You are dreamers, artisans, and difference-makers. You are creatives, entrepreneurs, and adventurers. You are believers in the world’s best future. Welcome to our community blog.
December is coming quick which means deadlines are looming like the lights on your neighbor’s house that may or may not be put up correctly. Your small business is frantically working to get all the holiday sales, meetings, and gift baskets to all the right people. Everyone’s a little tired and then there is that one item on your to-do list that you have to get a jump on: The staff holiday party.
My husband came home the other night and said, “There are two jobs we’ve been given. One that anyone can do…thousands, actually. And one that only I can do, and only you can do. I’ve been living thinking I was indispensible for the wrong one.”
When we sat down with our coworking member Grace Kim, we were reminded of the importance of empowering others to pursue their dreams even in the midst of tragedy and hardship. That’s the mission of the Dragon Kim Foundation– they fund and create programs that enable children to explore and pursue their passions within academics, athletics, and the arts. This idea, however, was not Grace Kim’s. It was Dragon’s – her son who tragically passed away in a camping accident. Grace and her husband, Daniel, took their grief and honored their son by forming the The Dragon Kim Foundation.
What does it mean to learn from your community? Theoretically, this sounds great. Practically…it can be tough to know how to do this! Community can be spread out, diverse, fractured, connected; often it looks a little different for each person.
On a Sunday in Pasadena, California, two humans sat facing each other on tufted leather couches: a 50-something male, Founder and CEO of a 16-year-old, multi-million-dollar financial technology company, in his pajamas, and me, a then 20-something female Founder and CEO of a personal and organizational development start-up, The Glow Effect.
Spring is a season full of dichotomies. The weather has been extreme (at least here in Southern California)—two days ago it was nearing 90 degrees; today, it’s raining across Orange County. Flowers and Super Blooms and all that green and splashes of color are rising; as are everyone’s allergies. It’s a beautiful season, but it’s complicated and sometimes an irritant, as we adjust from the thrills of winter and navigate this season of now, and not yet, that is Spring.
Everyone starts somewhere, right? I had just graduated college and was ready for a new adventure. Having fallen in love with the city during previous travels, I thought, “Why not London?” I packed my bags and took off for a three-month internship across the pond. However, upon landing, I immediately asked myself, “What am I doing here?” In all my travel experience, I had never felt homesick before. But rather than letting myself drown in loneliness, I chose to be intentional about connecting with the people I missed back in Orange County by starting an online magazine so that my friends and I could process this life transition together.
There’s a not so subtle voice that wells up inside of me more often than I’d like to admit. It’s the ugly voice of comparison. This voice leads to one of two problematic feelings for me: inferiority or superiority. Because the truth about comparison is that it goes both ways. It’s the voice that says what I do doesn’t matter, because someone else is doing something better. It is the voice that minimizes what others do because I don’t see the value in it or understand it. It’s the voice that tells me I don’t have anything to offer because I don’t have everything together. It’s the voice that also says I don’t need to feel too bad about my shortcomings, because at least I’m not quite as much of a mess as so-and-so. But today I’d like to boldly declare, regardless of what it says, the voice of comparison is a liar.
Today we’re hearing from Anna Kennedy from Mika CDC whose mission is to build whole relationships in Costa Mesa. One way they’re doing this is through Language Learning Nights hosted by FLDWRK Costa Mesa.
If you’re anything like me, you talk about practicing your Spanish more than you actually find time to do it. For many people, it’s been since high school, which, is getting further and further away. Our lives are busy and sometimes it’s hard to figure out a time to practice a foreign language.
The same applies for many of our native Spanish speaking neighbors here in Costa Mesa. Because of this, Mika recently launched Language Learning Night.
I’ve been pondering the concept of legacy a lot lately. Perhaps because I just had my second daughter-and I’m overly intentional about the words that come out of my mouth towards and about them. I want every day, every moment, to be wrapped around intention because, truth is, girls still need to hear that they can and should do the hard and holy things in the world.
There’s another side to legacy that drives me. My mom. She is not my hero. No, the complete opposite. Her life was an example of everything I never want to be-selfish, addict, abusive, promiscuous…lost. My birth mom raised me to fear the world, fear her hand, fear her words. She made me believe my worth is in my sexuality and I’m only as good as the attention I received from guys. To go to college, to have a life long spouse, to do better for myself, well, this was selfish and wrong and I obviously thought I was better than everyone for doing so.
This year has been one of chaos, of change, of newness. I graduated college. Got engaged. New Job. Moved. Marriage. Bliss. Chaos.
With the beauty and the gift that change is, I’m never prepared for the grief that it’s paired with. Transition melts you and reforms you to where you feel like a piece of playdough that a 3-year old pancake-smashed, mixed with other colors, and stuck on the bottom of a desk. I almost don’t recognize myself.
This year, my husband and I created a New Year’s bucket list of all the things we wanted to do in 2016. The list included things like: ride a motorcycle through Vietnam, hike the narrows at Zion National Park, attend the RISE festival, and finally take up a ceramics class. And a graphic design class. And sewing (because why not?!).
The list was posted on our refrigerator throughout the entire year, and I looked straight into it every time I opened the door. The things on the list were inspiring and wonderful… and completely unachievable. Our plates were full.
On our drive home from school, my thirteen year old son was telling me about his Christmas choir concert, and how he really did not like one of the songs. It just feels like they’re trying to make a calm holiday all jumpy and excited.
