Yo things not working out as planned is when you really get to flex your potential for being a fun pro with a clear head. They are the moments that give you the opportunity to rep your experience being patient, open, and positive – and lean into life as it is.
We’re not so busy when our mind and body is totally still – it can all go away for a sec and give us a sense of connection to everything else…
Had a cool feeling yesterday I wanted to share. I basically tried really hard to forget all the stuff in my mind/body – the to-do’s, the frustrations, the joys, the family stuff, the aches in certain body parts… I let all that go for a sec and let my mind and body get totally still.
And it all went away.
My anxiety around being super busy with work stuff, gone. My overthinking what the hell is happening inside my left knee lately, also gone.
It gave this awesome sense of connection to the world around me, where beyond all the stuff, we’re all in the same boat. We’re all just here starting from scratch every second, even though it feels like so much is set in stone.
What was rad is I was able to carry this attitude into my day for a bit. I definitely forgot about it a lot, getting busy with work stuff, feeling overwhelmed at times… but when I just sat back into that feeling it helped me get a perspective on everything I was doing, what’s important, what I wanted to do, and what I accomplished or didn’t.
More trippy and simultaneously literal awesomeness thanks to listening to records with my bud STLB3… Also heard recently on Liquid Beat Radio 👌
Andy Bey – Celestial Blues from the 1974 Experience and Judgement LP
We must get closer to the essence of life
But be aware that it takes courage and strife
Expand your mind, don’t let it wither and die
You’ll find that it lifts your spirits high to the sky, high
So c’mon, meditate
Emotions roll in some circular spread that feeds us all types over and over. This we know from experience 100%. It’s def not comforting to know we’ll be sad again – especially when feeling it so hard in the moment. But we also know we’ll hit the other side of the circle eventually too, and find some happiness and hype.
I’m learning we’re supposed to try and learn from that (duality?) and think about how we can’t really have one without the other. Which can be hella hard to sit with when you’re feeling low, and almost equally not a fun thought when stuff is great.
Maybe knowing time brings all types of feelings and we aren’t going to feel a certain way permanently is what can help us be know we’ll feel better when things are tuff. It can give us confidence to sit with our feelings and really feel them – knowing we’ll eventually move past.
For some reason this got me thinking about those baby spinning mobiles. Those little dangles can rep an emotion. Probably some days the wind or whatever metaphor to stuff happening in life we want to pull makes it stay in one place, and other days it really spins and we get to feel that too. Like a little staring kiddo, we don’t get to control it so much, just rest in knowing it’s always changing.
So hype vibes are around the corner. Leaning in and learning as much as we can from the less hype zones will probably make it even stronger when we get there. 💪🧡💙
S/O to my mega-strong buds feeling it rn and the dope support system we have in the crew
I hope this helps anyone thinking about meditation and needing to hear more concrete stuff about its benefits.
I went to the dentist this week and although there are always spots that feel so crazy when they get hit by that tiny laser-water pick… I swear it was easier this time. And I think it’s from meditating.
I felt the pain in a different way and just focussed on relaxing and sitting with it. Maybe I could have done this in the first place, but I think my 4-5 months of meditating pretty regularly is what changed things.
I know putting specific goals on meditation for improvement might be totally backward but its fun to see changes after a practicing anything for a while – super encouraging to keep rocking.
This morning I had another cool breakthrough. I was listening to the audiobook for When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödron and she was talking about focusing on the out breath and facing your fears.
As I sat, focussing on the peace you get from a nice out breath, I realized that I was creating space to just sit with my mind, letting it be in its natural state. All the busy stuff my mind showed me in this space (100% worky to-do listy stuff) is what’s happening in my head, and are the fears/challenges I need to face. It was clear that I need to keep rocking to get to a better place with this stuff, otherwise it wouldn’t have been cluttering up my head while sitting there doing nothing!
This gave me some cool clarity to work with. Far from a solution, but a nice goal to move towards.
Stay with the dopeness that brought you to where or are – or remember that dopeness when you’re feeling less confident. We put so much hype energy into job searching, life searching, moving, creating relationships… But once we arrive it’s so easy to get stuck into the day-to-day of this stuff. We get distracted by negative factors we couldn’t see coming in – although I’m sure we would have predicted it wouldn’t always be easy, as most awesome and impactful things aren’t.
Putting this down as a reminder to myself – hope if catches yall in the right place too. ✌☁
Clouds sit up there, absorbing everything good/bad from us and just observe. They kinda do nothing and everything at the same time. As floaty as this vibe can be – they have so much control over our lives. We’re deeply affected by weather – every day and in everything we do.
So what if we act like clouds? Chill in the background, observing, listening, feeling what’s around us… and when the time comes we rain down on life with our insight, dope ideas, and passion. A test of how much we can learn and fill up before we need to release – vs. needing to spill out our ideas and opinions.
I think this metaphor also works for the huge bucket that slowly fills up with water and dumps on you at Golfland Sunsplash Waterpark in Mesa, AZ.
