Friday, December 31, 2010

365 Days of Inspiration

In 2009, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Kim Tackett—a fabulous woman, mom, wife, designer, businesswoman and photographer—online. Somehow, our paths crossed and she has, time and time again, proven to be a huge inspiration to me. This past year, she challenged herself to take a picture a day for 365 days. The images that follow are a result of that endeavor. Some fabulous reminders as we look forward to 2011. To see the entire set of her flickr images, which are AMAZING, check them out here. Thanks for the inspiration Kim!!

188|365 steve's new mug

211|365 the shadow says so

189|365 remind me in the morning

128|365 imagine a rock...

16|365 napkin philosophy

72|365 treasured

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I love nature

The kind and wise Avia Veneficia—who shares her knowledge through her What's Your Sign, Symbolic Meanings, Tarot Teachings and Tattoo Symbolism websites and her gorgeous, earth-centered photography through her wonderful blog—asked me recently what I was grateful for.

In addition to overwhelming gratitude for my friends and family—who have stood by me in good times and bad—there's only one other thing on this planet that inspires my existence as much as they do.


It never ceases to amaze me—it's grandeur, it's splendor, it's intricacies, it's shapes, it's complexities and it's color!! Such magnificent color! It's humbling and blissful at the same time.

Photos below by Avia Veneficia. Enjoy.

Friday, December 10, 2010


OK, I just have to add (just shoot me now for all the Seth Godin references BUT...), here's a link to an article from the November 2010 issue of Fear.Less. (which, btw, I just learned about from my fabulous friend Terri Johanson @TJSimpleFocus on twitter or, you can check out her brilliant photography on her website here:

In this issue, Seth is featured and talks about fear versus anxiety and moving past fear to action. It's a great article... and you can finally see what this guy looks like! Check it out. His philosophy is totally inspirational!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fear of Communication?

I had a great conversation with my dad tonight.

I was a bit nervous prior to the conversation because I was dealing with an emotional subject. I'm not sure why the anticipation of a conversation leaves me so verklempt. Regardless, I'm happy to say, the end result wasn't quite as intimidating. In fact, I felt energized.

What is it about expressing ourselves that creates fear?

Do you ever experience this?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Universe Provides

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and endless plans.

That the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred.

A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Begin it now.

—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Thanks universe.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving EVERY day.

Because Seth Godin's posts always seem to hit me at the heart level, and because today I'm focusing on drawing instead of writing, I'm re-posting another one of his blog entries... because I concur with his thoughts—110%. SOON, I'll post something original. But for now, enjoy Seth's philosophy.

A modern thanksgiving

Wherever you are, you could celebrate Thanksgiving today.

Not the Thanksgiving of a bountiful harvest before the long winter, the holiday of pilgrims and pie. That's a holiday of scarcity averted. I'm imagining something else...

A modern Thanksgiving would celebrate two things:

The people in our lives who give us the support and love we need to make a difference, and...

The opportunity to build something bigger than ourselves, something worth contributing. The ability to make connections, to lend a hand, to invent and create.

There are more of both now than there have ever been before. For me, for you, for just about all of us.

Thanks for joining me every day, thanks for your support, but most of all, by a longshot, thanks for doing the work, work that matters.

Amen brother! To view his amazing blog in it's entirety, click here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ideal Inspiration

I love Seth Godin and the concepts he represents. I loved this so much, I wanted to repost it. It's about innovation and ideas. I particularly agree, that great ideas come when the mind is relaxed, when we're in the car or shower, and not really trying. It's like the subconscious coming to the surface, guiding us. I'm all about ideas. They're so important. Besides opening up a new perspective, you can actually get PAID for your ideas. Look around you... everything you see was once an idea.

His blog post can be found here, along with many of his other amazing ideas. But I've reposted it below too.

  1. Ideas don't come from watching television

  2. Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture
  3. Ideas often come while reading a book
  4. Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them
  5. Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom
  6. Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide
  7. Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do
  8. Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner's mind. A little awareness is a good thing
  9. Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week
  10. Ideas come from trouble
  11. Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they're generous and selfless
  12. Ideas come from nature
  13. Sometimes ideas come from fear (usually in movies) but often they come from confidence
  14. Useful ideas come from being awake, alert enough to actually notice
  15. Though sometimes ideas sneak in when we're asleep and too numb to be afraid
  16. Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we're not trying
  17. Mediocre ideas enjoy copying what happens to be working right this minute
  18. Bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones
  19. Ideas don't need a passport, and often cross borders (of all kinds) with impunity

  20. An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn't join us here, it's hidden. And hidden ideas don't ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanks for the inspiration.

