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Phases and identity

It’s so easy to have our identity wrapped up in what we do.

Often times that’s how we earn income, support families, and build our lives, so it makes sense that we take pride in that.

I keep on telling myself that life is so much more about phases than one persistent identity. Who I am has changed so much over the years, and how I’ve spent my time has often reflected the existence of a phase, not a single identity that goes on unchanged.

If we think about jobs as projects and careers as a list of those projects, then maybe we can create more opportunities for ourselves and fall softer when the disappointments come.

The flexibility of phases make identity dynamic. Looking at it that way is also interesting, creates upside, and often yields independence.

So… what’s next?

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The gateway drug

Christoph Niemann said, “The gateway drug isn’t making art, it’s experiencing art.” 

When I heard this quote in the first episode of Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix, it certainly made sense to me.

Being swept up by art is about those transcendent creative moments that blow our minds. A phrase worded perfectly, a mind bending guitar solo, a painting that amazes us, an artist that intrigues us… these are all gateway drugs.

Easy enough, then. It’s on us to increasingly put ourselves in a position to be moved by art.

It’s on us to find more gateway drugs.

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Artrepreneurs (art-truh-pruh-noors) 

People who match creative output with hustle and resourcefulness, allowing their art to create opportunities and earn income. By expanding their abilities in a way that positions business acumen as a full equal to the act of making art, these artists become their own bosses.

I’m not there yet… but I think a lot of us wish we could be. Some of us need a little chaos.

But can we harness it?

After my first session with Talib of, I think we can. So how exactly can we nurture our tendency to follow creative energy while implementing support strategies to stay focused?

If you have that answer, you better not hold out on me!

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Organic reincarnation

Spirituality is fun because it’s moldable. Unburdened by rigid constructs more commonly associated with organized religion, spirituality is personal. We can shape it, customize it, and incorporate science, psychology, rituals, and beliefs in varying proportions.

To that point, I’ve never really thought of a persistent human personality as a logical extension of my own spirituality. I used to think that meant I was somehow anti-religion or non-spiritual, but that changed after my study of buddhism, mostly Tibetan and Zen.

Since then, I’ve found a way to incorporate a scientific understanding of the decay of organic matter with the energetic chain that connects us with the future.

I call it, organic reincarnation.

When a body, organism, or person dies, in the most direct sense, our bodies return to the earth. As such, the cycle persists, regardless of what we believe about the continuation of our soul or personality…..

Earth, birth, death, earth, birth, death, earth.

To me, this has always been the most comforting of conclusions. Afterlife as framed through organized religion doesn’t pass the mustard, but neither does an atheistic view that sees death as some type of end, at least for me.

No matter what we believe, it’s cool that the earth feeds us and we feed it in return… whether during life or after, this seems like a good reminder for all of us.

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Art versus Supply & Demand

Art isn’t amazing because every piece is 1 of 1. Sure, every original artwork is a product that births its very own market, but cost is not what makes art worthy or worthwhile.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about artists monetizing and making careers of their creative expression, but art is valuable because of the experience it provides the artist & the viewer, not because of monetary transactions.

The market is certainly an important avenue for validating solutions, but supply & demand applied to art brings more to mind than mere pricing.

It’s the emotional power of making & communicating that makes art powerful. It’s creative supply that fulfills an undetected demand laying latent until we’re activated.

It’s nice to be reminded that the purpose of something can be the experience itself.


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“I’m Not Fooled So Easily”

‘I’ve been listening to what you said
And wondering if it could be true
If it’s as bad as you say out there
I’ll leave the going out to you

I’m not believing all I see
Fabrications on T.V.
Distort the news, feed us your views
I’m not fooled so easily’

Listen via Youtube or Spotify.

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The company we keep

Of all the ways to gauge community, one of the better ways has to be looking around and taking stock of the individuals around us. Communities are made up of people, and after all, shared values seem to dictate groupings now more than ever.

When we evaluate everything from a politician’s associations to our own social groups, we can figure out where we stand by honestly assessing the crew we’ve assembled.

To that point, we can use the following questions to figure out if we’re where we should be…

Is there a disconnect between what this group values and what I’m trying to be in the world?

If I needed help, would anyone in this group be there for me?

And perhaps most importantly, can I confidently and proudly tell people who are not part of this group that I’m associated with it?

Whether or not we can speak up, wear our values on our sleeve, or compassionately pass those ideas on to others, is a good indication as to whether or not the company we keep is company worth keeping.

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