Everything – the good and bad – is all part of the world around us and makes us who we are. Internal good and bad – external good and bad. This morning thinking about this helped me be less hard on myself for something I did over the last week that I kept thinking was in the ‘bad’ category. And maybe it is – but the balance of realizing its all a part of a much larger whole helped me sit with this in a new way. From stuff we did way in the past to stuff we’ll do or witness in the future, maybe this is a perspective that can help us dip through it. 🚢
I’m just back from a trip where I spent time with my parents, a bunch of crew at our 17th annual yearly camp out, and my sister and her 3 awesome kiddos.
Here are 6 reasons I’m freshly hyped and how I’ll use these travel vibes to crush it.
1 – Coming home
Years of jobs, relationships, and everything life has thrown my way lead me to my current house in Tucson, living with my amazing wife and our dog and cat. As much as I love the vacay vibes – coming home is kinda the best. It represents returning to my intention – the space in the world I’ve worked hard to create.
Our place feels like vacation sometimes, from the homemade blue curtains my wife made out of fabric I thrifted in northern AZ flapping in the wind, to the outdoor cast iron tub in our backyard, to the shed my friends helped deliver, fix up, and paint into the trippiest/hypest creative space. We laugh and remind ourselves “This is real life!”
Coming home is a reminder to maximize this inspiring place! Oh you have a rad recording studio? Use it! A dope bike – hop upon! An amazing parnter – hang out with them a ton!
2 – Unreal friend/family support
Sharing space and time with a crew living vastly different but inspiring lives is like reading 2,000 self-help books at the same time while swimming in the coolest waterfall you found on a cross-country road trip with your dog.
It’s such a great challenge to do you to the utmost. The crew isn’t going to check up on me when I get home – “Hey, Nick are you still feeling super inspired by your trip, I hope so!” It’s more like – go forth and kill it – we believe in you, and that should propel dopeness until we hang again and re-up the hype.
A couple years ago at the same campout 2 of my main dudes took me aside and thanked me saying they might not be here if it wasn’t for me. Both are incredible artists, musicians, friends, and humans. Thinking about it still makes me shake a bit. When doubt comes up I go back to this memory and know if these 2 have my back this hard I’m 100% good.
3 – Kids
Kids are better at living in the moment then every adult who’s ever preached or read about it. A couple years ago the first thing my then 6-year-old niece said to me after not seeing each other for more than a year was something like “If you close your eyes really hard it looks like a laser light show.” Hells ya it does!
Same kiddo this year was going super hard jumping off the dock and boat like it was no big deal. She didn’t brag about it – just wanted to do it over and over and over again! Reality is she humbly conquered a fear and it’s f’n incredible! Last year she was scared to do both. Now it’s second nature. Killing it ✓ moving forward ✓ and having fun ✓
4 – Sacrifice
Crew-ups like this get you thinking about people who couldn’t make it. As an avid hater of FOMO, I get inspired by the sacrifices they’re making to do what they need to do.
My brother is killing at work and couldn’t come. It would have been dope to hang but he needed to keep crushing it for his life and that’s exactly the choice he made. Same with my wife. I missed her a lot but what an amazing person she is to prioritize the incredible work she’s doing.
My sister had to take off to go run the summer reading program at the library she started – DOPE! My best bud had to roll early to get back to Detroit and prep for leaving to go cook on the Drake tour. Fun Professionally amazing!
5 – Passion
My 14-year-old nephew is so down for this new X-Box game its crazy. When I told him I didn’t know what it was he stared at me blankly for the weirdest 10 seconds we’ve probably ever had. Totally cracked me up and reminded me how down I used to be for stuff at his age!
I was into vids, basketball, Wu-Tang, and Tribe. I remember listening to every song on every CD I owned with a best friend – carefully deciding that Award Tour was the greatest song in the world. It was for sure the most important thing to do that afternoon – and we questioned it Ø!
6 – Parents
I’m incredibly lucky to get to learn from parents who’ve been married for 46 years. They’re so inherently down for each other at this point it’s one of the sweetest and inspiring things I witness.
They have a small sailboat and are the coolest team for getting it set up and out on the water. I got to be their boat hand which mostly meant watching them carefully rig the boat and make sure their partner stayed safe while hopping on and off during the process.
They eat together, volunteer together, and talk about the future together. They live each other’s dreams realizing how much one partner benefits from the other’s – whether it’s living on a lake in a small town, or traveling to a specific place to escape the cold Minnesota winter. It’s a version of compromise that isn’t really compromise at all, but being down for your partner and knowing them being happy will make you happy too.
What motivates you post-travel? How do you use it to do more of what you love? Comment or send that hype my way! firstname.lastname@example.org
In honor of the crew’s 17th Annual Weedstem camp-out/get-down/hype-fest… this week’s jam is guest-selected by festival creator and life-changer: The Cuttman.
Mother Nature’s Son by Ramsey Lewis off the 1968 LP with the possibly the coolest cover ever.
This track is The Cuttman’s go-to track for a mood change. Hope the combo of Ramsey feeding a bunny and this mega-uplifting cut does the same for you too 🧡💙
This song has literally been on repeat at my house for like 2 weeks. My wife is constantly bumping it and texting the link to it to me and probably the rest of the crew/ most people reading this 🙂
Mad Skillz – In A Minute
The video’s dope. The concept is hype – where taking it/making it easy come first and life works out smoothly as it should.
