The other day I got to meet someone who is basically an instant family member. A rare, sacred experience like when you meet a friend or fam’s partner and know they’re going to be in your life for a long time.
Mine was when I met Asta, the woman who owns the land where my Buddha-Mom Susan lives on San Juan Island. I’ve known Asta was dope from the jump—anyone repping for Susan this hard instantly gets full trust and props. But getting to meet them was like meeting a new sister. It’s pretty clear we’ll be knowing each other for a long time.
Professionally, they create art on a massive level that gets implemented in environmental projects in major cities, installations where thousands of people congregate, and for increasing accessibility to tech and new ways of living for folks.
My favorite first lesson from her, beyond her kindness, chill, and generosity, was how she described the intention behind some of her projects. I asked if a huge piece in a busy lobby she created was meant to help people realize their energy affects the vibe of the space they exist in. She responded, “Yes, but it’s mostly to freak people out.”
That’s the real goal. To get people to stop, think, and wonder—if even a few seconds. To pull us out of our norms and our to-do-list-packed skulls and help us feel existing with others in a space for a time.
Real hyped to consciously use the freak-o-meter on the art I make moving forward. What’s the point it what we make doesn’t pass this simple test?
Last night I had the honor to join my crew in a discussion (our FIRST on-the-record discussion) about inclusivity in our friend spaces.
Massive props to the brave women in our crew who started this convo.
Folks let me awkwardly fumble through a way-too-long Google Doc of notes about how this has been coming up for the people I spoke with before getting on the mic.
We leaned into discomfort as a team of Fun Pros who embody this behavior in pretty much all other aspects of life — so why not here too? As my wife Abigail so amazingly put it (paraphrasing), we get to create the type of community we really want, one we can thrive in, not one based on default norms, but one that fills our needs to shine.
So today I’m sharing love to my crew, your crew, all crews willing to take small steps towards making things feel better for everyone. It’s a forever practice, and I know this is just the beginning, but I’m just dang proud and hyped that my team’s on the path.
In meditation class the other day my brain was swirling. Cycling through loads of BS. I eventually woke up, realizing I was trapped in these wack thoughts instead of listening to a bunch of birds and meditating. I said “OK fine”—out loud, I think. This is what’s going on in my head? “OK fine.” Do you, brain!
Acknowledging and naming these thoughts made it all way less heavy. It put me in more control. Not of my thoughts but of my reaction and their eventual shift. I was less bummed at myself for thinking of the BS we could spend all-day-everyday clouded by. I was able to witness my thoughts. To notice and eventually laugh at them.
Weird I wasn’t present with the beautiful day and birds but, “OK fine.” I was able to let myself off the hook. There was nothing wrong with these thoughts. It was, and is, so often all in the reaction to them.
“OK fine” is my release valve from all this pressure. I say it in the tone of talking to a friend doing something you don’t recommend or something you want to give them a little crap for. You’re gonna do that? Alright… I say it in that tone we use to make things inherently a question. One that requires some reaction, if even an eye roll.
I can sit there and laugh at these wack thoughts, even the really tough ones. I can question them, I can wonder why my brain’s going that way, and I can even clown myself a bit for being so far from the moment.
In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott shares a quote from her friend that she says changed her “Permanently.” She was trying on a dress to wear to a date that night and asked her friend if it, “Made her hips look big.” Her friend replied, “Annie? I really don’t think you have that kind of time.”
Do we have time to dwell on wack BS that’s not serving us or our crew? Why would we take any time away from having fun and being 100% us?
I know I’ll forget this in about 5-minutes. That’s why hype living is a practice. It takes hard work in this royally f’d up world to be the Fun Professionals we know we’re capable of. It takes discipline and reminders and all the little tricks we make up for ourselves to survive and thrive.
“Originality rises from your underground truth. When you have a passion of the truth about yourself, originality will percolate up through your work. When you go for the truth, originality takes care of itself.”