Hello friends

The lesson today is not to forget All the other lessons. All those lessons I was so sure I understood now have to come out like a fire drill. Like a defense plan. Of course the best defense is to be so superior to the attacker that defense is barely necessary.

Oh was that a lesson?

I am here. I am not a victim. I am me.

So I will find, no not find a way. Being me is not context specific. I will keep being me in all aspects of my life.

If I lose this job, there is no doubt I will find another. None. Chris and I will partner to take care of Veronica and all will be well

If I lose this job it was meant to be. I have nothing to fear.

Remember the lesson today? It is to remember. Oh I struggle

Don’t leave me hanging!

When I come home from my work day, loaded down with purse water bottle, laptop bag, keys  and whatever other detritus I scraped out of my car, I am always greeted by my dog. “Hi Lucy! Good dog.”

But the unloading of stuff, the offramping of bags and oh-yeah-i-forgot along with the inevitable dash for the bathroom always seems to take priority over my good dog.

“Greet the dog,” Chris reminds me. It is apparent that she suffers an sense of incompletion, her whole body wiggling and writhing, bumping her muzzle into me while I’m trying to get things situated. “She loves you.”

I must scratch her ears and receive her joy at my arrival. Chris is better at this whole ceremony, he delights in Lucy dog. He scratches her first and makes time for her. He gives her good love of scratches and attention.

There is a perfect metaphor here. I accept Lucy’s love with nonchalance, disregarding it and taking it for granted. He sees her love and raises it with a big dose of it back at her. The delight in her dog body with how he scratches and talks to her! It is glorious.

It is good to be loved. I do like to receive it. And I am learning more fully how it is even better to give love.

One of my favorite books talks of this canine relationship: “No one can give anyone else the gift of the idyll; only an animal can do so, because only animals were not expelled from Paradise. The love between dog and man is idyllic. It knows no conflicts, no hair-raising scenes;” ― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The dog lets us love her. She loves us without expectation. I ignore her, and she still rejoices in my presence. But she will always and always be ready for us to give it back to her in whatever form we can muster.

I have dear friends that I do the same thing to, I can call them and share my discouragement and fears. They will telll me encouraging and appreciative things: “You are fantastic! You can do it!”

But I hang on to my doubts. Maybe they don’t mean it…maybe…not really…

There are times too, when I put down all my heavy stuff, and look right at my friends to see them. I can lay aside my doubts and insecurities and give to them what they really deserve.

A sincere, specific and true statement of appreciation can lay flat the walls of Jericho. For the recipient, whoever he or she may be, yes. But for me too…If I can craft such a gift, what a work of art and thing of beauty! To affect someone’s life and leave behind a precious touchstone that they are seen as they wish to be or didn’t know they could be.

It takes courage to express something like that. The revelation of self and values feels so naked.

What makes it magic is the cooperation of the other. Like a high five–“Don’t leave me hanging!”

There is always the big chance that the love I hope to express will be awkward or inappropriate or in some other way not right.

My dog does not judge.  Good friends don’t either. The conflicts are not important, to call back to my book. To recieve love, but even more to give it back in my unique expression of it, that’s a life’s work.

maxim? maybe the start of one

“The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes. ” ~ Pema Chödrön

Magic Man’s list of leadership books

The podcast on Magical leadership had a list of books Mr Magic Buscema recommends

A booklist! HOORAY! but it was not in an easily reference-able format. I’ve transcribed it here, with links.


David Bohm  Wholeness and the implicate order

Joseph Campbell The hero with a thousand faces

Mihaly csikszentmihalyi Flow

Joseph Jawarsky Synchronicity

Terence McKenna Food of the Gods

Alan Moore Promethea

Carol Pearson The Transforming Leader

Otto scharmer Theory U

Annette Simmons The Story Factor

Roz & Benjamin Zander the art of possibility

I’ve got a story for you

Veronica has been having nightmares. She tells me that she was in a storm, and the water was coming down so hard and she was calling for Mommy.  “Mommy, come! Mommy!” and I didn’t come.

“But I’m here now, Veronica. See? You don’t have to be scared anymore.”

Her perfect four-year old brow furrows in the way I have watched since she was a newborn.  She is worried.

Dreams are like that. They are so real. She can’t be talked out of what she remembers. True to the stubborn heart she holds, she keeps her eyes on me. No way is mommy going to disappear again, even if she has to stay up all night.

