It’s time to step away from building John Samuel Gray for some time.
To build it as best as I can for YOU, I need time to recharge. To rest. To refuel. To reassess.
So, for the first time in awhile, I’m going to try taking some time to relax without working.
I’m going to take some time for me, to help serve you better.
It feels like I have been pushing myself down to zero from 10%, letting myself refill back to ten and then repeating the process again.
I wonder what would happen if I let myself get to twenty. Thirty.
Currently leaning into surrendering, letting go, and charging up. It’s scary to me because I have come to rely on productivity, and getting things done as indicators of value for myself. As I draw away from working to allow myself to recharge, even just temporarily, I’m finding it difficult to think of myself as valuable.
This whole time, amongst all of my successes, I have forgotten to succeed at what might be the most important success of all: manufacturing a view of myself that is loving, positive, and resilient - a view independent of anything external.
As I lean away from constant reminders of my value in the real world (by actually allowing myself to recharge to a point above 10% for once), I’m forced to create these reminders for myself.
It’s weird. It’s hard. But it’s so necessary.
Boy, is it ever. And boy, am I ever lucky to have discovered this dependent so early on. It will be a long road to independence, and it will be a worthwhile one.
Finally, I allow myself to get honest with myself.
The horizon is slowly appearing.
After a period of going for it, I’m realizing that I don’t want the thing I’m going for bad enough.
So it’s time to go for a new thing. I’m open to ideas, but I have criteria.
I’m being patient and attentive with myself throughout this process. It’s helping to look at the next period merely as a set of decisions. That makes them more tangible - difficult to be afraid of.
Coaching of some sort seems ideal, with working daily customer service as another top of mind idea, but there will be many more I’m sure.
I know it will be a treat to look back on these thoughts at the next big milestone in my journey. This is here to show you it’s not been all butterflies and roses, but as they say, things need to get worse before they can get better...
We’ll that’s actually a terrible saying. Never mind. Things don’t need to go worse before they get better at all.
This is the part in the journey where I realize a few massive things about myself...
Things I wanted to ignore for awhile.
1. I have been trying to be happy all the time in my life. This has caused me to live dishonestly about half of the time, since many of my emotions and life experiences are actually negative.
2. If I'm going to be an awesome artist that makes art for the world in a very honest, generous way, it will be much easier - especially at the start (and the whole way through) - if I can take money out of the equation.
Feeling like I need to force money out of what I'm doing makes it difficult to give to the world generously and freely.
It doesn't feel right more than anything.
So the next stage is to get some sort of fun job. I have some ideas about being around humans, sales and communication skill heavy jobs...
I have a feeling they will give me more energy to make better art.
That's all for now my friends.
It's the middle of October, and I'm finally getting close to releasing the paperback.
I'm excited and scared, but happy for the future.
There are a number of new awesome things in my life:
- starting cheerleading again
- starting a men's group
- facilitating a course on habits
- embracing living in integrity by letting a relationship go that I didn't want to be in anymore
- might be starting a serious YouTube channel, moving into an awesome house full of content creators
- working out more, whenever I want, however I want
- climbing (might wait a month to get more serious about this
A few lessons:
- This path isn't going to be made for me, even in the smallest way. I've got to forge everything through persistence.
- My environment shapes me in a very deep way. I need lots of alone time to process my thoughts.
- Right now, getting myself out there is more important than worrying about producing perfect content.
- Community is really important
- Approaching this thing as sharing my gifts with the world makes it easier to feel like it's more about others than it is myself, which makes it easier to do it.
Right now, I'm working on:
- A podcast
- A course
- Getting the rest of my books out there
- Learning more about promotion, advertising, and collaboration
- Having more fun, and fuelling myself with energy to make output easier
- Trying to take things less seriously
That's it for now my friends, talk to you soon. I'm so glad to have you along for the ride.
Currently in London, ON.
Sticking with the general model of Bali:
- Meditation in the morning
- Most important creative work in the morning
- Exercise at some point
- Deep social interactions each day
Approaching the book launch (Sept 18 for the first one), trying to have no expectations.
Starting to get over the anxiety that I'm all too familiar with that comes when I uproot and move habitats.
Super grateful to be around the people I'm around here in London. It turns out I don't need tons of friends to be happy. Just a few good ones.
I'm really excited to be back in the gym powerlifting. That's a beautiful way I've allowed myself to experience love recently.
Rock on friend. I'm quietly building the awesome life I want. I hope you are too. <3
I've been struggling with not caring about what other people think lately.
It's difficult to hold your own when you go against the grain.
But boy, are the happy moments ever worth the pain.
Quick update right here, I've transitioned away from the intense hours-long morning and afternoon work sessions. I was feeling creatively drained, and noticed that they weren't helping me make high quality articles.
Switching to creating articles that are shorter in length has forced me to pack even more value in such a small space. I love the challenge.
The books are going to be released soon, I'm going to be much closer to the young people I love at Western very soon, and I'm totally scared.
But I'm also totally excited.
And totally grateful.
This is my dream.
Tons of recharging, actually. Life has been very beautiful for me lately.
Been spending some time at my cabin, writing as well, and seeing some beautiful friends that I love.
I recently read Bit Rot by Douglas Coupland and Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. I liked the former the most.
For the rest of August, I will be working as hard as I can to produce high quality, much shorter posts, as well as seeing all my beautiful Vancouver friends while I spend my last couple weeks here.
Friends! What is good? Everything. Just got back to Vancouver, feeling happy as a penguin. This penguin.
And I'm taking a week off, at the place below. Chat in a week!
Just got to Thailand, trying to stick to the same routine, just with less rigidity.
