A personal note from Sally...
September was a brutal month. Probably the worst of my life. Truth be told... since then, I’ve felt kinda anxious and sad. I can’t seem to get my creative groove back.
(It’s tough to inspire YOU when I can’t even inspire myself.)
Ever felt this way? It’s not like “feeling blue." More like feeling a very, very dark shade of navy.
I know I'll get back to my own passionately creative, curiously weird, imperfect and fascinating life. I don't know exactly how. At least, not yet.
So I wrote a letter to myself.
Over the next three months, I'm going to explore what it means to live a fascinating, passionate, creative life. This letter is a start.
What does it mean to live a fascinating life?
Too often in life, we measure our lives according to the big and grand.
The occasions, the landmarks.
Victories and promotions.
Championships and graduations.
The big life moments circled in red on the calendar.
And yes, these are very big moments.
But if we measure our lives by BIG events, our time only leapfrogs from one appointment to the next.
We spend our lives waiting for what happens next, instead of what happens now.
If we only focus on being “the best,” we’re measuring ourselves by someone else’s rules.
If we only focus on improving, it means the way we are is just not enough.
Savor the breakthroughs and triumphs. Yet remember that these moments are too few, too far between, and often, too far outside our control.
For every winner, there are a thousand others.
For every second accepting an award at a podium, there are years of struggle.
For every success, there are a hundred failures.
We can't always choose the big moments. But fascinating moments are available anytime, anywhere, to anyone.
Real life is a glorious, painful, and absurdly difficult but infinitely rewarding work in progress.
Live in verbs.
Fill your bookshelves and social circle with an eclectic collection.
Refuse to drink from the mainstream.
Fall madly, wildly, head-over-heels in love with tiny little moments.
If the glass is half full, just pour it into a smaller glass and—presto!— your glass is full.
Life isn’t meant to be tolerated. It’s meant to be savored, devoured, marrow sucked and lips smacked.
Years from now, when we’re older and wiser and reflecting upon our lives, may no part remain unlived, no opportunity squandered, no talent wasted, no aspiration unfulfilled.
That's what I believe is a fascinating life. How about you?
What do YOU think it means to live a fascinating life? I want to hear from you and learn from you.
Tell me your idea of a fascinating life in the comments, below.
“ Remember who you are”. reminds me of a wall hanging I purchased in New Orleans that hangs by my front entrance: “Remember where you can from.” I come from a humble background-raised by a single dad. My dad was not wealthy in a financial way-but he claimed to be a rich man. He said he was rich because he had a loving family who cared for him. He had good food and a roof over his head. He was an amazing man and a big influence in how I live my life. I always remember where I came from. Thanks dad!
When you figure it out, you will have your next book.
I look forward to your excitement.
I have had a couple of years now where my life has been turned upside down with the illness and death of my husband. The good news is, life goes on and still can be wonderful. Just taking sometime to process everything is essential though. I found my strength first in meditation, really taking time to be with myself and not focus on all the trials. I just sit in peaces and focus on my breathing. The more I do it, the better it feels, and it really helps. The other thing I have been doing is writing. You are such b beautiful writer. I am sure this would be good for you too. I started by journaling, which led to writing to people I know with similar challenges, which has now led to a book I am writing and a social media platform I am developing to help people to transform through grief. The most important this is to be good to yourself. You are wonderful!
It is a lot to ask of yourself (and others!) to be fascinating all of the time. Especially when being a "Rock Star"
During my major funk a few years ago, I wrote down all the ways I could quickly get myself out of it. It turned into a way to remember how to go from sad to glad in 9 steps. The longer version is something between a book and a pamphlet, whatever you can call 80 pages. "The Happiness Device" by Timothy Baughan Nixon
Some times we run into people that just don't want to be fascinated. But, I think, more often we fascinate people and never even really know in what way or to what extent. It's us being who we are. It's using giving what we have. Even when we are weary, or tired, or just not ourselves. It sounds like you have a loving and wise husband. But you know that. And thanks.
I’m happy to tell you that you are in a place of bliss with this ‘funk’ you’re going through. I have seen and experienced some of my most perceptive creativity while in one of these states. It’s not all pomp and accolades that get us through. It’s those creative jaunts that hit us at unexpected times & how we carry them in our daily lives.
I’ve learned to put aside the ‘must be done’ (urgent) things/activities and to allow the creative event to happen in me—believe me, they come at some of the most inopportune times. I’ve got friends, spouse, family, and prospects who don’t understand why I turn off my phone for a whole day, or even two, and focus on what has hijacked my continence in such a way.
Being fascinating is a great state to be in (I think of the rocker David Bowie); however it’s not a state that can be maintained all the time. I think of some of your exercises you’ve had us go through and I can honestly say I’m not as fascinating as I’m going through them. Why? Because I need to focus on what is true about me and I must debate those things. I may come out the other end ‘fascinating,’ but while I’m in it, not so much.
