Hi. I am Tylea, Holstee’s resident skeptic. I have a hard time following trends even if they seem like a good idea. I do not read books about the power of [fill in the blank], I will not dump a bucket of ice over my head or rush to the next food craze just because the buyer at my health food mega-store ate something “exotic” on vacation. Bamboo fabric is just rayon, that bag you bought to help feed starving Africans was made in a sweatshop (and who is feeding those workers?). Yoga is cool but downward dog always makes me feel like I’m going to puke, and isn’t it actually someone’s religion?
On paper I am your standard-issue grump, but that doesn’t quite explain it. I care very much about being a better person and making the world a better place, I am just not easily persuaded by other humans’ ideas on how to do that.
Let me give you an example. Like many other kids born in the early 80s, I grew up watching the Ghostbusters movies. In the final scene of the first flick, Gozer (he’s the bad guy, you Millennials!) tells the ‘busters that whatever they think of next will be what destroys them. The guys scramble to clear their minds and then this happens:
Poor Ray. He couldn’t clear his mind so he conjured the most innocent thing he could imagine. But as far as power-hungry demon overlords are concerned, it doesn’t matter how sweet and lovable your thoughts are; if there is anything rattling around up there, it will try to kill you.
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” - Henry David ThoreauTweet It!
Tiny Tylea got this message loud and clear. I wasn’t going to let any marshmallow man attack my friends and step all over my city (even if we later blasted those ghouls to smithereens with our proton packs). So I started to practice clearing my mind completely, wiping away the debris of my school day, family disputes, sports matches, television shows. I did it so much that I got pretty good at it (apparently I was really afraid of meeting my marshmallow maker). And although it’s not as easy as it once was, I can still do this without much trouble.
Twenty-something years later and I’m told this is called “meditation.” Apparently people pay big bucks to learn how to do it, it’s a whole thing. There are classes and retreats and apps for your phone. It’s basically mandatory at Google. And hey, that’s great. I want everyone to be able to fight off their demons, those made of gelatinous sugar or otherwise.
But anytime people start paying attention (and dollars) to something new, especially something in the self-improvement universe, the dynamic starts to shift. The masters and the gurus and the teachers and guides and the leaders emerge and battle for preeminence. Which approach is best, more ancient, more traditional, more authentic, more worthy of your hard-earned dollars.
Sometimes I just wish the experts would turn down the volume. We all have wisdom inside of ourselves from our families, cultures, experiences, even childhood movies, but it gets really hard to hear these voices with so much advice shouted at us all the time. In my opinion, the best masters and gurus and teachers and guides and leaders encourage us not to follow them but to find and listen to our own inner compass.
So you see, I’m not (just) a grouch. I just think finding happiness is kind of simple: stop listening to what other people tell you. Want to get healthier? Want to learn new skills? Want to make an impact? Sure, go for it. And finding a community of people to do those things with is beautiful and necessary. But don’t let anyone tell you what’s important to you or how to do it.
Tylea Richard lives in Brooklyn with her humidifier and a collection of vintage coats. She is a maker and sourcer (and sometimes sorcerer) of ethical fashion, accessories and home goods. In her free time, she travels and reads and drinks rum.
Begin your day feeling grounded and inspired.
A free 30-day email series where we share the most impactful stories and ideas that have helped us on our journey to live a more meaningful life.
✌️ Free. Unsubscribe anytime.
“I’m in the midst of big life transitions at the moment, chasing book deals, relocating, taking risks, carving out a life that feels honest, so your emails have been a perfectly timed source of inspiration and reassurance.” Jo in London, Great Britain
"Love the emails! They are a great reset or what I would call mindful chiropractic adjustment to approaching the day. Thank you!" Laurie in Albuquerque, New Mexico
"I love the emails. They give me a new perspective and things to think about and apply in my life." Monica in Johannesburg, South Africa
"It's food for the soul and sets my spiritual compass in the right direction." Farahdiva Samsul in Assam, India
"Absolutely LOVE the daily emails. One of the only email subscriptions I read daily. Keep them coming!!" Adriana in New York, New York
"The emails are thought-provoking and uplifting. A little pause from the crazy happenings of modern life. A quick chance to reflect, smile, and think about a life lived mindfully." Pharan in Queensland, Australia
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mindfully Mailed series. Daily I await this little nugget of goodness to hit my inbox each day." Tambria in Shreveport, Louisiana
Welcome to Holstee
Our monthly membership helps conscious people (like you!) live a more meaningful life through actionable guide, inspiring art, thought-provoking content and a like-minded community.BECOME A MEMBER →
This article is part of our series on the theme of Simplicity.EXPLORE Simplicity →
Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.VIEW OUR THEMES →