Honoring Myself – ROW80 Round 4, 10/2/12

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It’s time to declare my intentions for Round 4 of ROW80….

This will be my fourth round. Those who have read my previous updates are probably expecting a long, long list of goals and projects….

Nope. Not this time.

While considering what my goals would be, one phrase kept going through my mind, and lodging in my soul:


Honor Myself.

Me with my Iggy Jingles muse….we’re ready for Round 4!

I think I need to listen to this. I believe it’s important, if I am to grow as a writer, and blossom as a human, a wife, a mother….

So, how do I turn this conviction into ROW80 goals?

It begins, I think, with respecting the fact that I have three basic types of energy. To me, they seem like tides, in many ways, and I tend to think of them that way:

  • EbbTide: This is input gathering and organizing energy. I tend to read a lot, clean things, set things up, go places with the kids, ponder, mull, dream – and write very little.

  • High Tide: This is when the words and ideas pour out of me so quickly, there’s no stemming them. I may be focused on one project or twenty. Connections get made; big ideas coalesce. I tend to be up all night, or most of it, several days in a row. I tend to need to be close to home, with lots of time for dreaming. My internal and external spaces get chaotic as things blend together…

  • Slack Tide: This one is “the space between” – kind of the buffer zone between the two more extreme energies that bracket it. In this space, I am able to focus on a wide variety of things from both categories.

So, for this round, my primary goal will be to attend to these energies, and balance them with my projects. Finding the patterns of these energies will be very useful to me.

I will be, over the next week or two, brainstorming lists of projects for the ebb and high tides, and which can both be drawn upon during the slack tides of my life.

At each update, I will give my energy type for each day, and list what projects I worked on.

Me in York, Maine, September 2007. Photo by Eden Mabee.

For now, though, I do have projects to launch my round, and which I feel fit my bill of honoring myself:

  • I am serving as a sponsor for this round.

  • I will be participating in NaNoWriMo throughout November, writing at least 50,000 words of another novel in my Trueborn series, King of Infinite Space. I might plan or sketch out parts ahead of time, or I might just leap in blind, with only the vaguest sense of where I am headed, which tends to work out for me.

  • I will be answering a rather embarrassing backlog of blog comments that have, in some cases, waited for months…it’s time – actually, far past time – to attend to these, acknowledge those who took the time to comment, and, in the process, enrich myself.

    Ready to bloom….

Other than that, I am looking forward to a round of learning myself, of playing and tinkering and puttering, of going where the spirit moves me…

It feels like exhalation and revelry. It feels right.

Read more ROW80 journeys !

8 thoughts on “Honoring Myself – ROW80 Round 4, 10/2/12

  1. That sounds like an interesting way to break down your energy types, and a useful method of deciding what to do when in each ‘phase’ for maximum efficiency. Good luck for the round, and for NaNoWriMo… Should be hectic but fun :)

    • shanjeniah says:

      Rebecca –

      The energy typing seems to be going extremely well – as I suspected, I am already noticing a link to my hormonal status and the phase of the moon…maybe we women, or at least intuitive emotive types like me, are more in thrall of the moon than we realize…

      It’s a fascinating concept, and I am intrigued. WOW! Just in that moment, writing that, I got an insight I’ve never had before into at least one of my characters living on a two-mooned world, and, perhaps, on two cultures! HUGE thanks to you for that!

      It really does seem to be helping me to understand how my energy is connected to what I will enjoy and be able to really devote myself to on any given day. And, when I am feeling a need to really slow down and play some games, and just hang out with my family or in my own head, I can look at some of these high tide days, and all that seems to just flow from me on those days, and know that they will return, and that the ebb is a necessary part of that, too…

      Thank you so much for stopping by! And please scratch Judgmental Dog in the just-right spot for me!

  2. I have noticed that my own energy varies from day-to-day also, although I can usually write if I just get started. Still, the world around me doesn’t sit still either. One day, I might have a lot of time, and the next day work or other things take over. This is really sweet, and I hope it works for you.

    • shanjeniah says:

      Ann –

      With an 11 year old son and 8 year old daughter who have never attended school, my life most certainly doesn’t sit still, either! Yet I wrote goals for myself that had no flexibility for that, or my unpredictable and shifting hormonal state, or even the number of out-of-state trips we had planned…

      Then I would push myself to finish them, and during the last round, a lot of the fun went out of it. I was grinding it out, tensely…

      I write for joy, and passion, therapy, self- examination, and to share. None of that is better as a rigid “have-to”. I was turning my avocation into a job – and that was not a good shift for me…or those around me.

      This change has been delightful so far. I can choose just a few things to work on, and, if my energy shifts, I can change them at will. I am seeing some patterns already, and inspiration is flowing. I am making and considering changes in other parts of my life that will improve the quality of my living. I feel like I just quit a job that was weighing me down to follow my truest dream…and that is the coolest place to be!

      Thanks for stopping by! =D

  3. Very interest analysis of energy levels and tying them to goals — I like that!

    Good luck this round!

    • shanjeniah says:

      Thank you, Ruth!

      Last round, I had far too many goals, and began to see that my energy varies considerably from day to day. Sometimes, it’s really hard to focus on writing – so much to read and do and learn.

      Others, pulling myself away from the computer and the words and images pounding to get out of my head long enough to do a sinkful of dishes.

      It seems that I will get a lot further, and with a lot less stress, by attending to the day’s energy, and planning my projects accordingly.

      Of course, the round is young, and this is still mostly theory. I’ll see how it plays out throughout the round.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Lena Corazon says:

    Yes! What a wonderful way to organize your goals, centering them around your energies. I think my own energies ebb and flow in a similar way, and I’m trying to hone in on their rhythm. Otherwise I start to feel like that salmon swimming upstream, fighting against the tide, struggling to get things done.

    Good luck this round!

    • shanjeniah says:

      Lena-

      I spent pretty much all of Round 3 feeling like that salmon. It didn’t work.

      I’m loving this new goal. It’s allowing me to be a sponsor without robbing a moment from my own goals. It’s giving me the freedom to have lots of choices, without always feeling like there are 5 other things I might better be working on…

      It’s very liberating.

      Also, I am perimenopausal, and so hormonal rhythms that were predictable for decades – well, they aren’t anymore. I feel that by attending to my energies, I may find a pattern that connects energy type and level to different points in the cycle….

      And that might show me, as I suspect, that my energies are attuned to the phases of the moon…which would be both useful and awesome!

      I like knowing that you, too, are learning more about you! =D

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