Staying soft vs Tightening

“Tightness erodes clarity. Tightness reduces expansion. Tightness broadens fear, scarcity, and the feeling of being powerless. Tightness keeps me wound in my own Small Self, forgetting entirely about everything that exists beyond the tightness. Tightness looks like turning away from reality. It looks like worst-case-scenario, all-or-nothing thinking. It looks like ‘What if this doesn’t go the way I want it to?’ and ‘I don’t think I can handle this’ — like worry embodied. It looks like self-doubt and rumination, catastrophizing and smallness. It looks like forgetting about my body and only listening to my brain.”
Stay Soft, Lisa Oliver

(via Jocelyn)

Patience

“Patience, I believe, is a core competency of a healthy civilization.”
Stewart Brand

Connection on A Global Scale

Deeply moved by this thorough and generous article on the magic of CreativeMornings, my biggest labor of love.

In case you’re not familiar with CreativeMornings: It’s the world’s largest face-to-face creative community. You can attend events in 225 cities every month or tune into our free digital FieldTrips (aka workshops) online.

Something Worth Noticing

“The body of work you’re creating adds up over time. The consistency and empathy of your vision will seep through. Drip by drip, you’ll create something worth noticing.”
Crickets by Seth Godin

Audience Capture

“Audience capture is an irresistible force in the world of influencing, because it’s not just a conscious process but also an unconscious one. While it may ostensibly appear to be a simple case of influencers making a business decision to create more of the content they believe audiences want, and then being incentivized by engagement numbers to remain in this niche forever, it’s actually deeper than that. It involves the gradual and unwitting replacement of a person’s identity with one custom-made for the audience.”

The Perils of Audience Capture, by Gurwinder

(via Bailey)

The American Scam

“Everyone knows how productive you can be when you’re avoiding something. We are currently experiencing the civilizational equivalent of that anxiety you feel when you have something due the next day that you haven’t even started thinking about and yet still you sit there, helplessly watching whole seasons of mediocre TV or compulsively clicking through quintillions of memes even as your brain screams at you — the same way we scream at our politicians about guns and abortion and climate change — to do something.”

It’s Time to Stop Living the American Scam, by Tim Kreider

Color and Coffee

A lovely piece on colors of coffee and Tiramisu.

What Makes People Look Like Their Pets?

Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty

This article on What Makes People Look Like Their Pets? by Jesse Bering made me chuckle.

CreativeMornings on Oprah

My heart is overflowing with all of the feelings: The story of CreativeMornings is featured in an article on Oprah today.

Thank you Jon Levy for generously writing an entire chapter about us in your book You’re Invited.

You can read the article here.

I will now go and cry and dance in my living room and send oodles of gratitude to our global volunteer community for making this happen.

How to Use ProRAW on Your iPhone 12 Pro

“Serious iPhone photographers have been able to shoot in RAW for some time via third-party apps like Halide. But what makes the new ProRAW feature special is that you don’t need to use another camera app—ProRAW images can be captured in the iPhone’s native camera app. More importantly, it utilizes all of Apple’s advanced computational photography features built into the iPhone.

How to Use ProRAW on Your iPhone 12 Pro

Yoann Bourgeois

I am in awe of Yoann Bourgeois’s ability to create magic through dance.

Close Friendships

This article on how many close friendships one can maintain just made me block out time on my calendar today to map out my friends. What an excellent and thought provoking read.

These two facts made me perk up:

“Falling in love will cost you two friendships.” and “It takes about 200 hours of investment in the space of a few months to move a stranger into being a good friend.”

(via my friend Casper who shares the best stuff on Twitter)

The Zodiac Man

I am wildly fascinated by this graphic, found in an article called The Zodiac Man.

Image credits: A woodcut recreation of an image by A. G. de Brocar, 1495, in Johannes de Ketham’s Libro de medicina (1517).

“Work From Near Home”

“Many workers won’t be returning to an office anytime soon, but having them relocate their efforts entirely to their homes for the long run might be unexpectedly misery-inducing and unproductive. We need to consider a third option for our current moment, and if we look to authors for inspiration then one such alternative emerges: work from near home.”

What if remote work didn’t mean working form home? by Cal Newport

There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. And it might be the dominant emotion of 2021.”

This article by Adam Grant!

