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Explore your world on a Quirky Photo Safari this weekend

Today I’m sharing three of my favorite photos from my Quirky Photo Safaris and the stories behind them. When I need a dose of inspiration, I go for a walk. I train my eye to softly look for quirky things. I take corners at random by intuition. The photos that I find on a quirky photo safari always teach me something.

We go on a group quirky photo safari as part of my online class GetQuirky. We share the photos and what they mean to us, just like I am sharing with you here.

(Be sure to click “display images below” if you are reading this via email.)
Now I’m showing you some of my favorites!

tall trees on Honduras

I took this picture on a quirky photo safari in my neighborhood in Buenos Aires. This street Honduras in Palermo is unusually beautiful because it is lined with these tall trees. Something about the darkness called to me. Quirky treasures can be buried in our darkness, in the parts of ourselves that we have kept cloaked or hidden or neglected. That darkness can be fertile too.

@#$@# what people think!

It finally happened. I stepped in a piece of shit on the sidewalks of Buenos Aires. This ceremonious baptismal act happened while I was on a quirky photo safari taking photos of things that I found inspiring in their unusual or differentness for the April beta GetQuirky session. I spotted this bag in a window that says “[email protected]#$ what people think” and then I stepped in a piece of shit as I took the photo. Kind of a hilarious moment, the photo was still worth it.

Bev, an award-winning quirk

I met the most awesomely quirky lady in her 60s, Bev, with purple flowers in her hair and purple strands of hair, just now at the laundromat in Oakland. I asked if I could take her photo for the GetQuirky Photo Safari and she said yes. She says she believes her greatest contribution to society is through no-action: no driving, no breeding, no real jobs. She gets by. She finds magic in dumpster diving and found some great champagne grapes today and a painting. When we parted, Bev told me, “Stay quirky!”

Do it yourself!
Go on a Quirky Photo Safari this weekend. Take an hour or two to unplug so you can plug into yourself. Go for a walk. Often walks alone are where we feel our spark and our creativity. A quirky photo safari gives shape to a walk.

Take as many photos as you want and enter your favorites in our #getquirky photo safari contest on Instagram. The prize: you can win a spot in the upcoming September session of GetQuirky.

Want the details on how to do a Quirky Photo Safari and enter the contest?
Sign up for the early notification list for GetQuirky and you’ll get an email with instructions.

As Bev says, stay quirky!
Lady Q Sasha

Join us in a #GetQuirky Photo Safari and win a spot in the next class!

truly quirky fashion spotted by beta GetQuirky graduateelorrainem

truly quirky fashion spotted by beta GetQuirky graduate elorrainem in Pittsburgh, PA

quirky license plate spotted by Sue Vittner in Portland, Maine

quirky license plate spotted by Sue Vittner in Portland, ME

get quirky graduate andreas found these quirky frogs on a wander in germany

GetQuirky grad Andreas (username tofudish on Instagram) found these frogs on a wander in his native Germany

The next session of my online class GetQuirky starts September 23. GetQuirky is a 21-day adventure that helps you to embrace your quirks so that you SHINE. In all areas of your life. Seriously, embracing your quirks can help spark up your creativity, work, dating, your relationship with yourself and others, even your sex life. (When you start to embrace your quirks, SO much more is possible!).

In preparation for the next session, I’m sponsoring a contest that I hope will get us all out to play and raise the collective quirky energy field!

Let’s go on a quirky photo safari! You can win a spot in the next GetQuirky online class in September.

#Getquirky Photo Safari Contest Instructions
1. Download instagram if you don’t have it on your phone already

2. When you are out and about, keep your eye out for things that strike you as quirky. Anything unusual or irregular, inimitably itself, that inspires you. We’re talking nature, art, fashion, signs, shopwindows, architecture, people, restaurant menus, gnomes! You can do this on vacation or at home, anytime.

3. Upload your photo using Instagram and tag the photo #getquirky. This will put your photo in the pool of all the photos tagged #getquirky. If you want, tell us what it inspires in you.

