One of our New Years intentions was to ramp up the sharing of some of the cool things capturing our attention throughout our day to day. Initially, we intended to do this with a monthly newsletter, but something about that wasn’t quite sitting right. The idea of expelling so much energy to grow our subscribers (on yet another platform), encouraging people to share share share (when we all already feel so much demand to share in so many other capacities) and in the end, being bogging down by our already bursting inboxes, left all of us feeling a little…. blah.
It wasn’t until we came across this articlethat we were fully able to articulate and make sense of why we felt this resistance. In short, it all boiled down to bulk emails feeling a bit like a one-way conversation- and when so many of our values are rooted in co-creation, collaboration, and wanting all voices to be part of the story, one-way conversations simply does not cut it.
And so- here we are! Blogging! We still want to share the goodness we find, and we definitely want to engage and grow and learn from each other, so we are taking what would have been collected for newsletter content and sharing it (monthly) on our blog. Our hope is that it opens things up a little bit more for two-way conversations- whether that’s commenting below on this post, using some of this content as kindling to start a meaningful conversation elsewhere, or engaging with us on another platform to offer feedback, share ideas or tell us something that has inspired you (of course we love phone calls, emails and face to face conversations too.)
So… with out further ado:
JANUARY’S TOP 5 HIGH VIBES!
We can likely all agree that 2017 has started off with a bit of a bang. Whether that’s a good bang or bad bang ultimately depends on the way you frame it, but for a lot of us, feelings of worry, anxiety, uneasiness, and overwhelm are not unfamiliar. It can be all consuming and even paralyzing, but it is important to remember that from darkness, always comes light.
There has never felt like a better time to use the theme of ‘doing the best for the world’ for our January offerings. A bit of a springboard for you to feel inspired, engaged, hopeful and perhaps even mobilized.
1 – SOMETHING GREAT || THE UNMISTAKABLE CREATIVE PODCAST
There is no shortage of content vying for our attention at the moment. We have all found ourselves deep inside the belly of the internet, consuming each story, news article and re-telling of world events as they pop up one after another. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of wallowing in ‘bad news’, but like anything worth having in life, taking the effort to source out something truly great is well worth the effort. And there is SO MUCH GOOD going on!
Jennifer is an award-winning entrepreneur, dynamic speaker and diversity and inclusion expert. In this podcast, she sheds light on the value of diversity in all of its forms, and the importance of being an inclusive leader. Her goal is to help companies tell their story differently and prioritize diversity and inclusion as value that’s going to resonate with incoming talent. But more than that, Jennifer aims for organizations to walk the talk- doing the hard work internally to overhaul their culture.
Now more than ever we can all benefit from these words of kindness, love and the reminder of the value and importance of diversity. Enjoy!
2 – A CALL TO ACTION || WRITE A LETTER
Whether you want to carve out some time to write a letter to your elected official about issues that are important to you, or your heart is longing to connect with a far away friend, never underestimate the power of a handwritten letter. In the fast-paced digital age of emails, texts, tweets and instant gratification, getting a real, tangible, lovingly written piece of mail is a rarity, but an incredibly impactful one.
Need some inspiration? Check out this Ted Talk on Political Change with a Pen and Paper – How to get your local politician to pay attention to issues you care about. Also, this great articlein the Harvard Business Review explains how a handwritten letter is one of the purist forms of love and kindness in our modern world.
3 – A MOMENT OF DELIGHT || EVOLUTION LP
We have realized good music is crucial to creating a productive and happy work space, so the Conscious Brands office is always rocking out to some of the best tunes. On heavy rotation this past month is one of the greatest jazz/soul/funk compilation albums around – Evolution.
One of our favourite songs is shared below (and you can hear the rest here), but definitely keep an eye out for this record on your next vintage shop/ garage sale/ used vinyl store hunt.
4 – A MOMENT FOR YOURSELF || MAKE TIME FOR MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness is a bit of a buzz word right now, but there is no denying the impacts that slowing down and being fully present can have on our busy lives. One of the many theorized benefits includes the ability to relate to others with kindness, acceptance and compassion- Goodness knows, the world could use more of that right now!
Mindfulness is also a bit of an umbrella term encompassing tons of different activities, so feel free to find something that resonates and has meaning for you.
Some ideas to get the ball rolling:
Take a few minutes to sit in silence and mediate. A great tool for this is online guided meditations – they range in duration (anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours) and are a helpful if mediation is new to you or if you have a mind that likes to wander in silence. And just in case you need further encouragement to make this time a priority, have a peek at some of the productivity benefits of mediation from our friends at Think Productive.
Set a timer for 5 minutes and make a list of as many things as you can think of that you are grateful for. This can be anything from giving thanks for living in a beautiful world to having food on the table each night. The sky’s the limit, so dig in! (A great read on daily gratitude journaling can be found here)
Go get some fresh air. Head outside for a walk around the block and really focus on being present- absorbing what the air feels like on your skin, how does it smell, what sounds can you hear, what do you notice around you? Slowing things down and bringing your mind back to the present moment can completely revitalize your day.
Make yourself a cup of tea (or coffee or mate…) and sit in quiet contemplation while you do nothing else but drink the whole cup. Every last sip.
Make a point of saying ‘hello’ to five people throughout your day. Whether it’s a quick ‘good morning’ on your bike commute, or eye contact and a smile to greet passerby’s – Consciously putting in the extra effort of acknowledgment and kindness creates a ripple effect and will have lasting impacts on everyone’s day.
What are some of your favourite mindfulness practices?
5 – WHAT’S HAPPENING AT CONSCIOUS BRANDS?
We are so excited to have some really great things in the works!
First, our online and self-guided ‘Secrets of B Corp Consulting’ workshops are in full swing. If you have ever been curious about sharing the message of B Corps, this course will offer a succinct, step-by-step overview of the tools, resources, and best practices ideas we have learned about B Corp consulting. Learn more or register online HERE.
We are also gearing up to facilitate our first session at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California on March 9th. More details will be shared soon, but if you are headed down to Anaheim for the trade show, we hope to see you there!
And lastly, we are taking advantage of the fresh energy the New Year brings, and doing work to refocus. From big picture things like ensuring the projects we commit to are the best use of our energy and getting rock solid on our mandate and guiding principals, to the smaller things like drinking enough water and being conscious that we create moments of delight in our day. Right now is all about fine-tuning to fulfill our vision of harmony in all aspects of our lives.