mojo

Reclaiming My Writing Mojo

Yes, it has been a while since I’ve written, I know. It wasn’t intentional on my part to disappear for so long, and I really do want to get back in the swing of writing often… I’ve just been swamped a bit, both with work (thanks everybody!) and with getting clear on the direction for this site.

Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. It’s not that I lack clarity on the direction for this site; it’s Adam-freakin’-Kayce-dot-com, after all — if it’s ain’t unabashedly me, what the heck is it gonna be? What I’m trying to wrap my head around is how to do this whole “social media” thing in a way that doesn’t take over my life.

Because there was a time when I was blogging, tweeting, facebooking, and linked-ing in a lot more than I have been (no new blog posts since 2009, I’ve let twitter pretty much flutter and die, I hardly ever post on FB, and I can’t imagine why I need my Linked In account at all). But that was also the time when my business was suffering. Now that I’m 99% focused on work, business is better than it ever has been, and I don’t really see that as a coincidence.

So why then, am I bothering to write again? Honestly, because I kinda miss it. Writing has always been a tool of self-expression for me, and without it, I don’t feel as if I’m being all I can be. The other big reason is that I want to be one of those people who share, connect, and put themselves out there. I was once upon a time, and I miss that, too.

So, here’s a bit of an update, in regards to my ideas about what to do with this site:

Let it flow.

As many of you (assuming anyone is still reading this!) most likely know, I used to be a personal development blogger. I closed that door long ago, but I suppose all that introspection has taken its toll, because no matter how much the idea of a micro-blogging style appeals to me, I have a history of talking too damn much (I graduated with a degree in Literature/Writing, if that sheds any light on the subject). Historical precedence aside, however, I do intend to transform this site into more of a micro-tumbl-thingy, but I’m guessing it’s going to take a fair amount of practice and editing to get more concise.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about:

A tumblelog is a quick and dirty stream of consciousness, a bit like a remaindered links style linklog but with more than just links. They remind me of an older style of blogging, back when people did sites by hand… [before] blog entries turned into short magazine articles, and posts belonged to a conversation distributed throughout the entire blogosphere… really just a way to quickly publish the “stuff” that you run across every day on the web. Jason Kottke

Less talk, more springboards. Less ramble, more sharing. And honestly, I’d much rather interact in snippets than in long, drawn-out monologues, anyhow. More fun for all of us, especially given the fact that we are getting any less busy these days, are we?

Redesign

I can’t help it – being a web designer, it’s hard to look at a site for long without wanting to update/upgrade/change things up. As much as I like what I’ve done with the place, I’ll probably redesign it soon.

Clean it up.

I’ve got posts back here from my Monk at Work days, a foray into Viverati (remember that, anyone?), some webdesign ramblings, etc. It feels like one of those closets in the movies where everything but the dog gets shoved into the thing and the door slammed before it explodes… my categories list looks like Wikipedia barfed. Time to archive, delete, and/or trim the fat just about everywhere.

I do realize this will all be a process, and I have no presumptions about a time frame. I’m not going to promise anything at this point, because I don’t even know myself what’s coming down the pipe. I just know my interest has been piqued.

You have been warned. :D

Why It’s Always Time to Learn Something New

I know why most people hate going to the gym, and it has nothing to do with exercise, exertion, or getting all sweaty and tired.

Want to know the reason? The way most people do it, it’s boring as hell.

Let me ask you this: are you strapping yourself onto the same machine as the day before, hitting the same buttons you did the day before, and doing the same workout you did the day before? And where did this workout come from?

I’ll bet you it came from one of these three sources:

  • an article in a magazine,
  • it’s what the person behind the desk showed you on your tour when you signed up, or
  • it’s what everyone else is doing.

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How To Do Amazing Things

Most days, I’d bet most of us feel like drones. Life’s commitments suck you dry, you race from one place to another only to complete seemingly inconsequential tasks half the time, and the phrase, “rat in a maze” comes shockingly close to summing up your daily activities.

Wouldn’t you rather do amazing things with your life? You can. And one of the ways to make sure you do is to preserve your sanity by not acting like a rat, and doing the things that will set you free. How? Genius Time.

