Like a small boat on the ocean • Sending big waves into motion • A single word can make a heart open
I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion


The video embedded above is from The Piano Guys and their mashup of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” with the old hymn, Amazing Grace. It’s absolutely beautiful, but the bagpipes at the end are what slay me every time! You can hit play and then listen while you read! The “Piano Guys” said this:

When we first heard Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” we were inspired by its message. In a world where we too often talk about our differences, we have at least one thing in common. We all struggle. Not in the same way, nor at the same level, but we all want a fighting chance. And we all share in one gift: The will to make the most of our lives. To take what we’ve been given and turn it into something better could be considered the sentient measuring stick of success. But to do so seldom is simple and more often requires we fight. Not against each other. But against the current threatening to drown the ambition in us.

There is tremendous purpose in struggle. It is when the struggle becomes so fierce that we must fight to swim or sink. John Newton, who penned “Amazing Grace,” worked on a slave trader ship and condoned inhuman atrocities. It was when his ship was on the verge of being torn apart in a violent storm when he called out for Grace. When his feet were once again planted on firm soil he determined to change. His covenant was written into these words, “I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind, but now I see.”

Grace is the defining moment when we face and fight a monster poised to define us or destroy us.

I’m personally a bit obsessed with music, cadence, authenticity (as it relates to music, not when it’s used as the buzz word for personal branding) and melody. Interestingly enough, there is a grace note in music. Grace notes are an ornamental add-on to a note that then gets held longer and more attention. To hear what a grace note sounds like, Kainoa shares a tutorial. The Piano Guys also have this to say about grace and music:

For the Fight Song / Amazing Grace mashup, we chose the Scottish culture to depict the dichotomy between grace and struggle. Who else is tough enough and yet delicate enough to don a kilt in battle? And the Scottish pipe and drum are the ultimate conveyors of melody and cadence. One represents grace, the other the indomitable fight.

Is grace just for religion?

I personally have always associated the word grace with faith. Grace with church pews. Grace with religion. The more I learn about myself, about humanity and struggle, I realize that for me grace isn’t just about religion. I believe it has everything to do with our own internal power and the way that we stretch our muscles, but then also how we choose to then sit in stillness – to allow the rest of the work to be done.

Grace Finds a Home OprahI’ve always said that I don’t fully subscribe to the “woo woo” because it’s always felt to me that there’s not enough Do Do added to it. Absolutely, there is power in speaking your intentions out loud, and “putting it out into the universe” but there’s also a lot of power attached to the physical act of doing.  I want to learn more about how grace shows up and I desire to learn how to show up every day to fight but simultaneously also allow grace to come alongside me to wield its power at the same time. I have always been a doer. A fighter. Injustice fuels my actions often. As I choose to define the word, grace is the simple refinement of movement and effort, a quality of being consistently considerate, thankful and moving about with ease.

Choosing a word of the year

In years past, I’ve chosen ONE word for each year and let it define and shape my actions, choices and how I show up in the world. Last year, I chose the word Disrupt for 2017 and then broke it down into four main focuses. What a year 2017 was. Disruption was injected into almost EVERY facet of my life: my international community, our family with unemployment and another move, in my own personal relationships, and some scary health issues for our extended family. 2017 felt a bit heavy, a bit intense and was a lot of constant work.

When I started researching words for 2018, I intentionally wanted to sit a bit more with softness, gentleness and a renewed focus on myself and my nucleus of our immediate family. I came up with a long list of words. Some described traits I want to see more of in my life. Other words helped to define a type of lifestyle I want to realize for the future. Then there were some words that just landed powerfully. I wrote them all down and looked at them throughout my days for several weeks. I researched all of the definitions and one by one, crossed most of them out.

Grace was a word that kept reappearing to me in different forms and across many different channels. But it wasn’t quite the right fit. I shared my final three words on Instagram and Nilofer pitched in her thoughts and it got me really thinking!

Nilofer Merchant Onlyness



Nilofer Merchant Onlyness

Nilofer Merchant is the author of what is now one of my all-time favorite books. She released The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent The World earlier this year and it is powerful.

