Tuesday, April 28, 2009


“The authentic self is the soul made visible”
- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Conversation with a friend tonight turned to the subject of authenticity. It is a word that is often used on these pages of ours. We struggle for it, we talk about it, we admire it, and rather bizarrely it is also something we try to emulate. But is authenticity something you can find or create? Is it something you have to learn or do we just have it? And how can we tell if it is... authentic or not?

You can usually tell when someone is new to blogging. It is often obvious that they have been reading blogs for awhile. It's the lingo that gives them away. I know this because I did the same thing. I knew what sort of people I wanted to meet and I tried to leave comments that would entice them back to my blog. Very quickly I learned that it was too hard to pretend to be something I am not. As soon as I started leaving comments that were more like me and less like everyone else I started to make friends. I started being authentic.

Authentic is your voice. Authentic is your essence. Authentic is the you that you are in your head. It is honesty about what you stand for and what you want to say. It's not the nuts and bolts of your every day, or what you think people want to hear. You know authenticity when you see it. It's the reason that some blogs 'resonate' (there's that lingo again) and some blogs don't. If someone is being authentic, they give us permission to do the same. It's only natural to want that.

So back to my question. Is authenticity something you have to learn or do we just have it? I've come to think that authenticity is something that you must lean into. It's something that you have to stand at the edge of and test over and over again until you are comfortable with the view. It's about knowing who you are and being okay with that, warts and all. If you can do that, write from that place, and stop trying to be like anyone else, you will find what we are all looking for.

I'll keep leaning into it if you will.

Joy Rebels

I am quite sick today. It hurts to talk. So I am letting this sassy rockstar do the talking for me.



Dallas, TX-April 25, 2009

They come from all walks of life and across the world. Joy rebels. There may be one in your own neighborhood.

What is a joy rebel?? A joy rebel is a member of an elite army started by Brandi Reynolds in early 2009. Brandi was tired of the ‘must fix list’ tirade found in most of the self help section and decided she wanted to have some fun, reclaim joy and live a fully authentic life.

And then she invited some friends and they invited some friends and now an army of strong, crafty, fun loving, authentic men and women all over the internet and blog sphere have taken up her cause and marched into the streets and across their web pages with…heart shaped sticky notes. And sidewalk chalk. Oh and warrior names that reveal their innate talents like ‘bubble blower extraordinaire’.

They do things like leave notes in books for others to find. Write joy in sidewalk chalk. Hug trees. And generally wreck havoc on the doom and gloom population glued to the network news.

Anyone committed to the sublime art of being their authentic self is welcome to join this rebel army. Potential warriors can join at http://brandireynolds.blogspot.com. There they will be welcomed into a community of amazing humans, receive weekly missions and get a badge to add to their blog or web page. They should probably not be averse to glitter glue.

Let’s make this a joy nation. Join today!!!
{Brandi Reynolds is a photographer and joy rebel that clearly doesn’t take herself that seriously. For more info, you can contact her here: brandi@brandireynoldsphoto.com or visit her website here:http://www.brandireynoldsphoto.com}

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weird is...

- moments of vivid clarity while cleaning a kitchen
- realizing that you can have soul mates of any shape and age
- packing your whole life into boxes
- living without the things that you thought you couldn't live without
- being temporarily unemployed
- the meals you make when you are cleaning out your freezer
- nights on the town that make you feel OLD
- waking up with a horrible case of flu only to watch on tv that there is a flu pandemic in the world
- how much you can miss someone


Saturday, April 25, 2009

where I am

To change one's life:
-Start immediately

-Do it flamboyantly

-No exceptions
-William James

This is how we are living right now. We are moving. We were moving in a week but that has been pushed back a week so that the place we are moving to will be ready. I haven't seen the place where we'll be living, but I have a new job and it is a part of that. For so many reasons Mark and I are leaping off of the edge this month. Everything - literally everything - about our life is going to be different by this time in June. I'm torn in equal measures between excited and completely freaked out.

Any tips on moving to help a girl cope?

Thursday, April 23, 2009


"As soon as a man lives or sees a thing, that thing instantly becomes part of his soul." - Gustavus Hindman Miller

When I was a teenager I went to see the movie Pulp Fiction. There is one scene in the movie that is incredibly gruesome, but it is also really funny. I remember sitting in the theatre laughing and then being completely horrified when I realized that what was on the screen shouldn't have made me laugh. That moment changed my life.

