Inner Jedi Notebook Week 9

Week nine of my Inner Jedi Notebook journey. This week is about new experiences.

The prompt:

I like firsts. Good or bad, they’re always memorable.

Ahsoka Tano

What are some new things that you would like to experience? These can be starting a new job or learning a new hobby.

My answer:

“Hmm, new things. Well, I’d like to get back into the fan fiction I had started a few months ago (and naturally set aside). Fan fiction is something new to me, and something I’d never considered before. But as a writer and a Star Wars fan, it makes sense.

Art is another area I’d like to explore. I used to love drawing, and I’d love to get back into it. Art in any form, really. I’m homeschooling my daughter (which is also new) and there’s an art component. I’m going to do all the art projects with her, just for fun. We did some watercolor the other day, and next we’re going to do a mixed media project, which should be fun. Art for art’s sake, and just to have fun and spend time with my daughter.

I’d like to do different things with the blog, but I’m not sure what yet. It’s always evolving and changing. I like to try different things, come up with new and different ways of celebrating Star Wars. It keeps things from getting dull and rote, and sometimes I discover new things, about Star Wars and about myself. And always, the focus is to have fun.

So all three things I’ve noted here–fan fiction, art and blogging–all focus on just enjoying myself. This is relatively new to me, when I think about it. Always before, if I ever wrote or did anything creative, the end game was always to hopefully get published, make money, be “successful.” Those things never really happened, so I just threw up my hands and thought–to hell with it. I’ll do these things because I love them, and that is enough.”

I’ve taken to listening to meditation music while I’m meditating. I have a favorite one that is very soothing and calming. It’s one of those “432 Hz” music pieces that are supposed to be good for your soul or something, lol. My husband has been watching some Youtube videos about Tesla and his discoveries, and one of them was about the 432 Hz frequency. All I know is that I love the music and it helps me focus during meditation.

Ahsoka Meditating by SheaCosplays on DevientArt.

Thanks for reading and MTFBWY.

Inner Jedi Notebook Week 8

Week eight of my Inner Jedi Notebook journey. This week continues the exploration of meditation.

The question:

Having practiced meditating for a few minutes every day this past week, reflect on your experience of it. What are some challenges you faced? Have you experienced any positive outcomes?

My answer:

“After initially struggling with it, I find I look forward to my few minutes of quiet stillness every day. It’s downtime, yes, but also a time when I don’t have to do or be anything–just be. To just be conscious in the world, and of the world. To examine your own mind. Although sometimes I worry I’m just daydreaming, lol. But I do consciously try to let thoughts go and refocus on the present moment. It’s amazing how we’ve trained ourselves to be everywhere except the present moment, and it’s a struggle to unlearn that (“You must unlearn what you have learned,” as Yoda said to Luke). It comes naturally to babies and animals, and it’s fascinating to watch them. They are effortlessly in the now, and are unaware of anything else. It’s delightful.

One thing that surprised me about meditation is that you’re having a relationship with your mind–it’s not a boring, static thing–it’s dynamic. You get to see how your mind works, what it focuses on, how one thing leads to the next–it’s fascinating, in a way. You have to get to know it, in order to calm it.

As far as positives–I’ve always been a calm, collected sort of person, and not necessarily reactive (although sometimes I am). But it’s helpful to fall back onto the memory of quiet time, to be able to retrieve that sense of calm during stressful situations. If it’s busy at work and I’m feeling stressed, with a thousand things going on, I can find my center and power on. I’ll think, these moments will pass, and later it will be just me and the candle and the (meditation) music and the thoughts, and the letting go. There will be peace.

Meditating is the act of practicing peace. So during stressful times, you can automatically reach for that peace.”

Anakin Meditating

Thanks for reading! MTFBWY

Inner Jedi Notebook Week 7

Week seven of my Inner Jedi Notebook journey. This week introduces meditation, but I started doing it when I first began the notebook, so I already have a bit of experience with it. There’s always more to learn and experience, though.

Meditation

Meditation is a core aspect of any Jedi’s training. If you don’t already meditate regularly, try doing so now.