She says:

Onlyness: your signature concoction of what matters to you, gives you clarity of purpose and enables you to focus on what matters. That is your path forward.

You’ll have to read the book, but here are some of my favorite nuggets:

  • Onlyness is driven by horizontal perspective (your ability to connect to those with common interests).
  • To crack the code of acceptance and belonging – the most fundamental of human psychological needs – you’ll naturally suppress the qualities that sets you apart.
  • Remaining silent means you never have the opportunity to join and support something you believe in.
  • To find “your people” you have to both signal your passions and interests, AND seek out theirs.
  • The former style of leadership was to hold an idea tightly behind a closed fist. New leadership is that idea on an open palm – which allows others to pick it up as if it were their own. The leader asks the questions, the followers joiners help the whole to arrive at the answer.
  • While it is possible to be a rebel without being a leader, you can rarely be a leader who achieves a dent without also being a rebel.

For most of us, we just want to feel heard – that’s what matters. It changes the very quality of our life. It changes whether or not we’re being witnessed in the world, or whether we matter to someone else. MY personal onlyness is a mashup of my journey and my passions. I am the only one who can make a dent in community building the way I am equipped. I am the only one who can bring people together, in ways shaped by the experiences I have had. I am the only one who has learned through cultural, racial and generational rules that now allow me to advocate for a better world. I am the only one who can create a trust bridge (*) in the explicit and very unique way that I can.

* A trust bridge is a person who acts as a connector, advocating for rules and norms, and creating the magnetic bonds that hold otherwise disparate pieces together. A trust bridge enables you to manage people you don’t see and don’t control. Because you have the cultural norms and related systems in place to let people help on another, you can allow others to take on more – to commission them. When someone’s capacity is wisely aligned with what they are commissioned to do, there’s a good chance you can trust them to take responsibility. Trust is an enabler AND a moderator.

An Onlyness Credo, from Nilofer Merchant

We must honor our journey, signal our passions and seek our allies.

We must give ourselves permission to have an original idea, even when no one else is advocating for it.

We’re going to have to honor the onlyness of ALL people we meet along the way – especially when we disagree with them.

We must reframe the questions people pose, and change the conversation to find new ways through.

We must learn how to lean on one another to build trust and scale our ideas.

We must learn how to galvanize those who might not experience what we know to be true by showing them value.

We must engage people to work with us, not by telling them the answers but by pointing toward a new horizon.

Onlyness … with a side note of Grace.

As 2018 barrels down on us, I’m embracing Onlyness as my guide and direction for the coming year. I still feel that grace has a place in my coming year, and when I recall the beauty of a grace note and what it can bring to a piece of music, I have decided to let grace be the add-on to my onlyness.

To again determine a more intense focus on particular areas of my life or businesses, I’ve chosen three additional words. Instead of quarters, I’m segmenting 2018 into three acts, three seasons. I’ll write more about those focuses as each season approaches, but in case you’re curious:

Season °1 // January – April: Hygge (HUE-gah)

  • simplicity and graciousness
  • identifying and creating rituals
  • contentment and enjoyment

Season °2 // May – August: Lagom (LAW-gum)

  • perfectly adequate and sufficient
  • just about enough and not too much
  • “sip your share”

Season °3 // September – December: Sophrosyne (suh-FRAHS-uh-nee)

  • excellence of character
  • soundness of mind
  • moderation and prudence

Onlyness with a Side Note of Grace is my Spotify playlist that I’ll be listening to (and adding to) all year long! I love having music to act as my anthem and these songs really provide meaning. If you have songs I should add, let me know!


Do you choose a word of the year? If you do, tell me in the comments what it is. I’d love to follow along your journey in 2018!

On Seizures and Fighting Fear

Everyone says that the best way to start fighting fear is to learn about the thing that you most fear. Chris Brogan talks quite a bit about it in his book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth and these are some pretty amazing quotes as well: 

[Tweet “Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid? That is the only time.” George R.R. Martin #fiercefocused”]

[Tweet “Knowing what must be done does away with fear. Rosa Parks #fiercefocused”]


Face your Fears

The concept about learning more about that which you fear made absolutely NO sense to me. At least, it didn’t until our dog started having seizures. We adopted him, literally from the street, when he was just a baby (about 8 weeks old) and he quickly became a beloved member of our family. Not one that most would choose, even his breed name meant “lowest of the low”, but he was truly loyal, energetic and adored by everyone who met him.

