strong offer friday

When I left my job and opened my own business 19 years ago, I started by taking almost all the consulting gigs that came my way because I was AMAZED at how much money I could make as a corporate consultant. I had quit my job to stay home with Emma more, and wasn’t. Until one day when my wise friend Dave Rippey said to me, “Patti, I don’t think the right question is ‘How much can I make?’ I think the right question is ‘How much do I need?'” Strong Offers Eight years ago today, my husband started writing his brilliant blog, pieces of which are often retweeted and shared by the likes of Le Monde, The Times, Slate, New York Times, Le Point, Paris Review, Huffington Post, Gizmodo, Le Figaro, Wired, The Economist, American Physical Society News, and many others. That’s a strong offer right there. I’ve started a “Fitness is a Verb” Facebook group because I needed some motivation, accountability, and community while starting a new fitness program. It’s casual, already helping, and open to anyone who needs the same. I also joined this class with amazing trainers, Michael Scholtz and Greg Hottinger. They have offered a special price to Patti Digh friends of $25 (rather than $40). Starts on Monday, February 2nd! (Not an affiliate link; I don’t do those). VerbTribe has helped 200+ people start writing again, and build a consistent writing practice. A brand new VerbTribe online writing class starts February 6th! We have some sets of Tess’ valentine’s cards left and they are awesome! Tess and her partner in crime, Mary Anne Radmacher,...

thinking thursday

mind Having watched money and connections land many a book on the best-selling lists, I find this to raise an interesting point about the dangers of pretending privilege doesn’t exist.   “Because in this world where women will sit around discussing the various topiary shapes of their bikini waxes, the conversation about money (or privilege) is the one we never have. Why? I think it’s the Marie Antoinette syndrome: Those with privilege and luck don’t want the riffraff knowing the details. After all, if ‘those people’ understood the differences in our lives, they might revolt. Or, God forbid, not see us as somehow more special, talented and/or deserving than them.” I cannot get enough of this. I included it, with his blessings, in a book of mine. I read it often. body This is amazing and very cool and beyond the binary. Go big or go home seems to be the theme. This is going on my meal planner. Yeah, like I have a meal planner, but you know what I mean. Come, let’s make our own mustard. Because it matters. You’re welcome. spirit These rules for 2014 still apply for 2015. word “Responsibility I believe accrues through privilege. People like you and me have an unbelievable amount of privilege and therefore we have a huge amount of responsibility. We live in free societies where we are not afraid of the police; we have extraordinary wealth available to us by global standards. If you have those things, then you have the kind of responsibility that a person does not have if he or she is slaving seventy hours a week to put...

poetry wednesday : cusp

Cusp by Erin Coughlin Hollowell Puzzle of bones, try to take time out of a watch, stop sundown. It’s all the same weave, all warm from the compost, erasing the written page to blankness. In the morning, the shadow of a hawk split the yard. Inside your ear, mother’s voice— stay away from that wall or you’ll fall, you’ll feel, you’ll see over. There’s another world inside. In your pocket, you carry twelve black stones, rosary of willing deceit, accounting of misspent deeds. If sand fills your mouth, spit. If salt burns like a flame inside you, ignite. Any shard can split open your precious whole. There is a crust, a crypt, a bomb crouched inside. You witnessed blue fragments of birds stabbed crimson by black beak. Maybe it is blood. Maybe it is only berries, too ripe. Everything tumbles.   You can find this poet here. Art from...

book stack tuesday : the art of asking

My head nodded in recognition throughout this book. So far, I’ve read it twice. There is more to say, but I’ll start here: I’ve had some experience with asking*, which taught me a lot about generosity, and giving, and community, and vulnerability, and expectation, and judgment. So I was interested to read Amanda Palmer’s take on it–what has she learned about asking and giving in her life before, during, and after her million dollar Kickstarter campaign, which is how many people know her. First, I felt such a kinship with her in the ways she described her relationship to her community of “fans” who were more friend than fan. Her descriptions of a community built around relationship, not numbers (to the chagrin and befuddlement of her record label’s “business plan”), mirrors my own. Having embarked on a 43-city U.S. tour for my book Life is a Verb from the ground up, by readers asking me to come to their cities and opening their homes to me, I nodded through much of the book. Having my publisher’s publicists make decisions based on numbers and not relationships, and having hired a “business manager” who couldn’t understand relationship, I could see myself in her dilemmas, and in her choices. By the end of the book, I was convinced that she and I are long lost sisters. What is it to ask for help? Or to receive the help that is given? What keeps us from asking? Of what use are those stories we are telling ourselves about shame or worth? She writes: “Often it is our own sense of help that has...

balance your power

I was in my early 20s, in graduate school studying literature (mainly American) and art history (mainly the figure of the artist in fiction). There’s a huge employment market for people who have studied the figure of the artist in fiction, of course. My thesis was entitled “The Solids of Uccello: Near Recognitions of Reality in William Gaddis’ The Recognitions.” It was a heady time, indeed. I was studying in an English Department then ranked first in the nation, in a school known as Mr. Jefferson’s University that until 1970, just twelve years before, had been an all-male bastion. The competition was fierce in the English department, though I didn’t realize just how fierce for quite some time. I thought it was all about the love of literature—and it was, in large part, but with an undercurrent of beating the other M.A. students for the few, precious slots in the Ph.D. program. It was particularly competitive if you happened to be a woman (though I didn’t know that either), because many longtime professors there still weren’t sure if going co-ed had been such a good idea after all. There was only one tenured female professor in the department who, in a memorable conversation, told me that she had suffered deeply to get there and her intention was not to help other women by making it easier for them, but to ensure that every other woman suffered as much as she did so they would understand and appreciate the journey. Evidently you cannot help without torturing the ones who follow you, I thought. I, myself, would rather sweep a path...