When my computer died in Paris in February, I still had five weeks left of my life as a creative nomad in Europe. I really wanted to crawl into a cave and hibernate but circumstances forced me to keep going. (As they often do.)
The only thing I felt I could change was my pace. I decided to slow down. Slow way the heck down.
I believe that it's hard to be in a state of grace if you're hurrying.
This lesson pretty much accompanies everything I do. In every moment I can slow down, be more present, more full of grace.
It's what I want most for myself and for all of you. Try it, today, a bit of a slower pace.
I recently wrote about the need for all of us to get help.
Of course I wrote that article about needing support because I needed to remind myself to get help.
Of course, we do get what we want. In comes Ted Pearlman and his new Virtual Assistance company, WorkTango.
Who doesn't want to dance through the tedious tasks of work?
I can't believe how fun it is to delegate. I already have an assistant that helps with my marketing and planning but there is always so much more to do. Handing off these projects is easier than I thought. There's tons I can delegate. Yippee!
Ironically, the best web tool other than Work Tango invites a life lived less online and more on paper. todoodlist* was a gentle nudge to me that I was working on too many things at once.
I love todoodlist's invitation to return to paper and pencil to organize life. Step away from the computer.
I couldn't agree more. Much as I love and rely on the online world and its wondrous capabilities, I thrive when I have contact with notebooks and ink.
*I am a fan and affiliate of todoodlist. Purchases you make from this link provide a ka-ching for me.
I'm proud of completing my novel in February, but I'm most proud of conceiving and completing and launching my e-book, The Graceful Return: Relish Your Journey After You've Come Home.
After I came back from my year-long trip, I found it hard to get a grip on my new reality. I sensed that others might go through the same thing.
People returning from the Peace Corps or other service abroad, those being returned home after a stint in the company's international office, students coming home from a year abroad...we all face that challenge of integrating what we just experienced with our new lives back home.
I'm also proud of the cover that I designed. It's been my challenge to bring a more visual element into my work, and this wasn't easy. I observed the creative process full-on:
I believe that living the creative process through making things is such a valuable experience. I want others to have the gift of their creativity as a path to self-understanding.
That's why I wrote this book.
I like my friends smart, but Joseph Coplans of Ink Stain Inc. leads the pack in nimble and deep thinking.
Paris: February, with Heather of Secrets of Paris.
Hands down the best car ride of the year. I’m in the front seat of a Porsche down the Champs-Elysées after drinking champagne to toast the completion of my novel, Chasing Sylvia Beach.
The city is glittering, I've completed the last draft of my novel, and I'm feeling free, alive and slightly fancy.
Still, window displays in Europe are killingly tempting and it’s hard to resist the lure of a stunning garment artfully displayed. The clever and classy windows of Florence and Paris are part of the urban art and demand to be appreciated. It’s free to look and slowing down for leche-vitrine (window licking, in French) is part of slowing down to relish the city’s artfulness.
Boots and shoes in particular became the focus of our shopping. Florence, famous for leather goods, flaunted an abundance of footwear. I scanned shop after shop for boots because I’d decided that I could stand another pair of boots.
I'm supposed to come up with a word or phrase that best encapsulates this year. Much as I try to come up with something deep and meaningful, the phrase that insists on defining this year:
I haven't had the opportunity to post this image, but this seems like a good time. This piece of 'art' was in my first, bad apartment in Amsterdam. It was life-sized, so I couldn't even take it down or turn it away.
IMHO, not only is the rendering bad, the subject matter is a bit scary. Is she snarling or what? I wondered what kind of place I was staying in. I was sick and this made me feel even sicker. Luckily Brandy came to my rescue and had me house sit for her.
I was heavy into coffee this year, particularly the macchiato. There’s nothing like a hit of espresso to fuel an afternoon in Italy, or anywhere else for that matter.
But I do favor tea, and when I’m not drinking my favorite – homemade chai – I love a smoky tea.
In Amsterdam I recently came upon the marvelous tea shop Simon Levelt, where I bought some smoky Earl Grey. It wasn’t the best tea I've had, but it did bring me back toward the smoky tea, which I love.
I’m going out to buy some lapsang souchong right now.