I mostly write in my study, a small windowless room. I’m also a wide-angle kind of person, and an unscchooling mom, which means that there’s a lot of spontaneity in my life.

So I have a space that could use brightening, an array of writing projects at varying degrees of completion, and a lifestyle that means I might not know in advance just when or for how long I’ll have for my writing projects.

A few weeks ago, I realized that the bulletin board, which was outdated, was my answer. Late-night inspiration struck, and I realized that I could redo the board in a way that was both whimsical and functional.

And I got the chance to play with paper, colors, textures, writing, and decorating – all little treats for my creative soul.

Over a few days, I spent about four hours total, working on the bulletin boards in small sprints (I’m a huge fan of sprints for all sorts of things – that may be a spinoff post!). I made a great big paper mess, in the best of ways, and I’ve ended up with a pretty splash of color that feels more like a window. It invites my eyes, and that means that I’ll look at it and use it – and that will inspire me to spend time writing, which feeds my soul in another way…

It wasn’t until after I created the board that I truly realized just how much of a treat it was. I had fun playing with the idea and the execution. Every time I look at it, I smile – it’s just so bright and cute! The colors, lettering, and design all give me a little thrill of joy.

Even better, there’s room to expand. I can add new projects, and move the ones already there along their paths to completion. My daughter, eleven, might make me some worms and butterflies to decorate it with even more whimsy…

Yup, that’s a soul treat!

 What’s your soul fancy? Will you take the time, in the midst of all your activities and preparations, all your buying and wrapping, and give yourself just a little soul gift?

Want more Mindful Monday? Follow the link!

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Mindful Monday

Small Steps to Fitness for Mindful Monday

Do you know that feeling of wanting to set a goal, but being still too fuzzy on the details to do it? There’s kind of a nagging quality to it, that crawling feeling of something that wants tending to left undone.

I’ve been feeling that, when it comes to fitness and health – I knew I wanted to set escalating goals that build upon one another, and yet still make sense within the reality of my life- the framework into which everything else must fit.

But I was stuck on how to do this.

And that’s where the wonderful world of blogging comes in.

Last spring, I read this wonderful post by Amy Kennedy. I resolved to begin my own #onegoodcupproject that same day, and, I’ve done it nearly every day since. I write in three separate journals, do a bit of reading, and meditate for a few minutes, which puts me in a mindful frame for the rest of my day.

Sometimes, the intersections between the things I read and do hold magic. My intentions journal, for instance, has action-inciting prompts scattered through its pages. On December 2, I reached one that asked me to outline my overall health goals. This is what I wrote, that day:

Outlining my goals needs some thought, brainstorming, and focus. Maybe why I haven’t been oriented to this more…

Tomorrow, I delve into the emotions.

Tonight, I ponder.”

Clearly, I wasn’t exactly primed to make anything approaching a specific plan…and the next entry? Well, judge for yourself:

December 4, 2015 –

I didn’t write here yesterday – the kids and I headed to Saratoga for the Victorian Streetwalk, which we usually attend if weather and schedule cooperate.

Had a lovely time, and, of course, did some walking!

Okay, so on to health goals…here’s my first impressions:

  • More consciousness

  • Balance

  • Sanity

  • Fitness

  • Health

These are the main categories I want to focus on…”

Are you starting to see the problem,here? It’s really hard to change something for the better when I can’t even define the change I want to make in general terms!

Here’s the next entry:

December 6, 2015 –

Missed yesterday again. More walking – Annalise received an invitation…

OK, for the health goals….I have to confess, I’m not feeling them now. More tomorrow…”

Clearly, there was some serious resistance going on, here. I needed a lifeline. And then, one found me.

December 7, 2015 –

I think I have the glimmer of an idea that will shape my exploration and setting of fitness/health goals…

Silver Threading is running a long-term feature on healthy living as part of her Mindful Monday project. I’m going to start with that, and make my explorations public.

That will benefit me – I’m thinking I can do it either once or twice a month; not only would that keep me accountable and forward-thinking, it would give me ready MM topics for those weeks, and be even better if I develop a template for these…”

This may not be quite the tack most people would take for this prompt – but I had been disconnected from it, and now I’m feeling energized and raring to create a new vision and bring it to life!

Yay, words and writing!”

Ah, so there’s my “in”! Now that it’s in ink, I don’t know how I missed it so long. For me, experiencefreely shared through words, experience that might help someone else to a goal of their own, is a powerful motivator. It’s obvious with the shifting vibe, the longer entry, and the way it continues into the next post:

December 8, 2015 –

I’ve been thinking more about the MM fitness link.

I’ll let myself feel my way into this topic, a little at a time…because it’s not about ticking things off a to-do list – it’s about my life!”

