Six-Word Advice Tuesday (SWAT) is a Facebook exercise I started on August 29, 2017. I thought it would be a one-time experiment (as my Facebook prompts often are) but as the day unfolded, I was struck by the degree of intimacy and vulnerability the questioners allowed themselves. In turn, I felt myself grow softer and quieter and more contemplative, more connected to and curious about the process of looking for answers, and even re-examining my own questions differently. It is sometimes difficult to tell with social media, but in the next few weeks of offering SWAT, it seemed to me a community was gathering, joined together by a shared and often overlapping search for support, meaning, direction, and truth. It's not that the answers are always neat and tidy, of course - life's questions demand far more than 6 words in response - but through this experience, I'm seeing how so often we can layer our dilemmas with too much content, bypassing clarity and landing in a pile of confusion. Despite our search for simplicity, we over-complicate our own stories, missing the essential nugget of instruction lying at their center. When I was young, English teachers would write at the margins of too many of my papers, "But what's the main idea?" Perhaps SWAT is my way of answering.
How to balance career and art?
Embrace the instability of the see-saw.
How do we stay hopeful in the midst of so much that appears broken in our world?
Take deliberate action on hope's behalf.
How do I make my next project successful?
Be transparent in thought and deed.
Motivation to get back into shape?
Appearance isn't everything; self-love is.
How do I not lose my cool with an incredibly angsty / sassy / rude 11-year-old?
Remind her of your own tenderness.
If you'd like to participate in this practice, visit my Facebook page every Tuesday, or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your question. And then - if you're moved to do so - click below to donate your support.