Find a comfortable place to sit, and simply breathe in and out for one minute, before closing your eyes.

Then, for three to five minutes, visualize a warm beam of light slowly filling you up, from your toes to the top of your head. It’s perfectly fine if your mind wanders during this time, but gently refocus yourself on the warm beam of light.

Open your eyes and reflect on how you feel afterward. There’s no perfect way to meditate, so be kind to yourself, and try this exercise for the rest of the week. Use this space to journal about your efforts.

Next week, you will journal about your experience with meditation in a more detailed manner.

My response:

“I’ve been meditating almost every day since starting this journal. I began with five minutes everyday for the first week. Then ten minutes every day for two weeks. I’ve been doing fifteen minutes every day for the past three and a half weeks. Fifteen seems like a good amount of time right now, and will stay there until I feel ready for twenty minutes. I’d like to make it up to thirty minutes someday if I can.

The first couple of weeks, it was really difficult. It was hard to sit still, and impossible to calm my mind. I wrestled with my thoughts as if they were physical things, trying to tame them into submission. But I kept at it, no matter what. After a while, it was a bit easier–still a little twitchy and itchy now and then–but I didn’t feel like I was fighting my thoughts anymore. I simply began to accept them, note them, and let them go. A new thought always comes up, but I let that go, too, and on and on. They simply float by like clouds. I can’t imagine there will be a time when I have no thoughts. But they’re lighter, of no consequence. I’ve found a kind of distance. I note the thoughts, and think, “Hmm, interesting.” Then I let it go, and so on. I keep refocusing on the flame, or a part of the candle. I call it progress.”

Rey meditating, from The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).

I’ve tried the beam of light thing, and it will work for a while, but I found the candle a better focusing tool. I like how they’re both incarnations of light, as in, the Light side of the Force. You’re literally focusing on the Light and letting it fill you.

Have a great week and May the Force be with you!

Inner Jedi Notebook Week 6

Week six of the Inner Jedi Notebook.

This week’s question was:

The Age of the High Republic was a time of exploration. While the Republic expanded across the stars, Jedi were often stationed on outposts throughout the galaxy, helping those in need no matter where they were. Where are some places that you want to explore in your life?

My answer was:

“I’m not much of a traveler. I’m more of an armchair traveler than anything. I love learning about other places, but mostly in the comfort of my own home. Mostly, I don’t like the actual logistics of traveling–the driving, the plane ride (and the airport), the weariness of it; I just know I’d get sick, lol. If there were teleporters like in Star Trek, where you could just beam over–or a holodeck!–that’s my style. But I can’t deal with the stress of traveling. So I’ve actually been to very few places in my life.

This bothered me for a long while. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I like to travel? Don’t I realize I’m missing out on a vital experience of life? What a weirdo! Don’t I want adventure in my life?

Not really, lol. I’m like Reath Silas, a Padawan of the High Republic. He’s perfectly satisfied not to have any adventures, and would be happy spending his life in the Jedi Archives. I love him because of this–I can relate. Of course, he’s a Jedi, and it’s inevitable that adventure finds him. But me? I’m waiting for the holodeck!

So, what places would I program into it? Here’s a list:

  • The United Kingdom (London, Dublin, and Edinburgh in particular)
  • Europe in general, but especially Switzerland
  • New Zealand
  • An Alaskan cruise would be nice
  • California wine country
  • Hawaii
  • Pyramids of Egypt (of course!)

While I’m waiting for the holodeck, perhaps virtual reality technology could take me to some of these places. Until then, I’m happy to learn about and see these places in books and videos. Boring, I know. But that’s who I am, and I’m okay with that. A Jedi accepts what is, right?”

I’ve been keeping up my meditation practice, fifteen minutes every day. I’m not quite ready to move onto twenty minutes yet, but I’ll know when I am. There’s no right amount of time, anyway. But my personal goal is to get up to thirty minutes, perhaps by month three. It’s funny; some days are more challenging than others. Some days I’m just so twitchy and itchy; and others, I’m serene and still. But I show up everyday to sit and be quiet, unless I’m sick or something (I had an allergy attack the other day and couldn’t imagine sitting while sniffling and sneezing, lol). But overall, it’s going well.

