This week was full of preparation for the next fiscal year; and, continuing to reflect upon all of the beauty that surrounds us – really, both are equally true of this past week.
Before I write more about the latter, let’s take a look at the writing that occurred this week.
Writing and Reflecting
The poem Beyond Time was a reflection on the internal work I’ve been engaged in these past four years. Continuing to be present to my emotions as they arise, and then following those back to the experiential seed.
The poem is also a reflection upon stillness of mind, which can and does occur, and the fact that, in those moments there is no time; it simply does not exist. Beautiful.
Writing the poem Atop, which was inspired by the WDYS #82 prompt, from Keep it Alive, by Sadje, was an interesting process. Initially, I had one idea, even wrote two stanzas, and then as I contemplated the two stanzas, another insight occurred, which is the poem in its present state.
Simply, the world exists in its present condition, when we view it as such. New experiences occur, and the world comes into view. As I’ve written about previously, the view we experience is based upon the concepts we hold about the world; and, this is only one way to view the world.
As I’ve found out about, and experienced, there are many other ways to view the world, which is, well, quite freeing.
I will save the details of the hike for the next installment of the Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings series, however, I just had to include a few more pics in this diary entry.
As I walked around campus this week, and contemplated the hike I was going to take on Saturday, I was present to all of the beauty that surrounds us. A flower blooming, a bird calling, a leaf dancing in the wind, a stranger helping another, there are so many things right in front of us, when we pay attention.
Part of my internal work, as you know, also includes my meditation practice, which has been transformational in my life. Being fully present is a gift, and we all have this gift within us.
When we let go of the concepts that typically drive our reactions, pause, reflect and contemplate our life, we learn stillness; and, it is in this stillness where presence to all that is within us, and without us lives. Beautiful.
As you walk through your week, notice the flowers, the trees, the people, and how that makes you feel. It is a tremendous experience.
This past week was, well, like many of the weeks that preceded it, in this year of pandemic. Meaning, my days, for now, look similar from week to week. Work, eat, meditate, write, sleep. Not in that order, or, rather, sometimes, yet not always.
Yet, as you know, there is a trip coming to Los Angeles. Only a couple more weeks, and I’ll board an airplane for the first time in over 15 months. Pretty wild.
Anyway, let’s take a look at some of the writing that occurred this week.
I am enjoying being out in the sun right now, and am looking forward to more sun as we move towards summer. Yes, I love the sun and the heat. As I lived most of my life in LA, where it is sunny, well, almost all of the time, I have a special affinity for sunshine.
Being out on hikes and working in the garden when it is sunny, is especially lovely.
As I wrote in last week’s entry, the Summer Schedule is out and registration starts Monday, May 17. Our summer offerings are on the small side, yet, we have plans for a large fall term. Exciting.
The team and I are also now talking about introducing more in-person classes, as possible, this fall. As I’ve written before, I see the next 15 to 18 months as a slow reintroduction to in-person classes, while also continuing to offer remote classes.
With the reintroduction of in-person classes, including the team back in the office beginning this summer, will come mixed emotions for, well, everyone, me included. Exciting, yes, and also anxiety producing. Normal.
That, as a team, we are aware of this truth, simply means we can talk through these emotions as they arise and work through them together. Lovely.
Navigating Difficult Situations
Invariably, you have, and will continue to be presented with difficult situations; we all have and will. It’s part of being a human being. I was presented with a couple this past week. Both of these situations are work related, and are, well, navigable. Just like all difficult situations.
When we stay present to what is known, and get clear on what caused the difficult situation to arise in the first place, we make a space to create new possibilities.
In both of the situations I was presented this past week, I, first, listened, then did my research, and learned. Once I was clear on what was happening, I was ready to create.
And, you know what?
From the space of clarity, anything is possible. Both of these situations presented me with challenges, and, at times, felt, well, not so great. Yet, once worked through, I was able to create new ways forward.
When you are presented with difficulties, remember to stay present, listen, learn, and then create.
From the space of clarity, we get to then stand in the current reality. And, on a team, or in a family, when we are all clear and understand the current reality, no matter what the reality is, we can all work together to move forward. Beautiful.
A lovely week this past week, as always. I’ve been continuing to prepare and plant my plot at the community garden. I’ll have another installment in the gardening series in the next week. Fun.
