If you need a message of hope, inspiration or perseverance today, spend the next seven minutes with eight-year-old Devan Boyd.
Cannes Film Festival was this month. Thousands flocked to the town of Cannes, France to preview new films, sell their scripts or to distribute their finished film. It was one of my biggest dreams to attend. Ever since I was a little girl I had dreams of creating something for the movies. You could find me watching VHS tapes in my family basement most weekends.
Fast forward a few years. I married talented filmmaker: Aaron Craig. He and I wanted to make a film together. On a lark, we traveled to my family farm in Illinois and created a short film. It was a fun side project to see what we could do. Somehow, we pulled it off. Our actors were a funny mix of family friends and the local postmaster. My mom and dad served as our sound person and location manager (plus dog wrangler). Filming was a great experience, full of lots of laughs and learning. We took our footage back to New York City not expecting much.
Adele wins. We know this. Her effortless voice, the way her songs take up camp in the teensiest crevices of our soul, and on top of it all, she keeps a down-to-earth vibe that isn’t afraid to have a little fun.
So, when we came across this ballet — another form of art where talent holds us completely captivated — set to the tune of her latest album, we knew we had to share. These dancers are incredibly skilled, seriously in sync … and now we’re off to practice a few pliés.
Watch the piece in full, below.
“The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” – Lao Tzu
We haven’t even reached the halfway mark of 2016 and already, it has left a gaping hole in the middle of the music world’s heart. While a majority of us may have never had the chance to meet our greatest idols and influences, their death has this seismic ripple effect that can feel deeper than one would expect. The whole world goes through it with you. It feels as though we’ve lost a piece of ourselves, a time of our lives, even a friend. Music is extremely personal and emotional, so it is no wonder the loss felt echoes beyond blood or close relationships.
Whether we wish we could serve the poor and alleviate suffering like Mother Teresa or pioneer critical scientific research like Marie Curie, we all dream of doing beautiful, world-changing things with our lives. Yet, no matter how much we might long to follow in the footsteps of such women, who in fact believes themselves capable of that kind of greatness?
Perhaps we can imagine ourselves doing so in the future — when we are “older and wiser” — but in our present, imperfect condition? Hardly.
For just a minute, try to remember what it felt like to be five years old. The half-second lag at the top of the swings, the smell of fresh cut summer grass, the feeling of sand in every crevice of your swimsuit. As children, our sidewalk chalk drawings were Picasso’s and our bicycles were magic carpets. We colored the world with crayons, curiosity, and laughter.
Children possess a special kind of contagious optimism that carries them through their small lives. They are blissfully unfazed by the opinions of others. Through all the scraped knees and playground splinters, they continue to try new things and peak out at the world through a lens of joy. Their hearts are bigger, their blues are bluer, and their afternoons are longer. Can you remember how good it felt to be that full of wonder?
With every celebrity meltdown, nasty break-up or cringe-worthy interview, it is not uncommon to watch the lives of many well-known celebrities drop from A-list to no list. Yet, is it our empathy and compassion that keep us tuned in, or is it the idea that we want to see ‘successful’ people fail? How does this translate to us ‘regular’ folk? Do we crave seeing ‘successful’ people in our own lives plummet?
Schadenfreude is translated from the German language and literally means, “harm-joy.” This word represents the idea that pleasure can be derived from the misfortune of others.
We have all been witness to somebody saying “I’m so OCD!” as a means to get a point across that he or she is very particular, detail-oriented and organized. Brands like Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics have been using this term as a way to market their products as something we ‘need.’
The media has also been throwing around this term, rather carelessly, as being a trait one would aspire to have instead of it being a serious disorder. For example, Khloe Kardashian has a regular segment on her website titled KHLO-C-D. During each segment she demonstrates to her followers how she organizes her cookie jar, packs for an upcoming trip or rearranges her closet. Is such branding an innocent advertising tool, or is it instead stigmatizing to those whom live with this disorder?
The truth is, using this term inaccurately can be quite offensive and hurtful to somebody living with actual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). What does it mean to have OCD? Tackling the myths of this serious disorder is the first step to decrease the inaccurate use of the term and bring awareness to those who are suffering.
Think back to when you were a kid. Remember how amazing it felt when the first real day of spring had arrived and you could finally go outside and play?! There was nothing that could hold you back, the energy you’d kept pent up during the cold winter months was practically bursting out of your arms and legs.
Wasn’t that feeling just the best, ever?
