Ray Kurzweil: World problems and the power of exponential growth

Sometimes you just need someone to point out that our problems are solvable. Today we celebrate Ray Kurzweil:

“If you take 30 steps linearly, you get to 30. if you take 30 steps exponentially, you’re at a billion.” 

“Things that seemed impossible at one point are now possible. That’s the fundamental difference between me and my critics.”

“There’s a lot of pessimism in the world. If I believed progress was linear, I’d be pessimistic, too. Because we would not be able to solve these problems. But I’m optimistic — more than optimistic. I believe we will solve these problems because of the scale of these technologies.”

From SUCCESS Magazine October 2014 in an article by Chris Raymond, Ray Kurzweil: The Exponential Mind.


How one change leads to many: One Thing Better with Lori Saitz

One Thing Better is a weekly series featuring some cool creator I’ve stumbled across, in a one-question interview format.

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

Lori Saitz and I stumbled across each other twice. The first time through our gallery CFO, who put us together for an event. 

Lori supplied the tastiest cookies, with the image of a painting affixed to each wrapper. It was a big hit. Some people didn’t want to open up the package for fear of ripping the artwork . . . Others snuck the cookie packets for display on their coffee tables. Still others came back sheepishly with crumbs tumbling from their lips, begging for more.

This doesn’t seem revolutionary now, where images can be printed on any surface including your eyeball, but go back a decade and it was like a Princess Leia holographic wonder.

We stopped doing events at the gallery when we discovered we were more successful forging one-on-one relationships. Lori and I lost touch. Time went by until we found ourselves sitting together in the unlikeliest of places — a down-home, down-country, down and dirty and dog-rank auto mechanic shop. 

To find a vibrant professional woman sitting there on the thirty-year old chairs among the strewn Monster Truck and Maxim mags . . . was unusual. 

But Lori hews to her own unique path — and damnit, if the best mechanic in town (Steve!) had a lair fit only for canines and some of the lesser primates, then Lori was going to make it her scene too.

Lori creates voice-over magic for corporations, businesses and non-profit organizations. 

Today, here, I think you’ll enjoy seeing how Lori’s One Thing Better led to a number of new experiences.

(Plus, Lori’s answer is a bit of a two-fer . . . she’s throwing in the extra one for free.) 

(Cuz that’s her way, always giving more than asked of her, which is especially good for those who use her services . . . 🙂

The Question:

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

Lori Saitz:

Hey my freaky beautiful friend Evan, 

I’m honored you’re asking me to participate! And the one sentence answer came to me right away. Now I’ve got to expand on that a bit.  

At the beginning of the year, I made it a goal to do at least one new thing a week. So far, almost a quarter of the way through 2015, I’ve accomplished this goal every week. 

Here are a few of the new (and fun) things I’ve been doing:

I made candles with my friend Lizz. She had purchased all the ingredients and we looked online to get a little direction. Then we just went at it like a couple of mad scientists. We think they turned out pretty well and now I have enough candles to get me through the rest of the year!

I bought and cooked a rutabaga. As crazy as it sounds, I’d never even tasted a rutabaga. Maybe I’d been somewhat influenced by my step-father who’d always said the only foods he didn’t like were turnips and rutabagas. But I figured out how to make it and even though I deemed it “benign” in flavor, I’d make it again.

Back in December I’d joined a boxing gym. In early February they hosted a two week-long squat competition. Contestants were required to do at least 1,000 squats over 14 days. Normally I would never have even participated. 

But I signed up, consistently did the work and I WON!

My brother, sister-in-law and 5-year old nephew, Henry, came to visit for a weekend. This was Henry’s first ever trip to Washington, DC and he was beyond excited. He said he wanted to go up in the Washington Monument, but we weren’t sure if once in there he would get scared. 

Even though I’ve lived here for many of my adult years, the last time I went to the Washington Monument was on a family vacation when I was about 10. So while this wasn’t a never-done before experience, I hadn’t done it in more than 30 years and I’d never done it with Henry. He loved it!

My husband and I tend to eat at the same restaurants all the time. Since I set this goal, we’ve visited a whole bunch of new places from Asian to Italian to Ethiopian. And we’ve found some new favorites. 