I’ve also been playing the guitar more. There is something about music. I’ve always known this, yet I’ve rediscovered, or, maybe it’s, renewed a deep passion within me for, and with, music. I love it so much.
I’ve also been working, well, a lot. The team is as busy as ever. We just finished the summer schedule, which we will publish next week. I will share it with all of you in my next diary post.
And, of course, I’ve been writing. Less this week, yet, it’s always there, and inspirational.
Writing and Reflecting
I completed the first entry in the Willamette Valley Wanderings and Wonderings series, and am contemplating my next hike. It will be next weekend, and I may drive up to Salem. Not sure. We will see. However it goes, I’ll have some lovely pictures and reflections to share with all of you.
I also published the purpose post this past week, which was fun. I think about purpose in such a different way today. Actually, I think about everything today quite differently. Purpose is just another concept that I like to think about; and, for me, purpose lives and breathes in each moment. It’s always there, and doesn’t need much attention. Just being, living, and loving. Awesome.
As you all know, I write a lot about emotions. The reason I write about emotions so often, is that for most of my adult life I held all of my emotions in, and didn’t process them.
Once I learned how to understand my feelings, I began to learn how to process them, talk about them, and, yep, write about them.
Therefore, in the past 4 years, I’ve lived through, and engaged with, a lot of emotional processing. These experiences serve as the foundation for many of my poems, and are quite beautiful.
I appreciate each of you for walking through these experiences with me, and supporting me as we do so. An honor.
I’ve also been reflecting more upon the concept acknowledgement this past week. Partly because as I was preparing the quarterly team report, it occured to me that I had so many acknowledgements to make, if I made them all in a single communication, it would be, well, rather lengthy.
Therefore, I chose to create a 4-day communication event, acknowledging a few team members each day. It feels right, and is important. It’s also important to acknowledge ourselves, and to do so often.
When we acknowledge how we feel, the lows, the highs, the middle spots, we get so much more back; and, we develop a real sense of what it means to be a human being on this wonderful planet.
As a final acknowledgement this week, I’d like to acknowledge my beautifully strong mother, sisters, exwife, and all of those moms out there who, for so many reasons, exemplify strength, persistence, determination, compassion, love, and kindness.
Thank you. Thank you for being exactly as you are.
I’ve been thinking more this week about how important it is to take time for ourselves. It is interesting, as I know this truth viscerally today, and have written about it several times in the past few months, and yet as life continues to move, I am continually present to the need to stop and breathe. Important.
Alright, more on that in a moment.
Writing and Reflecting
First, let’s take a look at a few reflections from the week.
The poem Flush occurred to me this week after I dropped off my guitar to be worked on at the local music store. I hadn’t realized how much I’ve loved learning to play the guitar until, all at once, it was removed from my presence for a couple of days.
I actually went to the music store one day, while they were working on my guitar, just to play the guitars on display. I love the feeling that comes with playing the guitar. In fact, I’ve always loved music, which has been a large part of my life, for, well, always. Moving, deeply satisfying, and inspirational. Lovely.
The Hug poem was inspired by the WDYS #78 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. As I pondered the picture of a small table, set for two, it reminded me of times as a child and youth at my grandparents house. Being around all of my cousins, and feeling that deep sense of connection and love you get when you are near so much family.
Though I don’t get to see much of my extended family today, I relish these memories. Beautiful.
I don’t have much to write about the writing that is coming. That’s fun.
I know there will be more poems, and I do have plans on a post about purpose, yet have not begun to write this piece. All of this unknown is part of the process and joy of creation, which I adore.
My oldest son has an internship with Intel in Portland this summer. Yes. Exciting. I went up to visit him yesterday, which was my first time in Portland in over 15 months. It was an amazing experience.
We went to a wonderful local grocery story called the India Supermarket, and ate at an equally lovely restaurant called Apna Chat Bhavan. Delicious. We then played guitars for the afternoon. It was so lovely to see him and spend time with him doing things we love to do, two of which, we’ve been unable to do, or have chosen not to do, for a long time. Lovely.
The remote book club is still alive and well. We just finished The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende. An elegant and descriptively written book about war, violence, oppression, love, family, and life. I highly recommend this book. Just know that the book does contain many violent scenes, which may be disturbing to some readers. The book contained about as much violence as I can handle these days.
