Archive for January, 2023

how goals work

Tonight I’m wondering about goals. I’ve always set goals with my work and with business, but I seldom have set “healing or health goals.” I wonder if goals were for things like: increasing self-compassion, or accept the present without judgement?

Are these mindsets to see and understand, or goals that can be realized?

What happens, then, if one of the goals is “non-striving?”

How might one pursue a goal like this: with insights and reflection, with deliberate action?

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“When a loved one dies, you experience your life in just two days: today, when they are no longer here, and yesterday, the immense, vast yesterday, when they were here. And so my life as I see it now is demarcated by one line, the yesterday, when my mother was with me, and now, when she is not.”
– Ocean Vuong

in memory of a dear friend.

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As builders of community, remember to take time to rest and be nurtured by the relationships, ideas, and people within the community we have created. Cultivating a community is a continuous effort and joy, but we must also allow ourselves to be held and nurtured by it.

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question collector

I collect questions. You probably know that about me. Good questions are like rare stamps, coins, trading cards. They’re as rich as metaphors, and as helpful as coaches or therapists. I spend most of my time thinking about these questions and looking for fresh ones that shed new light on situations. I came across this question which I enjoy: If your mind took instructions from you, would you create anxiety? Video link.

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solitude expressed

I bought an old book: leather bound from 1908. The last page offered a prayer of sorts.

“Give me solitude, sweet solitude, but in my solitude leave one to whom I may whisper: ‘Solitude is sweet.”

Healing & mindfulness work in that way for me. I enjoy the process of clearing the mind, of introspection, of analysis (and the opposite) and letting go. And I greatly appreciate the act of sharing what I realized and cultivating insight from it. I wonder if there’s a more mindful way to share, one that uses less words and more shared experiences?

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phone saves

Where do you save things you don’t want to forget, things you want to come back or share?

I know many executives that have a system for labeling everything.

The have a naming protocol: all their files are perfectly organized, and the desktops of their computers are tidy.

Then there are others with wild piles of papers on their desks. They too have organizational systems which are impenetrable to outsiders, and yet perfectly logically to them.

I’ve tried every to-do list and software imaginable. My latest habit is to take screenshots on my phone of cool things I want to return to. Every week, as if a ritual, I come back to them. Here’s this week’s batch:

Young Dali

Nature’s waterfall woman

Tik Tok Philosophy

A quote to live by

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Things normalize.

When the pressures of the day, the shock, the fear, the joy, the surprise, the insights fade, what remains normalizes.

And in so doing, becomes beautiful again.

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to join or to build

Tonight I’m reflecting on the difference between creating community and being a part of one.

When we create community, we’re holding a vision and creating a context where that vision can be realized through actions and interactions. When we’re in community, we’re supporting a vision and generously contributing to its members. As a community leader, how to reconcile when there is a disconnect between the actions of community members and the vision? As a community contributor, how to respond when the founders of the community change the vision yet you feel attached to the previous context and the existing community members?

Is it better(?) to build a community, or to join one? When is the work of sustaining a community worthwhile, and when is it best to join one which already has momentum?

I don’t have answers to these questions, and I’m not seeking answers at the moment.; however, I’d value your thinking on this.

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centering down

A friend (Ian) shared a special poem that resonated with me, even more so because the author was an advisor to Dr. King and today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The imagery sticks with me. The metaphor of busy thoughts like traffic gives us power to visualize our stressors. The tension between the desire for stillness and peace, the need to question our lives to find meaning, and the yearning to be ambitious are deeply human feelings that hit home.

How Good To Center Down!

How good it is to center down!

To sit quietly and see one’s self pass by!

The streets of our minds seethe with endless traffic;

Our spirits resound with clashings, with noisy silences,

While something deep within hungers and thirsts for the still moment

    and the resting lull.

With full intensity we seek, ere the quiet passes, a fresh sense

    of order in our living;

A direction, a strong sure purpose that will structure our confusion

    and bring meaning in our chaos.

We look at ourselves in this waiting moment –

    the kinds of people we are.

The questions persist:  what are we doing with our lives? –

    what are the motives that order our days?

What is the end of our doings?

Where are we trying to go?

Where do we put the emphasis and where are our values focused?

For what end do we make sacrifices?

Where is my treasure and what do I love most in life?

What do I hate most in life and to what am I true?

Over and over the questions beat in upon the waiting moment.

As we listen, floating up through all the jangling echoes of our turbulence,

   there is a sound of another kind –

A deeper note which only the stillness of the heart makes clear.

It moves directly to the core of our being.  

Our questions are answered,

Our spirits refreshed, and we move back into the traffic of our daily round

With the peace of the Eternal in our step.

How good it is to center down!

Howard Thurman

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talk track

Movies are encoded with a talk tracks for those who are visually impaired. This provides a description of what is happening on screen. Essentially, you can listen to any movie this way as if it were an audiobook.                 

Yesterday, we watched the touching and said movie, Otto. The theater accidentally switched on the audio talk track for the visual impaired. For a few minutes, the audience thought the voice was a part of the movie itself. We all were intrigued, as if experiencing a new form of storytelling. Even I at first, mistook the talk track for an instructive and overly enthusiastic narrator.

Then, we realized what it was. Those who were intrigued and amused became annoyed and impatient. The problem was solved soon enough, but in the 5 minutes it lasted I experienced an entirely new form of storytelling, and observed the behaviors of a perplexed audience.

It was nothing short of magic.

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