For the Love of God…

Just do it.

I made a nicer version of my Play Into Love Artistic Outline. You know what’s crazy? A couple people told me how awesome my game looked, and I didn’t even realized I’d made it in a game format. I just drew it the way it looked in my mind, which was based on a poster of the months I first saw in kindergarten.

The poster was on the wall, and it had the months in a circle going clockwise, with January in the 9 o’clock position. Ever since then, I’ve always seen the year like that in my mind, a circle with spring on top, summer on the right, autumn on the bottom, and winter on the left.

But people are right- it totally looks like a game. It even has a “Start” and “Finish”.  I guess my subconscious has some good stuff to contribute. That’s fine by me. 🙂

Since then, someone has asked me if I felt comfortable sharing it beyond my PebbleStorm group. I wanted it to be a little prettier, so I made this.

Play Into Love Heart Artistic Outline

Play Into Love Heart Artistic Outline

Taa Daa. Enjoy. Spread it, savor it, share it.

I’m working on a synopsis of what Play Into Love means to me, and will also launch a Play Into Love themed blog in the next couple weeks.

hugs

Me

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Play Into Love

I found my Unique Genius! Whoo! It was inside me all along. It bubbled out a couple weeks ago while I was going over some of Aaron’s PebbleStorm slides and writing in my journal. I noticed that Aaron’s Unique Genius is made of two parts. The first is part is something he is good at- helping people make money. The second part is something he is passionate about- making money through enjoyment. Put the two parts together, and you have his Unique Genius- helping people make money through enjoyment.

So I asked myself, “What am I good at?”  I’m good at playing. I enjoy crafts, finger painting, baking, laughing, running around, tickle fights, pillow fights…basically, playing.

Then I asked, “What am I passionate about?” I’m passionate about kids loving themselves and believing in their dreams. I want them to feel confident and know that their lives are filled with infinite possibilities.

After that I put them together and came up with my Unique Genius-

Helping kids Play Into Love with themselves, their lives, and their dreams.

It seems so simple now. Every time I look at it, read it, or think it I get a little zing in my heart. It’s like I want kids to fall in love with themselves, but that is way to passive and doesn’t sound like fun. No, I want kids to Play Into Love with themselves.

It took a lot of time and soul searching to get here, but it’s definitely worth it. I love it.

Of course, the next step is to detail how I would help kids do this. I talked a little bit with some of my favorite PebbleStormers, Paul and Hong-Anh, and they recommended that I draw something out. Put it on paper in a way that felt good to me.

I did, and it’s below.

Play Into Love Artistic outline

Play Into Love Artistic outline

Basically, I want to do a Saturday school thing with kids during the academic year- a combination of field trips, fun activities, and learning exercises. It’s a very rough idea, but it sounds like so much fun to me. I’m not sure how to make it happen, but I’m not going to dwell on that. Right now is the time for possibility and appreciation.

hugs

Erin

A Collection

I’ve been meaning to do a post on Making Happy Memories, and what that means to me… and I still will. In the meantime, though, I’m making a collection of my favorite sexy songs. Some are fun sexy, some are hot sexy. I have a theory that by inundating myself with a certain vibration of music, I’ll attract that vibration to me. Plus, listening to these songs makes me feel sexy- and who doesn’t want that? I’m embedding them below. 🙂 Enjoy!

Wicked Game- Chris Isaak

Fever- Peggy Lee

Sex on Fire- Kings of Leon (real video here. They wouldn’t let me embed it, but you should watch it because the band is hot!)

Crash Into Me- Dave Matthews Band

Closer- Nine Inch Nails (may not be suitable for children)

Push Da Button from The Color Purple

These are some of my favorites. I know there are more. Feel free to comment with your own favorites!

Happy Surprises

This is a great example of a happy surprise. Tears leaked into my smile as I watched it.

—–updated—-

Talking about happy surprises… a blog post on The Power of the Unexpected.

Better Than I Think

Someone just sent me back the email I wrote on November 5th, after I’d been volunteering for over a year to get Obama elected. It’s pretty dang awesome. I’m better than I think.

Hello everyone!

I just want to say a really big THANK YOU to all of you that gave your time, energy, and resources to creating this amazing reality…. We now have President-elect Barack Obama!!!!

Thank you thank you thank you so much! I may not have worked with you personally, but I really appreciate your contribution. One of the most amazing things about this campaign is how many people believed enough to make calls after work, donate food and printing supplies, travel to battleground states, and more. It brings me to tears, especially now that we’ve done it. It was worth it x 1000.

Sitting with many of you last night… When they called Ohio for Obama I blew on my noisemaker. And then we did the math and we knew that with CA and WA, we had won. But it still didn’t seem real until 8 o’clock when we did the countdown. 3..2..1..Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. I couldn’t believe it was done so quickly. Even as I was crying, giving hugs, screaming, and jumping up and down. I barely even heard the speech as I watched it.