Recently, a very meaningful friendship with a very bright, yet drama-filled spirit ended. It was a mutual decision, sparked by life circumstances, that, though painful throughout the healing and dealing process, is serving me well now.

Since I have committed to Gaia Greetings, friendships and opportunities that truly serve me, my vision, and the people I am connected to, have been unfolding in the most beautiful ways.

Tonight, I'm feeling extremely grateful and inspired by those relationships, both online and in reality.

There are so many to mention but specifically, I want to give a few shout outs to the ladies and gents who have supported, inspired and nurtured me on this journey (in no particular order) …


Becky, an amazing sister, teacher, and adoring mom, with absolutely brilliant brainstorming capacity.

Erin, a dedicated, thoughtful, generous, amazingly strong woman, listener, caretaker and friend who I already miss profusely—wah :~( VIVA SHEMS!

Rachel, a bright-eyed, idea-filled, eager, gregarious, energetic wealth of resources and inspiration.

Jennifer, a sweet and hip co-collaborator and down-to-earth, amazingly-talented designer with vision, passion, and an intriguing desire to capture the history of tattoo art.



Peyton, a frank, gorgeous, mom and savvy businesswoman who is one of those WOW-I'm-so-lucky, always-there-for-me, couldn't-do-it-without-her kinda friends.


twitter: @baybirdinc

Sharon, a kind, connected, conscious, fabulous, growth-seeking woman, mom, designer, mentor, and all-around-super-supportive-soul-sister.


Lisa, an honest, driven, long-time friend, mom, confidant, laughter-lover and soul sister.

Megan, an inspired, deep, oh-so-welcome blog-stalker and amazing mom and wife with a heart of gold and a dazzling smile to match.

Naomi, a conscientious, loving, dedicated mom, wife, friend, and supporter.

Merete, a sweet, strong, connected, dedicated, and FABULOUS (in an I'm-so-grateful-to-have-her-in-my-life kinda way) friend, mom and super cool person.

Meghan, a talented, super-sweet, never-says-a-bad-word-about-anyone kinda woman and beautiful soul who I miss dearly!

Pam, a super-intelligent, kindhearted, shoot-from-the-hip, laugh-till-your-belly-hurts kinda friend who I am seriously grateful to know. One of 4 musketeers.

Tiffany, a super-funny, REAL, life-lovin', laugh-till-your-belly-hurts kinda friend who I am seriously grateful to know. One of 4 musketeers.

Buck, a super-conscious, intelligent, always-there-for-you and laugh-till-your-belly-hurts kinda friend and entertaining storyteller who I am seriously grateful to know. One of 4 musketeers.

Chris, a silly, fun-loving, super-special friend, soul-brother, supporter, and fabulous father and husband.

John, a super-silly, innovative entrepreneur and oh-so-snuggly, soul-brother, life-long friend and confidant.

Jasmine, an uber-talented, intelligent, bright-light-in-a-dim-environment, energetic, passionate spirit and collaborative partner.



twitter: @jasfitz

Lindsay, a straight shooting, lively, vivacious, creative soul, entrepreneur, and amazing brainstorming partner (in an wow-this-girl-really-knows-her-stuff kinda way) with a knack for getting to the heart of the matter, understanding and behaving appropriately. ;~) PLUS, she has the cutest, sweetest dog ever—Sadie buns—who makes me smile.


Amy, a demure, patient, sweet soul and talented web designer.

twitter: @WebCabbageCre8v

Rebecca, an involved, health-conscious, passionate artist, mom and catalyst for movement and community.

Rebecca's Fine Design:

twitter: @momartyogababe

Terri, a helpful, supportive, positive spirit with an infectious smile and a passion for photography and the environment.


twitter: @tjsimplefocus

Elizabeth, a down-to-earth, connected, amazingly talented designer, mom and kick-ass pattern designer and sketchbook project participant.

twitter: @ecdesignz


David, an involved, inspired, open, sharing, eco-conscious coach and collaborative cohort.


twitter: @davidlecours

Jeremy, a participatory, free-thinking, passionate, supportive friend, cheerleader and strong spirit.