The other goal I set that goes hand in hand with this one is to pay attention to and record all the good things that happen in my life. 

I’m helped by a new calendar/planner called the Passion Planner (www.passionplanner.com/), which actually has a section specifically for recording “Good Things That Happened.” 

It’s amazing how many good things you can see happening when you start looking for them! So now, not only do I have an easy review for my gratitude reflections, I’ll have fun remembering them all when I flip through the weekly pages at the end of December this year or any time in a future year. 



Lori Saitz is a voice-over professional. You can hire her at www.ZenRabbitMedia.com.

For you 

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

Feeling the urge to answer the One Thing Better question? Please do! You can email your response to me at this address:

TheWorldIsFreakyBeautiful (at) gmail (dot) com

Thoughts on Joe Vitale’s 3 steps to making something happen

There are many ways to say it: 

Making something happen 




Realizing a dream

Bringing about a desired experience . . . 

Let’s use Joe Vitale’s language:

Joe Vitale’s 3 steps to manifestation

1) State what you want

This is so simple but how few of us really do it? 

Here’s an example from my own life. 

Five years ago in 2009 I was living in some kind of cratered hell. Our business had nearly been wiped from the planet in the aftermath of the crash. Who needs the luxury of art when survival is in balance?

My most urgent dream was to survive. To keep the business afloat. 

We’re going to survive even if we’re hanging on by one torn fingernail, was my mantra. 

I said it often. To myself. To everyone.

Five years on we’ve done that magnificently. All while 80% of our competitors in the area went out of business.

What I would add to Vitale’s dictum is this, State what you really truly want.

Now I think, what if I’d stated this instead? We’re going to come out of this better than before. We’re going to new heights!

That thought would have been the one permeating my brain tissue and my soul tissue. I believe we’d be in far better shape today had I articulated an even more powerful future then.

Believe me, I’m doing that now. Articulating the powerful future I want to participate in.

2) Release any need for it

I love this one. 

Christians might phrase this as Thy Will Be Done. Contemporary spirituality might simply call it surrendering. New Agers might use the term releasing it to the Universe.

It’s the basis of all spirituality. Deep knowing. Coming to understand that in this very moment you are supported, you are provided for. That there is richness in your experience right now and it is your job to relinquish all that prevents you from seeing it.

When you’re able to do this something paradoxical happens. 

You feel the moreness of connection. Limitations drop away. Your experience right now becomes perfect to you. 

Moments before you might have lacked money, a perfect home, the right partner, appreciation, love, health, friendship. 

Now in your moreness all feels strangely ideal. 

All that you are experiencing feels rich. 

You are saturated with the energy of creation.

Those things you want, meh. It would be nice, though no longer important. You’ve released them. 

The paradoxical part happens now. Those things you want come to you sweetly, easily, in time.  

3) Take action on any opportunities you spot

High-energy people already understand this. Go-getters get this too. 

Oddly, people on the spiritual path often think it near profane to get out and take action. 

If you feel your thoughts direct your outcomes then it is helpful to understand that action is your strongest form of thought

You only take the actions that you are the most powerfully in sync with mentally. 

It would have been impossible for Gandhi to strike back at another who was beating him — and he was beaten often in his life — because it was inconsistent with his most powerfully held ideals.

There’s also this: Life favors the experimental. It’s as true for the evolution of life forms as it is true for software creators. 

It’s been true for me as well. In the past five years I acted on ideas that presented themselves and bit by bit we made it through. 

Some ideas were difficult emotionally to execute. I hit the road for a year and a half doing art transport to save our business, taking me away from the family I love insanely.

Not every idea worked. 

Some were painful at the time, like having to let go of our staff as we approached bankruptcy. 

To our gallery director at the time it was equally painful, if not more so. 

Yet today she is making far more money per hour and with greater flexibility than had she remained with us. Because she was forced to concentrate on a side business. 

Until that time she hadn’t been able to put a lot of time and energy into her business. Now she’s rocking the cosmic casbah with her appraisal services.

And us? We never went bankrupt. 

Inch by action inch we moved forward. 

