Tag Archives: Week 10

King of Coins – Week 10: What’s My Motivation

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!

Instructions: “[…]We can sometimes lose motivation due to being afraid of the change that will come with progress on our goals. What are your reasons for working on your goals? What makes you eager to work on them?

Tarot Card: Ten of Stones

I chose this because, yeah, its root meaning is “long term material security” (and because the lack-there-of stresses me out). But also because I’m forty-two, rent in my city has literally doubled in the past five or so years, and I’m scared to death of Never Being Able To Retire. If I have a beyond-this-project long term goal, it’s To Have A Home that my loved ones and I (a) can’t be renovicted out of, and (b) can happily and comfortably share (this may mean multiple small units on a large, super rural property… I don’t know yet).

The Ten of Earth as depicted in the Wildwood Deck: A traditional thatched roundhouse with a huge, mature tree growing through its center can be seen through a stone archway. The card is labeled "Home".

I talked a little in my Week Nine post about how I can’t hit what I don’t acknowledge I’m aiming for, and about how feeling stuck between multiple people’s wants and needs is making it hard for me to really focus on a long term goal. I pulled three oracle cards at High Summer, two days before I interviewed for yet another job for which I was a good fit and super qualified, and three days before I – yet again – didn’t land the job.

What I pulled boiled down to “TRUST US. We have a PLAN. You’ll see where it’s going in a minute, just stay the course and you’ll get there.”

Which: Okay? I guess?

But I’m also over here having exactly the same trouble I have with more mundane, human situations which is: If I don’t know what The Plan is… I will simultaneously freeze right the hell up AND run around in circles like Chicken Little, frantically and ineffectively trying to manage every outcome (mostly by trying to hold still and not get noticed which… doesn’t help thing, I do realize).

I was saying to my friends, over on Ye Olde LJ (DW, but regardless: Yes, really), how landing this job – or any third job that was 100% remote (and therefore 100% portable) and paid the same wage for the same number of hours – would let me start shunting money into a house down-payment fund (which: It wouldn’t be much, relative to local housing prices, even if I worked at it for 10 years. But it would be something) and maybe start throwing cash into an RRSP, too.

I don’t regret leaving my previous third job. It was stressful enough to be messing with my health, and having to negotiate about vacation time (not even vacation pay, just time away) with somebody who didn’t know about, and wouldn’t have approved of, my Family Situation was… not something that I wanted to stay in, either.

And don’t get me wrong. I’m loving having two days per work week where I can spend all day working on a novel (which: I am working on a novel, y’all), along with doing the occasional rack of dishes and running errands without having to fret about how many hours they require me to be away from doing paid work.

But.

But. I sure do miss the extra cash. And I sure did think I’d have found something to mostly, if not entirely, replace that cash source by now.

So I’m feeling a little discouraged.

I think this is one of those situations where I’m thinking about “What can I realistically get” rather than “What do I actually want”. Because what I actually want is for my cost of living (but not my quality of life) to drop substantially, and for my 20-25 hours of already-secured work per week to pay me better so that the money I’m making already will let me secure all the things I want to secure – writing time that doesn’t interfere with family time (much), a house that is ours free-and-clear, a retirement fund, an adventure fund and the free time to put it to use, and being able to pick up whatever we want at the grocery store, and whatever we want (within reason, and potentially with some budgeting, but still) at the department store that is online shopping.

To drag my narrative back to Week Ten’s subject matter… It’s less that I’m afraid of getting what I want, and more afraid of having wanted, and then gotten, the “wrong thing”.

None the less. I’ve said it multiple times before: What keeps me going is success. Every time I write a thousand words, I feel more confident about writing the next thousand words. Having a map for a story helps me get through those chunks and feel like I can keep going.

Every time I get a job interview, I feel a little less stupid for bothering to try, even if every tie I don’t get the latest job I’ve interviewed for… I get discouraged. At least I know I’ve got the experience to get people’s attention. Which is still something.

I’ll need to spend some time looking at want adds tomorrow morning, but right now I’m going to take a couple of hours and work on my next thousand words. I’ll talk more about that when it’s time for me to do the write-up for Week Thirteen: Sacrifice. But for now, I’ve got another scene to write.

