New Year’s Day, Renewable Enthusiasm Day

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”
– Zora Neale Hurston

Speaking of Beautiful Questions, New Year’s Day has to be one of my favorite “beautiful question” kind-of-days. The start of a new year brings the opportunity for a fresh start, a time to regroup, set our intentions for the upcoming year. Since I’m also a procrastinator by nature, I’ll note that it’s perfectly ok to also leverage Chinese New Year, birthdays, anniversaries, or any other milestone to do this. But New Year’s Day is a freebie. The world has slowed down, so why not seize the moment for yourself to do the same? Continue reading

Beautiful questions

A new friend of mine wrote a wonderful blog entry about asking beautiful questions. As a researcher and Professor of Sociology, questions are critically important in her field. The beautiful ones, she broke it down for us, will always lead to more questions.

“That is the beauty of such a question, it doesn’t stop. A beautiful question asks everyone who comes into contact with it to respond. Not everyone will respond of course, that’s free will. Beautiful questions don’t rest, but rather are generative. These are the questions that create more than they stay still. Beautiful questions inspire discussion, debate, engagement, inquiry and reflection.

“Beautiful questions are also really HARD.”

Tonight, about a week after being introduced to the concept of beautiful questions, another friend asked a group of us one of the most beautiful questions I’ve ever heard.

Silhouette of a person standing with ther arms behind their head

©: iStockphoto / simonmcconico / confused




What would your life be like if you said to yourself:

“I am enough.
“I do enough.
“I have enough.” ?

Continue reading

Bracing for the cold – and a comfort zone expansion

Be of Good Cheer

Just a bunch of pansies. (They are actually quite a hardy plant, so why the pejorative?)
Photo by KitAy on Flickr

I’m a bit of a cold pansy, I admit it.  Actually, pansies are tougher than I am in the cold. So when it snows in October, on the weekend of my New River Gorge Climbing and Yoga retreat, you can imagine my distress.

Don’t panic, I tell myself. Perhaps I’ve just never been properly dressed for the cold. (I’m new at this badass lifestyle, remember.) I stop by North Face and Patagonia to get an education on layering. Two and a half hours later, armed with a Capilene base layer and PrimaLoft synthetic down jacket, I barely escape DC’s Friday rush hour traffic and HOV restrictions. Continue reading

Catching the Run-off

It was a while ago that a friend and I discussed an email going around called 40 Tips for a Better Life.  It’s a hodge-podge list of small obtainable goals that, although they promise to enrich our lives, are easy to shrug off.  One of them says “Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.”  Another encourages “Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.”

Drops

This same friend introduced me to Washington DC’s River Safe Homes program.  (Yes, I know this seems like a non sequitor, but hang with me. You want to see where this is going.)  Continue reading

Committing to the start

I’ve got a commitment problem.  I have ideas coming out my ears.  Including ideas for this blog.  But something is holding me back.  It’s these wild skittish horses in my head.  Powerful creatures, yes.  And they frighten easily.  They’re asking, “Who are you?  Who do you think you are to write a blog about passion?  About renewing enthusiasm?  Look at all the other blogs out there.  Passion.  Ideas.  Innovation.  It’s all out there. What do you have to add?” And then the whole herd starts running straight for the barn.

I’ve learned not to take these characters too seriously.  I’m used to them by now, and have been practicing reframing their negativity.  Alright, I tell them.  I call your bluff.  What’s my imperative?

Continue reading