The Art of Convivial Living
There are moments in your life when you have to pay attention to what life is throwing at you and act accordingly.
Sometimes, all can be going smoothly; other times, everything can be going to sh*t. What do you do when its the latter?
As I must often learn, the more you resist the change you are needing to make, the more momentum you give the forces working against you.
This is when you have to (more…)Tweet
“Life is just better led when it is lived rather than viewed…now I find myself just taking in a moment, and I don’t have to post a picture about it.” -from Disruptions: More Connected, Yet More Alone
In this online space, I blog about putting yourself first, savoring the moment, and leading a more conscious and creative life. But…I must say, I don’t always follow my own advice.
Recently, I’ve had some great discussions about our current world’s incessant dwelling in digital land and how it’s hindering true living.
It’s easy to get sucked into this newly evolved matrix of sharing, texting, and posting because that’s social media and the culture we now live in, but for the love of your one life, don’t remain there.
When you put higher priority on sharing what’s happening in the moment with others who aren’t there (and probably never will be), it can be hard to savor your experience.
Look at me here. I’m out on the town, waiting on dinner, and I’m on my phone… (more…)Tweet
In case you didn’t know, I like to eat. In fancy terms, dine…and I like to do it with women who are big advocates of listening to their own voices, especially those little inklings and yearnings that tend to lead us down paths all their own.
When inspiration comes knocking, I gather such women at a table and we throw down…not the table (although I could), but the food, along with our thoughts and sentiments on…life, love, business, family, dream-chasing and glass-ceiling smashing.
This experience is The Convivial Supper Club, hosted by yours truly.
Let me assure you, it’s not your average meeting over dinner and drinks. Oh no…it’s much more than that. The food and drinks are really a side note, but we surely don’t scrimp on that area!
The Convivial Supper Club is a highly anticipated, private dining group that sits at the intersection of creative living, personal development and social impact for women.
CONVIVIAL [kuhn-viv-ee-uhl]: 1. fond of feasting, drinking, and good company; festive; folksy, forthcoming, genial, kindly, lively, communicative, expansive, high-spirited. 2. The feeling you get when you make the every day choice, whether subtle or profound, to live your life on purpose and with passion.* 3. The essence of who you are.*
The Convivial Supper Club is distinct and stands apart from every other women’s group because (more…)Tweet
“Take your place…show your face to the morning…’cause one of these days you’ll be born and raised and it all comes on without warning.” –John Mayer
The lyrics above are from Born and Raised, a John Mayer song that’s been on my 2013 playlist (repeatedly), a song I enjoyed on my morning walk earlier today, a song I heard Mayer perform live in Dallas this summer.
I would’ve written about my concert experience sooner, but I was feeling (more…)Tweet
The smell of fresh fruit and vegetables emanating from the revolving doors of Daily Juice were too enticing to pass up, so we stepped inside and ordered the Green Ocean (Cucumber, Apple, Spirulina, Marine Phyplankton).
I prefer to save my cash and juice at home on my Breville – something I’ve been doing for the last five years – but today we splurged. I have to say, though…the wait was way too long (20 minutes) so I will avoid going there at lunch time again.
As their mama and first teacher, I know it’s up to me to train my son’s taste buds for healthy eating…
That’s why I made certain they fell in love with Natalia Rose‘s Green Lemonade drink as babies and I’ve kept up the task of introducing new foods to their palate each day.
For the record, my oldest son loved his green juice, but my little one was like, “Whatever…” I know, I know…you can’t convert them all.
How about you…are you a green juice lover? Do you juice at home? Or could you seriously care less? It’s all good whichever way you go.Tweet
On my second day in the City of Roses, my travel companion, Monica and I were strolling downtown, looking for the meeting point for our next group activity, a photo walking tour of Portland.
Upon turning a corner, I noticed a black sign in the distance for what appeared to be a restaurant. I made out the name on the sign and nearly fell over, saying “Monica…LOOK AT THAT SIGN OVER THERE.” I became enraptured.
A cafe with my name on it, spelled the way I spell it! I’d just discovered Cheryl’s on 12th.
This was the moment when I stood in place and waved Miss America style as if I’d arrived…at least in my imagination.
Now I understood why I’d been trained in business to say (more…)Tweet
I went to Portland last weekend to attend an unconventional conference and being that it was my first visit, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I’d heard my business mentor and cousin, Tony rave about it and now that I’ve been living in Austin for almost two years, I’ve become well aware of the comparison folks make about Portland and Austin, calling them sister cities.
This was a trip in which I went with the flow of each new day (true chillaxin’). What I’ve concluded is that I love my Austin, Tejas. Sorry P-landers.
I’m sure if you stay awhile, you’ll get the similar vibe amongst the locals of my town and P town, but as far as the way the two places look, I got more of a San Francisco (SFO) feel.
I have to say, no city has topped San Francisco for me…well, unless you journey to this colorful town south of the U.S. border or take an 8 hour flight for some fancy-shmancy bike riding in this Italian village.
