Oh, things be changing



This site be a-changing

#NotesForCreators — hand-jotted notes to creators of all stripes — has taken over. What started out as a social media lark a couple of years back has become more and more the focus of this site. 

Not just the handwritten notes you see alternating with posts . . . but the intent behind all posts has morphed. I now see every post as a note to people intent on creative living. 

Notes of inspiration and insight . . . peppered with brief stories here and there of people grappling with the most significant question: 

How do I create a meaningful life?

These posts are for people who embrace uncertainty and experimentation, in their work, in molding experience, in deepening their relationship to life itself.

. . . . . .

This is the first segment of the updated Now Page . . . You can read more here

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How your Purpose drives your Vision: An example

I have a friend who’d like to find her life mate.

Her Vision looks like this: She sees a life with an equal partner. One who is energetic and ambitious, as she is. One with whom she can play, chat, romance, forage at the green market, curl up on a couch and watch a movie. Someone who is her considerable equal, with whom she can spar intellectually, grapple with the issues of this era, talk business strategy, and most importantly with whom she can laugh.

That is her Vision. To find her Purpose — the reason she wants a partner — you must ask her, “Why? Why do you want this?”

It’s important to get at what powers her Vision: Why does she hold this particular dream?

What appeals to her about having this play out rather than, say, taking an independent path and forging through this lifetime on her own as an intrepid solo adventurer?

For her it’s about love. Daily love and support. It’s the giving of love, it’s the receiving of love. It’s about the sharing of experience. Day to day. Moment to moment. She’s a strong, independent woman. It’s not that she needs a mate. She wants one. She desires the in-the-trenches camaraderie that comes from living your life out loud with someone else.

That is her Purpose: Living love, sharing experience daily.

Knowing her Purpose — to live and share love every day — that’s a gift! Because she can do that now. She may not be able — yet — to do it with the very same person day to day, but she can live and share love each and every day.

Knowing her deep Purpose allows her to seek out ways to give and receive love as continuously as she is capable. Right now. Today.

There are others with whom she can share experience. There are others crying out to be touched by a caring thought. There are others all around who’d like to run out for a coffee, discuss the charged political atmosphere, be sounding boards for career options, explore spiritual truths.

Others abound…

Opportunities abound…

For one who’d like to live her Purpose, the world is ripe with the chance to do so. Now.

The Vision may take time to achieve…

Purpose can be lived now. Always.

Excerpt from Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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Beware the person who meditates

Beware the person who meditates; she becomes her own person.

Those who power down can’t easily be swayed.

Those who go quiet often gain a light heart and a sure touch.

Want to become unstoppable?

Become silent . . .

Ask questions of yourself . . .

Then let the answers blip in from the silence.

They will.

(Have a notepad ready . . . 🙂

 

 

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Ode to bathroom reading

There are few spaces better suited to getting away than a bathroom.
If you keep some good reading material there — and a notebook — this getaway nook can become your transformation space.
Not only do you gain downtime away from the buzzing intensities of the day, you get soul food.
Feed your brain a little every day . . . it only takes a few moments.
Many an epiphany launched in a restroom . . . probably startups too.
Keep a few select books that propel you forward . . . and suddenly the Church of You is in session every time you sit down.

 

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Amy Schumer: I am an introvert

We creatives are often contemplative — inward looking. In the language of psychology: introverts.

Comedian Amy Schumer addresses what it means to be an introvert in her book The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo

Sure she blows air kisses to her fans for the first couple of chapters, to deliver the bawdy goods we expect from her.

(An open letter to her vagina; the tale of her only one-night stand.)(Yep, she’s only had one . . .)

Then she dives into what makes the book so compelling. Real issues, straight talked in her graphic style.

I’m cursing Schumer under my breath late at night . . . I’ve only had the book two nights and I’m losing valuable sleep because I can’t put it down.

Here are a few snippets from Amy Schumer on being an introvert: 

I am an introvert. I know— you’re thinking, What the fuck, Amy? You just told us you hooked up with a stranger in Tampa, and now you’re claiming to be shy? You’re not shy, you’re a loud, boozy animal!

Okay, fair enough. Sometimes that’s true. But I am, without a doubt, a classic textbook introvert. In case you don’t know what that word means, I will fill you in quickly. If you do know what it means, then skip ahead to the chapter about where to find the best gloryholes in Beijing.

Just kidding. I don’t have that info. Also, just fucking read my description of an introvert. Why are you in such a rush to skip ahead, you pervert?

Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re shy. It means you enjoy being alone. Not just enjoy it— you need it.

