finding a more authentic, playful life --- finding your story

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hugh of my Heart!

I love the TV show House. I was a bit addicted to it in fact: smart, funny, quite entertaining. And then there's Hugh Laurie -- handsome, charming, brilliant, infuriating, depressive, rude, crazy ego-maniac. And cute! Heavy sigh. Ahhhh House...

And now I love him even more, after recently having read a quote attributed to him:

“It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There's almost no such thing as ready. There's only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I'm about to go bungee jumping or something - I'm not. I'm not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”

Take it from the good doctor: We are rarely ready. And if we wait until we are ready, we will be waiting forever. There's only now. 

Indeed, ol' blue eyes, indeed. 

Now is as good of a time as any.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lessons From a Neighbor

I have the most generous neighbors.
It's kinda crazy. They're seriously amazingly generous with me. I moved into this building about 9 months ago and they live across the hall. We share a fire escape. That's all.  We're very different. I'm in the arts. They're very much not. But from the get-go, they have offered their friendship and have been completely kind and giving in many ways.

Don't get me wrong. I have many generous friends. And my mom is always ridiculously generous with me. I know generosity, but these guys are barely friends and certainly not family. They're just neighbors, yet they give and give.

For example, lately Jackie has been going to the cheap fruit store and randomly buying me fruit! She comes home with fresh blueberries, strawberries, peaches and more. She texts me: "I have fruit for you when you're home!" I of course try to offer her money, but she refuses. She offers to take me to Target and then shares her discount. "It's 15%. Let me buy your things. You can just pay me back whenever." Practically every time, they cook, they offer me dinner. "We have plenty. Join us!" Recently, she offered my cucumbers, Febreeze and a new lock for my storage unit.

Nothing is ever required or expected in return---honestly. Try as I may. They want nothing in return. Now of course I have given them treats and thanks and jams and whatnots, but their generosity seems to continually surpass mine.

And their generosity isn't just specific to me, I have found.

At one of our aforementioned trips to Target, we had a cart full of wares and approached the checkout line at exactly the same time as another customer. Actually, I am pretty sure we were there first. So I smiled and moved in front of the other customer, trying to assume my place in the line. At the same time, Jackie, said to the lady "Oh no, you can go! Please." At first, I was annoyed. As I said, we were there first! And as a general rule, I am in a hurry. But then, I paused. I realized how little it mattered in the grand scheme of things. Jackie didn't care if we had to wait five more minutes. She was generous with her time and her place in the line. I was not.

It made me think.

How generous am I? Am I as generous as Jackie? One definition of generosity is "the quality or fact of being plentiful or large". I try to live from abundance and plenty. I believe there is plenty for all of us. But do I honestly share that abundance with others? Or am I frugal? As I said, it made me think.

Improv asks us to listen and receive, to take and build, to share. I do it on stage. How much do I do it on life? How generous am I?

Being their neighbor has been a lesson in generosity and a lesson in receiving. A lesson I am grateful for. It's made me try to live more intentionally generously. How about you?

As a special treat: here's a My Little Pony song called "Generosity"

Yes. My Little Pony. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Leap into the Chaos

I'm writing again. Sigh. Yes, finally back at the book.

And I'm in a difficult spot. My editor wants order and outlines and some form of chronology, and while I agree with her in some ways and realize its purpose, I need to trust my gut and write the book I want to write. The challenge is how to keep what I know but be open to what she suggests. There are things I don't know about this book, but there are just as many things that I do. So the only way I know to do this comes from my improv training: just jump and listen to myself.

I'm not gonna lie to you. It ain't easy. I waited four months out of fear to do it at all! It is overwhelming to literally throw your book up in the air and see where the pages land. Is a new order preferable and cleaner? Was the old way, my instinctual way...better? Is there a way to combine both?

It is chaotic and I was/am scared to jump into the chaos. I might not work(!) but what choice is there? I haven't done all this work writing this book to just leave it on my hard drive gathering dust. No. I need to jump into the chaos and see what clarity I can find once the dust settles.

Where in your life do you need to jump into the chaos? Where in your life will it benefit you to throw it all up in the air and see what lands where? Is it easy? Um, no. But necessary? Maybe...

I'll let you know what I discover.

Share your thoughts below. Would love to interact with you. Love this quote from my man Deepak:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Heads up!

So I was sitting at Starbucks last week working on editing my memoir when I started to text my friend Michael. We texted for probably fifteen minutes off and on about minutia and silliness, nothing important. I was just working and occasionally texting him. He lives nearby the Starbucks, so at one point, bored and searching for distraction, I invited him to join me at the coffee superpower.

He asked me if I just arrived there. I replied I hadn't, that in fact I had been sitting here for over two hours. Turns out, ten minutes prior, while he was texting me, he was at the very same Starbucks himself, ordering a drink right across from the table at which I was sitting. We were texting each other while standing less than ten feet from the other! How did neither of us ever look up? How did we miss the moment to observe surroundings and consequently each other? What a silly miss. We laughed it off, but it made me think. What else am I missing when I don't look up? When else am I buried in something when an opportunity for connection, the one I was actually seeking, is right in front of me?

Food for thought: Look up.