This is my first post in three months. What a ride it's been! Braeden Anthony was born August 1st. I was blessed to spend every moment since with him. We are beginning to resume art over here, and will be back in full swing in 2022.
This morning I was walking with B around Town Lake, here in Austin. Locals know it's a jewel of this city: A beautiful 12 mile stretch of sun-dappled trails around the Colorado River. As I pushed the stroller with Braeden in tow, I was struck by the smiles he was getting from perfect strangers. It got me to thinking about the story behind "Energy Over Image."
It's our most popular sticker and before Braeden was born I revamped the design. People have shared with us that they put it on electronic devices as a way to lift the energy of those devices. I absolutely love that. The phrase strikes different meanings in the hearts of people. For me, "Energy Over Image" is one of this business' guiding mantras.
Back to the baby. Have you ever thought about why when you see a baby, you can barely resist a smile? Perhaps you think you're biologically wired to do so. Perhaps it's because they're so darn cute. It's probably both of these things. However I'd like to posit a third thing: We smile at babies because their energy is amazing. In fact, it's so amazing we instantly feel good in their presence... even if they aren't offering up much else. Usually they're little more than a slobbery blob. That's the power of good energy.
When I was a school teacher years ago, I witnessed how veteran teachers used this phenomena to motivate children simply by standing in silence. This isn't charisma. Energy is something you can't fake, and we all know it when we feel it.
I first made this sticker in 2018 to remind myself to prioritize energy. It's certainly easier said than done. There's a lot of pressure to look a certain way in this world, and focus our time on those ends. I've spent more time than I care to admit glossing social media, brainstorming brand colors, and pumping myself up for networking events. When I think about the people I'm most drawn to however- it's the people I simply feel good around. It's the people I can't stop smiling at. When I try to be like that in my life and work, everything gets easier. Even if the social media goes dark. Even if I don't have a shiny brand presence. Energy trumps image every time.
I love thinking about this with babies. It reminds me all of us were once beings perfect strangers would smile at for seemingly no reason at all.
This isn't a story about staying pure and innocent like babies. If that was the goal, planet Earth wouldn't be a place we'd set up shop. No one escapes a life on this blue and green rock without forgetting some (or a lot) of the great energy that's our birthright. I'm not sure I have a single answer about why we're here or what we're doing... But I like to think we come to this place so we can forget the energy we are born with... and if we're fortunate, we can remember... and then help others remember, just how glorious we have always been.
I think of this as I parent a new, tiny human. There is part of me that wants to keep him as shiny and bright as possible. There's part of me that wishes I could protect him from the woes of the planet forever. This sticker reminds me no matter what tough energy he encounters... he is more tough. And my most important job is to remind him of that each and every day.
What does "Energy Over Image" mean to you?