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This tag is associated with 18 posts

Joy Today: Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra

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This picture is Stephen Colbert holding Jeff Goldblum’s new album

Jeff Goldblum blew my mind with his spoken word on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert when he recited this passage by George Bernard Shaw as the way he keeps his hopes up during the Trump administration:

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.” ~George Bernard Shaw

I was lucky to see Jeff Goldblum live with his band a few years ago at Rockwell Table & Stage in LA. My friend, Trevor, pointed out to me that Jeff Goldblum was playing here with his band on a regular basis. A couple week later I wandered in with a date after dinner in Los Feliz and it was a magical experience. (The guy didn’t last mostly because he didn’t enjoy Jeff Goldblum as much as I did, but my love of Jeff and his music certainly did.) I’ve been listening to and loving his music ever since, all thanks to my friend, Trevor. Give his new album, The Capitol Studios Sessions, a listen. It’s wonderful.

Joy Today: Your fire is a kiln

Remember that a fire can also be a kiln. Whether it consumes you or improves you is all about your perspective. I’ve had a very difficult 24 hours. This point-of-view and great friends got me through. If you’re going through a tough time, I hope this idea helps you, too. Sending you love.

A Year of Yes: Happy Thanksgiving

“It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.” ~Angela Davis

I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote lately, considering why we gather to share experiences and stories. And for me it’s exactly what Angela Davis says here: to find hope and optimism for a better tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

A Year of Yes: Writing at dawn

Sunrise over the River Liffey by Christa Avampato

Sunrise over the River Liffey by Christa Avampato

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” ~Rumi

When everything’s quiet, late at night and early in the morning, there’s a magic time when anything we dream with raw creativity and hope. That’s when I write, when I’m fearless.

In the pause: Messages in dreams

I believe that our dreams can send us the messages we need exactly when we need them. Yesterday I had a dream that I had handed in my manuscript for Emerson’s second book. There was a note on top of it that said, “Dedication – that’s your only goal now.”

Though it was a very short dream, it had a powerful impact on me. It gave me encouragement to stay on this path, to keep creating, dreaming, and growing. To keep helping other people. To keep standing up and speaking out to help build a better world. I hope that by sharing this message, it helps to encourage you, too. Stay true to who you are and the impact you want to have. We need you.

In the pause: Nevertheless she persisted, and won

20171109_092103Nevertheless, she persisted, and won. I was buoyed by the elections on Tuesday and snapped this photo of my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, outside of Trump Hotel in celebration. Emerson’s story is a hopeful one, a story I wrote when I most needed to feel hopeful about our future. Tuesday’s elections renewed my faith in a committed group of citizens who care about their neighbors and making the world a better place. While we may find ourselves in dark times now, I will never stop looking for and creating light. I will persist. I hope you will, too.

In the pause: Science shows hope is quite a good strategy

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it? How it all hurts but we never give up.” ~The Word Virus

New scientific studies show that hope can shield the mind from damage caused by anxiety.

I know the world as of late seems like a discouraging place. I understand that life—work, family, relationships, stress—can take us down a peg (or a 100 pegs) sometimes. It’s important, for our health and the health of our communities, that we keep going. That we work through the hurt, disappointment, and difficulties of every day life. That we continue to pursue the dreams that make us feel alive no matter the degree of our progress toward them. That we keep our minds and hearts open. We never know when it could all turn around. I have hope. And I want you to have hope, too.

In the pause: Celebrating the publication of my book with hopeful messages hidden in New York City

The power of light—literally and metaphorically—is a main theme in my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters. I’ve been thinking of unique ways to celebrate the launch of the book in November and December that inspire and comfort people during the holidays. (The book launched on November 1st.) In true Emerson fashion, I’ll be leaving hidden messages of hope and light, resilience and love, all over New York City to celebrate the season. Think of them as something like little Easter eggs that could show up anywhere, because magic and messages are everywhere. We all need a little encouragement, right? Emerson’s the perfect person to provide it. More information soon…

In the pause: An immigrant’s fortune was made in yogurt

This month’s Fast Company features Hamdi Ulukaya, the Founder of Chobani, in its cover story. A Kurdish immigrant who moved here to go to college after facing persecution in his home country and without speaking a word of English, Hamdi is an inspiring figure in business and in life. If you want to feel hopeful about America and the good that capitalism can do, I highly recommend reading the article. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down and all I want to do is eat Chobani yogurt and learn more about this fascinating man. With a lot of hard work and the right intentions, it’s amazing what the human imagination can accomplish.

In the pause: All children deserve to rise

I’m so tired of the acceptance that zip code is destiny. My entire life is a rejection of that belief, and I will keep rejecting it until I’m out of breath and out of strength. Somewhere along the way, our society decided that a child born into difficulty on the south side of Chicago won’t have the same chance to rise to their potential as a child born with every privilege on the south side of Central Park. Is the life of that child in Chicago any less valuable that the life of that child in New York? I don’t think so. I know you don’t think so either. So let’s change that, together. Let’s stack the odds in favor of all kids everywhere.

There are too many kids who are cold, and tired, and hungry, and frustrated. There are too many kids who don’t see a way up and out of their circumstances because no one they know ever got up or out. Imagine what our world would be like if every child alive right now got everything they needed to grow up healthy, educated, kind, and confident. That’s the image I hold in my mind as I think about ways to offer virtual and on-demand guidance counseling to kids across the country, and eventually across the globe. It’s a big vision, a big dream, and our kids deserve nothing less. They have to know that somewhere out in the world, there is an adult who believes in them, who is holding a light for them so that they can find their way forward even in the darkest of times. To that child, that one light can make all the difference. And that’s worth fighting for.

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