~ Cheers,

~ Ms Syren.

New Year New You 2018 – Week Ten: What’s My Motivation?

I’m (once again) doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. It’s a good mix of practical, magical, and thought-based exercises to help accomplish specific and significant change in your own life. If it’s relevant to your interests, give it a try!
 
Instructions:As we enter into the second phase of the Experiment, I think it’s time that we do some navel gazing. […] What are your reasons for working on your goals? What makes you eager to work on them?
 

Six of Fire - Success  Osho Zen Tarot  A joyful person riding a tiger while confetti and streamers rain down, the world at their feet

Six of Fire – Success
Osho Zen Tarot
A joyful person riding a tiger while confetti and streamers rain down, the world at their feet


 
Tarot Card: Six of Fire
What motivates me is pretty basic. Success – even incremental success – is what helps me keep moving towards my goals.
“Success” can be having a poem accepted for publication. But it can also be writing a poem that I’m proud of. It can be drafting another scene in the YA novel. It can be sorting out the cabling in a knitting project. It can be extra paid work landing in my lap right when I need it. It can be someone stopping me in the street to tell me that the poem I read at That Event years ago was, and remains, meaningful for them. It can be surprise free beer at a restaurant or a co-worker turning up with a muffin or a frappacino for me out of the blue. It can be getting The Nod from a butch of a certain age or seeing a genderqueer teenager light up when they see my bi pride button or one of my art-school students jump at the chance to talk about witchy stuff with me (meaning: with someone else, who happens to be me… but still). It can be a really good batch of fermented veggies. It can be someone saying yes to a date or a scene. It can be A Sign in the form of half a dozen horoscopes all telling me variations on the same piece of timely encouragement.
However.
 
Osho Zen Tarot - 8 of Air GUILT A person whose overwhelming dark thought-clouds are clawing at their head, obscuring the calm and lovely world that's actually around them.

Osho Zen Tarot – 8 of Air
GUILT
A person whose overwhelming dark thought-clouds are clawing at their head, obscuring the calm and lovely world that’s actually around them.


 
My other motivator is guilt. Or possibly shame.
Sometimes this is useful. I feel bad, or get down on myself, for not doing XYZ, so I get off my butt and do it.
 

 
Right. So I wrote the above stuff literally two months ago, to the day. And, full disclosure, I’m writing this, right now, while I’ve got a grey blanket thrown around my shoulders like the world’s fuzziest toga, having spent the entire day eating cookies, chocolates, and paté on crackers while sucking back V8 like it was going out of style. (Or like I just had a Solstice party and need the fridge jenga to ease up a bit).
 
Which is to say that, while drinking from stem-ware definitely makes me feel fancy, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that my glamour game is particularly on point right this second.
 
The above stuff is all true. I am motivated both by guilt/shame and by success. And I’m trying to be more motivated by success than by guilt and shame, because negative self-talk is bad for me and I’m trying to do less of it. Besides, guilt and shame – and, oh hey, money stress – are kind of hard on the creative process. At least they’re hard on mine. I wind up writing the same mediocre… thing… about fear-and-uncertainty fourteen times and never actually come up with an actual poem. Which, P.S.: I’ve barely written, what, two poems in as many months? The moon has waxed and waned and waxed again, and the “creation” section at the end of each lunar cycles post has me grasping at straws. I spend 10+ hours/day sleeping, and it’s not like I have a particularly tiring life.
 
Basically, I need to take a look at the chapbook pieces that haven’t found a right-of-first-publication home yet, and start sending them out again. Getting a Yes from somebody will probably help me feel motivated from a success standpoint.
Beyond that?
Miss Sugar’s prompt post (linked, above, under Instructions) mentions a degree of motivation stemming from achievable micro-goals. For me, this means hitting up #novemberotic prompts over on instagram, pulling out my tarot decks, and otherwise finding ways to kick-start whatever poems need to be written. (This is actually how I ended up with 30+ glosas, aka half a full-length manuscript – written. I needed to put some parameters around my poetry in order to get it to show up).
Which I guess means I have my marching orders.

New Year New You 2016: Reflections So Far + Week 10: What Motivates You?

