The Infographic That Explains Everything

Nine weeks have passed since the Inauguration and once, twice, thirty-seven times a day I hear something infuriating. Today’s insanity? A health care plan that plans to not take care of people’s health. Every day there’s another vortex that sucks me up, whirls me around and splats me out on the kitchen floor.

But one of my teachers, Rev. Deborah Johnson, said something a few weeks ago that makes me feel better. It’s a model I can hitch my mind to, a way of structuring the world that offers me a road map through, and out of, the chaos.

Check out the graphic above and let me explain:

Each of us live our lives in three realms.

The first is the universal. Some might call it the spiritual. This is the way in which we are all the same. All seven billion of us breathe air, eat, drink, sing, dance, create, love and die. We all share a planet where the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. We all share a capacity for kindness, beauty, freedom, serenity, peace, forgiveness…

The second is cultural. This is where we are all like some people. Think race, sexual orientation, language, political persuasion, food preferences. In my case, I share a cultural connection with white lesbians who speak English, vote Democratic and prefer salami to, well, just about everything. Those are my people.

The third is where we are like no one else. The talents I was born with, the times through which I have travelled, the people, places and things I have encountered all meld to make me a unique incarnation like none other. Never before and never again will there be a constellation exactly like me.

That’s the model. Simple, right? Obvious, right?

So, why is it helpful?

Because it’s a gentle, slap-upside-the-head reminder that since Mr. Trump foisted himself on the political scene, I’ve been living—almost exclusively—in that middle realm. I’ve been holed up in a cave with my people, assessing the enemy, poring over war plans. Us against the marauding hordes. If you dissect my brain, you’d probably find Mr. Trump in a smoking jacket, tweeting from a dark corner in my neocortex.

I want him evicted. I want my brain back. The infographic tells me there is more to life than politics. There is the spiritual and the personal.

But…the world is crumbling, there is too much work to do. How can I crawl into my comfy couch and meditate when my 60-year-old brother may soon lose his health insurance, when kids in West Virginia have nothing else to do but pop oxycontin, when Sesame Street might be de-funded, when the EPA may loose 30% of its funding?

I should be going to town halls, grabbing the microphone and demanding universal care. I’m supposed to bury the White House in postcards…join the fight at Standing Rock…send a birthday card to Ruth Bader Ginsberg…give money to protect the plover and sturgeon of the Great Lakes…deliver food to undocumented immigrants because they’re afraid to leave home and drive to the food bank. My inbox and social media feeds are bursting with people telling me I should call Washington to demand an independent investigation into Putin-gate…call my school district about transgender bathrooms…call my police department about ICE…call my MoC about the Muslim ban…

Heeeeeeeelp! Where’s the cave I can crawl into and hide?

I care about all of it but—truth be told—I hate the phone, dread public speaking, don’t believe postcards make a big enough difference and, as much as I’d like to, I can’t keep writing checks. 

I want to be a good citizen but what is my work to do?

I’ve emailed, faxed, sent postcards and made phone calls but only because people I respect told me to. I did it out of obligation, not an inner urge. But, in times like these, isn’t sacrifice required? Isn’t it supposed to be hard? Do the feeings behind the action matter? What is my job in the resistance?

* * * * *

A few days ago, I was sitting in my car
, scrolling through Instagram on my iPhone when I came across an ad for a t-shirt. Across the chest, in simple, white letters was written “Nevertheless, She Persisted”—a quote from Mitch McConnell in reference to Elizabeth Warren. Under the photo was a caption that read: 100% of proceeds are donated to Planned Parenthood. I was intrigued.

A few clicks later I learned that this company had sold 45,000 shirts and given away $375,000.


I felt a quickening.  

I dug deeper. The company offered on-demand printing. The website was crazy simple. Tons of options. All custom. Any quantity. No inventory required. They handle shipping.

A flush ran through me. My hands started tingling.

THIS I could do. I have something to say. I can write. I can design. I know how to market. I could design products grounded in spiritual principles, sell them online and give the profits away. Lots of profits. This was work that could use my skills, my talents, my entrepreneurial mindset. 