Stories have a way of persisting. Looking up at the sky I see the stars, whose story-names were given by the ancient Greeks. These stars roamed the sky and were named after gods. Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and even though we now call them planets their stories go on. If Venus is rising, let’s hope Veronica gets to sleep earlier because it is a night for love.

It took a long time to come up with why the planets roamed the sky. The new religion of Christianity rejected the story that they were divine beings. But what was really going on?

Copernicus thought of it, but Galileo fought for it. The earth is the one that moves, just as all the planets move around a stationary sun. A new story of how it all fits; but the old story did not subside so easily. The Catholic Church, keeper of sacred stories, rejected the new story Galileo told.

Now we all tell the story of Galileo’s struggle. He is a champion of science–tear down ancient ignorance and speak proven truth even at personal cost!

Thomas Kuhn, in the middle of the 20th century, wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolution.  Powerful powerful book, and I haven’t finished it yet. It keeps exploding my brain, making me jump up and have to go talk to somebody in a raised voice about it, or take a walk to think about it. Also, dude writes like a scientist. ugh.

Here is one thing I can share:

The stories of science (he calls them paradigms) are fabulously useful until they are prisons for thought. The way stories work is that they give shape and define our world, and that is wonderful and beautiful until we notice the shape is wrong.

This is the story; it’s perfect and comforting, except for that one bit. But we’ll agree that that bit doesn’t count. Until the bits that don’t fit stack up and up.  It is not inevitable that the stack of contrary evidence falls over and shatters the story. We LIKE the feeling of safety the story give us, so we will shore it up.

The stories are our saviors and our prison wardens. Oh, we are lost. Where is truth to be found?

The piano in my house is almost a hundred years old, and the dampers aren’t working too well. When the mailman comes my sweet doggie gives a ferocious


that sets all the strings vibrating because the sound waves strike them with force. The discordant sound hums in the air, and subsides. All except the strings that correspond to the note my dog hit with her bark. That tone lingers on, resounding to the message dog was conveying.

When I hear a truth, my soul does the same. That resonance is my light to truth.

Shhh…pay attention. It rings clear if I listen.

DAMMIT, it’s not scientific. It’s not easily repeatable with hypotheses and experiments. Not always. It is frustrating and impossible and not exactly provable.


It’s there. I am not lost. The stories lay before me, ready to be recieved and believed. I won’t be stranded if I keep going forward toward that light.






I, Murphy

holy crap! I’ve been taking a class on empowerment.

..never never thought I would ever say that..My philosophy has always been, when I want to get somewhere, to charge off in a direction and eventually I’ll get there.

Empowerment? With no measures of success or progress? What a crock.

I was wrong. funny how I can be wrong even in areas that i have learned a better answer

but still I don’t grasp my own revelation

I learned this here http://writtenbymurphy.com/wonderblog/2002/12/the-myth-and-science-of-santa/

and here http://writtenbymurphy.com/wonderblog/2007/07/the-borders-of-language-and-the-universe/

and probably more if I look.

and yet, here i go thinking I need to measure the world in spoons

but I had the good sense to blindly reach for this class. And I am learning new ways to gauge.

What’s it for, this measuring? in my day job, it is said, “measure twice cut once”

therefore, measuring is for the purpose of cutting.

measuring is for the purpose of taking an action

or making a decision

decision making and action taking are often based on non-quantifiable  reasons.

Who hasn’t done something without entirely knowing why?

“Because I want to!”

and that is a perfectly fine reason. But maybe it shoulnd’t be considered a reasonable reason.

So, I can see that there is a huge foggy area that is outside of reason that guides my life.

And this class is the flashlight on my helmet that is shining into that gray patch.

Teacher started out in a good spot:

What do I want?

and the focus here is the subject, not the verb or the object.

Not the what  or the want

The focus is on the ‘I’. I am where it all begins.

I don’t know about you, but I am still mysterious.

But if I can’t learn things about me, no one else can teach me.

And now…I’ll make her reappear!

My big brother is celebrating his anniversary this week. Twenty three years ago, I stood with a huge group of people at the front of the hugest possible church crowd in a blue satin bridesmaid dress.

I did not know anyone. But it was a party, and I managed to quickly find the other 17 year old girl who didn’t know anyone either. She knew someone who knew someone who brought her, but her family had just landed back in America after years spent as a missionary in South Asia.

Perfect. Coolness and popularity were as far out of her reach as they always were for me. Tanya and I hit it off and spent the whole afternoon in perfect giddy companionship. Partway through she said, “You’re a lot of fun! My cousin said you were hard to get to know.”

