Seven Epiphanies

Cartoon figures illustrating seven lessons Jason Lorne Giles learned and authored in his ongoing journey towards success, authenticity, and peace.

We’ve got our second blog and you’ll want to take notes on this one haha. This time, the interns and I sat down with J to talk through some things. If you didn’t know this, J has this massive google doc he uses to house epiphanies and profound thoughts. When he thinks of something dope, he’ll just write it in there. I got a chance to look at it but he didn’t describe or add detail to any of them. It was just a list. AND WE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT IT ALL MEANT. So the interns and I picked a few we wanted J to tell us more about. This was a really fun exercise because each epiphany gave me something new to think about and it was fun to be in J’s head for a bit. Spoiler alert: Sensitive vs Weak and Heart Bouncers are my favorite haha. But let’s walk through some of J’s epiphanies. I imagine some of ‘em will resonate.

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Gnats in a Jar

Gnats in a Jar sounded silly so we had to have J walk us through this one first. To be honest, I had no clue what this could mean but it’s one epiphany that warrants an honest conversation about glass ceilings, limitations, and aspirations…

What happens when you put a bunch of gnats into a jar? They start flying around, colliding with each other and the jar itself. Eventually, in an attempt to escape, they start bumping their heads against the lid. BUMP BUMP BUMP over and over again. They do this so much that a muscle memory begins to form. They get used to the lid and find it natural to bump against it “on the way out”. 

But what happens when you remove the lid? The gnats will continue to hit their tiny little bodies against the imaginary lid. It’s a habit. It’s what they know (muscle memory). 

The question then becomes, if we think of ourselves as gnats right now, is the lid really there? You owe it to yourself to at least pretend the lid doesn’t exist and go from there.


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Destroy the Pedestal

When we think of pedestals, usually we’re in a conversation about the people we put on them. But J isn’t really here for all the pedestals…

 At SJL we do a lot of cool sh!t, but so do a lot of people. At SJL we’re working on intellectual property and we have freakin interns helping us out with that. Why not?! It’s not that deep. If you’ve got a mission, a vision, and a plan to get it there then get going NOW. A lot of these pedestals push us to think “Well, I can’t do X until I’ve done A,B, and C”. That’s wrong. Kill the pedestal and get to work.

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Rock, Bag, and Water Folk

It’s also important to be very conscious about the people we keep around us. J talked about there being essentially three kinds of people around when you’re doing the work: bag people, water people, and rock people.

Life is an uphill climb. That said, be careful of who you kick it with on the hike.

Rock Folk have nothing to offer but negativity and criticism (which is DIFFERENT than ‘critique’ but that’s a conversation for another time haha). You won’t get anywhere if you hang around these folks for too long. AVOID THESE PEOPLE.

Bag Folk may not give you the burden of intentional negativity, but they find a way to make it hard for you to carry your own sh!t because they slowly saddle you with theirs. These people constantly barrage you with questions or requests in favor of making their lives better and show little to no progress/work toward changing anything in their own power. MINIMIZE HOW MUCH THESE PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO YOU.

Water Folk tend to refresh you and help you get up the mountain faster. However, we can’t just sit around and drink water all day. If we do, we’ll never move. So be mindful of how much you tap these folks because you can’t be codependent (you’ll turn into a whole-ass BAG PERSON). TAKE A SIP AND USE THAT TO KEEP MOVING.

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The Curiosity Matrix

Some months back we posted something about building your inspiration library and using curiosity as a vehicle to build that. Here’s another way to think about your relationship with curiosity and inspiration…

A lot of folks think they need inspiration to start anything, but forget that it’s actually a byproduct of curiosity. Don’t seek to “get inspired.” Instead, get curious. For example, say you wanted to create a type foundry (FORESHADOWING??!?!?!). You don’t need to be inspired to create a foundry, you need to be curious about foundries. That curiosity breeds  learning and practice. In practice, you’ll find movement. In movement, you’ll find inspiration and pride.

Eventually you may get stuck, but you don’t need to be inspired out of your stagnation. You need to reconnect with curiosity. That will push you forward in a perpetual cycle of doneness and growth.

