Use a tether

As I’ve done some of my deep deep work underneath the Iceberg, I’ve sometimes gone too deep or tried to take on too much without support.

The concept of being grounded or tethered as I thought of it is so crucial.

Good positive self-talk is a muscle and practice I’m building. That’s a tether.

My counselor (going to weekly now) is another critical tether.

My wife and my support network of friends and family are the strands of tethers that don’t break.

The trance as Tara Brach calls it is super tough and all consuming. I’ve tried to do it alone and by myself. It just doesn’t work. It’s not just lonely and impossible, it’s dangerous.

I need support, safety ropes (yes plural) and tethers to the here and now or else.

Tethers are really really good.

Hands off the handlebars

I rode bikes a lot as a kid including motorcycles off road.

Every now and then I’d take my hands off the handlebars … and just relax and let the bike go for a while.

I’d let the sun hit my face, the wind cool me and let go.

The last couple of weeks this is where I am — the letting go stage.

Taking my hands off the handlebars and feeling all of that again but in my life.

And the sun is so warming.

I know at some point I’ll put my hands back in the handlebars.

But when I do … I’ll be a different person.

And so will the bike I choose to ride.

The practice of sloooooooowing down

All my life I’ve been in a rush.

Ricky Bobby always wanted to go fast too

Push. Rush. Drive. Harder. Faster. Farther.

Always thinking about the next thing. my mind on the future and driven to go go go.

But last year or so my body has said: No more fast. No more rush.

Call it pandemic, lack of taking care of myself all those rushing years, or being in my mid-40s or a combo … but I’m relishing this new school zone speed.

Of course I fought against it. Of course I’m scared.

I was so caught up in the Soundtrack of Fast and Furious that I didn’t realize what all I was missing.

Reminds me of when Lindsey and I got scooters. I had never really ridden motorcycles on the road despite growing up on three and four wheelers off road.

As we scootered around town, I saw things I normally missed. I smelled things I normally didn’t smell.

I experienced things differently in scooter mode.

And it was delightful.

I put my life in one speed — fast. And now I’ve shifted down and going slower and slower. And experiencing the richness of life at a more normal speed.

I realized a couple weeks ago, I don’t have to rush anymore.

I came out of ludicrous speed.

And now I’m just seeing the beauty of presence in life when it’s not in a blur … and savor it.

Been learning and practicing hand drawn lettering too

The practice of the eternal noob

When I was a kid I loved to dream about and design things. At one point I drew concept cars and sent them to my favorite auto brands.

Then had a career in visual design with newspapers and magazines and eventually web design.

Now I’m returning to it as an adult again by learning hand drawn lettering.

I always struggled with drawing sketches of people or animals. And hand drawn lettering seemed like the ideal combination between what I’ve done in my career and my interest in art as expression.

Couple of notes from the Journey so far:

The way to start is by tracing – essentially copying others works until you find your own style and preferences. I figure this will take some time and consistent practice.

I gotta build my catalog so I’m picking font examples I like and emulating them. I started a list of things I want to catalog like styles, color palettes, icons and graphics, etc.

Being ok with the sloppy mess, mistakes, little frustrations. And trusting the process. Yuck. I sound like a college football coach.

The mess and slog are where the best learning, growth, creativity happens.

Learning with my kids is the best, my social component. We get to practice and make mistakes and messy art together. I get to model growth mindset and how sometimes it’s not the output but the process.

Analog is a gift. For the first time in 15+ years it feels like I don’t want to chase digital for this season but embrace analog.