May 23, 2013
May 22, 2013
Thanks to the folks who stopped by and saw the snakes and me today! Hope to see the rest of you there on Friday! We’ll get sticky in the humidity and laugh together, I promise. And there are FREE STORIES while supplies last.
I’ve got so many good things to share in this week’s edition of things to click-read-see-love.
> yoko’s new project about violence against women–women telling their stories
> dr. fiona’s street food survival guide will get you through China and beyond
> i recently replaced my failing hard drive and this tutorial is so clear and easy
> a friend tweaked her back recently and i helped her out with some shiatsu and we got to talking about the psoas, a big and amazing muscle
> check out germaine’s new album after you read about her in the citypages–she’s a good friend of my brother and his wife, and i used to see her when i’d visit them in my favorite northern minnesota town (ELY!) and she’s a great songwriter
May 18, 2013
Yes! The second in the MORE WOMEN AT THE MIC series (and tumblr). A great side effect of this series is that every time I put the graphics together I gasp and say, “She’s so cool!” Hopefully you have a similar experience when these posts appear.
Today I celebrate Cheryl Strayed, writer, Minnesotan, and wisdom-disher. I’ve told you a hundred times to read her book Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of her Dear Sugar columns in the online literary magazine The Rumpus. I’ve told you to read her memoir about her solo hike of the Pacific Coast Trail, Wild. I’ve featured her in multiple love notes. She is honest in an amazingly big-hearted way, and she will pry your mind open in one way or another.
She was always going to be in this series, but she appears today because of something she wrote on facebook this morning:
On a plane reading the summer issue of Bitch magazine I’m reminded of how important it is they thrive. Tamara Winfrey Harris’s essay on Beyoncé alone is worth the price of the magazine. It’s so wise, perceptive, deep and dead on it made my heart thump. If you subscribe before May 31st you’ll help them get a $25,000 matching donation PLUS you’ll get 20% off your subscription. Details here.
I want to encourage you to support the magazine, too, but the Beyoncé article she mentions really is worth a read. It touches on a lot of what inspired this series in the first place, that I was typing out to you and then disappeared in a tech glitch. . . I still haven’t fully re-created the thoughts, but the essay she mentions goes to the heart of it all and further–support Bitch and help them get their matching funds, and read it for yourself.
This series is about women speaking their truths, stepping up to the mic (whatever their version of the mic is), claiming and telling their own story instead of letting others tell it for them or to them, making things, daring over and over to put their work out into the world, rising, rising, rising again. Thank you, Cheryl, for showing us how it’s done!
Love and Power,
May 17, 2013
Friends, I recently realized we passed the one year mark on friday love notes! That’s kind of cool. The whole thing started with me saying to myself: ”Oh, what if, on the blog, I wrote a hand-written love note each Friday?” (This might be how I begin most things.)
And so it went, every Friday in one form or another. I hope you’ve enjoyed them so far. I plan to keep going. They help me stay on the hunt for jewels of love in whatever I’m reading/watching/doing. It’s a good thing for me, and I hope it’s nice for you, too. You can view them all here.
This week is an extra-special week to celebrate LOVE, as my home state, Minnesota, passed Marriage Equality legislation, and it feels good! It’s so easy to think things will never change but then—! ! ! I’m so happy for everyone who will get to declare their love and deep commitment to their friends and family and the world. I’m also hopeful that this means minds and hearts are opening and softening, and that the future is a place where fewer people are physically and emotionally harmed, persecuted and isolated for being who they are. I know a law won’t make that happen overnight, but it sure is a step in the right direction, and a really positive message from the Minnesota community. Way to go, Minnesota!
Let the sun shine into your hearts, friends.
May 15, 2013
I recently finished and could hardly get enough of the David Lynch book, Lynch on Lynch. In case you don’t know, David Lynch is the creator of the bizarre TV show Twin Peaks, and a movie director and all around interestingly strange and creative guy. The book is a series of interviews. He is funny and charmingly folksy, and talks a lot about his working process, how films came into being (or didn’t) and how ideas come to him. So great.
Here are a few excerpts from the book:
“There it is, right in front of you–all the mood, all the characters, and all the things you’ve learnt by doingit. Only then are you really able to see where it wants to go. It’s so much fun. Then you react to that, and you get ideas through the doing. IT’s pulling you into a mystery.”
“There’s an expression ‘where your attention is, that will be lively.’ That’s a truthful and magical expression. You could think about that for a long time. It’s like the focus and the desire form this bait, and the fish–which are the ideas—are the lovely things that start swimming up there. You can catch the fish, but it’s understood not to be a sure thing each time you go looking for them.”
“People say all kinds of things when a film is done and put out into the world. All that stuff is the hole, and the work is the doughnut. They say ‘Keep your eye on the doughnut and not on the hole.’ I’m trying to keep my eye on the donut.”
In part of the book he discusses TM (transcendental meditation). This made me think, heck, maybe it’s time to put together that woowoo post that’s been brewing in my brain. So here we go.
If you’ve been reading the blog since my plane landed in China last February, you know it’s been a weird up and down transition, sometimes more down than up. Not too huge of downs, fortunately, but definitely bewildering ones.