Still waking up, brushing my teeth, and meditating. But now, I'm adding in a breakfast, and taking away the guide. I want to learn to meditate without needing anything.
Still writing for the morning. But now, since I've finished my third book, I'm focusing all my creative energy into the blog posts. I'm excited for the quality to rise in them, since I was having a difficult time balancing my focus on them with the focus on the books.
I'm still eating lunch, and then writing more in the afternoon.
Throughout the whole day, I sprinkle breaks by talking with family and friends, looking up what old friends that come to my mind are doing on social media, taking sips of water, getting up and walking around, and looking to the side of my computer screen at the beautiful lake and trees that surround me (see below). Here is where I am staying.
I'm still exercising right around sunset, getting closer and closer to finding a program that works. It's 15, 50, 100, for the first set, then 15 and 50, then 10, and last set is 10. On day one, the first exercise is pullups, then pushups, then half these things and half hanging in the hollow position. Second day is handstand pushups/shoulder press, dips, and deadlifts. I'm mixing in squats, one legged squats, and calf work when I feel like it. First day would be 15 pullups, 50 pushups, then 100 ab things, then 15 pullups (different grip), 50 pushups, etc. Second day just switch exercises. Jamie Foxx inspired this routine.
I'll do first day, then rest day (when I'll usually stretch), and second day, then rest day. So I guess a four day cycle. Still working out the kinks, and figuring out where to put squats in. Balancing it with getting enough sleep and food for recovery has also been a challenge.
At the start of my exercise session, I'll do this workout. I've had back pain for a long time, and am working at this every day to finally get my hip area all sorted out.
Then I'll eat food and roam around town.
That's how my first day here went, and I suspect that's how the next 11 will go. Trying to build consistent progress from a consistent routine.
Meditating for 26 minutes, guided by my good friend Mr. Sam Harris.
Working on writing for the morning. Usually, I start the day with writing for my current book.
Then I come back to my bed, lie down for an hour or so, digesting, watching videos on YouTube that are inspiring to me.
More writing until sundown. Usually on the blog post I'm working on, and planning for tomorrow's book section.
Workout. Pullups on a tree branch. Pistol squats. Push-ups. Squats. Etc.
Then a short documentary, or some other long-form video. And bedtime.
Sometimes, I'll call with a friend or two in the morning.
Most of my thoughts are taken up by dreaming of the skiing I'm going to do at Grouse Mountain in Vancouver this Winter. Not true, but I have been looking forward to this very much.
I am on a sugar cleanse, ridding the stuff from my life, not really for health reasons, but instead because I love to use it as a great way to waste time, hiding from my problems. So, I have set up an accountability system with my friend Dave Tripp, checking in with him on my progress each Saturday for the next month. So far, I have succumbed to one large DQ blizzard (yes, they have these in Bali), but that was it. Far from a splurge. The progress begins.
I am still meditating for 26 minutes each morning, thanks to the guidance of my friend Sam Harriss (find the track here). But, I have missed a couple of days over the past couple weeks.
I have stopped committing to yoga each day, and have replaced this with my own freestyle stretching. I may continue to go for the occasional Yoga With Adriene video, but I have moved onto trying a CrossFit Travel WOD each day (I'm working through this list, starting with number one). I was missing the intensity and competitiveness that I need from exercise with only doing yoga each day, and a few days of these WODs has brought my body back to feeling more invigorated from the intense exercise.
I've stopped using my phone, since I found it was distracting me from writing. Half hour phone calls would turn into three hour heart to hearts, which was making me end each day with writing juice left in the tank. While I have a feeling I may be losing energy from doing this, I find it is helping me focus more on the cool people around me while I'm travelling. So, I'm going to try to go without checking incoming communications for a week.
And that's it. I'm in Ubud, Bali right now, with my Visa finishing a week from today, so I have to leave the country. I initially thought I was going to stay in Ubud, renewing my visa by flying to a nearby country, and then flying right back, but now, I am feeling I could benefit from a Major Pattern Interruption.
So, I'm going to continue going about my days, writing, eating, and doing everything else I mentioned, for another week, and then it's probably off to Thailand!
P.S. I am super homesick, but I promised myself I wouldn't go home until I had finished three books, so I am patiently working through each day, awaiting the hugs of my loved ones that shouldn't be more than a month and a bit away.
P.P.S. I finished writing my first book. Yay!
I am waking up around 6:30, beginning each day with about 26 minutes of meditation, guided by my friend, Sam Harris.
I am in Bali, enjoying fresh, local food at $1/meal.
I am working on finishing my first book, which should be done within the week. When I am done this, I will start my second.
I am working on this blog, aiming to release one killer post each week.
I am working to vlog each day, which you can find at the link on the top bar.
I am enjoying connecting with friends and family on the phone back home.
I am enjoying connecting with my friends at the hostel I'm staying at, which costs $4/night. They are from all corners of the world, and have really interesting stories.
I am invigorating my body with yoga everyday, as well as some pull-ups, push-ups, and other fun strength building exercises. Usually in the evening.
I am really happy where I am, so I am doing what they say - if you're happy stay where you are. So I am going to stay right here for as long as I'm happy.
I am going to Bali on Monday (May 8) for indeterminate amount of time to meet new people, focus harder on writing, and learn more about the world.
I am not reading anything in particular right now as I hone in my focus to my book being released on Amazon on May 18.
I am also writing 1-2 blog posts per week. (This week's one is on backlog, will be posting it next week).
I am taking a cold shower upon waking each morning, followed by 20 minutes of meditation.
I am not consuming any social media, and working to post to instagram once a week.
I am vlogging every day.