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Archive for March, 2012

Pink and Pinkier

There’s the barely pink blush of spring.

Then there’s the LookhowpinkIcanbe show off of spring.

~mwe

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And it was all Yellow

What’s better than yellow in the spring time?

~mwe

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Going Green

I took way too many pictures on my spring break outing to share in one post, so I’m going to divide them into themes.

Today, we go green.

~mwe

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I’m a list maker.

I put even minor things on my to do lists.

First, because it relieves the stress of trying to remember every little thing I need to do.

But my favorite part of making lists is being able to cross things off.  When I’m able to cross even one thing off my list, I feel like I’ve done something with my day.

A couple of weeks ago I made of list of things I needed to get done as I wrapped up winter quarter.  I also included the title for a blog post I was thinking about writing: Choose Joy.

The next few days, every time I checked things off my list I saw it staring back at me:

Choose Joy

It wasn’t long before I decided I’m keeping it on my list.

Because you know what?  I forget to do it ALL the time.

How can that be?  I mean, it’s JOY.  It feels AMAZING.  It makes my heart burn – in a good way.

But I often find myself choosing everything else.

Stress.

Boredom.

Anxiety.

Frustration.

Discontent.

Why do I do that?  Why do I so easily forget the things that bring me joy and fall into the things that keep me down?

Does this happen to anyone else?

(Let me say, I believe joy is different from happiness.  Joy can exist in the face of adversity and even sadness.  It makes the worst of situations bearable.  It’s a sense of peace.  A sense of contentment.  A deep, abiding love for life and all that comes with it.  But when it’s not there, everything is off balance, irritating, upsetting. In short – wrong.) 

So true to form, I spent most of my spring break doing random things.  I appreciated the unusually warm, early spring weather, but didn’t really get out to enjoy it.  So on the last day I had to myself, I decided (with a little coaxing from my husband) to go to one of my favorite places to take some pictures of spring in all it’s glory.

Because that brings me JOY.

Here’s a little preview.  I’ll share more in the coming days …

~mwe

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Find Your Tribe.

This is the name of a post Jen Louden wrote in response to a question I sent her.

Who’s Jen Louden?  She’s an amazing woman who helps women find and be their best selves.

What was the question I asked?

If you had to relocate to a place in which you knew virtually no one, how would you go about finding or creating a community of intelligent, creative, professional women (very much like yourself) who are interested in becoming their best self in order to do their best work – whatever that may be?

No, I haven’t moved nor do I plan to.  But as I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, I feel like I’m in the process of remodeling my life.  Framing my question in the context of moving seemed to be the easiest way to get my point across.  I thought, as I often do, that someone else wouldn’t quite understand what I was talking about if I told them what I really wanted to know.  Turns out, plenty of people totally get where I am in my life.  Who knew?  Chalk up another lesson learned: Say what I truly mean and feel because chances are someone else feels the same way.

But the point I want to get to today is my initial response to Jen’s post and what’s happened since then.  

When I first read Jen’s response to my question, I thought it was pretty amazing that it included SO MANY responses to my question.  I mean, that’s a LOT of people!

And I really appreciated their ideas.  But the ideas that popped out at me were the concrete things.  Use social media.  Go to bookstores.  Try the coffee shops.  Join a yoga class.  These are all fantastic ideas, but I found myself saying, “I’ve tried those kinds of things and they never work.”  Great attitude, huh?   And honestly, while I appreciated the thoughts and the work Jen put into creating the post, I kind of walked away from it feeling like it wasn’t all that helpful for me.

In fact, I pretty much gave up on trying to find answers.  Because I’ve spent a LONG time trying to find places where I could connect with people – including social media, bookstores, classes, workshops, mom groups, bible studies, etc., etc., etc. and if these experts on Jen’s blog didn’t have anything else to offer (I said to myself), it’s never going to happen.

And wouldn’t you know, that’s when things started to happen.

I had an idea for fulfilling a need I saw among women.  I shared it with someone.  And she said, “I think we should make that happen.”

I was asked to share a little bit of my story with a group of people who may have similar struggles.

I was asked to help lead a small group of those same people.

I stumbled upon a women’s luncheon I just happen to be free to attend.

I made time to have dinner with a dear friend and wondered why we can’t seem to find the time to do it more often.

And before long, I realized I’m connecting with people.  Which is odd, because I wasn’t really trying to.  I was just kind of doing my thing.  Granted, I’m getting a lot better at doing my thing – as opposed to doing whatever thing I think I should be doing.

So I went back to read Jen’s blog again.  And guess what.  It was like reading a totally different post.  I mean, really, did she go back and change it?  Because I know I didn’t see these suggestions in it before …

Ask this question now, before you get caught in settling your new life: who do you want to be? Decide right now to be that. Then go out & do that in every moment. Your people will come to you in surprising ways, because they’re all looking for you, too. — Brian Andrea

Just show up, with bells on if ya have them (as in: be enthusiastically IN and AVAILABLE when you arrive. … Keep it easy breezy. — Dyana Valentine

The key is to allow ourselves to tell the truth and be vulnerable — Gail Larsen 

Open my heart up wide to this desire and visualize the Universe as kind witness to my longing. Expect connections that I can act on to emerge. Assume that their timing and packaging won’t always be what I’d script for them. Lean into trust that all is always as it needs to be. —Kristin Noelle

I’d start by checking in with myself to make sure that I was doing my best work to become my best self, because I believe that that radiates. —Kate Swoboda

Follow your instinct, go where the people are, and let the beauty of who you are draw your people to you. — Max Daniels

Be real.  — Susannah Conway

Let go of outcome.  Be thy radiant self. – Jeffrey Davis

How did I miss all this amazingness?  Because I was too busy looking for what I should do.  I wanted a plan.  A solution.  A fix.

Slowly but surely, I’m learning I can’t come up with a plan for everything.  There are often no solutions.  And frequently no fixes.

But I can BE.  

And in BEING – 

I’m real.

I’m vulnerable.

I’m open.

I’m available.

I’m radiant.
It seems my tribe may have been waiting for me to claim my place in it all along.
So thank you, Jen, and all your tribe for all the amazingness you put in my lap.  And I’m sorry it took so long to sink in.  Somehow, though, I think you understand.
~mwe

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