going gangsta


I've been wallowing.

You ever find yourself wallowing?  Those days when you're totally unproductive, and can't seem to get motivated, for no real reason?  To be completely honest, I've been like this for weeks.  I'm not proud of it, and it's especially distressing when I know that what I do is what I love to do -- it's not like my lack of motivation has anything to do with hating my job.  In fact, I suspect that my inertia has far more to do with fear:  fear of doing more. Of doing bigger.

There.  I said it.  I'm afraid of going bigger.  And even if I wasn't afraid, I'm not entirely sure where I would begin.

Fear is a hell of a thing, isn't it?

Anyway, yesterday, I decided that enough was enough.  What do I stand for, anyway? I thought to myself.  And I remembered I'd written a personal mission statement a few years ago, so I went looking for it, hoping that I would find some inspiration in its words.  

I was happy to discover that the statement still felt as true as ever to me -- relieved, really, to learn that I was still passionate about what I had declared was important to me. But it still didn't tell me what to do next.

And then, while I was idly surfing the web, I came across this TED talk from guerilla gardener Ron Finley, from South Central Los Angeles.  People, I love this man.  Seriously, "love" is the primary emotion that kept welling up as I watched him talk about his "gospel" of transforming his inner city neighbourhoods through "guerrilla gardening" -- taking over abandoned lots and turning them into vegetable and fruit gardens.  He speaks with a passion you rarely see, and he inspires you to action.

Please grab a beverage and click on the image below to take a look -- it is worth every second of the almost 11 minutes you'll spend watching it.

Admit it:  now you love him too.

Anyway, the part that struck me was the very end, when he told people to go gangsta and "plant some sh*t."  I felt like it was a metaphor for my life, you know?  That it's one thing to stand for something, but it's something else entirely to plant seeds of what you're passionate about, and watch them grow.

It was just the kick in the pants I needed.  And so, to celebrate my newfound determination to plant some sh*t, I figure it's time to do a giveaway of a place in the upcoming Path Finder course.  

Simply leave a comment below telling me what you stand for -- and this can be anything, from marriage equality, say, to valiantly fighting for the eradication of soggy French fries -- and I'll pick one person at random to win a place in this summer's Path Finder.

(If you win, and you've already registered, you can transfer the place to a friend.)  I'll announce the winner on Thursday.  I can't wait to hear what you stand for. 


(Incidentally, and sort of out-of-the-blue, if you think that what you stand for closely mirrors Ron Finley's passion and you don't know where to start, mosey on over to my friend Gayla Trail's site.  Yesterday I also happened to come upon a documentary that was done of her about 2 years ago, and it turns out she's a bit of a guerrilla gardener herself.  And the best part is that she writes books that help you grow great grub, too.)

UPDATE:  According to Random.org, the winner of the Path Finder spot is Amber, who said, "I stand for helping everyone (including myself) realize that we are all infinitely more than we think. I also stand for naps in the sun, reading voraciously, and cuddling. Lots and lots of cuddling."  Congrats, Amber!  Look for an email from me for more details.

And thanks so much to everyone who shared what they stand for.  You're a truly honourable bunch of folks, and I'm so grateful you share some of your time with me here on Chookooloonks.


Song:  Mariachi by Ani DiFranco