Write Every Day
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”
Maybe. Right? Left?
It is a strange balance, stay in motion forward and make decisions that change your direction, significantly. It is recognizing opportunities to Think Slow vs Think Fast, as discussed by Daniel Kahnman. When are we on automatic and do not have to think, time to let the dogs out; and when do we need to consider what our choices are, looking at their diets more intentionally and deciding between raw and kibble and dehydrated raw dog food. It seems easy with dogs.
What about our lives and our careers? Where we invest our time, thought and energy? Is this an obvious choice for you or me?
The current path has been reasonably straight with some precarious cliffs. I’m practicing and polishing old skills and learning new skills to remind myself how I learn and what I am interested in and experience what we can do with technology today. More on that coming, for now, I’m walking the path intentionally, ready for a fork in the road.
It is o.k to quit. Say it with me people!!!
IT IS O.K TO QUIT.
As someone who has had a lot of hobbies and jobs, it is so important for me to remind myself that it is ok to be a quitter. Alcoholics? Right?
Somehow it became an American trait to “Never Quit,” something between endurance and stamina. It might be based in job security from generations past when there might only be 1 or 2 jobs in a Town. Maybe it is related to how long it takes to attain mastery and maximize the capitalist system based in that knowledge, experience and skills. The mind also wants to quit way to early, for all of us.
There is a difference between my Peloton ride or hike, where I never quit; and, continuing to do something we know is done. For some people it is a personal or business relationship and for others it is collecting a type of ceramics or an animal like birds. It is ok to stop, and start doing something new. Seriously, I tell myself this in my hobbies, my hikes and even my cycle rides. We need reminders!
“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” Dolly Parton
Why is it so important to stop or clear out the old? We literally need space for the new. Maybe it is headspace or it might be actual workspace. We all need room to change our minds and grow.
The picture above is a short way up to Angels Landing, after navigating some chains we stopped and looked across the precarious ledge and steep cliff, dotted with people going up and coming down. I took a deep breath and leaned back against the wall, everything swayed and came in and out of depth perception, focus. I knew I did not want to go any further and I also didn’t want to disappoint my hiking mate, my daughter. As we sat there negotiating, I slowly caved in and admitted I’d prefer to take a different hike.
We went back down and took a different path, higher and further, with strangely treacherous hairpin turns up and down switchbacks. As we reached the bottom, the last switchback before the easy canyon walk, I saw a hiker waiting for help at the bottom of a ravine, busted up and bleeding, beyond my help. We hiked down, passing a ranger rescue team on the way up to help. Slow down, think through important decisions and know that it is ok to change your mind.
I took it as a sign to be careful everywhere in nature, I also knew the mountains were letting me know I got lucky.
Also, sometimes when you change your mind and hike for another 7 hours you are rewarded with an epic sunset over Zion Canyon. In case I forget, remind me to change my mind!
I rarely get excited to take night photos, the challenge of holding still, o.k, being prepared with a tripod, timer and a dark sky, all take a lot of coordinating. My old iPhone is taking amazing sky photos at night.
Zion at night, was cold and dark, the sky was filled with stars. The canyon walls dark, rising and falling in their own natural space.
There are some many sensors working together on our devices, capturing more information than we know and creating opportunities for us to share what our imaginations experience.
This photo at Zion, shot in seconds, reminds me technology is evolving faster than the previously conceived limitations of hardware, and human intelligence. I have to believe, and dream while working with new technology and classic techniques, stay curious and in the experiment.
Part of this road trip was to gather some sparks of light and enjoy random creativity.
There is always process involved in every project, and experimentation is too easily dismissed as a side track or a waste of time when we know what needs to happen. Adding experimentation into everything changes our end result, creates the possibility of new and previously unimaginable opportunities.
We all have the tools to create what we see and hear, and I am totally upgrading my iPhone immediately!
This is one of my local Churches, a small grove of Redwood trees at the edge of the Town of San Anselmo.
All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.
Edgar Allan Poe
I get excited when we talk about imagination, anxious when we discuss organized religion and lost when we use poetry to communicate.
In a World controlled by GPS and Sattelite Technology, do your best to get lost. Even if that requires reading some poetry, listening to some songs. Most days, that is the only way to get lost, and find ourselves.
Today, everybody needs project management skills and the ability to work independently and in a group. This is obvious.
Generative A.I is enabling everyone to become a creator, to make content within the rules. If you aren’t a writer, definitely use a program to help you with your words. The tools make us stronger and able to do more.
And, you still have to have a religious experience for your self.
I mean, visiting the Redwoods and listening, looking, asking the questions gently; this is the poetry we know in our bodies and hearts to be true. It isn’t about ChatGPT writing a poem in the style of Emerson for us, it is about us getting out to the trees and feeling the poetry in motion, and stillness.
You Are A Creator.
I’m doing a lot of baking these days. Today was about cleaning storage supplies, picking up flour and getting a little more organized.
I want to grow, today was about defining the space I want to fill. Making progress, I’ve got room to grow.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is – infinite.” William Blake
There are Redwood trees at my local park, Robson Harrington, it is easy to pass by them, indulging in their shade and resting on a picnic table while dogs chase balls and gardeners trim the moldy aftermath of Summer.
Slow Down, Breathe Deeply, Expand Your Perspective.
Like addiction, Excessive Compulsive Disorder is either a tool in our belt or it is a crippling weakness. Currently, I am deep in the gluten.
