Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cook from The Vegan Table with VegCookbook Club in February

As some of you know, this year I started a new blog, VegCookbookClub.com, where each month myself and readers cook through one vegetarian, or vegan cookbook.  We share tips, opinions and advice about recipes in the comments, on Twitter, on Instagram, and on our own blogs.

We just finished cooking from Appetite for Reduction. In February, we're going to cook from The Vegan Table. To join in the fun, all you have to do is pick up a copy of The Vegan Table, cook from it, and share your experience on VegCookbookClub.com, on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #vegcookbookclub, or on your own blog.

Come on over and VegCook with us!

Bookmark and Share

Full disclosure: The links to Appetite for Reduction and The Vegan Table are linked to my Amazon Associates account.  If you make a purchase, after clicking on the link, I get a small percentage of the sale. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Martha Beck Interview: Finding Your Way in a Wild New World

We’ve proliferated and thrived because we never stop playing, and the way to cope with the increasing complexity of the wild new world is to play more.

 Like many of you, I know Martha Beck from her O Magazine column (it's the first thing I read), and her many self-help books (e.g. Finding Your Own North Star, The Joy Diet). She always delivers good advice with a healthy dose of humor.

When I signed up for her mailing list in the fall of 2010, I received a PDF of the first chapter of her book-in-progress with the working title, The Team: How to Live an Abundant Life by Healing Yourself and the World. In the 24-page PDF, Martha describes "The Team" as people who are, "seekers with Big Dreams and a huge sense of mission about healing the earth and its people."

As I read, I found myself nodding yes, yes, yes.  I'm on the Team.  I bet you are too.

As soon as I saw that the book was coming out (it's now called Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want) I requested a review copy and an e-interview. I was *beyond* thrilled to receive both!

So, without further ado, enjoy this 8-question e-interview with Martha Beck about Finding Your Way in a Wild New World!

1. What metaphor would you use to describe the "Wild New World" we're living in now?

My favorite metaphor for this time in human history is a stormy sea, or possibly a very fat white-water rapid. Everything is changing very rapidly: industries are disappearing, methods of production and transferring wealth are being upended. And the change is accelerating so quickly that futurists now say they can’t imagine what will happen by 2050. Ray Kurzweil calls that year “the singularity,” because, like the physics of singularity in a black hole, change will become so rapid that it can’t be meaningfully measured. Whoo-ee!

2. You wrote about the importance of living within an infinity loop of play and rest. Why is that important?

We can’t stop the waves of change, so we’d better all learn to surf them. And surfing is fun—not easy fun that gets boring quickly, like tic-tac-to, but the kind of “deep play” that requires total attention in the present moment, and makes every moment feel incredibly full and rich. That’s the ONLY way to be successful in the world that is emerging now. And people who play in this way require plenty of rest. Without the rest period, neither the physical nor the mental energy to stay responsive and flexible can continue to develop. We should rest and play as if our happiness depended on it, because it does.

3. What tips do you have for people who have trouble resting and/or playing?

Stop thinking in words. That’s the first step to entering the zone of creative and rewarding “magic” in all traditional wisdom cultures. Without that nagging voice telling us we have to work and work and work (hello, Calvinist ethic), we’d play and rest as naturally as animals do. I recently tried to take a nap, and was absolutely tormented by the thought that I should get up and work, though I was extremely tired. I was just giving up on the nap idea when a very successful friend called and told me, “I just took a nap. To keep producing well, I have to listen to my body.” It’s truly bizarre how quickly the holomovement (that’s what some physicists call everything that exists) sends its messages to us. We should listen. But first, get some sleep!

4. How does having fun and doing good fit into our Wild New World?

It’s a time of increasingly drastic opposites, so if we’re not having fun and doing good, we’re absolutely wretched and creating misery. It is our duty to find a way of living joyfully. Somebody’s gotta do it.

5. You also wrote about how one way we can each find our purpose in this Wild New World is to look at how our greatest suffering connects with our greatest joy. What is your favorite example of someone who is healing themselves, and others, by connecting their greatest suffering with their greatest joy?

I’d say my entire squadron of coaches—so many magical and devoted people! But if you want me to select one individual, I’d probably do the trendy thing and pick Oprah. It just blows my mind that someone born into such an unfairly disadvantageous life set about creating such wild abundance for herself and others. All of us, at some level, can say that our life is our message. Her message is one of infinite possibility. Love it!

6. The foundation for your book seems to be dropping into "Wordlessness." Meditation and things like that are easy to do when our lives are going well, but can be easily pushed aside when we are stressed, or busy. What is the easiest way to drop into Worlessness in a hectic, public situation (e.g. waiting in line at the DMV)?