I ate really well in Portland. A satisfied palate is crucial for any traveling, convivial woman.Tweet
Before you head out the door this weekend, I have one more Chicago eatery to share with you.
My childhood chum, Carrie and I went here two years ago when I last played Chicago tourist with my husband Martin, so we decided to venture over to Logan Square, one of the hottest neighborhoods to lead the pack in real estate this year for
Another heaping dose of Lula Cafe.Tweet
Meeting for brunch, lunch, dinner or dessert is a sport for me. I practice as often as I can because it makes me happy. In fact, it relaxes me.
Today, I had lunch at Hula Hut, a restaurant on Lake Austin that offers a Polynesian – Tex-Mex themed menu. Who would’ve thought of that combo? Someone in Austin, of course.
My friend, Monica joined me so we could discuss our upcoming trip to (more…)Tweet
Recently, my cousin and her hubby came to Austin for a brief stay and being their convivial host and tour guide, I took them around to a few notable spots.
We had a few good chuckles while out on the town together and here are a few places we went…
First stop: Home Slice Pizza on Congress Avenue.
Can you go wrong with NY style pizza paired with table talk about U.S. conspiracy theories?
I encourage public displays of affection any chance I get behind a camera.
They were stoked to sit in on a live session at the Texas State Capitol.
Cool graffiti spot in downtown Austin.
I was instantly transported back to my short-lived stint with gymnastics, walking the balance beam at 6 years old.
Alchemy: a power or process of transforming something common into something special…
I’m so thankful for my cousin’s visit- or any visit I get from family or friends because its usually me flying away somewhere or stopping by to say HEY! It’s just my nature to want to always get out and try or see something new and anyone I can bring along for the ride, then I say come on!
Do you have family to host in your hometown or city soon? Where will you be taking them? I’d love to hear…
(Photos by yours truly)Tweet
Do you ever find yourself holding back because you feel conscious about what others may think or say about you and your lifestyle?
If you play good girl to the world, then holding back is a common sentiment.
Recently, I visited a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and we started talking about her passion for a certain sacred spot in Rome, Italy. I could see how her face lit up when I touched on that subject and being the kind of woman who wants to encourage the work of art in every person, I asked, “So, when are you going?!”
She melted at the thought of traveling to Rome and said, “Oh my gosh, I would LOVE to go, but my husband would never want to go with me. He just wouldn’t want to do all that walking and go that far.”
My brain nearly short-circuited at her response and convivial instincts kicked in when I said, “So you mean to tell me, you would sacrifice a dream of yours because your man is unwilling to step out of his comfort zone, if only momentarily?” I continued…”All I’m saying is…if you have the opportunity to make that dream a reality, why not take a chance and rock that boat because you only have one life to live. Just one.”
Many times, we make choices that sacrifice our own happiness, in small or large ways, because we have been conditioned to avoid conflict.
In the words of Bob Newhart, stop it! Conflict is a stepping stone to growth. In fact, Margaret Heffernan dares you to create conflict. Imagine that! She points out how most people instinctively avoid conflict, but good disagreement is central to progress.
The hardest thing to do, which should be the easiest thing, is to live your life- not one that others deem to be appropriate to their eyes, ears, and personal beliefs. Many opportunities to live are passed up because so many people are afraid. What are your deep desires and what fears surface when you even think of the possibility of pursuing them?
How about you go against the grain of convention, culture, (fill in your blank) and think/repeat when necessary…
“While they’re busy talking, I’m too busy LIVING.”
Choose to be an example of someone who is living according to their own beliefs and values- ones gathered from your own life’s experience.Tweet
I once attended a SXSW talk given by Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Yogurt CEO and his wife, Meg Cadoux Hirshberg and she was discussing her new book, For Better or For Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families.
As they shared their experience creating and running Stonyfield, what stays with me the most is when Gary said,
“I am a pathological OPTIMIST.” -Gary Hirshberg
Meg had us captivated when she talked about the stress that came with building their business (couples in attendance all nodded their heads) and how there were times when she and Gary didn’t speak to one another (couples elbowing one another and chuckling), when they literally had to stay away from one another to give Gary the space to do what he did well (couples smiling).
There was a time when they got news that their farm had received some sort of citation which required it be shut down that day. This was potentially devastating to their operations and Meg thought it was the end of the world while Gary never saw the risk involved because he had something fundamental to true entrepreneurial thinking…the understanding that there are no impossibilities unless you choose to see them.
When Gary shared his one-liner with the group, it was like a lightning bolt straight to my heart. I clearly understood what he meant because I see opportunity and growth everywhere and seek to find ways to maximize and express it.
It’s easy to go on that “just-be-positive-and-have-faith” spiel when it comes to the aspects of our lives that aren’t so convivial, but you have to meet hope halfway and find ways to think and act in the face of risk and fear.
Have the courage to see your problems for what they are, then take the necessary steps to figure them out. That’s much better than playing the sugarcoating game, or ignoring them altogether.
Where in your life can you choose to be more pathologically optimistic?
(Photo by Julian Dufort, Inc Magazine)Tweet