Tag Archives: inspiration

Podcast Recommendation: Getting Curious

getting curious podcast recommendation

If you, like pretty much everyone in the world EVER, greedily binge watched Queer Eye in a manner of days (or a singular day…no judgement here), then you’re already acquainted with Jonathan Van Ness in all his quirky glory…

YAS HENNY! 

…But did you know he has a podcast?

Getting Curious is a weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan is curious about. He invites experts in their respective fields to come on the show and give him a crash course in whatever it is they know best. I love that premise, don’t you? Life-long learning, baby! From scientists to CEOs, actresses and authors to his QE cast-mates…the questions are many and the answers are entertaining and educational.

Definitely check this one out if you haven’t already. I listened to a bunch of epis on my recent drive back from Lexington and was so grateful for the binge-worthy, thought provoking material that just kept comin’!

Have you listened to Getting Curious? What are your go-to podcasts these days?

P.S. JVN’s podcast is doubly inspiring to me because I have a tiny baby podcast (she’s only 6 epis old!) that I co-host with my bff Katie. CLICK HERE to check it out. xoxo

Running Through My Mind

Here’s what’s running through my mind this Monday —

Yoga with Adriene. I love her “find what feels good” approach to yoga and her 30 day series TRUE, if nothing else, reminds me of the power of deep breaths. (But like, obvi, SO MUCH else.) The whole series (today is day 21 of 30) is on YouTube — I’ve been unrolling my mat every day and I don’t want it to end. I’m basically the living embodiment of those trendy sweatshirts that say things like “I just want to practice yoga & read books.” 

Speaking of reading books, I’m reading The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II. It is thought-provoking, expansive, and meticulously researched. Also – a great follow-up read to Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Have you ever bought clothes off of Amazon? I’ve had great success with shoe purchasing but not so great with accessories (jewelry, bags, etc.). However, after a recent closet clear out, I identified a few wardrobe holes I’d like to fill and figured why not give it a try! Happy to report everything fit just fine (reviews are your best friend for this!) and there were no unwanted surprises like poor quality or weird material. I’m especially in love with this raincoat, which is really great quality for the price tag, and this white shirt with fun bell sleeves!

A reminder to rise and SHINE:

Finally, Everything You Never Thought to Ask About Astronaut Food. Because once you read about burping in microgravity you’ll never quite look at space travel the same way again.

P.S. More on yoga. More on books. More on clothes. More inspiration. And more articles. In case any of these things are running through YOUR mind, too!!

A Quick Catch-Up!

womens-march-protest-signs

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you’re all having a great day so far. Wow, the past few days have certainly had highs and lows! From Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday (an ominous entrance , in front of a small crowd, with a low-hanging tie, and in-DAH-stree.) to the Women’s Marches held over the weekend (on every continent, with lots of famous folks, bad-ass signs, and solidarity). I’m choosing to focus on the highs.

My social media feeds are full-to-bursting with posts documenting participation in the peaceful protests of the past weekend. I am honored to know these people and their images give me much-needed hope, drive, and clarity about what our future can look like if we continue to use this fire-in-our-bellies. If we keep showing up and calling and donating and GRABBING BACK.

Keep fighting,  y’all. Sending a big hug to all my marchers! (And to all the folks having to patiently explain why the word “pussy” is, in fact, a totally appropriate and topical choice to include on a protest sign/Facebook post….I SEE YOU!)

(Photo by David Mosher for Business Insider.)

Two Poems

poems-on-a-road-trip

These two poems by Naomi Shihab Nye rank high on my list of favorite poems. They are both so simple and strikingly beautiful. I always like to read poems out loud (something about actually hearing the rhythms and the rhymes make them all the more powerful, don’t you think?). I can’t make it through either of these without reaching a line that makes my voice catch. I thought I’d share them with you in case you’d like to read them today. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration or power within their lines.

The Traveling Onion

“It is believed that the onion originally came from India. In Egypt it was an object of worship —why I haven’t been able to find out. From Egypt the onion entered Greece and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.” — Better Living Cookbook

When I think how far the onion has traveled

just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise

all small forgotten miracles,

crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,

pearly layers in smooth agreement,

the way the knife enters onion

and onion falls apart on the chopping block,

a history revealed.

And I would never scold the onion

for causing tears.

It is right that tears fall

for something small and forgotten.

