Photo by Heidi Zumbrun
Guided meditations. Life coaches. Dharma talks. Podcasts and webinars. All useful tools to have in your personal development quiver. But sometimes it’s not about external input.
We’re living with an unprecedented wave of incoming data pointed at us, specifically tailored to our tastes and interests, providing prompts and asking for interaction. Sometimes after checking my phone I feel like I have a target painted on my head. How did you know I wanted a new water filter? It can get pretty creepy.
In addition to providing a much needed analog break from sneaky and addictive screen life, one of the (many) reasons why I’m devoted to my pen-to-paper practice is there’s no middleman, no interpreter or guide. Journaling provides a direct channel. Free-write long enough and you’ll begin to hear your personal, unique voice coming through and discover your own internally-generated insights.
That’s right: the guru is you.
Even when I facilitate an AllSwell workshop, I see my role as setting the scene, offering up tools and then getting out of the way. I’m not telling anyone what to write, I’m merely providing suggestions, prompts, directions to explore and supporting attendees through that process.
I was recently asked what’s the best piece of advice I’ve ever received. My answer was “Trust your gut.” The ability to tune into your inner compass, particularly amidst the digital static, is vital, and journaling can help you do it.
I love learning. I nerd out hard on data and I’m always on the lookout for new sources of wisdom to expand my perspective. Thoughtful advice and mentoring are great tools but eventually it’s going to be your voice, your decisions that craft your life -- hopefully that’s a life you love.
In the latest roundup of AllSwell Reads you’ll find some of what’s been inspiring me lately, from a conversation with Miss Grass about cannabis and creativity to wilderness’ curative “3 Day Effect.” Read on, enjoy and maybe find a jumping off point or two for your own pen-to-paper internal explorations.
Photo by Ben Ono
Wilderness therapy has been used for decades to help troubled teens and addicts, and recently all kinds of people are seeking out guided nature experiences to detox from their hyper-digital modern lives. This podcast from writer Florence Williams (who wrote one of our favorite books, “The Nature Fix”) explores what happens in our brains when we go outdoors, revealing the surprising ways we can find comfort in the wilderness. Learn about the “3-Day Effect" and listen above.
Photo by Emily Nathan
When meditation is depicted visually, it’s almost always in a picture of someone sitting down, usually with eyes closed. Fortunately, you don’t have to sit down to meditate. You don’t need to carve time out of your day. You don’t need peace and quiet. You can bring mindfulness to eating, going to sleep, speaking with friends, speaking with non-friends – just about anything can be done mindfully. Learn how at the link up top.
Photo by Rachel Snack
Is there any such thing as sustainable development? Peru has seen a lot of change in the last few years, but the country and those working there are taking careful measures to make sure it’s done with integrity and remains in “the sustainability sweet spot”. From fashion to architecture and beyond, Peru is setting the bar high. Read on at the link above to learn more.
Photo via State Library Victoria
The writer on his style, process, and the strange, dark places he encounters on the page. Murakami’s narratives are almost always inquisitive, exploratory. His heroes, hapless or directed, set off on missions of discovery. Where they end up is sometimes familiar, sometimes profoundly, fundamentally strange. Read his interview with the New Yorker at the link up top.
Still by Morgan Maassen
Eye candy alert: Beautiful weirdness makes up this short film by Morgan Maassen, a compilation of various moments, places, and dreamscapes filmed a little here, and a little there (the Maldives, Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines, Mexico, France, the US, Italy, China, Chile and Greenland). There’s a poetry in the randomness, particularly when set to a dope soundtrack. Tune in at the link above.
Photo by Heidi Zumbrun
“If you’re all locked up, worried about your output being great, it can prevent you from making anything at all,” Rubin says. “That’s in part where writer’s block comes from. Removing a self-critical filter with some help in the form of a substance ally can help jump start that process.” Read more of our founder Laura Rubin's thoughts on creativity and cannabis and learn about our recent journaling workshop with Miss Grass and Canndescent, fueled by the latter's new Stylus vape (which looks like a fountain pen), at the link above.