The importance of being playful

We had Christopher Phillips in as a speaker at the library this week. Chris is the author of Socrates Cafe and Democracy Cafe which we used to model some of our programs at the library. Chris is an interesting, engaging, fun guy so we asked him back to talk about his latest book, A Child at Heart: Unlocking Your Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason at Every Age and Stage of Life

Here are some of my favorite take-aways from Chris’s talk: Continue reading

Pay attention to coincidences!

Life is full of chance encounters that aren’t as random as they seem. The person you sit next to on a plane that gives you an idea for a new project. A conversation you have that months later leads you down a new path. The choice you made buying a house or choosing a school that led to all sorts of new relationships. A book you pulled from a shelf that gave you new insight on how the world works.

My latest awesome coincidence came out of the writers’ group at the library. One of our attendees mentioned, in passing, that she had a friend who wanted her to read The Artist’s Way. That led to our Artist’s Way group which has set me off in all sorts of new directions with writing as well as with beads. And all it took was listening as Tyche mentioned a book and a desire. And then listening to my gut to take action.

When I started this blog, I wrote about my Book of Coincidences. Here’s how that started… Continue reading

Add a spoonful of JOY

When people are struggling to get organized, the weirdest piece of advice I give them is to add something to their to-do list: Joy. It is counter-intuitive. Why not just focus on the multitude of tasks at hand?

Because if you’re struggling, it means you don’t want to tackle the tasks at hand. They seem like chores. They’re heavy. They’re things that have to be done. Yep. So add one more: Joy.

Continue reading

Getting out of the nest

I stumbled on this quote from Pema Chodron in a book I was reading this week:

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”

Isn’t that counter-intuitive? When you’re organized and doing good work, doesn’t that mean you keep control of your time and your days? And when you’re truly engaged with your work, isn’t that when you feel fully alive and awake? And when you’re “continually thrown out of the nest,” doesn’t that feel crazy and chaotic? Continue reading

Walking the Artist’s Path

I met last night with a group of 11 women to start working our way through the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I read this book about 20 years ago with a couple of friends. Reading it got me back into the theater – first teaching it to kids. That lead to getting back on stage. Then I started writing for the theater, and now I’m writing, directing, and running a theater group. All good. All high energy!

What I like about The Artist’s Way is that it assumes that creativity is part of everyone’s nature but that it can get lost in the day-to-day shuffle of life. The book has fun, simple exercises that help you remember who you are and get you back to practicing “the art of creative living.” Continue reading

A life well lived

One of our speakers at the library last week, John Baugher, has a new book coming out about the joy of end-of-life care. I’m certain I’ve never heard anyone speak about end-of-life as being a joyous time. Most of us face end-of-life care, for ourselves or for others, with a certain amount of dread. But John’s decades of working with hospice have left him feeling otherwise.

But John’s talk didn’t center on the end of life. It centered on a life well lived. And not as a reflection – but as a daily practice. His question was:

“Was your life well lived – today?”

Continue reading

Standing firm in a time of change

From your first breath as you emerged from the water of the womb to your last sigh as you leave the earth, each breath connects you to nature, to your work, and to fellow human beings across the world.

Can you tell I just finished reading a book on Wind work? 🙂

Author and shamanic healer Renee Baribeau’s book, Winds of Spirit, blows you around in all manner of directions. Here’s my #1 takeaway:

If you’re feeling disconnected from your work or your life, take off your shoes, step outside, and take a “wind bath.” Start off with a few deep breaths. Then ask yourself a question. Continue reading