Six Words to One Story

cover of six-word memoirs 2013 daily calendar

Here’s an exercise for our creativity muscles: write a memoir in six words.

No more, no less.

Six words to tell a story.

Hmmm. Lemme think about this for a bit…

I first learned of this in Pam Grout’s new book, Art & Soul, Reloaded. As an example, she shares the story of Ernest Hemingway once being asked to write a full story in six words.

He wrote: “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Jerry Mouse on a stage in tails taking a bow.

Well done.

For creative inspiration, we could turn to Not Quite What I Was Planning, an entire collection of six-word memoirs. If you don’t happen to have that book handy, try their website http://www.sixwordmemoirs.com/. Here’s a few to help get our own creativity on:

Author Dave Eggers: Fifteen years since last professional haircut.

Singer Aimee Mann: Couldn’t cope so I wrote songs.

Comedian Stephen Colbert: Well, I thought it was funny.

And my current favorite, from Deepak Chopra’s son: Soul’d out so I could prophet.

So let’s give this particular creativity craft a try. We’re not required to be profound, or even truthful. We’re only encouraged to participate. To say Yes.

I can’t wait to see what comes from that.

 

Pet care through homemade dog food.

First fire in the woodstove today.

Turned work into play and thrived.

Ease and joy is for everyone.

Shark swimmer now plays with dolphins.

Gave up TV, never been happier.

Tries too hard, cares too much.

Twenty years, two kids, and then…

Decided to feel good, then did.

Late bloomer, hidden treasure; gloriously radiant.

Live life as an open question.

Should’ve slept when the baby slept.

 

None of those are quite right yet, but they’re certainly not any bit wrong.

How about you? What six words can you entwine? Add them in the comments below. And Keep saying yes, life gets awesomer.

Be you. You are awesome.

Transmuting Our Rants Into Raves

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I love how many free video series are out there on a variety of learning topics! I’ll happily spend my time with many of these. The most recent ones I’ve seen in my email inbox teach about increased self-motivation, support for writing and publishing a book, and creating balance between work and home. Short and sweet, these video series share ideas and tools to further myself in any particular area of interest. I experience quality Aha moments because of these gifts.

gift

I know, I know —  it’s a marketing tool. The model of four free videos dripped out in release over time has a predictable format: Three concepts with tips and tools and the fourth is a pitch to sign up for the in-depth course, workshop, or masterclass that follows. Yep. It’s a preview. A teaser. A crummy commercial.

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Even Ralphie has Aha moments.

Honestly, I have zero problem with this. The video series infomercial is given and intended as a truly helpful giveaway toward a larger helpful product option-to-buy. I have never once felt like a lesser human being when I simply enjoy the preview and do not purchase or pursue further. However, I’ve noticed a recent trend that I do have a problem with.

Marketing has now begun to call these video series commercials themselves a course, workshop, or masterclass. Instead of the helpful information about the course, workshop, or masterclass that it really is.

This cheapens the deeper learning experience.

It’s like calling the college visit the same thing as attending the classes. How valuable is that degree or certificate? How much has really been learned?

This is the point where I realized I have a rant. Which, to be honest, is not where I want to live. So, feeling my way through this, how can I bring myself back? What light can I find in this situation to see through the dark that I’m blinded by?

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Oh, there it is.

I can’t resolve the situation of who names what marketing ploys. But I can give my attention to the fact that they do it because it works — and the reason it works is a really good one:

People don’t want to be lectured to (commercial), but we do want to deepen our understanding (course). We don’t want to be presented at (preview), but we do want  personal experience (workshop). We don’t want to be told how (infomercial), but we do want guidance from respected experts (masterclass).

We are no longer interested in passively absorbing. We want to engage in creating meaning. So that’s where the marketers now start, not end.

The marketing has changed because people have changed. We respond to higher vibrations more, as a whole. In fact, we command them.

Now just watch and see how this concept plays out elsewhere for humanity’s goodness.

This, truly, is light.

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Now to you — what rant or righteousness do you carry? I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just challenging you to find a way to transform it. Share in the comments below where you may be stuck, or where you’ve had your own Aha’s about it. Or privately journal, if you prefer. It’s because of sharing with you that I’ve worked mine out to where it is so far…

Buddy Holly Rave On

Rave On, Buddy.

Own Your Truth

You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.  Brene Brown

Assertiveness: the individual dance of finding our steps between strong-willed and compliant. As both an overall approach and within individual settings.

Many of us have experienced the help of others offering encouragement for us to be more assertive when we’re struggling. They tell us we need to ask for help. To delegate. To let go of some things.

  • “You aren’t expected to carry this out by yourself. Form a committee and create team members.”
  • “You are working yourself too hard to accomplish this for our organization. Assign some tasks to stakeholders.”
  • “How about relaxing with me tonight? Just leave the laundry.”

…Until it affects them, that is.

  • “Sorry, I’m too busy to be on your committee.”
  • “Uh, when I said delegate, I didn’t mean to me…”
  • “Where are my pants?”

