|A Special Invitation to all of my This Way Up Readers . . .
The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.
― Oprah Winfrey
“You aren’t doing ‘nothing’ when you choose to put your well-being first. In fact, this is the key to having everything.”
~ Brittany Burgunder
In Case you missed the This Way Up November Newsletter – Here it is . . . with updates about summits and events.
Welcome to This Way Up!
Thank you for being part of this community! Keep reading for more information about the path to well-being; news about the upcoming This Way Up Online Interactive Workshop starting this month; and information about two exciting upcoming events that you’re invited to join. You can always find me at ThisWayUpBook.com.
The Path to Well-Being
“The ultimate end of all revolutionary social change is to establish the sanctity of human life, the dignity of man, the right of every human being to liberty and well-being.”
~ Emma Goldman
What do you want? No honestly, what do you really truly want in “your one wild and precious life” (to mis-quote Mary Oliver)? Most studies show that happiness and well-being are at the top of this list. But that is often immediately followed by, “but I don’t know what to do to get there.” The good news is that there is a path to well-being, and you can start travelling this path today.
Well-being is actually a skill that can be learned and practiced and improved. Well-being can be achieved by focusing on four main keys. One of my heroes is Dr. Richard Davidson. Dr. Davidson is the founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and he has studied and discovered the four science-based keys to well-being.
Davidson explains that well-being is a skill and it boils down to four main attributes:
Resilience, Outlook, Attention, and Generosity
If you are interested in learning more about how to increase your sense of well-being, check out my recent article in Thrive.
This Way Up Online Interactive Live Workshops!
The next This Way Up Interactive Live Workshop has begun. The six-week series began on Tuesday 23 October and will run for six weeks, ending on Tuesday 27 November.
Check out a this video to learn more about the workshop.
Ten women are participating from the US, Canada, Australia and NZ. It is rich and nourishing and I love being a part of it. It’s not too late to join us. If you want more information about the workshops, or you are interested in signing up for the next series of workshops, you can sign up here!
Sign Up for the Next Workshop!
You are invited to this fabulous summit – access is still available!
How to Claim Your Full Power as an Artist, Make Great Money, and Attract Your Perfect Audience
Hosted by the Incomparable Nikól Peterman
The Unstoppable Artist Formula is over now, but access is still available.
Are you struggling to get clarity about your work and/or attention for the work you are doing?
My friend Nikól Peterman, Artist Success Coach and owner of the artist development company ZenRedNYC, has gathered more than 25 of the best mentors to give you the top industry secrets for free. Due to her 20 years as a working professional artist, she definitely understands where you are now and shares my mission to empower you.
I’m excited to be part of this event because it’s not just talk … Every training will give you the most cutting edge tools and strategies, proven to work, which you can implement right away.
At this event you’ll learn:
How to stand out from the crowd
How to attract a large audience
How to feel amazing and confident in front of your raving fans and eagerly paying customers
How to increase your income as an artist and finally get paid what you deserve
How to quiet the inner critic keeping you stuck
And a lot more!
So, grab your free front row seat to this online event here!
You Are Also invited to this Amazing Master Class starting soon!
Awakening through Art
In this rich, informative master class, Creativity Doula Alexis Cohen shares her own knowledge and support and invites 25 other experts to share their creative practices to activate healing, inspire connection, and amplify love. You’ll be so glad you joined us! To learn more, you can visit Alexis here.
It’s Here! This Way Up Is Now Available as an Audio Book!
This Way Up audiobook is now available for purchase! You can find it on Audible and Amazon and on iTunes. You can hear all about it here, along with a special invitation to get it for free!
Please let me know your thoughts if you listen to it. I’d love to hear from you.
Buy the Book!
“Author Patti Clark is a cross between Elizabeth Gilbert and Julia Cameron.”
This Way Up is a story of healing for women who yearn to lead a fuller life, accompanied by a workbook to help readers work through personal challenges, discover new inspiration, and harness their creative power. . .
Women spend so much of life nurturing and giving to others that when they find themselves alone—because of an empty nest, the end of a marriage, or the death of a partner—they often struggle with feeling purposeless. This Way Up provides a step-by-step way out of this sense of loss and into a life filled with enthusiasm, creativity, and joy.
Thank you for being part of this movement. Watch this space for more in the months ahead.
““Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
— George Bernard Shaw
There are still a few spaces left for the This Way Up Six Week Online Live Interactive Workshop.
