Sustainable Birthday

In the days leading up to my birthday last week, there was definitely an aura of funk in the air. That kind of funk born of the frustration that I mentioned in an earlier post that is so hazardous. Am I moving in the right direction? Am I doing the right things? Why can’t I get this blog going? Why can’t I seem to [insert measure of success here]? Seeds from an earlier blog entry “I have enough; I do enough; I am enough” lay like dust in my fallow blog.

The Happiness ProjectThe funk was so palpable, that a friend asked me if I had read The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. “Yes,” I immediately answered. Upon further discussion, I revealed that by “yes,” I had meant that I had read a few of Gretchen’s blog entries, but never the actual book. This scene unfolded much like it had the last time she asked me if I had read it, which explains the audible sigh and appearance of the book, as a gift, on my Kindle.

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March 10 – International Day of Awesomeness

I’m feeling very sheepish because it’s been almost a month since my last post. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about. I have at least 70 different ideas for blog posts that are just dying to get out. It’s just that…well…my life has been so – awesome – in the past few weeks that I haven’t had a moment to write. I’m not bragging – I’m owning it, baby. I’ve had my fair share of suck, so this glory? It too, is all mine.

Today isn’t much different from the past couple of weeks, so let’s get right to the point. March 10 is The International Day of Awesomeness. What’s awesome about this is that the mere fact of someone having posted this on the web, and others continuing to validate this the fact on Twitter makes it true. You can’t say this about many things in life, so embrace this Internet truth happily and care free.

How do you celebrate? By being awesome. Not by being perfect. Two totally different things. The day’s motto is “No one’s perfect, but everyone can be awesome.”

You can declare yourself awesome, but it’s also nice to have that validation, like a colleague of mine did with a simple sheet of paper and a sharpie.

Kerry, You are crazy awesome!

Best. Award. Ever.

If you’re concerned that you might not be awesome – Ha! Of course you are. Sometimes, it just takes practice.

Anyone can be cool, but awesome takes practice

Are you stuck and don’t know where to start? Practice by validating someone else’s awesomeness with a sheet of paper and a sharpie. Practice telling yourself that you’re awesome. This day is 100% made up, so start by pretending. (Sitting around in my jammies with the cats and a cup of coffee at 10am = awesome.) Then move to improvising. (Don’t have time for a blog post? Make one up on the fly = awesome.) See? Now you’re practicing!

I’ve got places to go, things to do, people’s awesomeness to affirm, so I’ll leave you with my favorite manifesto, and a plea for your comments to this blog on how you’ve celebrated this International Day of Awesomeness.

This is Your Life manifesto

Operation Generosity – an experiment in a different kind of love

Put Aside All Anxious Thoughts and Be at PeaceYesterday, I answered the call to transform Valentine’s Day into Generosity Day. I decided to hand out quotable cards and magnets to random strangers on my commute to work. I wrote inside the cards and on the envelopes “Happy Valentine’s Day – Share the Love!” and then used the envelopes for the magnets. Armed with my small bit of generosity booty, I left for work. Operation Generosity had begun.

It was a lot more difficult than I expected.

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What is love?

Love is wanting to hug blogger Sasha Dichter for starting a movement. Because I used to be anti-Valentine’s Day. I used to think of it as a contrived, inauthentic excuse to make those of us in a relationship force something we may or may not feel in the moment, and to make those of us not in a relationship extremely uncomfortable and bitter.

Sasha Dichter encourages us to move beyond whatever we conceived of Valentine’s Day to be. Make it a true expression of the love that’s inside us. Make it Generosity Day.

For love is so more than just roses and chocolates. Love is what’s inside of us and just has to get out. When you follow your passion, you’re following love. When you give, you’re expressing love. When your generous with your time, your attention, when you listen, that is love. We are love.

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Passion: hype, annoying, or…it’s complicated?

There are people who are so sick of the word “passion” that they shudder visibly when they hear or read about it. It’s trite. It’s overused. It’s hype. In my earlier post, The Passionistas vs the Passion Skeptics, I revealed a little of what the Passion Skeptics are writing about. They don’t want you to face “the grand betrayal of the false idols of passion.” Stop being so self-absorbed. It’s not about you. Focus on the world’s needs. You have to suppress yourself to get ahead. Get in line with reality.

RESPOND TO FALSE IDOLS

Passionistas send a not so subtle message.
CC: RESPOND TO FALSE IDOLS by andeecollard, on Flickr

I believe people are unhappy with the word because it’s too simple to explain the complexity behind it. Passion is overused. Passion will break your heart. Passion will lead you down a broken path. We can’t stand to watch people getting played by over-simplistic romanticism and tear-off calendar truths. We get frustrated and blame the language. Continue reading

The Passionistas vs the Passion Skeptics

Passion

Passion by neil conway, on Flickr

A year ago, I began exploring the topic of passion. A good friend of mine was frustrated. He was looking for something….more…something not quite nameable. As we explored the topic, we decided he was looking for his passion – that elusive thing that makes you excited to get up in the morning. Work, and by consequence life (since we spend so many waking hours at work) had become dull, unchallenging, gray.

One day, after chewing over the many conversations we had on this topic, I asked him, “How many of your friends are looking for their passion?

Almost everyone,” he replied, without hesitation. “Why?

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How is your inner child?

When was the last time you consulted your inner child? Yes, I know. You’ve been working like crazy, taking care of everyone but yourself, and your weekends are spent sleeping in, catching up, running errands, catching the game on TV. But when was the last time you turned off the TV and filled in the blank, “When I was a kid, I dreamed of being ________” and then compared that to your adult self?

“The creative adult is the child who has survived.” – Ursula K. LeGuin

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