Into Action, Part 5– An Honest Appraisal of the Process

Photo on 10-7-14 at 5.48 PM #2

Okay so I’ve been at this for a little over a month. I have to say the blog is helping because if nothing else, it is helping me build writing momentum. Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art et al., warns against over-identifying with the writing. He would caution against my saying, “My art is who I am” but that’s exactly how I feel. If I’m not creating I don’t feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose for begin here and if I’m not fulfilling my purpose for being here, I feel depressed. I get why Pressfield says this. Basically, most of his writing on writing as an art form is about beat Resistance which he anthropomorphizes like the devil, actually like The Devil. I understand. Resistance using fear of failure and judgement against the writer and “I am my Art” just makes rejection all the more horrible.  But his concept of Resistance is spot on. If you are a writer or any kind of artist or hell, if you have any idea that you might like to be doing something other than what you are doing, I would highly recommend The War of Art. Truth be told, if since I first took the stage to perform The Eyes of Babylon,  I had beaten Resistance even half of the days since then, I do not think I would have found myself in such despondence at the beginning of last month.

Money is a huge problem for me; thus, the blog series on money I’ve been sharing with you all. I need to lay it all out there and think clearly about it so I can remove (or have removed) the things that are standing in the way of my financial success. Sure shitty people have done shitty things to me along the way but in truth, if my “character defects” around these issues were to be removed, would I really be still worried about some lying, thieving, alcoholic cheater “practicing” “medicine” on the Upper East Side with an MD that I worked my ass off to help him get? Fuck no. I’d be deciding what my hot new husband and I would be wearing to the Tonys– or the Oscars– or both. Wait, I’m forgetting the Emmys.

See?Even as I type those words I am acutely aware of how afraid I am of being judged for wanting financial and career success– or afraid that you’ll think that those are the real markers by which I measure success. That shows be a huge piece of where my “work” in this area lies. Trust me honey, I am not afraid–no, none in the least– that if I won any all of those awards I would have someone gone off the beam of what my real mission is. And as long as I’ve mentioned it, you might as well know my official Life Mission. What, you didn’t think I had one? I do. You should too. If bullshit, life-destroying corporations have missions, we sure as fuck should too. Here’s mine:

I co-create a world of excitement, wonder, magic and mystery to positively transform the consciousness of Planet Earth in a good way by unleashing the powerful and peaceful Warrior Poet that lives inside me.

That’s my life’s mission. Impressive huh? Have I been living up to it lately? Hell naw! But that’s about to change. Indeed it’s already begun to change– through the blog, through your support, and through teeny-tiny baby steps in the direction I want to go, things are slowly starting to get better. I’m getting better.

I think that physical fitness is the area where I’ve been most consistent and most successful lately. That’s noteworthy given that taking care of myself has not been the hallmark of my adult life. But I don’t want to focus on that right now. I want to focus on what I’m doing right. What you feed grows. The reason I bring it up is because I want to start applying some of the same habits to other areas of my life. I go to the gym. I go six days a week. It is not open to debate. I am going to the gym and I will either lift weights or I will go to CrossFit but I am going. If nothing else, it keeps me from killing Republicans. The negotiator may rattle on in my head all the way to the gym (as he often does) but I am going to the gym. I have to start applying that to the four hours of writing. I am going to start this tomorrow (which will be today by the time you read this). Pray for me in this specific endeavor if you would. Jin Swafford, science pray.

So to recap:

  • on September 1, I was in hell
  • I made a public proclamation that I was going to commit suicide if shit didn’t change for the better in a big way in one year’s time. I committed to blogging daily and to doing my best to get better.
  • I made amends for all the trauma that proclamation made and realized that, in truth, no matter how much or how often I have wanted to kill myself during my life (especially since Iraq), I am too codependent to do it because of how many people would be all fucked up about it. Fucking whiners.
  • I realized that other people’s feelings is a shitty single reason to stay alive.
  • I resigned myself to move into a way of living that would give me a genuine joy for life and a desire to live other that just not making people who care about me feel bad if I jumped off the Life-go-Round.
  • I did a little goal workshop where I decided exactly what it was that I wanted.
  • I chose 20 goals from that huge list. These were the ones I’d focus on first.
  • I made a Daily Action Item list so that I could track my progress.
  • I immediately lost sight of the goals and started simply sweating the Action Items. I was getting 50% or less on most days.
  • I felt like a loser.
  • I decided to dust off the goals themselves so I could remember why I was doing (or trying to do) the things on the Action Items List each day and to visualize the manifestation of those goals on a daily basis.