In honor of the Obi-Wan Kenobi teaser trailer this week:

Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton.

Where would you want to explore? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Inner Jedi Notebook Week 5

Week five of the Inner Jedi Notebook. This week instead of a question (or in addition to one) there was an activity. At first I thought I’d skip the coloring activity, thinking it silly or unnecessary, but then I thought, if you’re going to do this, do everything. Don’t skip. So, below witness my Luke and Yoda masterpiece, lol.

Coloring Meditations:

“Luminous beings are we.”

Yoda

What are some of the qualities that make you a luminous being?

Color in the scene on the opposite page, and then decorate the following spread with illustrations, taped or glued-in ephemera, and other embellishments that symbolize your best traits.

I forgot how much I loved coloring when I was a kid.

This is just a bunch of stuff I found on hand when I was working on it this week. I focused on my family and my love of nature, mostly. How do these things make me a luminous being? They’re things that make my soul happy.

My tribe.

I’m still meditating fifteen minutes every day. I think as a beginner, you never really know if you’re doing it right, lol, or how you’re supposed to feel afterwards. I find that I do look forward to that little bit of quiet time everyday. No computer, phone, TV, book, work, errands, chores, people needing me, etc. It’s me-time, when I can just be quiet with myself. And that alone is worth it.

Obi-Wan by croaky on Devientart.com

What makes you a luminous being? If you’d like, we can talk about it in the comments below!

Inner Jedi Notebook Week 1

You may know that I recently got an “Inner Jedi” notebook that’s beautiful and super-cool (check it out here if you want). And I thought that maybe once I started writing in it I’d share some insights and entries here. I don’t usually share such personal stuff here, and some of you may not be interested, but I really think it’s a great exercise (and fun, too!).

The Week One journal question is this:

“Jedi are keepers of the peace who act on pure selflessness. As you embark on your Jedi path, what are you hoping to achieve or discover by using this journal? How can seeking peace and acting on selflessness help you reach those goals?”

Good question. My answer was this:

“I want this journal to help me act on my better self–the one who gives money to the homeless, who shovels the neighbor’s sidewalk, who encourages a writer friend online. I like to think I’m a “nice” person, compassionate, understanding–but actions speak louder than thoughts. It’s these little acts of kindness that make a difference in the world–and counteracts the belief that that the world is shit, which is a pretty easy thing to believe right now. It’s easy to get lost in your own bubble and forget these things. This journal will remind me.

I’ve also been wanting to start a meditation practice for a LONG time. I just never “get around to it” or make the time. I think it’s important for a lot of reasons: it will help de-stress and center me, calm my mind, build up patience, and just give my mind a break from all the crappy thoughts that clutter it. I hope it will instill a sense of peace and serenity that I can call upon at any time. Also, per Jen Sincero [author of You Are a Badass], it directly links you to Source Energy: the Creator, Universal Intelligence, God, or–yes–The Force. (Okay, not just Jen, but she’s the one who inspired me–as well as the Jedi, of course).

Two things I want to work on are anger and fear. Just watching the news makes these two emotions spike exponentially. Anger tends to come and go and is a quick reaction, and just as quickly dissipates. But fear tends to linger and haunt me. Fear about many things–money (or lack of it), Lilly’s health and happiness [my daughter who has spina bifida], the fate of democracy, lol. It’s more like a gnawing worry that’s an undercurrent of my life. Like a Jedi, I must learn to deal with these emotions and keep them in their proper place.”

Master Yoda by Entar0178 on Devientart.

Yeah, so I’ll never swing a lightsaber like a Jedi or move rocks with my mind and stuff, but, with some practice and commitment, maybe I can achieve the poise and calm that these warriors possess. Life goals, lol.

How would you answer this question? Feel free to give me the long or short of it in the comments and we’ll talk about it!