The six-week series begins on Tuesday 23 October at 5pm PDT and runs for six weeks:
Tuesday 23 October – Tuesday 27 November.
Here is some info about the workshop:
The workshop is completely free. There is no set fee at all. At the end of the six weeks, if you decide you want to donate something, you are welcome, but there is no expectation.
Each workshop is live, and videoed. If you miss a day in the series, you can go to our private You Tube page and watch what you’ve missed and do the day’s visualization. There is time for questions and discussions during each workshop. The shared community of women from around the world is wonderful!
This video will answer some questions for you, and if you have any other question, you can contact me at
I hope to see you there!
“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
— Groucho Marx
Such exciting news! My book, THIS WAY UP is now an Audiobook available on Audible!
It’s been quite a long process, one that certainly required patience! But I’m so excited that it is finally out there and available. I’m grateful beyond measure to the phenomenal narrator, Janice Kent. She did such a stellar job. She was able to bring the voices that I heard in my head when I was writing the book to life. No easy feat I assure you.
Now I would love some help in the form of feedback from you my readers. I have created a few images to use as a campaign to get the audio book out there. I created 6 images on Canva. I’d love to hear your thoughts, which one do you like best and why? They are all somewhat similar, just some changes in color and placement. Let me know your thoughts. I appreciate it!
You can get This Way Up on Audiobook FREE if you try Audible for 30 days. You can try Audible for free for 30 days, and if you don’t like it, you can cancel, but keep the book for Free. Try it!
As Frank Zappa so famously said . . .
“So many books, so little time”
So you might as well listen when you don’t have the opportunity to read!
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
– Albert Einstein
The world is changing so fast, the way we do things has changed so much in my lifetime, it’s hard to remember how we used to survive. I was talking to a friend who is in her 20s recently, and she asked me how we survived when we were travelling around the world in the 80s, without cell phones or internet. And I tried to remember . . . how did we survive? We had a Lonely Planet book and we talked to other travellers and we just winged it a lot! Somehow we survived without ever making a reservation or really having much of a plan at all. We just did it.
There is no argument that things are changing quickly, and it seems that many of us, especially those of us born well before cell phones and internet, are running just trying to keep up. But what I’ve noticed a lot lately is that some of us are adapting and learning more quickly than others. So I’ve been fascinated to read about some of the research about how these changes create new demands on how we must think in order to thrive in this era.
There is a fascinating article in Psychology Today, ‘Your Elastic Mind’, by Leonard Mlodinow, Ph.D., a theoretical physicist and the author of Elastic. In this article Mlodinow explains that there are certain talents, or qualities of thought that are now essential in these rapidly changing times. He gives us some examples:
“The capacity to let go of comfortable ideas and become accustomed to ambiguity and contradiction, the capability to rise above conventional mind-sets and reframe the questions we ask, the ability to abandon our ingrained assumptions and open ourselves to new paradigms, the propensity to rely on imagination as much as on logic and to generate and integrate a wide variety of ideas, and the willingness to experiment and be tolerant of failure. That’s a diverse bouquet of talents, but as psychologists and neuroscientists have elucidated the brain processes behind them, those talents have been revealed as different aspects of a coherent cognitive style. I call it elastic thinking.
Elastic thinking endows us with the ability to solve novel problems and overcome the neural and psychological barriers that can impede us from looking beyond the existing order. It’s important to understand how our brains produce elastic thinking, and how we can nurture it. In a large body of research one quality stands out above all the others—unlike analytical reasoning, elastic thinking arises from what scientists call “bottom-up” processes.”
In an interview in Scientific America, Mlodinow explains that:
“In my field, science, researchers are overwhelmed by something more constructive, the more than three million new journal articles each year. In personal technology, we must all learn to navigate a landscape in which the number of websites has been doubling every two to three years, and the way we use and access them is subject to frequent “disruptive change.” More importantly, social attitudes are changing just as fast—compare the pace of the civil rights movement to the speed at which the campaign for gay rights swept the developed world. Or look at the overnight rise of the “me too” movement.
The failure of businesses to adapt has led to the quick demise of countless companies, and major power shifts in industries from taxis to hospitality. But we must adapt to thrive in our personal lives, too. We have to be willing to rise above conventional mindsets, to reframe the questions we ask, to be open to new paradigms. We have to rely as much on our imagination as on logic, and have the ability to generate and integrate a wide variety of ideas, to welcome experiment, and be tolerant of failure. I call that manner of thought elastic thinking, in contrast to rational or logical thought.”
