Abundance, People!

I fully intended for this post to be about the second piece of my re-prioritizing journey, that is, my try at journaling according to an ancient practice inspired by St. Ignatius. But there are too many exciting and inspiring things that are happening. SO MANY. I hope you find them to be exciting and inspiring too!

October 11th is going to be a special day – the United Nations has declared it “Day of the Girl.” Also, Brene Brown is speaking at St. Paul the Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth, MN (thank you Emily!) which is 30 minutes from my apartment. Brene Brown is going to be 30 minutes from my apartment. My first instinct is to go out and by her newest book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, and read it all in one night, but I’m pretty sure I won’t read it that fast with a few things going on between now and then (like my sister is getting married on Saturday).

This bring us to point two. My sister is getting married on Saturday. Saturday!! My sister is getting married, someone else in my family will be a strange, young, married person, horray! Timothy and I were the first grandkids on either side of the family to get married, so there was a good deal of heightened joy but also stress. I can only tell Maria to hold on tight to Derek and stick to what you love and have FUN! The hardest part is almost done for them anyway – the wedding planning and fielding everyone’s opinion while trying to sift through your own. We love our families, but planning big things is sometimes nuts!

I have a secret; I saw pictures of her wedding gown, and it is SO hard not to brag to the world and put them up, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone or Derek. Auntie Carla and my Mom created the dress from scratch, it is a celtic-whimsical feel, and wow does she look like a gorgeous bride. I see her smile coming back, and I can’t wait to give her a big bear hug when we arrive in Seattle on Thursday!

This bring us to point three. I love pretty things. We’re getting to a point I promise – (like Fall: see the view from our apartment of the changing leaves, there’s no mountains around, so I savor the second best thing about fall)

Other than my second-favorite season, fall, I love pretty things like weddings and photography. I can’t help it, might as well be honest with myself (see: obsession with Pinterest). I keep stealing looks at Caroline Tran’s blog and her photography business. She is based out of Los Angeles and her photography is breathtaking; mostly weddings but some other things. The thing I absolutely adore about her work is a corner of her business called Propel which combines her two favorite things (teaching and photography) into a mentoring and workshop process for beginning photography – we’ll call it photography leadership development, because that’s what it sounds like. It’s so cool to hear about why she started Propel, and that it’s grown out of this deep desire to learn with people through an experience she crafts and implements. It’s very impressive and inspiring to read about. Could I do this? I’m not sure. But she inspires me to act out of an honest and authentic place inside of me. As does Melissa, Timothy’s second cousin’s spouse who has started her own business. She’s launched Bridal Birdcage and its sister company Melissa Marie & Co. Cute stuff, and as her husband’s in internship, she’s launching these businesses, she’s my age, and she is fearless and I think that’s awesome!

I get the chance to work with the art-design-leadership-awesome side of me as an intern at the Center for Good Work, as well as work out of that honest place where I keep feeling this rising up thing – helping people see themselves as capable and loveable people who can serve their neighbor. I couldn’t get rid of this ‘vocation’ thread if I tried. The organization is about passion, purpose, and meaning. Jody, the founder, has invited me into strategic visioning with her, of which I have no academic or work experience credentials. But I refuse to approach this internship with a scarcity mindset – weighing too heavily the smarts or the experience or the degrees I don’t have. Without sounding too arrogant: I know stuff, I have experience, and I have a degree that only a handful in of people in the world have. I need a cape to remind myself of this. Abundance, people! Someone tell me having a theology and attitude of abundance makes a difference!

I’ve been getting plugged into a number of women’s organizations: Women and Girls Lead. Your mind will be blown with their ability to network and connect influential people and organizations that strive for empowering women and girls, and helping them see themselves as leaders.

Based off the book of the same name, tonight and tomorrow night 9/8pm Central, PBS is premiering “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” A gaggle of us are watching it tomorrow night at my apartment, and we just read the book for our first book in a fancy book club. Also – the TEDx Stillwater group is hosting a women’s conference December 1st that the Center for Good Work. I am so excited!!

This isn’t the full list of exciting things swirling in my head, but it’s a start. I hope these links have sparked inspiration for you too, tell me if they do! The next post will probably be written from Issaquah, Washington, my home. Have a great week!

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