go beyond remembering

Fourteen years ago today, this young man died a horrible death. You and I–we didn’t know it was happening, we couldn’t help him, but I think we can help others like him. We must, I believe. Shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998, east of Laramie, Wyoming, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was robbed, pistol whipped, tied to a fence in a remote, rural area in freezing temperatures, and left to die by two men–Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson–because he was gay. Shepard was discovered by a cyclist eighteen hours later, still alive but unconscious. The cyclist first mistook him for a scarecrow. He had suffered a fracture from the back of his head to the front of his right ear. He had severe brain stem damage, which affected his body’s ability to regulate heart rate, body temperature, and other vital signs. There were also about a dozen lacerations around his head, face and neck. His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate. Shepard never regained consciousness and remained on full life support. He was pronounced dead at 12:53 a.m. on October 12, 1998, fourteen years ago today. There is no reason this beautiful young man should be dead. He should be 36 years old, working in the world at something he cares about, in love, calling his mother on Sundays to say hi, learning how to sail, writing bad poetry, watching reruns, and planning his next vacation. He should be above ground, not below it. And no one should die like that—no one. For a country founded on human rights, we don’t seem to allow for the humanity...

be happy in advance

Here’s a story from my book, Four Word Self Help, about being happy in advance. A friend told me a story recently about a 92-year-old man who had to finally move into a rest home after the death of his wife. The family was worried about how he would react. After waiting in the nursing home lobby, finally his room was ready. As he went to the elevator, someone described his room to him. “I love it,” he said. “But you haven’t seen it yet,” the nurse replied. “It doesn’t matter,” he responded. “I’ve decided to be happy ahead of time.” Deciding to be happy ahead of time seems simplistic. Most transformational decisions are. Simple, and profound. Today, whatever happens, decide to be happy in advance. Tell me below in the comments how this changes things for you. I’d love to hear. Love,...

becoming bendy

As I plan for my first “Becoming Bendy” online class with master wellness coaches Greg Hottinger and Michael Scholtz, I’m reminded of my own journey. If what I’ve written below sounds familiar, I hope you’ll join us for what is going to be an extraordinary, honest, transformational journey in our Becoming Bendy class and community, starting October 23rd. Here’s a post from last year about becoming bendy: I had a revelation this past year. Two of them, actually. Okay, three. Or twelve. One: My husband, John, created a video for our oldest daughter’s graduation from high school, one documenting Emma’s life since birth to that moment of leaving home, going to college, walking into the world on her own. As I watched this beautiful progression of her life, it became so, so clear to me that I have spent the last 18 years trying to hide behind other people in photographs, buying and wearing clothing I didn’t love but that fit over my hips. Eighteen years. And probably, yes, longer even than that. Not walking in the world in jeans, a simple t-shirt and flip flops, but in every outfit covered by a big overshirt. Not wearing a bathing suit, never wearing shorts. Hiding. I watched it a few times, each time realizing that I knew exactly how I felt about my body at that point in time. “Oh, that’s baby weight,” I said until Emma was 10, for example. Every pound a witness to a heartbreak, a change, a fear, a celebration. Two: I’ve spent the past year being tested for things. Ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and repeat....

upcoming fabulosity

This is what 37 days of mindful eating and moving looks like. Day 1, Day 37. I’m so excited about these three upcoming “events”: 1. Calling artisans and craftspeople to consider being part of my new Patti Digh Designs for Life online store! Visibility for you = tools for mindful living for my readers! 2. My last “Creative is a Verb” retreat for 2012, and perhaps forever in this intimate format–a chance to gather with a small group (no more than 14) in a beautiful setting for intensive writing and art-making. Unleash your creative spark! 3. I’m on a journey to “become bendy.” See photo above. I have found wise guides in Greg Hottinger and Michael Scholtz, and now I’m partnering with them to bring their wisdom to 37days readers in the form of this interactive class called “Becoming Bendy: 37 Days to Mindful Eating and Moving.” You won’t get another diet or exercise plan. You’ll get the opportunity to fully understand your patterns around food and wellness. Because changing your behavior without understanding the structure of your land won’t lead to lasting change. It can’t. We’re diving beneath the...