Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books, from days of yore?
I loooooved those books — even though most of my choices left me maimed, slimed or mauled. The follies of youth!
Being a grown-up is a bit like living inside a Choose Your Own Adventure book — there are crossroads & callings, mentors & tricksters, dragons to slay & quests to embark on.
There are unseen forces & factors at play, but at the end of the day, everything comes down to a moment of truth. A choice.
In the spirit of adventure, I’d like to present an avalanche of possibilities — things to explore, read, do, taste, see & be in 2013.
Some are frivolous & light. Others are focused & deep. None will lead you down a dragon’s gullet. (I promise.)
Choose wisely & well!
ϟ If you’re seeking … a beauty adventure.
This might be the World’s Best Kept Secret: walk into any MAC cosmetics store, spend a minimum of $50, and one of their trained artists will do a full make-up application for you — for free.
Want an even more personalized experience? You can book a 1-on-1 make-up class, and learn how to dab, brush & blot like the pros — I did it, and finally mastered the ever-elusive cat eye!
Find a store & glam it up.
I had the pleasure of meeting Sally McGraw (the body-loving fashion blogger behind Already Pretty) at a luncheon, last fall. She was wearing dark metallic earrings with skulls in them & army camouflage tights, and pulling. them. off.
Sally does 1-on-1 style consults with women in Minneapolis — and virtually, all over the world. She’ll rummage through your closet, take you shopping, and help you create 6-12 smashing outfits from what you already have.
I’m so impressed by Sally’s message of validation & encouragement — a consult with her is definitely on my 2013 wish list!
I am a blow dry bar devotee. And DreamDry — a new venture from celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe & long-time business partner Robin Moraetes — is going to blow you away. (Pun very much intended!)
If you’re based in the NYC area, jump on their list for pre-launch goodies. Go forth & be glamorous.
ϟ If you’re seeking … a foodie adventure.
I secretly want to be the kind of person who can say — with a straight face — “Oh, so sorry. I’m not available that week. I’ll be at my Cacao Masterclass in Belize.”
At Belcampo Farms — a boutique hotel on a 15,000-acre rainforest preserve — you can study the science & artistry of chocolate, coffee, rum, jams & marmalades.
(If I wasn’t teaching at The Spark Retreat that month, I would be verrry tempted to go!)
“What are you grateful for?” That’s the question painted on the bottom of every plate & bowl at Cafe Gratitude — a California-based family of vegan restaurants.
I dined there with my momma last month, and our waitress invited us to ponder the question “What would you like to be recognized for?” while we waited for our pomegranate juices & curried lentils to arrive.
The reflection question changes daily — what a beautiful practice!
LOVE-BOMBING an independent restaurant
Indie restaurants often struggle, even in cheerier economic times.
So, here’s your mission: gather together a gaggle of friends (20+ for maximum impact) and descend upon a quiet, cash-strapped, unsuspecting local restaurant — like a foodie flash mob.
Choose an “off” night — like a Monday or Tuesday — to really astound them. Light up Twitter & Facebook with jubilant comments & photos of your meals.
Leave a hand-written thank you note for your server. Send your compliments to the chef. Leave a generous tip — or even a gift.
The proprietors will be gobsmacked with gratitude.
ϟ If you’re seeking … a literary adventure.
This is another fantasy-quest of mine — a walking pilgrimage with poet David Whyte through the west of Ireland, across the ancient limestone cliffs, and into the heart of Connemara.
Poetry in the mornings. Tromping in the afternoons. Guinness in the evenings.
What more could a poetically-inclined Hibernophile want?
Reading EVERYTHING by your favorite author. EVER.
This year, I intend to read (and re-read) the complete works of Oscar Wilde — every play, every poem, every story, and the newly-released, uncensored version of The Picture of Dorian Gray (now with 25% more homo-eroticism!).
Which author will YOU honor with a complete & absolute reading? (Need some inspiration? Choose a book from this list of the 100 greatest novels of all time.)
Want to expand your vernacular — while ending world hunger? Who doesn’t?
Play the vocabulary game at FreeRice.com. For every answer you get right, Free Rice donates 10 grains of rice to hungry families in developing regions, through the United Nations World Food Programme.
P.S. You’ll find plenty of word-nerdy prompts in my latest wee-book: 100 Ways To Play With Yourself.
ϟ If you’re seeking … a business adventure.
If crafting your marketing plan for the year feels about as fun as a triple root canal, Catherine Meredith of Bene Media wants to help.
Her philosophy? “Make voyages! Attempt them … there’s nothing else.” (Gotta love a gal who quotes Tennessee Williams.)
To kick off 2013, Catherine has a new offering on the table: Future Mogul. It’s a bundle of social media & public relations support to help you find your voice & find your customers. Faaaantastic!
Take it from someone who’s crafted language for more than 80 professional coaches — if you want to thrive as a coach, knowing how to transform people’s lives isn’t enough. You’ve also got to know how to market yourself, leverage technology, and run a frickin’ business.
Enter: Coaching Practice in a Box: A Digital Reference Guide With Every Single Thing You Need to Know to Get On with the Holy Work of Coaching Your People. It’s a new creation from the mind of Sarah Yost. Yum.
Like it? Want more of the same-ish — but different? Explore: The Coaching Blueprint by Kate Swoboda, Clear Coaches with Susan Hyatt, or (for the metaphysically-inclined) Theresa Reed’s Tarot Business in a Box.
Sarah doesn’t brag about herself, because she’s a salt of the earth Midwestern gal. So I’ll brag on her behalf: in just a few years, she built a marvelous lifestyle & travel blog with nearly 100,000 visitors a month. When it comes to taking your blog from ‘unknown’ to ‘kinda fancy & famous’, she knows her stuff.
Work with her, and you’ll walk away with a 3-month blogging plan, right down to the zingy post titles — and more. “I dunno what to blog about…” will officially be erased from your vocabulary.
ϟ If you’re seeking … a spiritual adventure.
Imagine that your life is a kingdom — and you are the sole ruler.
Will you rule from a place of scarcity, fear & desperation? Or will you rule with authority, trust & discernment?
My beautiful friend Hiro Boga wants to help you become a wise & happy monarch — by teaching you how to rule your world from the inside out. (Join her for a free class on Friday, January 11th. BYO crown!)
Hunting for ease is a lifelong spiritual practice — and it’s one with immediate & tangible rewards. Deeper sleep. Longer breaths. Luxurious creativity. Hotter kissing. Ahem.
I could go on … ease is awfully addictive.
In a world that celebrates irrational busy-ness, saying NO can become a spiritual practice.
I believe that offering a NO (while preserving your sanity, health & wellbeing) is a far more compassionate response than a YES (tinged with resentment).
And NO doesn’t always mean “not at all — ever.” Often, it means “not this — but let’s wonder & explore where a collaborative YES might be hiding.”
Happy adventuring, this year & always.
P.S. What’s one adventure you’re summoned to take, in 2013? (And why?)