The first time I got a phone call, I was instantly in a state of panic. He was at the enrichment class we call doggy daycare and one of the staff told me as I drove that she wasn’t sure what happened, but he apparently had a seizure, and it was long enough that she had to physically lay with him on the floor until it stopped, a very long two minutes later. 

I am not sure whether he had any previously or how many more he had since then – out of my presence – but the first one I witnessed was horrifying.

read the rest of this piece

Top Twenty Podcasts you should be listening to

Podcasts are “where it’s at” when it comes to the best way to be productive these days. I have listened to MANY podcasts and have narrowed it down to my top top favorites to share with you today.

Top Podcasts Naomi Hattaway

You can listen to them while you’re running (MUCH better than the hyped up playlist of BPM over 120) or while waiting in the car pickup line at school. You can stick one earpiece in while grocery shopping and laugh in the produce aisle, much to the other shoppers’ chagrin, or simply tune out while eating your lunch or while you get ready for bed.

I give you, the top twenty podcasts you should be listening to:
What'Cha Growin Podcast with
What’cha Growing with Gayle Trail

Graham Norton BBC Radio

Conversations with Richard Fidler

Satellite Sisters News Talk and Laughs

Satellite Sisters

Chris Brogan and The Owner's Mind

The Owners Magazine with Chris Brogan

Freakonomics Radi

Freakonomics Radio 

Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields

Good Life Project by Jonathan Fields

Accidental Creative

The Accidental Creative

This American Life

This American Life

Seth Godin Start Up School

Startup School by Seth Godin


How she really does it


Wait!  That’s only THIRTEEN!  Where’s the rest?  That’s where YOU come in!

What is YOUR favorite podcast? Let me know in the comments and we’ll create an even longer list of the top podcasts of 2014!

Virtual Happy Hour and Mango Margaritas

I am SUCH a crazy mad woman when it comes to community. It really should be my middle name. Although “Naomi Community Hattaway” wouldn’t roll off the tongue very well. Anyway.

At lunch recently with the Husb, I told him that our new goal in life should be to find friends that we can grow old with. We have loads of amazing friends sprinkled all over the world, but I mean ones that we can go have mango margaritas with at lunch when we are 75 (true story from today at Red Lobster. I should have taken a picture of this crew … they were precious!) or meet up for the matinee showing of the latest movie when we are 90.

I miss after-school happy hour with my girlfriends in Delhi and Singapore … and miss my Binkies & Beer with the ladies in Ohio (not to mention coffee mornings and Dinner Delivered with the other mamas) … and don’t get me started on my small tribe here in Orlando that is always up for gettin’ into some kind of trouble.

My online tribe is gaining traction though and pulling up the rear with a strong “we’re here too!” and I’m so excited to be participating in a Virtual Happy Hour and Mango Margaritas with Regina of By Regina and Maru of FashionyFab. Those that are participating are sharing some tips via video, pouring a cocktail, and then watching the other videos. I’ll have red wine, please?

Each month features a new topic and I’ve chosen this one:

Virtual Happy Hour with By Regina


Now … this is the SECOND video I’ve done for the blog and while it’s not perfect, it is pretty authentic AND super streamlined as I did it in one take. Also? What’s up with the time lag on the audio and the video? Weird. Anyway, take me as I am, friends, stuttering over words and looking off-camera WAY too much! I give you, “Five easy ways to get our blog ‘show ready'”

Virtual Happy Hour from Naomi Hattaway on Vimeo.

What do you think? Next month, I wont’ be rushed and will try to use less “ums” and definitely won’t get up halfway through to adjust my clothing (awkward?)

(bonus points for noticing my awesome foreign coin jewelry … blog post coming up about those!)

Check out our hosts’ blogs for some great stuff : Regina from By Regina and Maru from Fashiony Fab and the other two gals participating, Brooke and Jennifer 


Do you have any tips for getting show ready, whether it’s a house on the market or a blog?