I woke up to the news on Monday that the world is now without David Bowie. My sister messaged, “I didn’t know he could die.”
While I’ve never been a David Bowie superfan, I can sing along to the classics and revel in the delightful weirdness of Labyrinth. Rock and roll as theater, the clothes, and the hair; all of it. He owned it. David Bowie was something else. And seemed to be the sort who told himself yes to whatever he fancied, aspired to or wished to try (or try on).
I look at his fantastic act and can’t help but laugh. How did David Bowie become David Bowie? The fantastical, creative, and wild creature that he was. I wonder how am I doing at becoming myself? Perhaps not as fantastical or wild for good reason. But, do I tell myself yes? Yes to discovering, creating and being fullest self?
With the year’s roll around I’ve been reading more about what it that word means when we make it personal. I’ve thinking about my own yes. Yes: when I listen to my inner self, when I recognize what I what I need, what I want, and what I prefer.
Not the checkboxes of what’s expected of me or what I feel I should, but what my deepest and best self wants. Desires buried inside of myself, curiosities, whims and pleasures to explore and realize. Elizabeth Gilbert writes to this quest in her brilliant new book, Big Magic:
Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?
Look, I don’t know what’s hidden within you. I have no way of knowing such a thing. You yourself may barely know, although I suspect you’ve caught glimpses. I don’t know you capacities, your aspirations, your longings, your secret talents. But surely something wonderful is sheltered inside you. I say this with all confidence, because I happen to believe we are all walking repositories if buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusements and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.
The attempt to unearth them, that’s what creative living is, a yes. I’m realizing that saying yes to myself, is the way to be myself. To allow for, attempt, and celebrate my own creativity. Yes to a dying my hair if I feel like it. Yes to my solo morning hours for running and writing before I have to be something to a lot of someone elses. Yes to owning my own quirks and tendencies who knows what those things, that form of being can inspire.
Surprisingly, I finding that saying yes to myself means I have more of myself to give to others. It’s marvelous to think that you dig in to branch out, creatively and generously.
How nice of the universe, how nice of God to be so kind. How nice to remember we have such vast possibilities within ourselves.
How nice of some Space Oddity to remind me of of that today.
How are you saying yes to yourself? And have you read and loved Big Magic too? Or maybe just your favorite David Bowie bit?
Andrea R. (Blog Team) is the proud mother of two living sons, aged 9 and 7, and Ethan, who passed away in early February 2014. She is currently working as a freelance science writer and blogger and will begin a PhD program in Science Education at the University of Central Florida in Fall 2014. When she's not juggling the laundry, her writing work, and the busy lives of her little boys, she likes to squeeze in a triathlon now and then. Also, her husband rocks.
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Web site: http://www.microbiologymaven.com
Angela (Advisory Board) grew up in Utah, then moved to Minnesota, then came back to Utah, then packed up her husband and four kids and moved to Minnesota--again!-- in the summer of 2010. Although she loves the Land of 10,000 Lakes, she dearly misses Slurpees, Sunday dinners at her Mom's house, and eating a whole entire Cafe Rio pork salad while lunching with her Utah-based Segullah sisters. And yes, she finds it telling that everything she misses about her hometown is somehow related to food. She has an BA in English from BYU, an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University, and has taught writing to high school and college students.
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Ashley (Copy Editor) is a Virginia native now living in Boston. She graduated from BYU with degrees in broadcast journalism and home and family living, then spent three years writing and editing for magazines. After earning a master's degree in library science, Ashley now splits her time between motherhood, freelance writing and editing, and consuming dark chocolate.
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Blue (Blog Team and Special Events Coordinator) is a single mom to two teenage delights, and friends with the very best people on earth. For work she flies around the country serving snacks and drinks and checking that seatbelts are fastened. Her favorite pastimes include creating stuff (eg, art, music, cakes) travel, reading in bed, and figuring life out one lesson at a time. And oh...like everyone else she knows, she entertains thoughts of becoming a writer someday (you thought she was going to say "photographer", didn't you?)
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Brooke (Blog Team) is attempting inner om with this writing stuff. Proud to claim four loud children, a patient husband and a fat black cat as family, she feels blessed to be their mommy-- their giver of kisses and baker of cookies. She is ever seeking a good novel and wishing for the sand between her toes, palm trees, the ocean.