Ah, and there was the realization I needed to really start to connect with the idea. It was the union of intent, motivation, mission, and revelation. Where I began with a sense of befuddled resistance to an idea that seemed vague and overwhelming, I’ve now come to the place where I’ve got a mindful approach that makes sense to me, because it suits my nature and my life. It gives me the time and space to think and feel this through organically, and to make shifts as I need to. More than that, I’ll be doing it in community, and that is also important to me, because I can draw from others, and offer to others, as I go along. And I honor my creative spirit, which might just be my best tool for change.

I’ll be back in two weeks with the first musings and small steps on the path to a greater vision.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your stories! When you set goals, are you mindful of your own nature Do you use it to achieve your goals, or does it seem you’re always trying to exert your will against it?

Want more Mindful Monday learning? Follow the link!

 

Posted in Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Mindful Monday, Writing in Freedom

In a Playful Holiday Spirit: Mindful Monday

Do you play? If so, how, when, where, why, and with whom?

What do you think of when you hear the word play? Is it a single activity, or a wild array of options – a structured garden, or a wild meadow?

Can you say or write the word ‘play’ in another language? Sign it?

What good is play? Is it possible to play mindfully? What would that look like?

What would a life centered around play – one where play is the goal of the family, look like? Is that possible? Is it a good idea, or a disaster waiting to happen?

I’ve been mulling the idea of play very seriously, these last few days., turning it over and over in my mind, like the rock I hold when I meditate (for playful reasons of my own, I refer to this as my trellium rock). I’m exploring it through all of my senses, and at different angles.

And I’ll likely be coming back to it, again and again, here on my blog.

Today, two childhood memories arose They’re connected to each other, and to play. I don’t promise that I have the words of these memory-voices exactly right,because memory and perception are, at best, capricious things…

Memory #1:

I’m sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of black coffee. I’ve got a pen in my hand, and I’m writing yet another Star Trek fan fiction Spock story. My parents don’t know this, but it’s an erotic story, as all of my stories are. I think I’m about sixteen years old. The erotica is particularly bad; I’ve got no personal experience to go on, at this point in my life.

Why are you wasting time with that scribbling?” My father yells. “You’ll never make any money writing, unless you become a journalist. Otherwise, this is just a pipe dream.”

I don’t want to be a journalist. At sixteen, I already know I’m too opinionated; a trait inherited  honestly. I don’t want to report objectively; I want to write what I want, and find the truth in the stories I weave.

Memory #2:

 My mother is finishing supper preparations, and I’m setting the table, because it’s my job.

How can someone as smart as you like such a stupid show?” Her voice is scornful; it always is when Star Trek comes up.

“It’s not a stupid show -” I start, but she cuts me off. She doesn’t want to hear it; her mind is made up. Judgment has been passed, and it’s a stupid show, so that’s that. She doesn’t really want an answer from me, anyway.

So there’s no point in telling her that, for me, Star Trek is a fascinating playground full of new ideas, new philosophies, new possibilities. I don’t dare tell her that it’s my lifeline when things are too much in our volatile home? And how could I ever tell her how very much I love to play with Vulcans, or why?!

And Now…

For decades, I heard those voices endlessly repeat in my mind. I didn’t stop loving Star Trek – without it, quite simply, I wouldn’t be me…it’s woven into my warp and my weft, and indelible part of the pattern of my life.

I didn’t stop writing, either (or, at least, thinking about writing, since there was a marked dry spell of actually putting words to paper when my children were small). I didn’t even stop writing Star Trek fan fiction.

I put my writing guiltily in spiral bound notebooks; when they were full, I guiltily piled them on a shelf, or in a cupboard – proof of the time a smart person had spent stupidly, and of my childish refusal to give up onpipe dreams.

I seldom showed them to anyone, except my best friend. Once in a while, I would read one of the ‘naughty’ bits to my Accomplice. But, for the most part, those stories just sat there, gathering dust, taunting me.

If you browse the sidebar, you’ll see that’s no longer the case.

These days, I treat all of my writing – fanfic and otherwise. – as mindful play. The fanfic itself has changed, some – I’m more likely to write Trip and T’Pol shipping stories now than I am Spock stories. But, regardless of the particulars, that’s my playground, my sandbox, my learning lab. It’s indispensable to me, as a writer and a human being.

I learn about writing from them – and I learn about myself, and the world I inhabit, at the same time. I’m a better writer and a better human because of them…

And, this holiday season, I’ve decided to honor that.

How?

Beginning tomorrow, December 1, I’ll be sharing my Enterprise Advent Calendar.

What’s that?

Well, for that part, you’ll just have to wait a day – (or, if it’s after December 1, 2015 when you read this, click the date and be a time traveler!).

Come on back tomorrow, and open that Very First Tab!

Click for more Mindful Monday playtime!