If you’re a true introvert, other people are basically energy vampires. You don’t hate them; you just have to be strategic about when you expose yourself to them— like the sun. They give you life, sure, but they can also burn you and you will get that wrinkly Long Island cleavage I’ve always been afraid of getting and that I know I now have.

For me, meditation and headphones on the subway have been my sunscreen, protecting me from the hell that is other people.

There’s a National Geographic photo I love of a young brown bear. He’s sitting peacefully against a tree near the border of Finland and Russia. The caption reads something like, “The cubs played feverishly all day, and then one of them left the group for a few minutes to relax on his own and enjoy the quiet.”

This was very meaningful to me because that’s what I do! Except in my case, the bear gets ripped away from his chill spot by the tree, and several people paint his face and curl his fur and put him in a dress so he can be pushed onstage to ride one of those tiny bicycles in the circus.

I’m not saying he doesn’t enjoy making people laugh, but still, it’s hard out there for a fuzzy little introvert.

. . . . .

Even as a child, I had always known something was up. I didn’t like to play for as long as the other kids, and I absolutely always bailed on slumber parties.

. . . . .

Sitting and writing and talking to no one is how I wish I could spend the better part of every day. In fact, it might be surprising for you to learn that most of my days are spent alone, unless I am on set, which is crazy draining for an introvert.

As soon as lunchtime arrives, I skip the food service tables and rush to my trailer or a quiet corner and I meditate.

I need to completely shut off. This time spent silently is like food to me. 

. . . . .

Once, [my boyfriend] Rick took me to his friend’s wedding. After about two hours of small talk and formalities, I went to hide in the bathroom. I had nothing left to give or say, and I felt the unbearable sensation that I was treading water.

It wasn’t until I became best friends with some fellow comics and performers that I realized being an introvert wasn’t a character flaw.

Even when we all go on vacations or on the road together, we take little breaks in our own rooms and then text each other to check in.

This quality is tricky when your job actually requires you to constantly travel and interact with new faces, new towns, and new audiences. You cross paths with lots of people in this line of work, and you feel shitty if you don’t give away some of your energy and conversation to every driver, hotel front-desk clerk, promoter, backstage crew member, member of the audience, waiter, and so on. And I do mean “give away.” Energy is finite between recharges. That shit runs out.

. . . . .

Now that I know I’m an introvert, I can better manage this quality and actually start to see it as a positive.. . .

It’s hard to be in the company of others for very long while being creative. . . . I feel lucky to have a huge group of people who let each other do their own thing . . .

. . . . .

Just because my job requires me to make fun of myself into a microphone and wear my heart on my sleeve for hire doesn’t mean I can’t be an introvert as well.

Believe it or not, I do have a complex inner life just like you, and I enjoy being alone. I need it. And I’ve never been happier than I was when I finally figured this out about myself.

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Now you can dream it and someone else will create it

Years ago I imagined buildings of the future would add more natural life than they displaced. 

I imagined extended terraces ringing the floors of buildings, verdant with shrubbery, flowering plants and small trees. 

I imagined birds nesting in the branches just outside your breakfast nook. 

Now it’s real. You can see it with your own eyes. The Bosco Verticale building above (the Vertical Forest), designed by Stefan Boeria Architetti, won the 2015 Best Tall Building Worldwide award. 

You can read more about the awards here.

It’s happening. The future is riding in on fast winds. Whatever you dream up will be brought to you . . . Universal thought is rampantly creative. Millions of minds are busy bringing the future to us now. 

Fast forward a hundred years, air pollution will be a thing of the past.

Fast forward a thousand years, your great grandchildren may still be alive.

Buildings that scrub carbon from the air are coming. And they’ll create more oxygen than a city block could ever hope to use.

Can you imagine walking down an urban street that smells like forest!

It’s coming.

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Ah, nails! A Greek tale

An experience in Greece I think you’ll enjoy. From Ariana Huffington’s sister, Agapi Stassinopoulos, in her book Unbinding The Heart

After my sister published her book on the Greek gods, she was asked to do a feature for Town & Country in which she was photographed in Greece, dressed as each of the gods and goddesses. 

For her photo as Dionysus, god of wine, we drove to a friend’s vineyard outside Athens and gathered on the porch of the little house where the caretaker, Mr. Vasilios, lived with his wife and daughter. 

He welcomed us with typical Greek hospitality, offering ouzo, feta cheese, olives, grapes, and bread. 

The photographer wanted to hang bunches of grapes from the porch beams to take a shot of my sister’s face surrounded by the fruit. We asked Mr. Vasilios if he had a few nails we could pound into the beams. 

