Sunsets matter. All the time, but there is something especially important about them right now. As the pandemic, elections, fires and unrest keep us mired in the middle of a long metaphoric day that seems to never end, a sunset gives us hope that the cycle of life is still really here. It takes us out of ourselves, and that is magical, beautiful and most important, unifying.
I know I’m not alone in the feeling that right before the pandemic life was vibrating at a fever pitch. And although that’s exciting, this pitch might not have been in, as Stevie Wonder calls it, the key of life. Particularly, our social media was a cauldron of high pressure. Sell. Buy. You are enough. You aren’t enough. You Be You. And all the while we were busy being someone else.
Then we hit pause as a collective. We changed and social media changed. Putting the frenzy of the election aside for a moment (if we can) we began to remember what part of social media really worked — the social part. For connecting with one another, telling our stories and perhaps even elevating them with education, creativity, insight, and humor.
Whatever was happening, the heat was off and the heart was on. Our generosity expanded to make things better for someone else. We weren’t just saying yes to everything. We focused in and made our generosity count. This newsletter is dedicated to the alignment of heart and humility that I personally would love to see continue after this long day come to an end.
m a r k e t i n g ALIGNMENT
When Wanda Wen, creative founder of Soolip, started to do yoga poses in her garage on Instagram with the hashtag #garageyoga, I was charmed. She literally was connecting with her audience from where she stood. She says, “I quickly got over my pride. Amid bicycles and boxes I practiced my yoga. At one point, I took a photo and posted it to Instagram (@wandawensoolip) with the hashtag #garageyoga. The response was great. There is something about the juxtaposition – a yoga practice which everyone thinks is about perfection (it’s not) — and the garage — that really struck a positive chord.”
Any why not the garage? It’s a place where we store both memories and dreams — boxes of your grandmother’s china you bring out a couple times a year, twinkle lights for the holidays, sporting equipment that goes on vacation with you, boxes of outgrown children’s clothes and of course luggage for that vacation in the sometime future.
Yoga is in direct alignment with what Soolip is about – the celebration of beauty, mindfulness and gratitude through offering hand-crafted cards, paperie and accessories. Wanda even designed and sells a board game called Yogaland to delve deeper into the art of the practice — a great example of loving what you do.
s u n s e t ALIGNMENT
Another friend, architectural photographer Art Gray has filled his social media with photos of sunsets, a tradition he began several years ago with his mother when she fell ill. They would walk to the water’s edge to see what type of show nature was going to present that night and they were rarely disappointed. It got so that Louise would rate them from one to 10 and Art would photograph the best and post them on social media. He soon became known as the “sunset guy.” It was an opening conversation that led to many projects for him.
He continues to take photos for his personal pleasure of the nightly sunset in his neighborhood (November is definitely sunset season). And sometimes sunsets find their way into his work. This ethereal sky was the backdrop one night at a shoot at the Comal Restaurant at the Chileno Bay Resort in Cabo.
In Seth Godin’s latest book, The Practice, he writes “‘Do What you Love’ is for amateurs. ‘Love What You Do’ is the mantra of professionals.”
Clearly, this is where Art and Wanda stand on the issue too … whether that be in the garage doing yoga or in wet sand watching a sunset.
b r a n d t h e r a p y ALIGNMENT
Here are a few places where you can align with me this week and next.
Brand Therapy on Renee Dalo’s podcast!
Brand Therapy on my Facebook page and Youtube channel. Conversation with Creatives is happening again next week. I’ll be streaming live from the beautiful Apotheke Mixology space in Los Angeles with the owner — artist, entrepreneur and explorer Christopher Tierney (who will be coming to us from New York). We’ll be talking about his philosophy of craftsmanship from cocktails to architecture, and his new book. Wednesday, November 11, 4 p.m. PST. Photo: Art Gray Photo
Brand Therapy on my newsletter out on Wednesdays. On November 11, a story on designer Irma Hardjakusumah of Studio Left and her team’s work on the Shell for LA Design Week and Dutch Design Week.
Until then, you can find me in my garden, aligning with my coffee!