Our gallery is entering a Golden Era. We’ve built back. And creatively my wife and I have never been more a-fire. 

All because we made real changes to the way we did things. Sometimes drastic changes. 

We got silent often. We spoke to our needs from both anquished and exalted places. We asked! We affirmed. We did almost everything one can think of doing.

And you know what? Doing everything works.

An interesting side effect to taking action

Over the years, in good times and bad, we’ve noticed this: When we take material action in a direction we seem to always get results.

However, it doesn’t necessarily come from the action we took! Not in any direct way that we can ascertain.

An example: Sales slow down and we jump into action connecting with our top clients. 

Sales come, but from new clients who walk in.

Or sales slow down and we pump funds into advertising in a specific area.

Sales come, but not from there!

We’ve learned that taking action with real intent is the key. So now we focus on what we can do to improve the gallery itself when we feel a slow down in process.

It works. Sometimes what we are doing is invisible to clients — we might be purging a storage area — yet there is always a response. 

There is always a response to earnest intention. There’s always a response to energy expended. The delight is watching where it comes from. That is mindfulness in its best form. Being attentive to the flux around you, happily alert for the response that is coming.

From where though? That’s the beauty and the mystery. You don’t know! 

But it’s coming. 

For you 

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


Celebrating nothing mode

I’m tired. 

What a weekend. Big dogfight between our new dog and our old dog. Felt like it went on for an hour. Probably was only three or four minutes. 

The smaller newer dog got the worst of it — and yet every time we separated them it was she who went right back at it. 

Spent some time at the emergency vet after that, me, my son, Bibi. The Vizsla who had perhaps twelve bleeding puncture wounds. (The German Shepherd had maybe six, all much smaller.)

I’m tired from the intensity. You’d be surprised how five minutes or one hour of two dogs going at it viciously takes it out of you — especially when  it’s two dogs you love.  

Yesterday we tackled a treetop trek with our nephew. He was visiting for spring break from college. On the treetop adventure you go from one platform to another on a kind of tree canopy obstacle course, passing over monkey and bird cages, passing over zoo walkers on pathways below.

(See Ann, above.)

I’m aching.

Not just from that. Last week we started walking with hiking sticks. As we came across thicker limbs we’ve been switching. Now it feels like we’re using stumps . . . they’re so dense and heavy.

That adds to the aches.

This week was high season, like the previous 18 weeks before them. Five or six days at work, three nights. Emails and phone calls off hours per usual.

I’m becoming scattered. I’ve got a pile piling up on my home office desk. Me the pile-less one has a pile. Project folders at work are stacking up like all-you-can-eat pancakes.

I didn’t get my regular four to five hours of creative practice in this weekend. You know what I’m doing to catch up tonight? 

Absolutely nothing.

As soon as I’m done writing you I’m switching it all off and crawling into bed to read, me and Ann and the kid. 

The two dogs who seem to be happily reintegrated — “they have spats like kids and then forget about it,” said the vet — will be in their own beds.

I suggest this for you too. 

If you find yourself overwhelmed and behind. Slip into nothingness mode for an evening. For an afternoon. Let all the expectations seep out of you like a deflating balloon. 

When you feel like limpid rubber — relaxed and at rest — then you’ve done your job. You’ve gone to ground zero. 

Let it percolate. There’s nothing you can’t recharge by going into nothing mode. Especially if you’ve got a notepad by your side. 

That way you can catch any thoughts about what might want to be done in the coming days. Your idea catcher, your notepad, helps empty your mind of the important things so you can righteously attend to the unimportant.

You know, like a hammock. Which I sunk into upon returning from the vet. 

Or a bath. Which I took after cleaning up the blood and dirt tracked through the house.

Nothing is more important than attending to the unimportant when you’re body’s ready to shut down. 

If you need permission to take a break, you’ve got it here. I insist on it in fact. I hereby authorize you to cease your forward motion

Earlier today I quit for the rest of the day. It was beautiful. In this post we’re celebrating renewal. Because that’s really what we’re talking about here. The need for renewal. Which I’d cast aside a little too often this week.

In the coming days I hope you savor your own renewal time. 

