🦊 Quick Brown Fox #33

Facing our own music

Hey friends,

Amidst the murky fog of a life lived sheltering-in-place, time loses its flow. Everything feels too fast and too slow all at once. Our life becomes confined to one block, one room, one screen. We navigate day after day in a frustratingly consistent routine. We no longer have the luxury of escape. We don't have vacation getaways to look forward to. We only have what immediately surrounds us, and what fills our screens.

In this seemingly endless cycle, our minds grasp for distraction. We’re met with a flood of questions. Many of these questions relate to the crises we find ourselves in. We wonder when it will end, what the 'new normal' will look like, and what the toll will be once we're on the other side. Then, the deeper questions appear:

Is this what I want to be doing?
Are these the people I want to be seeing?
Is this the place I want to be living?
…Is this it?

The siren song of questioning was playing in our minds all along. With the cacophony of perpetual busyness blaring, we simply couldn’t hear it. Now, in the prolonged solitude of our shelter-in-place lives, we hear nothing else.

Once we start to look at our own lives, to really see them for what they are, we start to sense the patterns. We analyze the choices that led us here. With the memory of our past lives still fresh, we notice what we miss most. More importantly, we notice what we don’t miss at all. If and when we are given the choice, will we restore them?

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These questions terrify us. Most of us are unprepared and ill-equipped to face what lies in the depths of our minds. But we have all been thrust into this period of self-reflection. Like it or not, we need to face our own music.

To motivate ourselves, we must find the opportunity in this adversity. Every question gives us a choice. Every choice gives us the power to redesign our lives. Not everyone will be blessed with the safety and financial security to explore these questions. All the more reason for those who do have such privilege to ensure they don’t waste this moment.

Make no mistake — this is no easy task. We can (and will) still make the wrong choices, even after deeply re-evaluating them. Our redesigned lives will never be perfect. There is no such thing. The only constant in life is change. We will always have more aspects of it to rethink. We might as well get comfortable with change.

Instead of constantly running after our future answers, we must learn to sit with our present questions.


Meditation

I’ve been meditating for many years now, and it has changed my life for the better. I’ve been wanting to write about it for a long while, but it’s such a broad topic that I struggled to figure out where to start. I was excited to finally jump into the topic with video! I liked that I could just pick a quick topic and think out loud.

I’ve got two new videos on meditation to share with you:

  • Why Meditate? Building Self-Control — When people think of meditation, they think of (1) stress relief and (2) spiritual growth. But there's a much more powerful and practical reason to meditate: developing self-control. By learning to observe your own thoughts without reaction, you can train yourself to do the same thing throughout the day.

  • Getting Started with Meditation — In this video, I talk about some simple ways to start meditating. I share some tips that I wish I had when I started years ago, as well as some thoughts on journaling your meditations.

You can also check out this meditation playlist to see all the videos on meditation (I plan to post more!) If you enjoyed these, be sure to subscribe to my channel!

These monologue videos have all been recorded in a single take. I’m glad I don’t have to spend time and effort on an editing process (yet). It’s crucial that the video production process stays quick and seamless for me, so I can focus on being prolific. I can always expand on the process later. So far so good!


Quick Links

  • Takes from the Multiverse — I loved this hilarious animated short film: "God is a single parent and amateur programmer. He’s working on project ‘Earth’ but never seems to get a break from the kids. One day though, he finally gets a breakthrough."

  • What is a second, actually? — An entertaining and educational deep dive into the history and definition of the second.

  • The power of flexible consistency — Great post from Anne-Laure on balancing consistency with flexibility. I'm always trying to make space for serendipity, but at the same time I really value being prolific with my output.


In the first section of this newsletter, I shared some concept art made for Disney’s Alice in Wonderland from 1951, depicting a confused Alice trying to find her way. I’ll leave you with a few more from that wonderful collection (h/t Weirdland TV!)

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Until next time,

—Salman

🌎 salman.io | 🐦 @daretorant