For inspiration, check out the #getquirky photos uploaded so far HERE.

The Prize!
The person who gets the most “hearts” (aka likes) on a photo wins on a spot in the next session of GetQuirky.

The hearts will be counted by September 9 and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter. Photos uploaded between August 5 and September 9 are eligible.

Why do this?
My 21-day class GetQuirky is designed as a series of creative and reflective adventures to help you celebrate the quirky in you and around you. We make the celebration of quirkyness a habit–and that helps us to get to know ourselves and shine.

Every weekend during the class, I invite you to go on a creative wander. We consciously unplug from the Internet for at least several hours so we can plug into ourselves.

One weekend, we go on a quirky photo safari. Often walks alone are where we feel our spark and our creativity. I suggest taking a walk. A quirky photo safari gives shape to a walk. We wander, take photos of things that inspire us as quirky, then share the photos on our private group and what they inspire in us. It can be deep, surprising, revealing—and fun.

The next session of GetQuirky starts September 23.
Click HERE to read all the details and sign up for the early notification list and get first dibs on registration.

If you have questions about the class or contest, post them here. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an Instagram user already to take part in this contest or to join the class. I’m an Instagram newbie and got the hang of it quickly. 😉 It’s pretty fun.

With love,
Lady Q Sasha

P.S. For inspiration, follow these quirkypeeps on Instagram. These “graduates” of the beta GetQuirky session know about quirky photo safaris:
avisco17
elorrainem
threesquirrels
tofudish.
You can also follow me: sashacagen.

Letting go of your assumptions about how love works

Today I’m blogging over at Scoutie Girl, “Creative Life with Character” and musing about the assumptions I’ve had about love. In particular, I always feared that being in a committed relationship would mean the death of my creative life. I feared motherhood even more. That fear was what I call a limiting belief, and it feels good to name it. Naming a limiting belief is the first step in letting it go. Ahhhh.

Read the full story over here.

What are your assumptions about love?
One of the most liberating things we can do is take an assessment of our beliefs. And then challenge those assumptions. What assumptions do you hold about being in a relationship?

In our upcoming class Quirkytogether 101 we are going to do this collectively: what are our assumptions? What kind of relationship would we create if we had a magic wand and total freedom to make it up? A relationship were we really get to be our full selves. How would we like it to work? We have so much more power to create the lives we want than we often realize. But first we need to give ourselves permission to dream, imagine, and know that we are awesome just as we are. As people who love and need our “me” time and our independence whether we are single or partnered.

I’m super excited about this class and the sense of possibility we are going to open up in life and love together.

Check out this page to learn more about this weeklong class, which starts in just two weeks on July 27! We’re talking self-love as much as we’re talking about romantic love.

See you in Quirkytogether 101! Click HERE to get all the details!

Liberate your love life in our new class: Quirkytogether 101!

quirkytogetherlogo_03

My personal goal with the quirkyalone movement was never to suggest people stay single forever. No limitations! We QAs can enjoy all the permutations of connection that life has to offer.

A month after my original Quirkyalone essay was published, a reader in an Utne Reader chat room asked, “How many here feel that being quirkyalone means really being alone? Can it also mean having a solid core of yourself that doesn’t ever dissolve in the warm bath of love?” That’s exactly right.

Being quirkyalone is about learning to be so solidly yourself that you can connect with another intimately without dissolving in that warm bath of love.

But let’s be honest
For many of us, being quirkyalone has meant being romantically alone. When we enjoy being single, it’s easy to stay single. It’s so good having all this freedom to do exactly what we want, when we want to do it. We get comfortable. So comfortable we fear that getting together means losing our freedom and these wonderful lives we have created.

Sasha Cagen

Sasha Cagen

Susan Vittner

Sue Vittner

That’s why I created this new online class Quirkytogether 101 with my friend and love coach Sue Vittner. Because that’s not true. There’s a whole world of possibility of creating quirkytogether relationships where 1 + 1 still equals 2.

