25 May

People want to see you succeed.

Earlier tonight I was taking some time to catch up on Rachel’s blog – I’m asking some friends and colleagues for references/recommendations to use on my website, and her beautiful Kind Words page helps me to give people an idea of what I’m going for.  Imagine my delight when I read this quote from Tanya Geisler, in her interview with Rachel:

My Board of Your Life program is deeply rooted in this truth: people want to see you succeed. You actually just need to ask for what you need. I see it every day.

I love this.  Words of advice that came just when I needed them.

01 Nov

Watch it, and then watch it again.

I love everything about this video. The music, the message, the bangs, the badass, the passion, the praise. All of it, so smartly put together, so slick, and yet so honest. My favorite part? “If you try to keep … your most divine traits off of your resume, then you’re missing the power of true integrity.” Sing it, sister.

Danielle LaPorte is not always my cup of tea; she strikes me as a bit hard core, and I’m not sure she would approve of my nap schedule. Also, I feel a bit weird about posting what is essentially an ad for a product I haven’t (yet) used. But I keep coming back to this little commercial, when I think I need a little push, a little tough love. It works. Try it. I also really dig what she’s saying about hope today (hint: it’s probably not what you think).

Forgive me for the intermittent blogging schedule these days; among other exciting events, my laptop was recently stolen, and with it, a bit of my will to post. It will come back (my will; doubtful on the laptop front). In the meantime, here’s Danielle:

Danielle LaPorte Sizzle Reel from Danielle LaPorte on Vimeo.

07 Oct

I heart Ira Glass. I’m sure you do, too. Unless you hate him.

I just – gosh! – can I tell you how much I love Ira Glass? I know, it’s cliche. I should be over it by now. But… whatever, there’s not even anything I can say about it, he’s just that awesome. Can I just tell you, though, probably once every 6 months or so, for the past, like, 5 years, I have been overcome with the urge to gush about him (just like this!), and I type up a blog post (just like this!), and then I end up deleting it because people will just think I’m a crazy. But not this time!

(Let me break to say, to those of you who see him as the face of self-indulgent, empty quirk: I get it, and I’m sorry, I’m still buyin’ the act.)

Okay, seriously? I was just having a really nice, quiet evening tonight, and I randomly put on some old TAL that had been living in my iPod for years, while I was eating dinner, and I caught this great piece that I kind of wanted to tell you about, which doesn’t even really have anything to do with Ira Glass (but then, it’s Studs Terkel, who’s about the only storyteller ever that could make TAL even better). But then, I let it go, and moved on with my life.

And then I found this, and well, I just had to share it.

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

22 Sep

10Q, and real reflection

I love everything about this.

“Thanks to new technologies like texting and Twitter, people have more
opportunities than ever to express themselves, but fewer than ever to
express themselves well,” said 10Q co-founder Ben Greenman, a New Yorker
editor. “What 10Q wants people to do is what people should want to do
for themselves — to reflect on life without worrying about status

As I’m taking the small steps each day to get this business up and running, I feel like a lot of the actions are running counter to the goals that are driving them in the first place. Nowadays, blog posts and Twitter updates are the way to “get noticed” or “build a following” – and they are free – so I’m doing them, using them to plant seeds of ideas or connect with other like-minded folks. But it doesn’t feel like connection, of course, since there’s so much chaos in all of the talking going on, and those like-minded folks never come over for dinner or anything (they’re online). And there’s this pressure, to post-post-post, and do it ever more quickly, saysomethingsaysomethingsaysomething, to the point where it feels like there isn’t time to think.

Anyway. I’ve rambled enough on this topic for today. I think 10Q looks like a great process for slowing down and spending some time with your own inner knowing. Check it out for yourself, won’t you? More information about 10Q here; sign up here.

And thanks to @rachelwcole, who of course alerted me to this great project via Twitter.

