Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Year to be Daring

lately i've been feeling terrified. of the unknown. of the known. of the what if's. of money. i've been going against my motto of embracing the vulnerable. in fact, i've been very vulner-not-able. (reality check, rach: we can't all always practice everything we preach every single day! okay, thank goodness... now that that's out of the way and i don't have to feel GUILTY about it...)

i'm going to the beach with a few close friends tonight to celebrate new years in a more quiet way than recent years past. tomorrow we're heading to assiteague island where i'll have myself a little ritual of letting go of my fears & even my resolutions. i'm letting go of both because there's something about having new years resolutions that also carries with it an intrisic weighted fear. fear of not living up to what we promised ourselves. of failing ourselves. of being a failure. and i just want to let it go.

i'm resolving to be daring in 2010.
(this is my daring face)

i went back and forth for a while about what i wanted to zoom in on this year... focused, intentional, fearless, trust, honesty, faith... but it came down to daring because saying the word makes me SMILE. and because it's the most spot-on. i'll never be completely free of fear, but i CAN be daring enough to move past it. i'll never be 100% intentional, but i CAN be daring enough to set honest boundaries. i'll never trust the universe every single time, but i CAN be daring enough to leap anyway. i'm LOVING that daring is my word for 2010.

still, i know that there will be days when i'm not daring at all. when i let the whole thing go to the wayside. when i suffer a small silence of resignation and pretend i never wished to be daring at all. i want to treat those days with compassion, with tenderness, with patience & with understanding. because the reality is i didn't make myself a new years resolution just so later i could beat myself up for not fulfilling it 100% of the time. i made it because it's something to work toward--because i feel happy when i'm daring, and because being daring adds value to my days. but there are also days when it's daring to let go of our self-expectations, of our committments, and our need to be perfect.

we're entering a new decade in a time when things feel precarious but still, the possibilities are through the roof. why not make room for forgiveness? for gentleness? for letting go of those things that only hold us back? this year, among other things, i'm letting go of the fear of failing myself. because i can't fail. simply saying my dreams outloud is daring enough, and i've already done it. all that i'm left with when i let go of my fear is the duty to hold myself with compassion, patience, and care, and to love myself more deeply, through and through--even when i slip up, even when i'm imperfect, even as i grow.

wishing you the most loving and gentle new year, full of all the things your heart and soul ache for.

see you in 2010 :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

i love keri smith.

i love her ideas (and the things that inspire her) so very much.

this, for instance.

"the problem today is -the only possible project (and young people should complete an active effort now) is working to ‘decondition’ people from the god of merchandise." -Enzo Mari

i both struggle with and am fascinated by ideas of deconditioning people from "the god of merchandise"... and the thousands of deeper layers of conditioning we've yet to free ourselves from.

it's only natural for me, after so much tedious production work, to surge full-force into innovation mode. and lately i've been playing with ideas of unfiltering and deconditioning my interactions with other human beings. for instance, learning about the unemployment in the city by talking with the unemployed as opposed to reading statistics in the paper. or standing next to a list of all my sexual preferences and being totally open to talking about them as opposed to letting a magazine ad vaguely and (most likely) incorrectly inform people of what i'm interested in. (hellloooo...everyone has individual, specific interests!)

i have ideas for a new collective of people who are committed to this kind of work in the public sphere--this kind of face-to-face, on-the-streets approach to learning about each other's lives. i see this movement as akin to the Do It Yourself movement that was a reaction to the distance and lack of ownership people were feeling in regards to the process of turning materials into goods. similarly, this Person-To-Person movement is a reaction to the constant filters through which we receive our information about others. i feel such distance from distance and lack of authentic connectedness that i feel with my community, my city, my generation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Out There In The World

I am so excited to finally bring you my first ever zine: Vulnerable is Beautiful. These professionally printed, individually hand stamped & colored zines are available for purchase here at my Etsy store.

There's an incredible story behind this zine... how there was a message waiting inside of me that I so badly needed to believe, to trust, to know... how one night I spontaneously scribbled it in my journal, then decided I wanted to show people... how with Brian's little camera I shot a low-res movie, and played Ingrid Michaelson's beautiful song, "Giving Up" in the background... how I posted the movie on the web and then people asked, "Where can I buy a copy?"... how I then thought, I'm supposed to print these things?!... and how somehow, in a matter of 2 weeks, with the incredible help of Leah Williamson, I learned and executed every single step of Do It Yourself print production... and how finally I'm running on E and deliriously happy to have this baby finished... to have the message that I needed to believe deep down in my bones out there in the world--on people's bed side tables, in festive holiday stockings.

Thank you to all the people who told me this story needed to exist in print. This zine would've never happened without you. Print production really, truly has been a vulnerable process! But I'm hoping that you love the final product as much as I do.

Okay--now to fill my belly with food and make a celebratory toast. Ciao, my loves!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

leap after leap in the dark

What I found as I was cleaning up the mess from my art shelf that collapsed on top of me:

An honest and important (albeit, somewhat terrifying) reminder that in our moments of doubt and feeling frozen with fear, fessing up about not knowing is a very brave place to begin. Wishing you all the courage you need to take beautiful leaps and guesses. (and hoping the same for myself!)