Genius Time, in a nutshell, is about building time that’s for you and your most important things into your schedule.

Want to make stuff this cool? Genius time, baby. Genius time.

Want to make stuff this cool? Genius time, baby. Genius time.

Sounds simple, huh? Hardly.

I’ve seen this idea talked about most often by “Creatives” — folks who do creative work for other people, like designers, artists, etc. If Creatives aren’t careful, they can spend all their time and energy working on client projects, and not have any juice left over for their own business.

But it’s not just for Creatives. Everyone needs genius time.
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Vibram Five Fingers

I love these shoes. I love ‘em so much, I have to share them with you. And, in the same vein as recommending eye exercises to rid yourself of glasses and/or contacts, I totally recommend you get yourself a pair.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit they do look a bit odd at first…

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/7920232[/vimeo]

… but they feel amazing, and you get used to them really quick.

You may have heard of Vibram Five Fingers before; they’re definitely making the rounds among the kind of people who know a good thing when they see it (heck, there’s even a site completely devoted to them!). But if you haven’t, I highly encourage you to try them. Why?
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The Rise and Fall of Empires

I am thoroughly and utterly convinced that fear is the driving force behind every bad decision we ever make.

Now, don’t be afraid of fear—that’s a scary thought!—just learn to recognize it for what it is.

And now, on with our story.


Once upon a time, there was an idealistic youth (let’s call him John) who believed that perfection existed, and to seek it was the best use of one’s life. He was sure that the attainment of perfection would result in happiness. He quickly learned, of course, that perfection was an impossible ideal (not to mention a miserable one). So, instead of seeking perfection, he saught inner peace, believing it would bring him happiness.

The search for inner peace led John to a group of other like-minded people who also saught the same thing, all rallied around a teacher who demonstrated some very successful techniques to help his students find and experience that peace. As the group grew, the teacher realized that he must establish a “method”, so others could teach the work as well. After all, what good would it do unless a means could be identified? And so, this method became concretized, shared, and taught to many more seekers of peace.

John, who believed the methods and the community around it to be the best thing he’d ever seen, became a teacher of this system. He taught others the methods, used them himself, and his life got better.

But then, a shadow began to grow…

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Coconut Fauxtatoes

You know I’m a die-hard coconut fan, right? I mean, I named my webdesign company Bright Coconut, I’ve won recipe contests for coconut-laden recipes, we use coconut oil in our cooking, and I honestly eat something with coconut in it each and every day, no exceptions.

So, you can imagine that I’m always on the lookout for ways to sneak coconut into all kinds of recipes… and I found one recently. It was good to start with, but a little coconut took it over the edge.

Beautiful, aren't they? Photo (and another variation) © DinnerCakes.com

Beautiful, aren't they? Photo (and another variation) © DinnerCakes.com

“Fauxtatoes” are the name I came up with for these yummy puppies after we made them a few times, because the consistency is pretty much exactly like mashed potatoes. And, they’re the closest I’ll get to eating ‘taters, since I’m a Primal guy, through and through.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 head o’ cauliflower, chopped however
  • 32oz chicken stock
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled

… all in a big pot, adding water to just about cover the cauli, boil for about 15 minutes until it softens up a bit. Depending on how thick your pieces are, it may take 20-25 minutes. It’s all good, though.

Drain off the liquid, and mash it all up—if you have a hand blender, by all means use it—adding:

  • a splash of coconut milk
  • butter (no, you do not measure this. trust me… just add butter, and then add some more)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Yum!

Now, these are tasty, with or without the coconut milk. But what kind of coconut addict would I be if I didn’t add some?

I’d love to hear what you think if you try these, especially if you play around with the spices some… I’m more than happy with how these have come out, but I’d be open to experimentation (curry? herbs de provence? ginger?)

Bon appetit!

The Urgent Call

It lies within you, thirsting.

Like a baby bird chirping desperately for its mother’s return to the nest to bring the food that will keep it alive, there is a yearning that lives within you, and it calls incessantly. It can be satiated with the smallest of moments, and it has a camel’s resistance to thirst, but if you ignore it too long, it will shrivel and die.

