Category: The 38 Project

Sharing Stories

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“For pleasure has no relish unless we share it.” ― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader

Forgive me while I nerd out to Virginia Woolf’s words for a moment. There’s something so simple but profound about these words, especially as I revisit them. The other day I was mid-fika and struggling to decipher where I was going with this entire passion and purpose of mine. Already a teacher, I didn’t want to be labeled as an educator when I present or facilitate the byproducts of fika. I’m not business minded so it felt false to use entrepreneur as a title or label. And while I cling to the title of passionprenuer, this too fell short of representing my ideas and aspirations.

I started to think about the brands, businesses, and influencers that I respect and follow. I delved into what it was that made their mark so much more impressionable and inspiring than others. It all came back to one thing, which was so fitting for me and the act of fika. I am drawn to stories. The art of sharing and collaborating through storytelling is my niche. It’s where I feel the pleasure Woolf suggests.

I  look for relevancy and connectivity through shared storytelling. It’s my thing. It’s why I go deep.

Earlier this month I spoke about my desire to thematically approach fikas. I wrote about my intention to pursue two projects close to me. It’s a time consuming and tedious task and I need help.

Tell me something good about Facebook. Seriously, give me the positives. Ready.  Set. Go.

Email me at fishingforfika@gmail

 

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37

benjamin-davies-287077-unsplash.jpg“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Oprah Winfrey

Oprah is a word queen. She gets it, makes it better, and then sends it out into the world for the masses. She somehow manages to make me feel like it’s solely for me, hence her powerful influence.  The words above are my exact birthday sentiments. Each year I feel a profound desire to consider and celebrate every gain and growth. Too often, a lack of examination results in feelings of inadequacy or disappointment.

There’s some real truth behind gratitude and its marriage to motivation. Birthdays are markers of milestones. Candles illuminate more than our age. Discovery and delight are found in the smallest and most unexpected corners of our lives. There’s more to celebrate, I know it. In pursuing praise I find presence.

I’m working on a fiction novel, I think. It’s my first fiction novel and ignorance is bliss. I’m going with my gut and relying on instinct. We shall see how it unfolds. But as I wander through this project another one stirs in me. It’s what I refer to as a #passionproject. There’s no lure of compensation or expectation for it become something other an answer to a call. It’s part of my 38. 

I’ve been feeling the urge to Facebook Fika for awhile. Usually, I scroll through my friend list to stumble upon acquaintances from 20 years ago or long-lost friends from elementary school. It’s a distraction instead of discussion. These days there’s no need to ask “whatever happened to” because the answer is lurking somewhere in the wild world of social media. So what have I learned from profiles and status updates? I know people who are doing incredible things. I’m not talking fame. And my interpretation of incredible might differ from yours, but in ordinary days there are extraordinary moments. Thanks to social media I’m glimpsing into a patchwork quilt of these moments via friends.

I’ve decided to write about it. I imagine it will be strange for people who haven’t heard from me to get a request for a coffee chat. Hopefully, they’ll see the value in this #passionproject for what it is, which is a chance to connect. The connection I’m craving is because I see the value in celebrating.

I’m spending 37 focused on the possibilities. In a world where problems reign or occupy the spotlight, my rally cry is to celebrate.

 

 

 

Presence

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“For it is in giving that we receive.” ―St. Francis of Assisi

My birthday is next week. I go big for birthdays.  And spare me ramblings and rumblings of “when you’re older you won’t care as much.” Birthdays are my thing.

As I age I confess to one celebratory challenge, which is presents. I struggle on what to buy loved friends. I’m equally perplexed when others inquire as to what I’d like to receive. Throughout the year I keep a running list of fun gadgets or indulgences that catch my eye, but I don’t necessarily label things as gift-worthy. Yes, I need a new hair straightener. True, I am always in favor of Amazon gift cards. And one can never go wrong with pinot noir. But do I want to receive these as gifts? Let me be clear, I won’t say no, especially to the pinot noir. However, the thing I crave most on birthdays and beyond is presence.

Go ahead. Roll your eyes. Give me another, “you’re so cheesy, Katie.” I can handle it. But in these mid to late thirties days, when professional, personal, and everything else under the sun zone collides while tending to tiny humans who demand and delight in every ounce of energy, there’s a real lack of presence.

It makes sense. We’re not as available as we used to be and our calendars and chaos look much different.  But I want coffee with a friend. I need adult conversation. I crave history and humility with family.

This birthday I made it clear that what I want is time with my beloved and the circle of people who enrich and enliven me. Here’s to the gift of presence. May we recognize it as a gift wrapped in love and delivered with purpose.

Wellness

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Like many, I’m knee-deep in new commitments and challenges, which hopefully will set the tone and flow for 2019.  I am invested in what I refer to as steady wellness because too often it’s rushed, short-lived, and/or commercially based. The wellness I seek celebrates walks, fresh air, rest, water, and all the veggies.

But in the spirit of transparency, it’s a lot of work. In fact, I’m bewildered by the prep and process. Wellness is a 24/7 active engagement type of thing. And far too often it’s presented as one dimensional.

“The concept of total wellness recognizes that our every thought, word, and behavior affects our greater health and well-being. And we, in turn, are affected not only emotionally but also physically and spiritually.”–Greg Anderson

Anderson’s words are acutely aligned with my beliefs. While I’m absolutely committed to better physical performance and presence, there’s more beyond the body.

So in the spirit of wellness and all things thought and emotion-based, tell me something you’ve done to make yourself better, more healthy, and happy. Seriously, tell me.

 

 

 

Fear

 

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

This post has been in draft mode for days. With a twist of irony, I ignored it out of fear.

I am a collector of quotes. I carry them with me, memorize them, recite them upon request, and/or call upon them in the most desperate and dramatic circumstances.

Williamson’s words haunt me.

I think somewhere along the adventures of adulthood I stepped off the pavement of self-promotion. It felt awkward. But as a writer, I’m constantly called to pitch. And since I’m not too into self-promotion, the pitch can be extremely exhausting and self-deprecating.  In a world of selfies and stature, I worried about over-saturation. But I now see the value of appropriate exposure.

Furthermore, I see the necessity in shining and inspiring others to do the same. In a world where the latest headlines are full of tragedies, controversies, and endless debates, we’d need to stop “playing it small” and emphasize liberation.

Our fears of failures, judgments, and inadequacies do not necessarily diminish in age. In fact, too often experience jades us or robs us of risk.  But we need to remember that there is fun in fear. Specifically, defying fear or focusing on fearlessness. If it propels instead of punishes then it’s alluring and all-powerful.

We gain in comfort when we show our vulnerability. We grow in confidence when we push through walls to showcase strength and spirit.

Which leads me to a fika on the following: what are you doing that’s fearlessly focused on sharing more and igniting inspiration for others?