Someone knew who I was? and by inference, someone had tried to get to know me?


After Tanya described the cousin, I remembered. She was a nice lady in her early 20s and had stopped from time to time to speak to me. I always assumed that she, like my brother and nearly every other married grownup in my life, was engaging me in conversation out of a sense of Christian charity for the next generation. Therefore, out of respect for her, I had always tried to be polite, excusing myself as quickly as possible and letting her off the hook.

I had read it completely wrong. She knew who I was and wanted to know more.

I was not invisible.

I’m not seventeen anymore, but I am still surprised to discover I am visible when I least expect it.

I can walk into a convention center full of people and have a series of intense conversations with people I have never met and with whom I will never speak again. I used to think this was shallow. Why didn’t I make true relationships with this people? I must be deficient not to follow up and cement this connection that obviously had such promise. But they vanish like fog in the afternoon.

Email, LinkedIn, Facebook and G+ help me at least have a tenuous thread to these amazing people I couldn’t stay in f2f contact with. I am a devotee of the Christmas letter, making sure to *lick envelopes* to keep my friends and family in my life.

Then  I read Superconnect: Harnessing the Power of Networks and the Strength of Weak Links. I like the Power of Networks, because I am a telecommunications expert. That is a powerful network. So…these authors assert and give evidence that the most powerful connections in our lives–the ones that set us on new paths and ventures–come almost exclusively from people we barely know. Our close connections are tapped out; they’ve given all they can. To strike out in a new way, you need something new.

I remember thinking this when I set out to start dating again in 1999. I was in my pond sitting on a lily pad, and all the frogs and fishes swimming by were not what I was looking for.

I needed a new lily pad. Maybe a new pond.

What’s a girl to do? Hello Internet, my old friend. I got a lot of new connections. One of them is sitting on our couch right now reading pundits on his iPad. Our anniversary is next month. It worked out.

Once more I find myself in need of new frogs. I want to find a way to promote my writing.    My books, the ones I’ve published and the ones I am about to publish. But that’s not all.

There is this. This. Right here: my Wonder Weekly. It has surprised me lately by becoming visible.

Of course, it was not by accident. I decided I needed to believe in it–in ME–again this year. I was going to act as if it were important. I began to do a series of things to let people know about it. On the path to figuring out how to do that, I started to make connections.

I made one connection, which led to another, and this frog started leaping. I told people, with my mouth, about this. I signed up people by asking for their email addresses and using my hands to type these addresses into my database. I doubled my subscribers.

But then a connection I made told me how to start connecting using twitter. And then a friend I met on twitter led to a super awesome book on how to organize my promotion efforts. Look at me go!

Last week, for the first time, someone I do not know signed up. I shrieked and told my friends that I would never feel this famous again. I am writing for the world now! After all this time, I am ready for it! These words matter, and they make a difference to people. I *should* be read by lots of people I don’t know.

Wait. There is more.

Another somebody, a very old friend, made a connection for me to someone new, and I signed up for a class. I take classes, but not like this one. This was a leap; I don’t know if it’s a new pond or not but all of the scenery is different from this lily pad.

I guess that’s the point.

Back to reality. In the middle of the night, my daughter called to me. SIGH. It’s going to be another long night. Fish out the iPhone and the earbuds, start one of my favorite podcasts so I don’t lose my mind with boredom sitting at her side to keep the scary monsters at bay.

I pick one I hadn’t listened to in a while, Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders. They talk about how to find venture capitalists, how to pick a founding partner, when to sell, recommending ‘Fail Fast’ and a whole host of Silicon Valley rarified air that I find inspiring.

Press play at 2 AM on a friday morning, and I found this. A magician and a mechanical engineer?

Ferdinando Buscema told a roomful at Stanford about what he does.

I would not have been able to understand him if not for my new class. He said that there is a place for the unexpected and unbelievable in business. If there is a place for it in business, there is a place for it everywhere. He did the impossible, not just with playing cards. He did it with his life. He took his magic skills and his engineering mind and made the connection.

We need to believe, we don’t need to act like everything is so separate. More things are possible than I realized. And here’s the resonance for me: “The world is not made up of atoms; it’s made of stories.”

Yes. Yes it is. And stories are what I do–just like this one I’m telling now.

I tweeted about it and told my stranger-friends about this amazing message. I am delighted but not surprised that found this man–he’d even given a TED talk. This guy was incredible!