14 Sep

What I believe (and why Retreat just has to happen)

I think it’s important for you to understand my motivation in building a space like Retreat. Today, I want to share with you some of the beliefs that are guiding this business:

* I believe that everyone – EV-ERY-ONE – has the capacity for creativity. Creativity is the ability to create – to make stuff. Have you ever made something? I bet you have.
* I believe that people spend too much time interacting with their phones and not enough time interacting with each other.
* I believe that rest is necessary for all of us, and in a quantity that is larger than most of us allow in our day-to-day lives. Rest does not have to mean laying down for a nap (although those are good, too!). Rest is slowing down, stepping away from the activities that drain you, and refueling.
* I know that it can be hard to find real connection – especially with new people – in these fast-paced, Facebook-friend times.  I believe that building true, deep, soulful friendships is still possible.
* I believe that learning something new – together – is a great way to build that friendship.
* I believe that arts like embroidery, knitting, and sewing persist not only because they add beauty to a home but because they add connection to our lives – to ourselves, to our past, and to each other.
* Ditto for writing.
* I believe that making something with your own two hands builds confidence in a way that few other things can.
* I believe that we are all connected through one universal spirit, and that our individual actions – large and small – have an impact on the whole.
* I believe that practicing yoga is one effective way of growing our ability to connect with that spirit, and by extension, with one another.

I have been learning to listen to my heart. This may sound trite, but
it’s a big deal for me nonetheless. As this business has taken shape
over the past weeks and months (and really, almost years now), I have
tried to listen ever more closely to my inner guidance, to worry less
about what I think will work, and more about what matters
(to me, at least). What will work is still important, of course, but
there’s a realization here that I cannot control all of the factors that
must come together to make a business successful. What I can control
are the steps I take each day toward having a positive impact on the

What that “positive impact” looks like is defined by my own
values and beliefs, ideas that I’ve had to get really clear on long
before Retreat opens its doors. With this studio, I want to build a home where like-minded folks can hang out and build friendships in person. I hope that includes you!


08 Sep

Time for the important things

‘… the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for…’
Lamott, Anne. “Time lost and found.” _Sunset_. April 2010. Web.

I read this article yesterday afternoon on recommendation from my friend and coach, Rachel Cole. I know that you can find someone just about every day who wants to tell you about the value of this moment. And yet, I so often fear that no one is listening.

A big part – a VERY big part – of my inspiration for starting Retreat lies in the (ever elusive) cell phone free space. I will spare you my rant, since most of my readers at this point are surely close friends who can’t bear another dose of Here’s Why Cindy Hates Facebook, but I want to tell you: Anne Lamott’s essay gave me comfort. And so I share it with you, in the hope that one more person will listen.

Here’s the gist: finding contentment is really quite simple. It’s there within you, in your ability to create, in your ability to connect – with others, with nature, with yourself. Simple but not easy. The hard part (or so we believe) is finding the time to do it.  On this point, she says,

This means you have to grasp that your manic forms of connectivity – cell phone, email, text, Twitter – steal most chances of lasting connection or amazement.

Yes! Take five minutes to examine the past week of your life. When did you feel most alive? When did you feel like you were part of something? And did you have a smartphone in your hand at the time?

26 Mar

The Girls Are In Charge

“All I’m saying is, when boys are writing the stories, the percentage of strippers is bound to go up. And real stories about real women kinda don’t get written at all.” {Katherine Center}

So, I’m accomplishing a couple of things here. One: I just embedded a movie on my blog (woo! OMG, seriously, I know it is so simple, but this is by far the most technologically savvy thing I have ever done EVER). Two: props to Katherine Center for creating this awesome and inspiring little short – who knew a commercial could make you feel so empowered? And three: giving myself easy access to these words I need easy access to. I first saw this video over at Ordinary Courage while I was on vacation in January, and wrote out the stripper piece in my journal – you know, for safekeeping. I found those words again when I was re-reading last night (looking back for my Job Suckage notes), then spent 15 minutes this evening trying to find the clip again (this is why people have weblogs, after all, isn’t it?). (By the way, am I the only person who thinks “a couple” refers to two or three? I believe this is a Midwestern thing, as people in Texas will certainly argue with me that it means two. Just two.)

In conjunction with the journal-reading last night, this article showed up on Marketplace this evening, and everything felt very coincidental, forcing me to stay up past my bedtime searching for Kirtsy commercials and writing a blog post. I’m sure there’s more to be written here about What It All Means (To Me), but (in the words of Will’s girlfriend, Skylar) I’m tired now and I have to go home.

Whew, I’m awfully link-y tonight, guess that youtube situation really learned me.

This post started out on a different site, but in an effort to get more of my writing in one place, I moved it to cindyscovel.com in January 2012.