It has a thousand faces, renewal. Walking, napping, biking, meditating, friendship, familyship, pet petting, reading, lying on a couch where the sun warms you on a winter’s day, yard work, bouncing on a trampoline, whatever. 

Renewal is what calls to you and feels like sweet relief. 

Own it, do it, celebrate it. 

Let’s renew. 


So we can go do the things we love to do that require focus and do them better. Do them single-mindedly. Do them with a hearty inner voice in our mind’s ear. 

So we can celebrate our work and connection time . . . because we renewed so well and so thoroughly and so richly and so deservedly that we roar like lions. 

Or squeak like porpoises. Whatever spirit animal floats your boat.

Renew. Revive. Recharge. Recalibrate. Relinquish.

Then return. With a smile. As you deftly guide yourself into a more sensible rhythm.

For you 

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


One Thing Better with Lia Kass

One Thing Better is a weekly series featuring some cool creator I’ve stumbled across, in a one-question interview format.

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

The Question:

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

Lia Kass:

One thing I’ve been doing lately that makes my life better is swimming my brains out. 

It was a habit most of my adult life until I lost the option due to shoulder injury.  Recently, for the first time since ’07 I’ve been able to swim for miles again. 

Equally wonderful, said shoulder is reliable for work. For 9 years I often lost use of my right arm entirely.  All endeavors were fearfully & tenuously undertaken & many jobs forfeited. 

Powering through water is a seductive luxury that both exhilarates & relaxes me. Working on a large glass design with a working shoulder feels like cheating. 

My swims breath a little extra light into everything.

I bumped into Lia Kass and her partner outside a roadtel in Nevada this past summer while art trekking around America. 

(A roadtel is a cheap roadside motel, hired for one function only: a bed and a bathroom at a good rate. Best to arrive late and leave early . . . 😉

I was in our art van with its collage of artwork wrapping around the entirety of the outer skin. One of Lia’s great attributes is her curiosity and her brio. We met because she wanted to see the inside of my van!

It turns out she’d lived out of a van when she was younger. An athletically attractive woman who lived for skiing in her early twenties and lived out of a van . . . that kind of daring demanded a longer conversation. 

They were travelling west; I was heading east. So I invited the two of them out for breakfast before we hit the road. 

Connections are often forged with a question. Lia’s question: To see the inside of my van. My question: How about breakfast?

I’m sure it helped that I was buying.

It turns out the place we went for breakfast — the best place in town according to the roadtel manager — was owned by a guy who also owned the local brothel. Though in my younger years I might have wanted to linger to sample the owner’s other offerings . . . that’s long ago. Now, a good connected conversation with lots of laughter, exploring what matters, is paramount.

What I recall best about Lia’s world is her utter fearlessness in living the life she wanted to live. Whether on the slopes or in the freedom from the 9-to-5 she gained by removing herself awhile from the housing market.

Most of us would be fearful for her. A young woman not safely locked away in a home each night. And yet despite the challenges van living brought she still looks back with relish on that time.

It only makes sense that someone who lived so adventurously in her twenties would find her way into the creative life. Lia is an artist who works in glass and in paint. One form can’t contain her!

Do yourself a favor and visit Lia’s artwork here.

For you 

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

Would you like to answer the One Thing Better question? Please do! And email your response to me at this address:

TheWorldIsFreakyBeautiful (at) gmail (dot) com

How to use steady-drip hypnosis on anyone, even yourself

His studio . . . a bit of it . . . it spills out into the driveway . . .
and into the yard . . . and all over the house . . .
. . . all the way into our gallery . . .
and other galleries across the nation . . .

Let’s start with the good stuff. He’s living the good life now. It feels good to get that out of the way, doesn’t it? Now we can plow onward with our story . . . You know where it ends, here’s where it starts:

A couple of days ago I was talking to an artist I’ve known 19 years. He was in the first exhibit that opened our gallery, in its original location.

He was dirt poor, living in the woods, doing street festivals. We were the first gallery to take his work beyond his hometown.

Paul did magnificent work on clay vessels . . . beautiful looping abstract designs on contemporary vessels — yet he could barely make ends meet. Every phone call was a monetary complaint.