Wait. It gets even better.

Remember last week when a stranger signed up for my Weekly Wonder? I said I would never feel this famous again.

This morning, Ferdinando Buscema signed up for this newsletter.  Out of the haystack of the internet my new hero found the needle of me. I am visible in a way I never ever expected.

Hello Signor Buscema! Thank you for believing in yourself and trusting the world to have a place for you to be in it. Thank you for putting yourself in front of a camera and telling everyone in the world about what is possible.

It was not possible that you should find me. But you did. I ask myself again:

Why? Why me?

It feels like magic. And when I think about magic touching me–my life–I am so excited I can barely breathe. Magic is not like lightning, it strikes the same place more than once. I recognize I have a gift. My ME, when I show up and live it, use and and share it with people, is magical.


Hey everybody! It’s been awhile since I had visitors. Welcome to the blog!

I’m kind of a homebody, set it my ways, and I suppose I got into the habit of talking to myself.

Blogging to myself.

But, there is a lot here. And I am so excited to see you here…those visitor traffic reports make me feel loved.

…I am almost thinking of turning on the comments again. Now that there is more traffic than just salesmen…


..maybe…could happen.

But while you are here, look around! make yourself at home.

feeling groovy

very groovy, actually.

Some stuff started to click, and now things are clicking.

things are ticking

…is that the pilot?




I just got engaged

“What is with all these people throwing their hands up?” my friend was saying to me.


He wasn’t talking about me, but I knew I was guilty. There was THIS thing, and then ANOTHER crazy-making other thing that I needed to rant about.


I was beginning to see his point: throwing my hands up in the air, to give up and give in to frustration is the stance of the victim. If I do that, I am letting life give me a stick-up.


“Hands in the air! Give me all your valuables!”


My most valued thing is my ability to do something in the world. Getting my hands in there and doing what needs to be done, that’s all I’ve really got. Here, you can take my wallet and my watch. I won’t need to keep track of the passing of time if I am doing nothing with it anyway.


I was born to do the things that I can do–to be more precise, to do the things that only I can do.


That takes getting engaged. That takes using my strength and my heart and my hands to grapple with life. So glorious to realize that I can take my hands down, put them at my sides and get some leverage on what matters.


But what matters? What should I do?

I should do what matters to me. It’s as easy and as hard as that.

I get to do what I do. I get to be me.


Doing what I do means taking the chances my days give me. I should leap at the chances to engage with the world around me and the people around me.


In the elevator last week, door opened on a guy in a t-shirt.

“Going up?”

I asked him what he was there for.

“I am here for voice-over work.”

Oh. An actor.  And now we were at our stop. “Good luck, I hope you get the part.”

“Oh, I already have it.”

We separated; I had to pick up my package.

I live in the shadow of Hollywood. I have had dealings with actors before. He stayed in my mind, because he was far less arrogant than most actors I meet. He didn’t treat me like a two-dimensional audience like they usually do.

He was still waiting in the hall when I came out with my package.

I wanted to talk to him some more.


But I had no reason to.


Except…life is to engage with.


I had no reason not to. Dive in!


I approached him, “What’s your name? Should I go like you on Facebook?”

“Oh, I’m not on Facebook.”

“You’re an actor right? Are you in anything?”
“Nothing you would know…”

“Well, I’m trying to be a fan, but I am having a hard time figuring out how.”

He laughed, a shy laugh.

“So you only do voice work? You should get a job doing animation.”
“No, animation means you have to have a funny voice…like a cartoon voice.”

“That’s true. Your voice is kind of gravelly. I know! You could be a dog.”

“I like dogs.”

“There! Tell your agent to get you a dog.”

It was a lovely conversation, which was very much the sort of conversation that I tend to have. He laughed, and it restored my faith in actor-kind.


This engage-with-life idea was working.


Yeah! Go forth and express self-hood! Don’t repress! Dive in!


So that evening I go express myself into a flame war online.


…Really? REALLY?


Someone was threatening to set his hair on fire to prove that I was wrong.




Not everybody is going to love me all the time.


There are going to be people who don’t see it my way, and some of those people are going to decide that someone’s hair needs to be set on fire.


Yikes! It can be so unexpectedly dangerous to be me. THIS is why…*hands thrown up*…


Here I go again. Didn’t I just get over that? That’s not fun anymore. There are obstacles, there’s bound to be. But if I hang on to the truth of what I know, and I keep trying it will be ok.


With the possibility of way better than okay.