The way that this has shown up in my life recently has been the challenges that I have faced as I’ve embarked on a new adventure in my career, pushing me way outside my comfort zone. I’ve had to learn how to use new platforms for my New Online Workshop; had to learn new tools on You Tube and new ways to connect with people around the world. It has pushed me way beyond what I thought I could do, and my fear of failure and doing it wrong has been rampant.
I have absolutely had to practice what Mlodinow described:
‘I’ve had to ‘reframe the questions I ask; I’ve had to be open to new paradigms; have had to rely as much on my imagination as on logic, and I’ve had to generate and integrate a wide variety of ideas, to welcome experiment, and be very tolerant of failure!’
If this topic interests you, I encourage you to take the time to watch this very interesting ‘Talks at Google’ by Leonard Mlodinow – ‘Elastic Thinking in Times of Change.’
“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams”
– Oprah Winfrey
- Identify Limiting Beliefs and Move Beyond Them
- Overcome Obstacles that Prevent You from Moving Forward
- Move Toward Achieving Your Dreams and Living Your Best Life!
One of the first questions that people have is – What’s the cost? The answer is simple – Whatever you want to pay. That’s right. I want this workshop to be completely accessible to everyone that is interested, and I absolutely do not want money to be an obstacle.
This Workshop begins Tuesday May 29th at 6pm PDT
Sign up today to start your journey!
Want more info?
Still have questions?
Please email me at: email@example.com
I look forward to hearing from you!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss
Such gratitude to Books on The Subway! They are an amazing organization:
It’s like a public library, but on the New York Subway.
We go out and leave some of our favorite books on the New York subway. There are new books every day, and they’re there to be taken, read, shared, and most importantly, enjoyed! We want everyone to get involved and fall in love with reading again and we want to make the subway a more friendly and enjoyable experience.
So, if you find a book from us on the subway, feel free to pick it up and take it home with you, but when you’re done, be sure to put it back on the subway for someone else to enjoy.
Thank you for featuring This Way Up this month! I love the image in my mind of women on the subway reading my book.
“Sometimes, the only way forward is up! Women spend so much of life nurturing & giving to others that when they find themselves alone they often struggle with feeling purposeless.
#ThisWayUp is a way out of this sense of loss & into a life filled w enthusiasm, creativity, and joy!”
It doesn’t matter if you read for success, like these ‘Ultra Successful People’ . . .
Here are just a few top business leaders and entrepreneurs who make reading a major part of their daily lifestyle:
- Bill Gatesreads about 50 books per year, which breaks down to 1 per week
- Mark Cubanreads more than 3 hours every day
- Elon Muskis an avid reader and when asked how he learned to build rockets, he said “I read books.”
- Mark Zuckerbergresolved to read a book every 2 weeks throughout 2015
- Oprah Winfreyselects one of her favorite books every month for her Book Club members to read and discuss
. . . or if you are reading to unwind . . . we all know about the importance of reading. So if you happen to be riding the NYC subway in the near future, pick up a book distributed by Books on the Subway. And if it happens to be This Way Up – please snap a pic and send it to me. I’d love that!
Fittingly, I’d like to close this post with a short video entitled: The Importance of Reading.
“We choose our favourite author as we do our friend, from a conformity of humour and disposition. Mirth or passion, sentiment or reflection; whichever of these most predominates in our temper, it gives us a peculiar sympathy with the writer who resembles us.”
― David Hume
The renowned Scottish philosopher, David Hume, tells us that we choose our favourite author as we do our friend, from a conformity of humour and disposition. Well that certainly fits for me. My favourite authors will be of no surprise to anyone who has read my blog posts for awhile. I consider both Anne Lamott and Julia Cameron to be, not only my favourite authors, but also mentors for me, in both writing and in life itself.
So you can imagine my absolute honour and tearful gratitude when I went to my amazon page and found this . . .
Amazon telling me that people who bought Julia Cameron’s and Anne Lamott’s books are also buying This Way Up! This is the highest flattery I could ever receive. I am humbled and grateful beyond measure. It absolutely makes my heart sing!
So for those of you out there looking for the perfect gift this holiday season for a woman in your life that loves Annie Lamott and/or Julia Cameron, look no further!