The previous years in Minneapolis included some really challenging and sad events, plus Sean being in law school with his face forever in a book. I was also working busily in a lot of different capacities during those years. Then I showed up here and–woah!– felt a bit like the falling silhouette in the opening sequence of Mad Men for a while. Lost footing, not sure what was next, feeling a little spin-y and disoriented and like a cardboard cut-out. . . I won’t bore you by repeating all the weird again, you can just go and read last year’s posts if you want that.
In this post I aim to share some of the more “woo woo” (“New Agey,” etc.) or “self-help” things that helped me grab ahold of some hand and footholds and begin to steady myself in a new place on the other side of the globe.
Being a bodyworker I usually have people on various points of the New Age spectrum around me. On the one hand, I’m not super New Agey; I’ve done my fair share of eye rolling. On the other hand, I’m open to new and weird things, and often you really can help yourself out by exploring new ways of looking.
Studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shiatsu school our instructor Tomás emphasized that you shouldn’t try to equate the Western view of the body with the Eastern one–they are two separate paradigms, and forcing relationships isn’t necessarily helpful (and might be more confusing.) We had to suspend our previously-learned notions of the body and open our minds to something new. . . The New Age realm can sometimes be trite or get-rich-quick or brainwash-y. . . but the old age can be that way too. The push-pull of questioning and exploring is important and helpful work.
Without further hedging my bets, here are some resources that have been helpful to me in the last year–perhaps one or two will pique your interest, too. You can find all of them (and more great things!) in my bookshop.
I’d like to add a big thanks to the people behind the resources listed–you helped me a lot! Even though I sometimes roll my eyes, I’m super grateful for these tools for harnessing inner strength and wisdom.
> Danielle LaPorte is one of the big forces in the blogging world (that, ahem, I totally resisted, but then was like, hey! kinda helpful!) I’m on the tail end of working through her book The Firestarter Sessions, which is full of great questions to ask yourself–and to ask others. One of the scariest and most useful things I did in the book was send a list of her suggested questions to a few friends to answer about me. You can also get daily truthbombs from her, which are sometimes just what you need, and she also gives this free, short affirmation meditation audio on her website, which you should listen to simply because it includes the lines, “I am Boom! I am Shazam!”
> Marie Forleo is another blogging world queen and a bit of a goof-ball. She does short and to-the-point video segments every week called Q+A Tuesday. Here’s a great one on jealousy.
> Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, the human-est, the heart-filled-est. I may have recommended this a hundred times already and I’m willing to recommend it one hundred more. It’s really not woowoo, but it really is amazing.
> Journaling, journaling, journaling, journaling. Also collage.
> Yoga‘s probably more mainstream than woo-woo at this point, but these two DVDs I’ve really enjoyed in the past year: yoga for stress relief and flexibility and yin yoga. of if you are itching to try something a little more animated and goofy, check out this kundalini duo.
> When I was home last Fall a friend was de-cluttering and I noticed her tarot deck in the give-away pile. I had a memory of a new-agey friend in college telling me you should never buy a deck, but should be given one–so this was perfect opportunity! I still don’t really know much about tarot, but I’ve enjoyed pulling a card now and then, examining the image and meaning and journaling about it so see what it inspires.
> This book is not really that woowoo either. It’s a great exploration of the creative process by an artist and art therapist. Trust the Process by Shaun McNiff.
> I’m also almost done listening to Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Friends from many walks of life have recommended this one. So much interesting information on shame, vulnerability, perfectionism, gender–just read it! I am listening to the audiobook, but the narrator is not my favorite, so paper may be just as well.
> More ancient than new age, this Pema Chodron book is really helpful to me right now: The Places that Scare You
May 14, 2013
Next week I’m showing 12 small Magic Snake paintings (for the year of the snake) and some of their friends (aka other paintings) at a tiny cafe on Huashan Road. I’m looking forward to filling up the sweet space with colorful paintings.
If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in to say hello to them. (Many will also be for sale.)
The show will go up Monday the 20th in the late afternoon, the cafe is open daily from noon-6pm.
I will be there on Wednesday the 22nd, drawing and drinking coffee from 2-4–stop by and I’ll share my materials with you if you want to join in.
Sean and I will also be there to greet your smiling faces on Friday the 24th, from 5:30-8. Stop in after work!
It’s a cute little hole-in-the wall cafe, and the snakes and I would love to see you.
perme contee cafe coffee/cookie/sandwich
701 Huashan Road, Shanghai (near Changle Lu)
May 12, 2013
This is a new series. (and a new tumblr). It will be made up of images like the one above, coming your way every so often, celebrating and I hope encouraging women to step to the mic, in whatever way that is in their lives.
I wrote a long post about what motivated this new series, including inspiration from the Grimes show, International Women’s Day, the VIDA count, and Beyoncé (pictured above), but it was lost to the ether when I had that tech blip a few weeks ago. I am working on recreating it, but in the meantime I’d like to get started even without all those words.
So I begin this on Mother’s Day, being a celebration of one of the powerful roles women take on in our world.
Look forward to more women to inspire you in the coming weeks and months.
P.S. Thanks to Joanne for help with the text design. Also I’ll put the image source in the photo description and/or click-thru.
P.P.S. BONUS: also adding Janelle Monae’s new video (with Erykah Badu!) because–do you need a reason?–
Am I a freak for dancing around?
Am I a freak for getting down?
I’m coming up, don’t cut me down. . .
Will you be electric sheep?
Electric ladies, will you sleep?
Or will you preach?