I found inspiration today amongst the chaos. As I drove home from work on busy Grey’s Ferry Avenue in Philadelphia, where just 8 hours before a multi car accident filled the stage, a new scene imprinted in my head reassuring me humanity is alive. As I passed, I saw three men standing in the center median of this busy roadway, providing hope with a pop up barber shop. Behind the men stood a simple worn brown table resembling a children’s school desk covered in tools and black chair. An oasis, amongst the trash filled cement blocks, flocked by late model cars just passing through. Blue hand painted letters melted down the front of a worn white cardboard sign that read, “Haircuts for Homeless.” Smacked by the reality of this small gesture, I was reminded time may be the greatest gift. How many people had they helped today? It didn’t matter if it was only one. One light at a time leads the way. Be the light.
Today, I went in search of inspiration and found a little magical world. I came to the Poconos this weekend for a self defined solo writing retreat. It’s been a day and a half and so far my creativity has escaped me. To break out of the funk, I left the mountain and drove down to Jim Thorpe. On this cold, gray, rainy Sunday, I’ve found the perfect hideaway to spend the afternoon. Mugglesmug Coffee shop at 79 Broadway.
Walking into the store, I felt like I stepped into any shop on Diagon Alley. Antique Leather couches and velvet chairs abound atop plank wood floors. Velvet fabric in the colors of the four Hogwarts houses draped across the ceiling of the store attached to each of the four windows. What some may call cliché, I found charming, right down to Harry Potter movies, playing on the wall, surrounded by a quaint seating area. On the couches sat, several preteen girls drinking warm hot chocolate out of heavy glass steins. Their eyes intently fixed on the screen. It warmed my heart to see everyone have the same reaction of curious delight as they entered the store.
I overheard several tables discussing memories of their favorite parts of Harry Potter. Unless you lived in a remote area of the world, you are aware of the commercial success of this series, but sitting here and seeing people’s reaction, I realized the full impact. It made me truly respect the world J K Rowling created that continues to live on and touches so many lives. I can only wish in my lifetime to create something that provides joy to so many people. This dark moody charming haven was the exact prescription. The lemon poppy muffin and English Breakfast tea were perfect. Even my damp clothes added to the atmosphere. I wished I didn’t have to leave. Goblet of Fire was just starting, but my meter was running out, and due to my inept ability to parallel park, I have to walk back several blocks in the rain to public parking. I will definitely be back.
If you get the chance to visit this quiet little gem, I highly recommend it. They have vegan and gluten-free bakery options and a little magic for everyone.
What are you passionate about? It’s a question I ask myself everyday. I was hoping to find inspiration at a conference I was attending for work. Although it was worthwhile and I was able to collaborate and build relationships, I found the experience very energy draining. It is difficult for me to be social for 4 days without downtime. Normally when I travel for work I am alone and have better control of my schedule. This conference was jam packed, which included extra social events at the end of each day. Some people benefit from the social aspect of these events and become energized. I need more of a balance. I’ve discovered in the past year, that I am an extroverted introvert. Solo reflection is where I become most energized and creative. If I am required to be social for long periods of time, I lack focus. It can sometimes take a day for me to recover. That is true for both my professional and personal endeavors. That became crystal clear for me over the past week.
As I embark on my new creative path, I must set aside time everyday for reflection in addition to non negotiable time each week to work toward my goals. My first goal is to write at least one blog post each week. Another is to set aside 10 non-negotiable hours each week to complete Marie Forleo’s B-School. I am so excited and energized to participate in this program. This program will give me the tools I need to create a platform for my first book. I am putting this out into the Universe. My ultimate goal is to have a first draft of a novel by the end of 2018. This project has simmered in my mind for over 15 years and now is the time. If I don’t make the commitment, it will never happen. Exposing your work to the public is a daunting task. It requires a willingness to expose your vulnerability. I am not unique. This is an age old issue. I am hoping that with this blog I can find the community to take on this journey.
I thought this quote was perfect for the new moon and setting new intentions.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
I had written a post the other night, but I decide to delete it. It was after several gray rainy days coupled with several days of migraines and a long week at work. I sat there internally whining and complaining. When I was done, I reflected on what I had written. It was not meant to be put out into the universe. The page was filled with negative self indulgent rubbish and added zero value. While everyday doesn’t need to be perfect and happy, I choose to be positive or negative. The world is full of negative energy and I am not going to contribute.
Tonight as I set my intentions with the new moon, I choose to be positive and mindful of the energy I bring to my daily interactions. We only have today. Let’s not waste it being negative.