Howdy Traipsers,

I'm laying low with a tweaked lower back, which means more time for writing, reading, and creative pursuits. Silver lining!

Some powerful content in this week's newsletter (if I say so myself): a story I told live about a gunshot near the Mexican border, a book that helped me through a recent conflict, yet more genius from Brené Brown, and my favorite reading web service.




Boldly Went Podcast: On the Run in Arizona

There's lots of talk about border tensions with Mexico lately AND I've got podcasts on the brain, so this story I told live on the Boldly Went show seems timely! 

Skip to minute 21:40 to hear my tale of a gunshot in Arizona and gaining perspective on life at the border.

Learning How to Communicate using Nonviolent Communication

In October, a friendship of mine blew up in a big way. I won't go into details beyond that I felt attacked, misunderstood and (ultimately) glad to be free of some serious negative energy.

A book that helped me navigate effective communication in the face of aggression was rereading Nonviolent Communication. I can't recommend it enough as a way to engage in non-judgmental, honest discussions.

The 10,000' summary of the four components of NVC:

Clearly stating (without judgment) what we are observing, feeling, and needing, and what we would like to request to enrich our lives.

That combined with the following idea is SO powerful:

Instead of offering empathy, we tend instead to give advice or reassurance and to explain our own position or feeling. Empathy, on the other hand, requires us to focus full attention on the other person’s message. We give to others the time and space they need to express themselves fully and to feel understood

Read the book or listen to a podcast summary of it. I promise it will level up your communication skills.

Hanging out with Zomberonis is way easier than nonviolent communication. Plus I can eat them!

Watch Brené Brown Drop Wisdom!

Putting creative work into the world is never easy. As I dive into a to-be-announced creative project, I'm thinking a lot about the balance of vulnerability, story telling and creating value.

Millions have watched Brené Brown's TED talk about these concepts; now she's upping the game with a fantastic hour-long Netflix special. It's powerful and worth watching!

This quote from Teddy Roosevelt that Brené shares reminds me that getting in the arena and creating is what counts, even though it sure feels difficult sometimes...

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Excellent Web Service for Readers:

How many times have you read a book and felt your life changed...only to wake up two days later and not be able to name the author or summarize key points for a friend? Does it feel like you wasted that reading time?

Readwise addresses that by taking all your Kindle highlights (sorry, paper book lovers) and making them taggable and searchable. It also sends a daily highlights email for spaced repetition learning to solidly plant concepts in the brain for future use.

For anyone looking to reference past books or create something like a "Commonplace Book," Readwise is magic. In fact, I used it twice just for this newsletter!

Send me the next Traipsing About newsletter!
Winter ain't here yet... Paulina Lake on a perfect fall day!
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