An invitation, an ode to gratitude, and owning your weird

An Invitation

Mark your calendars! Next Thursday is Valentine’s Day, and while my ambivalence around the day prevents me from marking it with chocolate and over-the-top romance, I did last year demonstrate my love for all of you with a book-title poem.

This year, there will be doodles! I’m doodling love all month, and my first love-doodle party will be next week, on Valentine’s Day, when I’ll post all the doodles I’ve drawn so far. Last week, I invited you all to join me in doodling love, and some of you brave souls said, “Hell yes!” (or at least that’s how I interpreted your response). If you have a doodle (or 2 or 3 or 10), send them to me by the end of Wednesday, February 13th, and I’ll include them in the post.

This isn’t the first doodle party I’ve thrown. Check here and here to see how much fun we’ve had in the past. I feel compelled to warn you that if you don’t join in, you’ll wish you had… like wishing after the song’s over that you’d been brave enough to get up and dance. So just do it. Be brave. Break out the Sharpies and unleash you inner love-doodler.

Send me your creations! You can email them to me, tweet them, or post them on my Facebook page. I can’t wait to see what you do.

~~~~~

An Ode to Gratitude

I’m in the final days of my “30 Days, 30 Acts of (expansive, unabashed, downright mushy) Gratitude” project. I’ve communicated my heartfelt appreciation to 41 people. I’ve sent texts, emails, cards, postcards, doodles, and love letters. I’ve publicly declared my gratitude on Facebook and Twitter. I wrote a note to a waiter, a glowing email to someone’s manager, a letter to a company. I’ve telephoned, lunched, and hugged (heart-to-heart, six seconds at least).

And here’s my take away: It is really hard to stay mad or sad or scared or lonely when you are actively engaged with gratitude. By necessity, physical acts of gratitude focus your mind and body on what you have, rather than on what you lack, and the effects of that focus last far longer than the time it takes to write and mail a letter or take a friend out to lunch. I’m more aware than ever of how lucky I am. I don’t want to waste my good fortune. One of my favorite Hafiz quotes goes like this:

One regret, dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.

Yeah. It’s like that.

~~~~~

Owning Your Weird… and “coming soon”

I’m launching my new Own Your Weird postcards today! I love how these came out; I think you will too. Come by my Etsy shop and check them out!

OwnyourWeird-Penguin

OwnYourWeird-frog

OwnYourWeird-Peacock

OwnYourWeird-giraffe

I’d planned to launch, at the same time, a set of greeting-style cards based on The (fearless) Love Essays, but there was a little problem with my first attempt and they are being reprinted. I’ll launch them next week. These designs are really close to my tender, doodling love-warrior heart. I’m excited to put them out into the world. Here’s a peek at what’s coming!

