‘Be Kind to Yourself’ and Five Other Things I Learned Making This Project

Starting any new endeavor has its highs and lows.
  • Confusion is the beginning of learning. Seeds for this project were planted back in 2015. I had just moved on from a business I helped create. Anything that could be used to engage a reader was now called “content”. Photos, illustration, and art work were now referred to as “assets”.  I had grown numb and uninspired looking at a computer screen all day. To get back in touch with my creativity I wanted to work with my hands. So I enrolled in barber school. The process kicked my butt and sent me on a path that taught me so much more than how to do a proper fade. I experienced racism, befriended people who were out of my usual circle, and even helped tidy up some homeless people’s hair. Ultimately, it wasn’t my time to be a barber, but it lit a fire within me to get my own thing up and running. This blog has been my teacher. It has challenged me. It is my alternative to quitting. I thought it was going to launch a year ago. Rather than battle learning HTML and building a site from scratch I embraced it. There was NO rush. This learning lesson turned into the foundation for this project: Be Kind To Yourself

I’m a writer. I never had the courage to say that out loud.

  • Embrace your newness.  I’m going to say something you might not know about me: I’m a writer. I never had the courage to say that out loud. Wow, I just gave myself a major promotion! I’m also dyslexic. I’ve had a ton of shame about it. Can the two peacefully co-exist? Yup. How? I’m not sure, but together, we are going to see where this goes. Fingers crossed The New Maturity inspires you to try something different and embrace your newness.  
  • It’s not healthy to look at everything else around you and compare. So don’t do it. Really, you are just going to wind up feeling bad about yourself. Focus on what you can do to make someone else’s day awesome. It might just put a smile on their face. Now we are really getting to some kindness. 
  • “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”I heard this on one of the (many) podcasts I listen to. It struck me like lightning. I wrote it down immediately. I even turned it into my password at work. When I would fumble or get frustrated with this project, I leaned on this quote. It helped me remember what my focus needed to be. Because if I dropped the ball or waited for permission from someone else, this never would have happened. Now you know the secret of how to produce your very own Next Big Thing.
  • When things get bad, put on Vampire Weekend. VW makes such poppy music. It makes me happy. It takes me to an imagined better time at college when I was figuring out how to spend my time. Those days were my first taste of structuring my life on my terms. Now I channel that as a commuter. All this writing was done in the downtime of the day. Catching an early train to work. Waiting for a meeting to start. Escaping the office by taking a walk over lunch. It was during these empty pieces of the day that I gathered and harnessed my attention to write, sketch, paint, and design. Sometimes it got dark with my inner critic saying I would never get this done. Or worse, the fear that people would laugh at something called The New Maturity. When that happened Vampire Weekend was only a click away to help get me focused. Or have a mini dance party.
  • The greatest luxury is time for creation. Taking time helped me figure out my strengths. I’m a designer. I love to take pictures. I love to doodle and paint. Then I like to write about what I’ve observed. Pretty simple. It’s taken me two years to have the courage to say that. I’d love to hear what your strengths are. How do you use them? 

Comments (4):

  1. Nicole

    April 12, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing this – we all need these kinds of reminders. And vampire weekend for the win! X

    • heathbrockwell

      April 13, 2019 at 9:21 am

      Heads up: new VW drops in May!

  2. Carolyn

    May 13, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    I have found that time for creation is a luxury I must absolutely have. If I don’t, I fall apart and thus everything else falls apart.

    You are right, “time for creation” is the ultimate in luxury. I love the feeling of permission, time and energy to doodle around while you create a solution, and then the exciting realization when you have stretched yourself and created something remarkable.

    • heathbrockwell

      May 14, 2019 at 4:41 am

      Funny how quickly things can ‘fall apart’ without carving out some quiet time to focus. I’m excited to hear (and see!) the remarkable things you create.


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