input+output+outcome=purpose

for the past few months my entire sentient life, i have been trying to figure out what i’m supposed to do with my life. what is my purpose? what am i meant to do? what is my damned calling, already? (ya feel me?)

(stolen from an anonymous contributor to the pages project.)

and i’ve read lots of books, followed lots of blogs, went to whole seminars on the thing. and we always start with “what do you like to do.” “what, when you’re in the middle of doing it, do you lose time/find your bliss/insert yoga-y nonsense here.” or, they start with “what, if you could Do anything, would you feel safe to pursue?”

do you notice a trend here?

THEY ALL START WITH DO! (i suppose because we’re trying to answer the question, what do i want to DO with my life.)

this has not worked for me. first, every time i think i find what i want to do with my life, i start doing it and then get distracted by this shiny other winking project, something i also want to do. and then i think That’s what i want to Do. i am a Scanner, i am a Learner, i am a person who likes to go new places and try new things. so this whole “what do i want to do with my life” question is not going to stick for me. no matter how many mind maps and journal-journeys i make.

i was starting to get a bit disgusted.

then-epiphany!-yesterday i realized something. i realized that maybe, Maybe, we’re looking for the wrong answer because we’re asking the wrong question. maybe we should look at how organizations and businesses assess these things.

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Independence and Individualization

“We have a disease called independence.”

Rob Bell, from January 24’s sermon, Ask Seek Knock

“Individualization means, amongst other things, to break free from the social mold and discovering your true purpose. Very often this runs counter to the pressures imposed by our social environment and hence individualization is very often revolutionary and crisis-laden.”

-Gilbert Ross, on Lifescape Artist

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important enough to share

i tend to follow a lot of blogs and websites, via my handy dandy little google reader app on my phone. i’m addicted, and sometimes it’s sad to see how many hundreds have stacked up and i know i won’t get to reading all of them. but other times i love always having short, inspiring bits to check in on (say, when i am in a long line at the grocery store waiting at the dentist’s- because truth be told a secret pleasure of mine is standing there, staring off into space, watching the carts of food-like substances around me).

and some of them? some of them are so good i should be sharing them with you! so here we go, my first in a hopefully-weekly list of things you really should check out-either because they’re funny, or insightful, or probably more often something you should see or make.

gwen bell, social media maven. this little post gives you lots of windows into why i enjoy reading her. i’m not a blanket fan or follower of all social media, but i do like to at least explore and see what works and doesn’t for me.

marzipan mushrooms and backyard terrariums from imagine childhood. i admit it, i follow this blog because i get so inspired and attracted to the crafts and activities designed for children.

rex ray. whenever i need some encouraging eye candy, i turn to rex ray’s art work.

not your cardboard can variety crescent roll. first of all, it’s homemade. second, it’s a sweet potato crescent roll with all the lovely winter-day spices you love to see with something like sweet potatoes. from wendy, who is going through the simply in season cookbook to learn even more about cooking with local food. yum.

ok so there you have it- a little technology, a little crafting, a little art and a little food. sounds like a well-rounded life to me!

i’ll just leave you with one quote from gwen bell, before i hop offline to follow her sage advice:

“Write with a pen, capture your thoughts daily.”

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out-of-the-box thinking for a good cause

i’ve gotten involved in starting a non-profit geared to encourage child literacy (visual too!) and creativity, called the Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center.

(see http://grcommunity.wordpress.com/ or just ask me, i’ll talk your ear off)

i’m so excited to be a part of such a great team, doing rad things like storytelling workshops with kids that end up with a villain named Dr. Crazy-Pants who, by the way, has a zig-zag mustache.

so last night, we had a brainstorming party to help us come up with “storefront” ideas (think Dave Eggers’ 826 National) and gather suggestions for local writers/artists to lead workshops, among other things necessary to start up a new non-profit when you aren’t fiscally able to bankroll yourself (ahem).
it was a fabulous success, and proof once again that grand rapids, michigan is filled with creative, talented, out-of-the-box thinkers. big thanks to everyone who attended and stayed on task in the face of wine and cheese.

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wonder

don’t forget the wonder you had as a child; find ways to reconnect with that wonder daily.

wonder alone has the capacity to open us up to new ways of seeing.

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winter skin relief

for all of my life, winter has meant dry, itchy skin. and for the past few years, i have solved this with olive oil and salt or sugar rubs. this year, i’m branching out a bit.

i’ve just made two scrubs:
sesame oil, kosher salt, with a bit of lemongrass essential oil
and
grapeseed oil, demerara sugar, and bergamot.

(just one note-don’t use a salt scrub if you’ve just shaved or have any cuts or cracks in your skin. Kinda ruins your relaxing spa experience.)

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creating joy

yesterday was a day full of creativity, followed by an evening of rest and celebration. it’s no wonder, then, that today i looked at the hidden inscription on my superhero necklace and thought, i finally got there.

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