How at meal, we sit to eat,

commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma

but never on the translucence of onion,

now limp, now divided,

or its traditionally honorable career:

For the sake of others,

disappear.

***

Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

(Top image by Matthew Tammaro via here.)

mid-week round-up

quack

What are you up to this week? I went to Marikka’s on Saturday to watch the Final Four games (UK lost, BOO!), and I was excited to follow updates from the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament on Sunday and Monday. The (online) coverage culminated in a livestream of the award’s ceremony which was so fun to get to watch while group-chatting with a huge contingency of WKU forensics alums. The tournament’s Pacific time zone had me up well past my bedtime but was totally worth it to watch Western Kentucky take home the championship. By a nail-biting FOUR POINTS! Have a stupendous week, and keep reading (and clicking) for some neat links from around the ‘net…

I would totally make this if I owned a microwave.

A reminder that there are good people everywhere.

Plan of attack: spring cleaning edition.

What an inspirational kid!

The urbanization of a once agrarian city.

A fascinating story of Nazis, art, and red tape–now a feature film.

I already know my ABC’s but I would love a copy of this book for my coffee table all the same.

Wouldn’t all of these make heart-felt presents for a kid-at-heart?

A captivating true mystery.

Books to have on hand in the kitchen.

These peaceful portraits would look gorgeous hanging on a bedroom wall.

Managing periods can be a nightmare for homeless women.

Book Club: In Pursuit of Female Road Narratives Pt. 4

book-club

“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed is the story of one woman on two concurrent journeys–forging a path through her own grief towards healing, acceptance and self-forgiveness as well as blazing the physical Pacific Crest Trail on an eleven-hundred mile solo hike. As mentioned before in our little virtual book club, I initially heard about this travel memoir on one of my favorite radio programs and felt reading it was of the utmost importance after stumbling upon Vanessa Veselka’s essay about the lack of female road narratives and why it matters.

For the last year or so, admittedly, I’ve been pretty obsessed with the idea of long-distance hiking, spending hours researching various trails and reading books and blogs about those who have made these trips.

strayedquote1

Suddenly, reading Veselka’s essay made me put 2 and 2 together–there were and ARE women out there who are going on magnificent journeys! They are walking from Georgia to Maine, from the Mexican border to the Canadian, they’re seeing our country in new ways, they are heroic and SOMETIMES–they are doing all of this ALONE. Strayed does not spend time justifying her ability or right to tell this story. She just tells it.

Whether you relate to the physical pain she endures; carrying her huge backpack lovingly nicknamed “Monster” and doctoring banged up feet from ill-fitting boots, or her emotional pain; the death of her mother and the end of her marriage–there are moments of palpable empathy throughout.

Do not let the fact that this book is so heavily touted by Oprah (it is emblazoned with her Obrah Book Club sticker/seal of approval) dissuade you. Oprah knows what’s up and this is no Nicholas Sparks feel-good novela. Instead, it is an honest depiction of a normal woman who went from “lost” to “found.”

Strayed doesn’t leave anything out when painting you a picture of herself as “lost.” Even though this depiction is far from from flattering. This candid portrait of Strayed’s miserable life reminds me of a part I played in college forensics, a woman on the road who put it very simply,

“When you’re laying face down on the ground there’s nowhere left to fall.”

Strayed hit rock bottom. There was no place left to climb but out.

strayedquote2

I truly believe this book is a great introductory read for anyone who is seeking out female road narratives. We’ve demonstrated over the last 3 weeks that stories like this one are hard to find. Reading it will hopefully reveal how women on their own and on the road can have a place in not only our literature but our cultural landscape, too.

In her essay, Veselka argues, “True quest is about agency.” Meaning, when we relegate women’s journeys to mistakes, escape or a plot twist only to end in tragedy, we are robbing them of just that. Instead, we need to afford women the possibility and ability to tell stories like Strayed’s.

Veselka explains, “You can go on a quest to save your father, dress like a man and get discovered upon injury, get martyred and raped, but God forbid you go out the door just to see what’s out there.” I want women to see what’s out there. I want to see what’s out there.


…So I read. I go on adventures. And I encourage you to do the same.

(Quote illustrations via here.)

Thank you so much for participating in this inaugural virtual book club on Finding Delight. I loved discussing everything with you and hope you felt just the teensiest bit inspired! I hope to do it again real soon. : )