Speak Less – Day 20

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know I. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prompt: I once received a fortune cookie that read: “Speak less of your plans, you’ll get more done.” What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking about but haven’t made progress on? What’s stopping you? What would happen if you actually went for it and did it? (Author: Laura Kimball)

Writings on the Wall photo by Flo

Write On

 I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.  ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977

To write anything regularly—a blog, short stories, essays or an article—has been my long-time other goal.  How do I write more?  How do I continue writing after this challenge ends?

Empty my mind.   Allow more space and freedom for creativity to flow.  Push and poke myself to fill more blank pages with the free flow of my thoughts.

Speak less.  Write more.  Replace verbal voices with written words.

Listen consciously.  Hear the whispers of my heart that gnaw on my soul.  Trust the quiet sounds of my authentic voice to convey life and notions of life.

Finally, I must write.  I must capture those crazy creative sentiments, snatch those fleeting thoughts, and use my writer’s voice to express myself.  I must open my mind and “hurl words into this darkness” as long as there are truths to write about and eyes to read them.


Facing (and Fearing) – Day 19

Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prompt: Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. (Author:  Dan Andrews)

Fall Up

We all fall.  We fall out of the womb and into life.  We fall off the edge.  We fall on bad times.  We fall prey to schemes and scrupulous scandals.

Babies learning to walk fall.  The brave baby gets back up and tries again.  The frightened one returns to the comfort of crawling a bit longer.

We fall in love.  Couples meet, passion pulls and love hits.  We fall out of love.  A heart breaks.  One lover waits, recuperates and loves again.  The other fights fear, embraces doubts and retreats to avoid losing to love repeatedly.

Drawing by Flo

We fall off the wagon.  We have vices to end and vital changes to begin.   Quit smoking and start exercising more.  Quit overeating and start dieting.  Quit procrastinating and start doing.  A routine begins and ends too soon.  A fallen few start over and finish.   Other fallen ones quit.

We all fall.  We need to fall up.  We need to emulate the baby who keeps on keeping on finally walking.  We need to fall up like those who never give up on love.   We need to keep getting back up into the wagon no matter how many times we fall out of it.

Falling down is easy, but falling up is easier.  Falling up keeps us in constant motion. Movement—a heartbeat, breath flowing, blood running through our veins—keeps us alive. And living is what it’s all about.  Keep falling up.

Dreams – Day 18

Roadway, low horizon, mountains, clouded sky, ...

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

Abide in the simple and the noble regions of thy life, obey the heart.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prompt:  Write down your top three dreams.  Now write down what’s holding you back from them.   (Author: Michael Rad)

Three Dreams   

Dreams come and go.  Here are three dreams monopolizing my mind at this moment.

Dream  1:  Completing the SG project.  The hold back:  wanting to release a perfect product instead of releasing a product that can constantly be perfected.

Dream 2:  Launching a multicultural greeting card business.  The hold back:  few since the dream is turning into reality.

Dream 3:  Remaining open to new possibilities.  The hold back:  moments of sleep walking through life.

Sleep to dream.  Wake up to do.

Invent the Future – Day 17

A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prompt: My favorite quote of all time is Alan Kay: ‘In order to predict the future, you have to invent it.’ I am all about inventing the future. Decide what you want the future to be and make it happen. Because you can. Write about your future now. (Author: Cindy Gallop)

Future Senses

My future means making better use of my five senses. Keep my eyes open to seeing clearly where I’m going in life. Keep my ears alert to hearing that inner voice of wisdom. Taste life, don’t fear it. Touch the hearts of others through everything I do and deliver. Allow the arousing smell of morning dew to reawaken my senses to the new, the curious and the future every day I’m here.

Wholly Strange and New – Day 16

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prompt: Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Write about that moment. (Author: Bridget Pilloud)

My Edge Moment

That “wholly strange and new” moment occurred when I started my new business. I called it my edge moment. Filled with feelings of pleasure and pain, fear and fun, exhilaration and exasperation, hope and hesitancy and more, I started a business. That moment was like stepping on the edge of a mountain, peering down before jumping, and thinking how wonderful floating would feel and how hard the landing would be. When I started out, I knew I wanted to do more than stand on the edge and look down, I wanted to jump. I wanted to go beyond the edge and build a business that would be different, new and good.

As I launched the business, feelings of bliss and burdens of doubt continued to compete for my attention. The more my inner voice discouraged me, the more my outer courage prevailed. There was no way of knowing all the unknowns. So I jumped. After jumping, something strange happened. I became so mission driven that I let go and let trust in myself thrust my business along. I was moving—three steps forward, two back then five steps forward and only one back. I got into the rhythm of moving further away from the edge. I was building something new. I was feeling good. I was living.

