Day 30: Endings

And so here we are. It feels like I have lived a lifetime through this strange collaborative online connection with you. Perhaps for some of you, this has also been a lifetime of a journey. For thirty days I have ended each day staring at a blank screen, willing my brain to create the next adventure. What a gift it has been to me, to take the time to reflect; to read and absorb your beautiful, extraordinary, emotional, insightful, hilarious, wonderful, and awesome responses. This was nothing but an experiment. And it would have been nothing without you. It is all you. Your courage. Your vulnerability. Your lives. You.

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Fred Rogers

So here we are. At the end. Endings are moments in which we simultaneously open and close. We end. And by ending sometimes pieces of us die.  But we live! We create! We are open in new ways! Imagine that.

When we did the guerilla gifts task, the adventurer who started this whole made idea sent me a video. And the minute I watched it, I realised it would be our final task.

Day 30: Find/buy/create 30 gifts. Give them to 30 strangers. Close this chapter with generosity. 

PS. Remember to submit your evidence (notes, photos, video, audio…anything!) and your daily questions to thirtydaysofawesome@gmail.com

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Day 29: The Unsaid

Oh dear, I thought to myself earlier, one last post (Day 30 I have known since early on…the only one pre-planned). One last moment to prod and provoke. To say to you the things I needed to say to myself. And so I realised that perhaps, this penultimate day needed to be about speaking.

Speak

We have journeyed so far. We have cried, and laughed, and walked, and climbed. We have faced fears, our shadows, fragility, and secrets. We have loved. But maybe there is still more in us. More waiting to be said. More that we have left unsaid. 

Adrienne2

There are many beautiful people in my life. And with many there are things unsaid. Perhaps you have said some of them in the gratitude or love tasks. Perhaps there are others who you did not yet speak to. Perhaps more than anything, you need to speak to yourself. Shinji Moon is an extraordinary poet, and in these two small pieces captures things I have left unsaid, to long ago loves, to dearhearted friends, to me, to you.

Shinji1

Shinji2

Day 29: Speak. Express the unsaid. Paint the unpainted. Sing the unsung. Write the unwritten. Get the last of it (for now) out.

PS. Remember to submit your evidence (notes, photos, video, audio…anything!) and your daily questions to thirtydaysofawesome@gmail.com

Day 28: On Love

I’m having a hard time reconciling with the fact that there are only two days left. Every task I post, I keep thinking: Is this good enough? interesting enough? Challenging enough? But then I thought of my advice to you guys, and found this great graphic (edit: by Kate Holden – check out the original here: http://faisdm.tumblr.com/post/61434384914):

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So decided to screw my insecurities and just carry on with whatever pops into my mind.

I was trawling over all the tasks and realised that we had never specifically focussed in on love. We’d had gratitude, fears, fragility, and beauty. But never love.

I know I have already inundated you with Mary Oliver, but this is one of my favourite poems:

OfLove

And these meditations from Susan Sontag are exquisite:

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Day 28: Dedicate the day to love. Meditate on it. Create it. Perform it. Record it. Embrace love. 

PS. Remember to submit your evidence (notes, photos, video, audio…anything!) and your daily questions to thirtydaysofawesome@gmail.com

PPS.

Day 27: Revolutionary Acts

Today was a No Good Horrible Very Bad Day kind of a day. Yes, the combination of car trouble, flu, and the kitchen floor attacking my head, leaving me looking like I was in a punch-up, had me feeling particularly vulnerable.

Luckily I have many loving friends, and a colleague who drove me home and forced me into bed with an ice-pack on my face. Spending a day in bed felt incredibly indulgent. But then I remembered Audre Lorde’s very wise words:

So I started thinking about revolutionary acts and turned to a reminder that I absolutely love: A Softer World‘s re-interpretation of Gandhi’s most famous quote.

lurid

And this delight too (I unfortunately can’t remember where I stole this gem from!)

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So let’s get a little radical. Whether it is with the way we treat ourselves, with the way we are in the world, or a revolution that needs to be started. Today’s task is simple.

Day 27: Carry out revolutionary acts. 

PS. Remember to submit your evidence (notes, photos, video, audio…anything!) and your daily questions to thirtydaysofawesome@gmail.com

Day 26: Bombs

Yesterday was one of those days that made me think this:

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To counter-act my flu and anxiety-filled day, I was drawn today to of one of my all-time favourite A Softer World comics:

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And that leads us straight to today’s slightly more cryptic task.

Day 26: Create some truth and beauty bombs. Drop them where they are needed. 

PS. Remember to submit your evidence (notes, photos, video, audio…anything!) and your daily questions to thirtydaysofawesome@gmail.com

Day 25: Children’s Tales

It’s our last week of this adventure, and so I’m going to be stepping up the “level” of the challenges. I hope you leap at the chance.

I know a lot of your inner critics might start shouting as you read them. Ignore the voices. Take the risk. Create magic. Don’t judge it. Just be with it, however it comes.

I adore children’s books. There’s something so timeless and true about them. Deep wisdom couched in the magical and absurd. They allow us to wander into new worlds. Places where the rules change. Where we become.

I particularly love Neil Gaiman’s Instructions which takes the heart of fairytales and boils it down to its essence; here’s a short extract:

GaimanInstructions

Children’s books and fairytales teach us all of this. Whether its the bittersweet The Little Prince…

or the world of Winnie the Pooh’s 100 Acre Woods…

or any of the many beautiful, and extraordinary, works of Maurice Sendak…

Open House for Butterflies, Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are

So today I want us to dig back into our favourite children’s books. And then create our own. They can be one page. Or a full book. But make something.

Day 25: Create a children’s tale. However long or short. Revel in the magical and absurd. Create a new world. 

PS. Remember to submit your evidence (notes, photos, video, audio…anything!) and your daily questions to thirtydaysofawesome@gmail.com

Day 24: Secrets

One of my Sunday rituals is to read the weekly postcards on the PostSecret site. PostSecret was started as a small collaborative project by Frank Warren, where he invited people to anonymously submit their secrets via postcard. Here is his TED talk about the project:

The secrets are sometimes inane, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking. Here’s a handful:

 

There is something utterly entrancing about reading all these anonymous secrets. Seeing the similarities. Finding the connections. Being part of something.

Day 24: Send a postcard secret to PostSecret: 13345 Copper Ridge Road, Germantown, MD 20874, USA.*

*You don’t have to submit the secret to 30 days. But please do still send the questions.

PS. Remember to submit your evidence (notes, photos, video, audio…anything!) and your daily questions to thirtydaysofawesome@gmail.com