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Last week, we talked about the meaning and importance of Family. In particular, we discussed what role family plays in our physical and mental health, as well as how the word “family” continues to evolve. This week, I wanted to expand upon the notion that “it takes a village” by talking about Community.
Like many of you, I’ve recently been fascinated by the new hit Netflix show, 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, a docuseries that explores the five regions of the world with the most centenarians (humans who live 100 years or more). Not surprisingly, one of the common denominators of all five of these regions is a very strong sense of community.
This leads me to Cassey Ho, the founder and creator of not one, but two powerhouse brands: Blogilates and PopFlex, both of which were born out of Cassey’s stint as a certified pilates instructor back in the late 2000s. But what started out as a way to pay the bills soon turned into a community numbering in the tens of millions and now, two 8 figure businesses.
Cassey was a born leader, but the thing I love about Cassey is that she completely upends the stereotype that often adheres to women in a position of power. That we must be unapproachable, aloof, even a bit of a bully, and, that it is a business no-no to wear our hearts on our sleeves. This was definitely the message I received—explicitly and implicitly—when I was trying to make partner at the Firm. But Cassey doesn’t buy into that—at all. She is openly emotional, about the triumphs and the losses, and she has leaned into that quality without a trace of artifice. In so doing, she has proven that success does NOT require you to be who you aren’t. Success will follow those who lead, even with their hearts.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
Listen to My Conversation with Cassey Ho
This Week’s Recipe Inspo.
Spice Up Your Life.
Spicy Ramen Salt
A spicy, umami packed blend of seasonings that’ll enrich your broths, pop your popcorn, and heat up your pasta sauce!
Watching. We are all caught up on Moving (which has only gotten better with each episode), so while running on the treadmill one morning, I randomly clicked on A Time Called You on Netflix. I was hooked (hook, line, and sinker) within about 8 minutes. Made my 3 miler absolutely fly by. Key plot line: the protagonist continues to mourn the loss of her lover, who presumably died in a plane crash (even though his body was never recovered), when, on the one-year anniversary of his death, a mysterious man enters her life, bringing with him all the memories (and then some) of her first love. Watch –>
Reading. I’ve been following Anthony Doerr on Instagram ever since turning the final page of Cloud Cuckoo Land (no, I am NOT above Insta-stalking my favorite authors) and recently learned that his Pulitzer Prize winning book, All The Light We Cannot See, will soon be airing as a series on Netflix. We all know that the books are always better than TV/movies, so I’ve decided to dig into this classic before it’s too late and I’m seeing spoilers all over the internet! Read –>
Wearing. I’m a running shorts SNOB. I don’t need to have the most expensive running shorts, but I do need to have comfortable and functional shorts. I have a few select brands on my list that hit the mark and I almost NEVER deviate. And most of the time…? They don’t look good. And that’s ok, because that’s not one of my requirements. But, I recently discovered all the booty-full shorts on PopFlex’s website and now I need to make room for a whole new set of shorts. They’re like wearing clouds, which is exactly what you need when you’re working out or doing a long run. And they’re SO DARN CUTE! Shop –>
I’ll be headed back to my alma-mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on September 21 to do a LIVE cooking demonstration and book signing as part of Pygmalion Think 2023!! Make sure to pick up your tickets and come say hi!
Virtual Cooking Class on The Kollective!
On October 1, I’ll be teaching a LIVE cooking class featuring my most popular recipe of all-time: Kkanpoong Tofu! The cooking class is FREE for all members of The Korean Vegan Kollective. If you’re already a member, make sure to keep your eyes peeled on the App. If you’re NOT a Kollective Member, sign up today to partake in thousands of plant-based recipes, free one-on-one food coaching, and live cooking classes!
I was rummaging through my old writing blog this morning and I came across this snippet from an email I once wrote to Anthony:
What a grey day! I am staring out at the lake and with all its shimmer, it still looks like winter is maintaining its toenail grip on the city. I cannot wait to see the blue-green expanse littered with tissue-paper sails, their half-moon’d salute to summer, endless days soaked in lemon meringue and leisure so thick you can sink your teeth into twilight. Purple mornings are the best, you know, when the bars stacked along the horizon are so clearly demarcated, you have the urge to pick them off the shelf, one by one, and read the day’s prophetics. You roll over and press the full weight of your body against mine, and I think of the burnt yellow ingots that will appear by dusk, like flecks of gold in a seagull’s eyes–the inevitable residue of another happy day, with you.
Sometimes, I think, “Man, my husband has it so good…!!” LOLOLOL.
But mostly, I like reading these small inscriptions. This email to Anthony is, in some ways, a small note to me, the future me, a reminder that there’s a Joanne that loves Lake Michigan, the outrageous gradient of morning, and the prophetic poesy buried inside the smell of a good book.
The death of each day, each moment, steals from us. In some cases, things that we want back with every cell in our bodies. But in that space, the emptiness of loss, death also leaves a gift. A longing that proves love, our capacity to build another happy day.