Monday, March 31, 2014

Oso Landslide

Daily reading of the news on the recovery efforts for the Oso is mostly just overwhelming even to imagine what the victims' families and the rescue workers are living through.  When I drove past that exit on Interstate 5 on my way up to the island, simply passing the detour signs because of the road closure, I couldn't help but say a prayer for all involved. 

Prayers and donations seem small actions in the face of such huge devastation for those of us not directly involved. The community and rescuers are working so hard. Could the rest of us be doing more? Maybe it's just that feeling of helplessness when something so unimaginable happens.

Ways to donate:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Slower & Simpler - Sharing Solitaire

A simple pleasure this weekend - teaching my grandsons how to play solitaire - Klondike, to be exact. Yes, with actual cards (archaic, I know).  

I remember when I learned to play it as a child.  What a special day to pass it on to our next generation.

Simple but memorable for all involved.

"Learning how to play solitaire is a great way to pass the time and is an easy hobby to learn at any age. Solitaire, perhaps derived from the word “solitary“, is the name given to any variation of a number of card games that can be played alone. These games can vary greatly in the complexity and the concentration level required. They are, in general, an enjoyably diverting way to pass the time.

In most cases, when learning how to play solitaire, the game involves arranging the cards in a certain way on a flat surface, then returning them to a certain prescribed order without breaking the rules of the game. The rules can be greatly simplified for younger hobbyists; they can also be made more difficult for more advanced players.

The History Of Solitaire

Solitaire is said to have originated in Germany some 300 years ago where it was referred to by its more sociable name of “Patience.” In its beginning days it was used as a method of determining what kinds of things one should embark on in his near future. If a man was able to win a game of Patience or Solitaire within his first few tries, luck was said to be with him, and his endeavors were sure to work out in his favor.

Learning how to play solitaire began to gain more widespread attention and popularity in France in the early 1800’s. Napoleon knew how to play Solitaire and it is said that the great Emperor himself played the game while in exile. Solitaire soon moved across the English Channel and, as the French taught the English how to play Solitaire, it lodged itself firmly into English culture. From there, the English taught the Americans how to play Solitaire and it soon moved on from the United States and spread quickly around the world." solitaire. 

Feeding the Hummers

All winter I carefully avoided feeding the hummingbirds here on the island, realizing that I didn't want to make them dependent on a source of food that would be sporadic and inconsistent with all of my traveling. 

But my travels are done for awhile, and winter is nearing its end. I made a fresh batch of nectar, hung it out, and it wasn't  long at all before my favorite visitors graced me with their presence. 

How sweet it is - for all of us!

Homemade Hummingbird Food


1 part sugar/4 parts water

Boil the water first, then measure and add sugar, at the rate of 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water.

Let cool and store excess in refrigerator until ready to use.

Do not add food coloring, honey (which ferments), or artificial sweetener, which has no nutritional value.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Driving to the ferry, I took the back road in hopes of viewing some of our famous tulip fields. The tulips weren't quite out, but the daffodils certainly were!

And to add to my spectacular views, I was the first car, front and center on the ferry. I will never tire of this amazing commute. 

So home at last!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Vacation vs Real Life

Trying to clear the vacation cobwebs from my brain in order to gather what I need to return to the island today is somewhat of a trial.  Obviously I truly was on organizational skills have been unused for 8 days and I'm foggy, to say the least! will be so good to get back.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Peter Lik

I am thrilled to have been introduced to the amazing work of Peter Lik while here on Maui.

His pieces actually take my breathe away.  It is not often that I would seriously entertain purchasing another piece of art, especially as I'm in the throes of downsizing. 

But I am sorely tempted..... Especially by "Enchanted Pathway". If you want a feast for your eyes, just peruse his galleries!

A Wealth of Inspiration

There is something so liberating about exploring new places, finding new beaches, unusual designs in flora, new artists in galleries, driving to the end of a road to find a hidden bay, and new birds (to my limited knowledge) to view.

Then there is the thrill of spontaneously swimming with a turtle or watching whales frolic right in front of you. 

The inspirations are endless while on vacation. I hope I might both capture and express some of these joys in future work even as I treasure the memories. 

It's the last day of a relaxing and fruitful vacation. I'm refreshed, feeling healthier, rested, and itching to create some new designs. I really couldn't ask for more!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Slower & Simpler - Do You Surrender to Clutter?

It certainly feels like that sometimes...I'm fighting the good fight, I'm blogging about simplicity and decluttering, I make lists, I have good intentions.  Then I look around and realize that, somehow, I've surrendered to the clutter.  I stop seeing it.  Obviously this is an on-going process.