It wasn’t until I was driving home later that it really sunk in. We did it. That’s when I realized he has the weight of 64 million people’s hope on his shoulders, a country with a few big problems, and his grandmother just passed away. God bless him, he’s going to need help.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be right there with him. And if America has 1/10 the people and dedication that we’ve had the last year or two, we are going to do amazing things.

Anyway, this was supposed to be an appreciation note. I feel so fortunate to have worked with all of you. We’ve had conversations, rants, raves, personal drama, dedication, tired laughter, joyous smiles, new friendships, and making a difference… and now we have a new President.

Thank you so much.

With love,

Erin

Being Selfish

This is just a quick post with an excerpt from a book that really resonated with me. The book is Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie.

“…I was always the calm one, the one who fixed things.”

“Well, you’re good at that,” Nick said, wishing she’d stop pacing.

“But I’m not calm. It’s all a lie…Its just that when everyone else is screaming, somebody has to be mature and unemotional, so I have these brain-dead moments where I don’t react the way any sane human being would.  I stay completely calm and ignore my feelings and compromise and make everything work again. And I’m not going to do that anymore…Screw calm. Somebody else is going to have to do mature because I’m going to be selfish and get what I want.”

A voice inside is saying “YES! I’m going to be selfish and get what I want!” and the voice is getting louder. 🙂

—Update—

7-1-09 Defining “being selfish”, from an email I wrote to a friend:

Being selfish isn’t the same as “selfish bitch”. Being selfish isn’t the same as “greedy” or “mean”. Being selfish means doing what I want, when I want, how I want. It means when I’m generous, it’s because I want to be, not because I have to be a good person. It means when something comes up I ask myself, “Do I really want to do this?” and if I don’t, I say no, even if that’s not what is expected.

In fact, I suspect that the more selfish I am, the more kind and generous I’ll be. It’s my nature to be loving and kind. If I spend more time doing things I actually want to do, most likely I’ll be spending more time being creative and caring.

Not Complaining, Expressing Appreciation

I’m in the middle of this personal project where I’m trying not to complain for 30 days in a row.  I got the idea from a blog post by Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Work Week. I bought a bracelet and every time I complain I moved it to the other wrist. The goal is to keep it on the same wrist for 30 days.  It’s actually I lot more difficult then I thought it would be. I started about 2 1/2 weeks ago and I’m still on Day 2. (Also, two days ago my bracelet broke from all that moving it back and forth. I have to buy a new one.)

It’s been a real learning experience. I only complain when I’m talking with other people. Which makes sense, but it’s amazing how many conversations dwell on what’s going wrong. (Fart! I just took a break to chat with a friend in the office and complained for all the women in primarily Muslim countries that have to cover themselves up. Now I’m even complaining for other people about things that don’t actually affect me. Back to Day 1.)

Sometimes people ask me questions, and I have a choice in that moment to complain or not. I’m becoming more and more aware of those moments, and it’s really changing the way I think.  I’ve found one of the easiest and best feeling alternatives to complaining is expressing appreciation. For example, when someone asks me about work, my standard response used to be some complaint about my boss and how boring it is. Now I take a moment and what comes out is appreciation. I appreciate the flexibility in my job. I appreciate that it’s inspiring me to create new and better things for myself with PebbleStorm.

Sometimes I really have to dig deep to find the positive aspects of something, which is revealing in itself. It reveals how patterned and ingrained my thought processes are on some topics. Everything has positive and negative aspects- its my choice to focus on one side or the other. The bracelet helps me be more deliberate about what I’m focusing on.

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On this same vein, I’ve noticed that people often go out of their way to express dissatisfaction. “I want to talk to your manager.” “This sucks.” “etc.” It’s much more uncommon for someone to make a special call to express appreciation. When was the last time you told someone how great they are?

A couple weeks ago I read a great blog post by my mom. It’s about how people appreciate it when you do something nice. It inspired me to give some feedback about the Comcast dude that helped me move my internet to the new apartment. He was awesome, and I don’t often feel that way about Comcast. So I called back the next day and left a message on their comment line about how super the dude had been. It felt great!

That got me thinking about all the different ways of expressing appreciation, and how I can do it more often. And so I created THIS!

Expressing Appreciation Snowflake

Expressing Appreciation Snowflake

Actually, its a combination of a couple different things. It’s a snowflake/mindmap/brainstorm of different ways to express appreciation to the people in our lives.

It’s also my first use of my Snowflake Template. I was so inspired by the lady in my last post, that I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if she could make her own Unique Genius snowflake?” So I made it! And then I realized it could be used for other brainstormy things, like Expressing Appreciation ideas!

Here’s the template- print it up and use it! Then share what you’ve created, if you’re so inclined. If you’d like a bigger version, leave a comment and I’ll email it to you.

