I love catching public transport when I can because it means I have time to do nothing to do and my mind wanders on the best adventures.
I don’t put headphones in (unless there’s really loud irregular ambiance noise, that is, someone not realising that the whole carriage can hear their Bryan Adams collection).
I don’t pull out my phone. Sometimes, if I’m organised, I’ll have my notebook.
And I take my mind for a stroll.
I let it lead the way.
If I want to think about what I’m going to cook on Sunday or how my knee is acting up, then so be it.
If I have ideas collide, then it’s a lucky fluke.
There’s something about being in motion that really inspires me. It’s this transient space where you’re in between familiar spaces. You may know the start or end of the journey but it’s impossible to memorise every turn and twist in the middle. And so you loose a sense of self. There’s a peaceful anonymity and solitude in that. The unknown.
Each time I take a long haul flight, I look at where my life is going. I’ve spoken to others and it seems to be a trend – I bet you do the same. Travelling is fantastic.
Right now, I salute the slow transport of the world.
We moved house this week. Moving is a wild, exciting, unsettling experience. There’s something wonderful about reassessing all of your belongings as you’re forced to shuffle everything you own from one end point to the next. It shakes up your identity and you realise how much you have changed and how much you can now let go off. I’m still not getting rid of my coffin handbag though. Life always has to have a touch of camp.
There was a time where my partner and I were looking at a job opportunity that would involve lots of travel. I loved the thought but was already feeling displaced after three years of travel.
And then a spiritual creative shaman told me a way to feel at home wherever you are. It feels like a bit of a wank to call her a spiritual creative shaman but the description fit her perfectly.
She told me – find an object that you love, one that you can fill with emotional value. Say to yourself ‘wherever this object is, that’s where my home is’ and put it where you can see it every day.
My father brought back from Sri Lanka a carved, heavy, stone Buddha statue that he got in the mountains of the country where I was born. I took it home and put it on my mantle and felt calmer. It’s my rock, so to speak.
I like the weight of it. It means that I don’t carry this talisman with me on short trips. It only moves when I move. And as long as I have it, that’s where my home is.
After the craze of cardboard boxes and packing tape this week, I went upstairs, unwrapped this statue and placed it in the middle of the main bedroom. This house is now my home.
I’m a ux designer at Atlassian. A couple of months ago, I interviewed a bunch of my colleagues and stitched together a video. It was candid interviews, no fancy lights. Just me, the other person, a mic, a Canon 6D and my bad jokes. Just the way I like it.
I really enjoyed the process as I got to ask lots of big questions about what makes a good designer, what makes great design and how people work. I learnt shit tonnes just by listening to their answers.
Anyway, enough sappy shit. Have a look at the vid!
Atlassian is hiring like crazy so have a gander at some of the jobs and see if anything’s a good fit.
Julia Cameron wrote a beautiful book on creativity called the Artist’s Way. It has a whole bunch of exercises to help you become more creative. Some are huge (don’t write anything down for a week) and others are easily achievable.
This is one of the more easily achievable exercises. I’ve been doing it every week for a year now and I love it.
Here’s the exercise:
Each week, you have to spend two hours doing something that will nurture your creativity. What that means is totally up to you. It’s that easy.
It’s a solo exercise, no lovers, friends or family allowed.
It doesn’t have to be expensive but it does have to excite you. On quiet weeks, it can be something nurturing, like a hot bath and reading a book in your favourite cafe. On high energy weeks, it can be circus classes.
“In filling the well, think magic. Think delight. Think fun. Do not think duty. Do not do what you should do – spiritual sit ups like reading a dull but recommended critical text. Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you, think mystery, not mastery.”
- Julia Cameron, the Artist’s Way
These are all things that I have done on one outing or the other and come highly recommended.
- Visit a new neighbourhood with a quest to find an adventure and $20 in your pocket. I did this in Glebe and it was so much fun.
- Wake up early and taking pictures of small things as the sun rises. My favourite is to do this when I’m staying somewhere near a beach. I always feel like I appreciate the world so much more when I’m near the ocean. There’s still plenty to photograph closer to home. And no excuses about needing a fancy camera first! Use your phone! The best camera is the one you have on you.
