Monthly Musings: March 2017

Lauren Lee
Apr 17, 2017 · 6 min read

I have a monthly-ish email newsletter that I send mainly to friends and family. It’s a place to share my thoughts, ideas and learnings from the past weeks. This is a passion project, and my hope is that my writing always comes from a place of deep love and positive energy.

I’m testing this out and sharing it with everyone to see if it resonates within a community. Here’s the most recent newsletter on Medium — to join the mailing list, subscribe here. We’ll see how this goes!

With that being said, here are some of my thoughts and learnings from March 2017.

  • Mudita. I was recently introduced to the concept of mudita by a friend, which is the Sanskrit meaning for sympathetic or unselfish joy; joy in the good fortune of others. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I hope people to find whatever it is they’re searching for in life.
  • Have the courage to not F#&*#! curate your life. I was at a small, private show in LA recently with John Mayer and he brought up Dave Chapelle. Dave told everyone in the room to put away their phones and be present in the dark, dimly lit room. We put our phones away and the mood changed. We listened to the strum of the guitar and understood the story in the lyrics. Dave told the crowd: “in this day and age, never forget what a real experience feels like.” Too many people constantly scroll through Instagram, spend far too long thinking of hashtags and update their highlight reel on social media. He also told us: “have the courage to not F#&*#! curate your life.” Time is the only thing we really have. Let’s go out there and create experiences.
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Before we put our phones away ;)
  • Hammocks are the best. After a camping trip to Big Sur last summer, my friends and I bought hammocks, and it’s a great investment. They’re small and you can carry it anywhere. For example, recently my friend Kristina and I stopped off on the side of the road in Davenport, CA and pitched our hammocks on the coast and had the most amazing view!
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When you randomly prop up a hammock on the California Coast, you never know what view you’ll get :)
  • March Madness has been insane. Not gonna lie, I spent four days in a row watching March Madness basketball games at bars in San Francisco. I was rooting for my alma mater, USC and the Oregon Ducks (I used to live in Eugene) and their games were so fun to watch. March Madness is one of my favorite times of the year because I love college basketball. The finals with UNC vs Gonzaga was exciting — my UNC friends were happy!
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Watching the UNC game with my friends Kristina & Jess
  • Bad habits can be broken. This will eventually be a blog post of its own, but long story short. Since the beginning of my memory, I’ve always been biting my nails and peeling the skin off of my fingers. It’s a terrible habit, but I was never able to break it. Towards the end of last year, I made an intention to stop —likely in my conscious and subconscious thoughts — and I did it. I’ve been researching more about the power of habit and how lifelong habits suddenly stop for some people. But now I can say that as someone who quit a lifelong habit, you can too.
  • Designing Your Life. Last year, I kept hearing about a book called Designing Your Life, which was written by two Stanford professors in the design school. More recently, I met someone who teaches the course and he gave me a copy of the book, which I dove into quickly. Highly recommend. The idea of DYL is that we can all create our future careers if we think like designers: by testing, prototyping, failing fast, trying new ideas, and working with people you trust who can help you design the life you want. Instead of thinking about something (over, and over again) — the advice is to try it out, talk to people, test it. I shared DYL with my sister Danielle and friend Tanur, and we all read the book together. Now, we have regular video chats to discuss things we’re reaching towards, testing, designing, etc. I’m in San Francisco, Danielle is in LA and Tanur is in Topeka, Kansas. We’ve been testing some amazing ideas, and we’ve all found more clarity in terms of career and life trajectory.
  • Which brings me to an important thing in life: having a community of people who you can lean on and trust in good times and bad times. It’s key to yourself with people who are kind, generous and strong. I have a community of friends in San Francisco who have made my 2+ years here the best times of my life. I’ve collected memories with them that’ll last a long, long time. On that same note, I call my sisters all the time whenever I need to talk to someone about an idea I have, or if I need to bounce off ideas with, and of course just to talk.
  • Get outdoors on the weekends. When you’re outdoors and in nature, there’s a different level of connection with your inner self that happens. Nature is healing. When you quiet the mind, you can hear and see much clearer. I recently went to Denver/Boulder and really loved their intense hiking trails, and also spent the weekend in Sequoia National Park.
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Red Rocks near Denver, CO
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Hiking to the top of Royal Arch at Chautauqua National Park in Boulder, CO
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Sequoia National Park
  • Le Croix water. Have you ever had Le Croix (lemon flavor)? I had it for my first time during a Lake Tahoe ski trip and now I’m obsessed with it. Zero calories and zero sugar.
  • Cotton Eye Joe. Speaking of that Tahoe trip, it was with a group of friends and we rented a cabin. One of the nights, my friend played the song “Cotton Eye Joe” which I hadn’t heard in years. It’s an obscure & incredibly fun country song, and it brought up good memories from middle school. If you get a chance, listen to Cotton Eye Joe. It’ll make your day ten times better.
  • Lion — best movie i’ve seen. Yep, I said it. I left the movie theatre shocked and speechless because it was that good. It’s the true story of a young Indian boy who gets lost on a train and ends up thousands of miles away from home. He doesn’t know where he is from and ends up on the streets of Calcutta, India. He’s eventually adopted by an Australian couple and 25 years later, thanks to Google Earth, he finds his hometown and is reunited with his mother. It’s a brilliant movie — bring the tissues.
  • One final thought: Your energy introduces you before you even speak.

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