Category: Suggested Reading

how to be a visionary

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” — Gospel of St. Thomas

I read an article about the top 10 regrets of the dying. Four regrets stood out for me in particular:

I should have pursued my dreams and aspirations.
I should have said “I love you” more.
I should have spoken my mind.
I should have had the courage to live truthfully.

All these regrets could be bundled into the failure to live an authentic life.

An authentic life, by its very nature, is a creative life, and rebellious. You push back against click here

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Jan 24, 2013 · 15 Comments / ADD YOURS

things that smart women know

This morning I asked on Facebook and Twitter: What do smart women know? I distilled the answers into this post. Thank you to everyone who participated*. You are awesome sauce.

Smart women know that perfection is annoying and overrated.

Smart women know to be gloriously imperfect.

Smart women know that they are responsible for creating the beauty in their lives.

Smart women know that there is more to life than being in a relationship.

Smart women know that success stems from love, connection and leading from the soul.

Smart women know that great men exist and they are not the enemy. click for more

Feb 24, 2012 · 32 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to be creative

Accept that you’ve got the creative urge and it’s never going to go away. Make friends with it. Drink some tequila if you need to.

Commit to the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Unless of course it was built by aliens. This is doubtful.

Engage! Things start out murky, but that’s ok. Creativity builds on itself, and clarity comes through engagement. So in the immortal words of the great George Michael, you gotta have faith, or at least act like you do.

There is a gap between where you are and where you want to be. The only way to get where you want to be is to close the gap, through practice and learning and practice and feedback and more practice. There are no shortcuts, unless of course they were built by aliens. This is doubtful. click for more

Feb 9, 2012 · 18 Comments / ADD YOURS

the art of letting your freak flag fly

White collar conservative flashin’ down the street, pointing that plastic finger at me. They all assume my kind will drop and die, but I’m gonna wave my freak flag high. — Jimi Hendrix

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I have multiple small male children, which means I do a lot of Lego (a pox on those Lego pieces that get lost and screw up the design until you find them three days later when you step on them barefoot). If I go to my laptop after a lengthy Lego session, something strange tends to happen: the keys on the keyboard feel oddly Lego-like. With each touch-tap my brain ‘hears’ and ‘feels’ a Lego snapping into place.

So I could relate when I read about something called The Tetris Effect (even though I don’t play Tetris). From a book called THE HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE:

Tetris is a simple game in which four kinds of shapes fall from the top of the screen, and the player can move or rotate them until they hit bottom. When they create an unbroken line across the screen, the line disappears. The point of the game is to manipulate the falling shapes to create as many unbroken lines as possible.

…In a study at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry, researchers paid 27 people to play Tetris for multiple hours a day, three days in a row…. click for more

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Jan 10, 2012 · 21 Comments / ADD YOURS

cool quotes by badass women

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” click for more
― Marilyn Monroe

Dec 6, 2011 · 23 Comments / ADD YOURS

“well-behaved women seldom make history”: redefining what it means to be bad

I posed topless for a female photographer who specializes in boudoir. I’m lying on the bed in a man’s velvet smoking jacket, hair blown across my face. I look at the camera. It’s a beautiful portrait (the photographer is very talented) and I’m proud of it. It reminds me slightly of Manet’s Olympia. That painting caused a scandal at the time — not because the subject was nude — but because of how she stares at the viewer instead of looking away demurely.

It’s that act of shameless eye contact that makes her – according to the moral dictates of the era — truly “bad”.

I once said to someone, “I don’t know if I’m a good girl with a bad streak, or a bad girl with a good streak.” But I was being ironic. My real point was that, like any other woman (or man), I am both and neither.

In fact, it’s kind of amazing to me that the good girl/bad girl dichotomy still exists. It came up again when movie star Reese Witherspoon…click for more

Jun 10, 2011 · 59 Comments / ADD YOURS

how to grow your own passion (and talent) even if you don’t think you have any (or: develop your own interestingness, part five)

Perhaps one of the most crippling beliefs in this culture is that talent is an inborn, fixed, unchanging quality. Either you’re born with it or you’re not. The revelations about something called deliberate practice point up a different truth. Talent starts out as a spark, a glimmer, that is protected, coached and nurtured through years…

Aug 19, 2010 · 17 Comments / ADD YOURS

13 ways to create compelling characters

1. Make the character exceptional at something.

Give your character a trait or skill that makes him or her admirable in some way.

It doesn’t have to be anything over-the-top. Maybe she’s an office manager…who is an amazing cook. Maybe he’s a rebellious teenager…who is unusually perceptive.

As soon as that character is really good at something, the reader perks up. The reader gets interested.

2. Make the character care about someone other than herself.

This is so effective that screenwriters often use a “save the cat” scene (and the better the screenwriter, the subtler the scene) near the beginning of the screenplay to make the audience like and identify with the character. That character might be a hard-drinking, womanizing, self-absorbed prick….except on his way out the door he stops to pet a dog and give him a treat, or get a cat out of a tree, or send money to his mama. Boom. We like him. click here

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Feb 1, 2010 · 27 Comments / ADD YOURS

reading is the inhale, writing is the exhale: developing writer’s intuition

1 Reading came first. It always does. Reading is the inhale, writing is the exhale. I once read somewhere that kids who like to read fall into two groups. The first naturally picks up reading from their environment: they see their parents reading, they find books in the house, they go to libraries and bookstores…

Oct 20, 2009 · 21 Comments / ADD YOURS
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