RAKFriday, not Black Friday

Do you want a better tradition to participate in than Black Friday commercial mayhem?

Travis Thomas, founder of Yes30.com, has given us the answer.

Instead of Black Friday, RAKFriday.

It’s simple. Forego the commercialization of the Thanksgiving weekend by doing Random Acts of Kindness.

Here’s an article about RAKFriday:

The antidote to Black Friday madness: #RAKFriday

You can also go to RAKFriday.com and record your own Random Act of Kindness given onto the FaceBook page.

The goal? 1,000 random acts of kindness today.

In a year or ten years, it could be that RAKFriday generates millions of random acts of kindness.

Go forth — be crazily generously randomly kind to someone today!

Every small act multiplies outward. 

Ripple the pond! 

RAK it today, on #RAKFriday.

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
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7 Links: The buy nothing year, Stewart Brand debates de-extinction, RAK Friday and more

1. Instead of Black Friday, try RAK Friday
Let Travis Thomas of Yes30.com explain . . . 

2. Steward Brand and Paul Erlich debate de-extinction

3. Video of super strong 64-year-old grandpa 
Exhilaration moment: When you see the before picture from 8-years earlier. Thank you to Bri The Angel Guy for this one.

4. Steve Pavlina:
How to order from the universal restaurant

5. Pam Grout:
Today’s weather forecast: An ongoing avalanche of miracles and blessings

6. It’s time to be free
“You don’t have to disguise yourself anymore.”
~ 82-year-old blogger (and friend) Christopher Foster

7. The Buy Nothing Year

Two roommates set out on a savings adventure that changes their lives

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
To enjoy an occasional e-letter from The World Is Freaky Beautifulclick here.

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Taking yoga into your day

On my art treks this past summer I re-introduced yoga into my days. Though not in the way you’d expect. 

I did often start out the day with 15 minutes of yoga in a roadtel room . . . but the real benefit came from incorporating yoga into my day. 

I would stop every hour or two and take micro-breaks incorporating yoga stretches, push ups, knee bends . . . whatever energizing motion felt right.

Then I’d hop back into my big ole van and whoooosh, I’d be off to somewhere else beautiful and alive in America.


Elongation and counterbalance can be yours in your daily activities. 

A side benefit cropped up quickly. I became conscious of all of my movements . . . yoga principles began to infuse themselves into everyday activities.

Flossing Warrior Pose
(while flossing I adopt various Warrior like stances)
(seriously)
(until I look in the mirror and all seriousness gets wiped off my face)

Laundry From Hamper Asana
(a short series of stretch and bend movements, totally fulfilling)

Brushing Hair Sequence
(I don’t have hair, not really, so you’ll have to make this up for yourself)


There can be yoga in every motion, every movement.

Living yoga can be had as you move throughout your day

Ever since I went back to yoga I’ve found myself moving deliberately. Like when I pick up that stinky sock my son left behind, testing our fondness for him.

In the shower I stretch over and let the water hit my shoulders, the small of my back — my God that loosens you up.

When you take yoga into your day every action is a pleasure. There’s no need to rush, you’re living in the action itself. Not some future moment. 

Now that I take yoga into my day I walk outside more when I’m on a business call. These things are untethered! There’s no need to sit within 5 feet of the phone station like our parents were required to do.

This is not your pappy’s phone! Let the technology free you.

When you take yoga into your day you begin looking for moments to extend yourself. 

Changing positions is as productive as maintaining a position in yoga. Same with your creative life. Same with your business life. Same with your home life.

The more you can move deliberately from one pose (Sitting Next To Kid On Couch Pose) to another (Helping In The Kitchen Sequence), the richer your living yoga practice is.

When you take yoga into your day you find yourself choosing clothes you can move in. You choose shoes you can walk in. You choose moments you can exist in. 

Supple up. Body and spirit. Take yoga into your day. 

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for (occasional) notes at the intersection of creativity and spirit. Once or twice a month

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One Thing Better: Mollie Player gets it right

One Thing Better is a weekly feature we’re revving up here — featuring very cool creators I’m impressed with, in a one-question interview format.


It’s a simple premise. Each week someone will answer The Question. 


We’re kicking the series off with Mollie Player. Not long ago I finished her book You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and A Few Good Friends
It blew me away. In fact, it blew me wide open. You can’t help but come away from Mollie’s personal adventure enlarged. You come away feeling expansive.
I was so taken with the book I ran over to Amazon and spilled out a 5-star review. Amazon was stingy. I tried stealing an extra star or two, to no avail.

Still bursting with energy I skipped over to her Suddenly Awesome website and slobbered all over the comment section of a post like a happy puppy who knows no boundaries.

Here’s The Question:

What one thing have you been doing recently that’s making your life better?

Mollie Player:

That’s easy! I have been meditating every chance I get. 

