On Turning One

The Lightning Notes turns 1 today.

So, I decided to press pause, look back over this first year of being, and see what I’ve learned. Here’s what I can say:

Don’t wait for someone else to tell you something’s worthwhile. If you believe in it, if it matters to you, then it’s worthwhile.

Risk is a muscle. Exercise it daily.

Show up. Especially to a creative practice. Like novelist Kingsley Amis said: “The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one’s trousers to the seat of one’s chair.”

It’s okay to have fear and doubt. But don’t let doubt and fear have you.

Cynicism will get you nowhere. Curiosity will get you everywhere.

Floss. Plaque doesn’t care one iota how many long, hard, backbreaking hours you worked today.

Often, wisdom is not in the shouts, but in the murmurs of life.

A good companion to that: find the sacred in the mundane. Life is just as much – if not more so – waiting for lights to turn green and washing forks in soapy water as it is trips to Tokyo and black tie fêtes.

Appreciate the kind words, see if there’s anything to be learned from the unkind words, then get back to work. We can’t allow the world’s opinions to make or break us.

Discouragement is part of the process. It is not the end of the process. Unless we let it be.

Mentors, friends, hand-holders, believers are holy, holy, holy. I could write ‘holy’ 28 more times and it still wouldn’t be enough.

We are not our work. Off-time, downtime, quiet time is essential time. As Krista Tippett says, Protect it.

Gratitude is a beautiful antidote to frustration, loneliness, stuckness. It is also just beautiful.

Be kind. Especially when it’s not convenient. And especially towards yourself.

Compassion wins. Always.

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