Archive for October, 2022

I’ve always heard and used the word luminous. I thought it meant covered in light, and I’ve used it poetically almost as a synonym for radiant. A dear friend and mentor used the word today in a way that gave me pause, a way which held more depth and spirit than I have ever heard the word being used before.

I’ve contemplated the word today. It has energized me. To search for the luminous in the busy day, the quiet day, the hectic moment, the divine stillness is a worthy pursuit. As part of the journey, I search through poems using the word. Here are a few excerpts I discovered: 

  • Yeats: “Curved like new moon, moon-luminous | It lay five hundred years.” 
  • Milton: “The luminous inferiour orbs, enclosed From Chaos” 
  • Tennyson: “of luminous vapor” 
  • Poe: “Yawn level with the luminous waves” 
  • Aiken: “Clinging like luminous birds to the sides of cliffs,” 
  • Plath: “She passes and repasses, luminous as a nurse.” 
  • Neruda: “Luminous mind, bright devil” 
  • Cummings: the sky was candy luminous” 

Such a glorious word used to describe the earthly; such a glorious word lifting up the ordinary words, kissing them with starlight

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Internet Memory

For your next company ice breaker, play this game: “my first internet memory.”

It works best with a very diverse team of people. Ask everyone around the room to describe their first internet memory.

We played last night with multiple generations present.

Many Gen Z’s described their first internet memory as seeing a Youtube video for the first time. Others of us mentioned the sound of a dialup modem, the familiar “you got mail” of AOL, using a search engine for the first time, or sending a first email.

If you ask this question to young children, I assume they won’t be able to easily answer. There will be no memory of something so pervasive as ‘internet’. Like a fish being asked to describe water, they were born into it.

As technology progresses, IRL and virtual worlds merge a decade or two from now, will the idea of ‘internet memory” fade further to the point that there is no memory of being disconnected, separated from the vital flow of images, ideas, and connections: no blurring between Metaverse and mountains, no multiple worlds, and no multiple realities: just one unified experience with no memory of anything before it.

>> What’s your first internet memory?

Image citation: https://www.theguardian.com/media/pda/2010/aug/23/vintage-internet-facebook

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Feeling Decisions

The most seductive force in the universe is inertia. Before we realize what we’re doing, or why we’re doing it, days lead to months, and months to years.

We follow forward as if memorized by a skillful dancer who soothes us ever so gently. 

When we stop long enough to feel, we encounter meaningful questions. We try to answer them with logic. We too often ignore how decisions make us feel, and where they make us feel. Rather than feeling decisions, we make pros and cons lists. And we rationalize. 

Leave room for the irrational. Use different tools to measure its impact. Don’t dismiss reactions, even the ones which can’t be easily vocalized.

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The Body Remembers

This quote about trauma and the body resonates with me. It is a reminder that we are more than our mind and our memories. We are embodied. Trauma moves us literally to the bone. To heal, we must heal our bodies and our minds.

“Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.

In my practice I begin the process by helping my patients to first notice and then describe the feelings in their bodies—not emotions such as anger or anxiety or fear but the physical sensations beneath the emotions: pressure, heat, muscular tension, tingling, caving in, feeling hollow, and so on. I also work on identifying the sensations associated with relaxation or pleasure. I help them become aware of their breath, their gestures and movements.

All too often, however, drugs such as Abilify, Zyprexa, and Seroquel, are prescribed instead of teaching people the skills to deal with such distressing physical reactions. Of course, medications only blunt sensations and do nothing to resolve them or transform them from toxic agents into allies.

The mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness are able, with practice, to connect their physical sensations to psychological events. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves.”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

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Playing in the Plots

There’s 7 basic plots: overcoming the monster; rags to riches; the quest; voyage and return; comedy; tragedy;  rebirth. It’s profound to take any narrative in the world which exemplifies one of these plots and recast it as another, or to analyze a work of art from one of lens and then the other.

Is the Godfather “Overcoming the Monster” or “Rags to Riches” or “Quest” or “Voyage and Return.” Changing the lens with which you view the movie changes it meaningful.

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Ritual in Motion

I’m watching a man breathe.

His hands float upwards, as if he were painting the air


Flap downwards, as if he were a calm angel

This isn’t just breath; it’s ritual.

It’s Kung Fu.

Not the kind you see in movies that disarms villains and defends the distressed. 

This is dance, prayer.

He glides between stances now.

His body surrenders to ancient movements and enacts them.  

The breath made visible; the breath made holy.

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Magic Eye Moment

The magic eye moment. Remember magic eyes? When you stare at a blurry image and suddenly a three dimensional shape pops out. And bam, you get it. There’s a place in Meta’s Metaverse where you can see the magic eye moment in action.

When newbies sign in — after learning how to walk, after picking their avatar — and they enter into conversation with one another for the first time. It’s not that moment but a split second later, when two avatars touch hands and your controller vibrates, that’s the magic eye moment. Realizing that a virtual gesture is physically resonating with someone across worlds from you. 

I’m sure you’ve read endlessly about metaverse, but you should really try it out yourself before forming an opinion. Today, while exploring, I watched a standup comedy routine, met several people from multiple countries, and explored a digital art gallery.

I’ve always loved meeting new people and bringing great people together and am excited for more friends to adopt the technology so we can experience it at the same time.

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There’s a small Italian man in his 80s with a beautiful smile. He cares for his lawn and the lawns of his neighbors. He is in no hurry. He takes pride in the doing: the chopping, the cutting, the planting, and the pruning. I’ve never seen him touch a mobile phone. He’s never seen me without one. One day, I asked his help to remove a tree. But first he watched me attempt it on my own: trying to rock it, uproot it, even will it to fall over. After several unsuccessful tries, I abandoned the task to eat lunch. When I returned, he had removed the tree. He looked at me kindly and said nothing.

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The Smallest Space

Creating a small space, a tiny habit, is the basis for creating a big space, and a repeatable habit. This sounds so obvious, but the advice has been transformative for me. Starting with simply showing up to a task, a prayer, writing, breathing, whatever it is you want to focus on, showing up with intention every day builds the foundation for self-trust and for deeper and more meaningful work. This turns choirs into rituals, and rituals into practice: something solid and true.

The real meditation is how you live your life.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

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No Vacancy

It never rains here. At any moment it looks like will start. The city awakens when the neons lights are seen. The faceless women walks by me again. I am awake. I’ve pinched myself twice, thrice. I am fully alert: jazz in my head, in my heart & hands, moving my feet with a beat. Song everywhere now: horns, steam, pigeon’s feet slap the sidewalk like angry spatulas. The faceless woman winks at me. She’s better dressed than me. Motels taunt lovers with no vacancy signs. The subway will never take you this far.

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