But wait that answer makes no sense unless you know what I mean by meditating. So here’s the short explanation. 

Yesterday as I sat in church there was a little girl sitting in front of me, facing me as she played with some strings. She kept staring at me, as kids will do, but possibly a bit more than usual since rather than participating in the service I was using this toddler-free time to sit quietly, palms raised, eyes mostly closed. 

Though she didn’t say anything to me about what I was doing, after catching the third or fourth stare I imagined her asking a question I often ask myself, namely: what is meditation? 

And then, very easily, it came. 

“Meditation is when you stop thinking about whatever it is you may be thinking about, and take a moment to feel the feeling of feeling good.”

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee! Once or twice a month.

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The 3 email solution: If you are serious about your side career

The best way to stay focused on your mission is to eliminate clog points in your day. In our time two of the biggest choke points are email and Internet drift.


Internet drift
happens when you drift off your original purpose for diving into the Internet. We call it web surfing. 

You may have started out with pure intentions but how quickly we are diverted! By cuties and abominations and anything that will promise a little surge of turbo-charged neurotransmitters.

For that, I’ve got nothing for you. You’ll have to figure out yourself how to stay on task. 

(Though I do find that setting up 15-minute, 30-minute and 1-hour focus blocks helps me immeasurably.)

(Plus, it’s fun. Once the timer goes off, you take a short break. Nothing excites the neurotransmitters like pattern interruption.)

For email, here’s what’s been working for me.

The 3 email solution for heightening focus:

1) Work email


This assumes you have a job or business separate from your creative passion. If not, then you may only need a 2 email solution.

Your work email is just that, for your working hours. For your job-related activities. 

It is strictly for those people who need to reach you during those hours. 

In my case, I own an art gallery. This keeps me plenty occupied during my gallery hours — and the time out of work I allot to answering emails.

To mix this bag up with all sorts of other goodies — as I used to do — would only drive me to overload. Which it often did.



2) Creative/personal mission email


For those of you like me who have creative side missions — that one day may become your primary mission — a second email for that purpose is mandatory.

Why?

To honor the importance of that project in your life. 

It may feel like a hobby, but if you’re serious about it, then one day you hope — even expect it — to become your primary income source.

Treat it as such. Set up that separate email account. Give it its own space and time, separate from the other aspects of your life. 

Gmail is highly effective. For both creatives and entrepreneurs.

Plus there’s a free wonder app you can download called Boomerang that allows you to boomerang an email back to you at some future time to deal with it. Whenever would be better. Tonight. Tomorrow. Next March. 

This eliminates in-box clutter like nothing else.



3) Newsletters/Info email

There’s so much that is amazing and exploratory out there! People everywhere off-gassing insights and inspiration. You could be in a perpetual wash of thoughtiness from the coolest people in the world if you desired.

But you have your own significance to attend to. You have relationships and priorities. You actually want to get off your seat to move a little bit here and there. 

A separate email account for the rich stream of interestingness will serve you well.

I schedule a little time each day to immerse myself in the genius of others. It lifts you higher. There’s little better for your growth than drafting others who’ve blazed trails you want to trod.

Yet, this only works if relegated to its place in your day. 

Just like all the pretty and ugly things the Internet thrusts at us to snag our attention, you could easily become mired in the thoughtiness sphere.

The thought-o-sphere deserves your limited attention. Calving it off to its own inbox will delight and inspire when appropriate. 

More importantly it will not disperse your energy the rest of the time.

The multiple email solution

The magic number of email accounts may be greater for you. 

You may want an email solely for friends and family too. There may be some other compelling reason to have more. It’s easy with today’s devices to bounce back and forth between accounts.

The important criteria is area of focus. To have an email account for each significant area of focus in your life. 

So that when you are dug deep in that area of focus nothing else is pinging away for your attention. 

Now go forth and expressify!

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
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Amputation, amplification, ritual: What you learn about your creative practice by stepping away from it

Amputation, amplification, ritual. You learn a lot about your creative practice by stepping away from it.

For the first three weeks of my sabbatical from The World Is Freaky Beautiful I wrote maniacally. Day, night, in little air pockets of time that bubbled up like fizz in ginger ale. I was busy reworking passages from my upcoming book Bohemia in Suburbia.

Then I stopped.

I handed the book off to my editor friend — and eased into a week of downtime. No writing, no research. I don’t even think I took notes. And I’m a note frrreak. Sometimes when I awake in the morning my nightstand is littered with notes the way a stadium after a game is littered.

Then I took another week to research what is cool and compelling out there at the nexus of creativity and contemporary spirituality.

That is not a creative practice. It’s R&D. It’s sifting and observing. Noting what works, being alert to what misses.

When you step away from your creative practice, you learn this:

When you miss a day it feels like an amputation.

Not a big one, not like your leg below your left knee has gone missing — something small.

Something small is missing. But you don’t know what it is.

Is it an earlobe?

