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.
“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.
“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.
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.
Nevertheless, 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.
“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.
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…
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.
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.
“For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse. Crumble. This is not your destruction. This is your birth.” ~Zoe Skylar
We work so hard to keep things, even ourselves, from falling apart. Somehow we have managed to associate becoming undone with being completely done, forever. Don’t be ashamed of your undoing or your failure, your missteps or your losses. This is a cycle of life – catching and releasing, holding on and letting go, rising up and falling down. There’s so much to be learned and experienced in the collapse. There you can rest, restore, and rebuild. Wiser, braver, stronger, more focused, and with the knowledge that no matter what life throws at you, you will find a way to shine.