Moving Forward in the Blog

I want to start to talk about things no one else has dared talk about.

The number-one takeaway I’ve come away with while having been inside my apartment for 3 weeks is this:

Art is a Guaranty of Sanity

like the refrigerator magnet I bought proclaims.

My destiny appears to be to use the creative process to turn my ideas into reality.

By blogging and writing books to educate, entertain, and empower my target market.

Which as I see it is people who want to recover and need to recover.

My goal is to advance my vision of recovery from whatever a person is in recovery from.

This can be from an illness, from a micro-aggression, from any kind of setback hardship or obstacle either internal or external.

No–we cannot go back to the way things were in society before the CO-VI19 outbreak.

Egotism and bigotry must not prevail.

People cannot continue to hate and judge each other.

We need to halt acting greedy and seedy pursuing power at the expense of other human beings.

I identify as an Artist.

As an Artist, I believe in the transformative beauty of creating art to make the world a better place.

There’s so much that’s not right in society. I would like to do my part to change the frequency in terms of shifting the needle to the left of the dial.

To start a dialogue where everyone is free to speak the truth about who they are and why they’re here in this lifetime.

To use the blogs as an outlet to help others believe that recovery is possible.

To continue to write mostly about topics geared to mental and physical health.

To give readers a shot in the arm of confidence to express themselves without fear of reprisal.

I firmly believe that each of us is possessed with a power bigger than our pain.

The CO-VID19 outbreak will end.

It’s time to plan for a better future for ourselves, our loved ones, and the planet.

 

Using the Creative Process to Heal

Having sheltered in place for over 2 weeks has gotten me to think and reflect on planning for the future.

I’ve formulated the goal to publish fiction with a traditional publisher.

While in my apartment I have been writing a new novel.

As an Artist who is an Author I have long touted using the creative process to heal from an illness.

I was lucky that 5 days before New York City shut down I was able to go in person to Best-Buy to order a new computer.

Since then I’ve been writing the new novel.

My experience while indoors living through this pandemic has reinforced my vision that recovery is possible.

Engaging in the creative process–sketching and painting, listening to the radio or playing an instrument, writing poetry or short stories or a book–can enable a person to live through a crisis like the one we’re experiencing.

Engaging in the creative process enabled me to heal from a serious illness.

The CO-VID19 pandemic has tragically ended a lot of people’s lives. I”m not discounting that death is possible because of the coronavirus.

What I’m getting at is that living through this pandemic by sheltering in place has changed my view of living life on an ordinary day.

Once the CO-VID19 outbreak has resolved I plan to act bolder. To not take anyone else’s bull crap. To walk to the edge of my comfort zone and keep on going.

I have more to say about using the creative process to recover. I’ll talk about this in the next blog entry.

Thriving in a Crisis – Some Thoughts

New York State has the highest recorded number of cases of CO-VID19  in the United States.

In New York City where I live Mayor DeBlasio has stated that it’s possible that upwards of 50 percent of the residents will become infected.

This blog entry is the first in a carnival of entries I want to write on the topic of thriving in a crisis.  You might learn something from my experience having sheltered in place for over two weeks.

I submit that protecting your mental health in a time of crisis like this pandemic we’re experiencing is predicated on one simple tactic: enjoying your own company when you’re alone.

Not seeking to numb your thoughts and feelings with snacks, food, drugs, or alcohol.

You need to like yourself when you’re alone because that’s what matters in the end–not whether other people like you when you’re outside.

I don’t like to watch to TV. Watching TV is touted as a pleasant activity. In fact  I detest watching TV.

While sheltering in place I have started to write a new novel that is a work of fiction.

In the coming blog entries I want to talk about how thriving in a crisis is possible.

My experience sheltering in place has profoundly altered how I see things.

 

Sheltering in Place

My job has shut down indefinitely.

As others might be sheltering in place as well I would like to take about mental health in a time of crisis.

The number-one goal as I see it in this time of staying indoors is to eat as healthfully as possible.

The second critical goal is to keep up your mental health.

You can click on my home gym category to see how you can exercise at home.

I’ve been buying a CSA box of organic produce plus a mound of cheese and carton of eggs via FreshDirect online grocer in New York City.

Type in CSA box in the search bar.

PeaPod is available elsewhere.

As long as you can keep up buying food this is what is imperative.

What matters most as I see it is protecting your mental and physical health.

Today more than every nutritious food can elevate your mood.

I would tell others to stay inside. Only go out to the bank or food shopping or the laundry center should you have to. You might think nothing could happen because you’ve been inside a long time so far. I wouldn’t risk going out.

Stay 6 feet away from others as recommended to practice social distancing.

In a coming blog entry I’ll post a message I posted to my other blog.

It bears repeating that having compassion is the way to go.

Be kind to yourself when you’re holed up in your apartment or house.

The CO-VID19 outbreak will settle down. We will return to normal.

Giving Yourself a Lifeline

Years ago when I was the Health Guide at a website I wrote an article there about goal-setting. Over five years ago I first advanced the idea of giving yourself a lifeline. Instead of a strict impossible-to-achieve-by deadline.