Thanks for your support!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vacation = Revitalization

Wow. Just wow. I love vacation. There's something about removing yourself from the daily grind that is particularly invigorating.

Between myself, my mom and dad, my three sibs + their so's and kids—there are 17 of us in my village.

Now, you would think that a vacation with 16 family members would not be particularly relaxing but… I'm fortunate. I'm lucky to have an amazing family that gets along.

We went to our old stomping grounds in Wisconsin, for my aunt and uncles 50th wedding anniversary. Besides having the opportunity to celebrate such an amazing couple, us adults got to reconnect with our cousins (+ their so's and all of their children) and share our childhood experiences with our own kids. We had so much fun in the process—fishing, visiting a dairy farm and cheese factory, catching frogs, swimming in the lake, riding in the speed and pontoon boats, and exploring.

It's beautiful there. It's green and lush and the clouds, wow, those cumulous clouds are so amazing. Then, there's the lifestyle, which, as a relatively internet addicted person, I thought I would have a hard time with. But no. I purposefully limited my connection—even when I had the opportunity to connect—to revel in it, and appreciate it.

It felt good to simplify and just enjoy the moment, which, in and of itself, is a lesson for us all. I came home to a renewed sense of purpose and a refreshed spirit. More appreciative of my life and my relationships, with the motivation to act upon creating a richer existence, for my son and myself.

Can you remember how your vacations have affected you? What have you gained from them? What revelations, if any, have stuck?

Friday, July 30, 2010

I Created Something Pretty Today

I have always considered myself an artist, even though I've had no formal training. I feel at peace when I am organically drawing shapes, implementing vibrant colors and engaged in the process of creating. But, it's been a little while, since I've put pen to paper and have felt inspired. *sigh*

I spent a little time recently, watching a promotional video my friend Adelaide made. She's a young, vibrant soul and artist who does everything from pen and ink drawing to modeling to face painting to stilt walking, hula hooping, belly dancing, sword balancing, snake charming... and the list goes on.

In her video, there's a clip of her drawing... in which she mentions that she draws in pen because in her mind, there are no mistakes. What I love about her and her spirit is her absolute abandonment when it comes to art.

Tonight, I took her advice and allowed the perfectionist within to let go. You know that little voice in our heads, that inner critic that prevents us from accomplishing the things we want to sometimes? Well, tonight, I gave it a swift kick to the curb and I have to say, it felt pretty damn good.

p.s. As an added bonus, my son and I created together, which made me feel even better. :~)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Urban Inspiration—Shepard Fairey in South Park

Of all the places in San Diego, the South Park neighborhood is my ABSOLUTE favorite. One day... one day I will find myself living there, in an old home with character that I've purchased... and I will live happily... oh yes, very happily.

On Sunday morning, I had a delightful breakfast with a good friend of mine at Alchemy (wow, if you haven't tried them yet... DO) in South Park. It was such a lovely breakfast, everything felt SO gourmet, from the little pickles in the Bloody Mary's to the tiny little dishes and tiny little spoons for the salt and pepper, to the fresh peaches and mango garnishes.

During breakfast, she mentioned that
Shepard Fairey (of Obama HOPE poster fame) had recently completed a new mural in the area. So, we packed up the munchkins and went for a walk.

Lovely. Absolutely lovely.

Yeah, San Diego has beautiful weather, but above all, the culture and people here are really quite amazing. I regularly run across urban inspiration that fills my senses in the most wonderful ways.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Is Email Becoming Obsolete?

I have this really good friend, who shall remain nameless, because if I posted his name, he’d never forgive me. In fact, merely alluding to who he “might” be, may be enough to do me in. He’s a punk rocker at heart, “the man” is a regular part of his vocabulary and, let’s just say, conspiracy theories and privacy issues are relevant in his life.

The other day on Facebook, I received a mysterious message from someone whose name I had never seen before. There were enough clues on his page to convince me it was his but I have to admit, I was quite shocked! He has resisted joining for various reasons, so to see him there required further exploration. When I spoke to him on the phone, he told me, “The only reason I did it is because I wanted to get back in touch with (let’s call him) Mr. X. Ms. Y told me the only way he communicates with people is through Facebook.” Aha. The lure of connection tangles another unsuspecting victim in the web of social media.

Since I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve noticed a similar trend. More and more, I’m receiving less and less personal email. I get an occasional evite but, a personal email? Haven’t seen one of those in awhile. More likely than not, that left hand column says I have a message in my Facebook inbox.