Mike Burns has a great article on just this!

4 Reasons Why We Surrender to Clutter

  • Clutter has proven itself to be a nuisance in your life and you’re tired of it.
  • You’re ready to do something about it. You want some breathing room.
  • You’re tired of feeling overwhelmed with all of the “stuff” that piles up around you.
So, you get your “game face” on and face the challenge. But clutter is a fierce opponent.
It can be tough to tackle. And when you do finally make some progress and get rid of it, it comes back! (resilient little annoyance)
So, what do you do?
  • Do you keep on working toward focus and clarity?
  • Or do you give in?
  • Do you throw up your hands and say, “Forget it! Let the piles continue.”
Have you ever been tempted to surrender to clutter?
You are not alone. It’s a common problem.
Here are 4 reasons why we surrender to clutter (and some ideas on resolving them):

1. We lose motivation.

When the fight gets tough and the circumstances are unrelenting, we get tired. When we get tired, we lose our “go-get-it-ness.” The job looks harder. The mountain looks taller. The road looks longer.
When this happens, we have to reconnect with our “why.” We have to remember our reasons for decluttering in the first place. In those times, it does us good to do whatever it takes to jumpstart our battery-drained, blurry values.
We have to expose ourselves to those people/ songs/ videos/ walks in the park/ cups of tea/ blogs/ podcasts/ etc… that remind us of who we are and why we do what we do.

2. We have unrealistic expectations.

Sometimes, we consider surrender because things aren’t working out like we thought they would. We had these grandiose plans, but they weren’t very realistic. Maybe we underestimated the challenge. Perhaps we assumed it wouldn’t reoccur after we dealt with it the first time.
Whatever the case, our expectations were not in alignment with our reality.
  • If you expect perfection, you will be disappointed.
  • If you expect everyone to be as excited as you are about your project, you will be disappointed.
  • If you expect decluttering alone to bring joy to your life, you will be disappointed. (you have to fill that empty space with something meaningful, or it’s just empty space)
  • If you expect your outcomes to be just like those people on those blogs, you will likely be disappointed.
We all have very different lives and we have to accept that we can only do what we can do. We have to adjust our expectations and accept the level of progress and accomplishment that is within our reach.

3. We have faulty belief-filters.

We all see life through lenses that we wear in front of our eyes. On those lenses are scripts. In those scripts are the operating guidelines and belief statements that we have decided were true.
And we see everything that we see through these filters.
As you can tell, these filters are pretty important, as they color every aspect of our lives. So, we have to pay attention to what’s written there, and make sure they are healthy scripts.
Our approach to our stuff is far more important than the number of things we possess or the presence of piles. Your relationship with your possessions is one that requires attention and occasional tweaking.
We sometimes surrender because we get the cart before the horse. We begin to feel like decluttering is the point. But it’s not. It’s only a tool.

4. We don’t know how to win.

Fighting clutter is not ALL about tips, tricks and tools. But they are necessary. As I said before, your approach is more important that your techniques. However, you still need good techniques.
At risk of sounding too obvious, some people struggle simply because they don’t know how to declutter. They haven’t learned the shortcuts and maxims that have helped so many before them.
And that’s perfectly acceptable. There’s no shame in not knowing. Don’t feel bad about what you don’t know… because you can do something about it.
There are some great resources out there from people who have already walked where we’re walking. They’ve learned a few things about the path we’re on and they can help us know where the tricky parts are and what needs to happen to continue successfully.
I’m talking about people like Joshua Becker and Courtney Carver and Leo Babauta and others.
Some people are finding solutions. So can you!
I recently asked a bunch of you (my friends and readers) about your “burning questions” related to living well and finding focus. Several people responded with things like:
  • “I need help with the HOW-TOs of decluttering.”
  • “I have to get control of my physical stuff.”
  • “I need help with staying motivated.”
  • “I keep giving up and giving in.”
That kind of stuff. It’s a problem that many of us are facing. So, I created this blog post (and more to come like it) to respond to those needs.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Slower & Simpler - Permission to Sleep In

What could be simpler, or slower for that matter, than sleeping in??  As a morning person, I never am able to sleep in, or if I do, I feel guilty doing so. 

So on vacation, I've given myself permission to sleep in if the occasion should arise. Last night I slept for 9 1/2 hours! Unheard of in MY reality!

Vacation sleep - the epitome of slow living in a simple way.  Could I do this daily? Absolutely not. But vacations are meant to be a break from reality, and this certainly is for me. Unexpected, but welcome.