The goal of exercising 5 days a week I would say is unrealistic for most people except athletes and fitness buffs.

The goal of losing 20 or 30 or more pounds also can’t be executed quickly.

How quick is too quick? Expecting change within three weeks is not realistic. 90 days is the Changeology action plan length of time for achieving a goal. And some goals will take years and years to achieve.

The fact is that the cumulative effect of the sub-goals you’re executing week-by-week adds up over time.

You might not notice a difference until 5 months later. Five months later the change might seem to have come out of the blue. And it seems sudden and astounding.

I also know from my own experience that having a fallow period is to be expected.

This fallow period can last a year or two and not just a week or two weeks or a season.

That’s why getting hung up on achieving goals quickly is a mistake.

A fallow period or a plateau is to be expected and planned for.

A setback is the cost of doing business in the real world. It’s why I don’t like to use the word failure. Thinking you’re a failure sets you up to not want to try again when the first option didn’t work out.

When a goal doesn’t go as you planned that’s a sign that you need to adapt your strategy.

Life will tell you what to do if only you stop to listen.

Taking time to slow down is imperative. It’s called practicing mindfulness and I wrote about this in here a year ago. You can use the search bar of this blog to type in the word mindfulness to find this blog entry to read.

The fact is that rush, rush, rushing through your goals, your activities, and your life only serves to backfire.

Italians have the ethic of “piano-piano” which is doing things slowly slowly.

See if what I’ve written makes sense. Giving yourself a lifeline might just be the secret solution to achieving your goals.

Quick is often the antithesis of lasting when it comes to making changes.

Going at your goals rat-a-tat-tat and firing away at them every single minute of the day might also impede success.

Voila–extending to yourself a lifeline.

Having Hope for Making Changes

I want to use my own experience as a beacon to guide readers in making positive changes.

My own life could empower you that there’s hope.

Even when it seems like there’s an obstacle: you’re too old, too out of shape, too ill, whatever “too” that you think is holding you back.

Exhibit Chris: I didn’t start lifting weights until I turned 46 in 2011. For about five or six months before my birthday I rarely did any exercise.

From the week before Christmas until this week in January 2020–for about one month I hadn’t done a walk/run on the treadmill. And I lifted weights only sporadically until this week too.

The point of this story is that you need to take the long view.

A temporary setback today has no impact on your success in the end.

Exhibit A Guy I Know: He hadn’t held a job in a number of years. He turned 55 and said: “This is it. No more inactivity. I’m going to get a job.”

Change is possible at any time along the road in your recovery or your life. I went to graduate school with a woman who was 70.

Danica Patrick in her book tells readers to simply do the next healthy thing. After you do this thing, do the next health thing after that. And so on.

This is how sustaining following through on your goal happens: you set sub-goals along the way.

I liken this to compartmentalizing your efforts. When you do this you can be effective for the long-term.

Just to tell readers that you’re not alone. You’re not unusual.

Everyone falls down along the way to getting where we want to be. Getting back up–being resilient–is key.

The Changeology book details strategies to employ when you’ve had a setback.

I’ll end here with my last words of encouragement:

Start where you are. Today is how it is and tomorrow can be different.

I hope that my own life experience can inspire you that change is possible.

How to Motivate Yourself

My sincerest hope is that I can do some good in my time here by using this blog as a motivational platform to educate, empower, and entertain readers.

My contention is that taking action sets in motion positive thinking. Which spurs a person to take more action. And so on. Like a peppermint stick thoughts and actions swirl around each other to reinforce goal-setting habits.

This December at long last I followed through on a long-held goal. Meeting a person who had competed in a marathon gave me the kick in the training pants to take action.

Before the holidays at the end of the year I achieved my goal of doing a walk/run on the treadmill 1/x per week. I did this for 4 weeks in a row.

Achieving this simple goal gave me the confidence that I could achieve other goals. Even ones not related to physical fitness.

Executing one goal–hopping on the treadmill–fired up my mental energy and alacrity.

It gave me the chance to think differently about myself and my skills, strengths, and abilities.

Always I’ve seen that by first taking action it leads to positive thinking. The physical act of doing something creates a positive cascade of thoughts flowing in the right direction.

Danica Patrick in her book Pretty Intense calls this your “mind river.”

I realized that I’m an innovative thinker. It’s easier to have self-acceptance.

My ulterior motive in keeping my two blogs is to empower readers to have self pride and to like yourself in a world where there’s still a lot of judging and stereotyping going on.

Living on earth it’s a better world precisely because everyone’s different.

The saddest waste of anyone’s “human capital” is for a person to try to change who they are to get other people’s approval.

I’m done with that. I’m done with caring what other people think.

Set a goal. Use the Changeology 5-step 90-day action plan to aid you in achieving the goal if you want to use this guide. See what happens.

Simply by doing a walk/run on the treadmill I started to internalize the powerful message that what makes me different gives me a specialty.

So too this is for everyone: what makes you different gives you an advantage.

You don’t have to be anyone other than who you are to succeed.