Life – The Ultimate Mashup


Life. It’s the ultimate mashup.

Today can be just another ho-hum day for me, while behind my neighbor’s door they might be going through the most horrendous day of their life.

To mash-it-up more, today can be a complete mashup even just for me: it can be a somewhat normal day and a day of significance, too. It can seem to be a celebration, while at the same time a day of retrospection and tears.

It’s the nature of life to have all sorts of disparate things moving through alongside each other. Much of the time we try to make some sense of it all; other times, we pretty much give up on that idea.

Today is April 17th, 2012

I was struck by the mashup metaphor this morning when I remembered it is the birthday of Danielle LaPorte’s new book, The FireStarter Sessions. What a day for celebration. If you’ve followed Danielle for any length of time, you’ve witnessed her emergence as a woman of style, substance, heart and wicked business savvy.

I think I felt so compelled to celebrate this day for Danielle, because I’ve witnessed, sometimes through emails, most often through social media, what a journey this has been for her. She’s been on an extraordinary trajectory. I’ve taken notice. It’s deeply moved me to witness someone really make their dream a reality.

I first met Danielle at Sweat Your Prayers – what I do on Sunday mornings – my Church of Choice. I recognized her from twitter and her in-person Fire Starter sessions – where she landed in multiple cities, meeting with women who were looking to be ignited. After the dance, I approached her and said hello. She was immediately warm and friendly and we chatted for just a moment.

Since that sweaty Sunday, we’ve interacted a bit. I had a one-on-one FSS with her and joined her in Santa Fe for a Gail Larsen transformational speaking intensive, where seven of us ended up in a delectable hot tub while sharing stories of bits and pieces of our lives.

I know Danielle to be a generous woman. She inspires me. I learn from her and I know she has learned from me. How do I know that? ‘Cause she learns from everything she encounters and because she told me. She is generous that way.

Today is April 17th, 2012

Today is also the anniversary of my late-husband Gary’s death. It’s been 17 years – a long time. In the beginning, not too long after he died, I didn’t think I could get through my life without him. I really wondered. People told me I would get over it. I knew I never would. I wondered if that meant I would always be sad and depressed, with one foot in the other world.

I think of Gary often. We had a love that many long for. One thing I knew after he died was that I had been loved. I knew that beyond any doubt. That is a great gift. It’s as if there is no searching out there for that experience from another man. If I find it, bonus. What it did invite me to know was that I am that love inside me.

I have come to see

we don’t get over the things that happen in our lives, nor should we want to. Each and every thing that is offered to us ripens and seasons us.

This weekend I heard someone say, “Life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us.” That offers us a big shift in perspective if we are willing to open to it.

I know when I was in deep grief, I didn’t have access to the ability to be with it all. The grief was too much. And, I know that when I’ve been in complete celebration, that has flooded my day.

Can we be with it all? Can we push none of it away, but rather receive it all into us? Can we celebrate with those who are celebrating and offer love to those who might be in pain?

Today is April 17th, 2012

What is this day for you? Is it a day of joy, a day of sadness or anger or despair? Is it just another day to tick-off the calendar? What kind of day is it for your neighbor? Your lover? That person you’re struggling to have compassion for?

There are benefits to remembering that life is the ultimate mashup. When we do we know what is here will pass. Sooner or later, it will pass. When we do we know life is rich in the many ways it presents itself. When we do we also can remember that all around the world people are going through an amazing array of kinds of days.

Life flows. It is impermanent. Yet, we are also here in bodies. Awake. Alive. Very much experiencing everything that is happening to us.

I can be thrilled for Danielle, deep in reflection on my late husband and the gifts he brought to my life, getting work done and packing to travel tomorrow. It is all happening right now in this spicy sweet soup of life.

What is this day for you?

I’d love to know. Please share by leaving a comment. What’s this day for you?

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19 Replies to “Life – The Ultimate Mashup”

  1. i love you, julie. you share so generously your experiences and learnings. you’re an invaluable gift. thank you.

    today is my brother’s birthday.
    it’s also a day when i was too tired to just keep chugging.
    it’s a day when i’ve decided to stop pushing.
    and after 8 days in a row of bikram yoga (in an attempt to do a 30 day challenge) i’m taking today off.
    a day when it’s most important to reconnect with love and tenderness.
    a day of preparation for a big day tomorrow in nyc (with danielle for her launch party, coincidentally).
    a day for eating bananas and drinking lots of water and cooking a sweet meal for the children in this house who need love and grounding just as much as i.

    my heart is with you today, julie. i love this: “I have come to see we don’t get over the things that happen in our lives, nor should we want to. Each and every thing that is offered to us ripens and seasons us.” I needed that reminder. Truly, truly, truly.

