Don't Let Olivia Pope Stop You From Reading

Image via NPR.

"I think stories are necessary, just as necessary as food and love. It's how we make meaning of our lives." — Chimamanda Adichie

I want to learn something new every day. Lately I've been feeling a little lost intellectually — partially because I have a three-week old (but mostly because I recently discovered Scandal (Olivia Pope's outfits!!)), my brain has regretfully shrunk. I'm also a big reader but just haven't been keeping up with my typical reading schedule. I'm really feeling it. But. I discovered the TED Radio Hour on NPR. Do you listen to it? The most recent show surrounded the topic of stories:

Stories ignite our imagination, let us leap over cultural walls and cross the barriers of time. They affirm who we are, and allow us to experience the similarities between ourselves and others. In this hour, TED speakers explore the art of storytelling — and how good stories have the power to transform our perceptions of the world.

I could not agree more. More times than I can count, a story (whether it be from the lips of someone I know, or from words on a page) has altered my judgement, pricked my humanity, and I hope I can truly say — changed my life. I cannot wait to dive into these segments, learn, and feel a little deeper about the chemistry and purpose of storytelling.

But only after I'm caught up on Season 3. 

The World is Too Much With Us: Late and Soon

"THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US; LATE AND SOON"

          THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
          Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
          Little we see in Nature that is ours;
          We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
          The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
          The winds that will be howling at all hours,
          And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
          For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
          It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
          A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;                         10
          So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
          Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
          Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
          Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. 

                                                              1806.

I recently read a beautiful post commenting on our cultural tendency toward wearing "busyness" as badge. I ended up making a very long-winded comment on the post and thinking about the purpose and place of productivity and work all day long. Amy also included this beautiful poem by William Wordsworth. Will's always laying it down, right?

Do you find yourself apologizing for not being busy enough? Do you think you're too busy? The more I thought about busyness the more ridiculous the word sounded and clouded the meaning became.

Write a Personal Manifesto

How do we know who we are if we don't declare it?

Write a personal manifesto.

Per Jasmine's encouragement at Alt Summit, I'm writing my own personal manifesto. As a copywriter, words are how I best visualize what I am, what makes me unique, and what I'm about. I've written brand mission statements and manifestos for huge corporations as well as one person Etsy shops, and it always surprises me how quickly they focus a brand's vision, design, and identity. They can be internal or external. A manifesto details exactly what the brand stands for in straightforward, concise language. The voice reflects the brand. They're always written, but can be presented visually. I love Kinfolk's manifesto film. Nike's always the best, too. When you start to lose sight of your original vision or are lacking inspiration, it can be a reference point, a sentimental founding, and a grounding statement to get back on track. 

Do you have a personal manifesto? A business manifesto? A family mission statement? Is it private or do you share it? A personal or business manifesto can be a wonderful jumping point for a powerful About Page. If you'd like help, I write manifestos.