I’ll close this post with a wonderful TED talk by Annie Lamott, 12 Truths I Learned from Life and Writing.
“The root of joy is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
― David Steindl-Rast
In the Muppets’ Christmas Carol Movie, Kermit sings: “Tis the season to be jolly and joyous” . . . But what if you’re not feeling overly joyous? As we enter the holiday season this year, many people are feeling less than joyful. The political scene is grim and there is a lot to feel anxious and unhappy about. And for many, the idea of spending more time with family during the holidays does not fill the heart with glee. How you feel is your choice, daily. But if you want to feel more joy, not only this holiday season, but in general, there is an answer.
Science tells us that happiness and joy are things we can cultivate. Thanks to the advent of fMRI machines (functional magnetic resonance imaging), we can now watch our brains in real time and see which areas of the brain light up when we’re angry, frustrated, or joyful, and we can also watch the brain change depending on what we focus on. The idea that our brain architecture can change has been termed “neuroplasticity.”
In a study done by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, Neural Correlates of Gratitude, it was found that gratitude can be a natural antidepressant. When we consciously focus on what we are grateful for, certain neural circuits are activated; when activated, an increase of dopamine and serotonin is produced, which is similar to how many antidepressants work.
Building new neural pathways may not come easily at first. A good analogy is bushwhacking through a jungle. Imagine trying to walk through a jungle in a dense rain forest. It requires a machete every step of the way to clear the path the first time through. After a few more times, you might lay down some stones to keep the path clear and eventually the path becomes a road and soon it becomes easily travelled. As you walk the path more and more, you continue to reinforce it and make it even stronger. Eventually, this new neural pathway becomes a habit.
To add to the strengthening of some pathways, our brain also has a way to ‘prune’ the pathways used less often. Scientists call this “use-dependent cortical reorganization,” meaning that we strengthen whichever neural pathways we use most often, and lose the ones we use the least. Hebb’s Lawstates “neurons that fire together, wire together.”
So how do we do this? How do we create these new neural pathways and start to rewire our brain towards happiness, compassion, and joy? Many studieshave shown that cultivating gratitude, or practicing Conscious Gratitude, is the most powerful way to start building new pathways.
Seth Godin, best selling author, recently stated in an interview: “I think that gratitude is a profound choice. It is not just something that some people do. There is a way to look at life as either “have to” or a “get to”. There are all these things in life we could do because we have to do them, or there are things in life we do because we get to do them.”
Godin goes on to explain that this has nothing to do with the truth of what is going on in the world around you. It has to do with our narrative about what is going on.
Living life knowing you “get to” do something is better than constantly feeling like you have to. Godin poses the question: “What is the opposite of gratitude?” And he believes the opposite of gratitude is entitlement. “People who believe they are entitled to something, walk around expecting that the world owes them something, whereas the people who are grateful for something are eager to share that gratitude with others, and that lines up exactly with “have to” and “get to.”
So if we agree that being grateful can lead to joy, then how can we start feeling more grateful?
“Look closely and you will find that people are happy because they are grateful. The opposite of gratefulness is just taking everything for granted. ” ― David Steindl-Rast,
“There is a very simple kind of methodology to it: stop, look, go. Most of us are caught up in schedules, and deadlines, and rushing around. And so the first thing is that we have to stop, because otherwise we are not really coming into this present moment at all. And we can’t even appreciate the opportunity that is given to us because we rush by. So stopping is the first thing … and finding something in that moment … I don’t speak of this moment as a ‘gift’, because you cannot be grateful for everything. You can’t be grateful for war, violence, domestic violence, or sickness, things like that. There are many things for which you cannot be grateful. But in every moment, you can be grateful. For instance, the opportunity to learn something from a very difficult experience. So opportunity is really the key when people ask, can you be grateful for everything? No, not for everything, but yes you can be grateful in every moment.”
Seth Godin believes that acting “as if” is underrated. “If you start acting as if you are grateful, you start feeling more grateful and you will become more grateful.”
Here are some things you can do right now to start practicing Conscious Gratitude:
1. Choose a time and focus on gratitude
Choose a specific time everyday where you will stop for a moment and focus on what you are grateful for in that particular moment.