- Breakdancing classes. Cause it’s awkward and freestyle and I didn’t feel comfortable for the whole thing. Fantastic. For you, that might mean ballet, spin class or tightrope walking.
- Acupuncture or a massage. God I love acupuncture so much. When I was getting non-stop migraines, it was the only thing that would make them go away.
- Solo bike rides with frequent coffee stops. I love sitting in a cafe and watching everyone around me. Make sure it’s a cafe you haven’t visited before.
- Go to a life drawing class and make sketches without looking at the paper. No experience required.
- See an inspirational person talk. I listened to Claire Bowditch‘s stories about her creative business. I’m devastated that I missed out on seeing Dan Savage talk last weekend. I love that man.
- Take a yin yoga class. I can’t recommend this enough. You don’t need to know any yoga at all. I use YogaGlo and have gotten a handful of friends onto the site as well. It’s hundreds of yoga classes from some of the best teachers in the U.S. And it’s $18 per month. That’s less than the cost of one yoga class. I love it because I can say I want a yin class for 45 minutes and it’ll show me all the available classes. Bliss.
- Visit a museum with a notebook. After a tour of the art, sit in front of your favourite piece and write some freeform. Throw it away as you leave the museum.
- Practice walking meditation. Alot harder than it looks.
Are we happier when we create routines around our lives?
My friend Bryan is training for an Ironman and he said he’s happiest when he’s in a strict routine. It eliminates all choice and leaves time to enjoy each day, each moment as it comes. I imagine that takes the trouble out of choosing. Life is a lot easier when you choose to have no choice.
God knows my most miserable moments are when I’m trying to find one item of clothing in a shopping mall filled with choice and advertisements. On the other hand, when I’m in an Op Shop (thrift store), I’m delighted when I find a shirt in my size.
I was reading Russell Brand’s autobiography and this part really resonated with me
“I realised that the outer surface of what I thought was my unique, individual identity was just a set of routines.”
I completely agree. Our routines make up our selves. Over time, doing the same things in a repetitive manner shapes our beings. If I practice piano every day for 20 minutes, eventually I’ll get good at it. Same goes for taking the time to write or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Which makes me think, what routines are we doing right now?
Which routines have we committed to that should be removed? Which routines should we commit more time to?
What routines, whether specified or not, make us who we are?
I’m going to keyword the shit out of this picture so that it turns up whenever someone’s looking for me. This is a picture of Tash Keuneman.
Fuck, I love Halloween so much, it’s my favourite holiday of the year.
This year I did my own make up. It was a world first.
Turns out that while I can’t put on sexy eye shadow to save my life, I’m quite good at putting on zombie make up 15 minutes before a party.
I’m particularly proud because I only used lipstick, eye shadow, lipliner and fake blood. Oh yeah. Check out the the veins creeping down my neck and onto my arm.
I followed along to this pretty woman’s YouTube clip, which is more of a vixen look but meh, I’m supposed to look dead. I’m still of the belief that Halloween is meant to be scary. It was a great tutorial for the makeup uninitiated.
If only I could put on make up like this every day.
A werewolf eating my intestines while holding a glass of diet coke . Priorities, people. The trail of blood running down my leg, it just kills me! So good.
It started with a “Wouldn’t it be funny if I could fit into there?”
A hypothetical challenge lead to the best belly laughs of my life and a great art project.
My friend, Eli Saad and I are embarking on an epic adventure over the next couple of months and you’re all invited.
Right now our photo project is mainly shot around the Atlassian office, but we’re taking to the streets today.
We’re going to take to the small alleyways and crevices of Sydney. We’re going to pour ourselves into the little unnoticed gaps around us, reclaiming the lost space.
Eli and I will be having an exhibition in early 2014 with the profits being donated to Room to Read. I’ll share with you more details when we have dates and stuff.
We might send you a tiny little invite.
Here’s the link to more photos.
Over the Australian long weekend I had a boozy Sunday lunch with some of my favourite ladies. The best meals are the ones that start on schedule and then expand to absorb the rest of the day and night.
These women are amazing and I feel blessed to have them in my life.
If home is where the heart is, this is what my home looks like. Here’s my large-ish family of six. When we get together, there’s always laughter until my belly hurts.
These frames were inspired by the wonderful Clare Bowditch from This is why you need to put your stuff out there.