Vacation Book Club

What's my favorite pastime on vacation? Luxuriously lying by the pool or on the beach reading, naturally. So my girl friend and I brought along 2 books each that we could read and then discuss. 
Yesterday we completed "The White Princess" by Philippa Gregory which is about Elizabeth of York married to Henry VII.  We discussed the book in between snorkeling, walking through art galleries. and while shopping. 
Really, how perfect! And there is an interesting video interview of the author discussing the book on her website.

Our next selection is Jodi Picoult's "The Storyteller" for an abrupt change if pace. At least we are a bit prepared for the transition by reading her comments on-line. 

In between, I'm reading "Deception Point" by Dan Brown, being a fast reader and not wanting to get too far ahead if our Club.

Historical, psychological and thriller - all covered!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nebraska - The Movie

In keeping with vacation mode, our relaxation last night included renting "Nebraska".  I wanted to see it since it was so heavily nominated at the Academy Awards, and has won so very many other awards and nominations, such as from Golden Globe, Independent Spirit Awards, and the American Film Institute, to name but a few.

So I'm feeling a bit out of touch with the rest if the world when my personal review gives it a D- ! Slow. Boring. Yes - well acted by the main character ( but certainly NOT by the supporting actors).   It was almost painful to watch. 

Think I'll keep my day job as fiber artist and not branch out into film critic. I'm obviously completely out of touch with the viewing public.

Or is it a matter similar to the Emperor's New Clothes?!!!!  

"The Emperor's New Clothes" (Danish:Kejserens nye Kl├Žder) is a short tale byHans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!"

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Happy Nawruz

The first day of spring. The vernal equinox. Baha'i Nawruz. Blessings!!!

What Happens at the Equinox?

Far from being an arbitrary indicator of the changing seasons, March 20 (March 21 in some years) is significant for astronomical reasons. On March 20, 2014, at precisely 12:57 P.M. EDT, the Sun will cross directly over the Earth's equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere, this is the moment of the autumnal equinox.

Read more: Vernal (Spring) Equinox |

For Baha’is, the New Year comes at a perfect time – March 21 --the vernal equinox, which marks the first day of spring and the end of the Baha'i Faith’s annual Nineteen Day Fast. 

Called Naw-Ruz – "new day" in Persian, the Baha'i New Year has its roots in Persia, where the Baha'i Faith originated in the mid-1800s. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gentle Breezes

The pictures say it all. I've been to Hawaii so many times, but still love the soft breezes, the flowers, the sea.
I'm feeling pretty spoiled at the moment, as this trip was a gift. Really all I can say is "mahalo"!

Goodbye Rain, Hello Hawaii

One more trip is in store before I tuck in on Lopez and really get to weaving.  Maui beckons - reading, relaxing, napping, visiting with a dear friend and snorkeling - in no particular order.  With all of my traveling, it still makes me smile to pack snorkel gear, though!!


Monday, March 17, 2014

St Patrick's Day Blessing

And now I have to find something green to wear.....always a challenge from MY closet!!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Slower & Simpler - Come Alive

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive. The world needs more people who have come alive.”  From a bathroom stall in Vermont.

This quote alone is worth hours of pondering.  But I invite you to read first the excerpt below from, and if it inspires you as it did me, then allow yourself to read the entire article.  It's powerful.  (Emphasis mine on the underlined passages.)

All we have in life is our time. People struggle after success. They hunger for fame, fortune, and power. But in all of these things, the same question exists — what will you do with your time? How do you want to spend your days? As Annie Dillard reminds us, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
In life, you will become known for doing what you do. That sounds obvious, but it’s profound. If you want to be known as someone who does a particular thing, then you must start doing that thing immediately. Don’t wait. There is no other way. It probably won’t make you money at first, but do it anyway. Work nights. Work weekends. Sleep less. Whatever you have to do. If you’re lucky enough to know what brings you bliss, then do that thing at once. If you do it well, and for long enough, the world will find ways to repay you.
This fall, in a toilet stall in Burlington, Vermont, I saw this scrawled on the wall:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive. The world needs more people who have come alive.”

If you’re doing something you love, you won’t care what the world thinks, because you’ll love the process anyway. This is one of those truths that we know, but which we can’t seem to stop forgetting.