It dawned on me that he should also be doing two-dimensional work. Artwork for walls. Because what he did would work just as well on flat surfaces. It was that compelling.

Over the course of two or three years, every time he’d call to complain about not having enough money I’d suggest he add two-dimensional work to his output.

It was like slow, steady-drip hypnosis . . . I just kept mentioning it.

Finally he took a stab in that direction. Then another stab or two.

Fast forward to today — he’s easily worth $1.5 to $2 million. His two-dimensional work outsells his three-dimensional work by a factor of probably 100.

(Of course he’s forgotten all the years of suggestions! But hypnosis works that way . . . all of a sudden it feels like this great idea explodes in your brain . . . and the seed source is forgotten . . . 🙂

It works on others given enough time. Imagine what it could do for you? 

Steady-drip hypnotize yourself to where you want to go. 

Why not? You’re already doing it with the things you don’t want in your life. You steady drip those thoughts into your day.

How do I know? Because I catch myself all the freaking time. 

Steady-drip hypnosis. Of something wildly good. 

Let’s you and me do it daily. We’ll compare notes in five years. 

Let’s give ourselves something to talk about.

For you 

Evan Griffith

This post was inspired by a conversation with my new forever friend, The Poet of Google Plus, Kevin Walsh.
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The shadowlands: How to get out of creative despair

The shadowlands

When you’re involved in creative work there’s always a point where you enter a murky zone. You no longer see clearly. Is what you’re putting out good? Or is it crap? Can it be rescued in revision, or are you simply lost?
The same in life. You’re working hard at your day job. You’re engaging your creative practice daily. However, whenever you can. You’re even submitting. But nothing’s working. The joy you had approaching your work every day has seeped into the aquifer and you’re left with nothing  but distress. 

What the hell are you doing with your life, you think. You’re efforting and nothing is cracking open. It’s become a slog.

You’re in the shadowlands.
Nothing is black and white. The contrast between what is good and bad has so blurred it’s all puke grey to you now, you’ve become so dispirited.

Here’s how to get out of the shadowlands
Acknowledge  . . . and . . . Ask.
Acknowledge where you are in as frank of terms you can muster.
“I’m stuck.”
“I’m so damn lost Bear Grylls couldn’t lead me back.”
“I’m in agony. I don’t know what to do next.”
“I’m depressed, it’s futile, nothing I do matters.”

You want to define the truth of your situation so that you can imagine its opposite.
Travis Thomas of Yes30.com defines this as Yes and . . . . This concept comes from his background in improv theater. 

For Travis, the Yes is acceptance. It’s a blunt, un-sugarcoated statement about where you find yourself. 

The and . . . is where all your creativity comes to bear.  And . . . is the space you allow for possibility. It’s where you play boldly with the universe and start moving in a direction.

Yes, my heart was burned, and . . . I’m going to cocoon for awhile.
Yes, my heart was burned, and . . . I’m going to sign up for that class I’ve always wanted to take. Why the hell not? My evenings are free now.
Yes, my heart was burned, and . . . I’m going to go to an old folks home and ask them how they handled the biggest heartaches of their life.
Yes, my heart was burned, and . . . I’m going to mate like bonobos. Hello, online dating.
Yes, my heart was burned, and . . . I’m going to start that soul project I never got around to.
Yes, my heart was burned, and . . .

Once you’ve defined your situation clearly, ask big. If you can’t muster that, ask small. Asking is the wormhole to where you want to go. All you need ask is to be shown the way.
Think of what a wormhole is: A wormhole is a theoretical hidden doorway between two points in space-time. It’s a shortcut. What may in reality seem immense in distance can be traversed quickly via a wormhole.
It took me decades to learn: Asking is the best way out of any mess. Asking opens the wormhole to where you want to be.
When I speak of asking I mean asking from within yourself. Though you can ask others, you are most concerned with asking the question in the quietude of your own self.

