Category Archives: colourfulPEOPLE

Thankful

Occasionally, I experience those little moments of trepidation when I wonder what the future will hold, but as I look back over the last year I am confident of one thing. I am surrounded by a community of people who continually surprise me with their compassion and kindness. What is there to fear when walking arm in arm with friends?

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Paralysis of Self-Doubt

I haven’t been interpreting in the post-secondary setting all semester. For people that know StrengthsQuest, two of my top five are learner and input. As you can see, I was feeling desperate for any kind of stimulating information. I pulled up TED because I know I can always count on them to either inspire me or educate me on a specific topic. This TED talk blew me away. At first, it was very informational. Amy Cuddy explained her findings about body language and how it relates to power dynamics. As her talk continued, the research findings became really fascinating and her personal story emerged as she was explaining why her research resonated with her so strongly.

The themes of vulnerability and imperfection have really become important topics for me this year, and once again I see the beauty of vulnerability in her talk. (Thank you, Brené Brown.) She explains her path into academia and her nagging feeling that she didn’t deserve to be there at all. You will need to watch the talk in order to understand why she had this feeling of inadequacy.

As she was speaking, I had this realization that at some level all people have these feelings of inadequacy or fraudulence; however, we all have them for different reasons. Despite the reasons for our feelings of inadequacy, we have a choice. I am not going to be naive and say if you just follow everything Amy says your feelings of unworthiness, inadequacy, and fraudulence are going to immediately go away, but what I am saying is the most important part of her research is our choice to push aside those feelings even when we believe them and they lurk in the back of our minds. We don’t have to add fuel to the fire by actively participating in our own self-destruction.

Obviously depression and any other mental health issues are not situations where you can will those conditions away; however, this is a situation of self-doubt–that habit to instantly second guess yourself or your abilities. I want my mindset to be how can I make this happen in my life instead of instantly giving all of the reasons why something won’t happen. Trust me, I am really good at coming up with a list of why I can’t do something, and usually all of the reasons involve me and my feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness. If I am honest with myself, giving into those feelings is easier, and I am comfortable there. Who is with me in getting out of this self-doubt paralysis?

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Why We Love May Day

May Day has become a ritual for me, Melissa, and Joby. Every spring we look forward to the symbolism of Spring: new beginnings, fresh starts, life, and the promise of a new year. Even though I am in Boston, I plan on making my way back to Minneapolis to celebrate all of the possibilities of a new year.  If you are wondering why we love May Day so much, let me illustrate.

Friends and Neighbors

Mangos On A Stick

Regalia

Kids having fun

Costumes and Puppets!

Spring!

Activism

Bikes

Happy Dogs

And COLOUR!

Tenor Perfection

There is something about a tenor’s ability to hit certain notes that immediately makes me shake my head in disbelief.  Also, there is something uniquely different about the haunting sound of opera.  It resonates in a way no other kind of music does.  I never thought I would like opera music.  I took 8 years of piano, and I always loved classical music; however, I didn’t really understand the beauty of opera until I watched Amadeus.   I was listening to NPR, and I can’t find the original story, but it was about this South African group of tenors that have become really successful.   They are called The Gugulethu Tenors.  Their story is truly inspiring and their voices are unforgettable.

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“The Single Story Creates Stereotypes”

In one of my favorite TED Talks, Chimamanda Adichie, a Nigerian author, speaks poignantly about the problem with the single story. She describes how when we learn only one perspective or meet only one person, we often allow that one interaction to become representative of the whole. We make everything black and white, refusing to acknowledge the many shades of gray. In doing so, we prevent ourselves from seeing the many facets that exist within a person, a community, a nation.

Cake Pop Art

I thought it was pretty hilarious when my three year old nephew told my sister he wanted a cake pop. It was as if his request was as normal as asking for a glass of milk or a piece of cheese.

I said, you know what a cake pop is??

He just looked at me as if I insulted his intelligence. Duh, of course he knew about cake pops. I always thought they were really dumb. I get annoyed when people are in line at starbucks and their order goes a little something like, yeah, I will have a grande, three pump, 4 shot, no foam, extra hot latte and a cake pop.

Why do adults eat them?  They are an overpriced, bird-size portion. Is it that people feel better about themselves because unlike you they didn’t order a cheese danish. Hey loser with your 500 calorie breakfast, don’t you wish you would have ordered a cake pop? I have so much control unlike you, big fatty, fatty, two by four.