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Web site: http://brookebenton.blogspot.com
Catherine (Prose Board) has worked as a cherry sorter, file girl, piano teacher, writer, editor, and college professor. She currently works full-time as the art director, events planner, chauffeur, and referee for her four children. She spends a good deal of her time running—be it down the supermarket aisle after an escaped child, around the living room in a heated game of flag football, or on early-morning runs/therapy sessions with her neighborhood friends. She earned her BA and MA in English from BYU and her PhD in English from UMass Amherst.
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Web site: http://bluestockingmama.blogspot.com/
Catherine A. (Blog Team) is a mother of five small children including two sets of twins. She and her husband spent nearly eight years in Northern Virginia, but now call Utah home. She reviews books for Meridian Magazine, writes for Power of Moms, dabbles in poetry and works on the prose editorial staff for Segullah. She blogs about her wild and precious life @ www.wildnprecious.com.
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Web site: http://www.wildnprecious.com/
Christie (Publicity and Blog Team)
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Dalene (Blog Team) began blogging as a legitimate way to avoid housework and to keep a journal of sorts. In her other life she wants to be excellent at a number of things, but in this one she's settling for baking a mean sour cream lemon pie, keeping most of the points on her
quilt blocks in line, being a loyal friend and aspiring to moments of
goodness as a wife and mother.
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Web site: http://www.compulsivewriter.com
Emily M. (Poetry Board) graduated from BYU in Comparative Literature, but it was long enough ago that most of what she learned has leaked out. She would like to mention other hobbies or interests, but to be honest she spends most of her free time reading (although she does enjoy attempting yoga). She used to blog at hearingvoices.wordpress.com. For now, though, Segullah is her only blogging home, and it's a good one.
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Guest Blog Segullah has been fortunate to have some excellent posts by Guest Authors.
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Heather O. (Prose Board) lives in the south with her husband, her two kids, and her wiggly black lab. She is a licensed speech language pathologist, but spends most of her days trying to teach her own kids how to say please and thank you. She is a member of the Segullah Editorial Board, and is the founding member of the blog Mormon Mommy Wars.
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Web site: http://www.mormonmommmywars.com
Jennie (Blog Team) was born and raised in Detroit, but is happy to call Austin, TX home now. She majored in Art History and Geography at BYU and graduated a week before having her first baby. There have been five more babies since then. Hildie is an avid baker and tries to fatten up the people she loves. After years of "Mommy this", "Mommy that" Hildie is delighted to finally be waking her brain up for some other use.
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Web site: http://beehiveandbirdsnest.blogspot.com/
Jennie L (Prose Board) is from Salt Lake. Teaching high school English has taught her many things, including how to sing the parts of speech, and break up hall fights, but perhaps most important, spending her days with words and writing continually reinforces their power. Give her a beach, some dark chocolate, friends and family and she'll be one happy girl.
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Web site: http://jennieelizabeth.blogspot.com
Jessie (Blog Team) served a mission in Spain and graduated from BYU with bachelor's degrees in Spanish Translation and English, as well as a master's in Spanish Literature. She currently works full-time at a university library and is working on a master's degree in library science. In her spare moments of free time, she nurtures her three children, one cat, and a fluctuating number of fish. She relaxes by reading, baking, canning fruit, and putting together jigsaw puzzles.
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Web site: http://foxyj.blogspot.com
Justine D. (Advisory Board) is a mother to five children, and has a husband lodged somewhere (probably in the den). She is not very fond of speaking of herself in third person.
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Web site: http://segullah.org
Karen (Blog Team) After living in UT, HI, CA, DC, VA, WI, & WV, Karen now lives in KS with her family. During the week, she blogs about aging, teaches as an adjunct for WSU's Aging Studies program, and socializes with older adults. On the weekend, she enjoys connecting with the sisters in her ward because they possess divine gifts and are full of good works.
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Web site: http://thegenerationaboveme.blogspot.com/
Kathryn Soper (Founding Editor) is the author of the memoir The Year My Son and I Were Born (Globe Pequot Press, 2009) and the editor of four published anthologies. She contributes to Mormon forums from Meridian Magazine to Sunstone on a variety of topics including gender issues, disability, mental health, sexuality, family life, and spirituality.
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Web site: http://kathrynlynardsoper.com
Katie (Blog Team)
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Kellie (Blog Editor) lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing at selwynssanity.blogspot.com as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.
