At the Corner of Wisdom and Love

PURE, 2018
Mixed media installation of washing machine, mirror, globe lights, mallet, plaster Ivory
soaps
Dimensions variable

I find myself, thirty-nine years old, at the self-help book stage of my life. It dawned on me about two years ago (and progressively became more clear as time went by) that I knew next to nothing of value to me. Give me a hammer and I’d build you a fence, give me a piano and I’d play you a song, show me a sentence and I’d diagram it, but […]

The State of My Estate

Truong Tran, Broken Mended

My next door neighbor died nine months ago. His name was Tom. We lived across from each other for seven years.  He lived a very quiet, modest life, only owning a beat up car that rarely started, and a few antique furniture pieces. He kept cash hidden under his bed (he didn’t trust big banks), and lived alone in a rent-controlled apartment for thirty years. Over the years, a handful […]

Book Brief: “On Fire” by John O’Leary

oleary-john

On Fire John O’Leary 2016, Gallery Books The Idea This book is a combination of autobiography and motivational tome. As a nine year-old, John O’Leary was burned over 100% of his body. He wasn’t expected to make it through the night, but yet here he is today as an adult, sharing seven life views on how to live a “radically inspired life”. As the book sleeve states, “Once expected to […]

An Offering: The Impostor Syndrome Antidote

cubist reflection
Fiona Aboud

  Ready, not ready. Expert, novice. Professional, amateur.  Are we ever fully baked, polished and ready for mass consumption? Being an entrepreneur comes with its fair share of naysayers. We’ve all been there – yes or yes!? I was recently challenged by a well-meaning family member asking “how can you possibly offer life advice to others when you don’t have all your own sh*t together?” It was an arresting [attack] […]

Is It Possible to Binge on Wellness?

upward facing
Fiona Aboud

Did you know that the original marathon runner from ancient Greece, the guy who ran from Marathon to Athens to announce victory over the Persians, delivered his message, keeled over and died? True story. So why did we “modern” humans insist on taking a bad idea—running obscenely long distances— and turn it into a competition? Not only did we turn it into a race, we decided that running 26.2 miles […]

Unraveling Depression: How I Fight My Invisible Foe

mushroom
Fiona Aboud

Since I was 17 years old, I’ve been prone to bouts of debilitating depression, particularly in March. By my mid-twenties, mid-August joined the annual mix. In my thirties, the holiday season became a danger zone. Over the past few years, late February started feeling left out and joined the gang. But even if you see the tsunami approaching, you can’t always outrun it. Depression is a chronic mental illness. Like a […]

The Cult of Oppressive Positivity

04minneapolis96

Trends come and go. Some leave indelible marks upon a culture, and others just fade away. When a trend is couched in terms like “positive psychology” one might expect that any influence it exerts on a culture will be, well…positive. But is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? The contemporary positive psychology movement was founded in the ’80s by Martin Seligman, so you would think he […]

Fighting Fuckery 101

dartboard pregame

  Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster. —Sun Tzu, The Art of War I fight fuckery and build belonging for a living. If you’d like less of the former and more of the latter, read on. It doesn’t matter if you’re pitching a product or selling a service: fuckery divides. I used to trip over phrases like “trust-eroding behaviors.” One evaluation […]

October 2018: Digital Life

Alexander Reben

The amount of time you spend on screens is directly related to your level of anxiety. Extensive social media use leads to depression and isolation. At least, that’s what I think someone said they heard from a study that may or may not have been published in a reputable journal and/or website. In a new normal, where all news is fake and all personal truth is fact and everything is […]

The Case For the Enthusiastic No

Jackie Battenfield, Ginko, 2018 48 x 210in.  Laminated Glass MTA Arts & Transit, Avenue P, Brooklyn, New York Permanent installation

I recently received a wedding invitation in which the bride and groom had taken the opportunity to have a little fun with the RSVP card. In addition to being able to reply with the usual “enthusiastically attend” or “regretfully decline,” options to “regretfully attend” and “enthusiastically decline” had also been listed. I checked off the first box, opting to save my bad behavior for the main event. Weddings are meant […]