Category Archives: Life

Habit change, solitude, and stillness

January certainly went by in a hurry.

I have quite a few things for you, and I'm just now sitting down to send you these notes.

If you're interviewing at a new company, here are 12 questions to ask during your interview.

How do you find stillness and solitude in a hyper-connected world? (Podcast)

Want to make habit change? Here's 8 ways to create habit change (that actually work).

For me, the more you give, the more you get.

Frazzled as a content creator? Let's talk about the power of evergreen content.Make work that stays, saving you time in the long run. (Podcast)

Now that it's the end of January, are you drifting away from those resolutions? Here are three tips for keeping your goals. (Video)

Bloopers can be funny! These are all the takes that didn't cut it. (Video)

And whoa! It Starts With was named one of the top 100 websites for writers by The Write Life!

Thanks to all of YOU who share this work, connect me to awesome new people, and encourage each other to keep thinking and making.

February can be a cold month. It's a great time to buckle in by the fire and make some work happen. Even if you're lying down, under a blanket, with a warm cup of coffee... or a glass of wine!

An invitation into the darkness: the value of rumination and notes on finding your own inner guru.

The darkness of winter: time to turn inwards. The northern hemisphere is swaddled in darkness, as it is each winter. Today is the longest night of the year; the shortest day. The sun will rise late and quickly dash off, leaving us behind to contemplate the cold, wind, and dreariness of night. Despite the prominenceContinue Reading

Have you ever lost your temper?

This is an excerpt of an essay from my twelve-essay short series on Grace and Gratitude. Each day, I send a story with a nugget, an idea, and a practice — everything from losing your temper, to finding small happiness, to practicing meditation. The program is here; or just enjoy the essay below as aContinue Reading

The man at the grocery store.

The man in the grocery store is in love with me. I can tell by the way that his eyes watch me, and the way he smiles at me from behind the counter. I pull my basket up around the edge of the aisle, glancing briefly at the pop tart magazines. Mmm… chocolate. I grabContinue Reading

Want to learn yoga in 5 minutes a day?

I was sitting at dinner with my friends Amber and Farhad recently, and the conversation turned to yoga, drawing, and art. I mentioned an idea I had, to make small “yoga grams” on my Instagram with a posture or two that people could learn and try in just a few minutes a day. If you knowContinue Reading

When you fall down, break your routine, or stop writing: notes on re-starting.

The rhythm breaks. The routine falters. You write, so diligently, and then a week slips by. Getting back into the structure of things — writing — is even more challenging when traveling, moving, changing. I can make a million excuses; writing and making time for writing is and always seems so hard. It’s easier when I’mContinue Reading

What is grace and why does it hurt so much? (what I learned about emotional resilience through a 10-day detox retreat in Ubud, Bali).

“The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it.” — Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul On the black sands of the Java Sea. The waves crashed over my limbs as sobs heaved in and out of my chest. IContinue Reading

Why is moving so hard? The struggle to lighten up, give up, and let go.

“Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris. Everything changes. I just emptied an apartment full of furniture, things, stories, and stuff. I carried couches, desks, and pieces of furniture up and down (and up and down) many flights of stairs across hillyContinue Reading

a love story.

I was making a book; he was a book designer. We talked on the phone — me, in San Francisco, him in Brooklyn. We chatted for nearly an hour before I convinced him to let me hire him as a consultant for a project. I paid the standard rate, typical deliverables — and yet I wantedContinue Reading

Are you living? Because sometimes, I can forget.

“It’s not that we’re afraid of death—we’re only afraid of death because we want to make sure we’ve lived enough.” —Chris Guillebeau, @AliveinBerlin Remains of the Berlin Wall (left), and Templehofer Feld, an abandoned airport (photographs by Alex). Three and a half years ago, I booked a plane ticket to Portland, Oregon. I went by myself—all alone,Continue Reading