In America, success is a word we hear a lot. What does it mean? Is it money, power, fame, love? I like how Bob Dylan defines it: “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have.
In the tradeoff between timeliness and timelessness, choose the latter. The zeitgeist rewards timeliness, but your soul rewards timelessness. Work on things that will last.
Inside each of us is a little ten-year-old child, curious and pure, acting on impulse, not yet caring what other people think. Remember what you were doing at ten, and try to get back to doing that thing, incorporating everything you’ve learned along the way.
When I was ten, I was writing words and drawing pictures.
Maybe that’s the path out of the stuckness.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Willow - Not!

One drawback of the weekend....... Willow basketweavers aggressively taking nearby weaving space. I'm deathly allergic to willow. We foresee procedural changes for next year! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Visitor

Ed Carriere visited my classroom yesterday. What a treat!
See his profile at:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Packing Up Again

Packing up again for a teaching trip - but this time it is local and I can drive to it instead of dealing with airports and luggage requirements. My guild's Spring Retreat is an amazingly creative and professionally organized basketry conference/retreat, set in a quiet, rural setting on the Olympic Peninsula.  While other conference attendance may be diminishing lately, ours is thriving and unfortunately we are having to turn some folks away because we are full!

The Northwest Basket Weavers' mission and purpose:
Established in 1982, the purpose of our Guild is to preserve and promote the art of basket making. Our members are wonderful people whose skills and knowledge vary from folks who just love baskets to beginning basket weavers to professional artists, teachers and collectors. We have more than 200 members: from Washington and Oregon, Canada, and across the country. 

Retreat 2014
Each March we enjoy a retreat from Wednesday through Sunday. It's open to members of our Guild and the Columbia Basin Basketry Guild. It's easy to become a member; you can join on the registration form.

It's a great way to relax, weave as much as you want, visit with guild members, and take classes from talented teachers. Click here for the Brochure.
Retreat webpage Check out some previous years' photos.

Each year a gallery is set up to showcase our members' work. The theme for 2014 Is "United We Weave," although you don't need to use the theme for your baskets. Members submit up to three baskets for the Gallery, and we encourage new members to bring their work, and not be shy! This gallery show is for everyone, and we love to see what everyone is doing.

On Friday night after dinner, we open the Gallery show with a Gala. All of the wonderful baskets are available for close-up viewing while snacking on fine chocolates and sparkling cider. Our members are diverse and talented, and it is always inspiring and amazing to see what they are doing. This is our chance to share - we especially encourage beginners to exhibit their work.

Monday, March 10, 2014

National Napping Day

Today is National Napping Day, per  I am not a napper myself (unless it is simply a catnap of less than 10 minutes) - I can't ever really reawaken and feel like I'm on the same planet after a nap.  So here are some pros and cons of napping....
National Napping Day was founded by Boston University professor William Anthony and his wife Camille in 1999. Napping Day is an unofficial holiday set aside to help people adjust to Daylight Saving Time and to promote health and productivity benefits ofnapping. After losing an hour of sleep by "springing forward," people are more sleep-deprived and find it easier to nap.
Mid-afternoon is a time when many people experience a slump in alertness, especially after a poor nights sleep. It is felt by many that a heavy lunch causes this trough in energy. However, research show that this occurs because it is natural for us to take a mid-afternoon nap.
Dr Gregg D Jacobs wrote in July, 2004: "A mid-day nap is an integral part of the daily routine of many cultures, particularly those near the equator. This suggests that napping may have been part of an evolutionary mechanism to get us out of the hot midday sun. However, because the urge for a nap is appreciably weaker than the need to sleep at night, it can be suppressed (or masked by caffeine) but at the cost of increased sleepiness and reduced mood and performance. Also, because naps conflict with work schedules, they are becoming less common in industrialized societies (with the exception of college students and the elderly, who have more regular opportunities to nap). Unfortunately, this decline in napping may be causing poorer afternoon alertness and performance."1

Information on Napping

  1. A 2009 study in the U.K. indicated that naps could increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes2
  2. Most people need between seven-and-a-half and eight hours of sleep3
  3. Naps can improve ones mood and performance, according to William Anthony4
  4. Studies show regular napping can deuce risk level of death from heart related problems4
  5. It is a Spanish tradition, still practiced and observed by many, to take two hour nap in the afternoon.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Slower & Simpler - Slow Food

Living slower also may (should, could) include slow food I've been told.  I've honestly been slow (yeah, pun intended) to embrace this part of slow living, mainly because of all of my allergies (yes, the thought does not elude me that my allergies may be aggravated by NOT eating slow food).  So here we go, at least as a start.  As I read the list below, I'm delighted to find that in fact I DO incorporate many of these ideas into my eating life, just perhaps not consciously or naming them as such.

