Continuing Faith | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Spirituality, Temple Building
To accept is easy; to continue is difficult. But Buddhahood lies in continuing faith. Nichiren wrote The Difficulty of Sustaining Faith to one of his most trusted disciples, Shijo Kingo. Shijo was being pressured to give up his practice of Buddhism, and Nichiren reminded him that difficulties were predicted in the Lotus Sutra – that he must bear this firmly in mind and remain steadfast. Although this letter is about maintaining faith in Buddhism, the encouragement is applicable to anyone. Victory lies in never giving up. It requires one to be relentless in her commitment to a task. How many times do we start something – anything – with energy and verve, only to be to swayed when difficulty comes along? For instance, let’s say your goal is to run a…
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Off the grid. Writing anyway. | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy.

30 Day Blog Challenge
I'm off the grid today, and all day tomorrow. My blogging is compromised a bit, but something is better than nothing. As most of you know by now, I'm participating in Tayari's WriteLikeCrazy challenge. My goal was to write a minimum of 15 minutes a day toward a goal of 4 hours a week. I also wanted to publish one blog per week. Those may seem to be low goals, but for someone who wasn't even approaching those numbers, it was a stretch. My underlying goal was to build a writing habit. Almost at the same time, Aliya invited us to participate in the 30in30 blog challenge, with the goal of writing one blog a day for 30 days. Talk about kicking it up a notch! I decided to do…
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Every Tiny Bit | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity
I’m proud of myself. I have written daily, without fail, during the 30in30 and WriteLikeCrazy challenge. Today, I don’t have much to say, yet I remain committed. So here I am, showing up, even though I’m sleepy and am not up to writing any of the brilliant ideas germinating. I have no harsh words for myself. Only love and congratulations for continuing to forge ahead, one word at a time. I wish the same for you. Never for an instant forget the effort to renew your life, to build yourself anew. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway of life itself. This is not an easy task. Indeed, it may be the most severely challenging struggle there is. For opening the door to your own life is in the…
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Cultivating Inner Discipline

Personal Narrative, Productivity, Spirituality, Temple Building
Cultivating inner discipline is something that takes time; expecting rapid results is simply a sign of impatience. — Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) May 25, 2012 People often remark how disciplined I seem as if I woke up one morning and it just happened. It didn't. And truth be told, I'm not equally disciplined in all areas of my life (who is?).  Like everyone else, I am a work in progress. No Victory is Too Small Being disciplined is the result of daily effort - but not Herculean effort. For me, the smaller, the better. I take baby steps. I may not accomplish everything I want today, but I can be accomplished today. I can move forward today. I do this by finding the one, small, specific item I know I can do. I set my…
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On accountability partners.

Personal Narrative, Productivity
Do you have an accountability partner?  I do. In fact, I work with groups and individuals to help hold myself accountable to my goals. It's one of my personal victory strategies, and I talk about it with Ben over at Literature Review HQ. This link takes you to Ben's site. There you can play the podcast from his page or download it for later.
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Wherein I respond to a writing prompt.

Productivity, Writer's Craft
"What are you putting off that would make your life better if you did it?" What's a concrete step you can take towards that goal? Although I take issue with the phrasing of the question, the spirit of the question is basically, what are you dreaming about, and how can you start to accomplish it? Answer? I’m dreaming about writing novels. I can go write one. I’m giggling because that’s a bold statement on many levels, but it really boils down to action. I don’t need to think about it. I don’t need to wonder about it. I don’t need to keep researching it. I just need to start (or continue, because I have, at least, begun). Easier said than done. A recent Facebook exchange illustrates my thinking on the…
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Spinning Wheels

Personal Narrative, Productivity
Let's make big goals. Every day, be clear about the task at hand. Ambiguity and ambivalence are the cause for spinning one's wheels and getting nowhere. Challenge yourself unremittingly until you seize victory and success. ~Daisaku Ikeda, Nichiren Buddhist philosopher Lately, I have not been clear about the tasks at hand. I have neither reviewed, revisited, nor reconsidered my goals, big or otherwise. There are certain tasks I must complete for my job, and those are easy to acknowledge and accomplish. But it's the personal work I've neglected as of late. My writing. My teaching. Healing work. I've let things slide. The result? Days like today: a day in which I have the time and freedom to delve into pleasing topics, but no sense of joy because I'm rather unfocused. Haphazard.…
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In Praise of the Pomodoro Technique

Productivity, Temple Building
You might've seen one before - a little red timer disguised as a tomato. Well a tomato is a pomodoro, and the tomato timer is the inspiration behind the Pomodoro Technique. Created in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the technique is designed to make time our ally as we manage it better and become more productive. [caption id="attachment_457" align="alignright" width="225"] This is a pomodoro timer. I just used the timer on my phone though.[/caption] To Do Today “To Do” lists. We all have them. Some of them may be indescribably long. Sometimes they may simply include one item. A big item. An item that takes a week or two to complete. (Or a semester, e.g., “Complete dissertation”). At any rate, many of us set about the tasks at hand pretty…
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