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🐼 Season 3, Issue 15: Panda-corn
Monkey Chicken Yay Boo Howdy Oprah
1. The Week That Was
May I start this week’s update with a joke?
What do you call an exploding monkey? (Punchline at the end of this newsletter.)
This was quite a week, and we’re finally ready to talk about what we’ve been cooking up during the past few weeks of Cosmic Maelstrom:
YAY.BOO –– The amazing duo of Patrick and Arun have been working their magic on this truly magical little site. It’s not completely ready yet, but if you’re curious, click here to try it out (at your own risk!).
Chicken –– This is a software for remote teams to quickly see who's around, who’s deep in focus, and (very very roughly) what other people are up to. We’ve been experimenting with an early version of this tool, and I really love it, but it’s not quite ready for public consumption (still lots of problems to work through). James is the lead on this project and he might, if you’re nice, tell you more about it next week.
Howdy –– The magnificent team of Lettini and Barry built this little site for you to make a simple “Contact Me” form. Why? Because some of us want there to be a way for people to get in touch without sharing our email addresses on the world wide web. (Of course you can easily make this page on a website builder, but some of us aren’t using Wix-space). We don’t know what to call this software yet. Let us know if you have any ideas!
Also––do you like zines? We’ve made a zine and it’s called A GOOD ENOUGH ZINE. Want a copy? Write us with your mailing address. USA only for now (sorry, we’re not making any money yet and international shipping is expensive!). —SL
2. Reframing Thoughts
Here’s a little step-by-step exploration of thoughts. It’s intended for any of us who, from time to time, struggle with intrusive or negative thoughts in any way.
Step 1: humans produce near-infinite rubbish thoughts
All you really have to do is look at any social media platform. People will just tell you all their garbage thoughts. All of them – and there’s quite a lot.
Or just look around at people. They think all kinds of things, and I’d be very surprised if you didn’t agree with me that most of the things people think and believe are, well, pretty silly.
Conclusion: humans generate a lot of thoughts, and most of them are not worth very much.
Step 2: it takes nothing not to believe in rubbish thoughts
Again, social media is very instructive here. There’s some stuff you agree with, surely, but a whole lot more of what you don’t. And it’s effortless to disbelieve those thoughts, to not be compelled to adjust your entire reality to fit the shape of those thoughts.
Conclusion: not believing thoughts is actually pretty easy.
Step 3: notice that you’re a human, too
We’ve established that humans think a hell of a lot of thoughts, and that most of them aren’t very good/productive/useful.
So here’s the critical step – a step of humility, really: you are a human, too, and so there’s a pretty good chance that not all your thoughts are winners.
And all you have to do is not automatically believe them! (see: Step 2)
Hard to believe, right?
See, part of the problem is that we seem to act as though a thought that happens in our head makes it special, automatically right in some way. It’s not. All it is is just another thought by just another human. And the more we notice and realize that, the freer we become from false or limiting patterns of automatic belief.
See for yourself: try thinking the thought "I am a panda with a unicorn horn." Almost certainly false, but you can think it. Just look at that – even your thoughts can be untrue!
Ultimately, a thought is just a thought – it’s not reality. And we might do well to extend a healthy skepticism toward ones that show up within, especially those gnarly ones that tell us stories about ourselves that are negative or harmful. Once we start believing thoughts, we start taking actions based on those beliefs, and that can lead to painful, uncomfortable, or just bad places.
Conclusion: you absolutely do not have to believe every thought you think. Do me a favor and think about that. ––AS
3. Tab Madness
One nice thing about having over 200 tabs in my mobile browser is that I can use those tabs as a sort of place to browse for writing topics. Like today when I was inspired to write a too-long and completely off-topic blog post about fixing things. After that, the very existence of all of those tabs (OMG SO MANY) led to this writing. So, yay?
This spring I had 500 tabs in that browser and had to declare TAB BANKRUPTCY, moving those tabs to a safe place where I'll never see them again. At least not until that day that I get my current tab overload handled and am frolicking around my browser looking for some hidden inspiration. Life is all about fooling yourself to believe that these types of scenarios will actually eventually occur.
I AM NOT ENCOURAGING THIS BEHAVIOR. All of the rosy ideas above are the tiny upside of having hundreds of browser tabs awaiting your attention. The downsides are numerous. For instance, every day you open your browser on your phone and wonder how you ever ended up here. Am I even a functioning adult?
Also, half of these tabs are related to a recent trip. I don't want to close them because I want to write a bunch of trip memories down. Why haven't I written those yet? Do I even care about that amazing trip and my intentions around remembering it?!
I recommend not using tabs as some awkward future to-do list. Document all of those things into actual to-do list software. Then you can feel this anguish at the appropriate time – when looking at your to-do lists! Keep your web-browsing pain where it should be, which is when you open x.com. ––BH
4. In Conclusion
And what do you call another exploding monkey?
If you don’t like the joke:
Blame it on Dr. James Adam.
Send us better jokes (that will go to our little printer).
We hope you have a bangin’ weekend.