Saturday, January 24, 2009

Own Your Unknown!

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Johann von Goethe

Thank you Jamie and Jessie!! It is amazing how inspiration works. I read almost the whole chapter, did a couple exercises, but the flow just wasn't there and I was feeling stifled.

And then - ALOHA! I listened to the interview with Jessie and checked out her website, and BANG! The dam is lifted. I am forging forward like a jetstream.

I love that 'word of the day' concept. I loved her story about 'Do one thing every day that scares you,' showing up all over her life. And in her blog, I saw my own word, twice. A word that has been playing with me lately like the wind dancing with a kite. PROPEL.

That's my word of the 2009: PROPEL!

1. to drive, or cause to move, forward or onward

2. to impel or urge onward

Related Words:





M O V E !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now check it out in webdings:


(a winding road, traintracks and a tree; a listening ear; a winding road at night with the same tree and a cactus; a magnifying glass - HOW COOL IS THAT!)

Getting a MOVE ON this creativity!! My projects, my goals, my free flow of everything that is bubbling and shining inside of me! :) I have been thinking about little steps this week - funny how Jamie made that challenge. I have been thinking about the little steps I want to make to at least start testing the ground, getting my feet wet, feeling out the air quality around me.

- call a friend about publishing contacts

- check out related books in book store/library and their publishers

- send an article to a couple websites i subscribe to

- buy scrapbooking supplies (i already have the glue!)

- contact an artist friend about illustrations

- write synopsies for shakespeare plays

- gather those quotes and my watercolours and make the inspirational elevator messages for my building that I've been meaning to do for 2 years!!

- get the poems on the computer, and a book in my hands, and print and colour and cut and paste and add texture and love and multiply!

I LOVE the idea of doing something that scares you everyday. I like to mix it with a little bit of 'random acts of kindness.' I have a friend, LT, who is so phenomenal. She radiates light towards others, like that incredible Obama. She says hi to every single person she passes on the street! She spreads sunshine just by being herself and connecting with people. This is sort of exemplified in the way we met: a parking lot. We were in a yoga class together and she 'picked me up' (in the spiritual sense :) right there beside my car as I was getting ready to leave. Gave me her phone number. I was a little taken aback, but flattered that she saw some spark in me that made her want to connect. And here we are. She is an inspiration just for LIVING and BEING. I want to take those risks every day. In the elevator. Post a message. Look for other moms, or yogis, or creative spirits, or culturally diverse ladies to connect with. I want to visit the 90-something year old man who lives in my building and wears Adidas and works out everyday in our gym. I recently saw him in a wheelchair. I want to know if he's okay these days.

What en-courages me??

- this blogging group! Jamie Ridler. the interviews. and sometimes the book.

- beautiful words. it is true. words have POWER.

- trips to book stores, art galleries, transformational movies, nature walks, showers & baths, reveling with friends, museums, exciting architecture, biographies, Mother Teresa & Anais Nin & Sisi (Viennese royalty) & my friend Yvonne & Barack Obama

- my competitiveness. when i see others out there doing what i should be doing and wondering, 'come on, brittany, what the heck are you waiting for???'

- positivity. supportive feedback. when i write and friends or family empower me with their praise and motivation

- people helping out, reaching out, to other people. charity. philanthropy.

I LOVED what Jessie said about why we don't just go forward and MOVE on our projects. How it isn't really lack of time or energy or it is because we are AFRAID of something...failure, rejection, not being 'good enough', judging ourselves too much...That is so TRUE! I think my problem is perfectionism. It is so hard to start because I want everything within me and everything i create to BE THE BEST. I also have not been good in the past at breaking things down into smaller steps. This is what I am now working on. I loved how bloggers talked about having a sanctuary just to CREATE. To make a MESS. To surrender to their creative muse and not care about the result. I care too much about the result. I do not let myself be free to make a mess. My little fairy is wrapped up like a mummy and just wants to be free to spread that fairy dust! Speaking of mummy, my son, the catapult of creative reawakening, will help me through these chains, I know. You can't raise a child without LOTS of messes, right?!