And that brings me to today. To remind us both, here are my first 20 goals I decided to focus on:

I. Emotional, Spiritual, Psychological
1. To live free of depression

2. To live free of anxiety

3. To be true to my spiritual path

4. To be happy

5. To help people who suffer from PTSD and/or addiction

II. Health and Fitness
1. To love what I see in the mirror when I’m naked.

2. To be great at CrossFit

3. To look like MMA fighter… or a gladiator… or an NFL quarterback

4. Perfect sexual health

5. A body that serves me well in what I endeavor to do

III. Sex and Relationships
1. To live free of codependency

2. To use my sacred “NO” when doing something would impair my ability to be of service in the long run or would compromise my wellbeing in the present.

3. The right and perfect husband for me.

4. Be a good son, brother, uncle, etc.

5. To let go of Adam.

IV. Career and Finance
1. $110K or more per month starting now and for the rest of my life.

2. To live off 80% of my income this year, tithing 10% to where I’m spiritually fed and investing 10%. I want that percentage to shift by 10% annually until by 2020, to be living off 10% of my income and directing the rest to do good on the planet.

3. To be clear about my finances!

4. To write 25 movies, 10 TV shows, 25 plays, 5 novels, 5 non-fiction, and a poetry and short story anthology.

5. The Mehadi Foundation to grow and thrive providing help for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in a multitude of ways, mostly through providing paid apprenticeships within the entertainment industry so that they can GET PAID for being creative and also to teach reliable and valid pure peer support techniques to this population of veterans.

So I don’t want to beat myself up or anything. These are worthy goals and there’s nothing really wrong with wanting these things to come to fruition. Most of my work is around doing what I need to do to feel worthy– or more appropriately letting go of a lifetime’s worth of programming that made me feel unworthy.  That’s what all the story telling from the past is about. It’s not just to tell you about my past, there’s a purpose in it all. To become very aware of how the programming came to be is, I believe, an important part of uploading some new files.  So what about these goals? As I look back on them now about a month after writing them, I can see one problem with them. Most everything I’ve ever heard or read about goal setting says that they should be measurable. Only four of the twenty are actually measurable: the number of scripts etc, marrying the perfect husband for me, the financial goals around tithing and investment, and the income amount. In truth, if just these four were made manifest, I think I’d be about a 1000 times happier than I was when I began this blog series. But I do want some measurable goals around fitness too as far as strength games, time in the gym per week (lifting and CrossFit), and some specific goals about my body. Also, I am desperate  to get back to New York City. I’ve set a date for that to happen but there are no real goals on my list having anything to do with that!

In short, I need some better goals. Tomorrow I’ll shoot you another installment in the “Money” series because I do want to bring that one to a close pretty soon. Day after tomorrow, I’ll bring you a new set of measurable goals and some action items underneath each one. See? That’s a measurable goal. I will bring you a revised list of my goals with action items. Specific and measurable. And it has a date attached. That’s the kind of goals I want.

One more thing before I cut you lose for today: there’s a component I’ve (mostly) left out of this whole process, at least as far as discussing It in the blog and that is the Spiritual component. I’ve mostly stayed away from the mention of God because I wanted to have an opportunity to share a little about the way I believe before I started throwing the “God” word around. Yes, I believe in God. No, that doesn’t look anything like most of what you’ve (likely) heard about “God.” Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there so you could prepare yourself, especially my agnostic and atheist friends. Our ongoing (civil) arguments aren’t about the existence of God but whether what I’m talking about when I say “God” isn’t a lot closer to what they believe than to what most “American Christians” believe.

Okay, that’s enough for today. You’ve been very patient and I appreciate it.

See y’all tomorrow.

About this entry