With a rush of energy, I dropped my phone and stared out the windshield. In a flash, I saw J Lo on the cover of People Magazine wearing one of my t-shirts. My products were burning up the internet. Non-profits were lined up outside my office to be among those receiving checks. Messages of spiritual empowerment were being celebrated across the country. A retail store deal was under discussion…

Nothing fuels the mind like a good fantasy.

Crazy, right? Ridiculous, right? Maybe, but….stay tuned.

* * * * *

The infographic is now taped to my computer, refrigerator and bathroom mirrora reminder that I will be of most use—be my most powerful—when I engage with the world, grounded in spiritual principles, brandishing the tools only I can offer.  

Three facets of life, in alignment—simultaneously. 

* * * * *

The concepts behind the infographic are based on Rev. Deborah Johnson’s sermon at Inner Light on Sunday, February 26th. If you’d like to hear it from the horse’s mouth, click here.

P.S. Just in case I launch an online store (don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know)…anyone have an in with J Lo?

  • Cathy Herself
    Posted at 18:56h, 19 March Reply

    Testing that the darn thing works.

    • gary laufman
      Posted at 07:58h, 20 March Reply

      Cathy for President !

  • Veronica
    Posted at 07:30h, 20 March Reply

    I read it and I liked it…no, I loved it! Make the damn tee shirts!

    • ckrizik
      Posted at 15:58h, 20 March Reply

      Thanks Veronica. I’ll make the damn t-shirts.

  • Renee
    Posted at 08:06h, 20 March Reply

    I’ll buy 10! Great piece!

  • CarOl
    Posted at 08:20h, 20 March Reply

    Thank you for sharing your wit and wisdom. Looking forward to future posts.

  • Camille
    Posted at 08:48h, 20 March Reply

    Again you express my thoughts. Thoughts I haven’t even shared. I want to do all those things–show up at every rally, donate to every email that asks (that’s at least 20 a day), write the letters, emails, and more. I’m doing what I can and after reading your message I think I’m okay. I always look forward to your messages of hope. Bring on the stuff!

  • Kent Krizik
    Posted at 09:17h, 20 March Reply

    Well that came together nicely!
    A great post and a great idea. Count me in!

  • Ellie Wilder
    Posted at 09:29h, 20 March Reply

    Bravo. Now please put in more buttons pointing to this comment box. And please make this text black. Other than that, it works well. Looking forward to seeing T-shirt designs that speak and contribute.

  • Kendra
    Posted at 10:09h, 20 March Reply

    I agree with the above comments. This newsletter is fantastic! Plus, I do this you should become a salami eating, t-shirt selling president. That sounds a lot like my kind of people! 🙂

  • Adina Pliskin
    Posted at 13:17h, 20 March Reply


  • Diane
    Posted at 13:18h, 20 March Reply

    Universal makes me think about walking thru life and smelling the roses. Looking at the big picture and sometimes being in awe of it all. This is the place we need to go when all the worry and craziness of life gets to us and can eventually cause depression. A renewal of sorts to give strength to head us in the right direction, make changes if necessary. Sounds like that is where you are at. An epiphany! Only you will know what is right for you and yes we are all unique in our own crazy ways. Do what makes Cathy happy and feel fulfilled. You are so talented and will be successful in whatever you do. Love the blog by the way! Whether I agree with it all or not it makes me stop and think from a different perspective. Good luck with whatever you do whether it is tee shirts or something else!

  • Siobhan Nash
    Posted at 14:54h, 20 March Reply

    Another terrific post, Cathy! The infographic and concept and simple yet powerful, and spot on. All the “shoulds” in recent weeks since the inauguration have felt overwhelming and heavy to me. To be successful, we each need to find our own unique way bringing the light and making a difference. Inspired actions based on our true selves is the only path to success. I love your inspiration t-shirt idea!

    P.S. I don’t know if you follow Rob Bell and listen to his podcast (The Robcast), but he did a series over the past month or so called In the Air where he addresses and provides some historical and biblical context around recent political events. I found the episodes not only interesting but also hopeful and comforting.

    • ckrizik
      Posted at 15:59h, 20 March Reply

      Shoulds are always exhausting…these are particularly bad. T-shirts are on the way….I’ve heard about Rob Bell but never actually heard him. Thanks!

  • Paldrom
    Posted at 17:20h, 21 March Reply

    Thank you Cathy.
    Your talent as a writer is so evident.

