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Thoughts on aiming low, Routines & Ruts launch episode, and latest read... 


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The great art of aiming low

For a long time, I used to think the notion that expectations will only lead to disappointment was a criticism of the ones that dared to dream. Better to aim high, climb and fall, than to never scale your ambitions at all?

But I now view the advice as an empowering starting point for all creative work. It's not the climb or the fall that's being critiqued or warned against, but rather the weight of expectation itself. 

Our greatest expectations can be our greatest blocks. I wanted to start a podcast for many years, but I wanted to make sure it was a great podcast, so for a long time I put it off. 

Expectations do not cause us to fall so much as they can stir up our fears and place doubts where we once had dreams. 

When I started to deconstruct my expectations and embraced aiming low, I was finally able to dive into the podcast. Instead of the perfect studio set up, instead of editing myself out completely and keeping my initial efforts on the cutting room floor, I worked with what I had. It's imperfect, but unlike a plan on a discarded piece of paper, the podcast now exists as something to keep moulding, to keep pursuing, to shape as I learn and grow. 


Fittingly, what I took away from my debut podcast interview with musician, actor and storyteller Clare Bowditch is that aiming low not only helps us get through a difficult period, but can also help us navigate our goals by reminding us to take things step by step, day by day.

Better to start with what's in front of you than never start at all. It might seem imperfect, it might seem too small a gesture too late, it might seem insignificant or redundant, but these are simply the judgements of expectation. Our aims, goals and resolutions can be free from disappointment when we take away set ideals and measurements of 'greatness' and instead celebrate their existence, just as they are. 


I'm so honoured to have had this conversation with Clare Bowditch, to be reminded that our dreams and trajectories unfold in interesting ways when we take away the pressure. There's something rather wonderful about being surprised by where a simple first step or a patient promise can take you. 
 
“I had a period of my life where I was very, very routined and I just found I would say no to everything all the time – I much prefer being alive to a bit of the chaos.”
_____

Clare Bowditch
Extraordinary Reads

A collection quotes from my latest read, The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer. 
1.

"There is nothing more important to true growth than realising you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.” 

2.

"Two kinds of experiences can occur that block the heart: You are either trying to push energies away because they bother you, or you are trying to keep energies close because you like them. In both cases, you are no letting them pass, and you are wasting precious energy by blocking the flow through resisting and clinging."

3.

"Life is continuously changing, and if you're trying to control it, you'll never be able to fully live it.”

4.

"Every time you get into your car, or pick up the phone, or open the door, just stop. Take a moment to remember that you’re spinning on a planet in the middle of empty space. Then remind yourself that you’re not going to get involved in your own melodrama. You don't have to change anything, just be there, noticing that you notice. It’s like taking inventory. Just check what’s going on – heart, mind, shoulders. Set up trigger points in everyday life to help you remember who you are and what’s going on inside.”

5.

"What is it that won’t let us live our lives? What is inside of us that is so afraid that it keeps us from just enjoying life? This part of us is so busy trying to make sure that the next thing goes right that we can’t just be here now and live life."
 
(Ps: Looking for book recommendations for the New Year – any favourites from 2019?)

Thank you for subscribing and reading Extraordinary Routines – it's a labour of love fuelled by curiosity, and now coffee! 

☕

 All my projects are self-funded, and if you would like to support the podcast, newsletter or my writing, you can now buy me a coffee! Any contribution big or small will be lovingly poured back into my designated creativity cup.    

Thank you!

____

 Madeleine 


Extraordinary Routines is a labour of love exploring the daily rhythms and inevitable stumbles in creative life through interviews, musings, experiments and interesting links.

In addition to this project, I work as a freelance writer, interviewer, accountability companion and event host. Work with me 

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Extraordinary Routines · Melbourne · Melbourne, Vic 3000 · Australia