Mindfulness with Reverb10

Most of my work happens at night. (Me = musician) So when I took on this Reverb10 project, I could easily fit the writing in first thing in the morning. But yesterday…

I broke my streak. Here’s why:

I loved Gwen Bell’s challenge last year (Best of 09), and I didn’t miss a prompt. I also remember that a side-effect of all the writing and mining my inner terrain…and reading other people’s blogs… and commenting… and conversing…was this online overload.

This year’s prompts go deeper, requiring even more focus to respond. I love that. And I’ve really enjoyed the mental mining and online sharing. But I hit the wall 2 nights ago.

Too much interaction online and divided attention throughout the day.

I needed a day off to step back, evaluate what I’m doing, and re-enter the project with more mindfulness.

(Interesting side-note: right after last year’s Best of 09 daily blogging challenge, Gwen Bell launched Mindfulist.com. I wonder if it was partly a reaction to that month of online immersion?)

So I spent the day offline. It was easy to do, since I had a matinee and night performance that kept me busy all day.  Now I feel like I can come back to this project with mindfulness.

A bonus: I got to perform with Ali, something that we don’t get to do very often. She made an appearance as Mamma Yamma while I sat in on lap steel at the Good Lovelies Christmas show.

Ali was so awesome and funny. I’m always in awe of her.

And today’s prompt?

Beyond Avoidance.

What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) – Jake Nickell

Quick answer:

There are many shoulds associated with releasing an album. I’ve let busyness get in the way of doing some of these things. And I’ve let fear get in the way of doing some of these things.

I’m going to be doing much more with the album in the New Year. You’ll see.

(photo by Ted Passmore)

3 Responses to Mindfulness with Reverb10

  1. Gwen Bell says:


    I think I’ll break my 750 streak for good on the last day of the year. Keeping the streak has been truly rewarding – like you, I’ve been mining the depths. Now I’m considering going back to paper – something is lost in the keys on the keyboard. I miss the texture of offline journaling.

    The Mindfulist did sprout out of #best09. This year, a bigger project – one that I’ve been working on for months intensively (years non-intensively) – is launching at the beginning of the year. Patrick and I are still thinking on what’s next for The Mindfulist. (An app? But that takes us out of the moment, right? Getting pinged to make sure we’re in the moment?)

    So, I get you with the being online too much thing. I’ve been taking huge chunks of time off the web over the past month. I have to – #reverb10 is an order of magnitude bigger in scope and participation than #best09. I think the bigger life gets, the more important it is we cultivate time off the web. I’ve designated no tech zones in my home retreat space (including no phone near the futon/in sleep space). On the laptop, I keep the Apimac Timer open and give myself one hour at a time (once a day some days, twice a day others) to keep focused and limit distraction.

    It’s pretty amazing. I could spend days reading responses to each #reverb10 prompt. I love that it has grown the way it has, is growing people (self included) the way it is.

    And I commend you for breaking the streak when it was time to do so. That takes guts. (Here’s hoping I can do the same Dec 31.)

  2. ali berkok says:

    yeah… if you’ve already achieved the goal of maintaining a streak, any additional streaks after the fact are gravy.

    Me I’ve never done anything like this so I’d me mad at myself if I broke it.

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