I am quite the Facebook junkie, so I must say, I’m guilty as charged.

But, in an effort to get back to basics, recently I purchased a beautiful, soft, fabulous address book (made out of paper!). I figured the best way to get my friends addresses was to request them via Facebook. I got a load of crap for obtaining the info online when I was trying to go “old school” but I noticed an interesting thing. Very few of my friends included their personal email addresses in addition to their home addresses. The truth of that hit me—Facebook has inadvertently become my new email service.


At least now I can include my newest buddy in the emails that go out to my "Best Friends" group. ;~)p

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Qs 11-16 : Ready, Set, Go!

The last in an installment of questions inspired by a blog post by Seth Godin, 16 Questions for Free Agents. A little introspection on my plans to begin Gaia Greetings as a new entrepreneur. You can also view Q's 1-3 and 4-10.

Q11: Choose: teach and lead and challenge your customers, or do what they ask...

The way I have thrived in life is in being taught and inspired. I read, I seek, I challenge myself—and I hope the Gaia Greetings tribe is open to new lessons and leadership, influenced by my experiences and powered by a vision that has a positive effect on those it touches.

Q12: How long can you wait before it feels as though you're succeeding?

I already feel like I am succeeding. I have always been inspired by this quote (usually attributed to Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe but I just learned it is actually from W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951).

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”

Paraphrased by Goethe, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

It is because of that quote that I was able to move out of fear and into success—personal success, an intrinsically motivated feeling of accomplishments for moving forward, working hard and creating something from my ideas.

Q13: Is perfect important? (Do you feel the need to fail privately, not in public?)

While failure is ever looming and a difficult pill to swallow, I am not in a rush to become an overnight millionaire. I have been failing privately for as long as I can remember so, just taking the risk and beginning this venture, though scary, is forcing me to work harder because everything is public. If I fail publicly, so be it. At least I took a chance. I know I can approach this business with an open mind and as long as I have enough to put back into it, I can continue to creatively market Gaia Greetings until I reach a place where I am comfortable. Perfect is not important, striving to do my best is.

Q14: Do you want your customers to know each other (a tribe) or is it better they be anonymous and separate?

ABSOLUTELY. I want my customers and vendors and partners and distributors to know each other. I want to know them—personally. The fabric of our company recognizes that we are all one and the actions of one affect many. It is imperative for me to work alongside others who share a similar personal and business philosophy. I want this company to affect those who interact with it with a RIPPLE of positivity.

Q15: How close to failure, wipe out and humiliation are you willing to fly? (And while we're on the topic, how open to criticism are you willing to be?)

Hmmm. Tough question. Been there, done that—mentally, physically, and financially. Have I learned from my lessons? Do I continue to grow and build a new future? Absolutely. I will continue to build and utilize my resources wisely. I think the key for me is knowing when to say when. Bring on the criticism because it will only improve Gaia Greetings and the people it touches.

Q16: What does busy look like?

Busy is a 9-5 job, being a 24-7 mom, blogging and interacting on twitter and facebook regularly, planning and executing a business, maintaining a multitude of friendships, spending time outdoors, exercising, remaining true to myself, and finding time for me.

Love and gratitude,


Friday, June 4, 2010

Innovation Is In My Blood—Qs 4-10

This is installment #2, questions 4-10 re: Gaia Greetings business philosophy and introspection, inspired by Seth Godin's blog titled, "16 questions for free agents." For answers to questions 1-3, see my previous blog post.

Question 4: Is it important to add new customers or increase your interactions with existing customers?

Well, since I don’t actually have *any* customers at this point, it is important to do both. Generally, I subscribe to the modern day way of doing business—which, to me, means building relationships. That translates to focusing on and building mutually beneficial relationships—this includes vendors, subcontractors, distributors, and customers.

Q5: Do you want a team? How big?

Since Gaia Greetings is a start-up, it’s important for me to use my resources wisely in the beginning. I am working with a multitude of freelance designers, artists, accountants, marketers, social media, and business folk. I hope, one day, those relationships blossom into an opportunity to employ a small tribe of super talented people who share the Gaia Greetings vision.

Q6: Would you rather have an open-ended project that’s never done or would you rather reach end points?

