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Monday, June 7, 2010

Moxie week is back!

MOXIE - The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage; vigor; verve; pep.

Moxie week is here. Once again I feel like I should be kicking things off with huge heroic fanfare but I am sitting here like a school girl who hasn't studied for the test she is about to take. I don't feel prepared. I don't feel particularly brave and I while I admire moxie when I see it I really haven't cultivated much of it around here lately. This is because I have gotten pretty comfortable. 

This is MOXIE 
She is the first lion born in the Bronx Zoo in over 31 years.

My dear friend Tamara has often warned me with a line from "The Sun Screen Song,"  Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.  I, a former New Yorker, have been living in Northern California for seven years now. I may have actually reached the "soft" to which this line speaks. My husband has promised to woo and wow me for life and we have the means for me to stay at home to raise our daughter. My day to day life is pretty cushy, as I told you during gratitude week. I have easy access to good organic food, beautiful beaches and mountains are each less then an hour from my door, human rights are respected. I worry for the planet, helpless animals and oppressed and hungry people but I do not need to worry for me.

When I was younger I spent a lot of time flying by the seat of my pants. Traveling around Europe for a month with less then a hundred dollars in my pocket. Moving to another state with nothing but a gas station credit card to support me until my first new paycheck. My threshold for personal risk was very high. Don't get me wrong. I was smart and I calculated the risks and carefully plotted my path to success. I never would have seen Greece and those beautiful white hillsides of Santorini if I hadn't been brave enough to sleep on the less expense roof tops of youth hostels and actually admit to fellow travelers that I would not be able to join them for restaurant dinners.

As I think now about my gas card month, eating a lot of corn chips, and other prepackaged food, I was brave but another factor was also at play. Pride. I did not want to admit to my new employer or to the girl who let me crash on her couch, that I truly had nothing. I was convinced that the job might not have been offered if they knew how desperate I really was. Living through those tense weeks I had a glimpse of what might happen to cause homelessness. I was pretty close. Of course I went to the end of my personal rope knowing that if that rope broke I could call upon my family for help (although that pride kept me from letting them know my true situation) but I did everything in my power to insure I would not need that luxury.

I displayed bravery that month but with the lens of experience I can not say it showed Moxie. Moxie would have been coming clean about my situation and asking for help from my new boss, my friend with the couch, or even my parents. Moxie means looking squarely at the thing that scares you and acting anyway. I really wasn't afraid of eating hot dogs and orange macaroni and cheese for a month but I was afraid of having an honest conversation with my dad. 

Considering moxie in this light makes me realize that even in my happy little home there are places I don't go and conversations I won't have. This is going to be the week to change that! To keep me on track, and not allow the possible distraction several initiatives could provide, this week I am only going to have one Bliss Initiative:

  • Do one thing everyday that scares you - We know all know what these things are. There are conversations you have been avoiding for weeks, if not years. There are opinions you don't air in certain company. Each day do something unexpected and brave. For example, I will go out of my way to meet a neighbor, strike up a conversation with a stranger, offer my opinion on the website of someone I respect, rather then just reading and watching. I will ask if there is a way I can get a better deal when I am shopping instead of unconsciously paying full price. In short I will step outside of my comfort zone, I will create opportunities to be brave and speak up instead of quietly going about my business.

How will you be showing your moxie this week?

Next post: Moxie Failings...

My 13 bliss virtues are joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

This week we are studying Moxie. Next up is Humility Week.


  1. Wow...what a life you have led / lead! Honestly, I am jealous.

    I can't help but think: What would we all do if we each realized we had nothing (in truth, all is impermanent), celebrated that, and lived so freely?

    My moxie this week? Answering the questions posted at WishStudio and making EACH moment a wild opportunity to live them! (I'll post the answers on my blog sometime this week.)

    Yay for Moxie!

  2. This is such a great post! I didn't know you were a former East-coaster! Yayy-I am hoping my path follows yours (I am considering a move from PA to CA in the future)

    I must admit that doing things that scare me, well...scares me. But I know that in order to achieve what I've set my sights on, I need to stand up and face the things I like and, more importantly, the things I don't like. It's a constant battle but I'm learning to "just do it". I'm looking forward to reading more this week : )

  3. Wow, this is exactly scary week. At least for me. Recently, I think I showed moxie. I shared some of my new art work I've been creating on my blog instead of just in class. I truly didn't know how receptive people would be to it. Everyone has been kind, however. And I feel strength and courage to create more. :) I am not sure how I will show moxie this week. Perhaps as the week goes by, I will discover a day to try and use it wisely and well. :) Theresa

  4. I think you could be prepared simply by telling your J stories all day! HA! THAT GIRL has Moxie! (I love the one you posted on FB yesterday! The Hubbums was even cracking up!)

    Your life sounds quite exciting!

  5. Haha, does waking up every morning count? haha. I scare myself in the mirror every morning. ;)

    I like your take on moxie!

  6. Hey there! Thanks so much for stopping by Gerber Days! It was so fun being the FB for Lady Bloggers!

    Your blog is beautiful! Love the name! Following you right back. ;)


  7. "Flying by the seat of my pants" should be my middle name. But then I guess I'd have too many initials, correctamundo?

  8. "Do one thing everyday that scares you..." I LOVE this! As I get older, I find that I don't do nearly as many daring things as I once did. This quote has inspired me to live up to my blog's name, and live life, with MOXIE!


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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