Go to it! (Pursue what makes you come alive!)

I read the most touching article last week. Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a well known children’s author and filmmaker. It was titled, “You May Want to Marry My Husband.” It was written along the lines of a match.com profile, and it described the charms, kindnesses, and deep expressions of love her husband had shown her over their 26-year marriage.

Eight days later, Amy, 51, would pass away from ovarian cancer.

Tragic, yes, but what I discovered about Amy after reading the article made me think of my RMFW friends, and the joys and challenges inherent with the creative path we’ve all chosen.

One of Amy’s tenets was included in her obituary. “I tend to believe whatever you decide to look for you will find, whatever you beckon will eventually beckon you," she said during a 2012 TED talk.

I watched that TED talk and her message inspired me, so I am sharing it with you.

Amy begins by talking about coincidences such as the proliferation of “7” in our lives—seven days in the week, seven colors in the rainbow, seven wonders of the world. Seven music notes. Her TED talk is called “Seven Notes on Life.”

She mentioned walking the beach with her mother-in-law, when she discovered a heart-shaped pebble. Once she had seen that first one, she looked for another, and found many heart-shaped pebbles. Her mother-in-law was astonished, but Amy was not. She had observed many times that we find that which we seek out. “When our eyes are open, there is a subtle shifting of awareness.”

To demonstrate, she told the TED audience that she would imagine that she was speaking to a totally red audience, and once she focused on that, she would see instantly all the red clothing there.

She went through the seven musical notes. “F” stood for, “Figure it out as you go.” We don’t have to have it all mapped out before we embark on something new. Get a good idea, invest in it, and learn and adjust as we go.

These thoughts and others inspired me, but what left the lasting impression—the one that made me feel connected to you, my RMFW friends, was this: All the cell phones, iPads, laptops, and other technical devices create a huge amount of technical “noise” in our lives. All that modern noise demands something from us—a reaction.  Once we turn off the cell phones and all the technical “noise” in our lives, we become disconnected from the chatter, and are left with empty space. And what do we find in that newly empty space?

It is no coincidence, she pointed out, that with the individual letters rearranged, another important word emerges from “reaction.”

REACTION {changes to} ….. CREATION.

She ended the talk with a quote from Howard Thurman:

            Ask not what the world needs.

            Ask what makes you come alive.

            And go to it.

What we need is people who have come alive. What, Amy asked, makes you come alive?

Go to it. Move toward what makes you come alive.

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A Chicago native and longtime resident, Rosenthal completed more than 30 books, including journals, memoirs and the best-selling picture stories "Uni the Unicorn" and "Duck! Rabbit!" She made short films and YouTube videos, gave TED talks and provided radio commentary for NPR, among others. Her loving optimism will be missed.

Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.777097

The TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxWgIccldh4

Janet Lane

Janet has a new release this month! ETTI’S INTENDED, part of her #1 Amazon bestselling series, will release on September 1 in ebook and paperback format.

The fifth book in the series, Etti’s Intended is available now for pre-order at http://tinyurl.com/ycm7kvu5 — order now and you’ll be among the first to read what Library Journal reviewed as “Almost too perfect … Lane does a superb job creating layers to the Gypsy culture… a must-have for fans of the series.”

Her novels are set in fifteenth century England during the so-called “Gypsy Honeymoon” decades. The first novel in the series, Tabor’s Trinket, is a #1 Amazon bestselling novel. #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author Lara Adrian called Emerald Silk “..an enchanting medieval romance filled with passion, intrigue and vividly drawn characters that leap off the page. I loved this novel!”.

Janet was a featured author in RMFW Press’s Tales from Mistwillow anthology, and co-chaired the editorial board for RMFW’s 2009 anthology, Broken Links, Mended Lives, which was nominated for the Colorado Book Award.


Janet welcomes your comments here or via her blog at http://janetlane.wordpress.com, or her website, janetlane.net


5 thoughts on “Go to it! (Pursue what makes you come alive!)

  1. Good morning, Janet. What a lovely thing for Amy to have done for her husband. He’ll treasure her words forever.

    One of the things that makes me come alive is to get away from all that technical noise and get out of the house to meet a friend for coffee or lunch..or even take Sassy Dog for a walk because she’s very social and likes to make new human friends in the neighborhood.

  2. I read that article as well and was very moved by it. It helps me when I’m feeling guilty about spending time writing when I could be doing something for someone else, because I know what I’m doing is what I’m supposed to be doing at that moment, and that at another time, what I’m supposed to be doing will be with someone else. Thanks for the reminder of the article.

  3. You feel guilt when writing, too, Terri? I thought I was just maladjusted, an overly anxious child, grown up. The joy of writing most often overrides it, but still. I think I’m going to buy a yellow umbrella, and whenever I feel that way, I’ll bring it close to me.

  4. Hi, Pat! Yes, what a nice way to hit “restore!” –good friends and good conversation–the human (and canine) touches!

  5. Thank you for this lovely inspirational blog post this Monday morning, Janet. I really enjoyed it! Getting ready to turn off technology now and see what I can create! Have a wonderful week!

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