Who are you asking? The Infinite. That part of you in connection with greater resources than you are currently accessing.
I have a preference for two kinds of asking. Written and Spoken.
Writing out your question and then sliding into possible answers is a freeing exercise.
Almost equally as powerful is asking aloud. In the privacy of your car, in a shower, on a walk . . . you know the places! . . . wherever you feel utterly alone and safe.
I’ve pleaded in the barest of whispers and I’ve demanded in pissed-off snarls of urgency. I’ve shouted and cursed. I’ve spoken rationally and calmly, as though I were an accountant looking into a not-quite-balancing ledger.
Be yourself, find that taproot into what you really feel and ask. Only earnest, honest asking does it. (When you’re in need . . . .)
(Delightfully you’ll find asking when it doesn’t matter one bit to you whether it happens or not yields surprising results. It’s why the happy bounce from one wondrous moment to another.)
The first thing asking does is refocus you on what you want. When you’re in the shadowlands it’s often because you’re mired in the confusion — and not looking up for guidance.
Asking is salvation.

When you ask from your heart-soul for an answer, what is the next most important thing to do?
Listening is active. You’re attentive. You consider answers that are seemingly being suggested to you.
Listening is re-asking. If you think you are hearing an answer but aren’t sure . . . ask for clarification! Ask again!
Ask, Is this idea where I should start? Ask for a clear signal.

The shadowlands make you more capable if you embrace where you’re at.
The shadowlands can be a catalyst to your best work, to your best self.

I’ve taken suck situations and through asking urgently and clearly they’ve been transformed. Through asking you convert a negative that has a stranglehold on you into a forceful good — spiritualizing a thing will do that for you.
I’m better for the crap storm I’ve gone through. I’m more resilient. I’m more loving. I’m more accepting. I’m more understanding. I’m less in a hurry. I’m less agitated. I’m more about less now. In an essentialist kind of way. Seeking what is essential for my life and discarding what is trivial.
I value my time in the shadowlands so much that when things go awry a little tinge of excitement comes. I know from hard experience that whatever is weighing me down will be the catapult into better. If I can learn its lesson.

There’s a divine wind blowing, always. Our job is to open up — to let it blow through us.

For you 

Evan Griffith

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Your objects and who you are becoming

Wayne Dyer mocks up a book cover of the book he’s working on. He has it professionally done — and wraps it around an existing book.

In this way it feels like there is a completed version at hand. All he has to do is draw it out. The book made real pulls the project through him.

There it sits, beckoning the best from him.

“The objects around you should help you become who you intend to be.”

~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

My yoga mat on my nightstand does this for me. (Months and months: The slow sure way to build a practice)

What does it for you?

For you 

Evan Griffith
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The Poet of Google Plus on changing . . . One Thing Better with Kevin Walsh

One Thing Better is a weekly series featuring some cool creator I’ve stumbled across, in a one-question interview format.

It’s a simple premise. Each week someone answers The Question.
Kevin Walsh brought poetry back into my life. Through social media! Can you imagine wanting to slowwww down enough to take in a poem while zipping your way through a thicket of daily postings?

Kevin Walsh did that for me — and he does that for thousands of others on Google Plus.

I remember first coming across his work with that sinking feeling, Not another faux poet . . . 

I wanted to skip by but couldn’t. He riffs off a compelling image he’s found . . . and within the time span of a fruit fly’s flap of the wings you’re off on a tumbleweed adventure of the soul.

I learn more about the free flow of language each time I read a speck of Kevin Walsh’s writing than I do in weeks’ worth of other reading.

He is my living, breathing E.E. Cummings, my modern-era Walt Whitman, my male Mary Oliver living a wilder life than she lived. (Or so I imagine.)

Do yourself a favor and venture onto Google Plus just for his work. Caution: There’s often an elephant involved. But I don’t think they’re ever harmed.

Another thing you should know about Kevin. He doesn’t shy from the shadow side. It’s what gives his work such intricacy. He knows it’s the interplay of light and dark that stitch together a life.

In his work you’re as apt to find brokenness and heartache and discarded loves as you are to find fabulistic yelps of insight that will set your heart afire. He finds life in it all. Childhood, aging, loss, whimsy, meandering . . .

Everyone should have a favorite living poet. Kevin Walsh is mine. Maybe yours too, if you take a peek.

