Does it feel like Spring yet? Hmm, it doesn't really yet in New York City. It's a slow process again this year, as if Nature herself is one of those disgruntled people we see in the subway, with a snarl on her face enjoying the slow torture she inflicts.
Every year for my birthday on March 21st, it's bad weather. Or so it seems. Last year it was snowing and I got sick as a dog, no way to celebrate my big birthday. This year it's been raining for 3 days straight. Maybe I ought to make it a point to travel each year for my birthday so as to enjoy it completely and not impose bad weather on my fellow NYers:-)
This ever lasting yucky weather makes it hard to enjoy the outdoors, play Padel (ooh, if you don't know this sport, check it out here. Anyone who knows me well knows I talk about Padel ad nauseam - the best racquet sport that exists), go for long walks and just suck in new air. Granted, sun is out this morning, but it's Monday.
In her book Thrive, Arianna Huffington talks about how vital it is to walk outdoors for creating space in your mind to think clearly, to get your body to move to stimulate creative thinking, stray your attention on something else, like not tripping, to get your thoughts clear. She often schedules hike-appointments with her colleagues, editors and even journalists instead of having them in the cold environment of an office between glass doors.
And when in New York City, she makes it a point to walk from appointment to appointment.
This book has allowed me to have a bit of think on my own habits.
I'm used to walking with my earbuds in my ears, listening to my #HOT40 Playlist on Spotify (have you downloaded it yet?), Podcasts or Audible books. I love doing that. But... I've come to realize I also like the emptiness of not thinking too hard, not listening to anything, just staying in a state of being, going from point A to point B without judging, without trying to make it count for more than it truly is, just getting my body from one place to the next. I used to want to cram as much information as possible in my brain in a span of a day. Even if it's listening to music which still demands some attention.
The point is to have nothing going on at all. Granted, I'm willing and able to do that if it's a short walk. Downtown, there is no park to settle the mind for long stretches of time. So if my walking from point A to point B feels more like a point D, I'll pop on my earbuds and enjoy being transported elsewhere.
This lady is a true inspiration and if she walks on walks in order to walk the walk, so can I.
The other person who definitely TREADS the right path is Blake Mycoskie. Not only is he a cutie whom I'd have gone to the end of the Andes with in my fantasy world when he first started TOMS shoes over a decade ago, he also runs one of the most revolutionary companies in history, and from a sail boat even at one point, living like a hot neo-hippie with salt in his hair and stars in his eyes. This guy walks the walk in his own TOMS shoes!
He created the fastest growing footwear company in the world, by giving the shoes away! Let's pause for a second and think about that.
And no, his name is not Tom. The name TOMS actually comes from "Tomorrow's Shoes". Watch his video explaining the name and his new campaign to end Gun Violence.
The model of One-For-One under which TOMS operates proves that priorities can be switch on their heads, where GIVING comes hand in hand with growth. They didn't wait to grow before starting giving. For each pair of shoes that is purchased, they give one pair of shoes to communities in need. And the same goes for their Sunglasses. Each pair purchased allows one person to receive critical eye care such as cataract removal. Imagine the impact it has on a community for men and women to be able to go back to work or work better with returned eyesight and an awesome pair of shoes at their feet.
Similarly to Charity: Water which I talked about in last week's post THIRST, TOMS had a "give-up your birthday" program where you'd be making your own DIY shoes, like a drawing party to raise funds and awareness. It was great for kids. I had it all organized one year for my daughter's birthday but we had a last minute change of plans so couldn't go through with it. I would have loved to share this moment with her.
But it's as simple as purchasing a pair of shoes to be part of their awesome community. It truly is a community, based on a philosophy of empathy and care. The shoes and glasses are great and make a statement.
It truly is as simple as changing your mindset when you want to change prioritizes. Your success will be two folds bigger knowing your efforts are changing the world.
"Wear your beliefs" -TOMS
Blake Mycoskie talks about changing the world in depth in his awesome book Start Something That Matters. It's a bit dated, from 2012 but the title says it all and it still matters indeed. And it goes exactly with my intention to live a more sacred life. This is Truly an inspiring book for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world with their work or simply by Mindset changing.
So go for it, ditch your Tod's loafers for TOMS canvas ones, loose the Prada sunglasses for their pieces, they're actually super high quality, walk around in their simple shoes and you'll feel the lightness in your stride, knowing you're doing a little bit of good. Beyond that, get inspired by those books to evolve how you show up in this world.
Have a smashing week and remember to always choose the path less travelled if you can.