Tag Archives: The Lyric Cinema Cafe

Making Choices

I made two choices this week that were pretty significant. One is I finally decided (letting go, with much sadness) that I wasn’t going to Authentic Inspiration: A Writing and Meditation Retreat this weekend with Susan Piver at Shambhala Mountain Center. The other is that when the first round of tickets were released yesterday for World Domination Summit 2013, I didn’t buy one, (I’d already made this choice once this summer, while at the conference, when current attendees were for a limited time offered a discounted ticket).

It isn’t that I didn’t want to attend these events. In fact, my desire to go to both is strong. It’s also not that I can’t afford them, because I could. It’s just that there are compelling reasons to chose otherwise, and my heart and gut are telling me that I am making the right decision. This is something I’ve learned in the past year: after you trim your life down to the only things you really want and love, you will still have to make choices, and sometimes it means choosing one good thing over another, one longing over another.

Another choice I made is what I’m going to do with the $100 dollars I got at World Domination Summit (WDS) 2012. If you remember, each attendee was given a hundred dollar bill on the last day of the conference (watch the video below to see Chris Guillebeau’s explanation) along with a note that said “We’d love to see how you can put these funds to good use. Start a project, surprise someone, or do something entirely different–it’s up to you!”

I’m not going to lie, this gift, this challenge came with a lot of responsibility and some anxiety. I wanted to think of something “good enough.” I struggled with what to do for the past two months. I donated a similar amount to Save the Lyric, a Kickstarter campaign to save our local independent movie theater. Then I gave a similar amount to the John F. Ptak Relief Fund. John is married to one of my favorite writers, Patti Digh, and was diagnosed with kidney cancer while uninsured. I felt good about giving to these causes, but they didn’t feel like THE cause, the one where I should put my WDS $100. I kept waiting for that special feeling, the magic moment of realization, of awareness, of connection, that rush of certainty, but nothing was happening.

And then my cousin Sarah commented on one of my recent blog posts, and I noticed she’d started a new blog, Eulogy Postponed. When I read it (it’s new, so it’s only a few posts and an about page), I knew. This was it. I was giving Sarah my $100 so that she could “Go somewhere. Be a voice. Do something.”

I don’t have a life that allows me to do this. Yes, I can be a voice, and I can do something, but I can’t easily go anywhere. I have a house, a tiny family, and a full-time job, so whatever I do, I have to do from here, but Sarah can go, and I can help her.

Sarah at the beach, where she came to visit me the summer before she left for a semester in New Zealand.

On Sarah’s about page, she says, “My delusional mind also believes in the idea of helping strangers. If each and every person in the world is serving, then everyone is also being served. Karma. The Golden Rule. Love is the only rational act,” and

What if life wasn’t what ifs? What if we all actually did those things we talk about doing? What if we were each serving our families, friends, neighbors, cities, countries, solar systems as best we could? What if you let yourself be the gloriously passionate individual you are and shared that with the rest of the world? What if you stopped telling yourself no.

I tear up every time I read that. There’s an odd family pride, a sense of gratitude that she is “my people.” I am also flooded with nostalgia and love, memories of the sweet little girl she was, her love of dogs, how she could keep up with the boys, all the times she made me laugh, and how much she loved fresh fruit. I remember all this, and am amazed by the woman she’s become, strong and compassionate.

So, this hundred dollars is hers, an investment in the plans she has to help, to serve, to do good. I wish her all the best, and am sending her (along with the cash) so much love and gratitude.

Something Good

1. We saved the Lyric! I absolutely love the design for the t-shirts they made for those who contributed. “Let There Be Light”? Perfect.

We humans are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives in which we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others. Nor is it so remarkable that our greatest joy should come when we are motivated by concern for others. But that is not all. We find that not only do altruistic actions bring about happiness, but they also lessen our experience of suffering. Here I am not suggesting that the individual whose actions are motivated by the wish to bring others happiness necessarily meets with less misfortune than the one who does not. Sickness, old age, mishaps of one sort or another are the same for us all. But the sufferings which undermine our internal peace—anxiety, doubt, disappointment—these are definitely less. ~Dalai Lama

To celebrate, I am going to see a movie there this Thursday with some friends. From the trailer and a few reviews I’ve heard from people I trust, it is going to break my heart.

2. Oh, Mr. Brilliant by Patti Digh. I think I mentioned last week that I was super sad that Patti had just found out her husband had cancer. This post tells a little bit more of their story, ending with a way you can help them. This is further proof of how strange life is, beautiful and brutal.

3. A Weekend of Pies on Soule Mama. You don’t even have to read this post, just look at the pictures and be prepared to drool, (and yes, this list just moved directly from a post about cancer to one about pie, life is like that).

4. Aimee Mann is coming to Colorado! Okay, so maybe Eric is the only reader that really cares about that. We love her, (I have ever since her Til Tuesday days), see her every time she comes to Colorado, so I was really excited when she announced tour dates this morning and I was able to get tickets. Her new album is releasing September 18th, but you can preorder it now.

5. How to Turn Every Email Into a Mini Meditation from Jonathan Fields. I really like this idea, might try it.

6. Fear + Happiness, or Eight Ways to Let Go of Fear from Katie Swanberg. This is a goooood list.

7. And in related news, Go Small, Be Happy from Tammy Strobel.

8. A reminder to let go, from Lao Tzu:

By letting go it all gets done.
The world is won by those who let go.
But when you try and try,
the world is beyond winning.

9. From Austin Kleon, Show Your Work! Episode 1: Vampires.

10. 12 Amazingly Achievable Things To Do Today from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

12. From the utterly brilliant Justine Musk, are you a cup of tea…or a shot of tequila? in which she says:

You want to be a focused, highly skilled, freak version of yourself.

You want to dig down deep to find that unique part, that weird and maybe slightly psychotic part, that beautiful raw fucked-up part, that you spent a lifetime learning to hide in the first place.

13. Piecing Together Connie’s Sky from Judy Clement Wall on her blog A Human Thing. Yes, I am slightly biased here: Judy talks about a post I wrote, and I adore her…but that doesn’t change the fact that this is real and true and important.

14. And to close, a picture of Blue, a most adorable puppy that’s up for adoption at Animal House. That face! *sigh* And I am a sucker for a dog named Blue.