My business is growing now. I have less edge moments. I’ve grown more familiar with the unfamiliar. Maybe it’s time to experience that “wholly strange and new” moment again. Maybe it’s time to carve a new path to continue fully living.

One Thing – Day 15

Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prompt: Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve the goal. (Author: Colin Wright)

To Do

My to do list is vast and varied as are my interests. I have professional things I want to do as well as personal ones. My overall to do goal is to connect people across cultures, communities and countries. I want to engage more cross-cultural connections.

How do I do that? What is the one thing I want to do that will help me achieve that goal? I want to learn yoga. If I learn yoga, I learn how to exercise my mind and body in new ways and fill myself with the energy needed to fuel creative concepts to reach my goal.

By writing this down, step one is accomplished; I admitted the one thing I’ve always wanted to do. Step two, find someone immediately to jump start my yoga learning process. Find a local teacher. I have yoga teaching DVDs and books that have never been used. I have access to television shows demonstrating yoga that I never watch. Clearly, I need in-person, human contact to push me. Step three, take lessons at least once a week starting now. Step four, keep doing it. Step five, release myself from my teacher and go it alone. Step six, check “learn yoga” off my to do list. Done.

Next step, go with the flow: connect, create and continue discovering and doing new things.

Alternative Paths – Day 14

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the. Face of man; you shall not hear my name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prompt:  What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing? (Author: Jonathan Fields)

Flexibility and Flow

Before starting a new journey, whether it’s a mental, physical or visual one, I do a few things.  I figure out my potential destination or goal.  To have an idea of where I’m headed helps me get there.  I plot my travel path or strategy for reaching my destination.  Then I relax and rely on flexibility and flow as well as instincts and vibes to guide me through the detours and distractions along the way.

Unknowns abound.  Set backs occur.  Mountains appear.  Bridges must be crossed. Sometimes on the journey I veer left.  Other times, I pave new paths.  I keep moving.  When my eyes open wide, I see the detours as discoveries.  The distractions disappear. Flexibility allows me to bend in the direction I’m to go.  Flow allows me to accept my alternative destination.

Surprise – Day 13

I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prompt:  Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself.  How will you surprise yourself this week? (Author: Ashley Ambirge)

Doing Wow!

Come from behind, surprise a child by saying “boo” and the reaction is either to giggle for joy or cry out of fear.   The surprise “boo” breaks routine and brings some expected wow into a child’s life.  That’s a good thing.  It’s called living.  I try doing wow weekly.  My wow is simply exploring, discovering or trying something outside of my other routines.

Routine defines our work.  If you write every day for a living, you’re a writer. An artist’s routine is to paint, draw or sculpt.  Campaigning is a politician’s routine.  If telling jokes is your routine, you’re a comedian.  Routine also limits living.  Habitual thoughts of defeat builds fears and insecurities. Constantly being late misses early opportunities.  A series of sameness avoids discovering something new.  A routine of inaction means no progress.

Surprises balance our lives.  Too much routine and too few surprises lack wow, and without wow we never fully come alive.  As a child, I waited for others to surprise me.  As an adult, I work on surprising myself by doing wow regularly.  This week doing wow will mean doing something as hard as writing and posting this blog daily while traveling and doing something as easy as congratulating myself and thinking, “Wow, I did it!”

Fear – Day 12

These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of it’s members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are? (Author: Lachlan Cotter)

Fearless Faith

Change is constant: seasons come and go, life ends, fear is temporary, and time is fleeting, so I flow on fearless faith. To hold on to anything too long and too tight is worthless and lifeless. When I’m asleep I have dreams and when I’m awake I try to reach my dreams. To try means one day I might stumble, tumble and fail, and the next day as long as my legs don’t fail me, I get up and return to reaching my dreams. That’s who I am.

I understand how temporary so much in life is including the breaths I take on earth. Therefore, I listen more to my inner voice of fearless faith and less to that voice of fear.

Your Personal Message – Day 10

The first Earthrise photographed by humans

One World, One Tribe

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prompt:  What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say? (Author: Eric Handler)

Know Others

My burning message:  know others.  Through knowing others, it becomes easier to see our commonalities and understand our differences.  To know leads to understanding and understanding opens the opportunity for friendships and love to flourish.

To know starts with exposure.  It means traveling and seeing beyond the comfort of one’s cocoon, community or eyesight.  It’s seeing the faces of others, hearing their stories, knowing their histories, and accepting their differences.

As we know others more we move closer to knowing ourselves and realizing we’re all part of one tribe made up of many, many people trying to do the same thing—trying to come alive and live.