While we wish it were otherwise, most of us don’t have the luxury of pursuing our creative passions as a full-time job. Whether we love painting or pouring candles, writing or dancing, event planning or photography, the truth is that we don’t often make a living from those passions. Instead, we find pockets of time to shadow those desires on the weekends, the evenings, and often, when we could be sleeping. We read articles and books about our hobbies, and spend our money on the passion we love so dearly. But we aren’t waking up every morning to head to a studio or the craft room or the keyboard. Instead, we get up and work at jobs that don’t set our hearts aflame.
There were a lot of years where I bemoaned my lack of time to pursue my passion. I’m a writer at heart, a woman who comes alive with the tap of keys on the keyboard, a woman who could spend hours each day whittling down a paragraph until it sings with the vibrancy of power and precision. But for most of my adult life, I’ve been a writer in the margins, pulling out my laptop in the evenings or on the weekends, taking twenty minutes over lunch or an hour after work to finish an article or pen a chapter.
As troubling as it is, it’s not uncommon to hear someone negatively refer to another as being “so bipolar.” This term can be used as a way to conceptualize your boss’ behavior after he looses his cool during a meeting (no way it could be due to the recent missed deadlines … right?) or to describe your partner during a relationship dispute (again, I did nothing wrong … he is “bipolar”).
We all have that friend who is emotionally unpredictable, impulsive and just plain moody (we all know the type ), but does that mean they are suffering from the serious mental illness that is bipolar disorder? Not only can the incorrect and lax use of this word be offensive, but it also infers that those who are living with bipolar disorder have a choice in the matter. That could not be further from the truth.
What exactly does it mean to have (yes, have … not be) bipolar? Below, the common myths of this very serious disorder are discussed.
In yet another reason we can’t wait for summer, Warner Bros. just released an extended trailer for the film adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ best-selling book Me Before You, which hits theaters on June 3rd. Sometimes, you just need a good cathartic cry and this film promises to deliver just that via a heartstring-tugging love story portrayed Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin.
Watch the extended trailer, below.
Hope budding from unexpected places. Bursts of color from darkened earth. Isn’t that what this season — spring — is all about?
Today we’re excited to introduce you to Rebekah Pahl, a singer and songwriter creating her first EP that’s doing exactly that, revealing how a seemingly barren, dry season can give way to river of inspiration. Click through to learn more about Rebekah’s story, how the desert fosters her creativity, and to hear a snippet of the voice you’re (for sure) going to want to hear more of.
With technology dominating our ever-evolving world, society is becoming dependant on constant interaction. Checking Instagram while we wait for our coffee, scrolling Facebook when out to lunch with friends, constantly Snapchatting our every waking move. While technology has allowed us to overcome communication gaps and connected us in many ways, it has seemingly allowed us to abandon any comfort in silence.
Remember driving around with parents and friends and getting lost in your thoughts or in the cars passing by? Or sitting down at the dinner table and having moments where everyone was silent, not because they were typing away at their emails and texts, but just because they were eating? We used to greet these moments of comfortable silence daily; should they be encountered now, they simply leave us fidgeting.
I imagine most of us have fairly straightforward pictures in our heads about what our lives will look like and who we’ll become. When something happens that is not inside the four corners of that picture we view it as a detour and hope to get back on track as quickly as possible. So what happens when you take a detour and can’t ever get back to the original picture?
We’re all artists in our own way. Sometimes, we just need some help getting in the zone, especially living amidst so much distraction, noise, and technology. We’ve recently discovered Sonia Mandeville, of So Sonia on YouTube, and are smitten. She’s not your average vlogger. She’s a 17-year-old creative filmmaker, writer, and visual artist from Jakarta, Indonesia who travels the world to gain inspiration for her art.
In fact, this is what Rainn Wilson, beloved actor and founder of SoulPancake, had to say about her when we asked …
The late Robin Williams could incite many a thrilling wonder to life. Perhaps one of his most cherished roles we remember was that of English teacher John Keating in “Dead Poets Society.”
Speaking of those that paved the way before them, Keating aimed to summon the muse for his students. He posed: “They’re not that different from you, are they? … Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see, [they] are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? Carpe — Hear it? Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day…make your lives extraordinary.”
The inner voice. The one that narrates and ponders and analyzes and dreams. It’s always there, guiding us through life and moving us along. And – like we’ve all heard before – it has tremendous power to shape our lives, depending on what we feed it.
While we’re aware how negative thoughts breed negative self-image, what about the thoughts that aren’t so easy to categorize as either negative or positive? What happens when our inner voices are littered with questions?
Is this dress flattering? Can I pull off this color? Would I look foolish if I tried something new?