February is the month of love. A year ago this month, we hosted our first guest-editor couple and this year we’re making it a tradition! Valentine’s Day 2013 was all about a couple who embody the aloha spirit. This year, we’re celebrating a duo who represent another beloved region of the nation, the Great Northwest. Nathan and Katie Williams, from their cozy-as-can-be Oregon headquarters, are charming the socks off the whole country (and beyond) with their down-to-earth, accidentally-gorgeous way of life as embodied in their quarterly print magazine, Kinfolk.
Kinfolk, with its essay-filled, un-coated paper pages, has struck a chord with so many in our culture who are looking for a little local grit to balance out our global culture’s fast and slippery pace. The deeply authentic, hyper-local feel of the magazine’s features translate well into Kinfolk’s dinners, events, videos and new cookbook (wait ’til you see these recipes!). Here at The Chalkboard, our passion for natural health and wellness means that we embrace the same kind of ‘back to your roots’ values that inform the Kinfolk esthetic. Nathan and Katie seem to understand this dynamic intuitively. We can’t wait to share all of their insights and features with you throughout the month!
Check out the couple’s letter to you below, and then subscribe to their lovely quarterly (we imagine most of you already do!). Here are Nathan and Katie…
Dear Chalkboard readers,
Something that’s been on our minds a lot lately is the way that technology is impacting our lives, for better or worse (we have yet to see Her, but the premise is eerily relevant). We’re able to look behind the curtains into other people’s lives in ways that we couldn’t just a decade ago. Great things have stemmed from this – less prejudice, more friendships and loads of inspiration! Yet one of the drawbacks of this newfound access is how easy it is to compare ourselves to others. We see images of others’ often perfect-looking lives and ache to be, see and do more. Sometimes it’s hard to be content when we’re constantly bombarded with idyllic images of lives that seem to be “better-lived.” The truth is, a lot of what we see and share are the curated bits of our days. When we forget this, our self-esteem can take quite a hit. February is the month of love. Let’s show some love to those in our lives, including ourselves, by recognizing that we’re not perfect, nor are we ever going to be… and that is really okay! If you caved and broke into the saltines just a few days into your juice cleanse… don’t be too hard on yourself. Try again!
The fact that you’re on this site and reading this now means that you care. You care about your health, your impact, your life – your well-being matters to you! You aren’t passively allowing your life to zoom by – you’re taking control. Once February 1st rolls around though, you may realize that you haven’t been as on top of things as you’d have liked (perhaps the New Year’s resolutions taped to your wall have started to fade due to neglect). We exhaust ourselves trying to live a share-worthy life, and sink back into self-deprecating thoughts. Some time passes, then we remember to breathe deeply and we recommit again to what really matters. Isn’t this really the beauty of life – that we have unlimited opportunities to reinvent ourselves, and be who we want to be, despite what society may say or expect? It’s up to us to prioritize and focus on what matters most to us.
Habits are built over time, and during the month of February we’ll be forming a new one. For us, balancing our personal lives and our work is always a challenge. We aren’t very good at paying attention to ourselves. When you run your own business, there’s always something demanding your attention, however big or small. We’ve slowly come to accept that, in order to be good leaders, we need to take care of ourselves (and we’ve known it all along). This means getting enough sleep, eating right, moving around, and having time and space to unwind (then recommitting when we lapse, knowing that it’s okay). If we want our team to be highly functioning go-getters, they’ll see our alert and energetic output and follow suit. In today’s working world, a “busy badge” is usually worn with pride and perceived in a positive light. We want to shake this misconception by intentionally taking breaks and letting those around us know that well-being is incredibly important.
How about this Valentine’s you join us by pushing pause and giving gifts of time and a clear mind and heart to yourself and loved ones, accepting who you are in the moment and committing to a balanced (or a more balanced!) tempo in your life?
Love and luck,
Nathan and Katie Williams