I am now reading the Mahabharata, by Kamala Subramaniam, which is part of my continual spiritual and devotional development. I am only about 100 pages into the text, and am already seeing parallels to all of life, which I know will continue.
Have you ever had someone ask you if you are breathing, or, have you had someone say, don’t forget to breathe? Yep, me too. In fact, I am the one that often says to people, remember to breathe. Yet, more context is needed.
When I say to someone close to me, remember to breathe. These words come along with a historical conversational context about what remembering to breathe really means.
It means creating time in all of our days to stop. Stop working, cooking, cleaning, erranding, working, etc., and just be. Creating time to focus on our breath and be with ourselves. As I’ve written before, you can accomplish this by taking 5-minutes away from everyone and everything, and just focus on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath.
And, as thoughts arise, such as I need to do this, and I need to do that, just let that be. And, return to the breath. If you choose to walk during this time, count your steps as you inhale and exhale, which will help keep the mind at bay.
We all need time to let ourselves be. Away from all of the “needs” that are arising within us.
When we begin to learn that, in fact, those “needs” never really cease, and that we can take actions to slow down the reactivity of the mind to stimuli; by, for example, taking a 5-minute break away from everyone and everything. Using this time to just breathe, we begin to deepen our understanding of how our minds work. Helpful.
This past week, I’ve been reflecting upon purpose, which I’ll write more about in a moment, and planning in the unknown, which will be the topic of a post, well, I’m not sure when, yet will get to it eventually.
Before we get to my reflection on purpose, let’s take a look at a couple writing reflections.
Writing and Reflecting
The poem Mind was, as you may have already surmised, a reflection on my meditation practice. A large part of my life today. It is a beautiful experience, to sit and watch as the mind does it’s thing, and to become detached from it’s activity. It is also a wonder to sit and watch as your mind, over time, begins to slow and become more quiet. Magical.
The Mind poem was also my first foray into the Hexastich poetry style. I learned about this poem style, like many others, from a lovely blogger friend of mine. I’ve written another poem in this style already, and will have more to share in the coming weeks and months.
The poem Gift was a reflection of the many things I’ve learned in the past 4 years, as I’ve learned to go within from my life coach and teacher. It’s been difficult and one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.
And, like I write often, this nexus of the difficult and wonderful, a paradox (and not), is where the jewels of life live. When we slow down, go within, really get to know ourselves, we get back so much more. Beautiful.
As you may know, yesterday I posted The Dance Dances A Life of Its Own, which was a collaboration with Amber of DiosRaw. As a relatively new blogger, I’ve only done one other collaboration, which was the post, Vulnerability: A Paradox, with Maja of Lampelina.
Amber and I created the poem this past week, with the former, sending emails back and forth throughout the creative process. Was superb. A wonderful experience.
With the latter, I submitted a request to do a guest post on Lampelina, and Maja reached out to me to do so. Was also a great experience.
A lot of fun all-around.
There is another collaboration, of a different kind, coming soon, with another inspiring blogger. I’ll have more on that in the future.
I love the concept of, and practice of, collaboration. You learn so much more when you work with other people. It is by far one of my favorite things to do in this life, collaborate with inspirational people. I’ve been very lucky to have had these opportunities and many others in various areas of my life; and, I look forward to future ones.
While I’ve written on purpose before, it is a concept and practice that I reflect upon, well, not quite often, yet it does come up now and then. This week, purpose has come up in regard to planning inside of the unknown.
There was a time in my life where I continually questioned my purpose. Was in fact, confounded by the idea of purpose. Maybe even a little afraid of the concept.
However, today, I accept my truth in regard to purpose. That, in fact, each moment we are alive, we can find our purpose in, well, exactly what it is that we are doing. Right now, typing this end of the week diary entry. In the next moment? Don’t know, it doesn’t exist yet.
What I am pointing to, is that purpose lives inside of us. Purpose is a concept that we attach meaning to, just like every other concept. If you believe that purpose needs to look and feel a certain way, and you don’t see or feel what you are looking for, well, then you’ll have a hard time finding your purpose.
However, if you believe that purpose lives within, and lives in each moment every day, doing exactly as you are already doing, well, there’s nothing to find. Your purpose is readily apparent in each moment everyday.
