I have to admit to some feelings of guilt here. It seems a bit wrong to be personally finding so many opportunities for joy during a time when there are so many people suffering with broken hearts watching their loved ones in the midst of being torn apart by this virus. To be clear, I am also finding many, many opportunities to feel grief in my empathy for thousands of people I’ve never met, don’t get me wrong. It seems like I should also be finding a way to physically roll up my sleeves to help our global community in larger ways than I have found, instead of simply cloistering up in my little enclave and feeling the joy of having my loved ones surrounding me.  We have been tightly knit as kids are home from college and off of school for the rest of the year and we are laughing and enjoying each other’s company. During this time we are working on big house projects, gathering around the dining room table playing games, cooking and eating together, dancing together while listening to each other’s playlists, taking the dog for walks and climbing through our forest trails out our backyard enjoying the feeling of awe that comes with the silence that two feet of fresh fallen snow in late March offers. But in this case, it seems the best thing that I can do for our community is to gather my family away from the outbreak and make sure that we are not participating in the spread of this malicious new virus. How is it that this epic pandemic could lead to this beautiful silver lining?

At Supple, we like most everyone else in the world right now, are uncomfortably watching the news around the Covid-19 pandemic, feeling anxious and a little addicted to the news of infection rates and symptoms to watch for as we’ve been steadily increasing our social distances and moving towards sheltering in place. Fortunately, Supple has been able to keep up a nice pace of work through it all – working from our home offices and when needing access to the shop, carefully planning our time in shifts to avoid unnecessary interactions. We’re in the middle of a couple library projects for Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties here in Colorado.  They are proceeding nicely, and we’re excited to install our pieces within the libraries even though it looks as if these projects won’t be able to open to the public at the previously announced time due to the stay at home order in place here in Colorado even though all of the work looks like it will be complete. In addition, we’re working on a great project for CSU as discussed in one of the other items in our email here, and a fun project for Red Bull to allow them to help enliven peoples’ days.  We’ve also been taking care of creating product packs for recently developed projects while working on new designs that have been tumbling around in the backs of our minds – all those things that have needed up to have a little extra time to complete. And because our fabrication team is a small group of master craft workers, supported by similarly staffed vendors, we’re making all of this progress happen while strictly following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the World Health Organization (WHO), along with national and local governmental departments.

It has also been a reminder that in the rest of our lives, apart from this hopefully ‘momentary’ shift in human history, there are lots of ways in which we should look to bring joy and peace into our ‘normal’ lives even if we’re about to find that in the aftermath of this mess we find ourselves in a ‘new normal.’ 

For example, I’ve found a few things that have really helped my ability to find joy and peace:

  •         I’ve been working on getting good sleep.
  •         I’ve been eating more nutritiously.
  •         I’ve been starting my days with 5 minutes set aside for Gratitude. Reminding myself of the fact that life is a gift and that it comes with lots of beautiful moments that I should be reveling in.
  •         I’ve been spending 10-20 min each day – most often right after the minutes spent in Gratitude – meditating.  For me that means taking some time to consciously turn down the constant activity in my frontal lobe. Sitting quietly, allowing my mind to pay attention to my senses – how my body is feeling – especially paying attention to the way that gravity feels pressing me into my seat – the feeling and cadence of my breath and how it feels to change its cadence – my visual field and the sounds that are all around me that I often do not hear – and using this attention to slow down the incessant over thinking that my mind is so used to churning around.
  •         I’ve been getting some good exercise and spending some good time stretching.
  •         I’ve been working on projects that feel a little more challenging than where my experience and skill are at.
  •         And maybe most important, I’ve been spending good, 100% focused time with those I love – digging into the things that they are excited about and trying to really understand who they are at a deeper level than I typically have done. That kind of understanding allows me a deeper appreciation for what they are going through.

·         I’ve been planning out my days in the morning to get my head fully around what my goals are for that day. I’ve been using a fantastic tool called the OAK Journal that I have found an amazing tool for helping me to get my day started well

-Frank Phillips, Owner and Creative Director of the Supple Collection