It’s mid-January. How are those resolutions coming along? Are you still feeling...resolved?
True story. I was in Baja at the dinner table with a bunch of friends on December 31st. While discussing whether we were pro-resolution or (in my case) resolution-agnostic a friend shared that last year her resolution was to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, which she accomplished. I countered that mine was to floss daily. After a beat she responded, “You do have really nice teeth.” Well, we both achieved our goals, one more lofty than the other.
For the occasion, I designed a little intention-setting ceremony for our crew. On blank sheets of paper (torn out of an AllSwell notebook), we wrote on one side what we were ready to let go, to release. On the other, we wrote what we wanted to invoke, to call in. Then we took turns casting them into a fire on the beach under a full moon, watching them burn to nothing. It was pleasantly cathartic. I’m a sucker for a ritual.
Focusing one’s attention is useful. That’s part of why I journal -- visualizing what I want to create andwhere I want to put my time and energy, and making sure I’m consciously grateful for all the bananas-amazingness that is life. New Year’s resolutions? Sure. But any day will do.
Speaking of setting the bar high, this month’s AllSwell Reads is full of stories might inspire you to do the same, from Bowie’s voracious reading habit to an architectural utopia in Spain.
See you on the summit. I’ll be the one with “really nice teeth.”
In Residence: Ricardo Bofill, Nowness
There are houses, and then there’s Ricardo Bofill’s house: a brutalist former cement factory of epic proportions on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain. A grandiose monument to industrial architecture in the Catalonian town of Sant Just Desvern, La Fabrica is a poetic and personal space that redefines the notion of the conventional home. Peek inside at the link up top.
What Journaling Actually Does To Your Brain, According To Science, Mind Body Green
We’ve long known that cultivating a gratitude practice can lead to a happiness boost, better sleep, and deeper creativity, but new research published in Frontiers and Human Neuroscience recently found that keeping a gratitude journal can lead to increased feelings of altruism. Read on at the link above.
Announcing the David Bowie Book Club, Nerdist
The late, great David Bowie, known to be a voracious reader, is being honored by his son, Duncan Jones, by embarking on the same literary journey his father took. He’ll be reading Bowie’s favorites, from Peter Ackroyd to William Faulkner to Albert Camus and more, and is inviting anyone who felt Ziggy Stardust’s spark to join him. Discussions will take place on Twitter, with Jones dictating the reading list and deadlines. Find out what’s currently being read and what’s next, above.
New Study: Here’s Why Life Speeds Up as You Get Older (and How to Slow It Back Down), Inc
Ever noticed, that as we age, time seems to move faster and faster? Well, now we know why. According to neuroscientist David Eaglemen, the more detailed a memory, the longer that particular moment seems to last. Additionally, as we age, we start to practice what the University of Kansas calls “chunking.” Visit the link up top to learn exactly what chunking is and the specifics of how to unchunk yourself. You’re welcome.
Dear Pepper: Looking People In The Eye, New Yorker
This illustrated advice column by Liana Finck is equal parts humor, art, and gripping advice. In this particular segment, Finck illustrated the struggle of eye contact, namely tips and tricks to fake it ‘til you make it. Apparently, some humans have a natural (and scientific) inclination toward eye-contact. Others don’t. Read on via the link up top.
The Quiet Exuberance of Winter, The Atlantic
Alexandra De Steiguer has spent the past 19 winters tending to the 43-acre grounds of the hotel on Star Island, which sits 10 miles off the coast of New England. In the long, wintry off-season, she is the island’s sole inhabitant. Tune into her day-to-day adventures above.