Hi everyone! I’m so excited to dive into the first week of the KAL! Each week you’ll receive an email from me with 2 important links, 1 link to the creativity/inspiration blog post and another link to the tutorial/technical blog post. Be on the lookout for these in your inbox and of course, I’ll post links in our Facebook & Ravelry Groups. If you need any help at all - please get in touch – comments below are great or email amy@knitcollage.com

 

OK DIVING INTO THE GOOD STUFF! Here is a quick overview of the topics I plan to share for the next 6 weeks. I’m interested to hear if there are other things you’d like me to write/share about. So please chime in if you have a request! I’ll share many of the resources I love surrounding these topics and hope to spark some good discussions, either here on the blog or in our groups. I’ll try not to make them too long but I do feel like I have all the things to say, ha!

 

Week 1 – Going First/Vulnerability/Authenticity

Week 2 – Intuition/Taking time for ourselves/Morning & Nighttime Routines

Week 3 – Leaning into your oddities/Art of being yourself

Week 4 – How we work through failures/hardships/strong emotions

Week 5 - Making/Creativity/Curiosity

Week 6 – Gratitude & Appreciation

 

LET'S DIVE IN! I want to start off as we all start to get to know each other with an idea that I’ve been thinking about quite a lot recently – the idea of GOING FIRST. This was first introduced to be Gabby Reece on the Tim Ferris Podcast (episode 89 for anyone interested) – the idea she mentions is the idea of going first – smile first –open up – take that first step. When you go first and smile or open up first, chances are the other person will too but it takes someone going first – why not you? I grew up with a mom who always went first. We would have people over for dinner that she met at the grocery store etc, etc... I never realized growing up that she was setting such a beautiful example for my sisters and I. What a wonderful way to live and she has friends all over the world and of all walks because of it. Recently I intereviewd a friend, Dani McDonald, who owns the shop Flock in Boston. I was always intimidated by her when I moved to Boston because the shop is just so gorgeous and she’s always so put together. It took having the podcast interview for us to connect and become friends – 6 years after I first stepped foot in her shop. I can’t help wondering what would have happened if I had gone first and introduced myself, suggested a coffee date. Maybe we would have years of good friendship behind us. In any case, we are friends now and I’ve learned my lesson. I am trying to do my best to follow my mom and Gabby’s lead by always going first. How can we apply this idea to our community for the KAL – by introducing yourself – opening up in the groups, share first, cheerlead first. Let’s make it a place where we all feel comfortable to go first and support eachother. I love this idea!

 

Ok the next idea I want to dive into is authenticity and vulnerability. Now if you listen to the podcast, you know I’m a Brene Brown fan. I want to take a minute to talk about her incredible Ted Talk (CLICK HERE to watch it). My favorite quote goes something like this:

 

“The whole hearted had a sense of courage to be imperfect, they had compassion to be kind to themselves because it turns out we can’t practice compassion if we aren’t compassionate with ourselves…The whole hearted were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were. You have to do that for connection. They fully embraced vulnerability. They realized that what made them vulnerable also made them beautiful.”

And one more from her: “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” (From her book, The Gifts of Imperfection)

 

So as we dive into the KAL, please feel free to get vulnerable in this space. Ever since I started the podcast, I’ve started to share more of my story and my struggles and it’s so freeing. I feel this relief, like ahh, I don’t have to keep that all inside anymore and seem like I have it all together all the time. I have also found that when you let it out, there’s a chance that that’s actually the stuff that most people will resonate with, WHICH ties into one of my favorite quotes of all time by Neil Gaimen. This is from a commencement speech, Make Good Art, that you must also watch if you haven’t (click here for that one!).

 

"The moment that you feel that just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your hear and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right."

 

This piggybacks so well into what Brene Brown says. I put this quote on the wall above my desk and it gives me strength sometimes when I’m scared to be so real, so authentic. I know it’s not easy but I encourage you to do it, it’s made an amazing impact in the direction of my life. It’s undoubtedly helped my business but the really amazing thing has been in my relationships. When I started talking about all these things in the podcast, many of my friends wanted to open up and talk with me about them too. It’s been this wonderful thing and there's so much less BS!

 

There's one more idea I want to talk about in the Brene quote - the line that really sticks with me is "being willing to let go of who you think you should be". This is hard. There is so much pressure to be perfect, to have this body, to be successful, to be Martha stewart etc etc etc. I encourage you to let it go and just listen to your own voice about what feels right for you. It’s hard. I’ve had years and years of things hammered into my brain – one idea that pops up is the idea of work being a grind and hard. I was always told this but I’m trying to shake it – I do not want my work to be a grind - I want it to be fun! What things in your life can you give up and let go of to be more you?!

 

The last think I’m going to leave you with this week is a wonderful quote I found on the Seth Godin blog a while back regarding attitude.

Attitude is the most important choice any of us will make. We made it yesterday and we get another choice to make it today. And then again tomorrow.

The choice to participate.

To be optimistic.

To intentionally bring out the best in other people.

We make the choice to inquire, to be curious, to challenge the status quo.

To give people the benefit of the doubt.

To find hope instead of fear in the face of uncertainty.

Of course these are attitudes. What else could they be?

And of course, they are a choice. No one does these things to us. We choose them and do the work (and find the benefits) that come with them.

 

SO here is to GOING FIRST, shifting our attitudes and to opening up and sharing the most authentic selves. I’d love to know about what you struggle (or fully embrace!) regarding these ideas. How can you use them to shift things in your own life? How can we all go first in this little community? 

Big hugs ~ Amy