We broke up, but I'm into it. – AllSwell Creative

We broke up, but I'm into it.

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 Photo Credit: The Path

Hello, friend. 

Because I personally write every word of these newsletters, I want to make sure you get a chance to see all the good goodness I pour into them. With our shortening attention-spans (see related article below), I’ve decided to break up my monthly love letter into two shorter hits. 

A hybrid no more, meet “Into It,” the new-ish vehicle highlighting what’s been inspiring and helping me out lately. I hope it provides you with useful creative springboards

This month includes how I finally converted into being a meditator, and some things to read, see, hear, think about. Because new input helps inspire new output. 

As always, thank you for reading and if you have any questions or suggestions, hit me back. I’m listening. 

In Swellness,

Photo credit: Trina Yin

30 Days to Meditator
There’s a thing called meditation. People do it. It’s scientifically proven to give you more space between occurrence and response. But despite all my years steeped in the wellness world, meditation has never been my thing. Until my friend Dina Kaplan, founder of The Path, gave me the opportunity to try out their new “30 Days to Meditator” on-demand course. And look ma, no hands, I'm a meditator

The Path’s approach is very similar to my perspective on journaling: give people the tools (the “how”), educate them about the “why,” make the experience enjoyable, then get out of the way. It also helps that Dina has thoughtful journal prompts woven throughout to keep you engaged. 

The results? Happy to report my trigger finger isn’t as itchy. I don’t go full richter when my well-meaning Mom pushes my buttons or when technology glitches. Parking tickets and LA traffic? We cool. If you want to try it out, The Path has a special 50% off rate running right now for the first 100 people that sign up so don’t sleep on this one. 

Photo credit: Leonard Cohen, 2008. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, LICENSED UNDER CCO 2.0

Love Songs: “I’m Your Man”
Recently The Paris Review commissioned a series of short essays on love songs, broadly defined. And all of them are good, but IMO this one by Laurie Stone in response to the Leonord Cohen song “I’m Your Man,” is the winner. She dissects why women think Cohen would be a magnificent partner in bed, but not so much Bob Dylan. 

And then there’s this line, imagining Cohen’s amorous dynamic: “He’ll drive you like a car. He’ll let you drive him like a car.” Put on your seatbelt and read more at the link. 
“The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life”
My two favorite drugs of choice are oxytocin (the “cuddle” chemical) and awe. Adrenaline junkies can have their base-jumping. No, thanks. I’m over here actively seeking out ways to incorporate more awe into my life. Nature is a great source (pretty much any sunrise or sunset can provide a quick hit), but there are many more ways to cultivate awe in our everyday life.  

In this audiobook, Dacher Keltner of U.C. Berkley reveals new research into how this elusive emotion transforms our brains and bodies. He posits that it sharpens our reason and orientates us toward big ideas and new insights. Awe even cools our immune system’s inflammatory response, strengthening our bodies. It activates our inclination to share and create strong networks - to take actions that are good for the natural and social world around us. Listen in, no wingsuit required. 

Photo Credit: Christa Funk

The Surfer’s Journal podcast, “Soundings,” with Kassia Meador
I interviewed writer Jamie Brisick a while back for Whalebone Magazine. I’ve collaborated - and shared ocean time - with Kassia Meador. (She even took the photograph that’s on the “wave” cover of AllSwell notebook #2.) So, I really enjoyed listening to Jamie in conversation with Kass on The Surfer’s Journal’s podcast. 

Kassia is the real deal. One of the most gifted longboarders on the planet, she lives her truth and you can feel it when you’re around her. Even though I’m fortunate to call Kassia a friend, it was inspiring to hear her speak about her journey as an athlete, an artist and healing herself from multiple traumatic brain injuries. Miz Meador continues to forge new pathways, and she also makes my favorite wetsuits - warm, flexible, dependable and beautiful. Come to think of it, all those adjectives are attributes of Kassia, too. Tune in at the link.

Photo Credit: Still from the film “Singles,” 1992

How to Focus Like It’s 1990
God’s honest truth, it was hard for me to focus long enough to read this article. How’s that for some meta-irony? I kept getting pulled away by other distractions. But in the pursuit of a longer attention span, I persevered and can report that it was worthwhile. 

Smartphones, pings and Insta-everything have shortened our attention spans. We know this. But what can we do about it? One of my biggest takeaways from this article (that I’ve successfully implemented) is that it’s easier for our brains to stay on-task if we’re reading paper versus a screen. The medium actually matters. Get some old-school concentration back with the tips in this article. 



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