I use 11:11. I have an alarm set on my phone to go off every day at 11:11. I stop whatever I’m doing (within reason- if I’m driving on a highway obviously I don’t stop) and I silently focus on what I am grateful for in that moment. Even if I’m stuck in traffic, I can be grateful for my car or a good sound system or enough money for gas to get me where I am going.
2. First thing in the morning, before your feet hit the floor, be grateful
Before you hop out of bed in the morning, take 30 seconds, (it really does not take more than that) to think about 3 things you are grateful for. This can be done silently in your head. Or better yet, if you have a partner that you share your bed with, ask each other to list those 3 things. It can be as simple as gratitude for a comfortable bed, a warm house, and a good nights sleep. It’s been shown that starting your day in gratitude positively impacts you for the rest of the day.
3. Start a Gratitude Journal
Choose a journal that you like the feel and the look of, and make sure that it is used solely for writing about things your are grateful for. How you write this is up to you; it can be as simple as list making. I like using colorful pens playing in my journal, but use what ever works for you. Make it a routine, try to write in it daily, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.
4. Start new traditions in your family — like gratitude at meals
This may feel uncomfortable at first; but with time, the practice of going around the table and saying one thing you are grateful for that happened that day, can become a cherished family tradition. It’s a great conversation starter and a wonderful way to lift the energy at any meal time. Another tradition can be saying one thing you are grateful for before going off to sleep. If you have children, it is a wonderful way to end the day just before they go to sleep. Another tradition to reinforce gratitude in relationships is texting to a loved one in the middle of the day, one thing you appreciate about them. This works well with teens and couples with busy schedules.
So this holiday season, if you are hoping to embody Kermit’s words . . .
Tis the season to be jolly and joyous
With a burst of pleasure, we feel it arrive
Tis the season when the saints can employ us
To spread the news about peace and to keep love alive
. . . You can start by practicing gratitude consciously today. And if that doesn’t come naturally, start by ‘acting as if’ you are grateful. And pretty soon, what was once an act will become a habit.
I’ll close with a great interview with Brené Brown talking about Active Gratitude.
“Self care is any action you purposefully take to improve your physical, emotional or spiritual well being. Too often, we do not make time for sufficient self care because we’re too busy taking care of others.”
― Eleanor Brownn
Too often, way too often, we do not make time to take care of ourselves, because we are busy taking care of others. This is especially true for mothers. Brenda Ueland expresses this beautifully:
“In fact that is why the lives of most women are so vaguely unsatisfactory. They are always doing secondary and menial things (that do not require all their gifts and ability) for others and never anything for themselves. Society and husbands praise them for it (when they get too miserable or have nervous breakdowns) though always a little perplexedly and half-heartedly and just to be consoling. The poor wives are reminded that that is just why wives are so splendid — because they are so unselfish and self-sacrificing and that is the wonderful thing about them! But inwardly women know that something is wrong. They sense that if you are always doing something for others, like a servant or nurse, and never anything for yourself, you cannot do others any good. You make them physically more comfortable. But you cannot affect them spiritually in any way at all. For to teach, encourage, cheer up, console, amuse, stimulate or advise a husband or children or friends, you have to be something yourself. […]”If you would shut your door against the children for an hour a day and say; ‘Mother is working on her five-act tragedy in blank verse!’ you would be surprised how they would respect you. They would probably all become playwrights.”
It’s true, we as mothers tend to put our own needs last, well behind our children’s and our family’s. We are so busy taking care of others, that we tend to lose ourself, our deepest sense of self.
I’m honored to be a part of an exciting new venture – How To Learn Academy Courses. These courses have been put together by the incredibly talented Pat Wyman. Pat Wyman is the best-selling author of over 30 books, a reading specialist, university instructor of education for teachers, internationally acclaimed speaker, legislative expert on vision and reading, and the founder and CEO of How to Learn.
The course I am presenting is aimed specifically at mothers, because as I said, as mothers, we tend to put our own needs last, well behind our children’s and our family’s. This course offers seven simple exercises to connect with your true, best self.
Special for those of you who follow my blog posts! For the next 3 days, from 13 October through 15 October, use coupon code THISWAYUPFORMOMS for $10 off this course. And this will include an e-copy of my book This Way Up!
For more information or to sign up, CLICK HERE
I’ll close with a short video of Jada Pinkett-Smith, as she advises:
“You always have to remember to take care of YOU, first and foremost. When you stop taking care of yourself you get out of balance and you really forget how to take care of others.”