Photo credit: Unknown
If you’re receiving this note, chances are you probably keep a journal or you’re really keen to start. Well, bravo to you. Big step in the right direction. BIG. And if you’re going to make the effort to journal, you might as well get the most out of it, right? Well, I have a super straightforward way for you to up-level your morning journaling game. Do it before you scroll.
I recently suggested this practice to 40 Instagram influencers at an AllSwell workshop I was leading in Malibu and the resulting gasp was audible. I get it; this may sound like a Herculean task. But remember: mobile phones are a relatively new (if highly addictive) technology. Our brains are still playing catch up. As 3-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author Thomas Friedman aptly put it: “Technology is now accelerating at a pace the average human cannot keep up with.” Can I get a show of hands?
The early morning is such a potent and important time. It provides a hugely valuable opportunity to connect to one’s own voice before we go into react-and-respond mode, incorporating the firehose of external messaging coming at us from the average mobile phone. As the OG of journaling Julia Cameron, reminds us:
“...good writing is not the point. Think of your pages like a whisk broom. You stick the broom into all the corners of your consciousness. If you do this first thing in the morning, you are laying out your track for the day. Pages tell you of your priorities. With the pages in place first thing, you are much less likely to fall in with others’ agendas. Your day is your own to spend. You’ve claimed it.”
Claim. Your. Day. Try picking up a pen instead of your phone first thing. Maybe it’s not realistic to ask that of yourself every day. Okay, but at least give it a try and see what happens. Morning sex notwithstanding, choose your own voice before incorporating external opinions.
Here’s some of what has captured my attention in recent weeks -- an article promoting the profound benefits of journaling, an inspired book of interiors, a must-see L.A. art exhibit and my talk with one very rad sommelier. I hope you find something here that helps inspire your own creativity.
Photo credit: David Paul Morris / Special to the Chronicle
I first met and collaborated with photographer Leslie Williamson years ago in NYC when she released her beautiful book “Handcrafted Modern.” Williamson has a new title in her beautiful series that peeks inside the private spaces of creatives. Ever wondered what the inside of homes of extraordinary artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Isamu Noguchi looks like? Click through to view her book and find out.
Photo Credit: Myung J. Chun / L.A. Times
In her first West Coast show, Pipilotti Rist’s immersive art exhibit combines color, sound, light and video installations at the MOCA. Read the L.A. Times article above to learn more about Rist and her show. If you check it out in person, stop by and grab yourself an AllSwell notebook / The Deck in the MOCA gift shop (they’re carrying our products in conjunction with the exhibit - how cool is that?!).
Photo Credit: Lauren Segal
“Natural wine” is definitely having a buzzy moment, but it does make me wonder—have I been drinking unnatural wine until now? I was able to address this deep question when I sat down with Eric Moorer, sommelier for the D.C.-based natural wine purveyor Domestique. He spilled beans on how he evades hangovers, whether natural wine is actually good for us (I asked with fingers crossed), that funkiness quotient, shifting diversity in the wine world, and more. Pour yourself a glass and join the conversation, the latest installment of “Campfire Conversations,” my column for Whalebone Magazine in which I interview disruptive change-makers for good.
Photo Credit: Robbie Spencer
Nearly 8 years ago I founded AllSwell with a simple mission, to invite more people to the page so they could derive the benefits of journaling. Admittedly, I was a bit early. It’s taken the wellness zeitgeist a while to swing in this general direction but that seems to be changing. I’ve repeatedly said, “Journaling is the new meditation, which was the new yoga.” About ten people forwarded me this article when it ran in The New York Times and I have to say I feel pretty darn vindicated. Check it out at the link below and learn more about the benefits you can derive by the simple act of putting pen to paper, including boosting mindfulness, memory and communication skills to improving your sleep and immune system.