Photo Credit: Red Feather Development Group

No texting.  No internet.  No blogging.  No, no, no.

I love it.  I’m currently residing in an emerald green tent in the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.  My first time in Montana.  I’m helping build a sustainable straw bale house through the incredible organization, Red Feather Development Group.

Truthfully, waking up a 7am and working every day does not seem like a vacation.  Yet, I feel like the next week may be worthy of a lot more than golden beaches and tans, pool side lounging, and daiquiris.  It’s my first week on “vacationing” completely on my own.  On my own as in not knowing a single soul.  It’s refreshing … and it’s needed.

I’ll be back to the homestead, NY i love/hate you City, on June 20th.  Changed.


The end of “nice”

May 27, 2010

Cheers to the wild Self.  Imbibe.  Whatever you do this weekend, do not “be nice”.

Side note: My week felt like this frizzle of a doll.

“I’ll tell you right now, the doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious.  If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door.  If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door.  If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.

…The early training to ‘be nice’ causes women to override their intuitions.  In that sense, they are actually purposefully taught to submit to the predator.  Imagine a wolf mother teaching her young to ‘be nice’ in the face of an angry ferret or a wily diamondback rattler.”

-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD, Women Who Run With the Wolves

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Photo Credit: Anastasia Photography

Danielle LaPorte intrigues me.  I’ve dived into her spiritual and creative abyss on White Hot Truth.  After meeting her in person, I realized that the lady really can start a Fire … one with inextinguishable flames.

Danielle’s new Fire Starter Sessions, a digital experience for people with the entrepreneurial spirit, releases worldwide on May 12th.  The e-book combines logic with mojo, uniting your brand, vision, and soul along the way.

Inspired by both Danielle and this fiery project, I immediately wanted the scoop on her life as a kid.  Childhood tells all.  Danielle was playful enough to share her memories, from the days of magic and BIG HAIR, with me.

KZ:  What was the first childhood experience that showed a glimmer of your entrepreneurial grace?

DL: Grade 8. I was class President. I lobbied to, for the first time in elementary school history, change a nominal fee for parents to enter our school carnival. “Can’t fight change … or kids” was my platform.

KZ:  Who and/or what did you want to be when you were little?  Any particular heroes at age 8?

DL: My Grade 2 Journal reads:  I want to be Wonder Woman (loved those bullet proof bangles and her rad invisible plane), a Social Worker, a Disco Dancer, and a Poet.  I’m all of those things today.  My airplane is the internet.

KZ:  What was your biggest challenge growing up?

DL: Getting in trouble for leading the pack.

KZ:  What would 8-year-old Danielle say about you if she saw you now?

DL: You’re super smart.  And your heart is pretty, I like your heart a lot.  How come you don’t have a house in Morocco yet?  You really should dance more. Wanna put on some makeup?

KZ:  What was your favorite place to spend time as a kid?

DL: The wheat field behind our house.  I lived on a farm.  Being an only child, I spent hours and hours alone, walking on the railway tracks, thinking I could talk to hawks and fairies. Writing poetry. Looking for signs. Magic signs.

KZ:  Describe your family’s home dynamic.

DL: Instant gratification and pretty happy getting by.

KZ:  Best memory from childhood?

DL: In the Canadian Parliament they have “Pages” who are like errand kids on the senate floor. It’s a very competitive and prestigious little gig, and I managed to land myself a term as a Page when I was twelve. I wanted that so bad that I tired to sweat blood when I prayed at night. Getting it was a total rush.

I also have a lot of great memories of laughing with my mom and dad in the car and in the kitchen.  Always at the expense of each other.

KZ:  How would your classmates describe you in high school? What was your passion?

DL: Unique. Creative. Bossy. Very Big Hair.  My passion: Figuring out how to get the hell out of my town. Big Hair.

Art by Danielle LaPorte

*** Moving forward a few decades …

KZ:  Describe 80-year-old Danielle.

DL: Satiated.

KZ:  What will change when you’re approaching 80?  What will stay the same?

DL: Well, my boobs will be in their own province by then.  Sigh.  I’ll still be spouting off what I think I know. Evoking the truth. Avoiding cooking.

KZ:  What will you have conquered by then that you haven’t yet?

DL: My fear of not reaching my full potential.

KZ:  What style and business mantra will you rock in the rocking chair?

DL: Everything is progress.  This I know.

Thank you for your time, Danielle!

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Nibble on this

January 22, 2010

As a prelude to an upcoming post on Seth Godin, chomp on this cheese.  Digest.  Like the mouse, you can’t regurgitate this stuff.