We can all develop an awareness of purpose that is different from the current one we hold. It just takes practice. Practice letting go of the concept of purpose as we understand it today, and learning a new way to think about and feel purpose.
Remember, purpose is first and foremost a concept. It is not a living breathing thing. We breathe life into the concept of purpose, as we do all concepts, when we give life to it by attaching meaning, which we create, to the concept.
And, just as we breathe life into the concept of purpose as we do today, we can learn a new way to breathe a different life into a new concept of purpose.
It is up to you, me, and everyone else; and, well, that’s quite empowering.
This past week, I’ve been reflecting upon connection. How we are all connected to each other, yes, and to everything else we see. All of it. Quite beautiful.
Before I write more about connection, let’s take a look at a couple reflections from this past week, and a few ideas I have for next week. Sound good? Okay, here we go.
This past week, I’ve continued to write quite a bit of poetry. It just happens like that sometimes; and, of late, there’s been much more poetry within me. Fun.
The Tanka #9 poem, occurred to me one day after meditation. Well, in fact, the concepts found in the poem occur to me all the time these days. That is, existence, and the connection we all have to each other and all that surrounds us.
We have the idea that we are separate, due to socialization and the creation of the ego-self. The separateness we feel, however, is illusory. Not real. Reality lives behind and beyond the concepts we hold of ourselves and all that we see. Beautiful.
I didn’t understand my own sensitivity for most of my life. In fact, my sensitivity was something I ran from in many ways. When you are a highly sensitive person and unaware, the world feels more frightening and incomprehensible. The paradox?
When you are a highly sensitive person and aware, the world feels more, well, like you, beautiful, strong, and very comprehensible. Being a highly sensitive person is a true gift.
Well, in my diary entry last week, I wrote about being on the waitlist for the vaccine; and, I now have an appointment next Friday, which means I will be fully vaccinated by early May.
Now, as many of you know, my whole family lives in Los Angeles, California, where I lived the majority of my life; and, I have a niece graduating from high school this year. The question? Yep, you guessed it; do I travel? Not sure? Me either.
Instead of thinking about the choice, I looked at flights, and found that the quarantine policy for traveling into LA County is still in place, which means that when you are traveling into the County from out of state you must quarantine for 10 days.
I could not find a single resource on the flight booking site, nor on the CDC website about traveling once fully vaccinated. So? I called the LA County Public Health Department. The person that answered the phone was super nice, and, to my question, replied, that’s a good question. They didn’t know the answer either.
The LA County employee that helped me is going to do some research and call me back. Thus, my choice on traveling to LA remains, for now, on hold.
This past week, we had our remote Spring Instructor Forum. These forum’s are a chance for our Community Education Instructors to get to see each other, and to interact with us. In the Community Education program we have over 200 instructors, and they live all over the area, so this is one way we stay connected.
As I prepared my small talk with the Instructors, I pondered this past year, the current year, and the upcoming year. And? What occurred to me was that, yes, so much has changed this past year, and more changes will come.
Yet, one thing that will not change is the connection we have with each other, which is why I am calling next fiscal year (2021/22), The Year of Continued Connection.
There will always be change, and, in many ways, change is wonderful. Terribly hard at times, yes, and also beautiful.
Though we have no idea what the rest of this year will bring, we know that our relationships are strong, and that they will endure through whatever change comes our way. We have proven this this past year.
I’ve written many posts about relationships and connection. I always say, there’s nothing more important than the relationship we have with ourselves, and with those people we surround ourselves with.
Everything starts with us. And, when you have a quality connection with yourself, you will have quality connections with others.
I’ll leave you this week, with two quotes I shared with the Community Education Instructors this past week, as I think they speak very well to the value of connection.
“I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… This is the interrelated structure of reality.” Martin Luther King Jr
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” Brené Brown
This past week, I’ve been reflecting upon my emotions, as you might have noticed and/or read about in some of my poems. As we continue to move forward with vaccinations, it occurs to me that there will be emotions about the pandemic that will arise for all of us. Some we will see coming, some we will not.
Before we discuss this topic more, let’s take a look at the writing that occured this week, and the writing slated for next week.
This past week, I found myself drawn more to poetry. In fact, in the past two weeks, I’ve written about 10 new poems. All of which, I will share in the coming weeks. I’ve been feeling moved this week by several concepts, which did make their way into the following pieces.