This was recently recounted about Bowie:
"Surprisingly, Bowie may have been extra sensitive to the need for a low-pressure environment because he himself could be intimidated. According to Visconti, Bowie would sometimes feel inhibited in the presences of a master musician. Visconti told the BBC: “Sometimes David wouldn’t be that experimental if he was in the same room with a killer musician, you know, someone who really shreds. It would be too inhibiting for him.”
Which makes it all the more remarkable that he ensured others wouldn’t feel the same way around him." (Article by Lila MacLellan, Quartz at Work; go to https://tinyurl.com/y8kk4f9l )
No matter what we may think about Bowie’s musical work, he had sensitivity to how others felt around him and did not want to come off as that Master who had earned the right to be condescending to others. I respect him for that.
Your comments about ‘Now’ vs. future are providential for me to read. I was just driving back from an event last evening and texted this to myself, “The past is gone! We Can Dream On all we want about how we want it to be, but the fact is the past is gone and the future is yet to be. We must be aware of the ‘now’ that is.”
That will be a part of my blog post that will be posted later today. The ‘now’ is not always fascinating on its own, but it becomes a part of the whole that is me, or you—overall fascinating!
So Sally, take the three months; think, write, read, and find the way meant for you. I’ll be interested in hearing about your journey. Personally, I think you’re going to want to put some action in place along the way—it’s OK, do it. Don’t wait; but, don’t haste either!
Many people tell me that I’ve lived, and am living, a fascinating life—remember, that’s their perception. What’s fascinating to them is ordinary for us; that’s our perception. Even in your funk, you’re still being perceived as a fascinating person—as it should be. I don’t know what happened in September for you, but it must have been life-changing; and, maybe that’s the crux of what’s going on, your life changes are affecting how you look at yourself. You’re still you; you’re still the same person, the idea generator, inspire r, and curiously weird liver of your life.
So, here’s (raised glass) to savoring and devouring our mutual real lives!
I love ‘tiny little moments,’ they’re fascinating and they make me smile!
Recently crying on the edge of my bed I considered getting into bed and crying some more. You know, have a “good cry.” This didn’t seem like a “good idea” ‘cause I had been crying a whole lot lately. The ugly cries and all, the kind that need tissue with a whole lotta lotion.
As it was the start of a new day, I thought: so I can either crawl into bed and waste a new start here or get up. Somehow I realized I can either lay down and cry, or get up. I then stood up like a robot.
I took some steps and as I moved I just started speaking every tiny action I took: I am now walking to get my mug. I am now pouring coffee into my mug. I am now walking to the refrigerator. I am now opening the door, I am now getting the milk. I am now pouring milk into my coffee.
Although somewhat robotic, I realized I was in the now. I wasn’t deep into darkness, I was too focused on each single action I was taking.
As I continued speaking my every non-fascinating action, I began to add a why, a “why am I taking this action.” I am now pouring milk into my coffee because... I like milk in my coffee. I am now pouring water into my glass because... I like to drink water and to be hydrated.
The "why" gave me power. It let me know that I had choices and was making choices. It let me know that I wasn't just adding milk to coffee, I was doing so because I liked it.
In observing my ordinary dull habits, I made a pendulum shift for the better... for the bluer, as the blue was now a bit brighter. And with momentum even brighter.
And don't get me started on stirring and drinking coffee, because that's fascination on a whole 'nother level.
The "why" gave me the power. Lightbulb moment for me. Thank you, Nicole!
I am sad to here that you have misplaced your mojo. I am about to write the cheesiest statement ever but it’s one that changed my life. “Your attitude is your choice so choose wisely” every morning whether I have had 2 hours or 10 hours sleep I choose my atttitude and that is always that I am going to have an awesome day! Yes it felt fake to start with but now it’s just who I am... if you read a bio of me it would not be anything special but i LOVE my life. I live everyday to get the best I can from it ... even if that day is a Netflix binge watch under a blanket on the sofa day.. sometimes are bodies just need a restart . I know this is cheesy but I hope it helps you find your creativity again or if not at least you can have a laugh at the ranting mad women ❤️
I have to admit it has taken me a while (most of my life) to figure out what living a fascinating life means for me and how to live it. Living my fascinating life is living in the moment, feeling the good, the bad, the scary, accepting I don't have all the answers, accepting change, the unknown, embracing all of me, my fears, the past, the present, my hopes and my future. Knowing there is a God and God in me has my best interest at heart and to trust this at all times. That my greatness is in the love I show myself and others, helping others, the ability to give without expecting anything in return and to have empathy for those who don't. Living my fascinating life is being grateful for all my life has been, is and will be, the opportunities, relationships, people, places and things. Remembering everyday my fascinating life is fascinating because I know my life is not just about me.
Interesting outreach. Yes -- I have felt uninspired at times and I have not thought until today about how I deal with it. I would have to say I just push through. I have 2 full time jobs, a house full of kids, and I am furthering my education. Push through is all I know.