If you've been following my blog, you know that my dear friend, Maya Stein, is on a journey of lifetime, called Type Rider. She's traveling by bicycle from Amherst to Milwaukee, trailing a vintage blue typewriter behind her. Every day she visits a new town and invites folks to type away to a simple prompt. Those of us who can't be there in person are joining in by responding to the prompts from afar via the Type Rider Google group. Every day I am inspired by the amazing responses people write. I want to share one of the pieces that posted earlier this week because it speaks to something so key to me/Simply Celebrate. Jean Reinhold really opened my heart with this one ... and I'm grateful for her permission to reprint it.
June 6: Prompt: It Wasn't Until ...
It wasn't until I was on the corner of Fairmount and Lee that I remembered that today was the transit of Venus. I was riding into the sun, heading west, and I recalled that I was "seeing" something that would not happen again for 105 years. By the time I made it to Fairmount and Coventry, where some people had set up a viewing station, I thought I ought to pull over and watch the small dot of Venus moving across the sun, but, honestly, I needed to make it to the market for some bananas so I rode on.
Then the really important thing hit me, the most important thing of all. I would never ride down Fairmount on this day again. This day, with its North Carolina sky. This day, with its San Diego perfect seventy. This day, with its fresh scooter euphoria.
Nor will I ever laugh with Claudia and Adrian the way we did at lunch. I will never cheer for Sirr as I did during mediation try-outs. I will never fall in love with the new Jason Mraz song, Frank D. Fixer, for the first time as I did just a few hours ago. I will never link it, as I did, to Tia, someone I wish I could love all the way. I bet I will never have the exact conversation with Sheridan on the porch again. One in which my four-year-old friend tells me that "if we are ever not with each other for a while, you will hug me because you love me so much." I will never sit as I am sitting now, typing these words of this day.
Venus in transit? I get it. The allure of a once in a lifetime planetary event. But, really, isn't every day a once in a lifetime planetary event? Aren't we just lucky to be here, moment by moment by moment?
Photo and text copyright Jean Reinhold. Jean is the author of Skipping Stones blog. She has also been a regular contributor to the daily writings prompted by Maya Stein at Type Rider. This piece/photo are reprinted from her June 6 blog entry.
Cherry Blossom Soup
On Monday I was tickled to be the featured audio interview and essay for a website called Inspire Me Today. We were asked to write a very short essay (500 words) on a very big topic (the one message we'd like to tell the world). The 40-minute audio interview is a conversation as a companion to the writing.
I sent out a note to my mailing list asking folks to please visit the website, read the short piece, and leave a comment. I have been so thrilled at the response. There is something so alive for me in being connected to people through my writing. I love hearing what gets sparked for someone and what related stories they have to tell.
To me, this is one of the big pieces of what life is all about: sharing what means the most to us with people we respect and care about.
Since many of my blog readers aren't on my mailing list, I wanted to send a note to you to invite you to share your thoughts, as well.
I would LOVE it if you had a couple minutes to click on over to Inspire Me Today, read the short essay, and then in the comments, let me know what ideas you have for being a "pinprick of light" for someone today. (And remember, that "someone" can be YOU!)
Here are a few simple ideas:
Sending out gratitude in advance for anyone who might have time to visit and comment. I just realized as I was writing this that every one of those comments is a huge pinprick of light for me. So if you want a quick way to make someone's day, click here! I'm smiling already.
When I was talking to her on the phone about a month ago, I suddenly had this feeling that I just HAD to somehow be a part of her trip. Everything she was saying about slowing down and taking time to connect with people in a real-time way felt so inspiring to me. Our conversations about what it is to invite people to express themselves, to share their story, even with just one typed sentence, gave me the chills. I loved imagining the moment-to-moment unfolding of adventure in small town cafes, bookstores, and libraries.
Plus, Maya happened to be riding through Youngstown, Ohio, which is near where my mom lives in Ohio. I started to imagine what it would be like for this dear friend of mine from San Francisco to get to meet my mom. I just had to make this happen.
But as you might imagine, once the idea took hold, so did all the monkey-mind conversations about why I shouldn't do it. How expensive the trip would be. How it was back-to-back with a previously planned trip to Los Angeles. How I was going to be in Ohio in July with my son. How extravagant it was. How impractical.
I heard all that yammering in my mind and you know what? I just shurgged my shoulders, booked the plane ticket, and let myself be delighted at the idea of Maya + typewriter + my mom + adventure. I let myself thrill at the thought of being just a small part of something so creative and transforming. I let myself listen and respond from a place of vitality and not from fear.