The Question:

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

Kevin Walsh:

by recently….I imagine you mean in this lifetime?
in a word the answer would have to be……changing.

change involves growth, and pain, and loving myself enough
to support the changes from within and while providing the guidance
and listening to the guidance via riddles, clues, wise words, and advice from friends, strangers, and loves ones
sharing this blue and green nest all around us.
the egg within the egg within the egg is cracking and a new bird pokes its head out
yet again. i’m an artist who became a poet that wanted to write a novel and has started.
then I became a student to all around me and a teacher to myself cause I was finally ready to abandon
all those layers of shell I had collected and so proudly displayed as the trappings of former lives I wore like medals
on a general’s uniform.
changing…..the only thing a tree understands as it grows both root and branch is to reach higher as it learns to let go of the beautiful foliage it amasses each year.

change……at fifty three or three weeks shy of fifty three my body seems to be doing it all by itself….as if it had a mind of its own…..but my soul, my mind, my heart……they are a bit more reluctant to reshape and transform and so I allow the inner child to take my hand and guide me back into myself to view the ever changing landscape that is life and the carnival it wants to be seen as. now I am a writer, and a painter, a muralist, a sculptor, a poet, a friend, a little boy, a man, a caretaker, and a spirit catching the smell of hot dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy on the wind which calls to me every day if I just keep being open to the changes this life asks me to make…always, in all ways.

Check out Kevin Walsh’s saw art. Homages to those who’ve influenced him mightily.

For you 
Evan Griffith
Click here for (occasional) notes at the intersection of creativity and spirit. Once a month, maybe.

Speak it out loud


Earlier this year I wrote about The power of the Vision Page — and how to access it.

A second way to renew your vision is to speak it. Favorite places for me are in the car, on a walk, in the shower or on a bathroom break. Though admittedly, if others are about, it’s more a whisper of a whisper when it’s a bathroom break.
I practice two forms of speaking my vision aloud: 
  1. Declarations: Where I declare in whatever tone suits me that day a list of principles for my life. Some are already true (I am vibrant). Some are aspirational (I am a multi-millionaire writer-creator), Some are almost there (I am yoga fit). Some are guidelines (I love sharing my overflow with others).
  2. Mantra: I use this term loosely, in the Western sense, where your mantra is a single phrase you seek to embody. Like a motto but with a deeper, more singular meaning. 
    I pull a phrase from my Declarations — the one that most comprehensively speaks to the vision I’m working on now — and repeat that 15 to 20 times aloud. Often with variations on the theme. Like jazz. Where I’ll state the phrase and riff a little each iteration on what it feels like to be living it
Both of these methods are clarifying. There’s nothing quite like the power of your own voice articulating your vision. There’s a rumble and hum to your voice that vibrates into your bones. Even when you’re speaking softly. The resonance goes into your body, deep.
Your body-mind picks up on it. Especially when you slow yourself down to feel what it would feel like.
What you speak aloud — to yourself and others — is reality forging. 
By speaking my declarations and mantra aloud on my morning drive to work I pre-empt my own tendency to accept less for myself. It’s soul-boggling how things begin to change once you start speaking to a new standard.
By speaking aloud my desires for my life before my day really gets going I’m setting my mind to a higher frequency. 
A final thought on speaking it out loud. When crises erupt in my day I find it fortifying to re-set what I think is possible by taking just a minute to reframe my ideal outcome. 
For example, let’s say I find myself suddenly embroiled in an issue with an artist or a vendor at the gallery. Everything flows far better when I take that minute to get away and articulate out loud the feeling I want to come away with when it’s all settled.
If I say aloud to myself, “That was easier than I thought. And it worked out far better than both of us probably imagined it would. I love that we’re both happy with the solution.” — and I allow myself to feel the relief that comes from that as yet unknown solution — it is striking how often it plays out in that direction!
All it is is a mini-projection into the future. Sometimes only minutes or hours into the future. 
By articulating the ideal, reality softens. Reality becomes more malleable. Unseen forces flow in new directions. Possibilities open up. New probabilities come into alignment. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.

For you 

Evan Griffith

You, Creator

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