How are you feeling?
I ask friends and loved ones this question frequently — but I do not ask this of myself nearly enough. Yet it is one of the quintessential questions of mindfulness.
What I am thinking, what, and how I am feeling are the most tangible elements of mindfulness — next to the intent behind my actions.
To be aware and conscious of what is happening within my mindset/headspace/psyche, certain questions are akin to opening doors and windows:
- What am I thinking about?
- How am I feeling?
- What am I feeling?
- Why am I doing this, that, or the other thing?
- Where am I versus where do I desire to be?
Each of these question — especially when asked aloud — make me mindful.
Still, even when I ask them and get answers to them — that doesn’t mean I am not somewhat at a loss.
How am I lost?
Despite all that I do to walk my own path in life and live how I most desire to live, I still enjoy patterns.
Most people that I know have habitual patterns for their life. Some things take them out of that pattern from time to time, but overall, it drives them.
I do the same thing. Most days I get out of bed, make coffee, play a mindless game via Facebook, check email — write and/or post a blog. Go for a walk. Take a shower. Get dressed, spend the day writing, editing, working on a website — and/or — spend time at the office for the freelance gig. Dinner. TV. More online time, possibly writing, hopefully reading before bed. Rinse and repeat tomorrow.
Within my habitual pattern, I spend way too much time scrolling through Facebook, chatting on Messenger, checking and rechecking email, and feeling like I am not doing what I should be doing.
And what exactly should I be doing? That’s the question. And that is how I am lost.
I am writing and editing full-time. Yet it is still not paying my bills as well as I’d like it to be. To make it work for me better, I need to increase book sales and get more readers for my articles on Medium.
Over the past few weeks, since my freelance gig began its shift, I’ve been working on this. Yet I am not finding answers any different from most of what I am already doing.
Yes, I should redo my mailing list — but other than that? I am feeling lost. I really don’t know what I should do next.
Evaluating the path
It is probably a good idea to evaluate if this path that I am on is where I desire to be.
Do I still love writing? Yes. Does writing still make me happy? Yes. Am I writing enough? Maybe, but maybe not.
Underway right now is an edit of my 3 rdfantasy novel, and I should be getting my standalone fantasy novel I intend to publish in December back from the editor any day now. Book 2 of my sci-fi series, The Void Incursion, is nearly ready for its November 9 threlease. I need to edit the 3 rdbook in the series and get it off to the editor for it’s May 2021 release — and I have been writing what will become book 4.
I write at least one blog article 5–6 days a week. And I am playing with a new story idea for another sci-fi series — planning my plot quite differently from my usual approach.
Yes, this still excites me. So how come I am feeling lost?
What expectations am I meeting?
I frequently write about not allowing outside influences to set expectations for you. Whose life is it anyway?
Still, it’s hard not to seek out meeting certain expectations. Money needs to be earned to have food, clothing, and shelter. Then you need items that are essentials, but to a lesser degree — mobile phones, computers and tablets, cars, and that kind of thing.
And let’s face it — I am well aware my privilege is showing with this statement — but it’s also REALLY nice to have non-essentials like art, collectibles, and various toys you could live without but would prefer not to.
When you are walking a non-standard path — particularly one not known to earn money easily — it’s easy to feel lost. Why? Because you are in uncharted territory.
Sure, others have blazed a similar trail — but not yours. Ergo, getting lost along the way is an inevitability.
I am not Neil Gaiman, Paulo Coelho, or Jen Sincero — but there was a time when each of them wasn’t someone blazing a similar trail that they admired, I have no doubt. If they can do it — why can’t I?
Yes, I need to contribute to my household. My wife expects me to earn my share to cover our expenses. That’s an expectation I desire to live up to because she is my partner.
The expectations of some friends and family desiring that I follow a more conventional path, however, isn’t mine to be met. Why? Because they are not me just as I am not them.
Does a conventional, 9–5 office job work for you? More power to you! That concept, however, really doesn’t work for me.
Though I choose my path, since it is full of unknowns — it’s no wonder I get lost at times.
Lost today is found tomorrow
If you are feeling lost along the way — you are not alone.
Everyone experiences this on one level or another. That’s just part of being human.
If you always know where you are going and what you are doing — does that stimulate growth and change? Nope. Even people who play it safe and take few to no risks will still get lost sometimes.
The important takeaway here is to recognize when you are feeling lost — and try to work out why. For example — why am I feeling lost? Because I am unsure how to proceed with promoting my books and getting more reads for my articles online.
How do I get found? I presume I need to do more research and explore further resources to take the next steps. Or — I need to find a mentor (preferably one I feel understands what I need and helps me achieve that — without breaking the bank in the process.)
The point is that lost today can be found tomorrow. It’s a choice — because if you don’t explore why and how you are lost you won’t easily find your way through.
Granted, you can make no choices or decisions — but odds are, you will remain lost as such.
Presently, with the collective consciousness facing so much uncertainty, dis-ease, fear, and a lack of knowing — feeling lost is all-too-common. There are so many factors in the air presently that it’s easy to get lost among them.
Yes, there are plans afoot and paths I am on — but that doesn’t mean I am not lost, too. Yet I am working on getting out of this feeling of being lost. Now that I recognize why and how — finding a way through is entirely up to me.
Are you feeling lost? If so, why — and how will you proceed?
Know that you are worthy and deserving of using mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done our thoughts, feelings, and actions matter, as does accepting that you can and will get lost along the way.
Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on September 9, 2020.