The poem Keeps was initially inspired by the WDYS #74 prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. The prompt this week reminded me of my hikes in the local area in which I live. Hikes where I am present to only my footing, the scenery, such as the earth, the foliage, the beautiful sky, and any wildlife that comes by. Beautiful.
As thoughts enter my mind, I let them pass through, and remain in that moment, just walking along the trail being one with the Nature that surrounds me.
It is quite meditative to walk, practice your breathing, and just listen and watch. There is healing in each foot step, each breath, and in each moment. If you’ve not tried meditative walking/hiking, I suggest giving it a try.
The poem Elixir was an acknowledgement to the present moment and the illusion of time. I’ve written several times about the social construction of time, and when you really understand that time, in fact, is illusory, you are freed from self-imposed limits bound in time.
We all live outside of time, yet also live in it, as we choose. A paradox, and not.
As I mentioned previously, I’ve created a bunch of new poems, and am excited to get them scheduled. I feel more poetry coming, so will continue to write and reflect on new concepts and insights as they come.
I am also continuing to work on a post on silence. I had an insight this week about a post on communication, and will probably start that sometime in the next week or two.
Alas, I’ve not made much progress on the Leadership from Within series. Though I’ve not made much progress yet, I will continue to endeavor to write this series. I see it as a possible book in the future, and have a lot of thinking and feeling about the topic to share.
Vaccinations are opening up more here locally. In fact, I am pleased to report that I am on an official waitlist for my first dose. I was told I should get a call in the next week or two.
Though I am pleased about this progress, both as a State and a Country, I realize that there is much work to do across this country and the world to ensure that everyone that wants a vaccination has access.
I will not pretend to know the answers to this issue. I will say, however, that I look forward to a day when those in legislative positions and positions of power in this country and around the globe think more collectively and collaboratively about serving the common good, which includes all of humanity. Everyone, everywhere.
With anticipation and excitement also comes apprehension, fear, and indifference. It’s just how it works. Which means that whereas some people will feel the former, some will feel the latter, and many of us will feel both.
When I was told that I would be put on a waiting list for my first dose of the vaccine, I was excited and anxious. Excited about the movement, and anxious about the unknown.
It is important for me to stay grounded in the current reality, which, yes, includes the vaccination being distributed to more and more people across the State. The current reality also includes, however, the fact that some people will not want to get the vaccine and some will not have access to the vaccine due to systematic inequalities in this country and around the world.
The latter of which fills me with sadness.
It also occurs to me that the landscape of how the pandemic, and respective responses to it from a systems and organizational perspective, are still completely unknown. Which simply means taking things as they come, developing plans and iterating those plans as needed, to ensure we continue to serve as many people as possible with educational options that fit their needs. Important.
The invitation I will send out to the team this week will be to recognize the emotions as they come for what they are. Responses to stimuli in your environment, and in your mind. Meaning, emotions are something we get and feel, they are not who we are.
Emotions, like our thoughts, do not define us. We choose.
Alright, that’s all for this week.
Have a wonderful week and please stay healthy and well.
This past week, I’ve been reflecting upon, well, the last year. Phew. As businesses begin to open up more here across the country, and the vaccine becomes more and more available, it is interesting to ponder where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we are going.
It’s also interesting to ponder and be present to the need to create time for ourselves away from the chaos, so we can just be; and, be in silence.
Before I get to my reflection on silence, however, let’s have a couple reflections on this past week’s posts, and a look at what next week holds.
I spent some more time completing the Leadership Series this week, with the final entry on building high-performance teams, which will publish next Saturday. Now that that series is complete, I will turn some of my attention to a new leadership series, Leading from Within.
I also spent some time this week, writing poetry for future posts. It’s fascinating to me to watch people develop, myself, of course, included. When I look at the first poem I wrote several months ago, to the most recent one, there are similarities, yet they are quite different. Iterative development. Fun.
Alright, here are two reflections from this week’s posts.
The poem Dream was inspired by the WDYS prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje.
As I pondered the scenic picture, I reflected upon how we gaze upon nature, and how nature gazes back. It’s all quite lovely. I began with that thought in mind, and then just let the words come. Well, better language would be that the words just came. I don’t have anything to do with the “letting” in this process.