Arbitrary Stupid Goal

A goal that isn’t too important makes you live in the moment, and still gives you a driving force. This driving force is a way to get around the fact that we will all die and there is no real point to life.

But with the ASG there is a point. It is not such an important point that you postpone joy to achieve it. It is just a decoy point that keeps you bobbing along, allowing you to find ecstacy in the small things, the unexpected, and the everyday.

What happens when you reach the stupid goal? Then what? You just find a new ASG.

– Tamara Shopsin

Seen here: Something to look forward to, by Austin Kleon

Success at School vs. Success in Life

Read the article that goes with the above video here.

With a Spirit of Generosity

“Generosity sometimes involves personal sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice that feels different than cheap dental floss. “Generous generosity” can actually move us more toward embracing uncertainty. If having, or keeping, what is “mine” creates a sense of certainty, then giving it away involves sacrificing that security at some level. And “mine” can extend beyond money or stuff. What about “my” time? “My” plans? “My” life? If I give it away, will my own needs be met? At the most basic level, giving is an act of deep-rooted trust. It is an energy that directly combats a spirit of scarcity.

Someone once said that it is not “whether you have it” but “how you have it.” Do we hold it in such a way that we are willing to part with it? It seems that our level of detachment often informs our level of generosity. But it is not an exact science. In other words, generosity is not a line item in our budget for which we write a calculated check each month (although that’s a good place to start). Rather, heart filled giving is really quite fluid and requires an ongoing spirit of awareness. In our humanity, we do it imperfectly, but we hope others are generous with us when we miss the mark.”

With a Spirit of Generosity, by Jen MacNab

Ethel Smyth

Beautiful Read: Dignity, Daring, and Disability: The pioneering queer composer and defiant genius Ethel Smyth on making music while going deaf. Thank you Maria!

“Jootsing”: The Key to Creativity

As individuals, if we want to be creative, we need to give ourselves space to play and experiment without a set agenda. Amos Tversky famously said that the secret to doing good work is being a little unemployed so you always have hours in the day to waste as you wish. During that wasted time, you’ll likely have your best, most creative ideas.

“Jootsing”: The Key to Creativity

5-Step Road Map For Saying No

1. Remind yourself that time is valuable and once it’s spent you absolutely can’t get it back.

2. Ask yourself: “Would I be willing to do this thing tomorrow?” It’s easy to sign yourself up for something in April when it’s only September. Do your future self a favor and try this little exercise.

3. Respond quickly. Don’t leave people hanging once you know you’re saying no.

4. Own your “no” if it’s not a priority (because something else actively is): “Thanks so much for thinking of me. I’m not going to be able to take this on, but I wish you the best with X.”

5. Reframe your “no” to assuage your guilt (if it’s something you genuinely wish you had time for). Acknowledge that this commitment is significant to you, even if you’re not taking it on. A good sample script: “This is so important that it deserves someone’s full energy, and since I can’t do that because I have XYZ other things, I would be dishonoring the importance of this event/role/weekend getaway by saying yes.”

5-Step Road Map For Saying No

(via Recomendo)

Awkward

“Social skills are like any other kind of ability in that they require practice.” Smith writes in the latest edition of her newsletter, Inside Your Head. “And by this point in the pandemic, starved of normal, everyday social interactions — running into an acquaintance on the street, sharing an elevator with a co-worker, or making small talk with a barista — most of us are pretty rusty.”

We’ve already gotten kind of awkward. But over the next few months, with even fewer chances to practice being social in person, we’re all about to get super awkward.

We’re All About to Get a Lot More Awkward

5 Levels of Communication

Level 1: Ritual
Level 2: Extended Ritual
Level 3: Content (or Surface)
Level 4: Feelings About Content
Level 5: Feelings About Each Other

Interesting read: Richard Francisco’s Five Levels of Communication maps out a series of “levels” that represent increasing degrees of difficulty, risk, and potential learning in our interactions.

Water Has Three States

“Water has three states, but you know, not really only three—clouds, fogs, mist, rain, and many others. A rainbow is related to water. Our bodies are 70% water, and our planet is also 70% water on the surface. We’re almost like a puddle of water. As you know, those different states of water can look very beautiful, but sometimes they can be very violent, like a tsunami.”
– Ryuichi Sakamoto