Ideas on doing what’s most important to you – plus my birthday celebration!


Oh happy day! How are you doing?  The land here is filled with wildflowers. I have a quick heads-up about my awesome magical birthday:

Bottom line: The Kindle version of The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón: A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship will be $8 and you can order a signed copy from me for $8 (plus discounted $2 shipping in the U.S.)

**If you’re new to my book, check out this article in The Huffington Post. Or listen to the first few chapters here and here.  I also have a recent radio interview here and here. (Skip the first two minutes to get to the conversation.)**

Please share this with someone who may enjoy the book!

Here are the details:

8 is my lucky number. On April 18, my 48th Birthday, you can get an $8 Kindle copy here for 48 hours. You can order an $8 signed copy by emailing me at rebeccainspiresnow@gmail.com.

In the video below I:

1. Take you on a walk through the field above on my favorite trail by the Pacific Ocean;

2. Lean against a gorgeous tree and almost fall down, and offer my trademark snort;

3. And talk about our different roles in life and how to create the best environment to do what’s most important to you.

In that video, I promised you a nature video and that can be viewed here and below:

In other very exciting news, I finished the rough cut of my documentary from my stay at Drop Out on Orcas writer’s retreat! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to write a book alone in the woods without cell or Internet, this film takes you through some very intimate moments of one of the most transformative experiences of my life. It even includes exciting preview scenes from the sequel to The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderon. Here’s the trailer:

If you want to be the first to see the rough cut, sign up for my newsletter at RebeccaVillarreal.com which will be coming soon! (I’ll only send out about 4-6 newsletters per year.)

In my video at the top of this post, I mentioned the short time management TED talk. It’s called “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time”. You can view it here:

Also, if you’re looking for a refresh on your approach to planning, I’m really enjoying the Panda Planner, which you can find here. You can start the planner at any point in the year. There’s a discount code you can use PANDAFAM at checkout for 10% off. (I don’t receive anything for sharing this–I just believe in the product!) You can learn more about the making of the planner (after its founder had a traumatic brain injury, he really went back to basics) in his welcome video. 

Thank you for cheering me on and supporting me in so many ways. Remember your magic, every day. Cucalacas!

Have a great rest of your day!

Some Sunshine for Your Week – radio recording, new poem & more!

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Hello Beautiful People!

It’s such a thrill to share the recording from my recent fun and inspiring interview on KCSB 91.9 FM with LP on her Writers Almanac West program. If you didn’t get a chance to listen, and you want a dose of inspiration and a break from the negative news cycle, click here to listen on Soundcloud and here to listen on Podmatic. Both are downloadable! (Note: Jump to the 2 minute mark to skip the intro reading of Paul Simon’s Sound of Silence.)

We talked about all of my favorite things: food, poetry (I read a new poem at the end!), my novel, The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón and the plans for the sequel. We also talk about staying in love, faith and hope for all humanity. If you find yourself curious about the many resources and books I mention during the show, I’ve added links to just about every topic mentioned at the bottom of this post.

Also below is a short “Broadcast from the Beach” expressing my gratitude for your support. I recorded it for you right after I wrote the poem “Birdfight” in the previous post.

In the video, I mention a luxurious time binge-reading the poet Mary Oliver, at my friend’s house. Here’s a poem I wrote about that experience:

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On Reading Mary Oliver in Bed

I eat your poems

between bites of fig-filled cakes

or are they cookies?

forgetting to chew

because your words make me hungrier

for solace and weeping

for herons

suns

moose faces

and querying the soul

 

the chicory and hot milk

burn my throat

but I can’t stop devouring line

after line

fearful my gluttony

will spill on the white down comfortor

of my momentary retreat

 

how do you take a Sunday morning and make it urgent?

Volumes One and Two

and Felicity

again I want to be haunted by

all the space

on the page

your succinct seventy-seven year old

plunge into Cobb Creek

and your truth-telling of a girl raging

in dark corners

or the soul stolen from the blue Iris

I must go now,

for this pen is distracting

from my voracious consumption

If you’ve never read Oliver, here’s a link to some of her poems. There’s also a rare interview with her on the NPR program, On Being.

For those of you interested in writing or any other seemingly dreamy, yet filled with reality, kind of pursuit, this interview with the writer Cheryl Strayed was very inspiring to me. She’s so honest about the fact that she doesn’t write every day and also about her struggles with money. I have watched or listened to it at least 7 ½ times.

Links I mentioned in the Writer’s Almanac West radio interview

My website for The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón: A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food & Friendship is rebeccavillarreal.com.  We have a page with links from the topics in the book and an area where you can sign up to receive the free Tribe and Family Book Club Guide via email. The book is available via Teaching For Change (they get 5% of net profits), Amazon, Independent Book Stores, iTunes and Barnes and Noble.

You can read and listen to the opening poem Bound here and The Slowdown—a parenting poem, here.

The Slow Food movement can be found here.