I remember reading once that everything we see is forever imprinted on our consciousness. That night in the theatre I made the decision to choose carefully what I allowed into my head. I have taken some teasing from people who think that I am being naive, and heard the word 'wimp' bandied around in my direction when I chose not to watch horrific or violent movies, but I have stood my ground. From that moment on I have been choosy in what I allow into my head. Consciously choosy.

Tonight I wonder what you are allowing into your head and into your life. Did you know that whatever goes in will be there forever? The things you see and the things you live are constantly creating your consciousness.

What are you letting in?

Ooh, deep thoughts for a Thursday night.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bloggers on the town!

Susannah, Emma, Pen, Leonie, Jo, & Me taken by Susannah

I'm only slightly embarrassed to say how nervous I was to meet four new friends. In this strange medium we can know the intimate details of someone's life when we have never even seen their face. Meeting someone like that is like going in on the third date, and I had real butterflies walking into town with Susannah and Jo.

I should have known better. It was only a matter of seconds before we were laughing and talking like the oldest friends. With lots of 'air blogging' and caffeine and sunshine, by the time we parted I was exhausted from all of the laughter. They are all even feistier and sassier and wiser and more beautiful in real life than they are on line.

The other thing that happens when you meet bloggers is that you get photographed - a lot - and you know that you will more than likely see those pictures again! But it was okay. It felt natural and silly and like we were documenting the beginning of something.

Here's to friendship and connection and being brave enough to take a chance. (...and ladies, I am so glad that you are in my life! Can't wait to see you in Oxford. xo)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

new me -

"Everything you can imagine is real." - Picasso

Sometimes a girl just needs to spend time with another girl who gets it. My life is quite complicated right now. I'm moving, changing jobs, and basically trying to make a life that looks more like me than the one I am moving away from. I was feeling overwhelmed by the whole thing. I was letting the blog slide, ignoring the creative parts of myself, and forgetting that underneath it all the point is that life is the whole point. Spending the day with this rockstar reminded me again. (Not to mention she sorted out the blog - pretty eh?! The pictures were taken by her as well. Thanks Susannah!!)

Tomorrow we are hanging out with some more bloggers in the beautiful town of Bath. Imagine what SIX of us can get up to!

Friday, April 10, 2009


Live while you are alive...

Learn to be what you are in the seed of your spirit

Learn to free yourself from all things that have molded you

And which limit your secret and undiscovered road...

Never forget that love

Requires you to be

The greatest person you are capable of being,

Self generating and strong and gentle -

Your own hero and star...

Be grateful for life as you live it,

And may a wonderful light

Always guide you along the unfolding road.

- from Ben Okri's "To an English friend in Africa"
(thanks Genie!!!)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

gaps in the hedge

"In every season of life, there is something to celebrate."

Do you ever stop in the middle of your life and wonder how you got there? Do you ever pause and look at the people you love or the places you are visiting and think, "Wow, look where I am!" Do you ever have those moments in your life where you stop and take a deep breath and realize that you need to be paying better attention?

The picture above is one that my Dad took of one of the roads leading to our house. The way is single track, with a few places where two cars can safely pass. Many of the roads in Devon are like this. Hedges are the order of things. If you were to get out of your car and look over the hedge you could see miles and miles of the most beautiful rolling countryside, often leading down to the sea. Every now and then there is a gap in the hedge where there is a fence or a gate, and if you stay in your car and look quickly you can see glimpses of the beauty that is obscured. People who aren't used to Devon get very nervous and very tense driving around the county. They usually miss the beauty because they are so tied up in the journey.

Yesterday I looked through a gap in the hedge. I was really worked up about all of the craziness coming up in my life, but I was lucky enough to be included in Jamie's conference call. The message was celebration, and I found myself quietly feeling so full and almost overwhelmed by the feelings that were coming out of the phone and out of me. There was so much wonderful laughter and conversation that my skin was tingling with the energy of it and I paid attention with all of my heart. Then I got to talk to one of my best friends in the whole world for the very first time (isn't blogging weird?) and then I spent a glorious evening being silly with some of my family. I paid attention to all of it, and carried that attention over into today when I got to spend precious time with my parents.

Today I wish you more than a gap in your hedge. I hope that you can pull over and pay attention to the beauty that is all around you. Life, love, time and the people that you love are so precious. EnJOY them!