Welcome to Mary Anne Radmacher's blog.

One way to get to know a person you've just met is to ask them to tell you about their favorite friends. It's said that a person essentially becomes an aggregate of the five people with whom they spend the most time.

There's another telling question to ask a stranger. It's all about a book.

1) Is there one book that you have re-read and will read again (and again)?
2) What is the most recent book that you've read and what stands out to you most?
3) What is the title of a book you recommend most often to friends?
4) What was the last book you read that made you so sad when it came to the end? (Because you wanted to keep on reading, not because the ending was sad!).

If the person you are just getting to know has never re-read a book, can't remember what stood out from the last book they read, doesn't recommend books to friends and has never felt sad to stop reading an excellent book...

I suggest that you stop conversing with them. And, perhaps, run. Kidding (not kidding). Perhaps you might consider striking up a conversation with someone else that you might want to get to know. AND start THAT conversation off by recommending a book you've recently read...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

celebrate your native enthusiasm.

being connected to my enthusiasm is a great deal of fun, brings vibrancy and zest to each part of my day and throws open wide doors in my experience.

there are some requirements. i must (be willing to) set aside ego and any attachment I have to looking smart or sophisticated. my interests must lie in discovery and presence, not appearance and assessment. the instant the familiar question, “What will people think?” is asked, enthusiasm evaporates. enthusiasm prefers the company of freedom and unselfconsciousness.

a service provider and I speak often about her childhood dream of being a dancer. her dreams was deferred in adulthood, traded for more practical pursuits. regularly we make a case for dance finding a place in the every day.

she returned the compliment recently observing my “dancing hands” and remembering to me the pleasure of movement with a ribbon tied with a swivel to the endof a stick.

“oh!” yes! i recalled all the ways that ribbons could be moved. it was like writing with color in the air. note to self: find one. and I did. wondering through a toy store I came upon unexpectedly (seizing serendipity is another favorite thing of enthusiasm) I noticed them. one for each hand came home with me. Parked on the ferry dock I unwrapped the ribbon standing alongside my car. when I am professionally engaged with children we do an exercise called air write. it’s like finger painting only without the paint and paper – we write in the air. adding a ribbon turns it into sky writing. and there I began. oblivious. it took a man walking by, kindly laughing and observing, “You are having entirely too much fun,” for me to stir to the stares and smiles from the dozens of cars around me. both were returned with a shrug and a smile and resumed my discovery process of all the ways that ribbon would have me move it.

if you feel the need for assistance or tutoring in this celebration of your enthusiasm there are two readily available resources. hang out with some local three or four year olds, or a big ‘ole dog in fresh mown, moist green grass. in those classrooms you will learn most everything you need to know to begin celebrating your native enthusiasm.

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