Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reinvention and Inspiration

I read a terrific piece about Sigrid Olsen this morning in the Boston Globe I wanted to share. She is 57 years old, a breast cancer survivor, and faced the failure of a once-thriving fashion design career with quite the intrepid attitude. Instead of wallowing in defeat, she decided to reinvent herself. She's an artist, an entrepreneur, and a yoga instructor. She is a source of inspiration for women of all ages, someone with the chutzpah to embrace change and see hidden opportunities where others would see failure. The thing that really captured my attention in this article (which is not included in the online version, unfortunately) is her 8-Step Guide....this is so close to my own approach to living I can't believe it.

These are her steps of "essential practices" to "regain equilibrium and redefine themselves after a major life change"---(can you say heart attack?)

1. Connect with nature. Next to the grandeur of nature, your problems seem very small.

2. Inhabit your body. Breathe, move, dance, run--anything that helps you feel awake and alive.

3. Find a community. Seek out people who are honest and fun, who will listen and tell the truth.

4. Clean house. Literally and metaphorically, clear the clutter that complicates your life.

5. Cherish beauty. Try to put beauty in your path each day and take the time to enjoy it.

6. Open your heart. Give of yourself. Generosity breeds abundance.

7. Create. Make something. Paint, sculpt, cook, plant a garden, keep a journal.

8. Celebrate life. Eat good food, have a party, travel, laugh a lot.

(From And Now For Something Completely Different, by Linda Matchan, Boston Globe, January 22, 2011).

This is so right up my alley, it's not even funny! This is why I walk outside everyday. Why I connect with my on-line friends, fellow romance writers, neighborhood friends, family, college buds, and Quirky Ladies as often as possible. This is why I take a single violet from my front lawn and display it in a teeny, tiny bottle on my windowsill. This is why I write. This is why I offer free advice to colleagues and revel in their success. This is why I love my little home and garden, and try to make my living space as "Vermonty" as possible. This is why we entertain so much, not with good china and crystal, but micro-beers and grilled veggies. This is a great way to live a life.

Rock on, Sigrid...I love your attitude! And this concludes our touchy-feely segment for the day. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Embracing life in all its glory,


Lindsay said...

I'll add another one. Love yourself. Remember that there was a reason why life threw you are curveball and you are still standing. Have the guts to live up to what the new you should be. It seems to me that you've done that very well.

Penny Watson said...

Good one, Lindsay! By the way, I love your cover for your new book coming out in's the link if anyone wants to check it out....adorable!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Wow. I really needed this list. Thank you :)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Oh Penny - there's nothing like facing one's own mortality to either bring out the best in a human being or bring out the worst. Hard lesson to learn - but I believe you've always been a nice person, you probably just didn't allow yourself time to smell the violet.
Doing what I do and knowing what I know, I never take a single thing for granted. I cherish each day and all those I care about and I'm not really afraid of much. Maybe monsters and bungee jumping, but not much else.
What a brave woman and what commonsense advice!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Juju! I love this list, too....words to live by!

Hi Julia...I am seriously impressed with this woman. She refused to accept defeat. It's a great story!

Lindsay said...

Thanks Penny!