September 1, 2014

July 22, 2014

Lazy Sundays Lead to Anis Mojgani

There really is nothing like a lazy Sunday. Rolling out of bed around eleven to drink coffee and read the Sunday Times for a few hours. Birds are singing, there's a warm breeze. And if you sit in the shade your body cools to almost the perfect temperature. The most amazing thing about lazy Sundays is when you find the time to follow the inspiration trail.
As I scrolled through Instagram, I stopped on a beautiful picture by Shelby Robinson (@shelbzrobinson), a Midwest creative, who's account I just recently discovered. She has one of those accounts where after seeing the first three pictures you immediately follow because you can't wait to see what she'll post next. Well, she delivered.

Underneath this delicate picture, she quoted Anis Mojgani, a spoken word poet.

"I want my words and actions to be the quantification of my love. To make tangible the passions in my heart for the world and the people in it."

Reading his words were one thing. Now, listening, that's a whole other experience. My attention was instantly caught as I sat up to hear his words. I hope it does the same for you.

To learn more about Anis Mojgani, check out his website, I cannot wait to dive deeper into his art. 

July 16, 2014

Mr. Plant

Robert Plant has a new song. It's called Rainbow. I dig.

It seems like a good film or television show song. I'll be on the lookout.

July 2, 2014

Artist Statement: Christian Sottile

In my attempts to organize my belongings last night I decided to go through a few piles building up on my desk. Not surprisingly, as I have a bit of an obsession, I ended up uncovering 5 different notebooks. Each one filled with pages of to do lists, quotes, business plans, sketches, inspirations, logo ideas - basically any thought that flows through my head. It's really important to me to have a physical thing that I can hold on to rather then just a blog or word document. I find that it helps when I take the time to sit down, pick up a pencil and consciously think about that words I'm putting to paper. Unfortunately, when I come across an old notebook, all previous tasks are quickly forgotten as I sit down exactly where I am and become absorbed in my past thoughts.

Last night I stopped on a particular page where I scribbled the artist statement of Christian Sottile, principal in the internationally recognized urban design firm, Sottile & Sottile and dean of the School of Building Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design. It is so simple, yet so powerful that every time my finger traces the words I'm instantly inspired and motivated to create. I hope it does the same for you.

"Make it so beautiful is breaks their hearts; fills their minds with wonder and awakens their souls to awe."

Christian Sottile

April 16, 2014

I'm Running a Series of Experiments

This Good Life Project Jam Session by Jonathan Fields, inspired me so much that I wanted to do nothing but return to The House of Emerald after a three month long hiatus. (What happened to my 12 Resolutions?) Unfortunately, no matter how much I try, the winter blues always gets me down and leaves me feeling stuck, unmotivated and questioning everything. I think this year was a little bit harder not only because of the winter we experienced, but also because of my upcoming 25th birthday in May. I keep asking myself, "You're going to be 25. What are you doing with your life?". It's a very tough question that can, if you let it, lead you down a negative spiral. Luckily, with the emerging of warm weather (although I woke up to snow?) and the discovery of some great writers (Dani Shapiro and Stephen Cope), I feel my grove coming back. This video just confirmed that.

Jonathan is trying to answer the question of what advice he would give his 20-something self, in regards to building a career and how he would contribute to the world in a substantial way. I've read a lot of cheesy articles about this particular question, but he hits the nail on the head:
"Don't focus."
He suggests to "deliberately run a series of experiments" where your main goal is to collect information. (See Mom and Dad, I knew I was doing it right!) Ultimately this information will answer 3 questions:

1. Who am I?
2. What matters to me?
3. What am I good at/capable of being good at?

I remember when I decided to leave my "perfect" job at Ralph Lauren. I had already hopped around to a few other jobs after graduating college and my parents, as well as myself, thought I was finally set. Two months into it, I knew this wasn't right. I made a vow to myself to leave and try as many different things as I could. Starting this blog, was a way for me to track some of my journey. I changed my employment info on Facebook to "Crafter" at Liz's School of Life. Every now and then Facebook asks me to add the location to this job and I always laugh. There is no permanent location when you're learning about yourself. You need to be free and have the confidence that you will find your vocation or dharma. 

Like Jonathan says, these experiments are filling in chunks of the puzzle. It's not about reputation, success or money that you can get from a particular job. 

"What can this teach me?"

It's about what you can learn right now so then when you're in your 40s, you don't turn around and wonder. This reminds me of my favorite lyrics of Time by Pink Floyd.

"And then one day you'll find, ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun."

I remember the day my dad pointed those particular words out I thought, I never want to get to that point. 

For the past five years, I've been extremely fortunate to have a great job at a local restaurant. It's allowed me to explore, take classes, start a part-time job/end a part-time job all while still making a decent income. Unfortunately, I still get the "Oh you still work in a restaurant" pity face. It used to drive me crazy, constantly wondering that I should be doing something better with my life. But hey, jokes on you!

So while, I may have a very colorful resume, it's comforting to know that someone so successful as Jonathan, is giving me the advice I decided to give myself a year ago. Thank you for reminding me Jonathan.

P.S. Next time you run into someone who's just interested in "What you're doing" (aka where you work) just tell them your "running a series of experiments."