• Holy Potato: A Simple Gratitude

    Date: 2014.11.27 | Category: Sweet Talk | Response: 0

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    A few months ago I took my friend Deb to pick apples. It was her first trip to Colorado, and I wanted to make sure I left her with memories she wouldn’t soon forget. I had no idea how much the experience would impact me, too.

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  • Your Self-Confidence is Sexy

    Date: 2014.11.23 | Category: Sweet Talk | Response: 0

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    1st date

    Before last week, I hadn’t seen my friend Liz in at least five months. It was summertime, and after weeks of persistent emails and calling, I’d finally convinced her to meet me for tea. I missed seeing my friend and wanted more time with her, but I knew I was lucky to see her at all back then. In the aftermath of a nasty divorce, she’d tightened her circle of friends and all but shut down her social calendar. The heaviness in her voice and her listless demeanor were explanation enough.
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  • Belonging: My Kind of People

    Date: 2014.11.13 | Category: Sweet Talk | Response: 0

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    peas in a pod

    A few weeks ago, I attended a qigong (CHEE-gong) training intensive in Utah. It’s an ancient Eastern practice of harmonizing the body’s energy for overall health and wellness. Dozens of us came from across the country to train for three days in a crowded room with Teacher Li. As he called the movements, we went quietly to work, undulating in silent waves through the room. We’d internalized the rhythm; we knew the meaning behind the flow; we were one. But whenever I paid too much attention to my form, and to ‘getting it right,’ I fell out of synch with the group and either went left when they went right, or I knocked into the person next to me with a wayward limb. Despite my attempts to ‘flow like water’ and ‘be light like smoke’ I had moments of going rigid, and it frustrated me.
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  • What’s your super power?

    Date: 2014.10.30 | Category: Sweet Talk | Response: 0

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    super heroine

    I have a thing about superheroes. It’s the masks I don’t get. Whenever there’s a crisis, the hero, generally masquerading as a less-than-ordinary working stiff, slips off to the broom closet to magically reappear in a cape and a mask with the strength to save the day, and in some episodes, the world. Who was that masked person, we ask? All the while, they have the same build, the same voice, eyes and features of the people we work alongside and take for granted five days a week. Diana Prince flying invisible jets and pulling Steve Trevor back from the brink of death all the time? Impossible. Clark Kent—that bungling journalist who couldn’t never get a word in edgewise with the boss—you mean to tell me he raced backwards around the globe to set the world back on its axis last week? That’s cray.
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  • Characters

    Date: 2014.10.30 | Category: Sweet Talk | Response: 0

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    director's chair; filming equipment

    One thing we cover in writing class is that in order to build strong characters, they must be complex, believable and, sometimes, the slightest bit unbelievable too. Good characters, we learn, must also do things out of character on occasion. Maybe that means they make a big purchase, love the wrong people, or pursue exactly the wrong thing for reasons at first unknown. I’m talking about fictional characters, but the same holds true for us real ones too. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the past three days.

    Since Monday I’ve seen and heard tell of people making outrageous decisions, going MIA, and behaving badly without the slightest concern for consequences. And I am no exception, honey.

    My astrology-minded friends might say I’m responding to the influence of Mercury in retrograde, which is known for throwing its wrenches into our best laid plans and clear communications. To spare us all a drawn out story, let me give you the highlights: there was a thing I didn’t really want to do, but I said I would because I was available and why not. Rather than say no, I went against my gut, rallied for the cause and forged ahead anyway.

    The day that thing I’d committed to came around, I woke up late, got stuck in traffic, played phone tag for an hour, and wound up going home. I also got a $50 ticket for parking on the wrong side of the street! When I finally caught up with the people by phone and explained myself, I’d arrived at the courage to say no, apologize, and take my lumps as needed. The experience felt yucky because I don’t much care for that mealy mouth sound of indecision. I also pride myself on being reliable. Well.

    So, what’s the lesson here? Among other things, it’s to trust the intelligence of our own minds and bodies when they repeatedly tell us no; to honor what’s right for you—from the start—in order to avoid greater complications down the line. And if you just can’t get it together until the eleventh hour, be willing to look like the ass if you have to.

    Our communications will be messy sometimes. We may fail and sputter along the way, but it’s all part of the path to wherever we’re going. It won’t do us any good to push away the discomfort of our decisions—or indecision—because when we do, we reject the lesson that’s wrapped inside the fiasco. And that alone can be costly.

    Today, celestial upheaval aside, let’s do ourselves the favor of honoring the gritty truth—especially those which might cause us some discomfort. Trust me, this is the act that builds real character and aligns us to the best that’s in us!

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