Inner Sparker Tammyanka Francis
Inner Sparker Tammyanka Francis
Sparky artist Andy Goldsworthy’s magnificent work called, “Garden of Stones” strikes me as a profound and moving image symbolizing the tenacity of life. It feels right to me to put this up this particular week. I hope that Goldsworthy’s work serves as an inspiration to you. It is hard to make out in my photo but three of the granite boulders have been hollowed out in the middle and contain a dwarf chestnut oak (Quercus prinoides), while the fourth rock has nothing growing out of it. This installation is located in Cornell’s spectacular Botanical Gardens where I bike regularly when I need to re-gain some perspective, as I did this week. The Garden of Stones is on loan indefinitely from the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City
I had some wonderful correspondence this week with a number of people I coach regarding memory, story, meaningful objects, struggle and regeneration.
For those of you in the U.S., have a great holiday weekend and I encourage you to give some thought as to what Memorial Day could mean to you.
Most of us know the experience of being pulled in so many directions that it is hard to figure out how to even make the time and find the energy to figure out how to better manage (or really steward) your time and your energy — let alone how to learn to make decisions to live an amazing life. That is a life with great clarity and ease, with the sense that you are On Track and enough — full of joy, meaning, gratitude, connection, beauty, play –while succeeding in your work, realizing your BEST vision for yourself and making a positive difference in the world.
So I have taken the most important insights from what I have learned through thirty years of research on peak performance and burnout prevention and from coaching a whole bunch of amazing people from Kilimanjaro to Kalamazoo, and I have created a series of posts in bite size, (gluten-free) nuggets. Each one is 1:59 seconds or less –and they lay out The Nine Keys To Feeding Your Spark which is basically everything I have learned about how to not just survive but be Really Alive. How to thrive in your life, succeed in your work and change the world. A person I have recently worked with said to me “in under thirty days I learned from you and have put into action a practical path to peak performance, wellness, happiness and service.”
In my private conversations, I call the collection of these posts “Sparky U.” While this content will hopefully help you learn and put into practice much more than most online courses, I don’t want any of this to feel like “work” or “school.” I always say to the people I coach that if they tell me they are “working on something” that I have talked to them about, I want them to stop and just “play with it” instead. You can listen to these posts in the bathroom, while cooking or driving somewhere. One person who has listened to these gave me the great present of saying “it was like I was getting these awesome insights about specific things I can do to make my own life better and to make more possible for others and I didn’t really have to spend even five extra minutes to learn it all because I just listened to them when I was on the toilet anyway.”
The first ten posts are each accompanied by a piece of SparkArt, that I commissioned from the amazing Alice Muhlback, an inspiring, whimsical artist who has been dreaming up this collaboration with me for ten and half years.
Later posts will come with some fantastic photographs taken by Astrid Jirka, as well as other visual artists and musicians.
I invite you to listen to as few or as many as float your boat. Better still, join the SOW What Club – ALSO free!—and join in the conversation about what works for you to Feed Your Spark and live the gratitude attitude.
Please send me comments and questions that will make my bday even better.
Yoga teacher, sustainability activist and Sparker Extraordinaire Astrid Jirka keeps her life in balance as she participates in a protest action with We Are Seneca Lake. “For me this was an experience of three of my GLI (Good Life Index) Fuel Sources “Grateful Giving,” “Creative Crafting” and “Lifelong Learning.”
Normally I would call engaging in one activity that gives you three of your primary sources of meaning “Threefer Madness” but seeing Astrid do this particular yoga pose in handcuffs makes me wonder should I call it “Tree-fer Madness?”