All of this cake pop bashing to say, I am now obsessed with cake pops.  My co-worker showed me this woman’s website.  She is the diva of cake pops.  Seriously, they are works of art. I am now a cake pop convert, and if I ever get a chance to eat these cake pops there is no way I am just having one.

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The Art of Vulnerability

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Beautiful Gaudi: Park Güell

As many of you know, I went to Spain this summer.  I was initially really excited about all of the blog posts I could do from my trip and simultaneously feeling paralyzed because of everything I saw.  I wasn’t sure where to start or what to pick.  I decided to go through my pictures, and pick pictures that correspond to the spirit of our blog.  Instantly, I knew where I needed to start:  Antoni Gaudí.  You can’t go anywhere in Spain without seeing the hand of Gaudi.  He has shaped, constructed, and influenced the feel and style of Barcelona.  His creativity and forward thinking has left an indelible mark.  The first place I will start is Park Güell.

Colour is everywhere in this quaint park:  bright flowers, vivid mosaics that put Philly to shame, and of course people as different as all of the pieces of glass that make up his mosaics, all gathering in one location to be apart of his artwork.  People say his architecture and art is, dare I say, gaudy.  I think his architecture is out of this world.  Anytime I was looking at his artwork, I would remind myself this art was from the early 1900s!  He was ahead of his time and embraced who he was without shame.   I think many people might think his art work was out of control; however, even in the midst of his jaw dropping, chaotic pieces there is calm and a strong sense of control.  Here in Park Güell is where he displays control and subtlety to lure the viewer through his space.  The balcony that overlooks the park is very plain on the outside, compared to some of his other work, yet underneath the balcony there are these beautiful mosaics that adorn the underbelly.  I love that you have to traverse all parts of his architecture.  He forces you to interact with the space.  There is always something to find, always meaning hidden in his controlled chaos.


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Apple Cider, Apple Brats, Apple Pie, oh my!

There is nothing like fall weather and going to the apple orchard with your friends!  Not to mention all of the great photo opportunities!  We had a blast running around the orchard and most importantly eating!  We had apple cider brats, apple pie with ice cream, apple slices with carmel, delicious wine, and not to mention delicious kettle corn!  Joby introduced us to this apple paradise, and we are so grateful to her!  We made some great desserts with our finds!  I will post them later!

Half the Sky: Your Call to Action

Last year, Nancy and I read the incredibly empowering book Half the Sky. We were simultaneously outraged and inspired. The book describes the horrifying atrocities waged against women every day all over the world regardless of class or ethnic background. In affluent homes and destitute quarters, women–wives, daughters, friends–are abused and raped. Despite these overwhelming facts, the authors also highlight how women themselves have overcome these oppressive situations, how they have found the strength and hope required to persevere, and in doing so have enabled the people around them to also overcome. Research supports that claim. The authors site a research study conducted by the World Bank entitled: “Engendering Development through Gender Equality in Rights, Resources, and Voice.” The study concluded that investing in women reaps “a double dividend.” Story after story is told of how when women are given the opportunity, their success has a ripple effect that can change the lives of entire communities.

By the time, Nancy and I reached the conclusion of the book, we were both crying, inspired, and ready to DO something. I think that’s the very definition of empowered: “crying, inspired, and ready.” We both wanted to sign up for nearly every organization listed in the conclusion, which brings me to the point of this post. Nancy came up with the fantastic idea of using Colourize as a direct way to take action, and I loved it. We have some ideas for what we want to do in the future…community projects, micro-business sponsorships, but to get us started we have a woman that you can help NOW.

Two months ago, my sister-in-law Abbie and her husband Jon opened up their home to a woman and her three young children. She courageously left her abusive husband despite all the challenges she knew that would bring, including raising three little ones on her own without much support. She has been searching for a place of her own since arriving at Abbie’s, but has experienced discrimination at every turn. She has been working with her local non-profit organizations and even then has faced barriers. An opportunity has finally opened up today that would enable her and her small family to get their own apartment. She needs $1,800 in order to pay for the security deposit, first month’s rent, and a few necessities.

Obviously, you don’t know this woman, but if you have been wanting to join hands with other women in solidarity against violence, this is your opportunity. So many times, I am overwhelmed by all of the different organizations I can support. With this particular situation, know your money will go directly to help a young woman who is using her incredible strength to stand up for her herself and for her children. I hope you join her in her personal fight against domestic violence, just as Abbie and Jon did. Together we can “hold up half the sky.”

To donate funds, click on the PayPal link below. That will link you with the official Colourize PayPal account. I will be forwarding those payments to the account set up for her and will report back here with the results.

 

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