  • Sue Martin
    Posted at 18:27h, 22 March Reply

    You go girl! Love your energy. Thank you!!

  • Sharon Stearns
    Posted at 11:51h, 24 March Reply

    Read it, loved it! Keep moving forward Cathy! You have so much talent and use it so well. Love finding email from you in my in-box! Maybe you could use some of your photos as background for the t-shirts or put them on the back with the message on the front? Just a thought! Waiting for the next great installment! I’m such a fan!!!

  • Lisa
    Posted at 18:33h, 03 April Reply

    I know, I know how to make you LOTS AND LOTS of money selling unique tee-shirts!!! Start with a better made shirt!!! I have a drawer full of Ts I hardly wear. Why? A) The “unisex” sizes that are unashamedly made for boys with big shoulders and tiny hips. I am a girl with narrow shoulders and womanly hips. By the time I get the lower part to fit, the upper is swimming. OR B) They are “XL women’s tees” created for bizarrely shaped aliens with bust measurements of about 15 inches, waists of 10 inches and hips of 18 inches. Oh, and torsos that are about 48 inches long. OR C) They are “women’s tees” with so-called “cap sleeves” that do nothing to actually cover the arm but are REALLY good at bunching up in one’s armpits. OR D) Humongous images or pithy sayings that are distorted over my boobs and/or end over my crotch. I get a tad hinky at folks reading my shirt at vulvar level.
    I would love to wear t-shirts more often. But I look and feel so sloppy, sausage stuffed or downright uncomfortable in the most of them, that I’ve given up. CATHY, YOU CAN CHANGE THIS!
    Some ideas that may have the world beating a path to your t-shirt door: I) Find t-shirts proportioned for actual human shapes. I mean in addition to the 10 year old boy shape. II) Make the sleeves actual sleeves, not useless fabric pieces trying to split the difference between and a STRAP and a SLEEVE. Once that is settled, go wild with longer and shorter lengths that must QUALIFY as a sleeve (minimum design must have coverage of shoulder and no armpit gouging). III) Designs that stop above boob level and/or start below boob level. Place design elements on the sleeve or back or side instead.
    Do any of these things and I will gladly, gratefully, giddily buy your t-shirts and help support your causes!

  • Kosobud
    Posted at 08:16h, 01 October Reply

    Dear Mrs Krizik,

    I am writing to you concerning a piece of arable land situated in the vicinity of Stadlec, Czech Republic (see copy of the Land Registry Certificate attached – unfortunately in the Czech language only). The property currently has three owners (one of them being Jan Krizik; see highlighted in yellow in the Land Registry Certificate) each holding different share:
     Mr/Mrs Barta
     Jan Krizik
     Mr/Mrs Kosobud

    I am the son of Mr/Mrs Kosobud and my parents transferred all their properties on to me but for their share on this piece of land as it does not have one single owner. As far as I know inheritance proceedings related to Jan Krizik and concerning the property in question were not settled properly (my assumption is that it was all down to the fact that there are altogether 3 shareholders registered in the Land Registry). As I would like the property to have one definite proprietor, I want to fix this discrepancy and have an offer to make. I suggest that I buy Jan Krizik´s and Mr Barta´s share and my offer stands at CZK 100 ths. (USD 4 600 ths.) for all shares (i.e. USD 3 800 for your father´s share and USD 800 for Mr Barta´s share).

    I consider my bid fair, however, in case of doubts you can certainly get in touch with Mr Barta to discuss the same. If my offer does not meet your agreement then no-one will benefit from the situation because the land as such cannot be Ieased under the current circumstances. Should you prefer to keep Jan Krizik´s share and actually make use of the land, then another possibility for you would be to pay out my parents´ share who would subsequently give up their property rights.

    I have already met Mr Barta to discuss the issue and he is fully supportive of my suggestion to buy out his/your share. Should you be willing to sell your share, we would need to reopen the inheritance proceedings. For that reason I would need Jan Krizik´s death certificate (incl. information where and when was he buried) and your/your brother´s agreements to reopen inheritance proceedings. You can take for granted that I will cover all the relevant costs concerning this issue incl. expenditures for services of notary/attorney.

    Please do let me know your point of view towards this matter. I am very much looking forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards

    Martin Kosobud

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