Paris, Île-de-France, France

July 17, 2016

Big news! (and I <3 Paris)

Big news and a lot of love for Paris are below, but before we get there, I wanted to mention a kind of second letter for this week. I wrote an open letter on Friday, after the attacks in Nice, France. It’s about the process of getting back on my feet after the attacks, and watching a country do the same. You can read it here.

But after watching how France picked itself back up and went back, fully, into its life, it seemed right to me to do the same. So today, I’m bringing you your regularly scheduled letter.

As you know, this month I’ve been doing my every-two-years step back, plan, and figure out what's next in this one precious life. I've also been figuring out a game plan for the big leap I took to do Ink and Feet full time that I mentioned last week.

When I mentioned the two-year plan a couple weeks ago, I heard from a bunch of folks that they were interested in going through a similar process. This week, when I looked at the sort of things I was really passionate about making, I realized the answer was staring me right in the face.

Write up this two-year planning process, and put it out there.

All of it. The exercises and explorations to find what we really care about. The steps to make a plan that actually works, without getting waylaid or forgotten. The behavioral psychology and neuroscience insights on how, day by day, to use that plan to actually get our dreams.

I mean, I’m sitting on years of experience and research, and emailing it out to random people piecemeal. That’s crazy. Doing it right is a much better idea.

So I’m doing it.

This past week I pulled together all the exercises and research I’ve used with my coaching clients and in my own life, and started making a course. And I set a goal to have it finished, and available to you - the end of this month.

I’m so excited to be able to get this stuff out into the world, and into your hands and life where it can have an impact. I’ll keep you posted in the weeks ahead!

In other news, Paris in the Summer is simply wonderful in every way. The late evenings spent reading, on benches in Jardin des Tuileries. The madness and joy of the EuroCup. Parkour on and around the Seine. Fireworks cascading off the Eiffel Tower. The impending yellow-fever of the Tour de France. The miles of city worn in through my toes.

But more than anything, what I love about Paris is the light. It’s “City of Light” nickname might rightfully come from the gas lamp illumination back in the 1860s, but I think it stuck around because it works on so many levels.

The metaphorical luminosity - pointing to the consistently strong arts scene, the quality of intellectual discussion. The metaphorical weight - the way people carry themselves as if their shoulders were pulled on strings, feet barely brushing the ground. And the physical, actual light - a character in its own right, like no other place.

It’s a city of constantly-shifting diagonal lines, shadow and sun arcing their way across old stones. One with an unintentional sundial 300 meters high, painting time across both sides of the Seine. One where the clouds are just low enough, bright enough, singed just enough with gold to convince you that maybe, monty-python style, god’s face is right behind them, waiting. Where in the late afternoon, somehow, deep green tree leaves leave the ground beneath then gold.

It is a marvelous city, and it’s soaking in through my pores. I’m so glad to be able to share these glimpses with you. :)

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was this hilarious, human series of videos by Tommy Edison - he happens to be blind, and thanks to the magic of youtube, he’s sharing that experience with the rest of us.

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