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Long time no email, friends. Been busy with work and family, stress, and anxiety. I’m writing this on November 7th, and the election results are still coming in. I voted for Biden, and I have circles of anxiety about this election. Will the candidate that I think is best win? Will the maniac currently in power go without ordering a fight? I am afraid that this will end in violence.
I have to take this day by day, manage my anxiety and do what I can, where I can.
I haven’t been writing or drawing much at all these last couple weeks. I had a good run of doing Morning Pages for a couple weeks. The basic premise there is that as early as you can in the morning, just write whatever is on your mind. Ideally three entire hand written pages. The gist is that the monkey mind is awake (as it rarely sleeps in my experience) but the editor in you is still sleeping, tucked away warm and cozy under the covers. It’s a brain dump and mindfulness exercise.
I haven’t done that or my daily journal practice or my weekly review. I’ve lost all pace in my systems.
Time to get back into it.
I did write somewhere online (can’t even remember where, honestly) something along the lines of “The older I get the more resolute I am that the only thing that matters in life is our relationships”.
That line of thinking has been on my mind for a long while now, long before Covid. It was reinforced with some new and deeper connections at work, and by two Teds I’d like to introduce you to.
I came across “What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness”. It’s a TED talk about a research study. It might be the longest ever running research study. I encourage you to watch the entire thing as it’s fascinating.
But I will spoil it for you. What makes a good life? The research here indicates that it is the quality of our relationships. Not money, status, amount of stuff in your house. Not the amount of relationships either… The quality of them.
This might be my all time favorite TV show, ever. The strength of the show (surprise) is the relationships. Some people may be put off by the sport elements of the show. This show is about Football (Soccer), but that’s just the framework.
The show is about self-awareness and relationships. I’ve seen twitter threads talking about how this show is dealing so well with toxic masculinity, gender, and status. And that’s true, and important in my book.
In Ted Lasso, all the characters, but especially the male ones actually call themselves out on their behavior. It’s subtle in the show, but important. In one example, a male character makes a sexist remark, then immediately states he made the sexist remark and it’s not appropriate. There’s a push for mindfulness in all the characters, not political correctness. And the whole scene is funny. Laughter connects us.
Woven into the fabric of this show is the fact that people make mistakes, should be aware of their actions, try to fix the mistake, as well as not make it again.
It doesn’t paint the offending males as two dimensional monsters or white knights. It shows how they take ownership and agency of their actions and mistakes. So they can grow and improve their relationships. That applies to the female characters too. None of the main characters are two dimensional.
The language is horizontal (collaborative and full of gratitude) not vertical (competitive and full of status fights).
Growth, both personal and how relationships are actively cared for make this stupid show something very special.
Maybe it landed with me at just the right time, but in a world full of anger, anxiety, and distrust Ted Lasso shines a light on what is really important.
I don’t need to say how the pandemic is hurting us, and that the political divide in the US is the worst it’s ever been. I’ve been focusing really hard on my family’s relationships. As well as the small group of friends and how we interact.
I’m making more of a point to check in with people.
Do you have any advice on working on relationships?
Since I started drafting this email and it’s release I was able to publish a couple thoughts.
PS - I’m trying to keep a tight budget and not use online shopping as a distraction, but I just couldn’t resist these drink coasters because “the garbage will do!”.