Those fish-shaped crackers and why they are not great to eat–more info can be found here. What I mentioned about the way wheat is treated with pesticides in the U.S. is covered here. And there’s more from Robyn O’Brien about the 2.6 Billion pounds of Monsanto’s Glysophate (which is linked to Cancer) sprayed on American farmlands.

CarrieHensley.com and info about her Sacred Sangha is here.

LindsayPera.com and The Mystic’s Society is here.

Brené Brown’s TED talks on vulnerability and shame are here and here.

There’s an NPR interview with Mario Martinez about his book The Mind Body Code and the concept of tribal shame here.

Whatever you do, try to find a way to watch Trevor Noah’s special “Afraid of the Dark” on Netflix. (Note: this is meant for adult audiences.) The official trailer is here.

One of my chosen teachers is the Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. The first book I was every exposed to by him is Living Buddha, Living Christ. I reference a number of his other books in “aisle 4” of this previous blog post.

Here’s the post where I did a round-up of all of my recorded meditations.

I mention my connection to Jennifer Lee’s Right-Brainers in Business and an interview she did with SARK. We talked about creating inner characters to help deal with uncomfortable emotions. Here’s a post I did about Matilda, one of my characters and another about My Noisy Neighbor, Fear.

I also mention Drop Out on Orcas by the poet, Jennifer Brennock which I’m not sure it exists in the same form, but just in case, here’s the site.

Well, my friends, that’s a wrap! I hope you’ve enjoyed hanging out with me. I’m sending you love and some delicious food and time in nature for this week! Nourish yourself, you deserve it!

Get Your Brave [Bot] On.

#weneeddiversebooks #bravebot #RebeccaVillarreal #cucalacas

Pick one thing!

Pick one thing!

Pick one thing!

It’s so hard, but I will try to focus on one tool that stuck with me from last week. I had a life-changing experience at The World Domination Summit (WDS). It’s taking every fiber of my being to share the energy in bits, because there was so much to take home for my mind, heart and soul.

WDS is the brainchild of author Chris Guillebeau. I can’t wait for his latest book, The Happiness of Pursuit, to to be released on September 9. Over the course of ten years, Chris has traveled to every single country in the world. After 9/11, he wanted to “do something.” So in time, he launched the World Domination Summit. He invited people to Portland to answer the question: “How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” With the core values of adventure, service and community, I joined 3,000 people at WDS, now in its fourth year. Chris doesn’t take a salary for the event and though there are a few staff members, the summit wouldn’t exist without the corps of amazing volunteers who truly wanted to be there. I’ve never felt so much love and commitment to service in one room.

I will tell you that as a human vessel, I was moved more than I’ve ever been moved in my life. Don’t I look like I’m about to explode with joy? Dominate the world? I intentionally took plenty of time alone when not in sessions to come down off of the excitement and soul-moving stories and insights. If you like TED Talks, this was like TED on steroids while being surrounded by some of the most kind and interesting people from around the world. I met scientists, software designers, day traders, writers, artists, musicians and world leaders. And when I say world leaders, I mean ordinary people taking small and big steps every day to change the world.

World Domination Summit #WDS2014  Armosa Studios

(Photo credit: Armosa Studios)

So here’s my one thing I’ll share today: Gary Hirsh launched Bot Joy to help people feel brave. One eleven-year-old girl with diabetes used her Brave Bot to inject her arm with insulin before every meal. She’s gone through several bots because she rubs them again and again, wearing the paint off. The impetus for this project is based upon Gary’s childhood memories of waking up with nightmares of monsters. His dad encouraged him to draw and name the monsters during their 3:00am kitchen table sessions. Years later, Brave Bots were born. At WDS, Gary asked, “What’s one brave thing you’ve done?” Stop and think about it. Brave things can come in small packages. Your answers might surprise you. He also asked,

What’s one brave thing you want to do, but haven’t?”

One of my favorite answers (from Gary’s friend) was:

“Write a book. What if it sucks? What if I get lost in the middle and can’t find my way out? What if nobody cares? What if it’s not funny? What if it’s not smart? What if it’s not truthful? What if it is? (And which is worse?) What if my mom reads it and makes that pursed-lip face and then has no comment beyond pointing out a grammatical error on page 47?”

Okay folks, so here’s my brave thing I want to do but haven’t:

I am taking some time off from working on my novel, The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón, A Globetrotting Magical Mystery of Courage, Food and Friendship. I decided to move publication to 2015. And for the very driven Rebecca, this takes courage. I am choosing to slow down so I can stay healthy while working and enjoying life with family and friends. This is a brave step in staying whole.

Here’s the other brave part: at the top of this post, I’m hanging with my bot. And for the first time, I’ve unveiled the cover of my novel just for you, dear readers! Isn’t it beautiful? I love, love, love it! Alvaro Villanueva of Bookish Design created it.

This makes it real, folks. As if it wasn’t already.

So what’s one brave thing you want to do, but haven’t?

To experience more of Gary Hirsch’s presentation at WDS, click here.

To see my fellow WDSers activating their bots, click here.

To steal Gary’s idea and make your own bot (really, he wants to you to), click here.

Sending you love and bravery, every single day from me and my bot, Olympia. (I just named her that.)