LE-Practice

LE-Salvation

LE-Pause

LE-EachOther'sHands

LE-BruisedAndBroken

AHTManifesto-smforpost

~~~~~

That’s all for now, boys and girls. Don’t forget to send your doodles!

xo

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20 Responses to An invitation, an ode to gratitude, and owning your weird

  1. Christie February 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Wow! I mean really, all I can say right now is wow! I am loving the new postcards, they are freakin’ amazing!!!

    Kinda of feeling a bit grumpy this week and yet, I find after reading this post that the grumpy me isn’t so grumpy anymore. Hard to be grumpy when there is beautiful, amazing, love doodles to be had :^)

    xoxo

    • j February 8, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      Doodles and gratitude… my version of Prozac. ;-) Thank you for the “wow”. I needed a solid “wow” this morning.

      xox

  2. Casoly February 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Love you J! :o)

    • j February 8, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Aw. Big smile (after a night surrendering to a terrible crisis of confidence). Love you back.

  3. Michael February 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    For a V-Day idea, check out One Billion Rising: http://onebillionrising.org/.

    And I love the doodles. Normal indeed.

    • j February 8, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Thank you! Checking out events near me. And thank you for the doodle love. <3

  4. Chloe February 8, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    My absolute favourite is: ‘Be your own kind of pretty’ – I LOVE that! I had some unintentional therapy last weekend and what came out of it for me were the words ‘beautifully fearless’ (or ‘fearlessly beautiful’ depending on which way round you look at it). The peacock doodle sums that up for me perfectly. Thank you :) x

    • j February 8, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      I love both – beautifully fearless and fearlessly beautiful. From here, you look like both.

      It reminds me of an exercise I did, narrowing my life’s calling to three words. They were “fearless, loving creation.”

      Thank you back, Chloe. So grateful for this tribe of fearless beauties. ;)

  5. Estrella Azul February 8, 2013 at 6:06 am #

    Looking forward to V-Day even more now!
    Thanks for the reminder, by the way, I still need to finish my doodles.

    Congrats on the new release. The balloon postcard is one of my favorites, since I love that thought you added on there ever since first reading it during your year of fearless love.
    How beautiful, j, wish I could order every single one of your postcards!

    • j February 8, 2013 at 9:07 am #

      I wish you could too! :) Someday. In the meantime, know how grateful I am for your support and encouragement.

      Can’t wait to see your doodle(s)! The doodles are just starting to roll in. It’s going to be fun!

      xo

  6. hippiechick February 8, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Wow, j. These cards are impressive. I think it is time you switch from calling them doodles to works of art. Beautiful, fun and quirky. LOVE!

    • j February 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      Thank you, t. I’m afraid if I call it art, I’ll intimidate myself. ;)
      xoxo

      • hippiechick February 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

        Doodling it is, then. :)

  7. Pam February 8, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Love the new cards!

    Looking forward to all the doodles. Everyone should doodle, I’m convinced.

    Beautiful Hafiz quote.

    <3 <3

    • j February 9, 2013 at 8:00 am #

      I’m looking forward to all the doodles too! And, seriously Pam, we should make t-shirts that say, “Everyone doodle!” :)

      • Nancy February 12, 2013 at 8:41 am #

        I’d buy one of those!

  8. Giulietta Nardone February 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    J, Really gorgeous doodles and cards. Think I shall buy some to send to friends! I love the horse of a different color. The World needs to support artists so they can make more money than the folks pushing prescription drugs. It’s such crap that artists can’t make money, they can we just need to change what we value. How about beauty everywhere?

    After painting for years without feeling like I could draw a painting naked without paint, I embarked on a drawing adventure a year and a half ago, including a doodling book of exercises. A great experience to stoke the imagination. So much inside that needs to come out and say, “hello world.”

    Love your new doodling adventure here …

    Giulietta

    http://www.giuliettathemuse.com (can’t seem to make my site link up with so many new fangled WP sites)

  9. j February 10, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Hi, Giulietta! I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe the same thing about writing – that you should be able to earn money doing it – but as long as we writers are willing to work for free to be read, it will always be hard for us to make money with our art. I’m heartened that, more and more, artists are finding ways to their audience outside traditional channels. Self-publishing, indie publishing, e-books, Etsy and e-commerce services are making that easier and easier, and places like Kickstarter are allowing artists and entrepreneurs to be really ambitious in bringing their art and inventions into the world. It’s exciting. And a little daunting. Mostly, exciting.

    It bugs me that you’re having trouble linking to your site. Let me know what’s happening and I’ll see if I can fix it. I’m glad you included your link in the body of your comment. I hopped over to your site but I couldn’t find a shop. I wanted to look at your doodling book of exercises. Can you give me that link?

    Thanks!

  10. Annie Neugebauer (@AnnieNeugebauer) February 11, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    These are my latest doodles: http://annieneugebauer.com/2013/01/29/what-non-writers-picture-when-writers-say/ I promised I’d do more doodles if you would. =)

    • j February 11, 2013 at 11:07 am #

      I love those! The only one I think I could steal for the Valentine’s Day post is the w(h)ip doodle… We could call it “racy love” or “love hurts” or…

      Okay, maybe not. ;)

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