Full Moon Dreamboard: More Than One Thing

From time to time I make dreamboards (collages of inspiring images) as a way to recognize my soul’s desires. Plus, it’s just plain fun to cut up magazines and assemble a collage like we used to do in school.

That urge crept up in my yesterday, so I once again scoured a pile of magazines for the images that resonated within me.

From the time I was in high school, I have questioned my purpose in this life. What is the thing (often translated as “job”) that I am meant to do? Jamie recently challenged me by asking, “What if your thing isn’t a thing? What if it’s things plural?”

So I’ve been sitting with that thought for a while now and it feels comfortable. It means I don’t have to force myself into one area of expertise. I can love the web and writing and nature photography and anything else I choose.

Now rather than stressing out about what I should be focusing on, I can focus on enriching my life in a multitude of ways. No doing one thing at the expense of another.

My new dreamboard is now sitting on my desk awakening my creativity with its vibrant colors and a message to “Do more than one thing and do them well.”

Dreamboard collage

Dreamboard: Do more than one thing and do them well

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Happy Post – March 26, 2010

Happy Book BadgeIn honor of The Next Chapter’s ongoing work in The Happy Book, here are the things that are making me happy this week:

  • A quiet house today. I try to reserve Fridays for a mix of finalizing anything for work that needs to be done and spending the rest of the time on things I want to do. Today everyone is out and I have the house to myself- the perfect setup for writing. The Hermit even showed up as my card today signifying turning to my private world and reflecting upon the guidance within myself. Splendid!
  • My muse and I have been working well together this week in blogging, style, and personal discovery. Hooray for us!
  • One of my very best friends, Alina, whose strength and ongoing encouragement inspire me to keep creating.
  • Twitter, through which I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and conversing with so many people I otherwise would never have known. I’m @lifeafterweb. Come say hello. (If you still don’t get Twitter, read this post on Making Twitter Less Scary.
  • Orange spice tea in my happy face mug. Soothing and cheerful!

What is making you happy this week?

How Bobby McFerrin Restored My Faith in People

Last night I took my husband and stepson to see Bobby McFerrin at McCarter Theatre in Princeton. I had a feeling it would be a fun show even if I didn’t know fully what to expect.

What transpired was a mesmerizing exhibit of vocals as McFerrin performed a one man show using only his voice, the tapping of his feet, and patting his hand on his chest to create fully developed music.

Things got really fun as he started encouraging audience participation. At one point, he slid his chair to the side of the stage and invited anyone who wanted to join him on stage and dance. One at a time, audience members and McFerrin did some improv together- them through dance, he through sound.

Later he invited audience members up to sing with him. They would sing any song they wanted and he would embellish it with his own personal style.

At other times he got the entire audience involved, including during a haunting rendition of Ave Maria. I found a video of him doing just such a performance at another venue and thought I’d share it here.

Bobby McFerrin’s vision and ability to be a true leader are inspiring. It restored my faith that people are inherently good and can work together if only they take a chance.

Who is “Everyone?”

Seth Godin wrote a post today called I’m mad at everyone. It’s a title that draws you in, isn’t it?

What Seth is really upset about is the notion of “everyone.” You know them. Everyone thinks you are a failure, or that you won’t be able to fulfill your dream, or whatever it is your “everyone” tells you.

In the book Finding Your Own North Star, Marth Beck challenges us to name our everyone. That’s right. List them. Who are these people that make up your everyone? Maybe a parent or colleague or neighbor? Write their names down.

For most of us, it turns out “everyone” is really only 3-5 people. That’s it. The rest of the people in your orbit think you are doing great. Don’t let the few negative folks become everyone.

Weekend of Visioning and Creating Space

I’m feeling pretty good this morning. So far the weekend has unfolded in the way I think I needed it to unfold.

Friday night my husband and stepson buried themselves in a video game, which gave me the opportunity to sit in my comfy corner reading chair and finish Martha Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star and begin Steering by Starlight.

I’m enjoying these books for their novel approach in guiding the reader to hone in on their true selves. Rather than completing exercises to determine your material desires and career achievements, you get to figure out your personal values and envision yourself already having those values to see how your life would look.

That last exercise in particular is one of my favorites this weekend. You set a timer for 10 minutes and sit in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted. Then you picture what your life would look like when you had the quality you desire.