Snowflake Template

Snowflake Template

I appreciate you.  🙂

Unique Genius

A few weeks ago, Aaron from PebbleStorm passed along the biggest compliment from a stranger, to me. It was awesome, and I have a feeling its going to be hugely instrumental in helping me change my life…

You know how sometimes you wonder if what you have to offer will be valuable to anyone else. What in the world could I possibly create that someone would want? Here I am trying to come up with an idea for my dream business, and I have a few vague ideas, but I haven’t really run with anything yet. Like somewhere inside me I don’t think I have what it takes. I look around at all the other PebbleStormers and I see how good their ideas are- part of me is really inspired. But part of me is intimidated. What if what I have to offer isn’t good enough?

I don’t think I’ve consciously had that thought, or maybe I have. Maybe it’s been hovering in my mind, slowing me down, permeating my thoughts about myself for a looooong while. In fact, it’s got a very familiar ‘ol’buddy’ feeling with it- like I’ve been living under it’s shadow since I was a kid.

And then Aaron sent me an email that changed everything.

I was trying to do my PebbleStorm exercises. Aaron had told us to create some kind of physical representation of our Unique Genius. It could be a paragraph, a future biography, or something artsy. It had been a couple weeks and we were supposed to share something with the group, but I hadn’t started anything. I’d been procrastinating, and well, you know how it is. The longer you put something off, the harder it is to do it- because not only are you fighting through self-doubt or laziness, but now you’ve got a whopping dose of guilt on top of it.

It was the last day and I was in my office thinking to myself, “What am I going to do?” I sat there, stumped, eyes vaguely looking around as if the answer would just pop out at me.  What about my snowflakes?  I have handmade snowflakes hanging all over the window in my office. They’re pretty, colorful, quick, and easy. I bet I could do something with them. Perfect.

I made two paper snowflakes there at my desk, gluesticked them to another piece of paper, wrote a few words and phrases I’d been thinking about for a while, and voila! I scanned it, sent it out to the group, and gave myself a little pat on the back. Another assignment completed. Guilt, be gone!

And secretly, I really liked what I had made. It made me happy to see my strengths presented on colorful paper. Sometimes I would leave it open in my browser at work and just peak at it now and then. A special, little treat for myself.

Eventually, I kind of stopped thinking about it. Life kept going. We moved on to other exercises in PebbleStorm, and I fell back into my pattern of procrastinating with a hint of self-doubt. Then out of nowhere I got this email from Aaron saying that a professional friend of his had printed up my Unique Genius collage and hung it up in her office. It was the biggest shock, and I may have cried a little. I could barely believe that someone, a stranger, had liked it so much as to make it a permanent part of her office life.

That was a changing moment for me. It reminded me that I have something to offer. I can create something that will bring value to someone else’s life. But more importantly, people want what I can make; they value it. Of course, not everyone will. That’s totally okay. I don’t need or want to touch everyone’s life. But some people, enough people, will align with what I create.  I’ll be just right.  That makes all the difference. It gives me the courage to keep making and sharing the things in my heart.

From now on, whenever I’m doubting myself I’m going to remember my biggest compliment and keep going (with the help from another quick peak at my Unique Genius Snowflake).

Erin's Unique Genius collage

Erin's Unique Genius collage

Moving

I’ve been pretty busy these last couple weeks. I’ve had one of the first major positive breakthroughs from PebbleStorm.  I’m moving! I had an inspired thought to go look at apartments, and I found a super cute one and signed the papers within a few days. Now I’m running around like a crazy woman trying to get everything packed, moved, unpacked, and cleaned. I also have a friend’s birthday to attend this weekend. Plus I’m heading to Blue Rock Shoot for some good music on Friday. Plus I have my weekly PebbleStorm call with my ladies Onna and Hong-Anh. Plus I have to pay my bills and change my address, reregister to vote, forward my mail, etc.  Not to mention getting ready for my sister’s wedding in exactly 30 days. SO MUCH TO DO!

And guess what?

I’m enjoying the drama. Because when I sit quietly for a few moments I get this amazing feeling spreading through my body. Like I have a little sun in my chest and it’s warming me from the inside out. Tingles on my skin and tears in my eyes. I am happier then I’ve ever been… That’s important, so I’m going to say it again-

I’M HAPPY! (or any of these alphabetical synonyms from thesaurus.comblessed, blest, blissful, blithe, can’t complain, captivated, cheerful, chipper, chirpy, content, contented, convivial, delighted, ecstatic, elated, exultant, flying high, gay, glad, gleeful, gratified, intoxicated, jolly, joyful, joyous, jubilant, laughing, light, lively, looking good, merry, mirthful, on cloud nine*, overjoyed, peaceful, peppy, perky, playful, pleasant, pleased, sparkling, sunny, thrilled, tickled, tickled pink*, up, upbeat, walking on air)

Just to let you know… 🙂

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PS. Here’s a video of my new apartment, pre-boxes.

Best LOLCat ever?

Hoping to get some Enjoyment Points by sharing this fabulousness… Enjoy!

oh girl, HOLD ON are those shoes on; lolcats

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