Regarding the growth of Gaia Greetings in general... I hope to be around for a while. As for our product offerings, the business is structured with limits. I’m not interested in buying the rights to our artists work. Our contracts and products will be offered for a limited time because it’s important for me not only to keep it fresh, but also to support our artists in their big picture endeavors.

Q7: Are you prepared to actively sell your stuff, or are you expecting that buyers will walk in the door and ask for it?

In my humble opinion, word of mouth marketing is the best possible marketing strategy. I can’t expect my customers to promote Gaia Greetings if I am not engaged with and involved in promoting it myself. I will be there every step of the way, as the authentic voice of this company, actively selling our products and services, for the benefit of our customers.

Q8: Which—to invent a category or to be just like Bob/Sue but better?

Innovation is in my blood. I am incredibly fulfilled by creating and introducing new ideas. One of our business goals is to get people to rethink connection by offering them novel ways to do so.

Q9: If you take someone’s investment, are you prepared to sell out to pay it back?

No. To fulfill my grandiose plans, I considered an investment when I first began planning this business. Over time, however, my goals morphed, as did my perspective. This was an important turning point for me. I decided that I needed to use my ideas, be resourceful, figure out a way to start small, and fund this labor of love on my own.

Q10: Are you done personally growing, or is this project going to force you to change and develop yourself?

I’ll refer to my original Tribe profile on this question: "In process… constantly in process." There’s no doubt I will continually reckon with growth, change, and development—and I’m excited about that challenge.

More to come! Stay posted!
xoxo LOVE xoxo b

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Feeling Purposeful: Qs 1-3

I’ve been drawn to author Seth Godin lately. Through his e-newsletter, I get a brief and succinct dose of Seth daily. His words of encouragement motivate and inspire me to THINK and ACT on my passions. I consider myself lucky to have found him at this point in my journey.

One of his recent blog posts, 16 questions for free agents, put me in an introspective place. Since I AM starting out as an entrepreneur, I challenged myself to answer his questions.

Here’s the first installment:

Q1: Who are you trying to please?

Such a simple question, and stumped already. The easy answer is me, but it’s deeper than that. I’m not doing this to impress anyone. I’m doing it because I have to. It’s critical for me to take a risk in an effort to create the life I envision for my son and I.

Q2: Are you trying to make a living, make a difference, or leave a legacy?

The truth is, I’m trying to do all three.

My Legacy: Right now, I believe the opportunity is ripe to work hard and follow my dreams. It is IMPERATIVE for me to LIVE that example for my son.

Making A Difference: Gaia Greetings is built on the philosophy that ALL IS ONE. The root of our mission is based on connection. I want to touch people and be a ripple of positivity that extends far and wide.

Making a Living: It’s more about CREATING a LIFE that is fulfilling for me. While I am currently blessed with fortune in employment, I know for sure that my life will be limited if I live under the umbrella of someone else’s aspirations.

Q3: How will the world be different when you’ve succeeded?

This question makes me smile. The difference will be measured by the effect our reach has on personal relationships. People will smile, they’ll feel loved, supported, appreciated, closer bonds will be formed, there will be stories to tell, and those lives will be fuller as a result. It’s not tangible, it’s emotional.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm currently reading Tribes—We Need You to Lead Us (by Seth Godin) for the second time. Once again, I'm feeling inspired. My life has been unfolding so smoothly, and the more I commit to moving forward and releasing fear, the more the universe provides exactly what I need at the right time.

I'm looking forward to leading this tribe—aptly titled Gaia Greetings (hello, we're all connected!)—because I am truly beginning to understand the power in passion and the joy in belonging to a group of people who are like minded.

I was equally inspired by a meeting I had with Jasmine Fitzwilliam—a sweetheart of a person, a dear friend, an uber talented individual—who just happens to be Gaia Greeting's brand identity designer.

It was the third or fourth time the topic of letter writing had come up in conversation in recent weeks. Jas had actually saved up to buy an old school typewriter (check out her photo on her flickr site) because—in her words (or close to them)—writing on a typewriter takes care and deliberation and thought.

I love that. It completely resonated with me.

And because I know in my own life, I have not been as avid a letter writer as I used to, and because I worry that technology will rule my son's life in the future, and that he will lose a lot of important cultural skills, I have decided that THAT is my mission for Gaia Greetings.

To make annual holiday cards and family letters a more regular occurrence.

Because let's face it, sometimes a brief email just doesn't cut it.