Slow Food is…
a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment.

“Slow Food unites the pleasure of food with responsibility, sustainability and harmony with nature.”
Carlo Petrini, Slow Food founder and president.

Slow Food
was founded to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

So what does this look like?  Per the website above:

Go Slow in your life

1. Buy whole ingredients. Cook them. Eat them.
2. Avoid processed stuff with long ingredient lists. Eat real food.
3. Grow some of your own food. Even if just on your windowsill.
4. Whenever possible, know the story behind the food you buy.
5. Buy local food; find out what is in season!

Go Slow in your community

1. Cook and eat with others – not just family and friends. Bring new people and perspectives to the table.
2. Join a community garden and grow food with others.
3. Connect with your local Slow Food chapter.
4. Shake the hand that feeds you. Meet the people who grow your food. Shop at a farmers market, visit a farm or buy shares from a farm that offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
5. Learn about your local or regional food history and cultural dishes

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Daylight Savings Time

So evidently all of the reasons we were taught over the years as to why Daylight Savings Time is a good idea have been debunked:
   The farmers like it because we have more daylight.  Hardly....same amount of daylight each day, no matter what the clock says.
    It's safer for the children....not the time they go to school, it's immaterial.
   We'll save energy .....It has not been proven that a bit of energy has been saved over all of the years of changing our clocks.

The real reason??  Financial gain for retailers.  It HAS been proven that with more daylight hours at the end of the day, we are out of the house more, and going to the stores more, and spending more money.

Just want to put a bit of reality into this whole insane process.  Really, manipulating clocks (and time itself) is a bit crazy, if you really think about it!.

Friday, March 7, 2014


This is absolutely worth the 39 seconds to watch it.  I laughed out loud (and am actually still laughing).  This is definitely a must see.  Foreign commercials are so creative!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our Words

As we head into Lent (Christian time of fasting and reflection) as well as the Baha'i Fast, it is also a time to reflect on our spiritual responsibilities. Whether we practice any faith or not, we should not harm others.

I was just reminded of the following Sufi saying about our words passing through three gates. In our glib world, full of so many words, there is much to ponder here.

Courtesy : Michael Lang

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Noisy Visitors

I love the birds that come to my feeder.  Sophie and I delight in watching them.  (She almost has the concept down that there is glass between her and the feathered friends...although not always.)

But yesterday and today the yard, trees, and feeder are full of red-winged blackbirds.  They are beautiful, yes.  But with so very many of them, pretty noisy!!  To give you some idea...and multiply that by 20:  

However, it's so ever much better than traffic noises, sirens, & car horns. We'll deal with it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I am in seventh heaven - not only is it raining, but I found a new word that means lover of rain!!!!

How have I, as a Washingtonian, enthralled with rain and embracing "webbed feet" my entire life, not known about this word? It was only serendipitous that I found it, too.

Ah, these simple pleasures.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Teaching with Rattan Reed

On October 23, 2012,  I posted about the shortage in our normal weaving materials in Rattan Shortage
Since then, it hasn't improved much, to which I can attest from just returning from teaching in Ohio and now preparing kits to teach in Port Orchard, Washington.  I'm aghast at how much wastage I find in a pound of reed.  We truly have been spoiled in the past with well-prepared, readily available,  inexpensive materials.

Char Ciammaichella's March newsletter details some of these issues well.  (Char's website is
As you all know there is a shortage of some reed and the prices have more than doubled this last year.  As a teacher there are many more issues that weavers may not be aware of.  Of course if you have bought reed or taken a class you are very aware! Below are some issues that have to be taken into account as a teacher and on the receiving end, as students.  Please, just have patience as we all deal with these issues!!  (We have to take what we can get at this point.)

·        It started with not being able to get smaller sizes of reed. Such as ¼”, and 3/16”, both flat and flat oval. 
·        When you do get ¼” flat or flat oval, many times it’s closer to 3/16” than it is to the ¼” it should be.  When teaching a basket with many ¼” spokes, this makes a difference in base spokes.  As a teacher, you may have to add spokes to the pattern.  This is fine unless it is a twill and the numbers added has to work with the twill!!
·        The ½” looks like 3/8” and the 3/8” looks like ½”!!  Again, patience as we figure this all out!
·        Sometimes there is variation in sizes throughout 1 hank of reed.
·        Some reed it so brittle it breaks when just trying to coil it up for kits.  
·        Some reed is so thick you can’t weave with it.  If in a class, ask for new pieces!  I try to weed out these pieces but I do miss some!  If it is your first few rows, pick out the most flexible to start with.
·        The top layer of the larger flat oval reed used for rims tends to split.  I have been throwing away a lot of ½” and 5/8” flat oval.