Challenge your assumptions about love
Challenging your assumptions about relationships will give you more freedom to tap into the kind of relationship you really want and to create it. You’ll be more clear and radiant and able to attract the right partners for you.

I’m so proud of this weeklong class and excited about the possibilities for everyone who takes it. This is going to be an amazing learning and growing experience together. I want to help you discover the right kind of quirkytogether relationship for you.

The class will run from July 27 to August 3. Join this weeklong class and you’ll get to connect with others who share this vision and start imagining and manifesting your quirkytogether relationship, whatever that looks like for you.

CLICK HERE to learn more and get quirkytogether with us!.

PS The class size will be limited, so visit this page and sign up for the early notification list so you can get first dibs on registration.

Your thoughts on quirkytogether (Plus: a fun river trip next weekend!)

quirkytogetherlogo copy

I’m back in California! And quirkytogether is on the way! Those of you who have read my Quirkyalone book (published all the way back in 2004) know that quirkytogether is a very important chapter.

Quirkytogether is about creating a relationship in which both parties get to be fully themselves. Quirkytogether is what happens when quirky joins together. It’s a quirkyalone in a relationship, co-creating a unique, intimate relationship with another person where people stay wholly themselves and turned-on.

In 2013, we want to live in a world with a new kind of relationship, where we have intimate connections and partnership but we don’t necessarily merge, lose our individuality or our spark, and start wearing matching outfits and socializing at couples-only dinner parties! I’ve heard from one reader recently, that when a new girlfriend asked him to talk about defining their relationship, she asked “Should we be quirkytogether?” They had both read my Quirkyalone book.

I’m creating an online course about Quirkytogether that will be offered in late July (stay tuned for details–it’s going to be awesome and fun as well as deep and thought-provoking).

I’m also in the research phase for a Quirkytogether book (which I’m quite excited about as well).

To that end, I would like to invite you to be part of my part of my research!

Fill out this quirkytogether survey. Read More

How Brazil Resurrected My Spirit

alma do brasil = soul of brazil! the soul of brazil is strong!

alma do brasil = soul of brazil! the soul of brazil is strong!

I’ve been writing to you about Argentina a lot lately because I spent the last eight months in Buenos Aires as a digital nomad (working) living my dream of immersing myself in tango. I loved those eight months!

I’ll be back in Oakland, California in a few days.

Before I fell in love with tango and Argentina, I fell in love with Brazil. Today I want to tell you about why I love Brazil and how that country resurrected my spirit when I was burnt-out working in Silicon Valley. I want to tell you because the Brazilian people are waking up in a most exciting way and it’s thrilling to see.

Brazil vs. Argentina
Brazil and Argentina are rivals. Argentines (well, let’s say Buenos Aires residents, Portenos) are moody and known for complaint, psychoanalysis, tango, beautiful architecture and being the “Paris of the South.” Complicated is the word for Buenos Aires. In a delicious way. They’re about the head.

Brazil, by contrast, is about the body. If complicated is the word for Argentina, let’s say wild and charismatic for Brazil. Brazilians, in general, and in my experience, are light and funny and are always up to embrace life. They know how to live. Every time I go to Brazil, I get an attitude adjustment. The country is well known for cosmetic surgery, but for me, Brazil gives me a spiritual adjustment every time I visit. Ah yes, this is what life is about. Enjoying life and enjoying having a body. Without shame.Read More

Inspiration for creating your own path: Take one step

one step at a time

one step at a time

One of my favorite parts of traveling and living abroad is that I meet kindred spirits. People who are also interested in growth through adventure and who have taken risks to travel and try out new things for the sake of developing themselves.

I met Christine at a tango festival. I had seen her around at the milongas in Buenos Aires. We had never spoken. She seemed nice but unassuming, glasses, hair pulled back in a ponytail, kind of meek.

