Daily Archives: September 4, 2012

Something Good

I have a blogging schedule, but apparently the Universe has other plans. At about noon yesterday, mid-post, I suddenly lost all ability to connect to any wordpress.com site. It didn’t matter what device I tried, I could navigate the internet just fine, but was blocked from anything wordpress.com. It was so frustrating. I had a whole other post and a half to finish, but when I finally, truly gave up checking at 7:30 last night, still nothing.

But magically this morning, as Eric suggested, everything was working again. He said something like “don’t worry about it, take the rest of the day off and it will probably be back up in the morning.” Don’t you hate it sometimes when your partner is so right?

I suppose the logic here is that it’s a Tuesday Monday. Those of us that work a Monday through Friday week in the U.S. were mostly lucky to have yesterday as a holiday, so today is technically Monday, the day when I most need a list of good things, so here it is…

1. I am reading this book next, and I can’t wait.

2. This post from Tara Brach, True Refuge: Presence in the Face of Dying. Holy wow, talk about perfect timing. In it, she shares the story of Pam, whose husband is dying.

“Pam,” I said, “you’ve already done so much . . . but the time for all that kind of activity is over. At this point, you don’t have to make anything happen, you don’t need to do anything.” I waited a moment and then added, “Just be with him. Let him know your love through the fullness of your presence.”

3. Artist Takes Every Drug Known to Man, Draws Self Portraits After Each Use, which makes me never want to take another drug.

4. The Good Life Project from Jonathan Fields. I like his reason for doing this almost as much as the project itself.

We are strongly committed to sharing the stories of women. When Jonathan’s daughter was about 5 years old, he became tired of reading her to sleep with fables where the boy comes riding in and saves the girl. He wanted to raise a strong, empowered, impassioned daughter with his wife. And this was sending the wrong message. Being a writer, Jonathan began to create his own stories (including one about a badass girl detective who solves cases around the neighborhood and just happens to save a few boys).

Fast forward to 2012, Fields daughter has grown up in a household fueled by non-stop creativity and entrepreneurship. She’s exposed to it everyday. But when Jonathan began looking for powerful stories to share with his daughter about women creating great businesses, bodies of work and movements, he became incredibly frustrated at the lack of coverage in mainstream media. In Jonathan’s words, it was “one giant dude-fest.”

So, he decided to take on the challenge himself. If larger media outlets weren’t telling the stories of amazing women, Jonathan would. Which is why one of the core values of GLP TV is a deep commitment to sharing the stories of and spotlighting strong, innovative, creative women. On this show, women get equal, if not more, time than men.

Jonathan introduced the latest episode, an interview with a professional climber, this way:

I don’t believe people who say they don’t know what they’re passionate about.

They do know. YOU do know.

What you want to be when you grow up has been in your head since you
were 6. At least the pieces, the core qualities that matter.

But we get so wrapped-up in pre-judging the perceived “non-viability” of the things that light us up that we tell ourselves they don’t actually light us up anymore. Because that’s easier than saying we know what makes us breathless, but refuse to act on it because we have no clue how to make it into a living? And we’re terrified of failing and being judged.

5. Catalyzing Creativity: 7 Playful Activity Books for Grown-Ups from Brain Pickings. These look really, really fun.

6. And a few more from Brain Pickings: How to Read Like a Writer and New Year’s Resolution Reading List: 9 Books on Reading and Writing. The first post says this: “Every page was once a blank page, just as every word that appears on it now was not always there, but instead reflects the final result of countless large and small deliberations.” Yes, yes.

7. The Pleasure Of, “simple things of everyday life.”

8. Are you hanging by a thread? on the Daily Love, by Danielle LaPorte. And yes, the answer is yes, but this makes me feel so much better about it.

9. Happiness is Uncovering What You Already Have from Leo Babauta on Zen Habits.

You have all you need for happiness, right now. You don’t need to change anything about yourself, or your life. You just need to see what’s already there.

10. To be filed under “how the heck did I miss this?!”: World Humanitarian Day (August 19th), the I Was Here project, and the Beyoncé song and video that went with it. *sob*

10. Tina Roth Eisenberg’s 8 Steps for a Creative Life.

11. This quote from Mark Nepo:

Transformation always involves the falling away of things we have relied on, and we are left with a feeling that the world as we know it is coming to an end, because it is.

12. And Trotter, the French Bulldog, just because she makes me smile. (P.S. I’m normally not a fan of dog costumes, but these are cute, and she looks like she doesn’t mind, might even like it). She has the sweetest face.

An Open Love Letter to Judy Clement Wall

This is my adorable and amazing friend Judy Clement Wall. I have never met her in person, face-to-face, but I get to enjoy her writing, her art, her big heart, loving and kind, from a not so far afar. In both moments of celebration and grief, Judy has offered her encouragement, inspiration, and support. I am so lucky, so grateful.

I can’t remember how I first encountered Judy’s work, but I do know the first community project I took part in was her collaborative project with Julia Fehrenbacher, 41 6-word Days. I don’t know anymore which of their blogs I encountered first, but remember seeing Judy’s “Choose Love” icon and feeling compelled to click on it. I immediately adored her gentle, kind, brave and funny spirit, and her ability to connect people.

Everything she writes, (she has two blogs, A Human Thing and Zebra Sounds, because one is not enough to contain her, as well as various other essays and books), invites readers into a conversation, into connection, to community. It might be her superpower, that and love, which is also her religion.

Judy always challenges me to open up a little more, to contemplate, to feel and to think. We have a lot in common: writing, dogs, hiking, and yoga. We also both apparently tend to be a little Lucille Ball-ish, slightly clumsy and adorably goofy from time to time. We both are in love with love. I think it’s the answer to every question, and she wrote a manifesto about it.

a doodle by judy

I admire Judy for many reasons. She’s a mom, (dogs and kids), a wife, a yogini, a warrior of love. She’s a shared project instigator, a master doodler, a practitioner of hiking, a seer of beauty. But most of all, I admire and aspire to her writing success. She’s both self and other published, (I’ve heard a rumor she’s working on a novel, among other things), committed to her work, to engaging with the world and her experience, and sharing that with her readers, inviting them to do the same.

I will be tender with other people’s hearts.
I will be fearless with my own.
~Judy Clement Wall

I wrote and am mailing her a long, loopy love letter today. You should check her out, keep an eye on her, connect with her amazingness, and if you feel so moved, write your own love letter to someone in your life, formalize and verbalize, embody the love you feel for them. You can never go wrong with a thank you, with a love letter.

P.S. Further proof that Judy has the biggest heart, that love is one of her superpowers: Just hours after I hit “publish,” she’s already thanked me in three different ways for this one, single post.