Daily Archives: July 2, 2012

Something Good

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Howard Thurman

  • World Domination Summit (WDS) is this weekend!!! I have been looking forward to this for a very long time, and there are things I have the chance to do there that I couldn’t have even imagined when I bought my ticket. I am also approaching it as an opportunity to remain calm, care for myself, respect my limitations, practice awareness and mindfulness, to be confident, surrender and let go. My mantra is “This is me. I have enough. I am enough.”
  • Congregation: the crazy awesome results of being amidst world-changing people, a post on Scoutie Girl by Tara Gentile about WDS.
  • Regrets of the Dying (and other possibilities for life) by Sandi at Deva Coaching.
  • When you don’t want to belong from Jennifer Louden. Have I said lately how much I adore this woman? I’m hoping at WDS to have the chance to tell her, (hopefully without freaking out, or throwing up on her shoes).
  • Ease Into Health With Green Juice and Smoothies on Be More With Less. Apparently, Courtney Carver’s badassness has no limits, and as soon as I get back home to Colorado, I am getting serious about doing the juice thing I’ve been talking about for months.
  • Tammy at Rowdy Kittens is quitting sugar, which she explains in her post An Ode to Sugar. She and Courtney Carver are like this badass super duo instigating all kinds of crazy change in my life. Juicing, then giving up sugar!
  • An Open Letter to Mean People Everywhere by Lissa Rankin. I write lots of open love letters, but someone needed to write this one too.
  • How to Be Creative, a manifesto from Hugh MccLeod. I love a good manifesto, and I love Hugh, so it’s a win, win.
  • 50 Inspirational Quotes to Power Up Your Inner Badass on Kind Over Matter. So much wisdom here. One of my favorites is this: I think everybody’s weird. We should all celebrate our individuality
    and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it. ~Johnny Depp
  • 50 Ways to Open Your World to New Possibilities on Tiny Buddha.

  • 5 Ways to Be Present This Summer on The Change Blog. I’d like to suggest we apply this list to all four seasons.
  • For all the beautiful young writers & artists trying to ‘figure it all out’ on Unicorns for Socialism. Alex Franzen is one flaming brilliant badass, and in this post, she proves it once again. You don’t have to be young to benefit from this wisdom:
    Try things.
    LOTS of things.
    Don’t get attached to obvious titles or tracks.
    Examine your feelings.
    See what lights you up.
    Do more of that, and less of the other shit.
    Repeat for approximately 100 years.
    Well done!
    The end.
  • This is it from Jonathan Fields. This is it, that is all. Amen.
  • Lumps, a great post from Pamela at Walking on My Hands.
  • And finally this: a wish that you look up or out today and see something this beautiful, whatever that might be for you–the smile on a face you love, rain where there had been too little, a new bloom, a fresh berry, a soft feather, a heart-shaped rock, your solid house with its open door, or your own brilliant reflection reminding you that you are alive, and therefore free.

An Open Love Letter to Julia Fehrenbacher

coming home, painting by Julia

I have struggled to begin and write this post, kind and gentle reader. There is so much I want to tell you about Julia–blogger, poet, painter, author, friend–and I simply didn’t know where to start.

Do I focus on telling you about her new book of poetry, On the Other Side of Fear, urge you to go buy a copy immediately because it’s just that gorgeous, that moving?

Or do I tell you about her blog, Painted Path, and recommend that you go read it, discover for yourself how it can open you up, remind you of your possibility and worth, crack you open and comfort you all at once?

Or do I insist that you check out her paintings at her Etsy store, see for yourself the gentle and vibrant colors, the message of her visual work?

Or do I tell you how wonderful it was to finally meet her in person last week? That she glows, radiates warmth and kindness?

Instead of deciding, choosing one thing, I will concede failure, surrender to the impossibility and simply tell you about her in a way that might somehow begin to explain it, the wonder and gratitude, some measure of how amazing she is, how important her work, the kindness, the wisdom, the power.

*deep breath*

be you, painting by Julia

I tried to remember how I first found Julia’s blog, but I can’t. It’s somehow connected to Judy Clement Wall’s work on her blog, A Human Thing, maybe starting with their collaborative project, 41 6-word Days. Whatever it was, however it happened, I fell in love immediately. What I adore about Julia’s blog is what I love so much about her new book, her art, her self. Julia (and the book, her blog, her art) is creative, wise, generous, authentic, warm, curious, brave, and kind.

Creation is one of Julia’s superpowers. It infuses all of her work, her art, her life, her interactions with others, in a way that inspires any creative who encounters it.

Julia’s wisdom permeates all of the writing she does, including her book. She knows what it means to get stuck, to be afraid, to suffer, but she also knows the way out, and gladly offers up that understanding, that magic to anyone who finds themselves lost or frozen

Julia’s generosity is not only time, material, or wisdom. She is openly fearless (feeling the fear but showing up anyway), helping others feel comfortable in their own skins and confident in their own worth.

Julia is authentic. She doesn’t hide behind a mask, a safe or acceptable version of a self, but rather shows up with her whole heart open, meeting you right where you are, just as she is.

Julia is warm. Being in her physical presence made this so clear. Standing near her, the sound of her voice, the glow of her skin, the way she would reach out from time to time and touch my arm, made it impossible not to soften, to surrender.

Julia is brave. Don’t misunderstand, she knows fear. But through love and gentleness, wisdom and a particular kind of power, she’s moved forward, heart open.

One thing that Julia said while we walked on the beach that I can’t stop thinking about is how you can trace the origin of every fear, distill each one down to a fear of “what they will think of me.” There are specifics underneath that which are more complicated, individual and contextual outcomes, like “if I say that, she’ll think I’m weird and not like my anymore, won’t be my friend, which will lead to me being alone and lonely,” but can always be summed up by I’m afraid of what they’ll think. This oftentimes makes us not only uncomfortable or judgmental, but keeps us from acting, from being our true self. I keep trying to stump this wisdom, disprove it, but I haven’t been able to, and can’t stop thinking about it.

Julia is curious. She wants to know, wants to understand, wants to hear your story, to know who you are and what’s in your heart, to connect.

Julia is kindness embodied and manifested. While you might not be lucky enough to ever meet her in person, to be directly in the light of her full self, her complete presence, you can read her blog, listen to her Soul Talks, gaze at her paintings and read her book. You are so lucky, we all are, that SHE showed up.

Julia wrote, crafted, and published her book, lines straight from her gut, artwork magic and present, the whole thing vulnerable and shivery, raw and honest, and she offers it with love. The book’s pages open and spread like wings, Julia’s open mind and open heart inviting the reader to take flight, to move beyond fear and live the life previously only dreamed. My most favorite poem is this:


If only we could be as brave
as that tall growing oak
rooted deeply to the warm earth
It reaches its naked branches
up to the sun
and drops its leaves
one by one
never once stopping
to cling or hold on
or question
or long

Just a tree
being a tree
being a tree

I think, just like Julia herself, this book is sweet and small, but don’t be fooled–there is great power lurking there. I have returned to this book again and again, rereading my favorite lines and discovering something new, and at other moments, I find that specific lines pop into my head, reminding me gently of some deep, important truth.

More about On the Other Side of Fear: