October 19, 2018 – Morning Journaling

“Understand that friends come and go,
but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle.
Because the older you get
the more you need the people you knew when you were young.”
Baz Lurhmann

It has been quite a while since I woke up without jumping at the chance to check my phone. I got a new screen protector for my phone and the installation instructions said to keep the phone off for 12 hours while the product settled. So, I put it on yesterday at 5pm and 15 hours later my phone is still off. It feels, umm, good. Like, really good. Maybe I’ll start turning my phone off for significant hours of the day from now on. It isn’t like I ever have texts or phone calls that are actually urgent.

Anyway, on to my rando thoughts for the morning.

Last night I had a video chat with two of my best friends. The three of us have known each other since about 5th grade, so over 25 years at this point. Actually, there are four of us who were pretty much inseparable throughout middle and high school, but the 4th is more difficult to get a hold of… but I am working on that. So, for the last couple years or so, we have taken the above Lurhmann quote to hart and we work hard to stay in touch, despite all living in different cities across three time zones and having families, jobs, and the normal life stuff.

Last year we all got a cabin together at Lake Tahoe and went hiking for a long weekend, just us and our families. We have discussed making a trip like that a semi-annual event. I value a lot of people in my life, but I value them more than any others. The three of us try and video chat every two weeks to both catch up on each other’s lives and to get advice, specifically entrepreneurial and creativity advice. We all have fairly different lifestyles, viewpoints, and experiences that have proven to be very valuable for each other. It was a really good experience and I highly, highly, highly recommend people work hard to regularly contact people from their past, especially close friends and siblings. I generally hate talking on the phone, basically except for with them.

This morning I got off to a slow start (east coast means the call started at 11pm for me) but I’m getting better at scheduling myself and I have a fairly light day ahead of me. Of course, I started with my four daily readings. Neither “The Upanishads” or “Daily Affirmations for Forgiving…” sparked much in me today, but the other two are circulating around in my brain. Who knows though, maybe the first two will plant a seed that grows with the physical sweat from yoga today or the mental sweat from meditation.


“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield

I have the feeling that every day I am going to have a snippet from the five or so pages that I read from this book. Again, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Each page is a short paragraph or three that can be read quickly and digested slowly. I’m still in the beginning of the book and Pressfield is defining the enemy, Resistance. He is beating home that it exists and we must see it for what it is.

Some of Resistance’s traits are:

Implacable – it can’t be reasoned with, it understands only force. It has one goal, to keep us from doing our work and it will never quit.

Impersonal – it doesn’t care who you are, it doesn’t even know your name, it is a force of nature. Viewing it as a personal attack is no more logical than viewing a hurricane as a personal attack (I guess ‘weaponized weather’ conspiracy theorists may disagree with that comparison).

Infallible – Resistance knows what your calling is at will attack it, but this knowledge can be valuable. Wherever you face the greatest resistance is where you should be. Or, “The more important a call or action is to the soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

Universal – It hits all of us. Tom Cruise to Vincent Van Gogh to Kesha to the guy at the gym trying to lose weight to your boss to you. Every fucking person who seeks out their purpose becomes a target. Use this to your advantage and make allies. They can’t fight for you but they can provide support and encouragement.

Doesn’t Sleep – It doesn’t rest and it doesn’t go away. “The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.

Plays for Keeps – This is literally the fight of our lives. If Resistance has its way we will see the inside of a coffin before achieving our goals. It wants us complacent, lazy, and soft. It targets who we are and what we can be. This is a fight to the death.

“Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on earth to give and that no one else has but us.”


“A Year with Rumi” by Coleman Barks

Today’s reading from Rumi is nagging at the back of my mind. I actually googled to find the “meaning” of this poem but came back empty. I usually don’t do that, I usually try to find a meaning for myself but I feel a bit stuck on this one. There is something there, under the surface pulling at me but I can’t really identify it. When I try to break down the poem or apply meaning it all kind of shimmers away. This struggle makes it worth sharing here.

The Friend comes into my body
looking for the center, unable
to find it, draws a blade,
strikes anywhere.
– Looking for the Center

Ugh, there is something there! Maybe I need more coffee.


Okay, on to the words that were unfamiliar to me. Neither of them were actually unknown but I couldn’t come up with a solid definition when I read them so I did a little research. Because research is fun 🙂

vicissitude – a change in fortune or circumstance that is generally unwelcome or unpleasant; alternation between opposite things. Comes from the Latin word, vic – turn, change.  It’s relative high point in known literary usage was 1618-1632 with a capital V and 1664 with a lowercase v. I don’t find this word to be particularly beautiful, it feels clumsy and really only serves to help with V from Vendetta monologues. (From “Daily Affirmations for Forgiving…” )

paean – a song of praise or triumph; an expression of enthusiastic praise. This one is from the Greek paian – a hymn of thanksgiving to Apollo (probably… maybe)It is also the name of the Greek god’s physician and may be pre-Greek or possibly mean “who heals illness through magic”, which is related to the words “blow”, “beat”, or “withhold”. So that’s cool, healing with magic basically means neglect or getting your ass kicked, which means a song of praise or triumph. Nice. Paean is still pretty close to its literary high point. It peaked in 1936, had a valley in 1983, and is now kind of on an upswing. (From “The Upanishads”)

Alright, there are my random morning thoughts to kickstart my brain. My schedules is pretty loose today because Anna is off work (I try to take at least half-days when she has weekdays off), but here is my basic plan.

7:00-8:30 – Wake up, coffee, daily readings, writing, meditate, etc. (oops, it is 9 and I’m still on this stage so everything is being pushed back about 30 minutes)
8:30-9:00 – Clean house
9:00-10:00 – Yoga
10:00-11:00 – Work
11:00-11:30 – Basecamp Training
11:30-1:30 – Creative/Open Time (read comics, plan social activities, work on list from CEO Time, work on board/card games, etc)
1:30-6:00 – Work(ish)
6:00-6:30 – Plan next week, set goals, prep calendars, reflect on past week
6:30-6:45 – Prepare tomorrow morning (make coffee, set up workout, create daily calendar, organize office)
6:45-10:00 – No plans… maybe grab a beer somewhere, bang, binge Netflix, all of the above

Have a beautiful Friday everyone!

Feel free to reach out at any of the ways below while I take a Facebook break!

Email address: pjneiger@gmail.com
Instagram: @peterneiger
Questions:  pneiger.sarahah.com or www.surveymonkey.com/r/XYRDXHH
Snapchat: @pneiger
Also, I wrote a book about a cross-country bicycle ride I did!
“Wandering Oak: A Rite of Passage”

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