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Web site: http://selwynssanity.blogspot.com
Leslie (Art Director) In her pre-diapering days, Leslie earned an MS in Marriage and Family Studies from BYU. This entitled her to mold the minds of impressionable college students in rambling six-hour lecture courses and travel the world as child life specialist. She now passes the seasons in a quaint Massachusetts town with her husband, Allen, and three young sons. She spends her days encouraging play, championing global causes, and whipping up a mean R2D2 cake. She savors her nights, stealing away to her studio to paint.
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Web site: http://www.smartmama.blogspot.com/
Linda (Prose Board) splits her time between the mountains of Utah and the prairies of Illinois, generally confounding the postal service. She compiles inspiring collections of LDS women talking about topics dear to (or prickly in) LDS women's hearts (visiting teaching, Relief Society, motherhood, etc.) through Cedar Fort Publishing. She also writes for children ("Come with Me on Halloween"), illustrates, writes poetry, plays with fabric and can be bribed with dark chocolate.
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Lisa G. (Poetry Board, Blog Team) is mother to six and grandmother to ten. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and loves travelling, reading, napping in puddles of sun, strawberries and dark chocolate, and most of all, Jesus.
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Melissa Y. (Emerita) is a native of Utah and lives in Mapleton with her husband and four children. She is currently working toward an MA in TESOL at BYU (and feels that is far too many acronyms for one sentence).
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Melissa Dalton-Bradford (Poetry Board)
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Melissa M (Advisory Board) grew up in Australia and California and now lives in Provo, Utah with her husband, four children, and their dog, Daisy. She served a mission in Peru and has a BA and MA in English from BYU. She loves reading, writing, and quiet afternoons. She does not love grocery shopping. Now that two of her children attend BYU and her youngest children are in high school and junior high, she is trying to adjust to this "emptying nest" stage and still wondering how it snuck up on her so fast.
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Melonie (Poetry Board) When not out on errands, Melonie lives in a white house with a bearded husband, one bagpiper, one Spelling Bee champion, one Irish dancer, and one "minecraft" addict. They call her "Sweetheart" or "Mom." She is pleased with both titles. She received her M.Ed from the University of Utah and has taught school and writing classes. She has lived in El Salvador, Italy, Washington, and Germany, but her favorite place is a hidden spot in the Uintahs. She has had too many strange hobbies and interests over the years to list here, but she is currently into inventing recipes, making healing potions with essential oils, and dreaming about a new front door. She blogs when the moon is full at www.meloniesmind.blogspot.com or when something funny happens to her, which she wishes was more often.
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Web site: http://www.meloniesmind.blogspot.com
Michelle L. (Blog Team) never folds laundry and her car is a mess. She runs through the streets of Salt Lake City, UT, takes lots of photos, plays Uno with her five fabulous boys and buys way too many dresses for the little princess. Her husband is the most romantic man in the world because he does all the Costco shopping AND hauls it into the house (sorry to make you jealous girls). She writes at Scenes from the Wild.
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Web site: http://www.scenesfromthewild.blogspot.com
Rosalyn (Prose Board) currently lives in Southern Utah with her husband and three small children, where she teaches writing part-time at the local university. She has a BA in English from BYU, and an MA and PhD (also in English) from Penn State. She served a mission in the Hungary Budapest mission. In her spare time (what's that?) she likes to read, write, try new recipes (as long as she doesn't have to clean up), watch movies with her husband (British period drama is her favorite), go for walks, and generally avoid anything that resembles housework. Her debut novel, THE BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, comes out fall 2016 from Knopf.
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Web site: http://www.rosalyneves.blogspot.com
Sandra (Co-Editor-in-Chief) recently moved back to California by way of Texas, Baltimore and San Francisco. She runs without shoes, is passionate about produce, and struggles to take pictures with her eyes open.
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Web site: http://www.segullah.org
Sarita (Prose Board)
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Shelah (Co-Editor-in-Chief) lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and six kids. She has a BA in English Teaching from BYU, an MA in American Culture Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MFA in Creative Writing at BYU. Her work has been published in Dialogue, the Mormon Women Project, Irreantum, BYU Studies, and Segullah. When she’s not writing or wrangling, she can often be found running through the city in the pre-dawn darkness.
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Web site: http://shelahbooksit.blogspot.com