30 August 2010

July 2010 Newsletter


My sister-in-law recently told me that she’d read an article in the French Elle about feminists who’ve gone back to the land, and that it made her think of me. Did I know that I was avant-garde? she asked. No, I replied, I just thought I was an oddball trying to live life my way, and grateful that I live in a time and place where that’s possible.

We are blessed to live in a relatively free society. While I won’t argue that we are a long way from what we could be, we are (for the most part) free to be ourselves, to pursue our unique versions of happiness.

As an organizer, my aim is to help others be the best version of themselves. What’s organizing have to do with freedom? Bear with me here. I know that the “free spirit” sort tends to think of organizing as a restrictive straight-jacket, a set of rigid rules, too much oppressive order. I encourage them to instead see organization as a life jacket, a tool that supports us as we navigate our way down life’s river. After all, the better organized we are, the more easily we can share our gifts, be it teaching children, feeding the hungry, creating beauty, defending the downtrodden, tending a garden, or otherwise making the world a bit more lovely and whole.

And, just as there are many talents to share, there is more than one way to organize. What works for one person might not work for another. Along those lines, I’m teaching a new class in August. Here’s the blurb:

Not everyone thinks alike. Some people are great at making lists and plodding methodically forward in a straight line toward their goal. Others find their mind full of ideas and their energy drawn in a number of directions at once. If you tend to be better at brainstorming than getting things done, “Playful Planning for the Creative Thinker” is for you. Learn creative techniques for turning those great ideas into a plan of action.


Speaking of taking ideas and making them happen… Last month I wrote about needing to play more. I’m pleased to report that I spent a peaceful day under blue skies and redwoods along the Eel River (at Women’s Federation Grove), reading a novel while my friend taught the puppies to swim. And in a few days we will be enjoying a combination camping and river-rafting excursion.

What fun do you have planned?

Tip of the Month

Free yourself from expectation. “The word “should” often puts undue pressure on you to conform to standards that probably aren’t even your own.” (Jennifer Koretsky) Rather than thinking that you “should” be more organized, celebrate your creativity and individuality – your strengths -- and ask for help with your weaknesses.

Quotes of the Month
I didn’t belong as a kid, and that always bothered me. If only I’d known that one day my differentness would be an asset, then my early life would have been much easier. – Bette Midler

Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself. – Carl Jung

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