Actually, Wordlessness is no more important than the other three “technologies of magic,” Oneness, Imagination, and Forming. But Wordlessness is ALWAYS the first step to using the other three well, and it’s the one our culture has almost entirely lost. Just the idea that we have to meditate to drop into Wordlessness shows our cultural bias. Dropping into the nonverbal part of the brain happens whenever we’re very focused on a physical skill, from playing the piano to skiing, when we get lost in enjoying music, and often when we laugh. In fact, humor is one linguistic function that calls on the right hemisphere, so along with poetry and paradox, it’s a way to achieve Wordlessness by using words. The key is to get out of the narrow, merely verbal part of the brain and into the much bigger, broader, more sophisticated hardware that is the nonverbal brain.

7. Is there anything else you'd like to share with Have Fun, Do Good readers about Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, or about anything else?

Just that since I wrote the book, things keep getting wilder and more magical. In some strange way, I only expected to experience miracles while I was actually writing—when I finished this odd book, I thought, I’d go back to “normal” life. Turns out there really is a new normal! I keep meeting more and more people who feel themselves to be part of a transformation; wild animals keep treating me like a friend; information and circumstances keep aligning to help all of us create positive change. Buckminster Fuller wrote that “there are two kinds of resignation; one rooted in despair, the other in unconquerable hope.” The first half of my life, I felt the first way. Now I feel the second. Against all odds, there is abundant hope that the damage to nature—and humans—can heal.

8. How can folks connect with you and your work (online and offline)?

My website is staffed by incredible people who try to respond to email and make sure I get messages that need my personal response. Book groups and reading circles are forming to actually work through the processes I describe in the book. And I’m making a video workshop that will have downloadable video, so people can actually see and hear many of the things I describe in Finding Your Way. We’ll keep the public posted, via marthabeck.com, each time we think of a new way to connect. Let’s use those magical technologies AND the technologies of magic to keep creating a more cohesive, joyful, inspiring gathering of world-healers!


Full disclosure: The links to Martha's books are linked to my Amazon Associates account. If you buy things on Amazon after clicking on the link, I get a small portion of the sale.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tea, Cupcakes and Creative Bloggers in Your Town

A couple weekends ago I facilitated a 3-hour Tea, Cupcakes and Creative Bloggers workshop at Teahouse Studio. It was so much fun, I want to teach it again soon.  I'm planning on offering it at Teahouse again in the fall, but am also looking for other venues for this spring and summer.

If you know of a place that might like to host a TCCB gathering/workshop in the Bay Area and beyond, let me know in the comments, or email me at britt AT brittbravo DOT com. Maybe I can combine visiting your town with a vacation!

Cupcakes by Batter and Dough
Here are some of the nice things that the ladies who came for tea, cupcakes and creative blogging said about the afternoon:

"Thanks so much for the wonderful workshop - it was a real delight."

"Britt is a superbalicious teacher." 

"Britt was an amazing teacher, and one of the greatest things about the class was all the incredible women that were there!"

"The class was great! . .  Looking forward to getting the blog up soon!"

"The range of topics and activities was great, the professional content with the informal approach made it easy for people to ask Qs, and the way you kept it all to time was terrific!"

"Thanks again for the class yesterday. It was really invigorating!"

You can see more photos and reflections from the workshop on the blog Not Merely Living and on Room of Her Own.

P.S. The Juicy Blogging E-Course starts Wednesday, Jan. 25th.  There are still a few spaces open if you'd like to join.  You have to provide your own tea and cupcakes, but its still fun!

Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 23, 2012

Your Free Winter 2012 Big Vision Worksheet (Jan/Feb)

Happy Chinese New Year, Have Fun * Do Gooders!

To celebrate the New Year and new moon, here's a bee-you-tea-full Big Vision Worksheet (illustrated by the hubs) for you to record some of your goals for the year, season, and lunar month.

You can download the PDF for free from Dropbox by clicking here.

Instead of  listing numbers beneath each category (like we've done in the past), we left the space open so that you can write a little, a lot, a list, or a paragraph.


Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 16, 2012

Juicy Blogging E-Course Starts January 25

Just a quick reminder for folks interested in taking the Juicy Blogging e-Course that the early registration discount ends January 18th.  The class begins January 25th. You can join the e-course on brittbravo.com (gift certificates are available!), and find out about upcoming classes by subscribing to the Juicy Blogging eNews

We'll do three kinds of fun-work during the 4-week class:
  • Reflection questions to refine your blog’s purpose 
  • Connection assignments to build community and traffic 
  • Creative and juicy blog post prompts to get you writing

Past students have said about the class . . .
“So sad the class is over! . . . THANK YOU.  I loved it.”

“The best part of it all is that it is just so much fun!”

