the map is not the territory, part 4 and 5…heart on my sleeve.



In 2004 I wasn’t thinking about human engagement or the power of love as a way to heal, to seal, to bridge. I was looking for a way out of teaching, I was listening to a lot of Wilco. I was getting engaged in the strangest of circumstances but for the most normal of reasons.

2014? It’s all I could think about. Who are we if we are not connected? And clearly, from the following list, I sensed some themes…the search for meaning, the search for family, the search for self and identity. I love that we are drawn to certain things right when we need them.

A little later than planned,  some aren’t even from this year (but new to me), and of course there are so many more, but here are 10 Heart on My Sleeve highlights from 2014:

1. Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes Anderson

2. Wild. Cheryl Strayed.

3. Begin Again. John Carney

4. The Boxtrolls. 

5. Daring Greatly. Brene´ Brown (a little video clip connected with Brown’s work.)

6. A Band Called Death. 

7. The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. Heidi Durrow 

8. Big Hero 6.

9. The Graveyard Book. Neil Gaiman

10. Syllabus. Lynda Barry 





the map is not the territory, part 3. workin’ on my…


2013 was the year to put things back together.

2014?  As I was standing at the gym yesterday I heard it loud and clear through the speakers:

“People got a lot to say
But don’t know sh** about where I was made
Or how many floors that I had to scrub
Just to make it past where I am from…

I’ve been work, work, work, work, working on my sh**…”

Thank you, Iggy Azalea. In less colorful terms, I focused on doing the work to keep ME together this year.  And, as Miss Azalea so eloquently states, people just don’t know what you’ve gone through or how you’ve gone through it to get to where you are unless you tell them. Or maybe you don’t need to.

It’s really nobody’s business, right?

For me, this was a bit of a revelatory notion to align with in 2014. Historically I have been a bit of a “comparer” – looking at my life through the lens of other people’s situations. This has only led to me being my biggest critic, feeling either better than or less than or whatever than and not a lot of “just right.” Not super healthy or productive. Similarly, I’ve also been one to feel like I needed to explain myself or to justify my beliefs, actions, etc. to others for them to be valid. Also not super healthy or productive.

I feel like this year I finally got a glimpse of what it felt like to do things for me and my own well-being without worrying so much about what other people think or what other people are doing. We really are on our own journey, and one person’s milestone is another person’s millisecond. And that’s ok.

There were some other key things I learned this year. Here’s the long and short of it (or 9 lucky lessons):

  1.  Declaring my intentions? Good. Making absolute declarations? Not so effective. The why’s are what’s important. The how’s? Not so much.
  2. I like a challenge. Photo, fitness, whatever. There is something alluring about the commitment and the routine.
  3. No matter how much you prepare, or know it’s the right thing, it’s hard to say goodbye to a loved one. Rest in peace, Pablo. You gave our family more than you will ever know.
  4. Time may be a bandit, but it’s not a thief. Some things take time, and some things happen in an instant. I suppose it’s understanding that staying as awake and as observant and as clear is possible is “all” you can do.
  5. Helping my kids learn who and what they are has done wonders for my own journey. Helping them open their hearts has helped me further open mine.
  6. I’m built exactly for what I am here to do on this planet. This occurred to me when I was listening to an interview with Chris Hadfield, who took all those amazing photos of space and shared them with the world during his mission. He was talking about things he did to train to become an astronaut, which included these crazy (as far as I’m concerned) claustrophobia-inducing activities. Yah, that’s not me AT ALL. And I had a lovely   understanding. I was never meant to be an astronaut. I was just meant to be me.
  7. As the great Muhammad Ali said, “Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.” But stay down as long as you need to.
  8. R&R is not only necessary, but vital.
  9. For me to be creative, it means I have to get out of my head and DO something. Yes, it feels vulnerable and scary…but it also feels pretty great.

Oh, one final thing!  You more than likely don’t get to choose where the lesson comes from. You just have to be open to hearing it. Thanks Iggy.

Here’s to 2015!