for all-terrain times – AllSwell Creative

for all-terrain times

Posted by AllSwell Creative on


Photo Credit: Daniel Winter

Hello, friend. 

How are you doing out there? These have been some bumpy days with a lot of challenging news to process. Feels like we need the emotional equivalent of an all-terrain vehicle. Shock absorbers, anyone? With so much troubling information coming at us it’s easy to shut down and ignore the happenings (hello, toxic positivity) or get demoralized and give up on creating solutions. Neither is a great option. 

Instead, what I’m currently practicing is to make space for the rough and the smooth not in turns but simultaneously. To have room for all of it. 

To help me do that I created a "Daily Rose" journaling activity - inspired by the roses and thorns conversational prompt - as a way of being present to adversity and beauty within the same day (or sometimes within the same moment).

                                                                                     Daily Rose                                                                                                                                             A mindful writing exercise for uneven times                                                                                           (which, when you really think about it, is most of the time)

Here’s your chance to wring it out. Write down a problematic moment from your day - something that frustrated you, brought you low. Release it on the page. If a solution is available, maybe you think that through here. Rather than bottling it up, by the simple (and effective) act of writing about it you may even untie the knot - or at least diminish the thorn’s sting.
Write down a moment of sweetness, a win, even a small joy. What was the warmest, most connected moment of your day and why? When did you feel most alive? Even if you weren’t the direct recipient, where did you witness beauty or love? 

It would be a pity to expect “good days” to be wholly unblemished. Similarly even the hardest days have a bit of grace, especially when we're committed to recognizing it. There are usually some petals tucked in there somewhere.

As humans we have incredible emotional nuance and range. Letting our internal life be a large enough container to hold it all - awe, heartbreak, discovery, disappointment, love and grief, thirst and bounty - is both a practice and a gift you’re giving yourself

By bringing attention to daily blooms and thorns, we are stretching our capacity to be present to the difficulties of our time and take in the enduring sweetness of life. Take it from some of the resources below. Positive change is possible if we can stay inspired.  

In Swellness, 


Photo credit: Francis Kéré

Ready for some good news? This year architecture’s highest honor, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, was given to Faso-born architect, educator and social activist Francis Kéré. Recognized for “empowering and transforming communities through the process of architecture”, Kéré, the first black architect to ever obtain this award, works mostly in areas charged with constraints and adversity, using local materials and building contemporary facilities whose value exceeds the structure itself, serving and stabilizing the future of entire communities.


Photo credit: Yevgenia Belorusets

On Being with Mary Oliver, “I got saved by the beauty of the world”

Poet Mary Oliver is a balm that soothes even the thorniest wounds. This is an interview with her from the vault and I’ve listened to it no less than 3 times lately while on walks. 


Photo credit: Yevgenia Belorusets

Her World Began to Collapse, So She Started Keeping a Diary

If you’re looking for an example of how to stay creatively present during difficult times, here you go. The Ukrainian writer and photographer Yevgenia Belorusets on what it means to make art amidst a war.


Photo Credit: Braylen Dion

3 Science-Backed Ways To Relax In Nature (Even If It's Just Your Local Park)

Speaking of taking walks, some additional encouragement to get outside. It works. Everest not necessary. 

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