Monday, January 24, 2011

Tips from the Tops - having changed your attitude remain that way...

From time to time on this blog I have talked about the Paramitas and sometimes the Lojong teachings. Both are guidelines, somewhat proverbial in a way, of how to live a life of awareness. This morning when I sat on my cushion I chose a card from the Lojong slogan cards that I have - the one I turned up was 'Having changed your attitude remain that way.' 

Usually when I do Tips from the Tops it is from a top writer - today it is from a top teacher - an enlightened person who knew that if humans worked with their minds diligently and joyfully, they could wake up and free themselves from their stuck thinking. So I am going to take this slogan and work with it in terms of writing discipline.

Tip: Having changed your attitude remain that way.
Top: Lord Atisha
What this means to me:  I like it when this slogan surfaces in my life. It reminds me that I need not agonize every day, every moment about who I've decided to be and how I wish to go about being that human. With my writing practice, just like with my meditation practice, my kindness practice, my healthy body/mind practice - I can make my life difficult. How? By having to realize every day that I am a writer. By agonizing over word count, rejection letters, other people's successes and failures, my pocket-book, my personal life and on and on. When I read this slogan I remember that I chose this life. When asked what I do I reply - I am a writer. Not an author - a writer. Not a successful world-renown celebrity - a writer. And what do writer's do? They write. They keep on keeping on. Whether they are heart-broken, whether they are hungry, whether they are ecstatically in love, or burning with shame about some dopey thing they did - they bring it all to the offering table - they offer it all up to their writing.
It took me a long time to be able to change my attitude from someone who dreamed of being a writer to one who said I am a writer. It took me agonizing hours of going back and forth between thoughts of giving it up and submitting to a more practical lifestyle, one where my kids would have more cookies made by me, or bought by me, where my ego wouldn't be assaulted by red pencils, where I could settle for a very reasonable life and people would still love me and think I'm doing all right. I changed my attitude though. I proclaimed my belief in myself and I don't need to decide that every single day now. It is decided. Now that I've set my feet on this path I do not need to keep checking the map, my bag of provisions, the weather - no - I just need to walk my walk.

18 comments:

Paul Greci said...

"Walk my walk." I like that idea. Lots choices to be made when you walk...:-)

Helen Ginger said...

Sounds like you not only have accepted your decision, you're at peace with it. There might be times when you stop to sit and enjoy the path, but you will continue your walk.

Jan Morrison said...

Paul - that is true. Lots of choices but not about the walking I think.

Helen - I am. That doesn't mean I don't forget from time to time which is why I like the slogan cards. And I often STROLL! ;)

DazyDayWriter said...

Wonderful post! Giving yourself the stamp of approval is always a great way to go -- the Universe will respond with applause, I'm sure :)

N. R. Williams said...

Good post Jan. It's nice to meet you. Thank you for your comment on Helen Ginger's blog about my post. I have entered you into the contest. If you want, you can check out previous post on my blog book tour as well as future ones. I check them daily and record who has left their email for the contest. Winner will be announced Feb. 1.
Cheers,
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

They say that attitude is everything and it sounds like you have a good one. Gook luck!

Carol Kilgore said...

Such a good post. It's all about attitude. And a little hard work.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I think you've made such a good point--we've chosen to do this. And most of us feel really driven to do it. Ultimately, it's all about the writing and not getting hung up on the details that go along with it.

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I couldn't agree with you more! First, we have to choose a way to think and to frame ourselves. Having done that, we have to live that way. Or else, really, we haven't changed our assumptions...

Jemi Fraser said...

Lovely post Jan. I love the quote too - so much thought in so few words.

Ann said...

Oh Jan, it is like you peered into my soul and read my dreams and my fears. It is soothing to find others struggle at times too. Thank you.

Hart Johnson said...

It is wacky, isn't it? Crossing that line. I don't think I could ever NOT be a writer again. I certainly need to remember this though, in OTHER life domains. I have more worries about letting writing take OVER than I do about not writing, but getting into a healthy fitness routine?

Jan Morrison said...

Thanks Daisy - I think so!
Nancy - thanks for dropping by - I appreciate your thoughts.
Jane - I believe in true grit and pluck and that is all attitude...
Carol - oh yeah, definitely work. But work that I choose and love.
Elizabeth - the choosing is the main point.
Margot - yepper - choose and having chosen don't fret yourself...
Jemi - yes and he wrote it several hundred years ago...pith instructions!
Oh good, Ann. I love it when I post into someone's heart! That's a bullseye for me.
Tartlette - I hear you, sister.

Clarissa Draper said...

That's great advice. I know that I forget sometimes and have to be reminded that I chose the path I'm on and have to make the best of it. I love writing and though sometimes regret it when the times are tough, ultimately the profession fits me best.

RosieC said...

This is a beautiful post, Jan. Thank you. I think keeping your attitude positive once you've made the change, though, is perhaps the hardest part. I admire your ability to strive for consistency. May we all be a little more like that.

Thank you :)

Jan Morrison said...

Clarissa - you've got that right! Everytime I read your blog I find it impossible to remember how young you are! You are one wise soul and I love it when you visit me...glad to be on the path with you!
Rosie - I always like how sunny your disposish is! It is definitely a practice and we'll all get better at it the more we do it - now if I could just get to my accordion!!! ;)

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Rayna M. Iyer said...

Having changed your attitude, let it remain that way. What a great reminder.