An Unexpected Muse

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I love this picture; it inspires me.

I have it scotch taped just above my desk. There’s something about it that touched my heart the instant I saw it and it took days to understand what it was.

It’s the spark, the spirit in her eyes. It seems at odds with the life written on her face and yet, it’s there.

I see a woman looking out at the world through her experience – with a fearlessly tender belief in her hard won wisdom.

I see her resilience and a raw sense of what being alive has been like for her. It hasn’t been easy, and I can only barely imagine her life stories, but I doubt she gave any thought at all to what’s called aging gracefully.

There wasn’t time, just necessity. Hunger, war and a life spent working the land do that.

And yet, the playful and carefree essence of the girl she was is still radiantly alive right behind her eyes for everyone to see.

I wonder how she did that.

 

Drink Tea – Press Publish

Publish

Every time I press “Publish” I hold my breath.

Seems I’m not the only one – that anytime anyone creates something and shares it, they feel the same way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post, a painting, a piece of music or a play. The minute it’s public, it takes on a life of its own…fast.

It’s not just the letting go of it – it’s that we all know what was once private is now public. We put our hearts and souls into our creativity and each piece is a window into who we really are. We’re under scrutiny from strangers and no matter our intention, we suddenly feel exposed and vulnerable.

So why do we do it and is it possible to manage the emotional roller-coaster ride that always follows?

I found some startlingly honest answers to these questions and enough insight to keep me musing for days in this video interview of Brene Brown by Chase Jarvis.

In it she talks about her latest book, “Daring Greatly”. She’s funny, straightforward and for most part a little off the wall (in best sense).

It made me think of Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech at the University of the Arts. It’s full of quirky wisdom and not-so-common sense.

I’ve bookmarked both and made them my “go to” videos for those moments when my courage is nowhere to be found, but the publish button, along with a cup of my favorite tea is right in front of me.

 

 

 

Connection: it counts

Connection

We’ re wired to connect. Feeling that we’re cared for or included in a group matters to us and when that doesn’t happen, it hurts. What’s interesting is that our biology processes social pain and physical pain the same way. As far as our brains are concerned they’re the same thing.

I just watched a video by Dr. Naomi Eisenberger that explains her research findings on this. She’s found there are definite links and so has Dr. Matthew Lieberman. Eisenberger’s research asks what happens and Lieberman’s why.

We might think there’s a gap between mind and body but there isn’t and the overlap has a direct effect on our happiness, health and survival.

So the next time you feel left out or left behind, the best thing to do might be to take an over the counter analgesic like Tylenol, make a cup of warm tea and call someone you care about.