Artwork by Rida Abbasi.
Hi Friends-

This is what I'm reading and listening to for enlightenment, inspiration, and comfort this week:
Your "surge capacity" is depleted — that's why you feel awful. An excellent long read on the peculiar challenges of moving through a pandemic in an achievement-oriented culture: “Most of us have heard for most of our lives to expect more from ourselves in some way or another. Now we must give ourselves permission to do the opposite. “We have to expect less of ourselves, and we have to replenish more,” Masten says. “I think we’re in a period of a lot of self discovery: Where do I get my energy? What kind of down time do I need? That’s all shifted right now, and it may take some reflection and self discovery to find out what rhythms of life do I need right now?”

How to add more play to your grown-up life, even now. A good reminder to drop our “productivity” mindset and remember everything doesn’t have to be about results: “One way to think about play is an action you do that brings you a significant amount of joy without offering a specific result.” That means taking a bike ride because it’s fun, not because you’re trying to lose five pounds. “A lot of us do everything hoping for a result. It’s always, ‘What am I getting out of this?’ Play has no result.”

Samin Nosrat on gardening as healing. A lovely piece from chef Samin Nosrat (Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat) on how gardening helped her come back from the brink: “Beyond the physical activity and the satisfaction of cooking with and eating the crops that our work yields, gardening gives us access to sensory experiences we don’t typically have in modern urban life. When you brush against a French lavender or lemon verbena plant as you walk by, you instantly experience calming aromatherapy. When you pick a sage leaf, you can feel your nervous system relax as you rub its soft velvet between your thumb and forefinger.”

On choosing to positively reframe your thoughts. A great interview with monk (and YouTube sensation) Gaur Gopal Das about adopting the spiritual life, how to “feed your faith” regularly, and the power of choosing to be positive. I’m not a big believer in the idea of “positive thinking” curing all our ills, but I think Gaur’s incredibly clear-sighted and systematic breakdown of how to snap out of the loop of negative thinking in this conversation is very helpful.

Friendship and the trapdoor of racism. The beautiful minds of Wesley Morris of the Still Processing podcast and Aminatou Sow of Call Your Girlfriend come together for a thought-provoking conversation about friendship in general and interracial friendship in particular. The interview was sparked by this comment from a film review Morris wrote many years ago: “For people of color, some aspect of friendship with white people involves an awareness that you could be dropped through a trapdoor of racism at any moment, by a slip of the tongue, or at a campus party, or in a legislative campaign. But it’s not always anticipated.”

+ “Nothing is inevitable anymore,” an interview w/ Brit Bennett.

+ A moving profile of the tenacity of artist Ruth Asawa.

+ The zooms in my life — a quaranzine.
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Artwork by Rida Abbasi.

The artwork is from: Rida Abbasi, who is based in Melbourne, Australia.

Link ideas from: Culture Study, Austin Kleon, and The Art of Noticing.

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Hi, I'm Jocelyn, the human behind this newsletter. I created the online course RESET, a cosmic tune-up for your workday, and I host Hurry Slowly — a podcast about how you can be more productive, creative, and resilient by slowing down.
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