28 July 2021: I Need Breathing Room

There’s a Tibetan Buddhist practice called Lojong that, to oversimplify it, is designed to help you get your head straight. It begins with experiencing things as they are. When you’re happy, you appreciate it and wish for others to have happiness as well. If you’re having pain, you sit with the pain. The point is to learn to experience objective reality without suffering. Things sneak up on you, though. It can be a lot to process. So right now, I need a little breathing room.

For the past three months I’ve either been planning to move, moving, or getting settled in after the move. At no point have I had the chance to sit with that. There’s been no opportunity for me to process it all. As Katie pointed out in her blog post yesterday, culture shock is catching up to us. We’re suddenly not in Finland, where we’ve lived happily for the past 7 years. Neither of us have lived in Delaware before, so there’s a lot that’s new. The United States has changed drastically in the years that we’ve been away. We’re eating unfamiliar food. Our routines need to be rebuilt. There are a thousand little details that pop up and need to be dealt with every day. It’s overwhelming.

I Need Breathing Room

Yesterday’s post not withstanding, I’ve been running my business on autopilot since May. I set up a lot of projects to keep myself busy, because that’s what I needed to get through this. Now that I have the chance to stop, reflect, and process. I need to reevaluate things. The purpose of work is no longer to anchor me through a physically and emotionally trying period. Now I have to deal with the reality of mind and body, and let the work return to being what it needs to be.

Breathing Room Media is going forward, but it will happen when it happens. Pieces will be ready when they’re ready. I’m not sure I can write about Finland yet. The kind of minimalism I am able to practice here, what I need to practice here, is different from my practice there. Certainly the defiance I need to express in consumer-driven, materialistic, late-stage capitalism America is not the same as in the Democratic Socialist Nordics. What I considered to be inner peace when I was looking out onto a lake is a separate entity from what I’m seeking when the night before last there was a brutal murder-suicide six blocks from here.

Like I said, a lot to process.

I’ve temporarily shuttered the Patreon, and pulled the newsletter, zine, and podcast pages back behind the curtain. I’m still working on them, but I need to get my head around what exactly it is I want to accomplish, and what I want to say, now that I’m in this strange new world. I’m going to keep blogging, though. I just need a moment to get my feet under me, intellectually and emotionally. Stay tuned.

22 July 2021: A Guide to Breathing Room Media

A lot of things are in the works under the umbrella of “Breathing Room”. It’s all about minimalism as both an act of defiance and a path to inner peace. What I don’t want to do is release the same content in different formats. This blog should feel distinct from the zine, the podcast should offer something not found on the vlog, and so forth. So here’s a brief guide to Breathing Room media, and how I intend to use each format.

The Blog

Going forward, this is going to be my personal journal. I want to talk about my life and my journey. You’ll get to see the ups and downs of living a simple life. There will be some “topical content” that intersects with minimalism-as-act-of-defiance. Hopefully there will be epiphanies regarding inner peace. This will be my ongoing story.

The Newsletter

The point of the newsletter is to provide you with news (go figure) and updates on all Breathing Room projects. It’s where you will be able to find information on the blog, the zine, the podcast, and the vlog all in one place. That doesn’t sound sexy, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s a newsletter.

The Zine

I look at the zine as a place to collect essays. The pieces published there will be well-considered, researched, and edited. The scope will be global, i.e. not just about me. How-to’s, helpful hints, and educational articles are all possible within the format. This is my serious space, where I put on my writer hat and attempt to effectively communicate ideas.

The Podcast

Rants. The podcast is going to be for rants. This is one of the reasons I’m retooling the Patreon to include more than the podcast. Not everyone wants to hear my emotional pleas, snarky hot takes, or angry diatribes against the evils of the world. The good news is that it’s scripted, so I’m essentially going to do dramatic readings.

The Vlog

The YouTube channel is going to be a wild card. I want to keep it unscripted and pretty raw in terms of production. If there’s breaking news that I want to comment on, it will end up in the vlog. When there are moments in my life that I want to share, it will be in the vlog. Big news and updates will end up on the vlog. It’s a catchall.

A Guide to Breathing Room Media

All of this is in progress, but it’s going to happen as it happens. For the first time in years I have the opportunity to produce content mindfully, to do it right rather than having to do it fast. As such, I’m not committing to any release dates yet. Know that once something starts, it will then be released on a consistent schedule.