It has been a while since I have put my fingers to the keyboard in a way that was not a means to the end. There is not enough time in the day to allow my mind to slow down and ponder life, to let the mantra in my head release and allow the clickity clack of the keys bring forth the words in my mind to share with you. There have been many days when I have written a blog in my head and when the few free moments at the end of the day graced me, my eyes melded shut while the now comfortable whoosh whoosh sound of the pump surrounds me as I drain the last milk of the day out of my boobs. That or I am finishing the necessary work to prep for my next day, because when I get home at the end of the day I want to spend every moment with my growing little boy. Did I mention that I am back in the office?
I will tell you I have missed you. I have missed my daily rants and release of ideas that I come across in the day in hopes that it brings a smile to your face, pause to your day, or a WTF moment. Last week a colleague shared an article that just got my wheels turning and I had to share. This article is about the saltbox. A bit random I know but the author just hit at so many ideas that resonate with me. Her story of the Saltbox titled: “Lessons according to salt.”
“The saltbox itself as an object is unremarkable. Alone, it communicates nothing. Says nothing about its role. Its intention. Its history as a gift born out of a romance between my maternal grandparents. Says nothing of its possibilities.
But add people, and it becomes a central iterative device. The license to change, to iterate, to test, to add, to make, to make over, to create (clearly, with food). It gives license and latitude to stray from what has been written (recipes) for those too shy to do. Therefore, it gives strength. It gives iterative powers to those not comfortable with version control. With its subtlety comes comfort in change. One might say the saltbox, and access to it, is magic.”
Later the author says:
“What separates a leader from a manager is the quality of an editor. The role of a good editor is not to be seen, in fact, but to make an author’s words come forward. A good editor dissolves into the background. It’s not unlike typography. Focus too much on the type, and you’ve lost the story. Whether as editor, director, or head of department, my role is not to be seen, but to create a space to make the stories of those I work with come forward.”
I manage a team of ten amazing souls that make it worth coming to work each day. Is it always fun? No. Is it always easy? No. But damn we have fun trying. I hope that I keep focusing on the story and that I create a space to make the stories come forward.
Maybe it resonates with me because I write, or maybe it is because I am a new mom and I think that, much like leading a team, as a momma I really am here to love the crap out of this little bugger, but also to create the space for his stories to come to life. My role is to let him shine and be seen. Momma, manager, editor.
I encourage you to read Liz’s full article on the saltbox. Maybe it will inspire you too.
I had been anxiously awaiting Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book: “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.” Since I am not running these days my book reading is a bit slower, but I finally just finished it. It is an easy read, but not like those of a novel that you cannot put down. It is best consumable in small chunks so you can ponder the ideas she shares on creativity. She even has a few stories that were ‘aha’ moments for me.
One of the ideas that she shared especially resonated with me:
“These days, I’m far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me. Just say what you want to say, then, and say it with all your heart. Share whatever you are driven to share. If it’s authentic enough, believe me—it will feel original.” Page 98
Maybe because I hate when people lie, I hate deception, and all I ever really want is for people to be real. If you do not know something, do not make up bullshit to make yourself sound like you do know it, just be real and say you do not know. There is nothing I hate worse (both personally and professionally) than when people lie to make themselves look better. Just be you.
Be yourself, and do not regret it. Oh, and definitely take some time to read Gilbert’s book. It is worth it, especially if you are in a rut and want/need a kick in the butt to get you thinking creatively again.
You get a chill that runs up your arm. You are inspired to workout and challenge yourself after hearing about someone who has to break through extreme physical boundaries. The words in a speech or talk leave you pondering your life and what changes you can make. What do they each have in common? Greatness that moves you to be, do, and live better.
I love the idea of greatness. Whatever part of our life where we can encourage, demand, and honor greatness. It is something I look for in others. What are they doing in their life to raise their game? What are they doing to raise the game of others? A second day in a row I am sharing a Daily Om that made me think about life. This particular email titled “The Greatness in Others” made me think about how often we forget that it is already within us:
“We are all moved by greatness when we see it, and although the experience is to some degree subjective, we know the feeling of it. When we encounter it, it is as if something in us stirs, awakens, and comes forth to meet what was inside us all along.”
I want to always be awake and aware for those moments when I find greatness deep inside. The question is, what do we do when we find it? How do we bring it out in others? I hope to always be around people who inspire greatness in themselves and those that they are around. It keeps life real, interesting, and allows us to grow.
Things annoy us. We sometimes go over things in our mind again and again. “Why did they treat me that way?” “How come they do not listen?” Whatever the situation, I have the perfect quote for you. Nevermind that I cannot remember where I found it last week, or who it is from (an Internet search did not prove helpful). What matters is if it gets you thinking. It has me pondering things in life, work, and with friends and family.
“Stop asking why they keep doing it and start asking why you keep allowing it.”
How many times have you felt walked over, disregarded, or simply not heard? What did you do about it? Did you share how you felt? Did you speak up? Or did you just continue with your day, either because you did not want to deal with it, or because you did not know how best to confront the person, or you tried but they did not listen or hear you? How often does that happen to you? I definitely have had those times. However, I usually do not have an issue speaking up and making sure that my voice is heard.
The eye-opening part about this simple line of words is “why you keep allowing it.” That is the key difference for me. I can speak up all I want, but if things do not change, then I continue to allow the behavior. If someone is being disrespectful to you, and you say something (or even if you do not) what matters most is if they continue to disrespect you and you let them. Interesting that it means we permit these things to happen to us, by not putting a stop to them. I know it is easier said than done, and not all situations are truly in our control, but this idea is a good mantra to remember, that when you continue to complain about why someone keeps treating you in a certain way, that you ask yourself: “Why do I keep allowing them to treat me in that way?”
A colleague shared this video in a meeting today, and it made me laugh and it made me ponder how much we really appreciate each moment of every day. Most of us have some (maybe not all) but some of our creature comforts available to us easily. Yet I wonder because we have access to most things, do we take them for granted?
This video is of a Norwegian man, Aleksander Gamme, who is on Day 86 of his trek in Antarctica. When he comes to his final food supply (at 0:54) …well you will have to watch. His bliss is contagious. What if we showed this excitement when we have something happen in our world? It would definitely spread happiness to those that watch us squeal in glee!
What did you think? Cheese Doodles never looked so good. I love his accent, that in itself makes me happy. I am going to try it for a few days. Squeal with delight when something unexpected yet good happens and see if my excitement spreads to those around me. Want to try it with me?