I’m sure there is more than what I am mentioning here but I don’t know a teacher out there who will not try to make your weaving experience a fun, pleasant experience.

 Let’s hope many of these quality issues are worked out soon and we can all get back to weaving as we like.  Again, just have patience as teachers deal with these issues for you during classes.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slower & Simpler - Possessions

Do you possess your possessions, or do they possess you?  This may seem like a silly question, but every time we clean the house, or try to find something in the closet, or search high and low for that lost object, the question becomes more pertinent.

Sorry, I don't have all the answers.  I'm just raising the question.  Mike Burns actually asked it not long ago at
with an article titled Possessions or Possession?  He also wrote about being possessed!

I'm just raising the question, as we try to simplify our lives, to think about our relationship to our things.  It's neither bad nor good - just a question.  If I start feeling resentment in a relationship, then I need to make a change of some sort.

Just saying.

Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.

It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.

Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Permission to be Unsexy

This post from Be More With Less is absolutely perfect, in my mind.  It is how I try to live my life, but I love the cryptic reminders.  How delightfully stated - permission to be unsexy indeed!!!    What DO you want?  What AREN'T you doing because you think people will disapprove?  Live your life - it's time to be you!

Permission to be Unsexy at Least 100 Times a Day

There is tremendous freedom in caring a little bit less about what people think of you.
This morning I ran 20 minutes on an elliptical trainer. A few weeks ago, running for 60 seconds felt like a near impossibility. Then 90 seconds felt hard, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 8 minutes and now 20 minutes. They were all challenging until they weren’t.
I know it’s only 20 minutes and it’s only on an elliptical, and maybe that’s not as a sexy as a 5K or an ultramarathon. But to me, today, it feels super sexy.
I was going to wait to write about my running progress until I ran a 5K, and then I remembered this wonderful quote, “Big sexy dreams are only accomplished one tiny, very unsexy step at a time.”

A few of my many unsexy steps

  • Gasping for air during a 3 minute run.
  • Including the theme song from Rocky on my running list today.
  • Accidentally throwing my planner down the trash chute and then retrieving it from the dumpster.
  • Eating spinach for breakfast every morning.
  • Emailing an ultra-marathoner to celebrate my 8 minute run.
  • Bringing my own salad dressing out to dinner.
  • Jumping off the treadmill without my phone, with the earbuds still attached.
  • Laughing out loud in the dressing room when I had to buy a smaller pair of pants.
  • Pitching bad ideas that I thought were brilliant.
  • Developing good ideas and losing interest.
  • Falling asleep at 8pm.
  • Writing about my unsexy moments.

What aren’t you doing because you don’t think people will approve?

Do you want to go back to school, but wonder if people think you are wasting time and money?
Do you want to learn a new language, but think you will sound silly practicing?
Do you want to start a blog, but think no one will care what you have to say? (help for that coming next week!)
Do you want to eat healthier, but know your friends and family will think you are boring?
Do you want to try something new and different but are afraid people will think you can’t stick with anything.
Do you want to give away all of your stuff to discover what you what you really want, but are worried that your friends will think you are crazy?
Do you want to try a ballet class even though people might think you are too old to start?
Do you want to create a capsule wardrobe, but are afraid people will notice and think you are weird?
Do you want to live in a new country, quit your job, start a microbusiness, become a vegan, go to a new church, write a book, or run a marathon even though you can’t run around the block today?

What do you want?

It’s yours if you want it, no matter what anyone thinks, if you are willing to be unsexy at least 100 times a day.

Being unsexy means that you …

  • can laugh at yourself
  • will try things that people tell you are impossible
  • will try things that you think are impossible
  • ask for help and know that admitting weakness is a sign of strength
  • will care less about what people think
  • understand that you are fully responsible for the highs and lows
  • can stop trying to prove your worth
If we are driven by what other people think about us, we are frozen in a shell we create to give other people a better view. We can never be who we really are, who we want to be, or even do what we want to do. Instead we keep saying the right things, wearing the right shoes, and owning the right stuff.
It is possible to care about how other people feel without yielding to what they think. We need to stop selling a version of ourselves for more approval and start being who we are.
Give yourself permission to be unsexy, uncool, silly, confused, weird, daring and always curious.
It’s time to be you. What’s sexier than that?