Denese and I “met” online a few months back when we both participated in a 31 Days to a Better Blog challenge sponsored by Lisbeth Tanz.
Sharing a common love of words, good content and conversation, we hit it off immediately and have been twitter-buds ever since.
On her blog, Thoughtful Content, Denese weaves her knowledge of design, architecture, marketing, yoga, and social media into a delightful mix of information and insights that always leaves me uplifted, enlightened and wanting more.
In this interview, we had the chance to sit back and get thoughtful about words.
What’s one thing you know about words?
I believe that if we really understood how much power words have, we’d pay a lot more attention to what we say, write and think.
What one word describes you (and why)?
I’ve been called optimistic… But, I’d like to think that has more to do with being open to possibilities and other perspectives than always seeing the bright side. A friend can come to me with pretty much any problem. I go immediately into “let’s look at all the possibilities here… let’s make peace with best-case and worse-case scenario…let’s get to the heart of the issue… then let’s think about next steps…”
What one word describes your mission, or your message (and why)?
I’d like to encourage people to embrace their creativity, to find their unique voice (or communication platform) and live their life, build their business from that place. One of the things I love about blogging is that it’s given us a worldwide exercise for finding your point of differentiation. Whether you’re blogging for personal or business reasons, the relationship building aspect of it only works when you’re connecting naturally, as you are, listening, truly caring. The best relationships are formed when you’re yourself, not who you think you should be. Any exercise that encourages that is okay in my book.
What one word would you give to your audience – like a superpower (and why)?
Awareness that they have a superpower within them already… one they can tap into whenever they’re wondering who they are, what direction to take, what decision to make. One that knows exactly what it takes to make them happy, what they were meant to do in this life. I don’t want them to struggle to find it anymore. I want them to simply tap into the power they already have and let it create the happy life they were meant to have.
What’s your ‘go to’ word? The one that you can always count on to rock your day, or turn to the moment around if you are not on your game?
Yoga has given me a whole new appreciation for dancers and athletes who can make something so physically difficult look so easy. Through my practice, I’ve learned that strength comes first, then lightness and flexibility – which has been a helpful mantra whenever I’m uncertain or feeling clumsy about life in general. I try to gather strength by staying grounded in gratitude for everything I already have… while staying open to the possibilities and lessons life is throwing at me. Typically you’re naturally strong, or naturally flexible…the challenge is cultivating and balancing both. It’s not easy and I’m not always successful, but I feel better considering everything that happens as an opportunity to practice grace.
Say a little about the role that words and language play in your life and your work.
Our words shape our perspective and experiences, not just in what we write or say, but in our thoughts about ourselves and others. I think The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz sums it up nicely. If we can strive to 1) be impeccable with our word, 2) not take things personally, 3) not make assumptions, and 4) always do our best, we’d prevent a lot of heartache and produce a lot more happiness.
Any last words about the power of words?
My 13-year old niece wanted to write a list of “64 Things I Love about Grandma.” We got to #6 and she said, “It’s hard to find the words to describe what I’m feeling.”
It’s important to recognize that finding the right words is hard. Acknowledging this takes some of the pressure off… Having a practice, or a way that helps you get to the heart of you want to say is essential. Going for a walk helps me. I’m also intrigued by the 750words.com exercise. I like the online format vs writing in my journal. I can crank out 750 words of random thoughts, ideas, lists in about 25 minutes.
It’s kind of magical how it works. Getting all of that out of my head, first thing in the morning, really does help me find the right words when I sit down to write something more “productive” later in the day.
Dense helps companies get thoughtful and create meaningful marketing content at Thoughtful Content. You can follow her on Twitter @Denese_Bottrell.