The Surface of a Thousand Desires
I write every morning. I managed to catch a 6am pen to paper this morning, which was especially satisfying. Then for me, the key is to catch a wave and flow on through, encouraging the words to pour fourth without too much judgement, too much overthinking.
It generally proves a way for me to break into the mindset of the day in an easier fashion. I was surprised then to read this morning, this final line creep out of my pen
"The surface of a thousand desires does little to reveal the deeper truth of self that comes with the mastery of one."
Wow, I thought to myself, that really got to the heart of how I've been feeling and reeling lately. See, I'm trying to work out which way to continue to tread in, to try and make better sense of my journey thus far, but also to dig into what it really is that I love. Not just about music, but all art making - what is it that I really want to become compelling at? And it is not an easy decision to make.
I still believe that I will need to be able to be pretty good across quite a few modalities of creativity to have the kind of impact I want to have. And to manage that reality I've been thinking about flexible (agile) systems that get re-evaluated on the weekly basis. That was where my thinking started out this morning, with
"A good system is hard to find. Then once discovered it doesn't last forever, which is disappointing and in a way of its own, also exhausting. For who would not want the system if put into place to become the work, the habit? Instead, staying flexible is deeply important, and reviewing the system, cross-checking it against what is now needed, as opposed to what was perceived before from testing. Even in place, it does not overcome the reality that a system is only as good, or as effective as the courage one employs to 'stick' to it."
So I habit stack - the strategy of connecting habits together to form a string of actions that regularly follow each other. An example of this in my schedule is 1. Wake at 5.45am 2. Make coffee
3. Morning pages until 6.30am (finishing with gratitude list and daily affirmations),
4. key yoga stretches (sun salutations, basic flow through warrior poses)
5. 10mins meditation
6. 7am saxophone practise (has its own internal structure)
7. Breakfast at 8.15
But I'm finding just as useful for me as this kind of stacking is to also build systems...for everything. Otherwise, so many corners, 20% here and there are wasted, simply due to lack of diligence. From file systems, to templates for projects, to exporting films, to scoring sax lines to practise. I want there to be effortless flow from realm to realm. By no way am I there yet - I particularly struggle with 'moving on' to the next modality - take for example my sax practise this morning, I went to 8.10am because I was enjoying it. So then other parts of the system suffered. But that's just it, I'm working to ty and iron those elements out.
I published a video of how I create my pastel work today. It felt good shipping again. And then filing it away neatly - using an "alias" file to put the deliverables in a separate folder where they are neatly accessible but not taking up more room. All of this has taken a wealth of time to get my head around, and now when I look at my current filing system, it kind of does my head in....but slowly I'm evolving it to where Tim in 2020 needs it to be, to be productive at this time, in this context.
I'm going to be shipping allot of the work I've done recently, and that is exciting. To share it, and to make decisions about what gets to see the light of day and what doesn't.
ps below is today's 6am-6.28am page, i hope it encourages you to meet the dawn with some thoughts.