Thinking Out Loud Thursday #116!

Today I am joining Amanda at Running with Spoons for another week of Thinking Out Loud Thursday. I can’t decide whether I want to say, “Wow, it’s already Thursday,” or “Oh my goodness, how is it only Thursday?” It’s a toss up. This week will look a little different for Thinking Out Loud Thursday because I really want to share some quotes, stories, and media that I’ve had profoundly impact my life in the last few weeks. I’ve been diving into a varied range of books lately, from fiction to self-help, and I am caught in a state of feeling like I am learning so much that I can practically feel my mind expanding while simultaneously feeling like the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

One of the major learnings I’ve experienced lately, is how rare it is to find people who are willing to genuinely converse about meaningful and complex problems, feelings, and understandings. Only through accumulating more of those people in my life have I understood how much can be missing from a ‘connection’ when you aren’t able to share your true being with them (including relationships, friendships, colleagues, and family). One of my friends was asking me about blogging last week when we went for coffee and I shared how much I want to write about bigger and more complicated topics, but how I’ve curated a space on the web for less controversial conversation. I can happily chatter on about running shoes, spin playlists, and race nerves, but I shy away from digging deeper into topics like diversity in sport, spirituality in the outdoors, and creativity as an expression of the soul. It’s hard to be vulnerable in person, let alone on the internet.

It’s worth sharing pieces from my experience though, because you never know what other souls out there are thinking, “Wow, I love hearing about how many lattes you drank this week, but can I hear about something a little less superficial?”

“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.”

Brene Brown

If you have yet to discover Brene Brown, I highly recommend that you minimize this window (don’t worry, I’ll wait) and place all of her books on hold at your local library or better yet, head to your local bookstore and snatch them up off the shelves because she will change your life. I think owning our stories is hard, but it’s the most fulfilling thing we can do with our lives. I first encountered Brene Brown when she posted a FaceBook live video after Charlottesville, the proceeded to watch all possible Ted Talks and lectures online, then read her books, and most recently, listen to her interview with Oprah on the podcast Super Soul Sunday. If anyone wants to do a Brene Brown book club, holla at me.

“People in our culture don’t like to ask life’s big questions… What does your soul look like?”

– Rainn Wilson

I encountered Rainn Wilson, obviously through Dwight Schrute on The Office, but didn’t look deeper into his life until this week. On my Oprah Super Soul Sunday podcast marathon, I listened to his interview where he chats about the website and idea, Soul Pancake. He expresses the need for creativity in human lives for the connection and expression of spirituality. It was a wonderful interview and there are about 712 quotes that I thought, “I NEED TO WRITE THAT DOWN.” It’s so incredibly fascinating to me how much people would rather breakdown an episode of The Bachelorette than talk about life’s big questions. In our team meetings at work we start long meetings with a ‘thought breaker’ that often resembles one of Rainn’s ‘life’s big questions.’ We didn’t call them that, it was just something to get our minds away from everything, to reset, connect, and deep dive into our souls so we can bring our true, genuine, raw selves to the table and create change through the work we do. It was powerful and not only did we bring a new and open headspace to the meetings but we connected personally to each other and created a safe space for sharing, feeling, and being real.

“We are not our bodies. We are not our thoughts. We are not our feelings or our insights. We are something else far deeper and wider.”

– Judy Bopp, The Sacred Tree

When you first glance through the book, The Sacred Tree, it appears simple. It is an easy read in terms of language, wealth of drawings and art to illustrate the concepts, and the concise 87 pages. Two of my most amazing colleagues and I have all read this book, and gathered together through two of our lunch hours so far to discuss it, and in those two hours we managed to get through discussion about the first page and a half of the book. This book is a tool for self-reflection, to put it simply. I have sat here for far too long trying to write how I would describe this book but it really can’t be dissected. It’s powerful. It makes your brain hurt. It instantly connects with your soul, yet it takes time to digest and understand why that connection happened so fast and what it means.

“It may take a little getting used to, but you must stop giving a fuck about what other people think.”

Sarah Knight

Do you ever stop and think, “Why am I pretending to care about this and dedicating my time, energy, and money to this when really, I don’t give a f*ck?” The book The Life-changing magic of not giving a f*ck by Sarah Knight is for you. Due to the mistiming of my on-hold library books, I read Sarah’s follow-up book Get your sh*t together and was therefore stoked to finally read this one. In spite of the cursing in the titles and the no non-sense approach Sarah takes in her writing, these books aren’t about being rude. It’s about how to determine where you dedicate your energy. Why spend it focused on things you truly don’t give a f*ck about and instead put your money, time, and energy towards things that bring you joy.

The best thing I ever did was own my hatred of potlucks. I despise potlucks. I used to begrudgingly join in and pretend I like dragging a bowl of quinoa salad or a half-assed cheese and cracker platter on my walk to work and then finding that 78% of people found it convenient to bring a meat dish and I nibble on a sprinkle of soggy caesar salad, a couple of crackers, and questionable cookies that are more oats that chocolate. Now I admit that potlucks don’t bring me joy (I’m convinced that most others feel the same way but have yet to admit it), I stop by for the socializing and comment on how great Susan’s brownies look and how impressed I am that Carol brought her infamous chilli, and then head out to a lunch I scheduled on the same day with a friend where we can spend the same amount of money on food we actually want to eat in a space where we don’t have to observe how much of the quinoa salad is left and awkwardly accept comments about your vegan addition to the spread. THE JOY THIS HAS BROUGHT TO MY LIFE.

There we have it. A little something different on the blog today. Still running, still snacking, still riding the endorphin high that is teaching spin class, and now I am finding new ways to learn, discover, and experience.

Tell me: what spoke to your soul this week?

6 Comments

  1. Appreciate the book recommendations – and yes, Brene Brown!
    If I may add to your potluck comments… how about a work meeting (or similar) where “lunch is provided”. Really? Fool me once, shame on me… I’ll just bring my own food thanks.

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