Mind your intake: What if art is the news?

We’re a blank slate in the morning, and it’s our choice what starts shaping our day…

I woke up at about my usual time today, always shooting for 5:30 telling myself ‘discipline is a muscle’ and actually getting up around 6.

Most mornings I get my tumeric/honey/lemon drink steeping and head out to my lil shtudio (aka og brown shack aka Xanadu) for about 15 minutes of yoga and then a 15 minutes meditation – capping it off with walking my dog who depending on the day is either losing his shit or asleep on the couch.

I kept reading about how having a solid morning routine is huge for setting the day off right so I slowly worked my way into this version and it’s been a pretty badass way to slide in and set myself in the right direction for the day. *I also totally acknowledge being lucky as hell for not having to jet out for work this early – shoutout: my brother*

Today was a bit different as we didn’t have any water at the house and live in Tucson which is home to not the best drinking water. So I grabbed a 5-gallon jug and started the day with a water mission.

Lots (and maybe most) of my drive time is reserved for blasting Joshua Johnson or other journalists I dig. So I got in the van thinking I’d get some early morning NPR time but stopped short of that and put in the new Busdriver instead. 

My day was totally open. 100% free from any sources beyond my fam. To add anything but raw art to that felt wrong.

Plus Busdriver’s new album is news.  It’s only a couple months old (which I’m old enough to consider new) and consists of track after track of dope vibes and stories reflecting everything happening in our world.

Getting water was so damn fun! I let it bump with the doors open while I filled the jug in the empty liquor store parking lot where our fav water dispenser sits – feeling honored to hear this music and let it meld my morning.

I went into the day knowing I could do or make whatever I want. The things I was about to do felt creatively charged and less like work.

Same goes for our bodies. I’ve been trying something for a little while where if I’m pretty hungry (and still in control of my actions so not hangry) I’ll shoot for some fruit or something small first to subside – instead of smashing right into that sammy.

In the same way my day was wide open this morning, I feel like my hungry self is open for whatever and loves it when I drop some good things inside first.

Is that a stretch? What’s your morning routine? Ever try jumping into some 6am ‘Driver? 

Holler if you want and thanks for peeping ♥

Maximizing post-travel inspiration

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!  nick@hype.church 

Thank your jealousy!

Ever been annoyed by someone’s payout? Could be monetary, or maybe they’re getting a lot of props and respect for something they created, a  promotion or a crazy job offer, and maybe they’re just experiencing hella good luck and fortune.

I’m finding myself here right now and this morning I realized I’m looking for the exact same thing. All of the negative emotions I was feeling and directing towards this person instantly went away as I would have to put the same wack pressures on myself to be totally honest and just.

The annoying feeling I was having is jealously straight up. It shouldn’t be this way. They shouldn’t have gotten this/that. Totally 100% jealous wackness. I justified it past jealousy and -even worse- kept making it a topic of convo with fam and friends 🤮

I bet we can put almost anything bugging us to this test. Dig deep – try and find the part of you that wants the same payout (money or not). Call yourself out. It feels really good and nobody has to know anyways – besides not having to hear you talk shit about someone (pretty good trade)!

Even more meta (I think) is that this person’s fortune might have actually seeded my idea! I was so astonished at what they accomplished, my idea probably subconsciously gained steam! Because if anything can happen (and it totally can) then it’s less crazy to think about accomplishing my dreams.

If it wasn’t jealousy we’d celebrate and honor the good fortune. No little voice would find it annoying or unfair. With the garunteed inmperance of life, why not acknowledge, give props, and move on as opposed to adding a lingering negative thought cloud to your head?

For me it took figuring out I wanted the same thing this time, and directing all that negativity on myself seemed like a less cool way to move about the day than staying at peace and trying to do the incredible work we’re all capable of doing all the time.

🤘🏼CREW 🤘🏼

Working like an artist

As published on Medium here

My friend Billy Frey is a prolific artist. One of my favorite things about his art is that it’s constantly changing. Every project is totally unique, while clearly a product of the experience he’s gained along the way.