One night while we were riding a bus to a milonga (a place where we dance tango) she told me her story. Christine is Swiss, in her late 30s. “I worked as a nurse and then a nurse manager for 18 years but I really didn’t like it. I hated it.” She kept expecting to meet the guy, that she would buy a house with him and get married and do all that stuff in her thirties. At a certain point, she decided to just up and go; to come in Buenos Aires to dance tango.

“My friends looked at me like I was crazy when I told them I was going to quit,” she told me. “What are you going to do next? You need to know what you’re going to do next before you quit.”Read More

The Splendor of Buenos Aires Street Art

These walls were created as part of an international street art festival in Buenos Aires. They are always changing and getting painted over. Wall space is a hot commodity.

These walls were created as part of an international street art festival in Buenos Aires. They are always changing and getting painted over. Wall space is a hot commodity.

If you spend any time at all in Buenos Aires, you will notice that fantastical street art is everywhere.

The best touristy thing I have done in Buenos Aires–and I generally do not like touristy things–is this Mundo Graffiti street art tour. My mom and I went together when she came to visit.

It’s fascinating to think about why the people of Buenos Aires have such a permissive attitude toward street art and why these artists paint for free, usually buying the paint themselves. Some start as taggers but they grow up to be working artists who also paint and/or do design work. The walls are just another canvas.

One theory is that after a dictatorship people value free expression and take a laissez-faire attittude toward street art.

Most street art is not political but this wall was commissioned by homeowners to show their support for Cristina, Argentina's current president

Most street art is not political but this wall was commissioned by homeowners to show their support for Cristina, Argentina’s current president

But that doesn’t explain everything. There is a lot of street art in Rio too, but not nearly as much as in Buenos Aires. Brazil also suffered a dictatorship. My friend Anonimundo makes street art in Rio and he needs to do it on the down-low in a way that Buenos Aires street artists do not. They can paint in the light of day, and sometimes an admiring business or homeowner will ask an artist to paint their wall. The art, if not the graffiti, is generally gorgeous.

A group of English women expats noticed the street art phenomenon and created this tour (they’re also working on a documentary of the art and artists). Porte‚àö¬±os (Buenos Aires residents) don’t necessarily recognize how special their street art scene is. Often it takes an outsider to see something unique about a place and valorize it.

Again, most street art is not political but this piece is. It represents Madres de Plaza de Mayo, an association of Argentine mothers whose children

Again, most street art is not political but this piece is. It represents Madres de Plaza de Mayo, an association of Argentine mothers whose children “disappeared” during the Dirty War of the military dictatorship (1976-83)

Next to a bus station in Villa Crespo, don't miss the Jack Nicholson

Next to a bus station in Villa Crespo, don’t miss the Jack Nicholson

This one is a collaborative piece by street artists from around the world who kept adding elements.

This one is a collaborative piece by street artists from around the world who kept adding elements.

Just another corner of art at the street art bar in Palermo Soho Post Street Bar

Just another corner of art at the street art bar in Palermo Soho Post Street Bar

From Quirkyalone to Quirky: A Love Story

my feet in a parapente (paragliding) flight in Colombia

my feet in a parapente (paragliding) flight in Colombia

Many of you know me as the founder of the quirkyalone movement and the author of Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics. I am known as the lady who stood up and said, there’s nothing wrong with you if you have been single—even for however many years. Hold out for what you want. It’s better to be single rather than settle. I told Anderson Cooper that even when he snarled at me.

This word quirkyalone is still as relevant today as it was when I created it in 2000. I still believe in it.

A quirkyalone point of view values both the single and partnered paths; at the end of the day the connection and love we feel for ourselves is the most fundamental one.

Going Where the Energy Is
I still love quirkyalone but now I am ready to take my work to a new level of abstraction and use “quirky” as the big idea.

I renamed my personal website Sasha Cagen’s Viva Quirky. I am convening an online course called GetQuirky where we will support each other to walk the quirky path in life to accept ourselves and shine. A friend of mine here in Buenos Aires is calling me Lady Q Sasha and I think I will use that name too. (This friend is helping me develop an online quirkymeter to measure your quirky levels on any given day–stay tuned!)Read More