“Loving this course. Blogging is addictive.”

“There is both an ‘art and science’ of blogging. You’ve presented resources for the science, and great tips for the art.”

“Britt’s e-course was great. It helped me find my blogging voice. It provided me with solid ideas and steps to improve my blogging practice. It also helped me plan for how to build my readership via blogging as well as other social media outlets. Wonderful course!”

“Britt Bravo’s Juicy Blogging class is giving me a lot to think about, in the best possible way!"

“The class is great. I am learning a lot, and the pace and format are working for me.”

“I have a much, much better idea what I’m doing with my blog now.”

“As a ‘non-blogger’ I found the Juicy Blogging E-Course to be of great value to me."
I hope you can join us. It's going to be fun!

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Have You Called Your Grandma Lately?

My Gram
I called my grandma today just 'cause she's awesome, and because I was moved by Kimberly Wilson's post i heart my gramma about her 99-year-old grandma's transition into hospice care.

If you have a special older person in your life, why not give them a call, or send them a card today?  I'm sure they'll appreciate it, and you can tell them how much you love them.

Feel free to share a little about the awesome older person in your life in the comments. You can read a little about my grandma in my 2006 post, How to Look Fabu at Any Age: A Little Tribute to My Grandma.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Win a Copy of Global Girlfriends by Stacey Edgar

As I mentioned in my post, What Have Fun, Do Good Books Are You Excited to Read in 2012?, I'll be interviewing Stacey Edgar, Founder of Global Girlfriend, for the January 2012 Big Vision Podcast.

I'm almost done reading her book, Global Girlfriends: How one mom made it her business to help women in poverty worldwide, and think you would enjoy it, sooooo . . . I'm doing a little giveaway.

Here's how to join in the fun:
  • In the comments of this post, suggest a question for me to ask Stacey during our Big Vision Podcast interview.
  • Be sure to include a way for me to contact you if you win (e.g. email, Twitter name, blog URL).
  • The last day to suggest a question for Stacey is Thursday, January 19.
  • The winner will receive a copy of Stacey's book, Global Girlfriends.
Ask away!

Full disclosure: The link to Global Girlfriends is attached to my Amazon Associates account.  If you click on the link and make a purchase on Amazon, I get a small percentage of the sale.

Bookmark and Share

Friday, January 06, 2012

3 Videos to Inspire You to Dance, Dance, Dance in 2012

"I was a dancer all along"
- Lykke Li, Dance, Dance, Dance

Ever since I was a little girl I've loved to dance, which is why I keep watching this video that my friend, Gabriela, posted on her Facebook page last month: "Two year old doing what she loves. Dancing."

Don't you think the world would be a better, saner place if we all danced more? I'm going to say it here: In 2012 I would like to be a part of a dance flash mob, like the one that happened in the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport:

Have you ever been a part of a dance flash mob? Was it fun? How did you find it?

In the meantime, I'll be dancing in my friend Heather's ShimmyPop! class at Hipline, a belly dance fitness studio in Berkeley and Oakland. If you live, or visit the Bay Area, you *must* take a class here.  It's super fun!

Will you be dance, dance, dancing in 2012?

Why not start by trying this Hipline January Move of the Month!

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What Have Fun, Do Good Books Are You Excited to Read in 2012?

Is the book pile by your bed ready to topple over like mine is?  I've got a big juicy stack to start off the New Year:

Global Girlfriends: How One Mom Made it Her Business to Help Women in Poverty Worldwide by Stacey Edgar. I'll be interviewing Stacey, the Founder of Global Girlfriend, for Have Fun, Do Good in early 2012.

With Liberty and Justice for Some by Glenn Greenwald. My virtual social changey book club is reading this for our January call.

Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin' Mamas by Mark Winne. There was one week where 2 or 3 people all recommended that I read this book, so I added it to my Amazon wish list and got it for Christmas.  Wahoo!  Looking forward to diving in.

Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World by Christine Mason Miller. I want to interview Christine about her book for the Arts and Healing Podcast. If you know her, I'd love an e-intro (:

Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg. I've been holding off finishing Lovingkindness, also by Salzberg,because I didn't want it to end, but now I will so that I can start Real Happiness.

The Artist's Way at Work: Riding the Dragon by Mark Bryan with Julie Cameron and Catherine Allen. A friend and I are reading one of the 12 chapters each month, and then getting together to discuss it.  Seems like a good year to read this book since according to the Chinese zodiac, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon!

What have fun, do good books are you excited to read in 2012?

Full disclosure: I received a review copy of Global Girlfriends, and all of the books I linked to are attached to my Amazon Associates account.  If you click on a link and buy something from Amazon, I get a wee percentage of the sale.

Bookmark and Share