My boss is the most incredible example I know of JUST DOING IT. Stop fretting, making excuses, putting things off, worrying about whether you are 'qualified' or not. Before my mat leave, I was working for her for 9 years. She is a member of the Order of Canada. She raised the bar and broke the stereotypes for people living with disabilities. She is the Artistic Director of Canada's foremost black light theatre. She is the author of 4 books. She is an entrepreneur. She gives motivational talks around the world. She has 4 honourary doctorates. And she never graduated high school.

She lives by the code of hard work, dedication, perseverance and belief in yourself. She wakes up at 5:00 am almost every day - so excited for another day of possibilities. When she sets out to tackle a new project, she doesn't worry about whether she is 'qualified' or the 'right' set of steps to take, or muddles over how to begin. She just lives by my university professor's motto: "Less thinking, more doing!" She just plunks herself down at the computer, or on a chair in the theatre, or in front of a room of world leaders....and begins. She speaks from her heart, her experience. Of course, she learned her philosophies from her own mother, a 93-year-old dynamo who still works (with her) 6 days a week. And her mother lives by the motto of service. I call her 'the Hostess with the Mostess' because she lives by the genuine concern, "How can I be of service?"

Last night I had a dream. I was in California, on the beach. (Wish it was true!) I was with my family. Not my family of creation, but my family of birth: my sisters, parents. I was in my bikini. The beach was real, but it was also like a movie set. I was hanging around on the sand, happy, replenishing, and someone decided to 'replay' a different beach scene - that of a storm. And the black clouds rolled in and the night came calling with some stars blinking out of the sky. The waves became more agitated and the froth foamed up. The wind threatened. The mood darkened. And I sauntered slowly, taking in the scene, making my way towards the water and thought: how beautiful. The storm was like an all encompassing black opal...a black opal of air and wind and water all mixing and melding together. And I wanted to be in the water. I wanted to be enjoying this moment...not the moment I expected when I found out we were going to California, but a beautiful moment just the same. I was not afraid.

I am not afraid of risk. I have certain phobias. I am scared of flying on planes, but I do it anyway. I am sometimes scared of the unknown, but I venture forth anyway. I am afraid of losing control, but I let go anyway. I am not afraid of conflict. I am not afraid to make my voice heard.

I am not afraid to try something new and see where it takes me. I do like approval, though, and I do seek it. But I do not risk my own equilibrium for the sake of approval. I need to do what is in my heart. I need to pursue my passions. I need to propel myself into the darkness, the frothiness, the order to live with beauty.

And now I need to go take a step into my own unknown!...................


  1. I have nothing to add to this divine post, just wanted to say how very enjoyable and energizing it was to read!

  2. As an ex-perfectionist, I wanted to say hello and tell you what a relief it is to put down the expectations of perfection. As if it ever existed anyway. You are enough...I am enough. Isn't it glorious?

  3. Thank you for sharing what keeps you going in the tough times - I'm keeping a list and I've added some of your tools to it. I think we should all make creative messes as it is the process for me that is soothing and healing and fun, not really the result. It is nice if I write something or make something I like, but I really just want to BE in that moment of creation. I think you are very lucky to work for such an incredible woman who is setting a dynamite example! I hope everything goes really well for you. :)

  4. You know what? I'm actually breathless after reading your post! You have so many fab ideas and your friend now also inspires me-- i love the idea of saying hello to everyone. Let's do that this week! It is a risk indeed- but worth it.
    Kim H

  5. I feel like I just got a shot of extra strength vitamin C! :)

  6. Wow--wonderful! What a passionate post, filled with inspiration -- for me :-), it feels like! I love what you wrote about your boss. There's an opportunity: to so love what you're doing in life that you just can't wait to leap into the day. 'Get over it, and get doing ...' is a phrase that comes to mind ....

  7. You've got a great voice!

    And HGTV is a great "well". The soul is a house.