Strands of Genius: The Bizarre Social History of Beds, Don't Try to Fix Anything Right Now, The Moral Responsibility of Selfies
Guest Curated by Nicole D'Alonzo
This year we’re aiming to highlight 50 creative thinkers that have inspired us, by giving them the opportunity to guest curate this newsletter, Strands of Genius. Rosie and Faris met Nicole during their NYC days, and Ashley met Nicole at Whiskey Weekend. We’re all big fans of Nicole and her 19 Minute Yoga app!
:: A BIT MORE ABOUT GUEST CURATOR, NICOLE D’ALONZO ::
LOCATION: New York, New York
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT: Founder, 19 Minute Yoga
I first met Rosie & Faris when we were all living in NYC (#agencylife). They were some of the very first beta testers of my app, 19 Minute Yoga. Rosie’s supportive notes about my new project meant so much to me, as I was a non-technical founder in the trenches of development :) Thanks, babe!
Yoga builds mindset muscles like self-observation without judgment and finding ease in discomfort, along with reducing anxiety. Useful skills right now. This new normal has me thinking about my anxiety more than usual. And why is anxiety always in a rush? It's 10pm and I have to fix everything - now! I try to remind myself it’s not real and the sky is not falling. I count on yoga to ground me back in reality (I increased my “dosage” in self-quarantine).
I love connecting the dots between yoga and science, and below I’m sharing links on sociology and psychology, including how you can be your own resource and ways to help others.
Editor’s Note (Rosie): From the moment I met Nicole, I knew I liked her. She was killing it at work, but still had this undeniably playful side and joie de vivre. When she and her partner packed up their NYC apartment, and joined the semi-nomadic tribe, we saw them almost more than when we were living in the same city! And certainly for more meaningful periods of time.
Nicole’s voice is one of my favorite voices of all time. It’s calming and reassuring, yet inspiring and motivating. And 19MY takes up less than 20 minutes of your day, which means you always have time for it. I’ve loved the app in all its iterations, but especially proud of Nicole and what she’s put out there today. Thanks for curating todays edition, Nikki! I especially loved these links!
:: THE LINKS ::
THE BIZARRE SOCIAL HISTORY OF BEDS (& PERMISSION TO TEXT IN BED) #BETTERTOGETHER
“For most of human history, people thought nothing of crowding family members or friends into the same bed.” Once upon a time in New Jersey, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin shared the same bed at an inn and royal couples typically consummated their marriage with an audience (who waited until they heard “suggestive noises” before leaving the room). The Victorian Era effectively closed the bedroom door, but 21st-century tech brought new socialization to beds. Pre-pandemic there was pressure to leave tech out of the bedroom, but these rules feel antiquated, as many self-quarantine and search for ways to be social. Notice a bit of loneliness? No judgment and permission to text in bed, as you curl up with historical validation. (The Conversation)
DON’T TRY TO FIX ANYTHING RIGHT NOW
Anxiety is known to perk up in times like this, so I try to proactively ground myself - yoga helps, especially child’s pose. According to therapist Kathleen Smith, our most valuable asset is the ability to “sit with uncertainty” and not try to control anyone else’s behavior. Two steps we can take to cultivate this skill are to recognize “anxious fixing” and practice “cognitive flexibility.” Smith writes, “Cognitive flexibility is perhaps one of the greatest tools to have in a time of uncertainty. There are two components to cognitive flexibility: ONE, being able to change how you think about a problem, and TWO, being able to let go of solutions that aren’t working.” This article explains how to be a better resource for yourself. (Medium)
THE MORAL RESPONSIBILITY OF SELFIES
Humans like to look at faces. Even infants demonstrate this, as they turn toward faces, minutes after being born. “A recent study from the University of Granada in Spain found that participants’ heart rates increased when they looked at photos of faces—more so for photos of “loved” faces than for those of unknown ones, but always some.” On Instagram, photos of faces are known to get "far more likes than other types of photos.” Even before social distancing, we scrolled through social media to satisfy this craving, but now the need for connection has broken all the old rules - no post is too boring when you’re stuck home. This article details how your selfies and Instagram Stories make people feel less alone. I can’t think of anything more important right now. (The Atlantic)
:: AND NOW… SOME FAST FAVORITES ::
:: Game :: Tetris on the original NES (yes, we have one)
:: City :: NYC & Firenze
:: Book :: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
:: Podcast :: How I Built This with Guy Raz
:: Album :: U2’s All You Can't Leave Behind and Something’s Gotta Give Soundtrack
Practicing my Full Wheel Pose
If you have any questions about starting a home yoga practice, my passion for agenda meetings, or want me to share the 19 hours of music I’ve been Shazaming for years feel free to @ me :) Be bold & stay grateful!
Know someone who could use some inspiration in their inbox? Send ‘em our way!
It's called Genius Steals because we believe ideas are new combinations and that nothing can come from nothing. But copying is lazy. We believe the best way to innovate is to look at the best of that which came before and combine those elements into new solutions.
Co-Founders Faris & Rosie are award-winning strategists and creative directors, writers, consultants and public speakers who have been living on the road/runway since March 2013, working with companies all over the world. Our Director of Operations is nomadic like us, our accounting team is based out of Washington, our company is registered in Tennessee, and our collaborators are all over the world. Being nomadic allows us to go wherever clients need us to be, and to be inspired by the world in between.
Hit reply and let’s talk about how we might be able to work together :)
We're currently booking speaking gigs for the year.
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