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Disney's Alice in Wonderland facepalming.

Bert from Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie facepalming.

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes facepalming

Statue of Jesus, facepalming.

Soldiers in tactical gear with palms covering one eye lens of glasses: Tactical facepalm, sometimes a regular facepalm just doesn't cut it.

Rather than try to make sense of others’ responses, just be aware of your own self. Hold your core.  Instead of blindly being the result of someone else’s own assertion.

 

Practice owning and standing in your truth. Let go of the outcome. And remember to not assert yourself merely selectively, in an effort to “spare” a particular someone. (You’ll discover that when you do that it oftentimes is at the expense of You — if you dare to truly  look at it.)

They can take it. And so can you. You’re worth it.

Assertiveness isn’t about getting in other’s faces. It’s not about managing situations to get the desired outcome; it’s simply about owning your truth.

What’s one thing today that you can own your truth about?

In the space between your thoughts, there is your truth

Change Is Easy: Here’s A Fun Way to Begin.

Chameleon's tail, sacred geometry spiral, orange and green.

Oh yikes, change. Talk about a loaded word.

Change is good. Change is hard. I don’t wanna change. I really wish he/she would change. I’m ready for a change.

Either way, change implies a separation. A gap between where I am here, and where I’m looking at over there. Crossing that distance can seem overwhelming.

I don’t know about you, but I can get bogged down with even starting. And then I learned a new way to look at change:

It’s simply something new.

You are already enough, here. And there’s nothing wrong with you over there, It’s just relocation. Another turn on the spiral.

When I see change as simply something new, it becomes fun.

I don’t need to reorder my life, I can simply give something a whirl. I’m not required to create world peace, I can just try kayaking. Who knows where it will lead? It may lead nowhere, but getting there might be everything.

Trying something new — even something small — is a dynamic reminder that it’s never too late to change your life.

Here are some random small acts of trying new things. What else can you think of?

  • Go a different route to your regular errands.
  • Take a chance on a movie.
  • Turn off media background sounds.
  • Cook dinner. Or, order out. Whichever is out of your norm.
  • Go for a walk instead of ________.
  • Wear the article of clothing that is at the very bottom of your drawer.
  • Switch up your parking spot.

Here are some random medium acts of trying new things. What comes to your mind?

  • Sign up for a Community Education class.
  • Get an instrument and learn to play it.
  • Experiment with a capsule wardrobe.
  • Add a digital book checkout to your physical library use.
  • Repaint a room.
  • Downsize your stored items, and live more with less.
  • Choose a new exercise/movement plan.
An electric roaster full of homemade dog food by the author.

I gave making healthy homemade dog food a try. (My dog loves it!)

So forget about change, crossing gaps, and end results. What’s simply one new thing you can try this week?

What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

open journal, beautiful pen, cup of coffee

A good vacation shakes up your routine. A great vacation reverberates into an upgraded internal routine upon your return.

My amazing summer road trip with my hubby and dog was a really good vacation. It was wonderful to do some completely new things and to see some different sights together.

Selfie of the author and her husband in the car, with their German Shepherd in the backseat.

4500 mile road trip

We journeyed on a local pizza quest through seven states. We visited six national parks. We traded talk radio for audio books. One day we climbed around on a mountain glacier and the next we crab fished at sea level. We explored area craft beers. We watched whales. We saw oyster beds. We followed a wine trail and brought offerings home. We stumbled onto a sacred medicine wheel site and said hello to marmots along the path. We played in massive sand dunes. We explored a war memorial that was an exact replica of Stonehenge. We connected with family. I visited a distance friend in person. We took extra time to get to our destinations and discovered more of ourselves and each other along the way. We navigated by the stars in our eyes. (Well okay, and also by Google.)

Picture of a marmot in the rocks taken by the author

Marmot tour guide

When I returned home, I discovered that I was no longer the same:

 

I gave up my step tracker; I now go by how my body feels.

I threw most of my makeup away; I now feel more beautiful wearing less.

I drastically culled my closet; one right article of clothing replaces five that almost are.

I let go of keeping up digitally; I enjoy the moment without managing the past.

 

I also learned some amazing things about myself:

 

I need less than I thought.

I want to cultivate my relationship with my adult children more.

I absolutely LOVE my:

  • Life
  • Husband
  • Adult kids
  • Extended family
  • Job
  • Home

I am already doing much of which I hope to someday do.

I can simultaneously lead and receive, be strong and soften.

I haven’t missed a thing in the absence of regular news media.

Every moment with a responsive being is an opportunity to grow together. (Dogs and husbands!) And that I can bring the best of my own self to these moments every day.

The author's husband and dog

10,600 acres of white quartz sand dunes.

 

I’m excited for my eventual next holiday, although I still marinate in my recent one. It’s becoming my bones. And that, I must say, is creating an incredible structure.

How about you — are you due for a vacation? Are you still soaking one in?

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What ‘s on your horizon?

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