With 3 types of bread all over the kitchen on Friday morning, I placed my order for 2 breads for Saturday morning pick-up at Ponsford’s. This is how ECD works. As I am making Spelt Challah for the first time, I have to get one of Craig’s Spelt Breads and know what the gold standard is. Resistance is futile.
Wait, what? Yes, only Saturday. That’s the only day you can get bread at Ponsford’s. It is an extravagant indulgence to get so much bread, I remind myself to stick with the vegan breads and avoid the decadent croissants and danishes. This is the compromise.
I am very careful with my ECD, when I allow myself to be swept into a hobby, or aspect of my life, especially as I age. Everything we do is connected. I can eat unlimited bread and carbs, as long as they are vegan, the fats have to be from vegetables. If I listened to Crosby, Stills and Nash, they’d probably say we have to have rules we can live with.
Autumn is here, while you are waiting in line at Ponsford’s, the bread man reminds me to be creative and experiment, whether it is with Generative AI or Connected Devices or baking focaccia or making a poolish for pizza dough; the arts encourage us to learn, apply discipline and break rules at the same time.
Note: I am eating “most” of the bread I am making, to encourage me to improve. I am framing this as a reward in my head. Right?
Marketing basics remind me to be predictable: tell people what you are going to do, tell people what you are doing, and tell people what you did.
One of my hobbies is baking these days and I am working on pizza and focaccia weekly.
I’m a little light on the salt and very light on the oil, the dryer bread is healthier in my mind as I am eating all of the bread I make. Right? This is the incentive to make better bread. Ideally it will get good enough that I will share it. This week? I am eating a lot of o.k focaccia!
Like most of my hobbies, I started doing this because I want something, to live healthier. Literally nobody believes eating pizza will make you healthier, unless it’s your favorite food, you know, the one you are taking to the island and living forever with?
And by the way, I want it vegan!
So, I’m practicing and learning what happens as the parameters change, what the rules are and how they work. Intentionally finding limited success. I’m getting closer, to something.
In the spirit of progress, and improving with consistent practice over time, this focaccia is really a metaphor for my daily life, goals and maybe even California and America. This focaccia needs more water. I need to drink water before I ride the Peloton and even as we head into an El Niño Winter, we have water shortages in our State and as an aging population kidney stones from lack of water. Whew. Maybe just make another batch next week and feed the dough a little more?
And drink more water.
One of the the keys to success in having healthy skin and muscles is a balance of hydration.
We grow better with water.
I visualize my body as a filter, with a pressure based structure to care for my brain. The food and water that nourishes growth and processing is balanced with the joy and experience of living.
Do The Work. Every Day. Improve.
The story is as old as the bible, maybe, I didn’t want to go, resisted, and had the best time. Yeah, I’m talking about the ride I took this morning on the Peloton through Provenance, France, in the garage.
Beyond the desire to get away, I mean travel, I’ve been doing the scenic timed rides that are self led. During the warm-up I lay out my training blocks for the ride, and sweat. I’ve been into the slow burn cool down for the last 10 minutes dropping the resistance one notch per minute and keeping the cadence up. Finishing is easy, how do we start?
I’ve got 3 Pro-Tips to share:
- Set out my clothes for the ride before I go to bed, get the prep done hours before you will workout.
- Ride Early. For real, even if that means getting up earlier. Getting your workout in before the day starts is key.
- Praise Your Self. Seriously, Acknowledge and Encourage your activity on the bike, “YES, WE are in for a FAST FUN ride this morning!” I’m encouraging you to speak poistively to the room and include yourself in, hear the support. You will get more out of the ride and start to create the reality you want.
Daily exercise is key to thriving through change, doing the work and growing intentionally.
The latest Apple update included some mood logging software, which I immediately implemented, the more data the better, especially subjective data that I add. The early results are obvious, I feel better and more confident after exercising.
You don’t have to believe me, do your own experiment. Try getting up 30 minutes to an hour earlier every day for a week and doing your workout first thing in the morning. See what the data shows you.
If you want to experience change in your life, whether it is personal or business, tighten up your daily routines around fitness and health, these are the keys to shifting smoothly. Yoga, meditation, hiking, spinning, lifting weights; these are all great tools to support our growth in the other parts of our lives.
PS – My daily routine includes spinning or hiking and 20 minutes of pilates core to strengthen and support my back. I roll out my muscles regularly and include light yoga. Every other day, light weight lifting for 15 minutes. Do the physical, so the mind is free to work.
‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Suess
I am deep in it. Every 2 weeks through the end of the year, evolving Big Daddy’s Spicy Nuts. I’m mostly working with cashews and almonds as the base nuts to get the heat right and the balance of agave and chipotle. Each batch is an opportunity to tune into the details and improve part of the process. As I am mixing the ingredients, I think about the flow of the sticky syrup, the color of the spices as they blend into a rich dark undertow of heat slowly building into a cool wave of sweat on the back of your neck just below the hairline.
I make extra nuts so I have random jars and containers to pass out to my people. The end of the year brings every stress and trauma to a zoom meeting with every project that has to finish by the 31st, and nothing happens after the 19th; and here I am roasting nuts and encouraging all of us to slow down and enjoy the next few weeks. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and get some of Big Daddy’s Spicy Nuts.
Historian + Catalyst = Growth