On Friday night I envisioned waking up slowly with a fruit smoothie for breakfast (with my hubby) at a quiet kitchen table where I could look outside and see nature. It continued with a walk outside to say good morning to the trees, flowers, breeze, and butterflies. Feeling refreshed from the walk, I returned to the kitchen table with the outdoor view to write, stopping only to stretch periodically, accept a phone call from someone telling me I would be published in a magazine, and finally to make a fresh salad for lunch. By the time I had envisioned the spinach leaves, tomatoes, and apples topped with a light freshly made dressing, my timer was going off.

I couldn’t believe I’d lasted the full 10 minutes without distraction. Furthermore, my vision was detailed enough that it took all 10 minutes to picture just the first half of my day.

Yesterday morning, my husband and stepson headed out first thing for baseball practice. My in-laws were already gone for the day and I found myself in an empty house. I immediately thought of that vision and decided to recreate as much as possible.

I didn’t have fruit, so I had to forego the smoothie in favor of pineapple juice and pecan spinwheels. I sat on the opposite side of the kitchen table from where I normally sit, thereby giving me a view out the sliding glass door to the woods behind our house.

After breakfast, I went for a walk in my yard, thinking about what to plant in my garden this year. I cleared the yard of everything that had blown into it in last weekend’s storm, restoring it to it’s former semi-glory.

It was a delightful way to spend my morning. From there I ended my vision day and went on about my already planned task of decluttering my art cabinet. I haven’t done much artwork in the last few years and I’m feeling the creative bug returning so I wanted to get my studio ready for play.

Not only is my studio ready, I also decluttered my file cabinet, my storage box of old files, and cleared a few boxes out of the garage. All in all, some great spring cleaning.

This morning I caught up on some of my fellow wishcaster’s blogs to spread positive wish energy and now I am writing, beginning with this post.

How is your weekend?

Happy Post – March 19, 2010

Happy Book BadgeIn honor of The Next Chapter’s ongoing work in The Happy Book, here are the things that are making me happy this week:

  • Trail mix – the kind with the M&M’s, peanut butter chips, raisins, and peanuts.
  • Taylor Swift whose concert I got to see last night. It was an amazingly fun show!
  • Jamie, with whom I shared an enlightening discussion and who I feel will help me learn to shine.
  • Green finger nail polish – the perfect way to get in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit without having to dress in green from head to foot.
  • My new tree necklace with interchangeable stones. It can have black, turquoise, or white backgrounds depending on my style and mood that day.
  • Tree necklace

  • People seem utterly supportive of my crazy idea to get a pink stripe in my hair for my birthday this year (in May- I’ll keep you posted so you know if I chicken out)

Finger Nail Polish

Like Ashley drawn in by spray paint cans, I am mesmerized by a box of new nail polishes.

Last weekend I went to a girls’ night at my friend’s apartment in Philadelphia. I didn’t know the other girls there, yet shortly after I walked in, one of them set nine new nail polishes in front of me. A gift from a stranger. So kind!

nail polish

So many fun and unusual colors!

Brilliant shades of blue, green, pink, orange, lavender, and the deepest, darkest purple I’ve ever seen. They were glorious. They dared me to let my inner butterfly emerge. We had a heated discussion in my head, those bottles and I.

Me: “Blue?”

Them: “Yes, blue.”

Me: “I couldn’t possibly.”

Them: “Oh, but you could.”

Me: “What would people think?”

Them: “Which people and why do we care what they think?”

Me: “Um…”

Them: “That’s what we thought. Don’t worry. We’ll be here when you’re ready.”

Flash forward to yesterday. I dressed for work and went to kiss my husband goodbye for the day. He asked why I wasn’t wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day. I explained that the pants I had on (brown with a greenish-grayish tint) were the best I could do.

Him: “Don’t you have green nail polish? I know you’ve been dying for an excuse to go crazy with color.”

Me: “Yes. Yes, I do.”

I polished my nails in O-P-I’s “Jade is the New Black” while having my bowl of cereal.

And that, my friends, is reason number 2,372 of why I love my husband. He totally gets me in all my crazy colors.

green nail polish

Green for St. Patrick's Day

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