    1. Rachael,
      Thank you for sharing what today was for you. There is so much richness in your words. I especially love that you are reconnecting with love and tenderness…you know I am a fan of those!
      Have a great time in NY with Danielle. Give her a hug from me.
      Great love to you,

  2. Dear, dear Julie, this is a beautiful – and heart-opening – post!

    I don’t think I ever thought about the personal mash-up experience, although I’ve felt it often enough. I have though been fascinated by the way the mash up goes in life (different experiences between neighbors at the same time, same day), since I first read it mentioned in a book of fiction way back when I was an undergrad.

    What you wrote feels like a resting place, something to come back to – the realization that this mash up stuff is ‘normal’ – and also that it (and life) will pass (good things to remember!).

    Bringing both Danielle Laporte’s celebration and your reflection on your husband, Gary into the same post is a gorgeous mash up – and took a heart as big as yours to do! Sending you love as you reflect and as you celebrate.

    I love you Julie, I love what you share and how you share it. Muah!

    1. Thank you, dear Karen.
      I love what you said about a resting place. That captures it.
      You are a dear friend.
      Love you,

  3. April 17th is a BIG DAY for me. My folks are meeting my “boy-man’s” folks this evening!


    #nervous #excited

    1. What a big day for you, Tina! The big meeting has passed by now and I hope it went well. Big things are ahead for you two.
      Thanks for sharing that with me. Makes me smile.
      Love you,

  4. Today started with a panic attack at 2:15 am – a sure sign that something is amiss. For the first time in my life, I didn’t try to figure out if I was doing the right thing, if I was “being too sensitive” or if I had a chemical imbalance. I left a note for the guy I had coffee with on Saturday morning and told him that we needn’t pursue anyhting further. By 10 am, I was able to figure out consciously what my subconscious knew — there were warning flags. This afternoon, I am tired, but veyr grateful for my life. God bless you on this day of mixed emotions, Julie.

    1. Lovely Diane,
      Wow. What a day for you. Sounds like you are listening deeply to your soul.
      I so appreciate knowing you. Thank you for your blessings.
      With love,

  5. today is a day of stepping into my bigness, supporting my spirit and my dreams and listening to the guidance i am sent… which of course bought me here!

    1. Jane,
      That is fantastic! Hooray for today, for all you are stepping into.
      I love knowing that this day is a day of dreams, spirit and guidance.
      With love,

  6. Bone-deep grief, especially today, for a true love that’s gone. Tail-wagging excitement for the surprises I know are waiting around the corner.

    It sure does feel like a soup! Thank you Julie.

    1. Sarah,
      That gave me quite a visual. Isn’t it amazing how life can be serving up so many things at once?
      Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m touched.
      With love,

  7. Yesterday: April 17, 2012. Significant, to be sure. Made even more so through the gift of your words, your presence in my life, the deep and precious awareness that we are in this together.

  8. I love this way of holding it all. The mash-up of life. What you wrote is so beautiful and true and generous. The grief and the celebration. Loss and life. Thank you for sharing Gary’s love with us today. And Danielle’s joy.

    April 17, for me, was the energy of new ideas and possibility. It was also a small grieving for my cuddly baby boy — now an 11-year-old whom I have to tackle in order to kiss him. It was the awkward reconnection with a disconnected friend. It was missing my mom and wishing I could be having coffee with her on the front porch of her house in Ohio. It was tears of joy after a dance class, realizing that after 40+ years of telling myself I couldn’t dance, I have invited myself into that ecstatic world. It was the lurch in my stomach — excitement & fear — at committing to dance in public on Friday at the Flash Mob! It was laughter at dinnertime with my son and my ex-husband, whom I live with, a whole mash-up of its own!

    Thanks for your beautiful writing and sharing.

  9. Yesterday, April 17, 2012. A day like no other I’ve had. Checked myself into the ER with issues. CT scan. What followed was raw vulnerability. And more of the same today, as I’ve allowed select others to see the same. Fear. Uncertainty. And also allowing myself to feel. Including love and support from those I trust. Especially the one who reminded me to “be kind to yourself.” She knows who she is.

  10. “Can we be with it all?” you ask. I was with you and this post on Tuesday, Julie, and reading it increased my awareness of all that I was “with,” all around me, all week. With gratitude and love to you–Angela

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