Photo credit: Natalie Portman in Hotel Chevalier, film by Wes Anderson
It’s getting dark outside earlier with the shift of season, and it also seems to be getting dark inside for many of us as the negative news and related real-life challenges accumulate. I do not turn a blind eye - I read, listen and take action. That said, I also invest heavily in joy, creativity, natural beauty and rest.
In what feels like a challenging time on multiple levels, my perspective is that bringing light into the world is an act of radical resistance. I won’t allow myself to get depleted to the point of helplessness, and I’ll do what I can to lighten the hearts of others while I’m at it. Because if I’m lying on the bathroom floor immobilized by grief, I can’t support myself let alone anyone else creating positive change.
Lately I’ve actually heard folks apologize for being okay. It is not wrong to be “well.” Thank your lucky-ass stars and please do not feel guilty about it. More like, sing “Hallelujah, amen” and do a happy dance. Then help those who are definitely not-okay where and how you can.
Looking for upsides? I’ve got a really good one for you: the timely death of hustle culture. This year so many of us have had to slow our roll -- no more rushing around town to meetings, hopping on planes for presentations, or even stacking social engagements in an effort to please people. Additionally, our ability to focus has been greatly diluted, so bye-bye multi-tasking. We are being forced to be more thoughtful with how we’re applying our limited resources. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just different.
Slowing down doesn’t mean you’re a slacker. On the contrary it might make you even more effective and creative, as you’ll learn in this round of The AllSwell Round-Up. I hope you’ll find something here to help you reevaluate how you’re spending your time. Take breaks, daydream, catch 40 winks. Go easy, my friend.
Photo Credit: Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, film by Blake Edwards
Busy doesn’t equal important, as this article debunks. “Some people think that Americans just prefer work to leisure; a strong work ethic, according to this theory, has become a badge of honor for anyone with a college degree. If you’re busy, you seem important.” Read on to learn more about working less.
Photo Credit: Courtney Rizzoli
Nobody does “slow” more stylishly than the Italians. This is where the Slow Food movement was born and they know a thing or two about prioritizing pleasure, taking time to linger and enjoy. The aperitivo hour is the perfect embodiment of this ethos. “Although predinner drinking occurs everywhere from paris to Poughkeepsie, it is in Italy that this social tradition has been raised to an art form.” Organized by region, this diverting book is a beautiful exploration of tasty little bites and the drinks to enjoy alongside them.
Photo Credit: Unknown
Writer Mary H.K. Choi on how her creative process has shifted to a slower pace (for the better, we’ll say) as a result of the pandemic: “I no longer write as if being chased by a pack of wild dogs. There used to be so much urgency. If I didn’t get my thoughts down, I was scared they’d evaporate and crop-dust someone else who’d get to claim them. It was always zero sum with me, or that scarcity mentality. A lot of that energy has dissipated. The truth is I’m in grief and that makes me prone to depressive waves so everything is going much slower.” No wild dogs necessary.
Photo credit: Tricia Hersey
It would be ironic to say that this podcast pretty much woke us up to the importance of rest, but it also wouldn’t be wrong. In the midst of grind culture, Tricia Hersey calls on us all to reclaim our bodies and take a beat - especially people of color. You can keep your #bossbabe kudos; we’ll take a nap.
Photo credit: Indigo Contemporary
Surfer, champion of ecopsychology, all around “conscious creative” (and 1:1 AllSwell coaching client) Lex Weinstein asked our founder Laura Rubin to participate in a conversation about what happens when rest and creativity are thwarted by the expectant grip of productivity. They explored how we can shift our addiction to results into a space that celebrates the mysterious in-between places. These two got real. Listen in and learn to embrace the process...
Photo Credit: Jeremy Koreski
We’re counting down the days to watch this documentary film about dirt (coming out on Netflix, September 22nd). Why? Because the movie trailer was that good and we could all use a little empowering news on the climate change front. Dirt might just save us all.
Photo Credit: Stellene Volandes
“Nothing is harder to do than nothing. In a world where our value is determined by our productivity, many of us find our every last minute captured, optimized, or appropriated as a financial resource by the technologies we use daily,” starts this audiobook by artist and critic Jenny Odell. Our attention is perhaps our greatest (and most easily squandered) resource and Odell makes a well-laid out case for reclaiming it. The audiobook format is great for a long drive but if you prefer to read it on the page, we’re big fans of ink on paper.