Mr. Vasilios put his hand on his head, pondering out loud, “Nails, nails, nails,” as if he were going to manifest them from thin air. 

Suddenly his gaze fell on a three-legged stool in the porch’s far corner. 

“Ah, nails,” he exclaimed—and proceeded to pull out the nails that held the stool together. He handed them to us with a look of triumph. 

“Here are six nails!” 

We glanced at each other, speechless. Such generosity—taking apart the furniture to loan strangers a few nails—is what I call unconditional giving, being so open to someone else’s needs that you will go to any length to meet them. 

Each time we do this from the heart, life becomes richer, more full of meaning.

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Bucket boat racing

It’s a thing now, at our house. These black objects you see in the pool shot above are horse troughs, repurposed as bucket boats. 
Seven years ago when we moved into this home, our son (he in the foreground) grabbed the thick plastic liner inside of a yard cart, making it into the first square boat you’ve ever seen. Albeit one with tiny drain holes at the bottom. Which made for a slow countdown to submersion every time it was launched.
That square boat is still around, back in the yard cart after all these years apart. Kids had so much fun with the unusual craft my wife Ann found these two horse watering troughs. 
Now Zane and a bud can plunk around without having to take turns. 
Instantly bucket boat racing was born.
This is all to say that the experiences you make out of what you’ve got are the most satisfying. It’s where real life is. 
Hellacious fun too.
Got an afternoon yawning in front of you? What can you make out of it?
Got an idea gnawing inside of you? How can you get it out with what you’ve got?

For you 

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

Want to create something? Check out this little book: 
Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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All these wishes are for you

Today I spoke with an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in awhile. He’s been going through something horrific. It all came spilling out —

All he needed was someone not involved to care.

The details are too intensely personal to share here, but anyone who’s had to quit their life to care for a loved one in freefall knows this kind of agony . . .

Today I’d like to ask all of you who are doing alright to send a wish to those who aren’t.

Just take a moment, imagine the very best for those who need it.

Throw your beautiful, vibrant, healing energy into the divine wind — so that it may blow a little stronger for those who feel unmoored right now.

Some of you are going through turmoil.

If you are in difficulty and you are reading this now, these wishes are for you. From people you don’t know, people who care.

You are supported. You might feel the tiniest ping . . . and then another . . . . These are messages of light coming to buoy you up.

Accept them, embrace them, let them stir something unvanquishable inside. Let these light bursts pierce your darkness. Let them rekindle your own light. The light that’s been covered.

It’s there. You are more than you know. Let the unknowable more take residence inside you, let it glow.

Someday soon you will be the one . . .

listening

helping

uplifting

smiling

laughing

extending a hand

extending a thought

For now, take these thoughts, these wishes, these soul offerings —

And watch . . . something will turn.

Soon.

Something will pivot.

Soon.

Your mission will become clear to you.

Soon.

Your experience will be illuminated with meaning.

Soon.

All these wishes are for you — hoard them for now — release them to others when you’re overflowing once more —

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Add this to your job description

Writer-Creator

Indie Biz Owner-Creator


Artist-Creator


Project Manager-Creator


Designer-Creator



Homemaker-Creator


Carpenter-Creator


Attorney-Creator


Salesperson-Creator

When you add Creator to your job description, you open up what is possible.

If I limit myself to solely being a writer, I exclude rich possibilities. When I tell myself I’m a writer-creator, then I’m clear on what is most important: My life as a writer and as an experience creator.

A chef might extend her culinary career by opening a cafe or buying a food truck or teaching others or catering or specialty meals once a week in a home for a small group of paying customers and friends. 

Or maybe it’s building an addition onto her home that allows for a commercial-sized kitchen, so she can experiment into a different way of making a living . . .

Or renting out a room or driveway so she can have more time. 

(Cheffing can exact a toll on your personal life. The hours are long and the days are many . . . .) 

Thinking like a creator allows for sideways thinking.

Imagine if Goethe had limited himself to his political career. Or only being a writer. It would have been less of a life. Less of a contribution.

Shakespeare was as much a businessman as he was a playwright. One aspect of his life enabled the other.

It’s true for you as well. When you define yourself, think of yourself as a _________-Creator. It opens a mental door you can step through — into a more fulfilling existence. 

For you 

Evan Griffith

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Click here to join the fast-growing subscriber list, for the best of Freaky Beautiful, once-ish a month, maybe.

Oh, and check out this little book about expressing love energy: 

Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within

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