Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change


The dangerous work we do

Writing about vulnerability.

I have to admit, after writing last week's post about commitment and change, I was overwhelmed. I wanted to hit the delete button. I wanted it to all go away. I didn't want to put myself and my thoughts and my commitment out into the world. This was all a bad idea. How can I be so vulnerable so publicly?

But then I saw it all around me.

It's not just me, you feel it too. When you do your best work, when you launch it into the world. When you create hilarious videos, when you try something new. When you write a sales page that's real and true and you.

Suddenly, you're not so sure. You don't want to have it out there. You want to take it all back.

The thing is, we never talk about it, but this is dangerous work.

When you create from your you-ness, and share it with the world, and sell things that were created to hold meaning, it cracks you open.  While you're working and building and improving, your work is shoving a big crowbar into your heart and prying open the door.

It may not happen at all once. It starts slow, with you finding the thing you love to make. You clarify it and improve it and add more and more of you and your vision and your style. And then to sell the thing, you're not just making it, but you're also talking about it, and you, with people who used to be strangers. You're sharing your inspiration, your thoughts, your passion. And suddenly you're sharing real parts of yourself through your art and through the conversations about the art.

When this fact dawns on you, it seems vulnerable and dangerous. If you're not expecting it, it can feel wrong. Like maybe you need to scale back, or sit back down or just shut up for a while. Maybe you're talking too much about yourself? Maybe your people don't really like what you're doing?

I've seen it happen again and again, when you share something really great, really magnificently you and people love it and react to it and you and you start feeling really heard, really understood….and then the weight of it all hits you.
Suddenly, you doubt it viciously.
Doubt that your thing was good or that people loved it or that any of this is worth anything.

And that's ok. That's an internal security system that's trying to keep things safe, and keep you protected.
But you don't have to believe it.
You can choose, instead of retreating, to step forward. To step towards more connection and more vulnerability and more of your best work. You don't have to get tangled up in doubt, you can make yourself safe and  see the truth:
That what you did was brave, and you're feeling a little overwhelmed by it, but that you're on the right path.

It's when you step into more vulnerability, more heart that you create more connection. To your internal reserves and to the external world. To the people who love and appreciate you and your work, and to the inspiration all around you. You touch them (with your work), you let them touch you (and shape your work). As you sing this, of course.

This isn't easy. And I don't have the answers on how to do it (I'm still figuring it out for myself*).
What I know right now is that it happens. If you work through the system of sharing your thing, and you really experiment and find what works for you, you'll also open and unfurl.
So I wanted to let you know that, yeah, this is a thing. And if you're feeling it right now, it's ok.
You're on the right path. You are doing absolutely beautifully.

*I can not recommend this book enough if you're interested in how vulnerability creates connections. 


The Adventures

Welcome to a new little weekly thing, wherein I practice noticing the week's good and gathering it one place. Each Friday I share pictures (from Instagram), my favorite links (I usually tweet them), and whatever else I think you’ll like. This is totally inspired by Colleen and Elise.

This week was all about getting ready for next week's class. Not just because it's a lot of work, but because this is very rare for me. If you look around this site, you'll notice that there's not a lot going on publicly. I don't have one-on-one consulting open to the public, I no longer do small classes, and I don't have many products for sale. There's the book and Map-Making Guide (each around $25) and then…the Starship. Which is a one year, $500 investment. If you wanted to get my take on something, or just learn from one class, there's not a lot of opportunity for that. Monday's class is only the second one I've offered all year. But I do teach classes monthly, I answer people's questions daily, and I brainstorm and problem-solve  live for over 30 craftybusinesses every week…inside the Starship or with my long-time clients.

So this, this 8 day, $50 class, which comes with lessons and one-on-one conversations and question-answering – it's all the awesomeness of the Starship, but in a tiny, easy to digest bite. That's great for you, but it's challenging for me. Its a bit vulnerable to put out a class that might or might not fill up. To dive into something short-term so fully and boldly. To risk and to pursue, without getting a big commitment in return. It's an opening up (and it's kinda uncomfortable).


This opening is a fractal. Both a sign and cause for openings all over the place this week.  I took part in my first on-air broadcast. In it, I spoke honestly about the wretchedly overwhelming year that came after I quit my dayjob.  I encountered (gently, and quietly) a personal pain I've been avoiding for a long time. I cleared up and automated my finances, so that I'm making measurable movement towards my goals. I created (and found a sponsor for) a live event in Seattle.* I got my first royalty check.

Here's what all that opening looked like:


Goodness from the Farmer's Market :: Sliced peaches for this cobbler:: Knitting with my Starship Captain inspiration :: a homemade vegan coconut mocha frappuccinno to power the live video chat :: celebrating with Your Sister's Sister in the sofa cinema


The places + finds

  • The video chat! I learned SO much from the smarties who shared their stories. You can watch the whole thing at the bottom of this page.
  • Wanna get your own royalty check? My publisher is teaching a class called Get Published. Check it!
  • I wrote about Speaking your Customer's Language over at Rena Tom
  • Yesterday was National Ice Cream Sandwich Day! My favorite favorite vegan treat is this sandwich. YUM.
  • In my work with Vianza, I discovered and fell in love with the packaging vegan body goods from LOVE + TOAST. Then, yesterday, I stumbled on them at my grocery store and scored some shampoo. Today my hair smells (and feels) fabulous.


*Details of the Seattle event coming soon, but for now mark your PacNW calendars for September 1 at Noon.


A friendly reminder: If you want to craft a blog that works for your specific business, today's the last day to register for Crafting an Effective Blog. Don't dawdle!