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Tools Archives - Page 4 of 6 - The Meaning Movement

Category "Tools"

The Psychological Necessity of Breaking the Rules

“We see you as an artist,” he said. His hair was long, thick, and wavy. His face thin and defined. His gaze intense and gentle.

Sixteen of us sat around a big solid wooden table, eating a meal together. We were all part of an Artist Residency at the graduate school I attended.

Somehow I ended up among them.

I didn’t think of myself as an artist. Though I studied music composition in undergrad, I always felt a bit like I was faking it— everyone else had a much greater mastery of their instruments and musical concepts.

I thought my main focus for the week of the Artist Residency was going to be writing music. It turns out it was something much deeper.

His words to me around that table were part of shift in how I thought of myself. It may seem small from the outside, but on the inside it was big. And risky.

I didn’t spend time around artists in my younger years. My family didn’t have a category for them. None of us were artists. In fact, I don’t know that I could find a single artist in my family tree.

We’d go to art events, but there was always a sense that those people weren’t our people. They were misunderstood and called “artsy-fartsy”.

Artists may make pretty things, but they didn’t seem to belong in our family.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid twenties that I began to embrace the fact that I really am a creative at heart, and that making is a big part of who I am.
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How to Deal With Anxiety (or How I Learned Mindfulness from a Navy SEAL Boot Camp Instructor)

- - Risk and Fear, Tools

The other day Stacia said to me, “I just love how in the moment you are! You want to get the most out of whatever is going on!”

It’s true. I really love living in the moment, and sometimes I’m pretty good at it. When we’re having an amazing meal, it’s not hard for me to eat a little more. When we’re having a great time with friends, it’s not hard for me to stay a little longer.

But if I’m honest, most of the time, I’m not very good at staying in the moment. Much of the time it’s easy to worry and be anxious.

There are a number of unknowns in my life right now.

The biggest is that we’re expecting! Ahh! Come November there’s going to be a baby boy as a part of my daily life.

Along with a little human entering the world comes a whole slew of unknowns. How are we going to make ends meet? How is a third member of Team Cumberland going to affect our life? What’s this going to be like? And on and on and on.

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My Four Best Writing Tips

- - Creativity, Tools

I was a part of a forum of writers and bloggers.  It was one of the first times I’ve talked about the craft of writing and blogging in public.

Turns out I have a lot to say! (You may not be as surprised as I am about that 😉 )

I wanted to share my four best writing tips that I shared on that day.
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Fear Hacking: How to Overcome Your Worst Case Scenario

Have you ever done something really scary? I mean like shaking in your boots, I’m not sure if I can make it scary?

Maybe you risked to speak the truth to someone.
Maybe you pitched an idea you cared about but others might not.
Maybe you quit your job to go full time with your dream project.

Whatever the cause, we all have felt fear at some point.

Fear is an uncomfortable experience. It’s a feeling that most people choose to ignore or resolve as quickly as possible.

Often, our experiences tell us that fear is more than we can bare— that we MUST alleviate the tension. So we choose not to look at it and see it for what it is. Instead, we run away from it.

There is a trick that filmmakers use to increase suspense— they don’t show you what the character on the screen is afraid of or running from.

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Best Blogs About Finding Purpose

- - Purpose, Tools, Work

I often hear from readers about how much resonance they feel when they find the Meaning Movement. When people subscribe I send an email welcoming them and asking what they’re looking for. The responses say a lot. Here are a few recent excerpts:

  • “This is a great idea!”
  • “The Meaning Movement feels like an answer to prayer.”
  • “This whole thing you’ve got going is awesome.”
  • “I don’t normally reply to these sort of emails, but your writing has struck a chord with me.”
  • “When I checked out your blog… I fell in love.”

And more.

What I’m struck by is how hungry so many of us are for meaning and how tired we are of doing work solely for the money. The manifesto covers this in brief, but there’s a hunger for work to be more than just a cog in an industrialist machine.

We want this to mean something. We want to give our lives to making an impact, to creating positive change, to doing more than just making ends meet. So many of us are on a quest to find our purpose, or find a deeper expression of it.

As much as I want to be the most novel blogger on the planet and hope my writing is fresh and new in many ways, I want to talk about others who are doing similar work. Why? Because in many ways we’re all on the same team. We’re trying to make a difference. We’re trying to sound a wake up call and start a revolution.

Or at least I am.

And these are the people who I consider to be co-conspirators in that revolution. (You may recognize some from the post about the best book on finding purpose.)
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