Sometimes you come across people that seem to have more hours in the day than everyone else. You know the ones. They have a successful career, the great side business and are active philanthropically, yet manage to always look pulled together and like they’re having a blast, all the while managing to find balance and make time for exercise and spirituality. Basically, they have the whole Self-Care thing down! Laura Rubin is one of those people. She’s the founder of creative direction and strategic communications agency Left Left Right (LLR) Consulting (which is a proud member of 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that donate at least 1% of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide) and she started AllSwell (a line of notebooks we love) as a passion project. Naturally we had to pick her brain about journaling, her self-care rituals and more: Pen or pencil? Pen. I’m comfortable with commitment. How do you typically begin a journal entry? Do you always include the date/location or any other identifiers? The best way to start is to start. Sometimes I add a location or a setting if I want to build a memory or capture context, particularly if I’m traveling. But more often I just roll. How often (if ever) do you go back and reread old entries? I’ve never thrown out a journal so I have a big stack stretching back to when I was a single digit. I might take a dip into them once a decade or so. It’s slightly remarkable (and often pretty amusing) to reread the cares and concerns of a much younger version of yourself written in your own hand. Write a journal message to your future self… “It’s all going to be alright. Have fun.” Now, write a journal message to your past self… “It’s all going to be alright. Have fun.” If you could flip through the journal of anyone (living or deceased) who would it be and during which period of their life/career? I have a dream project: to gather the journals of 500 people who passed away suddenly. What did they write on the last day of their life? What were their thoughts, hopes and concerns? Was there any hint of knowing what was to come, something below the surface they may not have even consciously registered but is subtly evident in retrospect? What patterns emerge and what can we, the living, learn from them? You describe a certain therapeutic effect from journal writing, which is an important part of your self-care practice…does surfing also provide a similar sense of catharsis? If so, how are the two similar? When you watch a gifted surfer, like Katie Brady or Leif Erickson, it’s obviously a creative act. Well, that’s not me. But getting in the water to surf requires being entirely present. The baseline level of distraction falls away necessarily and that is most certainly a good thing. Your to-do list is waiting for you on land, though generally by the time I’m drying off none of it seems nearly as urgent.
Shameless plug: We just launched AllSwell’s third notebook. Like its predecessors, Notebook No.3 is a half-lined (WRITE), half-unlined (DRAW), two-in-one hub for your creative expressions, whether they be conveyed via words, doodles, or your own unique combination of both. The cover photos were shot by Tiny Atlas Quarterly founder and our soon-to-be-travel partner Emily Nathan. Portraying lush ferns and swaying palm trees, Notebook No.3 inspired our two upcoming trips in collaboration with Tiny Atlas Quarterly and Earth Missions. We’re headed to the exquisite coastal rainforest of British Columbia and the remote French Polynesian islands of Tahiti and Mo’orea and everyone is invited.