I’ve had lots of jobs in lots of different industries. Restaurant, nonprofit, marketing, social work, teaching, startup, and traveling the country in a van with my best friend selling on Etsy to later live in our friend’s garage in Minneapolis and shuck oysters for most of the summer… to name a few.

I’m super proud of everything I’ve done. I’ve never been fired and *almost always leave on great terms. *eat one belittling bosses x 2 🙂

I proudly carry my experience to the next job and do better work because of it. On a yoga mat last night I realized this is the Billy Frey way! I (and maybe you?) reinvent my career like an artist!

If this is why I love Billy’s art, why can’t my job experience be a great reason to love and believe in myself and career path?

Not boring: Billy Frey – THE AGE COCOON

Trust your boredom. It’s your spidey sense. The hum that never goes away once introduced.

When a job gets boring I get restless. If you want to pay me to stare at a computer mindlessly and are offended that I’m moving on, you’re a little bit cray.

Society commonly looks at this negatively. You seem to jump around a lot. How long do you think you’ll you work here? I try to answer honestly, not knowing what the future will bring. I explain why I’m a good fit based on my professional experience.

Do they really want another person to lie about a 10-year plan? I’m finally realizing I don’t want to work for someone who does. I’ve signed 1-year agreements that all parties quietly realized were completely non-legally binding. All of us can walk whenever we want.

People come and go, this is a fact in any industry. Let’s make the process a whole lot more constructive.

Real chefs know: The Captain ft. Manimal — Word Up

 

Chefs get it, but with much sacrifice (long hours, physically-demanding work, low wages, lack of benefits). They might leave in a few months if it’s not a good fit. They give notice or leave on the spot if a wack owner doesn’t hear them and take action to make things better. It’s up to the next restaurant to value their experience and create a badass-enough environment to keep them.

Fact is we all can do this, we’re just scared. What if other industries stepped up their game and we didn’t have to be?

Companies could strive to make work awesome. Regular check-in’s creating a space for honest dialogue about your level of motivation. Next-level transparency obviously improving the work you do for them.

Let’s remove the doom feeling around asking a manager about movement, or telling them you’re thinking of transitioning. After a couple months and 200+hours of dedicated hard work, I’d like to believe a supervisor knows I’m not going to leave them in shitty situation.

What if we could sit down and talk about specific reasons I’m not feeling motivated or challenged. On top of that, what if we didn’t need to make a rash decision right then? We could regroup in a week to see if either side came up with good reasons for staying vs leaving.

Supervisors — doesn’t this sound better than employees secretly job-hunting at work, carrying negative vibes around the workplace because of wanting to leave or feeling trapped and discouraged, creating a toxic environment of false-security and entitlement to a position they no longer want to do or aren’t performing as well as they could be anyways?

Maybe staying in one place is the last thing we should do. Maybe getting all the experience we can will keep sending us in awesome new directions — creating space to learn even more.

Whether or not you consider yourself an artist, be proud of your ability to reinvent yourself! Don’t let people treat the knowledge you gain from trusting your heart as pipe dreams or failures.

Jam of the Week #32: Little Brown Dog

Little Brown Dog by Mo Kolours from his self-titled 2014 record on One Handed Music

This song became a soundtrack for me and my wife at our old apartment in Linnton. She used to crack up when it came on – so happy for what a simple and joyful track it is.

I highly recommend everything in the Mo Kolours catalog... slowly catching up via Discogs myself.

Also big shout out to our little dog LUG <3

Follow the full Jam of the Week playlists on Spotify YouTube

 

Fun professionals

I’ve been thinking a lot about change and impermanence thanks to reading a bunch of Thich Nhat Hanh (specifically FearThe Art of Living, & Peace is Every Step).

I started combining these teachings with what it might mean to be a fun professional. If we look at being a fun pro as making the most of any situation, we roll with change and create the fun pro experience around it. It’s making something new and different awesome, and not clinging to something that no longer exists. Being able to live deeply and honestly in reality, look straight in have a rad and impactful day.