Gotta Create!
Gotta Celebrate!

Many years ago, I attended a chamber of commerce dinner. I was a board member back then, a committee chair and such. Around the table sat clients and colleagues in standard business attire: blues and blacks, a few pops of red, maybe a dark LL Bean green. I wore black pants and a rust-colored jacket that had a turquoise sequined-and-beaded mermaid on the back. “Are you an artist?” a state senator asked when he shook my hand, and I smiled.
I had just re-discovered my Creative Spirit, and she and I were rockin’ that mermaid blazer with much more pizazz than I ever rocked a bored meeting. I think Brené Brown would call that pizazz “authenticity.”
As a matter of fact, I had just learned about researcher and storyteller Brené Brown back then, and had her fabulous definition of AUTHENTICITY pinned to my bulletin board.
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
That definition is from Brené’s phenomenal book The Gifts of Imperfection. In it, she talks about Wholehearted Living as “engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness” and “cultivating courage, compassion and connection.” Even better, she outlines 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living that include things like gratitude, faith, play & rest, stillness, laughter, and CREATIVITY.
If you’re like me, the pandemic has left your wondering — what comes next and do I really want to return to quote-unquote normal? — Brené’s book might just help you root yourself in some good, fertile new ground.
And one of the best way I know to get grounded is to reconnect with my Creative Spirit — over and over again, in as many ways as possible!
“If we want to make meaning, we need to make art,” Brené suggests, “cook, right, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing — it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re creating, or cultivating meaning.”
As a matter of fact, it was that very act of letting go of who I thought I was supposed to be — remember the chamber of commerce dinner? — and embracing who I am, that led me to pretty much everything you know about me now: these long and winding emails; my poetry, books, and zines; and my blog, Random Acts of Writing, which began 11 years ago today with my very first post: “Gotta!”
One of my favorite quotes from The Gifts of Imperfection is a one that Brené shares by theologian Howard Thurman:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Now, isn’t that something to think about as we emerge from this world-wide crisis? So:

WHO ARE YOU and what makes you COME ALIVE?

Stay healthy, be well, CREATE!

With love,
Happy Birthday to us! Random Acts of Writing turns 11 years-old today — 11 years, 1,750 blog posts, and close to 2,500 images! Can you imagine? Come follow along…
Einstein said time is an illusion, that time and space are merely “modes by which we think.” But, if you think too hard on that you end up down rabbit holes and worm holes. Want to come along? Order IT’S ABOUT TIME — a 28-page full-color booklet of art and poems ($6) — today!
The poem I wrote for my nephew Max — “when I call it the Zombie Apocalypse, neither of us is as scared as we should be” — was selected to be included in Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, a poetry anthology edited by Connecticut’s Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson. 
With hidden links, videos, and rabbit holes to explore, this Spring 2021 enewsletter is meant to be savored slowly. So grab a cup of coffee — or a slice of cake — and enjoy!
For more information about Brené Brown and her awesome-sauce books, visit www.brenebrown.com. / The guidepost illustration was created by Andrea Pippins, who does some pretty cool work. See ww.andreapippins.com. / The (modified) birthday cake art is by Wayne Thiebaud.