You've heard me say this many times. But it bears repeating: lower the bar.
It's the holidays. And that means visions of Martha Stewart dancing in our heads. Somewhere along the road, the holidays have come to mean huge meals, dozens of presents, glimmering decorations, piles of sweet treats, and festive gatherings galore.
Holy heart attack, Bat Man! That's a lot of planning, preparation, money, and time.
In case it's a little too much for you, you can join me in a little ditty I sing aloud a lot this time of year. It goes like this, "Let it go, let it go, let it go." (Sung to the tune of "Let it Snow.")
Oh, and need a little added encouragement? Here it is, just there below, in the form of a permission slip.
Ease and peace,
Thank you to everyone who participated in The New Black Friday. If you created a Love List, but didn't yet log it in to get your free gift, you can do so here: Love List submit.
I know I don't typically review books on my blog. But I'm very familiar with Marney K. Makridakis' work and when I was invited into the "Hop, Skip, Jump Blog Celebration" it sounded like such fun that I leapt right in!
I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but I admit, I did just that. Before I even cracked open Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life, I figured I was gonna really love it. The name intrigued me, I loved the funky font, and the tag line promised that the book would be playful and meaningful.
(Spoiler alert: It is!)
Oh, wait. Before I go any further, I do want to tell you —disclaimer!—that I received a copy of the book from the publisher and am listed on Marney's (Artella Land’s) roster of 75 featured blogs. That said, when I was invited to participate in the blog celebration, they were really clear that they wanted an honest review. After the zingy title, that was what inspired me to agree.
I liked that Marney clearly wasn't wanting us to be blogger brown nosers and write something nice just because. However, now that I've read the book, I betcha she was pretty certain we'd all write something good. Because the book is really great.
What's so great? Well, first and foremost, the book most certainly delivers on "playful." The language is playful. The colors are playful. There are fun facts, haikoodles, manifestagrams, acrowhims, top ten lists, and doodles. Marney's tone is conversational and full of humor. It's the kind of book that draws you in because you can practically hear it giggle.
There's an active joy to the framework, even. I love Marney's concept of being in hop, skip, or jump mode when we are bringing something(s) into existence. The manifestation movements are lively and full of childlike delight.
But, also ... Marney completely delivers on the "meaningful." This book is chock-full of unique and useful activities, tools, and practices to support readers in moving forward on our dreams. She includes links and online downloads to add even more value. Marney also includes tons of personal stories that add depth and underscore her points.
I think what I appreciate most about this book is that the concept and tools are truly unique. I have read a gazillion motivational/self-help/personal development books. Never once while reading this book did I think, "Ho-hum; been there; read this." It's obvious that Marney lived this book before writing it. And that she put years into developing the activities in the book. These days it is hard to find original content. I love it when I read it.
I just realized I've been going on and on about the book but haven't yet told you the gist of it. Eep. Forgive me. This book is basically about productivity and manifesting what we want to create in the world. The hop stands for dreaming, the skip stands for experimenting, and the jump stands for taking action. However the whole foundation of the book is that these phases are each full of playfulness and joy. Work can feel like play. Play can make us productive. Neat, huh?
This is not a book I recommend you read. Whaaaaat? After all that positive stuff I said? You heard me right.
You should not read this book. You should interact with it! This is a book I recommend you play with. You create with. You participate in. You dance through. You color, cut, sing, string, loop, and romp through this book. The title is full of verbs and the book makes you want to move.
Oh! When I wrote that, I got an idea. I'm going to reprint an exercise from the book so you can get a real sense of Marney's style. AND it'll get you up out of your seat and moving!
But before I go, I just want to give two links:
Your Celebration Manifesto
The following is word-for-word from Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a meaningful Life. This material is all copyrighted and the property of Marney K. Makridakis/Artella Land. (Extra credit to anyone who can guess why I chose this specific exercise!)
Ready, set, go!
Try this: Manifest, OH!
1. Complete the following prompts in writing. Keep the phrases as they are, because repetition of the same word creates momentum as you write.
I am here today to celebrate ______.
I laugh out loud, and I celebrate ______.
I cry a little, and I celebrate ______.
I look to my questions, and I celebrate ________.
I look to trusting what feels impossible, and I celebrate ______.
I look to my choices, and I celebrate ______.
I look to my new beliefs, and I celebrate ______.
