Category Archives: Philosophy

Making space: holding the container open, empty, and ready.


Cleaning out sometimes feels a bit like a death.

Whenever I pack up bags to give away, it feels as though I'm going through old remnants of my past self, closets of things that represent who I used to be, and parting ways.

Lately I've been cleaning out everything: getting rid of extra toiletries, clothes, miscellaneous things, even most of my books, in an effort to minimize and make space.  Sometimes giving things away feels ceremonious and I'm glad to be letting go of things. I joyously depart from practices that no longer serve me.

Other times, it's downright painful to leave a city you love behind and jump off the edge into unknown territory and build your next life.

Change can be painful, emotional, and difficult to embrace.

Christina Rasmussen, an author I stumbled across last year and who I have come to adore, started a similar conversation about letting go. She pointed out how these shifts happen across not just our physical lives, but our digital, connected, and spiritual lives:

"During the last couple of weeks I have been unfollowing some people I admired years ago. It is not that I no longer admire them; I am just looking for another place for my eyes to land. Facebook can be both a horizon and a wall. When you start seeing the wall, you know what you need to do."

I couldn't agree more. It is more than fine to unfollow. Unfollow to make space for your own brain to think; slow down to cherish your own heartbeat; let unread books become donations to people who will read them. And in the digital world, while the work people are doing may be beautiful and wonderful — it might not be the vibration that you need in your life anymore.

Even when cutting feels aggressive, by doing so, you make space for new beautiful souls to wander into your life. And better yet, you make new space for the same two souls to mature independently and for you to meet again in the future, on another level, with a new relationship.

By nature of existence, we both accumulate and eliminate.

Growth comes with death. Each year, living things cycle through similar processes. We all grow, evolve, shift, and change. What you love and need one year is not the same as the next.

Just as Kate Northrup writes about deadheading as a growth practice, making space is about removing what's dead in your life so new growth can flourish. It is through this cutting, this elimination, this space-making, that we make room for us to grow beyond our container.

To expand.

Creating your own weekly review: Robert Cooper on finding ways to be exceptional.

Living up to your potential sounds pretty fancy. It’s something we all want, right? Live up to your potential. Maximize your potential. Be all that you can be.  But how, exactly, do you do it? How does an intangible life objective become manifest into your daily routine? For Robert Cooper, author of The Other 90%: HowContinue Reading

Words to fill your mind: the power of a mantra.

The words that fill our minds… We all have words that we cycle on repeat in our minds—from worries about being late to songs we sing or words we repeat. Don’t be late, don’t be late, don’t be late, we repeat to ourselves as we rush from subway to office to meeting to appointment. Gotta finish, gotta finish, gottaContinue Reading

Finding the little bliss(es): this is it.

Where is happiness? Where do you find it? The $7 coffee pot we bought the day we moved in together–because we knew that functioning properly as a team might require adequate dosages of caffeine in our morning routines. Stretching my toes against the curb while waiting for the light to change. High-fiving the blinking walkContinue Reading

Darkness and light: why writing is an act of bravery.

“Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our life.” — Brene Brown Writing is an act of bravery. Each year, when I teach our writing workshops, I get to work with a small group of twenty-some writers, thinkers, and creatives. Inevitably, the process gets difficult in weeksContinue Reading

Huzzah! Crazy discounts! January and February writing workshops, early-bird discounts, and double registration bonuses. It all starts… NOW.

What’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your business? Use your voice. Write your words. Tell your story. Say what needs to be said. Lead us to your ideas. Write powerfully. Pssst… we’re waiting for you to join us. TWO writing courses open this January and February: This Winter, I’m teaching two courses:Continue Reading

Your job is to create.

Your job is to create something in this world. With your human hands, your brain, your vision, your dreams, your desires. Make something. Make something with your mind, with your hands, with your heart. Put ingredients together and craft a batch of bread. Fold paper origami cranes. Make ideas come to life through words andContinue Reading

The masks we wear–how we hide who we are.

We all wear masks from time to time: in our words, our habits, and our practices. We have an arsenal of crutches and shortcuts that slowly but surely hide who we are. They are things that prop us up and help us hide. We hide from our feelings and our desires. We hide from whoContinue Reading

Are you minimalist enough? An experiment in giving up clothes for a year.

As a person with an apartment that has hundreds of books, I sometimes feel like my efforts to de-clutter and reduce the number of things that surround me aren’t enough. In my efforts to reduce clutter and consider minimalist–or simplicity–as a strategy, I began to doubt my efforts in being minimalist. And the thought begins to creep in: I’m not minimalist enough. What follows is the result of a year-long experiment in giving up buying clothes.Continue Reading

What would you bring with you into the woods? Reflection questions on your own fire, the art of creation, the necessity of destruction, and your intrinsic value.

Central Park by Vivienne Gucwa on NY Through The Lens. Reflection, rejuvenation, and three questions. This weekend, I left the city to join one hundred other entrepreneurs, creatives, and innovators to shake off some digital dust and retreat in the Poconos Mountains of Eastern Pennsylvania. In addition to the typical packing instructions — sleeping bag,Continue Reading