Something Good We Can Be Up To Together


Hello, my friends and family. This is an experiment in what we can be up to together. Today I made a $100 tax-deductible donation to the Media Coordinator of a small elementary school in rural North Carolina. She’s raising money to buy books for her rookie readers. She only needs $335 to meet her target.

It’s easy to support teachers all over the US — Donors Choose at donorschoose.org has set up a system where teachers post projects that need funding and people all over the world able to make tax-deductible donations of any size do so. It’s great the stuff that we can make possible! Maybe you can finish off that teacher’s goal and we’ll take on another? What do you say?

I am doing this — and donating globally on Kiva.org (maybe you’ve seen Kiva.org on tv… Bill Clinton talked about it in his books and discusses it a lot on tv)– because I believe we can do better than the current gross disparity between the rich and the poor. We can do this ourselves right now. Thank goodness new media technology is making this possible quickly, too!

I also believe we can generate good news with projects like this. Mainstream media will shift to reflect the changing paradigm — the conversations on the planet are not all doom and gloom despite what you see on the daily 4 o’clock news. Wonderful, generous, important things are happening every day. The media do not reflect our power and kindnss back to us… yet!

Please join me in the incredible new movement to redistribute wealth and create new possibilities for people everywhere. Let’s see how much we can raise just from this little blog-a-thon! To donate to school teachers who’ve posted their needs, click here. I selected four projects I really liked and that are in high-poverty areas of the US. You can go to donorschoose.org to see many, many more proposals posted by teachers all over the US.

I could bake bread.

I’ve got this kind-of curse lately, or obsession. It’s that, especially since it looks like I am not having children, I must do something HUGE RIGHT NOW to improve the planet, to save lives, to change the world. Lately I’m a big thinker and having some really interesting conversations, but I am not in partnership with organizations that are changing the world and I am not yet producing results for others like I intend.

Some days I think, “I could just bake bread.” I love to bake. I stay home a lot. I could get really, really good at bread. It would be challenging — I’ve only ever produced little bricks (except for quick breads — beer bread, banana bread… but that’s not the same). It would be wonderful to eat. I could probably set up a stand at the market or something and make some money. I’d enjoy myself, all covered in flour and sipping coffee through the second rise.

There’s a great blog, A Year in Bread, by three people (chefs all, I believe) who pick a genre of bread and each share their own version or variety of it… so you get three different recipes per month for a year. They all can write, too. Beautiful little site.

I know bread is not my calling… and I’m getting very, very close to mine. I’ve joined a team of about 12 people from all over the world who uses coaching techniques at very high levels with multinational corporations. Am working with the shipping giants Maersk and the merged Nokia/Siemens wireless teams soon. Got an email two days ago asking if I could lead a week-long training in Panama in March and Argentina in April. You betcha I can do that!

Some days I still thinking baking all day might be the way to go…

Stefan’s Many Gifts

Have you heard of Love Languages? There are like five or seven of them — they’re ways that a person automatically and instinctively shows he or she cares. Words of Praise/Affirmation is mine… tell me how amazing I look or am or sing or whatever again, please. And I’ll be sure to tell you your new purse is great and you are a fabulous Mom and your haircut was worth every penny.

Well, one of Stefan’s is gift-giving. One of mine is sooooooo not gift-giving. I want words of praise, he brings me a book about statistics. You can see the mis-match. He (and his Mother) give gifts ALL the time. I am a person who declutters my house all the time, which means most of his gifts go in the declutter box. Bad. Very bad.

I learned I just have to let him know what I want and everybody’s happy. Lucky for me, he likes nice things, too.

So Stefan went away a few weekends ago and when he came back I got a gift. A really, really good gift… which I used to make his favorite flavor of ice cream — vanilla.

 

I made it suit me by serving it over sliced bananas and thick chunks of chocolate cake — all in pretty cups, which are actually Nutella jars recycled.

Is cooking one of the Love Languages?
I think not.

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Breathe In, Breathe Out

Have you seen this free video that features scenes from seasons 3 and 4 of Grey’s Anatomy?

I’ve been worrying lately, and the title of that song is a good reminder, a great practice… just keep going. It has felt like everything is out of sorts, off center, out of control, pretty well wrong. I don’t like to admit when things feel that way. Plus, I just keep going and things always turn out somehow.

And so all the sudden, I gave my lovely singing business cards to a young Swiss-Italian piano player during his set at the Fall Festival this weekend. He wants to get together this week to see if we can make music even though we can’t speak to one another very much. Got an email asking if I’d travel for work to Copenhagen in November. You betcha! An author in LA has offered to coach me to finish two books I’ve been working on forever. Friends are showing up everywhere… life is good.

So I am reminded that my role is as dream-keeper, inspiration, pursuer of passions… all there is to do is keep being that. I love this poem about breath and dreams. Enjoy and keep going!

When you see them
tell them that I am still here,
that I stand on one leg while the other one dreams,
that this is the only way,

that the lies I tell them are different
from the lies I tell myself,
that by being both here and beyond
I am becoming a horizon,

that as the sun rises and sets I know my place,
that breath is what saves me,
that even the forced syllables of decline are breath,
that if the body is a coffin it is also a closet of breath,

that breath is a mirror clouded by words,
that breath is all that survives the cry for help
as it enters the stranger’s ear
and stays long after the word is gone,

that breath is the beginning again, that from it
all resistance falls away, as meaning falls
away from life, or darkness falls from light,
that breath is what I give them when I send my love.
— Mark Strand, “Breath”