Productivity is meaningless unless you know this

It is the engaged life that makes you go skipping down the sidewalk.

Even when you’re in your fifties. 

I’m not copping to that exactly, but I think photos are out there so I can’t go in for plausible denial.

The engaged life is the enchanted life. You know it, I know it, my dog knows it. Squirrels and lizards set his big galoofus heart a-patter. People and ideas do that for me. 

And being useful. 

Like Thomas the Tank Engine. Who aspired to be a Really Useful Engine, though he was often “a cheeky little engine” too. That’s my kind of train.

Productivity for its own sake never works unless there is real true singing soaring spirit significance attached to it.

I’ve been highly productive and massively unhappy. 

When you’re in hot pursuit of goals you didn’t really set for yourself there’s going to be some wreckage along the way. 

Relationships. Your body. Your mental capacity. Your compassion capacity. Your capacity for life. Your life.

Conversely, like you, I’ve also been stretched beyond my seeming limits and have been overjoyed. 

Some kind of inner anti-gravity field buoys you up when you’re deeply in line with your mission, regardless of the noise and chaos exploding around you.

Engagement is simple:

1) It’s listening carefully to what your inner tuning fork is telling you. It never fails you. Your inner instrument always resonates with your soul work. 

(Which is play! Soul work is play!)

2) It’s taking action in that direction. Daily.

Productivity is meaningless unless you know what is meaningful.

For you 

Evan Griffith
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee!


An 11-year-old finds the bright side to death

Zane was adamant about not taking a shower during tonight’s thunderstorm. 

It’s important to note — it was a Florida storm. One of those where lightning stomps around the neighborhood like giddy Irish Riverdancers.

Z: Daddy, there’s only one upside to dying.

Me: What’s that?

Z: There’s no school the next day.


Doesn’t it boggle your brain that . . .

Doesn’t it boggle your brain that someday . . . 

. . . we’ll have trillionaires

. . . we’ll send energy via email, as my 11-year old wants for his almost out-of-power Ipad

. . . people will live to a thousand

. . . every child will be adored and cared for

. . . we’ll go camping in the wild without tents; we’ll be bringing our force field generators

. . . we’ll breathe underwater with our oxygen extractor nasal plugs

. . . a human will connect with a life form not from this earth and it won’t be because of an abduction

. . . we will plant more than we pave over

. . . a generation will go without war 

. . . we will float over to a friend’s dinner party in our transport bubble

. . . we’ll be able to tune into the reality we want

. . . we’ll know vastly more and yet the Mystery will remain

For you 

Evan Griffith
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee!


A better term for mindfulness?

Doesn’t mindfulness sound like a lot of work? There’s something about the term that’s irksome. 

It’s because there’s a negative ‘should’ quality to it. It’s something you’re supposed to do. As though your unfavorite-most teacher nasally reminds you from the back of your head, “Mindfulness, Evan, mindfulness!”

Every third blogger admonishes you to be mindful. What gets lost is the surprise and elation that comes from being immersed in the thing you’re doing.

In my experience being alive to what I’m experiencing right now is mindjoyousness. It’s incredible. It’s mind blowing.

When you are raptly attentive to whatever is in front of you, you are abandoning yourself to its beauty. 

This existence becomes a dream realm when you are mindjoyful

You adore your sloppy co-worker. You are fascinated with your son’s tale of boredom in class. You are right there in the slowest of moments . . .

It’s not a chore. It’s a liberation.

It’s not something you must remind yourself to do more of. 

Mindjoyfulness is it’s own reward. Like kissing. Like peeing when you’ve had to hold it an hour. Like watermelon on a hot summer’s day. Like doing nothing at all in a hammock.

You want more of it, which is why you naturally become more mindjoyful in more moments of your life once you’ve started down that path. You can’t help it! 

When you are mindjoyful there is a bursting ripeness to everything. 

Things click. Life gets you. Life flutters its fairy wings at you. You become dog and cat. Happy and free. Engaged and independent. 

With some otter thrown in. 


Who doesn’t want to own that?

For you 

Evan Griffith
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee!


A prediction

It’s already happening in Ojai, California

My prediction for the future that is almost here: Green will ring and top our buildings. 
The day is coming when shrubs and plants will encircle our skyscrapers, at all levels. There will be trees and grasses crowning our buildings. 
This is not much of a prediction . . . there are already buildings with plantlife covering the rooftops. There exist some buildings where plantlife juts out from the sides. What I’m saying is it will be common.
What I’m saying is that in the future when a building goes up, more vegetation will inhabit that land than pre-construction.
That parcel of land will increase the earth’s lung power, not subtract from it.
There will be a small plot of wild outside every room. Imagine looking out your 20th-floor office through bamboo. 
That’s sustainability on steroids . . . if I may use a metaphor that employs amped-up pharmaceuticals. 
That’s when humanity will have matured to the point of giving more than it takes when it constructs. 
It’s coming. It’s coming. 

Yeah, it’s coming.

For you 

Evan Griffith
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A tale of two images

Take a look at the top image. There’s something inviting about it, isn’t there? It’s an older structure shrouded in tree. 

The lower image, what? Not much, right? 

It’s the same building without the treespan. Taken only 20 to 30 feet upwind of the tree.

The first image is inviting. The second is a turnoff. The difference is when nature is zeroed out.

You notice it too, don’t you. When you drive into an appealing neighborhood it’s got trees, regardless of home values, regardless of the age and size of the homes. 

