“Sorry for the delayed response...”
How many emails have you received or written that started that way? It seems that we are all so overwhelmed with incoming correspondence that it’s standard to kick off a response with an apology.
I’ve just returned from “AllSwell Summer Tour ‘18.” Like an indie band on the road I hit multiple cities and time zones, bringing the magic that is an AllSwell workshop to a beach town (hopefully) near you. Being “on tour” for a month was beautiful but my bloated in-box might not agree. And by in-box I don’t mean just email -- this includes keeping up with texts, DM’s, comments on social feeds, voice notes (AKA the new voicemail), let alone actual mail.
I’m apologizing all over the place to people I genuinely want to interact with, but we’re all so deluged that it’s harder than ever to stay current. And I wonder how this sea of contrition is flowing into other areas of our lives. I’m all for exhibiting good manners and acknowledging breaches in respectful etiquette but as I was typing out my 11th “apologies for the delay” preamble, it struck me as a little ironic.
One of the things I ask people to do in a workshop setting is to share their creativity out loud without caveats or disclaimers. The act of apologizing discredits the content. I ask that they let their creativity stand without preamble and be what it is. Speak clearly, project into the room, be proud that you made something.
When it comes to your journal, there is no need for apologies. Even if it’s been a minute, you don’t need to offer any excuse. These pages have no judgement, no needs, no expectations. They’re there for you whenever you need them, even if you don’t appreciate them for a while.
This is a place where you don’t have to be polite or likeable. You can say the un-say-able. You can mean it in the moment and then not mean it for the rest of your life.
And there’s alchemy. Sometimes the act of writing transforms a feeling. The steam has an outlet and the experience shifts. Emotions (especially messy ones) often need a place to be expressed. The privacy of pages offers that without consequences.
People ask if I re-read my journals. I keep them but rarely revisit them. To me that’s about as appealing as going for a swim in toxic sludge. RSVP no, thank you. For me, I release, process and move on -- a better version of myself for it. If you read them you wouldn’t be getting an accurate picture of how I feel or who I am. And for me that’s exactly the point, they aren’t intended to be read by anyone, including myself.
No apologies necessary.
Our favorite childhood stories often stick with us throughout our lives. For many, having kids of their own provides an opportunity to share these meaningful stories with the next generation. But revisiting them alone as adults can also provide discovery. Rereading “reminds us that we can experience something intensely and not be seeing everything at the time. And going back, we see something different,” says Jill Campbell, an English professor at Yale. “It’s a way of thinking more about a book that’s had an impact on you, but it’s also a way of thinking about your own life, memories, and experiences. The continuities and the differences.” Read more at the link above.
Bradley Tangonan, a Hawaiian-born director and producer, presents this thoughtful new film short taken from an ongoing series exploring native Hawaiian culture, craftsmanship, and the spiritual energy (or 'mana') of raw materials. This is a richly visual story of a single, traditional craftsman—Tom Pōhaku Stone—and his journey to hone a hand-carved wood surfboard (alaia). Watch more at the link up top.
Speaking of outdoor influencers...they are a relatively new phenomenon, and their rise is largely attributable to Instagram. There’s the notion that posting content featuring the outdoors inspires others to get outside. There’s also the very real fear that posting photos of hidden hikes and hot springs invites an influx of visitors these places lack the resources to handle. But of course, it’s more complicated than that. Read on at the link above.
The bear cam, located in Alaska’s Katmai National Park, draws thousands of viewers each day during the high season between July and September. It provides a counterpoint to the hyper-produced prestige nature documentaries that use music, high-definition videography, and delicately placed cameras to turn wildlife activities into dramatic cinema. If “Planet Earth” is a Michael Bay production, the bear cam is not even a home movie—it’s CCTV. Even when there aren’t many bears, the cam is still a place of zen, with plenty of swooping gulls, salmon launching their bodies out of the water to make it over the falls, and the white-noise rush of the river itself. Tune in at the link up top.
“Find things you love, experiences that light you up. Do them a lot. Then figure out ways to share that goodness. It’s pretty simple and it’s very satisfying.” That’s our founder, Laura Rubin’s recipe for a well-lived life, business, project, whatever. To learn about AllSwell’s beachy origins, the best advice Laura never took and her definition of the new professional paradigm, visit the link up top.