I’ve been thinking about “choice” recently. The question of whether life is a series of self-propelled decisions vs. something that just happens to you has been central to many conversations.
Many of these conversations have been prompted by macro shifts to the world around us–wars, inflation, inequity, political discord, tweets, bank failures, quiet quitting, creative burnout and mass shootings.
Last week my own world felt like a giant Jenga puzzle that was teetering on its last few foundational pieces. Decisions felt hard. Work was crushing me. My email inbox was heavy. Creativity was gone. I started to feel like it was Kate against the universe and the universe was trying to break me into a million pieces…
This weekend, I peeled myself off the sofa and picked up a book by renowned Buddhist and author Pema Chodron called How We Live is How We Die. Among pages of sage advice, one line struck a chord. “Trust not in success. Trust in reality.”
In short summary, the choice to “trust in reality” means a shift in how we respond to the ebb and flow of life, free of our hopes and fears. It’s about being open to life as it is, not as you want it to be, which means you don’t feel harmed or disturbed when you don’t “get what we want”—the job, the relationship, the wrong coffee order, the right water option, the perfect house or always-on WiFi.
Each of us has the agency to opt out of the stories swirling around us on how the world “should be”. You can choose to listen to your heart to understand what works for you. You can opt to see the world for what it is–a beautiful, messy, wild, unpredictable journey through space and time.
You can choose to see the world from a point of scarcity, see what’s wrong or what’s missing from every situation. Or you can choose to see the world from a place of abundance, where you get what you give and ask for nothing more. This perspective is an opportunity to see the infinite possibility of our own human potential and capacity. Where you look at your life as a place of creation vs. destruction.
As we move into the summer months, I challenge you to use this time to decide how you spend your time, channel your thoughts and define your magic.
Today I choose the following.
- To see the world as a place of creation
- To deeply understand that my experience is different from others
- To celebrate different experiences and create space for learning
- To see the possibility in the challenges that lie ahead
- To find magic in the mud and the grace in the grit
This month’s Brain Food is a conversation about choice. What do you choose to focus on, care for, create? Still or sparkling, I’d love to hear more, send an email to [email protected] to start the conversation.
In Praise of Extreme Moderation
Extremism is becoming a norm, not just professionally (working 80-hour weeks) but also personally (how many miles did you run before breakfast). Pushing our bodies, brains and kids past their limits has become badge of honor, but what’s the cost to our health and relationships? HBR explores this topic and we think there needs to be more conversations around moderation. Perhaps we should all start with hitting that button this summer?
Beach Read #1: Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi
Avni Doshi is a Dubai-based American novelist whose novel Burnt Sugar was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, longlisted for the 2021 Women’s Prize and chosen as the book of the year by the Guardian, Economist, and National Public Radio. This literary debut about love and betrayal between mother and daughter, written by Doshi, an Indian-American writer, will be your moment of necessary escape from the world.
Luscious Tracks: Grace Gaustad
Los Angeles-based Grace Gaustad doesn’t mince words. Her unflinching lyrids and raw musicality capture the zeitgeist of our era–the modern human experience of confusion, loss, creation and joy. Although just 21-years old, Gaustad has a passionate and unique voice that stands out among present day pop stars. I think we will see more of her.
Beach Read #2: The Urgent Life, by Bozoma Saint John
Typically there are 2-3 books on my nightstand, so while reading Burnt Sugar, I also plan to crack the spine on Bozoma Saint John’s The Urgent Life a memoir from an exceptional American businesswoman–Global Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix—whose circumstances led her to live a life of courage and thriving in the face of grief and loss.
Take Care of Your Lady Parts
After decades of “hush-hush” conversations about menopause and a lifetime of changes and challenges with our intimate wellness, women are finally getting the attention, products (and VC dollars) we deserve to handle everything life, and age, throws our way. Enter my new favorite product line, Lady Suite–plant-based, effective and beautifully luxe.