Be What You Want to Become

Unrecognizable woman riding train and looking out window

People tend to hold back in making transitions.

We get safely stuck in planning, worried that the first step we take will be in the wrong direction.

Ironically, we waste time by worrying we’re going to waste time.

Don’t wait to become what you want to be.

Start living in that space immediately. It’s available to you. Just think a little smaller.

Take a little piece.

Step into it and see how it feels, what it does to you.

Put your hands to work, walk onto new ground, create for just a few, give something away, do it for free, hack together a micro manifestation of a piece of a vision, open a new door and step forward.

Above all, stop browsing.

Pull something off the rack.

And wear the future now.

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Kindness Don’t Come Easy

Brown and black flower on pink surface

We all like nice people.

Well, nice people work hard. Kindness don’t come easy.

It’s not like kindness is the default mode for our personalities like, if we do nothing, we just end up being nice.

Nah. Kind of the opposite, actually.

Kindness is an everyday effort, a muscle to be exercised. It can become a habit after a while but it still takes work to maintain.

Ready for the first step?

(Don’t worry, you got this.)

The first step in being kind to people is being kind to yourself.

Every day.

Here are some things you can do:

Meditate on kindness. If you don’t meditate yet, you’re missing out. There are plenty of apps out there to help you stick with it.

Make a list of 5 things you will do for yourself every day. Simple stuff like “Make my bed” and “Go for a 10-minute walk.”

Write a 1-page mantra about the great things you’ve created and achieved in your life. Then read it every morning. (Yes, I do this.)

Read and watch good stuff, especially early in the day. Be selective, not reactive, lest the news headlines and social media posts will get to you first!

Life is hard. Joy is fleeting. Suffering is imminent.

Take some time.

We all need each other to be at our best.

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Checks All The Boxes

Eclipse digital wallpaper

WordPress allows you to tag your posts so people can search them by category. Here are some of my categories:

Anxiety, Career Happiness, Change & Movement, Daily Mindfulness, Emotions, Empathy, Gratitude, Job Search Zen, Life Transitions, Overcoming Fear, Parenting, Power & Conflict, Replenishing, Self Help

I noticed that my posts about death seem to check all the boxes.

There must be something to that.

Death holds a lot for us but it’s the gift none of us want to open, and would never open. The cost far outweighs the benefits.

When it comes to love, we’d rather be incomplete.

We’d rather have who we have, forever and ever, and not learn a Goddamn thing.

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A History Lesson

blue green and white textile

History is a funny thing.

Because it already happened we tend to think it is what it is, that it’s set in place.

But, if you’ve ever watched an old video of yourself, you know that we don’t remember things exactly as they happened. And what about when the video ends? Can you give a play-by-play of what came next?

These blank spaces. These misremembered moments. There are a lot of them – holes in a mismatched quilt.

If the goal of history is comfort and warmth, it’s understandable that we cut our quilts apart, gather the most whole pieces — the ones we enjoy viewing — and sew them back together.

We seem not to mind that the original pattern is lost, that we are being fooled by the warmth, and that the quilt was never ours.

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But Beautiful Too

calm water under clouds

A friend sent a group text.

We knew it was a hard day for her. She’d lost someone. Today was the day the whole world was taking notice, was remembering, coming together, and sharing.

That’s a lot of weight.

Death is one of the only inevitable things. When it comes for you, it keeps coming. And not just for you; it comes for everyone and everything around you, at a quickening pace.

What heart can’t break from this?

“It was a tough day,” read her text. “But beautiful too.”

Wisdom in the dark.

In your toughest times, I wish for you not to keep your heart intact.

Rather, to keep seeing beauty as it falls apart.

(Thanks, J)

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The Secret to My Fire

yellow and red flower in tilt shift lens

I always hope (and believe!) that things are more adventurous than they are, like I’m always on some great big treasure hunt, the greatest mystery of all time.

Clues are everywhere.

Pitfalls can’t stop me.

Something great lies ahead.

This is not just a story I tell myself. I honestly believe it, almost like a crazy person — that the combination of everyday things can contort into a riddle.

While my kids jump on the trampoline and my neighbor talks on her phone, I’m looking around for clues — the shadows on the fence, the curling line of ivy — comforted by the notion that the X may be underneath the leaves.

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Right vs Kind

Woman explaining position to african american husband

Is it more important to be right or to be be kind?

