Considering What Unites Us

While I read Alex George's A Good American I thought a lot about what it means to belong -- to a church, a town, a country, a family. Frederick didn't belong to Jette's social strata, so they had to leave their homeland in order to be together. When they reach America, they do not end up in the town they intended to settle in, but they put down roots there....more
I miss my community.  Back home, we had our life group--couples and kids, all friends.  These ... more

The Redemptive Power of Song

We've discussed how music plays a big role in Alex George's A Good American when we talked about how he described Jette's life as an opera. It's more than that the family just liked music, it was woven into the fabric of their lives. It was what they used to learn about themselves and about life. ...more
The songs that life me up on a bad day change with my moods and current tastes.  Right now, my ... more

Gastronomic Mosaics & Culinary Road Maps

Food quickly becomes important to the story in Alex George's A Good American. Before the Meisenheimers ever open the restaurant, Jette finds herself homesick. She turns to the meals she ate in her homeland for comfort. She didn't have recipes passed down from her mother or even a cookbook to turn to. Through a process of trial and error, she made her way through the food in memories until they existed on her table. ...more
I love this topic.  Probably one steady in my culinary road map are the Polish Christmas cookies ... more

Vulnerability and Shame in the Workplace

As we've discussed, feeling vulnerable is hard and frequently scary. The vulnerability hangover? It sucks. When I was reading Daring Greatly I was very wary of what Brene Brown was going to say about vulnerability in the workplace. It's a mixed bag for me. There are workplace environments where I've felt pretty darned comfortable with vulnerability and others where I avoided it like the plague. To my surprise, I found myself nodding right along with a lot of what Brown had to say about being vulnerable at work. ...more
Teaching can be terribly vulnerable, especially when you're in a classroom where parents don't ... more

Plan B Parenting

In no other area of my life have I found myself as deeply vulnerable than as a parent. And that's why -- when my daughter was very young -- if you judged my parenting, I would jump down your throat. Then I would go home and cry and Google parenting websites and hold myself accountable for my daughter's milestone progress, her sleep habits, my mood, her nutrition and the state of foreign wars....more
We try to share with the kids things that happened when we were kids, how things played out, how ... more

What Would You Do If You Couldn't Fail?

Brene Brown's Daring Greatly made me think a lot about failure. When we make ourselves vulnerable we open ourselves to a lot of things, some good and some positive. One of the things that we make possible when we do this is something many people, myself included, fear -- failure. When we make ourselves vulnerable we risk failure and that is a heady, wonderful, terrifying thing. ...more
I like the marathon idea, or actually start the business I'd like to (social media pr). more

Lessons Learned from Weekly Writing Exercises

Weekly writing exercises aren't quite as difficult for me as daily morning pages, but I'll admit that I still struggle with them. Yet I still find myself thinking about the writing prompts in Julia Cameron's My Artist's Way Toolkit, even if I don't put a pen to paper. I'm not always good at putting my thoughts down but these exercises are still teaching me some important lessons....more
I also learned it's OK to just do what I do.  I like what I do.  I like what I write.  And I ... more

Where Do You Find Inspiration?

One of the things that I appreciate about Julia Cameron's new My Artist's Way Toolkit is how she's forcing me to pay attention. Yes, my morning pages may be a to do list most days (and yes, I still suck at them) but maybe one out of five days I'll find myself writing out a really good idea. I may not write down a single word after an Artist's Date but during it I'll be observing the things around me. Inspiration can happen anywhere. ...more
Since moving to a new city, I seem to be finding inspiration everywhere.  I think it's because ... more

Do You Ever Go On Dates - By Yourself?

While it's true that I suck at morning pages, it's equally true that I love ...more
Like you, as much as I dislike the morning pages, I do love the idea of dates with myself.  For ... more

I Suck at Daily Morning Writing Exercises

When I mention Julia Cameron or The Artist's Way, chances are one of the first things you will think of is morning pages. When I signed up for the My Artist's Way Toolkit, I was a bit hesitant. I knew that morning pages were part of the bargain, and I've never been good at them. After a few weeks of using the service I can tell you that I still suck at morning pages. ...more
The idea of morning anything, short of coffee, makes me want to cry.  I work best at night, so ... more