2. You have just completed your celebration manifesto! Take a moment to read it out loud to yourself.
3. Now go to a mirror, and sing "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang if you know it, in which case dancing is optional, though probably inevitable. Now, as you make eye contact with yourself in the mirror, read your celebration manifesto. Let doubt, anxiety, and worry melt away ... into play!
(Writer's note: can you see why I love this book?)
Meet the author, Marney K Makridakis:
Marney is the bestselling author of Creating Time and founder of Artellaland.com, an online community for creators of all kinds. I've never met Marney, but I sure would like to. She's quirky, creative, and a great writer/storyteller. (Marney, come to San Francisco and have a sparkly drink with me!)
Happy The-New-Black Friday! A couple hundred of us are spending part of the day today cozy at home creating Love Lists as holiday gifts for family and friends.
Today, I want to share yet another unique way to present your Love List: as a customized Tiny Book. I first learned about Tiny Books from my wildly creative and artistic friends, Maya Stein and Amy Tingle. Last summer they created a whole library of tiny how-to books, which they showcased along their TypeRider 2 Journey from Boulder to Beloit on a tandem bike. (!!!)
So now I want to offer a twist on a twist on a twist on Tiny Books: Make 'em into little Love List Books!
(The photo to the left is the gift book Tina made. I got a little intimidated when I saw how beautiful this was. A reminder to all of us: these books can be handwritten and really simple. The heart will still be there, I promise!)
How to make a Tiny Book Love List:
Hope to see you sometime today at The New Black Friday!
I've been wanting to write about my experience, but have felt rather tongue-tied. You know how it is when you've been someplace that feels life-changing? Words sometimes feel a little stiff or not-quite-right.
But then yesterday I was on a call — this was a business call, mind you— and one of the trainers for this call, Milana Leshinsky, said, "I'm not too woo-woo to say I love you."
And blam. I had it. Handed to me on the proverbial silver platter.
Because not-too-woo-woo-to-say-I-love-you kinda sums up not only how it felt to be at Patti's Camp, but also where my focus is right now— which is encouraging people to create Love Lists for The New Black Friday.
It can be a bit awkward and clumsy to tell the people in our lives — family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances— how much we appreciate them. But like anything, practice is key. My mission is to help facilitate expressions of appreciation in as many ways as I can. Join me. Let's practice together!
From the moment I stepped foot on the grounds of Camp Kanuga, there was a sense that magic was afoot. And here's what that "glitter-gleam" feeling was: every single person seemed to be on the lookout for what they could love and appreciate about the others. It was palpable. You could see it in people's eyes: they were seeking out the best in one another. And they were verbalizing it and cheering it on.
This is the kind of world I want to live in all the time. And we can create it for ourselves, moment by moment. We just need to be on the lookout for what we appreciate and how to express it.
Paper Bag Love
At the end of the camp, I was so honored to receive the "Golden Heart" Award. The truth is, I was just lucky enough to get to be a facilitator of so much love. While at camp, I got to mirror everyone's golden hearts. Whenever we initiate things that help people love and appreciate one another, the ripple effect is amazing.
How to create some paper bag love at your house or office during the holidays:
"The New Black" Friday: A mission to encourage more love and less stress at the holidays
Here's another easy and fun way to express your love. Join us on Friday, November 28 for The New Black Friday. A bunch of us are spending part of the day at home, creating Love Lists (not shopping lists!) for our loved ones.
So listen, let's not be too woo-woo to say I love you. Let's say it in all kinds of ways to all kinds of people in our lives. Let's appreciate one another with secret notes or singing exclamations. Let's make Love Lists for family, friends, teachers, store clerks, and bus drivers.
Let's say it now. Because life is fleeting.
Delights of the season,
Mail bag idea credit: Thank you to Jennifer Robbins for inspiring the mail bag idea. When I volunteered for the Brendon Burchard Group, Jennifer had us all create mail bags for one another. Yay for you, Jenni. You really inspired me!
- Create that technicolor feeling in your daily life
- Sometimes we need to celebrate even when we fall flat.
- Is there something in your life that you really want to learn to do, but squirrel-mind is keeping you from it?
- Can you let yourself be fully alive and expressive — whether that looks like joy, confusion, despair, bliss, or grief?
- The secret to living an extraordinary life can be found in tiny, ordinary moments.
- How can we love the one we’re with when either —or both— of us is not quite exemplifying star-quality at the moment?
- Confessions of a packrat
- Do I have a deeper relationship with the person I think I should be than the person I really am?