He’s our sensitive one. He often hears things differently than they are intended, is easily discouraged and offended, and takes about nine hours to tell us any kind of story. I laughed it off and turned up Baby It’s Cold Outside, which was sandwiched between Frosty the Snowman and Holly Jolly Christmas.
But there’s something true about our boy’s observation. There is this tendency to skip the dark and jump straight to the lights, the coco, the loud and bright and happy…forgetting that the silent night was what started it all-the calm, bright, quiet evening that preludes all the celebrations begin.
This week our thoughts turn toward pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, family, friends, and gratitude. Many of us will gather around tables and perhaps a grown up (gasp … I think I might be that grown up now) may encourage us to say something we are grateful for. Admittedly at times in my past (especially as a teenager) this was an awkward exchange and felt a tad cheesy. But I think the practice of gratitude deserves some further exploration and it could serve us well to incorporate it into our daily lives, not just around a table once a year.
Let’s take a quiz! Answer yes or no to the following questions:
I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.
I often prefer to express myself in writing.
I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in-depth about topics that matter to me.
People tell me that I’m a good listener.
I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interruptions.
I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or only a few friends.
People describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow.”
I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished.
I dislike conflict.
I do my best work on my own.
I tend to think before I speak.
I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself.
If I had to choose, I’d prefer a weekend with less to do rather than too much.
My wife and I are big fans of Project Runway. Not only do we like design and fashion, but it’s also a fascinating inspection of culture. And we like to predict the winners and losers.
Each season, there’s a designer who the judges almost kick off but keep around because they have “a very specific point of view.” And because of ratings, I’m sure. Viewers love a good tragedy.
If you are breathing a sigh of post-holiday relief, you are not alone. Before the shock and grinch-shaming ensue, know that I am just as much of a sucker for Christmas as the rest of us. There are very few things in this world I love more than sitting around the dinner table with family, taking a break to enjoy those I love, making pretty gift wrappings, and my cupboards filled with all things peppermint-flavored. However, with the beauty of community and Christmas cheer also comes a madness of unabated consumerism and pressure. Whether it’s the stresses of buying impressive and thoughtful gifts, filling our time with the right loved ones, or rushing around to beat traffic, visit Aunt Sally, and time the holiday sales right; there is something relieving about the post-holiday silence.
I was recently on a plane with my three kids. We were flying to meet up with my husband, so I was outnumbered. The way the plane was set up, I sat in a row with my youngest, and my two oldest sat next to each other in the same row across the aisle from me. The plane had a particularly intense take-off and from across the aisle I heard a nervous voice call out, “Mom, can I come sit by you?”
The greatest thing about working for FLDWRK is that we get to help people help others. The not so great part is that when we want to sleep, our brains still want to work. It’s obvious, but without sleep none of those incredible projects are going to get done.
So why aren’t we sleeping? The exciting projects, of course. And coffee. You smiled a little when you read that word, huh? Then you were angry that I implied a correlation between that sweet cup of happiness and your run in with insomnia. Just hang tight a bit before you throw your laptop at me.
Coffee may be the only thing keeping you from turning into the Incredible Hulk in the morning, but before you overdo it on your cup of Bruce Banner, take a second to monitor how much you’ve had. Sure we’ll admit what happens when we haven’t had coffee, but we don’t often talk about what happens when we’ve had too much. Personally, I go from productive to a jittery mess, knocking things over and typing emails with caps lock on. But let’s not get crazy; I’m not saying no to coffee. In fact, I’m praising it and also suggesting a tool to help you enjoy it more—the UP Coffee app from Jawbone.
Let me break it down. Too much coffee = no sleep. Not enough coffee = sleep—but at inappropriate times like on your keyboard or your breakfast burrito. UP Coffee helps us find balance between what it calls “sleep ready” and “wired.”
By tracking how much coffee we put in our caffeine riddled bodies, Up Coffee can tell us when to stop consuming. The result is a much more relaxed evening and a great night’s sleep. Find it in the app store, and while you’re at it, check out Jawbone’s other great health technology.
At FLDWRK, we believe in the world’s best future and this month we are focusing on and supporting education in our community.
Education, and literacy in particular, are key contributors toward a person’s ability to achieve their fullest potential which will obviously allow them to live a fuller life, but will additionally enable them to use their gifts and talents help others.
Father’s day is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to honor and celebrate that special dad in your life. He’s hardworking, never thinks of himself, and is more than likely also the world’s hardest person to shop for…. until now. We’ve put together a list of some gift ideas your dad will love, show him how much you care, but also make a difference in the world we live in by empowering others - just as he’s empowered you.
I was driving in my daily traffic jam hell listening to NPR and yelling at slow drivers (we live in SoCal, give me a break). Robert Segal was about to bring it home when my phone rang. Was it work, or work related, or work adjacent? I really don’t know but apparently it was extremely pressing and required all of my attention; I answered, hands free at this point. I ended the call and began thumbing through my phone while crawling on the 5. I had to check on something, and I needed to do it right then. I looked down, opened my mail app and glanced up to find the car in front of me had completely stopped. I just about shoved my foot through the floor of my weathered Ford Focus, sending the car to a screeching stop. I didn’t hit the guy, but almost. With my adrenaline through the roof and the guy in front of me flashing some very colorful sign language, I found myself considering, why?