Denude that same neighborhood of foliage and suddenly your interest drops like a drunk off a bar stool.

Want to add soul into your life? Add a plant. 

Want to leave soul behind you when you go? Plant a tree.

For you 

Evan Griffith
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Innovators, fast experiments and me

“Innovators are really good at conducting fast and frugal experiments.”

Jeff Dyer

Why not me too? And you?

Why not us in our daily lives? 

In our business we’re conducting quick and cheap experiments on several fronts. 

We’re open more nights pre-season. We’re testing out new artists. We’re trying new series by core gallery artists. 

We’re moving into a new business model, where we hire all-rounders. People who can sell and install artwork. People who can interface with clients and work on displays.

We’re changing up the gallery, adding a chic second standing desk in the gallery space, removing a cumbersomely large credenza.

So I’m engaged in fast and frugal experiments in our business life. 

What about my personal life? What about yours?


Why do I read the 10 million words?

If the average book is 80,000 words, then you’ve read approximately 10 million words by the time you’ve finished 125 books.

Years ago when I stumbled deep into my spiritual ecstasy mystery I consumed book after book on contemporary spirituality. 

Because New Thought pierced me/resonated with me, I read widely from its inception to the current day. This means from Phineas Parkhurst Quimby onward, the last 150 years or so.

Since I can’t be contained when I’m immersed in a subject I read backward in time too. 
Emerson, Swedenborg, Brother Lawrence, Francis of Assisi, Marcus Aurelius, Jesus, Daoist philosophy, Hindu thought, Buddhist teachings . . . 

And sideways.

From Abraham-Hicks to Louise Hay to Neale Donald Walsch to Marianne Williamson to Michael Bernard Beckwith to Deepak Chopra . . . and so many more.
Easily 10 million words plus 10 million words have passed before my eyes since my spark more than a decade ago.
Now I’ve become fascinated with the creative-spiritual continuum— the entanglement between creativity and spirituality. So I’ll be reading 10 million more words.
Why do I do it?
It’s not necessary at all. 
Brother Lawrence who was poorly educated and worked many of his years in a kitchen likely read little other than the Bible. Yet his spirit shines on as an example of how to live humble peace so thoroughly every moment becomes rapturous. 
The reading is not necessary. I know artists who can barely manage to read a comic book and they are pulsing with creative power. 
In my estimation 10 million words is the threshold for understanding a field of knowledge. 100 books and you’ve got a comprehensive look at the landscape. 125 books and beyond and you’re beginning to dive deeper than most will ever care to go.
I read because I want to know what others know. I want to live what others have lived in some small way. I want to know the fullness of thought in the fields that excite me. 

Beyond the reading of words is the reading of people.  

Inspired by my brother who long ago began interviewing those who inspired him, in recent years I’ve been sitting down to chat with a range of individuals. 

I sit down with artists, writers, yoga teachers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, people grappling with spiritual issues, people creatively propelling themselves forward, people engaged with life. Everyday people I come across who intrigue me in some way.

Everyone lives remarkable stories, though many don’t see it that way. I’ve not met a person yet who hasn’t lived some form of phenomenal in the midst of a seemingly ordinary existence.

These meetups mean I’m also on my way to 10 million words in direct people reading. It’s the best reading I’ve ever done. It’s the most rewarding, the most surprising. It’s also the most humbling.

Because people are amazing! People will blow you away with how they’ll bare their scarred yet unsurpassable souls if you only take the time to inquire with real and true interest.

When you sit down with someone to discover something awesome, awesomeness unfolds itself before your very eyes. 

You find what you seek. I seek the extraordinary.

It’s why I read the 10 million words.

For you 

Evan Griffith
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee!


A small list of goodness (PG-17)

— Plastic wrap — seals the freshness in, sure, but it’s real miracle is being able to see through it. Remember the old aluminum wrap? Something was always putrefying underneath it . . . . 

— My kid being zany

— Watermelon and kiwi and canteloupe and cherries and grapes — my favorite desserts from nature.

— MomJo!

— I can beam a thought around the world at the speed of light

— That friends are made at the speed of laughter

— Diner breakfasts

— The person who waves you into a lane choked with traffic

— When the phone rings and it’s the person you were just thinking of calling. It saves all that time dialing.

— Candles

— A hammock (with me in it)

— My wife — for coming into her artistic own. For her zen composure. And yes, for the phenomenal sex. I believe it’s the reason I came to this earth plane in the first place . . . 🙂

Now go make your own list!

For you 

Evan Griffith
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee!


I’m learning, I’m learning . . .

I’m learning to want for someone what they want for themselves.

You’d think it would be easy. You’d think the only people who’d have difficulty with this would be employers and parents.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

Take John Marshall. He who lived in a camper on our property. The camper is still here but the ever-exploring John Marshall is not. He’s moved in with his girlfriend.

He’s abandoned the camper!

Well, not exactly the camper but he has abandoned camper living for now. And I’m bumming. I want John Marshall to be the clever free spirit making deals to live off the grid in the most mobile way imaginable.

The thing is, John Marshall doesn’t want that anymore. I do this repeatedly, want someone else to live an ideal I’ve set in my mind for them.

I’m learning, I’m learning . . . 

If I learn it well — this lesson of allowing others their choices utterly and completely — then our son Zane will be amazed a couple decades down the line how freely I let him choose his way.

Check in with him in 2034. He’ll let you know.

For you 

Evan Griffith
Click here for a soul spritzer via email, once or twice a month.