The tip of your little finger on your non-dominant hand?

If you keep skipping days of your creative practice more of you will go missing.

Until you disappear.

Someday — if you lose your practice entirely — a ventricle in your heart will shear off, and the life you could have lived will have vanished.

Your creative practice is like that. It’s your life purpose, sure. But it’s also the beating heart of your existence. It’s what gives you juice.

Your meaning is your energy. Fuck with your creative practice and you fuck with your life force.

The antidote is what I’m doing right now as I write these words to you. The antidote is to rev up your practice and to go at it daily.

A creative practice is a spiritual practice.

You wouldn’t go a day without breathing, would you?  

Then why go a day without something essential to your soul path?

Your creative work is your soul work. It doesn’t need to overwhelm your life, it simply needs to get done. Daily. Or else you begin losing small parts of yourself.

Creation is connection, have you noticed that?

When you are creating you are tunneling into the mystery at the core of our existence. You’re stirring up soul stuff and bringing it to the planet surface. It’s like bringing gold up from deep in the earth.

For Seti, my lover woman wife, the creation connection is found as easily in the kitchen as in the studio. For me the creation connection is as alive in relationships as it is in text squirreling onto the screen from my fingers.

The creation connection is everywhere in our lives. Nothing meaningful can exist without it.

Which means it is sacred. And worthy of being honored. By doing it daily. Wherever you find it, amplify it.

Daily.

You’ll gain parts of your self you never knew existed. Big BIG parts. Aspects of your self that might have been whispering to you, aspects that got lost in the din of modern life.

The opposite of amputation is amplification. Honor your creative practice daily and discover one of the wonders of life:

You, amplified.

You big and bold.

You quiet and powerful. 

The amplified you is the crazy beautiful you just waiting to be unearthed.

Time off is fine every now and then — consider it a well-deserved nap. But time on is where it’s at, baby. Time on is where the gold is.

That’s where you’ll unleash shiny resplendent you. Daily, in your creative practice.

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
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Shhhh — quietly booting back up

Hey all, welcome back to The World Is Freaky Beautiful

I’m doing it quietly. No email blast. No media blitzes. Nothing bombastic. 

Since the Freaky Beautiful newsletter only goes out occasionally, those who follow predominantly by newsletter will not even be aware of the pause in operations here. 

Only you. You who come to the site more frequently.

This is more my style, to quietly and surely get going again.

Why take a digital sabbatical?

Before I answer — with a list! — who doesn’t love a list — let me tell you what’s been going on.

I finished several rounds of edits on Bohemia in Suburbia, an adventure memoir that will be available in 2015 for you to purchase and read. 

It’s with the editor now, in better hands than mine. 

Two and a half years of work and now it’s with someone else — to expose its weaknesses and build on its strengths. So that by the time it gets to you it will be worthy of your time, your precious stuff of life time.

More importantly for you — for those of you who follow Freaky Beautiful — that same process has been applied to this site.

Taking a digital sabbatical has allowed me to explore its limitations and enhance its virtues. 

We’re coming back with a keener focus on the creative-spiritual continuum. There will be weekly and bi-weekly features I think you’ll come to look forward to.

There will be periodic longer posts to give you more meat in one sitting. Interspersed in between will be shorter posts to inspire and inform.

There will also be more insight and experience from others. 

I read a great deal. I’ll be excerpting passages I think you’ll find meaningful. Every other week. 

A new weekly feature will highlight one thing that’s made someone’s life better recently. Aptly, this series is titled One Thing Better.

And I’m excited to share more of the genius abounding on the Internet. I’ve always done this in the newsletter. Now I’ll be sharing what’s compelling creatively and spiritually in a post of its own. 

Every other week. 

There’s lots to look forward to.

Thanks to each of you who have hung in there with me during my time away.

. . . . . . 

Now . . . here it is. The list. 

Why take a digital sabbatical (from the website you love)

  • Naps are good. So is time off.
  • New photos of me!
  • New masthead!
  • New tagline too. I like this one mucho. It feels spot on for what we talk about here.
  • You can unthink. Unthinking has much to recommend it but few who recommend you do so. Unthinking allows you to disperse your energy and your thoughts . . . Interestingly they come back to you in a powerful karma boomerang. Better, stronger, fleeter of foot.
  • Time off shows you how much you love a thing. Or don’t. In my case I missed you terribly — you readers who connect me. I also missed sifting through insights to pour my very best out to you. 

You know what I found out? I love this thing we do here! 

Creative connection is the future. It’s where sanity lives. In the zone between what is and what is possible.


It’s also the present. Creative connection is all about the present moment. 

Every good thing is here now, all we must do is connect deeply. Into our pure creation beingness. 


We are creator spirits set loose in this world for the adventure of it. 

Quietly now . . . let’s get on with it.







For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity, spirituality and whee! Once or twice a month.

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