Rightness is often for the individual, for the retention of the way things are. It relies on rules, often pre-determined by ghosts. Rightness creates wrongness upon its very utterance, which means a line is drawn and sides must be taken. Egos are at stake and words become stones.

Kindness is ALWAYS for more than one person. It erases lines, silences ghosts, and takes the weight out of stones.

Many work as one and breathe birds into the sky.

In color and light, they see more than just shadows.

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Charge

pink ceramic pig coin bank

I don’t give discounts but I almost always have a pro-bono project on hand.

There are plenty of people down on their luck or just struggling with where to go and how to get there.

This time.

How lucky I am to have a skill that can make that all go away.

30 minutes on the phone and BAM:

Clarity.

Confidence.

Phone ringing.

Wanted.

Accepted.

Riding high again.

This time it was a meat packing plant delivery driver. Never had a resume, no idea how to use Microsoft Word. Struggling with email, even.

Oh, and don’t worry about me and my time. I get something too.

It’s like a shot in the arm, a reminder of why I do this thing, like stripping away the fancy layers and getting down to the dark red center. It’s like Barry Bonds going back to his childhood baseball diamond to get his groove on.

It’s like…

BAM:

Clarity.

Confidence.

Riding high.

Generosity. It works both ways.

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Men Make Terrible Sorcerers

The cauldron is boiling on the coals of the fire. In a camping boiler on a halt, mulled wine with lemon and spices is cooked.

I sat at a table full of women, aged 15 to 70, and they all unanimously agreed:

Men don’t listen.

What a thing to hear!

50% of the population is missing out. (I’ll let you decide which 50 I’m talking about.)

This is apparently such a prevalent problem that the next time you find yourself in a circle of mixed-gender people, it is guaranteed that you will witness a man talking over or ignoring a non-man. And if you don’t witness this happening, well… you should probably ask someone at the table who you talked over.

To be blunt, fellas, let’s shut the hell up once in a while.

Good conversations are like magic, a bunch of sorcerers sitting around in a circle with a cauldron in the center, taking turns spooning in ingredients. We’ve all got different things in our pockets and anyone can scoop something out and drop it in.

But a few of us sorcerers, we’re hogging the spoon.

We’re emptying our pockets completely, reaching into the sacks at our feet, as if that’s the goal: to empty ourselves, to fill the cauldron with everything we brought.

But we already know what we brought.

And we’re not going home with much more.

See, that’s the real tragedy — it’s not just 50% of the population that’s missing out.

The cauldron is massive. The potential for concoctions is limitless. We can fill the room with smells we’ve never known. We can really solve things. We can heal the world, conjure spells the world has never seen.

If, we’d just give up the damn spoon.

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Love Notes

Person covered with plastic bag on head while holding sliced blood orange

I like to take notes in a blank sketchbook. I’ve always hated lines and boxes, and writing by hand is more fluid… (see what I did there?).

My notes are thought fragments, shorthand, just enough to remind me what I was thinking.

And in this process, I’ve developed a collection of inside jokes: potty-mouthed reference points, word amalgamations, my own language that only I understand.

For example, the word “Objective” — used to describe a client’s career goal — has slowly morphed into “Obby” and then “Obbatude” and, just yesterday, “Obbalobbadingdong.” (Who knows what it will be today.)

Letter for letter, these words actually take more time to write so, okay, this isn’t quite shorthand.

Then why bother?

In high school, my girlfriend used to pass me love notes between classes. She’d fold them up into little triangles and write sweet things with little hearts on the flaps. In the midst of my Earth Science lecture, I got to unfold a love story, literally.

These notes were just for me and they were always good for a smile.

Perhaps I’ve picked up where my high school girlfriend left off.

If you go through my journals and my college notebooks, you’ll find tons of nonsensical words with little pictures and animated, puffy words drawn in the margins, stories in pen and ink that only I understand.

Cliffroglyphics.

This has carried into my work.

Here’s the thing: when I come back to these little scrawlings days later… when it’s time to write the resume or prep for the second counseling call, my notes always make me laugh. Often out loud.

I know they’re coming, and I still laugh.

Definitely good for a smile.

It’s like I’ve been writing love notes to myself all these years: something whimsical and warm in the midst of all the seriousness of work.

Coded joy.

Love in the margins.

Just for me.

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