And you know what? The last few days have been so exhilerating and the gates in my heart have been thrown wide open. This was so much the place for me to be right here and now. This was the exact "yes" the moment called for.
Tomorrow I'll share some more photos from our adventure. But for today, I just wanted to be that small voice of encouragement for whatever it is in your life that is calling to you from your belly but your head is trying to talk you out of it. Follow the yes. Hop on board whatever station inspiration whistles from.
Last Thursday I posted on this blog about my excitement over seeing so clearly how simple conscious acts of joy can literally change our lives. Creating an extraordinary moment for ourselves or someone else can change the landscape of an entire day. Doing this every day can change the whole week. Before you know it, your weeks and months and years are looking and feeling more vibrant than ever before.
10 minutes is all I ask.
In fact, I posed a challenge. I asked folks to spend just ten minutes focusing on someone they loved and creating a short Love List or card for that person. AND then mailing it. For everyone who emailed me to tell me they did this, I sent a copy of my ebook, Present Perfect, which is full of ideas for imaginative and impactful gifts that are fun to give.
For those of you who haven't yet taken me up on this, I want to remind you of this challenge.
As a little inspiration, check out this great note I received from one of the people who did take me up on it!
Moments before I saw your email, I was just exploring my present low level of enthusiasm for life. I responded immediately to your gentle 10 minutes challenge by writing a note to a wonderful friend, & have it ready to mail when I walk to my mailbox in the next few moments. In writing to her about how her friendship charms my life, it was like taking a drink from her well of love. My thirst was quenched, thanks to your challenge. Hugs, Barbara Wirth
Other people have also told me how energized they felt by dropping that card or note in the mailbox. Try it. You'll like it.
Don't forget to email me to receive your free book!
I want to tell you something I'm really jazzed about. But this comes with a warning: be aware of the "been-there-done-that" squirrel chatter that will probably arise.
I've been watching lately how that ole chuttering in my head (chatter + muttering) can lull me into thinking that I should just as well take a nap or go watch Mad Men because I've heard — and tried— all this stuff before.
But that's what I'm so excited about! This week I'm seeing so clearly that all that chuttery squabble in my head is the only thing keeping me from having the life I want — all the time.
Last night I was really energized last night after spending an hour with Estra Roell and Kathleen Martin on their Blog Talk Radio Show, Coach Cafe. During our conversation, I shared eight really simple ways to get more joy outta life — and all of them were things to do in ten minutes or less. While I was on the show, I was feeling in my bones how these practices have truly saved my life. Even though the squirrel talk in my head was saying, "blah, blah, blah. There's nothing special to any of this," my real self knew better. My real self could feel the cumulative effects of creating extraordinary moments one by one.
And that's what I want to share with you. I want you to really get it that we can change our lives in minutes. It doesn't take a lot of effort or time. It doesn't take losing weight or having that dreamy lover or controlling the household chaos. It simply means setting the intention, right here, this moment, to create one extraordinary moment and then watch what happens. That's it.
If you listen to the Blog Talk Radio interview, below, you can hear all eight ideas I present. And I encourage you to do so! But here's one to get you started, right now. Promise me that you wil cover your ears with your hands when squirrel mind tells you that you've done this before. Promise me that you will pretend this is a brand new idea you're hearing for the first time. Promise me you will actually set a timer and DO THIS. And that you will pay attention to the sensations in your body and the thoughts in your head before, during, and after.
Okay. Ready? Think about someone in your life who could use a pick-me-up. Maybe it is a close friend or relative. Maybe it is a co-worker or someone in your babysitting co-op. Set the timer for 10 minutes and in that time, I want you to find a piece of paper, a postcard, or greeting card. And I want you to focus on that person and think about a few things you really appreciate about them. In 10 minutes or less you should be able to make a small Love List telling this person a few things that are really lovable about who they are. And then you will mail this list. Immediately.
I don't care what chuttering is going on in your head. I just bet that you created a stand-out moment in your day. And the best part? That person you sent the Love List to? They get to have an extraordinary moment, too! (Thanks to you.)
If you email me and tell me what you experienced, I will happily send you a copy of my ebook, Present Perfect: 127 Creative, No-to-low Cost, Wow-'em Gifts They'll Never Forget. Already have it? You'll get a free 10-minute boost coaching call.
P.S. If the flash isn't working on your system, you can click here to listen to the radio show from last night.
Illustration © Can Stock Photo Inc. / amck2008
- Create that technicolor feeling in your daily life
- 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?
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- Do I have a deeper relationship with the person I think I should be than the person I really am?
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