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
 
Reflection Instructions: “[…]Reflect on the last nine weeks and talk about what you’ve learned” about yourself, your practice, your project, and where you want to be.
+
Week 10 Instructions: Do some navel gazing: What are your reasons for working on your goals? What makes you eager to work on them?
 
I’m combining these two prompts… for no real reason, except that I can? We’ll see if they wind up having common themes or not.
 
Tarot CardS:
Reflection: Ha, I’m half-inclined to suggest the Hanged Man because of it’s “pause” and (in particular) “mirror” or aspects, or even its “seeing things from a new angle” elements. We’ll see if I stick with that, though.
Motivation: Part of me wants to choose The Chariot (AKA: The Archer, Awareness) because it’s very much about “get up / wake up, and go!”, about finding and directing your energy. It’s a card about being motivated in general. But… In reality, a lot of my motivation – for this project, and also in life more broadly – is the 4 of cups + the 6 of cups. Dissatisfaction, self-isolation, the search for self-knowledge, sadness (all Four of Cups traits) combined with the Six of Cups’ yearning for something better, and re/connected to others (sometimes obtainable, sometimes… no so much, but either way)… that’s what tends to push me into action. A sense of “gotta fix this” combined (more frequently) with “I am sick of feeling this way”.
(Heh… actually, the “Turning In” aspect of the Four of Cups would work well for the Reflections part of this post, too…)
 
Anyway.
So, yeah. Via tarot cards, I’ve already talked about what motivates me, but let’s dig into that a little more with specific respect for this NYNY Project.
 
Strictly speaking, I started my Queen of Cups Project because I was sick of feeling miserable all the time and wanted to get better at welcoming good things/people/feelings into my life. All the Brené Brown stuff (that I would end up reading in February 2016) about Preemptive Tragedy and Camping Out in the Swamp of Disappointment? I didn’t have words for it yet, but I knew it was a major problem. So my motivation was definitely about wanting to lift/shake myself out of my perpetual Four of Cups funk.
 
The dirty little secret, though, is that I also started this project because I was afraid my partner would leave me (…and she did) if I didn’t shape up and stop freaking out all the time. Lots and lots of stuff about “Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think” facing off against “This love is dificult, but it’s real…” and not knowing how much of my anxiety and spun-ness was due to my own self-inflicted meta-naratives (meaning stuff I could fix by myself) versus how much of it… wasn’t. A lot of yearing for the loving, second-chance, taking-care-of-each-other energy of the Six of Cups. Not a great reason to start a self-improvement project (although probably not an uncommon one, either).
 
Negative reinforcement can go a long way towards pushing me to do something.
But my other major motivator is success.
 
Which brings me to the “reflection” part of this post.
 
I think it’s going well.
 
I’ve been doing these prompts in order, but I haven’t been pushing myself to do them week-by-week. As such, it’s been a solid six months – rather than 10 weeks – since I started this project. There was a break-up in there, with a bonus sharp reminder that “fixing myself” is only going to work if I’m doing it for my own sake, rather than because I’m doing the desperate worthiness/shame dance and trying to “become someone worth loving” (yeah, I know. I know). But there’s also been time.
 
Listening to all the Slow Down messages I was getting meant giving my magic the chance to actually game the odds with enough time to get a run-up at things. It meant giving myself time enough to learn Handy Truths from Leah Horlick’s and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s poetry, from Brené Brown’s work, from Ms Sugar’s glamour guide blog posts, and from numerous queer, almost exclusively) femme, tarot readers (go give them some love), as well as time to let things fix a bit better in my marrow than they might have if I’d pushed myself to keep to the “Just Keep Pushing” time-frame established by the course. (Which doesn’t mean that the time-frame is bad, just that this is a deeper project than “change where my money comes from” or get this book finished”… or at least it is in my case).
 
Heading into “phase two” of NYNY (prompts 10 – 23), I’m going to keep the pace I’ve set for myself, keep working on glamour and self-glamouring, keep working on tarot, keep working on me and all of my Feeeeelings Stuff. (P.S.: The Help that arrived in Week Nine? I am having a preliminary consultation on Sunday. woohoo!)
 
And,with all that in mind, off we go. 🙂
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.