I’m Lauren and these are the Level Letters.
I like spaces where people can be open; honest, authentic and real. Where you can talk about things that matter–and sometimes things that don’t–and where encouragement, truth, and important questions can live. Where people can level with each other and, more importantly, with themselves.
I’ve thought about beginning something like this for a long time, but always found reasons not to. Maybe I’ll get things wrong, maybe I won’t say the thing that really should be said, maybe I’ll outgrow some of the things I do say. *Maybe* I could drop the word maybe from every part of that sentence and it would be more true.
Like any good theatre fan and music lover, I went* through a solid Lin Manuel Miranda/Hamilton obsession. At one point, in some interview I probably couldn’t find again, he talked about how as he was writing Hamilton someone worthy of listening to advised him to “forgive himself for everything he could have put into the show, but would leave out.” So while I am in no way comparing myself to Lin, or this project to the show that acted as a stimulus package for theatres across the country, I’m forgiving myself for all the things I could say, or do try to say, but don’t say well enough.
I’m sure there will be things I should do better—talk to me about them!!—but I’ve decided that not doing this perfectly is no longer a reason not to do it at all. It never really was.
What I’ve noticed lately–other than that I now have an actual, physical response to the phrase “these unprecedented times”–is a communal desire for all these things; a collective shift toward meaningful questions.
I’ve also noticed we could all use a little extra encouragement.
I appreciate and recognize that I can’t possibly know the weight of what you might be carrying, but it seems like for many, questions are arising that come down to identity, and when the question is identity, the truths you stand on are critically important.
These are truths.
You are resilient.
You are adaptable.
You are strong enough.
You are a leader.
You are powerful.
You are loved.
You are capable of difficult things.
You hold the power to be a hope-giver.
You can add light to people’s lives you may never know about.
I bet you can come up with more.
In slippery moments, I return to these. This week, be on the hunt for what you know to be true. I’d love to hear what you find.
Mine this week?
The approval of people does not change your mission.
The affirmation of people is not your measure of success.
My intention is for this (email? blog? thingamabob?) to be a weekly thing, but we’re going to find that out together. For now, here are some lighthearted recommendations no one asked for! Enjoy!
*Leaving this in past tense feels like one of the more egregious lies I’ve ever told. Still a thing.
The Unlocking Us Podcast by Brene Brown
If we’ve talked for very long, you know I love most things Brene Brown puts into the world and this is no exception. In fact, I sort of prepared to be disappointed (sorry BB) and I’m so not! Thought provoking without being sad and it launched recently, so is super topical. Start at the beginning. Listen to them all, then let’s talk about FFTs.
I thought this was hype, but we’ve been eating in A LOT, so I needed a little variety and this provided that.
You guys, it is in fact bitchin’. It’s like a hummus got an upgrade and now wants to be eaten with everything from chips to meatballs. Getcha some.
I may never go to the grocery store again. God really does use all things for good. #Blessed. You can even use Instacart to get your Bitchin’ Sauce delivered to you while you sit on your couch. Just a suggestion. It probably tastes better that way.