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Getting Better – Pancake Art and Ego

Dana and I had a pretty heated argument a few days ago. We were working on this studio project for a big client, and I was being difficult, and wouldn’t listen to her suggestions. It brought up a bunch of unresolved resentment around the Dancakes team’s ability to listen to and learn from constructive criticism. I don’t know what it is, maybe my white male privilege, maybe my gifted kid sense of entitlement, but for whatever reason, criticism has always been hard for me to hear. I don’t take it gracefully. But this time, I sat with it, and tried to let go of that big ol’ honkin’ ego.

I’m glad I did. Dana told me once that I’m like the artistic equivalent of a 600lb. gorilla who just sits in the gym and doesn’t do anything…but every now and then, gets up and hurls a weight bench across the room. She says that if I applied myself and phoned it in less, that I’d be making the best content Dancakes could make and I’d get off of this plateau I’ve comfortably settled myself upon.

We have an incredible team. We support each other and push each other to be better, and we get through the hard stuff. We have each others’ backs and we want to grow together. Even when it’s hard. Even when we’re fools. And we’re always fools, so that’s good. I’m really grateful that my friends call me on my nonsense, because without that, I’d get comfortable, and I’d stop growing. I couldn’t do any of this without their help.

Maybe it was Dana’s conversation with me, maybe it was the Eckhart Tolle book I’ve been listening to for the last week or so, but today I found it very easy to center myself and bring my whole being to bear on the pancake work I was doing. I’m happy that I keep learning. You know, they say it’s an ongoing process, and that you never quite stop, but I’m still consistently surprised by my emotional and spiritual development. Life gets easier. You get more tools to deal with the challenges you face. You learn how profound, powerful, and practical it is, to remain present. Most things are not that important. Overvaluing that which is not important, means undervaluing that which is, and I’m happy that I’m right where I need to be.

Thanks for reading.

Joaquin Phoenix - Joker Pancake Art

Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker Pancake Art

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