And as it does, color will fade from your world. Meaning will ebb away, enjoyment will wither, and you’ll sit around trying to remember a time in your life when richness existed. You’ll get dry, stiff… and when you hardly recognize the crusty you that you’ve become, you’ll chalk it up to being busy. Or being a parent. Or being a professional. Or getting older.

But it has nothing to do with any of those things.

The Urgent Call is your spirit’s need for connection. Like the migrating herds of the plains of Africa, who travel thousands of miles every year in search of life-giving food and water, your spirit has an essential drive to feel its connection to all around it. It’s the reason we seek community. It’s the reason we search for purpose and meaning in life. It’s the reason we feel better when we’re on a spiritual path, and it’s the reason that it doesn’t really matter what path that ends up being.

urgent

What matters is that you connect.
What matters is the Urgent Call gets listened to.
It doesn’t matter how your Urgent Call gets fulfilled, only that it does.
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Reason #29,765,863 Why I Love Evernote

Evernote rocks. Let me just sum it all up, right here, right now.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I still have conversations with people all the time where I mention Evernote, and they say, “Huh?” And that just blows my mind.

And the latest reason why I love them? Because not only have they produced the most awesome, flexible, useful piece of organizational software around, they also have a great sense of humor. That’s rare, people.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNE0R3rEe5Q[/youtube]

What I use Evernote for, just to give you a heads-up:

  • managing all my client projects
  • storing any and all info I find while out searching the interwebs
  • recording all my recipes
  • brainstorm-rain collection
  • notes about places we’re thinking of moving to or visiting
  • read the second one again, and let it sink in. Seriously.
  • essentially everything I want to remember/record/store for the future, on subjects like WordPress, web design, CrossFit, nutrition, spirituality, personal development, family stuff, marketing, copywriting, and more.

Seriously, if you haven’t checked out Evernote, you’re bonkers. It’s awesome. It’s life-transforming. And—hello?—it’s free! Come on, now, people! Go get you some.

Got Some Cleaning Up To Do?

Ever notice how certain times of the year have a certain “energy” to them? I’m not just talking about the obvious seasonal changes, either; my auspicious rhythms tend to revolve around birthdays (I just had one), school vacation times, tax season, and New Year’s. Maybe it’s just the whole “collective consciousness” thing, even though that can sound like it’s on the fringes between common sense and froo-froo philosophy. Wherever the meaning comes from, I sure notice the effects in my life, and I’m guessing a lot of you do, too.

As Autumn approaches, so do my urges to clean house

As Autumn approaches, so do my urges to clean house

And as much as “cleaning” has been associated with the Spring, I tend to do a big cleanup and realignment of priorities in the Autumn. Maybe it’s the product of going to school every Fall from age 5 to 35 (K-college, then grad school and teaching seminars). Or maybe I’m getting ready for hibernation; who knows.

On my docket now are reviews of two products I’ve promised to do, but let slide in the face of busy-ness and upheaval. That’s not to diminish the value of the products, by any means; I thought they were great, each in their own way, and in their own intended use. (Okay, enough jabbering – on with the show!)
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Lessons from The Ramen Girl

I watched The Ramen Girl last night. I know, I know… not exactly the kind of movie you’d expect from a carnivorous, Olympic-lifting male, but I did. And you know what? I enjoyed it. Truth be told, I actually like romantic comedies as a genre—call me a sensitive, new-age guy, if you must—but what I enjoyed most from The Ramen Girl wasn’t the trials and tribulations of Brittany Murphy, or even the food (and I love food movies).

Mmm... steaming hot ramen.

Mmm... steaming hot ramen.

What I enjoyed most about the movie, without giving away too many details, was the main ingredient that Brittany Murphey’s character, Abby, learned to infuse into her ramen that made it special: spirit. Because in the end, this was not a movie about ramen, or romance. It was about finding one’s place in the world by focusing on the how more than the what.

“How” comes from within

The fact that Abby learned to make a great bowl of ramen is secondary to what it required of her to do it. She got the recipe right long before she was able to make a meal that was worthy of being served to her customers, because she was taught that making soup isn’t just about getting a bunch of ingredients and assembling them. It’s about heart. Unless your soup has spirit, it hasn’t got anything.
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