When stuck-busy-overwhelmed-on deadline, or bumping up against a block, I’ve learned to let go of ‘meaningful, useful, and bravado.” Instead, I relax into what is so. In that vein, I went back to the basics today and began to look at the ‘flora and fauna’ (as Julia Cameron of The Artist Way writes) of my week. Minute details, odds-and-ends, and my favorite activity of making lists wove together to bring you today’s post.
10 Happys I Wanted to Share With You this Week:
1. Re-wild Yourself
Dolphins. In the wild. Four feet away from me as I swam from Fredriksted Pier to Sprat Hall Beach. I also saw several sea turtles, stingrays, and hordes of colorful fish, sand dollars, and sea biscuits. But the dolphins rocked my world. I could almost touch them. They looked into my eyes and I theirs. We are both beautiful creatures of this universe. Pure magic.
2. Nerd It
My sassy friend, Serena, turned me onto the Nerdist podcast. It’s delightful. Chris Hardwick is a hoot, cracking jokes as if he were in our living room. He hosts everyone from directors to actors to comedians to scientists to old-time rock-and-rollers. And recently he interviewed Chilly Gonzales, a musician, and had some deep discussions I found fascinating. You can listen here.
3. Chai Me
Our little ol’ Foodtown market hit the big leagues this week with a Starbucks coffee bar, complete with a smiling barista to serve my favorite sugary chai tea latte. Any of you that have come to visit me on the island knows what a decadent development this is. First world, baby!
P.S. Nothing like chai with all its healing spices to brighten the day and your digestive system.
4. Fuck It
My favorite meditation of all time! I’ve posted it here before, but once is not enough. I highly encourage you to find two minutes out of your day to let the “horse shit of the external world fade from your awareness” with the Jason Headley’s F*ck That: An Honest Meditation.
5. Get Shot
Natalie Goldberg wrote in Old Friend from Far Away one of the quotes I use to guide me as I write:
“In real life get out of the way when a person with a gun is running down the street. In your writing life step in front of his path, let him shoot you in the heart. What you fear, if you turn to it, will give your writing teeth.”
I had to remember her wise advice as I wrote The Elegant Out and touched on subjects I would rather have left buried. It’s not easy to get shot in the chest over and over again on the page, but the experience creates better work.
6. Lean In
Boxing is an incredible workout. I’ve just started going to the gym with my 70-year-old, comedic sidekick. We laugh, beat the shit out of the bag, and huff-and-puff together. My favorite moment is after our coach has run us with through an intense circuit of jump roping, slam ball, step-ups and a few other ungodly exercises, and I wrap my hands. Suddenly, my fist feels powerful.
This week, I noticed, when Coach came at me with gloves one, I backed away, huddled up, bits of me still afraid. No more. I’m practicing leaning in. Sure, my gloves are up for protection, but I’m not backing away. I’m standing my ground.
7. Follow the Goosebumps
Editing used to be the bain of my existence. Now, I geek out over it. This week, I’m on a deadline, editing a rough manuscript for a client. l just love looking for the common threads, reworking the script, scribbling notes on the printed pages of rough text, translating what the author wants to say for the readers in a linear, yet progressive form. I get out my sticky notes, my blackboard, my blue pen and I dive! I’m alive in those moments when the puzzle pieces click and the goosebumps rise.
8. Burn, Baby, Burn
St. Croix just celebrated its centennial as a territory of the US. As you can imagine if you turned 100, the islanders threw a huge party with the most incredible fireworks. Fifteen minutes after the spectacular finale, some leftovers exploded and the launch barge burned down. Never a dull moment.
9. Treat yourself
Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe EVER! (Thank you, Elana’s Pantry!) Plus, the ingredients are clean, so total permission to binge. I eat these for afternoon pick-me-ups as I type away. Or I just have them as protein snacks for breakfast. Or for movie treats. Or just because. Anytime, really.
P.S. I use 100% maple syrup in place of agave. Tastes better to me. Plus, mega medicinal properties.
I’ve just completed my research on publishers and firmed up a list of nine (9) to whom I will be submitting The Elegant Out. Fingers crossed and good wishes that the book finds its best mate. Your support and encouragement have been much appreciated. Magic wands, activate!
What are ten things you want to share?
If you can’t think of ten, what is one?
Your guiding-light quote, a life lesson you picked up running errands, a magical moment with nature?
What do you want to be acknowledged for?