10 principles of a Good Life

Life is a complex and mysterious journey we explore together. Here are a few principles I've discovered to help guide and illuminate along the way:

1. Always Take the Braver Path

Chase your fears. Dance with the things that cause your heart to tremble. You will never regret doing the braver thing.

2. Whole-Ass Everything and Try to Stay Whelmed

So often we are in excess or deficit of stimulation that the mere state of being perfectly, adequately whelmed, strikes as mildly absurd. So averse are we to admitting to trying our best that we are more comfortable (proud even) with"Half-Assing" than putting forth our full effort.

3. Never Stop Seeking Adventure

So committed I am to the exploration of unknown territory that I wrote it into my marriage vows. Adventure does not have to mean skydiving or mountain climbing. I believe in pursuing the unknown. I believe life is for discovery. 

4. Continually Self-Improve

Never let yourself believe in the mistaken idea that you are a finished product. You are never done until you are dead. 

5. Put Your Oxygen Mask on First

Believe in the airplane wisdom: you cannot help others until you've seen to your own health and well-being.

6. Be Your Whole Authentic Self

Live with honesty and authenticity to find your tribe.

7. Share Your Light

Cultivate your inner light and let it shine. 

8. Forgive Yourself. Forgive Others

You've got to fail so you can succeed and we are all failing all the time. There is nothing to be gained from perfected stagnation.

9. Hold No Blame. Hold No Regret.

You may feel regret. You may feel blame.  Do not hold them for too long. Let them pass swiftly.

10. Align with Love. Lead With Curiosity.

Let your actions be guided with love and driven by curiosity.

6 Working Definitions of "I"

Who are you? How do you know?

I spend an exceptional amount of time ruminating on identity. I often wonder where do I end and where does the world begin? Maybe everyone else has got this figured out already. Maybe they don’t see it as a big deal. But I can’t seem to wrap my mind around it and I see it as one of the most important questions of existence. By what criteria is something “me”? I’ve got a couple of working definitions but they all break down somewhere.

 "I and I (also spelled I&I, InI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. 'I and I' as being the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. I and I means that God is within all men."

"I and I (also spelled I&I, InI, or Ihi yahnh Ihi) is a complex term, referring to the oneness of Jah (God) and every human. Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: "I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness. 'I and I' as being the oneness of two persons. So God is within all of us and we're one people in fact. I and I means that God is within all men."

6 Working Definitions of "I"

 

Definition 1: I am the living cells in my body.

Implications: Am I not my hair? Am I not the space inside my lungs? Does my skin cease being me the moment I scratch an itch?

 

Definition 2: I am that which I can directly control with my mind.

Implications: I can directly control things that I hold. Some people cannot directly control their bodies. Tools, machines and thought controlled devices allow us to control anything with our mind.

 

Definition 3: I am that which was made from my DNA.

Implications: Clones, twins, children, donated organs.

 

Definition 4: I am my mind.

Implications: I am not my body. I am the energy that flows through my nervous system

 

Definition 5: I am everything.

Implications: We are all one. That which you cannot effect is like a limb you have not learned to control. Connection through communication and empathy. 

 

Definition 6: I am that which I make the conscious decision to be.

Implications: I can be anyone or anything that I choose to be at any given moment as it suits my needs or desires. I can attach "I-ness" to any machine or tool, any object, human, or living thing that I understand well enough to effect.

 

Which definitions resonate the most with you? Do you have your own? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

The Creation of Atom

I have been obsessed with creation myths since I was a child. Imagining how we came to be felt like a secret subversion of power. My stories were equally valid as any of the ones I had been told by adults. The more science I would tie in, the more valid my theories felt. We can all imagine and we can all create. The very fact that we are human endows us with the power to create and that makes us incredibly powerful. The Creation of Atom celebrates and explores the idea of creation and imagination.

 

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(It's not really) About You

That's what they call the section. But surely thats not what it really is. Not anymore. Up until around a year ago, Facebook considered the "About You" portion of your profile important enough to display, you know, on the About page. But these days, that little pocket of text has been relegated to near obscurity. Go ahead, try to find it. I'll wait.

Yes, that bastion of a place where you are defined not by a list of stats, but by the words that you have chosen for yourself has been relegated to not one, not two, but 3 clicks and 2 full page scrolls down the page. Once upon a time, those words held a more prominent location. Right alongside things like... notes. Remember those?

These days, freeform writing has taken a backseat to data. I'm not here to bash Facebook and I do see the value of data. But we have lost something to this method and we feel its effect every time we meet another human.

"Whats your name?" 

"What do you do?" 

"Where are you from?"

I don't know. I guess I'd like to learn a little more About You than that.

 

Feedback Loop

I am a positive feedback loop and an incurable optimist. I take in energy from others and send it back out with my own positive spin. When I spend time with the right people, anything is possible. I will never know where the world stops and I begin.

 

 We output our inputs and input our outputs.

We output our inputs and input our outputs.

The Blissful Surrender

Yogis know a little something that others do not. I like to call this the Moment of Blissful Surrender.

There is a point in every real stretch when you've hit your limit and you feel you can go no further. Your muscles begin to shake and your mind closes to the pain. At this point, you can either end the stretch, or, you can take –

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A deep breath. Close your eyes. Relax.

Accept the discomfort and exhale into the Blissful Surrender. You will find that you can press further than you ever believed possible. Your body will melt and accept the position it has been placed in.

We do this all the time. In life, we find ourselves in positions where we feel we have been pushed to our limit. I assure you, we have not. We haven't even taken a breath.

 

Behind your mask

I think a lot about empathy.  It is something that I believe is not only good for the soul but also allows us to better serve our clients. Often, we find ourselves creating boundaries between us and others. Our masks seem so different. Maybe we're even very different at a deeper level. But designing experiences for others requires trying on their mask. And in order to do that, we must identify and remove our own

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Weekly Wisdom #4

An answer cuts off future potentials. It ends a path. You wonder what color to paint the bedroom. Could be anything. Blue. Now the potential has ended. There of course need to be answers. Just as all things must die. But the perspective shift lies in seeing uncertainty as not just a part of but life itself.

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