If our young men miscarry in their first enterprises, they lose all heart.  If the young merchant fails, men say he is ruined.  If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterwards in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life.  A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls.  He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not “studying a profession,” for he does not postpone his life, but lives already.  He has not one chance, but a hundred chances.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Add water and multiply

January 7, 2010

In ink, I wrote down one resolution for the new year.  Water spilled.  Like the Gremlin, the list multiplied.  I currently have 29 “resolutions” that are rapidly growing into new motives, both evil and pure, for 2010.

As a visual person, I like to gaze at my list here and there.  I often stare blankly at my words avoiding the task at hand, and other times I wonder why I wrote down “Take chances, Kira” when I did tryout for Gotham Girls Roller Derby last year without a shot in hell of making the team.  It’s okay, I’m taking skating lessons this year.  It’s on my list.

I appreciate the fact that I’m trying to be a responsible adult, and I listed, “schedule regular dentist appointments” as a resolution.  Is that a resolution?  Shouldn’t that just be life?  The idealist inside of me wrote down, “Write a book of fiction.  And publish.”  Aim high, right?

My 29th, and currently final item on my list is to “join a bowling league” which I added today … after I signed up online.  Fooled ya, ’10.

Naysayers may suggest that resolutions are cliché.  But I think it is a valuable way to express the multiple voices speaking in our own heads: The wise-ass, The inspired, The sneaky, The immature, The immature pretending to be mature, etc.

Go ahead and get friendly with the personalities you’re dealing with in the year ahead.

And add your resolutions below.

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Castrate the bucket list

November 11, 2009

These words are for the ambitious souls that need to conquer, clobber, and cream bucket lists, goals, and milestones.  I play with this group during recess.  I mimic them.  I get it.*

“We may conclude that we exist separately from nature and that nature – including our own human nature – has to be conquered; that reality is something we exist apart from and have to face up to; and that there is life on the one hand and us having to make something of it on the other.

As long as we realize that the symbols we use to describe our world are not that which they attempt to describe, there is no confusion.  When we forget, however, that the map is not the territory, we get hypnotized into seeing the world as a complex and scrambled jigsaw puzzle, too big and complicated for us ever to completely put together.  This way of thinking not only promotes the idea that we are separate from our environment, but it also encourages manipulation and exploitation of, instead of cooperation with, that environment.”

-Leo Hartong in Awakening to the Dream The Gift of Lucid Living

*Dedicated to everyone who has created a Bucket List at one time or another.  I am addicted.

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We reside in the neighborhood of Blogville, USA. It’s fast growing
and an extremely social community. Darwin weeds out the weak quickly.

Some yards have been abandoned for months. Some yards are bustling
with personality, mouth-watering barbecues, and engaging conversation.
You’ll even find a few ambitious homeowners laboring in their yard
often (and sometimes in the wee hours of the morning).

I’ve noticed that inquisitive visitors stop by Ms. Domain’s address
often. Ms. D’s following is larger than the others on my block. What
her lawn more appealing than the rest?

I’ve studied her mysterious moves from afar and learned a thing or four:

1. Ms. Domain fertilizes and mows her lawn regularly. You will not
find a single weed. Branches are trimmed and excess is eliminated.
Without hired help, her touch is on everything.

2. The white picket fence does not exist. Ms. D tore it down a year
ago during a fit of rage. No barriers. All are welcomed.

3. The backyard evolves. The trout lilies enrich the land on Monday
and are replaced by red maple trees on Tuesday. Diversity and depth
are delivered regularly with wild surprises hidden under leaves.
Visitors have spent hours in Ms. Domain’s yard seeking and finding.
It’s like an Easter Egg Hunt every single day.

4. The lawn adapts to the volatile climate. Regardless of exterior
conditions, neighbors know that they can depend on Ms. Domain’s

If you treated your writing like your backyard, how would you groom
and grow it?
What would your visitors look for in the bushes? Some
yards are more wild than others. Some are meticulously manicured.
Some are plain dull.

If you’re dealing with too many rocks, get some daisies. If your pond
is full of algae, clean it. If you’re hanging out on the lawn chair
with a margarita by yourself, bring a new friend over!

It’s your yard. Play with it until you actually want to spend hours
in it. When in doubt, install a kiddie pool, and splash the neighbors
that bypass your address!

*What would draw you to a (blog) address more often?  Should I install a sculpture in my front yard OR serve pastries to visitors?

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