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It's all about focus right now...

...but as a way of BEING. Sometimes focus means intensity, but not always. Focus means recognizing what's important to you and doing your best to consistently act on that. Focus means being calm, being energized, but most of all, being deliberate. The heart of focus is intentionality and creativity: zeroing in on something important to you and then finding ways to advance towards that vision even when it's hard. Focus is the logical next step flowing from our 2020 commitment to Action: we first discover our goals, we then actually set them, and from there, focus is what helps us deliberately stay in action to turn dreams to reality. 

Cool And Thoughtful @ Melody Ehsani Soho - It felt like fashion but the experience was one of mindfulness. Set against the candy pink walls of the Melody Ehsani shop in Soho, an intimate group of women, from stylists wearing Melody’s fearless Jordans, to the co-founder of ethical modeling agency Role Models Management, gathered for our mindfulness workshop, How to Be Cool And Thoughtful. Kerrin led the workshop offering four different strategies for practicing mindfulness in our daily interactions, bringing to life the Cool And Thoughtful thesis that personal mindfulness and inner peace take full flight when they are in service of being present and kind with others.
Every morning has been starting - with Thich Nhat Hanh's book Peace in Every Step. (as in, reading this before doing anything else.) This is one of those books where even just two pages can change the day. At the heart of his teaching is this meditation: "Breathing in, I calm my body, breathing out, I smile." From eating, to walking, to answering the phone, this simple meditation carries across life as the ultimate anchor of presence. Try it sometime!(reco: do just before sipping coffee.)
Image: YK Hong, Breathe In, Breathe Out, 2011
We did a profile feature on Timo Rissanen - an artist, an educator, and the truest champion for sustainable fashion. He's one of the original stewards of "zero waste" fashion, and his definition of what it means to be Cool And Thoughtful gets right at the heart of the stand that he is and what Cool And Thoughtful is all about: "Part of being Cool And Thoughtful is also having a commitment to something outside of yourself...and having a commitment to joy." You can read his whole interview here. Also: all the plants photographed in this interview (including the plant antler in the shower) are rescued from the trash. <3
SONIC INTERLUDE: WE MADE A PLAYLIST OF ALL THE LATE NIGHT & EARLY MORNING TRACKS.
Staying with the theme of Joy for a sec - how important it is to find the little things that bring joy. In other words, nail art actually DOES change the game. Can you imagine GRINNING EAR TO EAR every time you look at your hands!? Exactly. More generalizably, joy matters. It's in the little things, it's in the big things, it's in what you create, and it's in what you stumble across. Joy is a cousin of magic, and we must not discount it. 
February Moods:  being in love with the obvious and non-obvious things, a beloved everyday coat, Moroccan floor cushions, planning trips to Paris, sleeping in a cold bedroom, staying hydrated, Nike Air Max with glitter socks, carrying your big headphones around with you, new friends. //photo credits at the bottom//
Rather than end with the typical Typographic of Confidence, here's a Kobe Bryant quote -- because it captures The Spirit of Everything:

You have to dance beautifully in the box that you're comfortable dancing in. My box was to be extremely ambitious within the sport of basketball. Your box is different than mine. Everybody has their own. It's your job to try to perfect it and make it as beautiful of a canvas as you can make it. And if you have done that, then you have lived a successful life. You have lived with Mamba Mentality.   
 

What I've learned is to ... always keep going.  Do you love the process? That gets you to that. Those boring, agonizing moments. If you love that, then you know you found something that's really true to you.

You know, if you do the work, you work hard enough, dreams come true. Those times when you get up early and you work hard. Those times when you stay up late and you work hard. Those times when you don't feel like working, you're too tired, you don't want to push yourself , but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.

Mood photo sources:  An old Urban Outfitters product detail via lacooletchic; Cool And Thoughtful original Polaroid; Gratitude via Subliming (@subliming.jpg); Nails on @laurenladnier with @greennailsalon @argentovio_us1/OFF Paris Denim; Great Art in Ugly Rooms by Paul Kremer; Cellophane backdrop via Grace Miceli. With the exception of the Polaroid, I do not claim to own any of these photos, and they all below to their rightful owners.

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