And the rapper Mad Skillz has a super interesting history if you want to nerd out about a 90’s rapper with tons of ghostwriting cred and now a super inspiring artistic move: making cool new shit!
Also this cover is dope, and I can’t stop cracking up about the dude in the back of the vid with the mustache!!
My neighbor parks in front of our mailbox every day. We’ve gotten a super cool 80s note about it in our mailbox and it changed nothing. I started to think this has to be pissing off our awesome mail carrier – an older gent who rocks mutton chops wayyy tougher than any hunter or bro in history.
He remains unphased. Because he has to. His annoyance threshold is 100x higher than any of us. If it wasn’t every day would be totally crappy!
Same goes for bus drivers. They’re almost unshakable. Sitting quietly while people fight, drink, and even worse – clip their fingernails (seen it twice in life so far – one bus, one plane 🙏)
These pro’s don’t get annoyed because if they did everything suck! Their annoying threshold is lifted so high that stuff that bugs us out doesn’t even register. They hustle too hard to care, and since they work directly with the public if they decided to get start stressed it would create a never-ending shitty crescendo.
*Honorable mention: the badass cart attendant at my local Safeway 🙇
I’m going to give props to this gang for a sec before showing you how to harness their superpowers for personal inspiration.
I’ve always held mail carriers in the highest esteem. I write thank you notes on the outside of packages that say ‘mail carrier’s patience appreciated.’ I dig their fashion and was once told I looked like one at a party 😊. I even tried to get some USPS gear once but learned its actually illegal to unofficially rock the uniform – which is pretty cool for making it a little harder for sketchballs to act like they belong ringing your doorbell. Still – let me get some shorts and a sweater!
And bus drivers changed my life for 12 years in Portland, especially the one who told me he was ‘bordering superb!’ If you ever road the 15 in the mid-2000’s you know… “Tripple Nickel!!”
One time on the 20 (Burnside) a rider was drunk and screaming (SURPRISE!)… The driver didn’t flinch, calmly stopped mid-intersection and asked him to get off the bus. Dude kept swearing and yelling “What is your name!!” The driver quietly answered “bus driver” and asked him to leave again.
Eventually this drunk cartoon knew he couldn’t frustrate the all-mighty-mega-chiller and hopped off. The whole bus cheered and laughed – the driver gave us a slight smile and drove on.
Let’s learn from the masters of only giving a fuck about stuff that matters.
Save your energy for being an awesome friend and leave your problems confused and hungry for beef like the drunk fighty bro who eventually gave up. The stuff that annoys you will do the same.
Been thinking hard about family and friends in prep for a trip where I get to see a lot of both! Letting it sink in how these people are the most important thing in life.
Fuck a job, a car, a _____ when you have a friend who will take you in and buy you groceries. That’s the wealth I’m proud of.
Relationships with friends and fam can also be really hard. We’ve all seen and probably experienced these relationships slip out of control. I’m thinking of ways to get through this without having an estranged homie who knows pretty much everything about you and likewise.
You gotta be down to have feelings. Your crew is going to make you feel certain ways at times and you need to be able to experience that while being supportive, helpful, modeling better behavior… whatever the situation is, expect to feel many things!
You also gotta be down to have the hard convo with someone going through it. As we get older we realize all the problems you hear about in peoples families and friend groups are actually a lot closer than we think. We all have people who have dealt with addiction and suicidal thoughts in our circle, I guarantee it.
So be ready to help – It’s really easy.
1. It’s not about you (remove your ‘self’)
2. Be for them
You need to experience the hard stuff, and you need to self-care of course – but first up is removing yourself from the situation. Don’t be stressed that you have to feel a certain way or pretend it’s not the best time. Because it’s never the best time, and we’re all busy, all the time. Not an excuse.
It’s also really easy to forget that comparing your experience doesn’t really help right off. It definitely can – but it’s way more impactful when asked for by your fam in need instead of bringing it to the situation right away. Let them have the feelings.
Remove your ‘self’ & be for them.
Just exist for your bud! Sit there and just be the rad experienced person you are. The awesome friend who knows a lot of ways to help and the best way to start is just listening.
Sometimes we overplan life and forget we can just park it with the crew and lounge. Guaranteed cool times will happen and we didn’t need to do anything but share space. When your crew is in a vulnerable space this is even more important.
They might not reach out or will feel weird about asking directly for help. If you know them well enough, just text that you’re coming by with a kombucha for some front porch chilling. They’ll know why and be grateful for what a dope friend-daughter-crew-brother-gang-partner-homie you are 🙂
I love this one-person arsenal of sweet sound. Always on the hunt for similar artists and rarely come across them – holler if you know any!
D’Evils by SiR from November (2018)
I’ve had this in my head since catching the TDE tour in Phoenix a week ago. Turns out singing ‘life is so much better when you live in slow motion’ over and over feels really good and actually slows shit down!
Love this track. Love this dude. Love you.