I went into business on my own, but when I work in my business I’m either with a client or a colleague or online.
As an introvert, I like to refuel alone , but even that takes a community.
Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing the connections are always there, whether you are aware of them or not.
The work that you do has an impact beyond the immediate.
Ripples in a pond.
I had a huge reminder of that recently when I was asked to be part of an e-book about Women Entrepreneurs. I jumped at the chance because, my friend & colleague Erica put this together with 17 other amazing women, who tell their story of service, connection and community. It is designed to help and inspire those who are just starting out and still think they are alone. Noooo, you’re not.
To grab your copy & find out what we all wrote , hop on over here to Erica’s and sign up for her newsletter. Hurry now, we can’t wait to have you join us.
Erica also recently wrote a whole series on the Power Of Connection on UpMarket that gives you more idea about her genius for bringing people together.
I try to walk everyday. Sanity. Creativity. Joy. It’s not a disaster if I don’t walk, things are just a bit off. 2013 is going to be filled with walks.
“Walking clears your brain, fills your soul and makes you quite happy actually”
according to Maira Kalman. She elaborates in this wonderful video about thinking and feeling…
My house has a walkscore of 75 out of 100. There is coffee, a restaurant and a park within .25 miles. There are also river views, rail trails & most importantly, a library. Destinations are secondary though. You can’t ascribe a walkscore to clarity.
It is however winter.
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” — Sir Rannulph Fiennes
It takes planning to juggle daylight, sunlight, work commitments and weather, at this time of year in Massachusetts.
Whatever the weather, it’s always worth the wrapping. Always.
A 6 year old orphan from Austria ecstatically embraces a brand new pair of shoes given to him by the red cross
The emotion of receiving is bright & clear in this photo, one of my favorites. At this time of year the focus is on giving and we are very aware of the benefits of being a giver.
“Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.”
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
“For it is in giving that we receive.”
-St. Francis of Assisi-
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
~Maya Angelou Quotes On Giving
“When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
-Kahlil Gibran, philosopher-
This to me, is only half of the story though. Our thoughts on giving is so wrote, so automatic, that we don’t remember that there’s a bit missing.
The receiving. To receive is also to give, to give back to the gifter.
There is a little kink in receiving however…..you have to be open.
I’ll resort to a football analogy (I didn’t see this coming… familial osmosis). If you watch Tom Brady’s eyes after the ball is snapped, they are manically scouring the field for a receiver that is on his feet and open to receive. It is pointless making the play until he’s found his receiver.
As we wrap gifts for our family & friends, as we plan for 2013, are your arms wide open? Are you ready to receive the blessings & dreams you are placing on the page of your planner for next year, really ready?
Receiving is an energetic match to giving. Just like when someone speaks, a true listener is giving back as much as they receive.
Give, give give, we can’t continually exhale. We have to inhale, we have to receive. It is unhealthy not to. Every mother knows this. It is knowing when and then allowing it.
A hundred years ago, early in my career, an art director gave me a compliment and I brushed it off. He gave me a mild scolding in the form of some great advice, he told me the only thing to say after someone gives you a compliment is to say thank you. He claimed he was trying to give me a gift and in my rebuff, I had refused it.
In Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Ecker claims rich people are good receivers, poor people are poor receivers. I claim this applies to all areas of your life. spiritual, physical, and mental. How open you are to receiving new ideas, new people in your life, new relationships?
A journal to note every time you receive something unbidden would be full in no time. It is astonishing. Ideas of reception would only expand through the noticing.
Writing an exhaustive list of everything you receive this holiday season, physical, mental & spiritual will give you clues to what kind of receiver you are. Watch out for rumblings of “I don’t deserve….” or “I didn’t work for that….”
The gift is the exhale, acknowledge with a “Wow, amazing, no idea where than came from or why, but thank you world/universe/god/goddess/or similar” is your inhale.
When you inhale & accept, you honor the giver.
Hope you have many moments like the one in the photo above!
I never know what I’m going to learn during my weekly qigong class. There is something about the “space” my mind goes to when we are practicing, and I always come away with some gem that I didn’t expect to receive.
One thing that happens each week is my qigong teacher will say at some point during the lesson, “where the mind goes the qi goes”.
This week we were discussing how to hold your hand while moving, as this impacts how the qi moves. In qigong each finger represents an organ in the body and your hand position has an impact on that organ. We ended up discussing the meaning of a common yoga mudra.
Mudra is yoga of the hands. Discovering the meaning behind the familiar hand position called Jnana Mudra is like discovering what the peace sign means. My teacher explained that in the yoga mudra above, the thumb represents the spirit and the pointer finger represents the ego, so when the tip of the thumb is placed over the end of the pointer finger it symbolizes the spirit ruling over the ego. Touching the fingers in this way is similar to the intention behind hand position in qigong as it forms a connection that melds the mind body & spirit. There are dozens of different yoga mudras, I’m glad to know the meaning behind even just one of them. I’m hoping that knowing the intention while holding these positions then the “qi will go where the mind goes”, and if the mind is connecting mind, body & spirit then the qi will follow suit.
May is vasculitis awareness month and many of you know I am currently doing well, however many are not. I have yet to talk to someone about my disease from outside of the specialty medical field who have even heard of it before. When I was diagnosed I certainly hadn’t and I have since met many nurses & doctors who have not been familiar with it either. Here’s a hint, if you can’t get a pulse in your wrists or a blood pressure reading in your arms and you’re still upright, then you might have Takayasu’s (it used to be called pulseless disease). Awareness is so important for timely diagnosis and early intervention. Once damage is done to arteries, it cannot be reversed and surgery is often a bandaid. Read the rest of this entry »
If you had sat in a coffee shop three years ago and told me today I would be a health & wellness blogger writing about vegan/macrobiotic diets, I would have laughed and probably embarrassed myself by spraying your face with crumbs from a chocolate croissant. Back then it was inconceivable that my life could take the dramatic turn that would precipitate such a change.
The dramatic turn involved four cardiac catheterizations to place 5 stents in my lungs and the possibility of long term breathing difficulties with each surgery becoming technically more difficult than the last. This came out of nowhere in the space of a month or two in the summer of 2009.
After all the hospitalizations, I was beautifully patched up, but far from healthy. I started to investigate how to stay healthy using diet, as that was about the only thing I had control over.
Searching for Health
I searched for my disease online, a rare one called Takayasu Arteritis, and I came across the story of Virginia Harper who had resolved her takayasu’s and her Chrohn’s disease through macrobiotics 20 years ago. It sounded so good, I wanted some and I started to read. I also sent out one of my off-the-cuff tongue-in-cheek tweets along the lines of Read the rest of this entry »
This book found me in a thrift store, it was a dollar. Am I crazy to think that books find you? I didn’t read the jacket I just knew I have been in love with knitting in the past, and the heaven and earth reference had an attraction as it implied a wider view of knitting than stitches, patterns and yarn selection. I was right.
The subtitle “healing the heart with craft” is a recurring theme in the work of many of my artist classmates over at Hello Soul Hello Business. Susan Lydon writes and knits her way through a mid-life relationship, the death of her father, her loss of a friend and ultimately her own diagnosis and journey through treatment for breast cancer. She find herself, towards the end, working at an artist retreat on a first draft of the book. Read the rest of this entry »