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Sensitive vs. Weak

It’s interesting how your perception of words can evolve after a conversation. But it makes sense that curiosity is at the root of inspiration, practice, and ultimately creation. What about words like “weak” or “sensitive”?…

The late 14th century definition of sensitive includes the “soul’s ability to perceive information.” These days, we use the word to mean some form of ‘weak’.

Sensitivity isn’t actually a problem. Your soul just might be better at perceiving things than other folks, but that doesn’t make you weak at all. You’re in tune! It’s okay to feel things. That’s kinda the point of being human. 

However, weakness comes from perceiving an abundance of information/stimuli and IMMEDIATELY reacting with no filter. We have to be able to say, “Okay, I’m feeling this but I’m going to pause, process, and act with positive intention and direction.”

Hell yes that’s hard to do and it takes a crazy amount of practice. But if you can’t control the byproduct of your perception and how it makes you feel, maybe it’s time to get a li’l tougher.

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Heart Bouncers

It seemed like once we talked about Sensitive vs Weak, it started to get REAL deep. Y’all ever heard of heart bouncers before?

In ANY relationship you’re in (professional, romantic, platonic, familial, etc.) you should have the liberty to show up as your full self. Think of entering into a relationship like entering a club and think of your many diverse traits as a group of friends.

At the club, the bouncer is someone that decides if you’re allowed in. But in relationships, we allow other people’s judgment to be bouncers. Oftentimes, to get into their heart (club) we’ll be ok with having them let some parts of us in while excluding other parts. 

Still cloudy? Play along.

Imagine your name is Billy and all the parts of you are trying to be in a some sort of relationship (club). You’re a quasi-nerdy, successful, playful, good looking dude who is asian, passionate, funny, politically active, and community driven (these individual traits are your group of friends). You meet the bouncer (judgment) and you hear (feel):

“Ok, cool. Successful and Good-looking you can come in. The rest of y’all?! Nah.” 

You may read this and think “I’d never!” But often what happens is people will let the “club” accepted parts of them in and yell back to the rest of the crew, “We’ll put in a good word and get you in!” Just like in a real club, it probably won’t work. Even if it does, it’ll feel pretty shitty. Ever wonder why you feel alone in a relationship? Sometimes it’s because 90% of you hasn’t been allowed in.

Miss J with that nonsense.

We have to move in this world authentically and say to ourselves, “Either all of me or none of me is in this club.” Period. 

Because if you have to leave parts of yourself at the door, you’ll never feel safe or at home—having no one to blame but YOU.

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Be "Roy Jones" Vulnerable

It takes strength and vulnerability to enter or walk away from a club. Maybe channel your inner Roy Jones…

First of all, how many of you reading this know who Roy Jones Jr. even is?! 

For those of you living under a rock, he was a professional boxer. He did this thing where he’d fight with his hands behind his back and just dodge dodge dodge. But when it was TIME, he could throw a punch too.

Fighting with your hands down is a risky game because you make yourself so vulnerable. It takes a lot of practice, skill, and trust in yourself. Haha, while we don’t recommend this if you get into an ACTUAL fight (Roy Jones Jr. was an anomaly), J likes to use this method from an openness standpoint.

Keep keeping it real, show up as a human, stop competing with the Joneses (no relation), stop being so damn defensive all the time. Have fun, stay loose, AND know when it’s time to throw a punch.

And above all else…

Stay Curious

7 Epiphanies_CLOSE


Alicia Mountain

Alicia is Studio J Lorne’s Social media coordinator, a prominent eco-warrior, and an aspiring lawyer that could probably cross you over on the basketball court.

Jason Lorne Giles

Jason is the founder of Studio J Lorne and a bar-spittin’, hard-hittin’, IP-driven, creative polymath with a a penchant for problem solving.

Joseph Enriquez-Miramontes

Joseph is one of Studio J Lorne’s Summer 2023 interns but is also a formerly forklift-certified communication designer who whistles like a Disney bird.

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