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 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 3

I’ve been working on my Inner Jedi Notebook for three weeks now, and I’m really enjoying the experience.

Here’s the question for Week Three:

Yoda assigns Anakin Skywalker a Padawan in Ahsoka Tano, in the hopes that mentoring a young Jedi would help Anakin discover his own best traits.

Decades later, Yoda would implore Luke Skywalker to pass on what he has learned to a new generation of Jedi. How can you be a mentor to people in your own life?

I answered with this:

“The obvious example that comes to mind is my daughter. We care for our children, protect them, play with them, but I think we also hope that we can guide them, teach them, impart some wisdom. My daughter is thirteen, so is probably at an age where she doesn’t quite want to listen to my lessons, lol. But I’m hoping, throughout the years, that a few things sink in that she can later retrieve: Be kind, always (she’s already pretty good at this; in fact, she’s got the biggest heart in anyone I know). Love yourself. Stand up for yourself. Listen to your intuition. Respect yourself. Believe in yourself. These are actually things I’m still working on. I’m hoping by imparting these lessons to her, I will also learn them. Be the example. Like a Master and a Padawan, the hope is that you can learn from each other. I know that eventually I will need to learn to let go, to teach her to be independent and send her out into the world. This terrifies me, lol, but is probably the most important lesson of all.

Yoda says over and over, especially in the High Republic books, that Padawans teach Masters the hardest lesson: to let go. Yoda ought to know–he’s probably had dozens of Padawans over his long life. And he had to let each one go. People with multiple children must guide and protect them, and then let each one go, one by one. I only have one child, and that seems hard enough!”

I got up to fifteen minutes of meditating this week, at least until Wednesday, but then I didn’t feel well, and didn’t do it for a couple of days. But I’m better and back on track, so I’m planning on fifteen minutes every day next week. It’s a habit I want to get into, like brushing my teeth; and also work my way up to thirty minutes, if I can. It seems impossible now, but so did meditating in the first place, so we’ll see.

Rey meditating on Ach-To by Shawn Duddridge on artstation.com

Are you a mentor to anyone? If you’d like, let me know about it in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Inner Jedi Notebook Week 2

Last week I decided to share my thoughts and insights from my Inner Jedi notebook.

Here’s the question for Week 2:

As a Padawan learner, Jedi apprentices study under the tutelage of a Jedi Master. Who are the mentors in your life who have imparted great wisdom to you? What lessons have you learned from them?

Here’s my entry:

“When I think of mentors, I think mostly in terms of writing. There are a few teachers who encouraged me in writing–my fifth grade teacher Mr. Lapean, who liked my fantasy stories; my English teacher at the community college, Phyllis Nahman, who liked my papers and essays and told me that I’m a good writer. They were good encouragers.

But as far as “wisdom” goes, I have to go to writers and their books on writing. My major writing guru for many years was Natalie Goldberg. I discovered her book “Writing Down the Bones” in the early 90s when I was in my early 20s, and it was probably the greatest influence on how I went about writing–and living. I read all of her writing books and all of her memoirs, and filled stacks and stacks of notebooks with writing based on her methods and exercises, notebooks I still have in a cardboard box somewhere. Her writing rules were: 1. Don’t think; 2. Keep your pen moving; and 3. Go for the jugular. Timed writing is big–start with “I remember” and go for 10 minutes, don’t stop until the 10 minutes are up. The point was to evade the censor and get to “wild mind.” I still do this kind of writing sometimes, but not always. What stuck with me was her absolute commitment to writing, her personal stories, and her belief that writing and living are intertwined. One enriches the other.

I’ve had other writing gurus over the years–Julia Cameron and her “Artist’s Way” books; Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic” is a wonderful book on creativity and living. And lately I’ve been reading Jen Sincero’s Badass books, which are about reaching your greatest potential. I guess gurus are a bit different than mentors. I’ll just call them teachers.”

I’m still meditating, too, which impresses me, lol. I’m up to ten minutes a day. It’s definitely an interesting experience, wrangling with your own mind. These two make it look easy:

saddew.art.design on tumblr.

Do you have any mentors? If you feel so inclined, tell me about them in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!

Finding My Inner Jedi

While scrolling through a Star Wars fan group on Facebook one day, I saw some one had posted an ad for this super awesome Star Wars journal called Inner Jedi, and I knew I had to have it! I received it the other day, and it’s beautiful, geeky, surprisingly thoughtful, and I love it.

It has my favorite Star Wars symbol on it.

The journal is meant to be your guide throughout 52 weeks of reflection, meditation, and “daily acts of peace and selflessness” to help you find your inner Jedi. There are pages for every week in a year (no specific dates; just start whenever you want to), words of wisdom, quotes, and even coloring pages to help you along your journey.

A weekly page for keeping track of your selfless acts.
Some added pages for more in-depth soul-searching.
Coloring! Crafts! Yoda! What’s not to love?
As a list lover, this kind of page hits the spot with me.

I haven’t started writing in it yet (not sure when I will, maybe at the beginning of next month), but I’m looking forward to filling this gorgeous notebook with my inner Jedi self. It’s the kind of thing I need right now, to calm and center myself in this crazy world and these crazy times. Just breathe, focus, and find the good. The fact that it’s Star Wars is the cherry on top. I might even share some posts inspired by the writing I do in here for something different once in a while.

This notebook cost about $20 and is available on Amazon or Insight Editions.

Do you have any cool Star Wars-related notebooks or journals? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!