I also reflected upon and played with the concepts of perception, diversity, and the vast ocean of both we have in this lovely world. It is so beautiful to contemplate all that we see within and without, isn’t it? Lovely.
I obviously also played with the concepts of dreaming and reality. For now, I will only say that that is up to the individual. Each of us. What’s a dream to you, and what’s real is for you alone; and, I think it is quite lovely that way.
Ah, the poem Streams was inspired by my childhood in Los Angeles; and, yes, there really was a “river bed” out back. It was the only real river I saw on a regular basis. Know though, that, as kids, we did get to see real streams, yet they were few and far between in the big city in which we lived.
Funnily enough, you don’t actually have to travel far in LA to get to a stream, yet most of the time I spent in water was, as many of you know, at the beach. Love the ocean, always have, always will.
I also played with the concept of existence in this poem. Pointing to a reality only found within. And, lastly I reflected upon dreams and how important it is to have them, tend them well, and to, yes, water them with love and affection. Nurture them, I say, and they will surely manifest for you one day.
As was aforementioned, this week, I finished the Leadership Serieswith a final installment on building high-performance teams. I am amazed, and then not, at how long this series took to complete. Factually, I wanted to write an installment on organizations, yet am going to wait to complete that installment in the Leading from Within series, which I’ve started.
I am also working on new posts on silence, strategic thinking, sleep, and, yep, another post on gardening. Fun.
I’ve also written several more poems this past week, they just came, and am looking forward to sharing those with you in the coming weeks.
I have a lot more ideas, and will let those percolate for a while.
I wrote a poem once on Silence. Actually it was one of the first poems I wrote when first swept away, quite literally, with ideas, images, and language for the poems that have come since that time.
I had a couple of challenging days this past week, and I’ve never in my life been more grateful for the silence that I get to take part in today. Sitting in silence is such a wonder. It is all at once, empty and full of healing beyond a description that any language can conjure.
Suffice to say, or write, rather, as I have before, that if you find yourself overwhelmed with life, emotions, people, places, or events, try to create some silent time for yourself. Away from everything. For it is in the spaces that we create to be silent where the mysteries of this universe become more clear; and, when there is more clarity, there is more space for you to live and to love.
I am pleased to report, we’ve had some lovely sunny weather the past few days. It’s been beautiful, and has warmed up 10 or so degrees.
In this part of the United States, March is typically the month where the weather begins to shift. While we will still have much more rain to come in March and April, we will continue to get more sun as we all progress towards spring.
I’ll have some more about the weather and my activities related to sunny weather in a moment. First, let’s have a couple writing reflections for this week.
2 Writing Reflections
The poemA Reason occurred to me as I was reflecting upon my time at University. I went to school to pursue, at first, Sociology, and then later, Human Development and Family Studies. While my undergraduate degree, at 33 years old, was difficult, my graduate degree, starting at 38 and finishing at 42, was extremely difficult. The difference?
Why was graduate school so challenging? It all had to do with how I was thinking at that time. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had fallen into a very negative and cynical interior dialogue with myself, that I didn’t know how to escape.
In fact, I wouldn’t fully “escape” this negative self-talk until completing my degree and coming to work at the community college, which I’ve written a little about in other posts.
At the time my negative self-talk was at its pinnacle, I was always searching for a reason, yet I was all the while looking in the wrong direction. Focusing outside of myself, instead of within. It’s not a demerit, it happened just as it was supposed to, just like me typing this blog post right now.
Yet, at the time, I didn’t know how to be in touch with myself, and it would take me several years, slowly, to learn through the guidance of my life coach. The point?
We all have negative self-talk. It’s not who you are. Your thoughts and feelings are not who you are. And, when we search in the right place for a reason, we will find a well that never runs dry.
A Developmental Moment #6: Why Learning to Ask for Help is Necessary and Needed
I think this type of thinking is especially prevalent in the United States, where the concept of individualism is so ingrained into all aspects of the country’s social institutions. The issue?
The concept of individualism is just that; a concept. It is illusory, as I’ve written about in other posts. Whether we actually ask for help, or not, we are always being helped by others. At the grocery store, gas station, coffee shop, or wherever you like to go. There is always someone there serving. Being of service. And, we are able to get the things we need, or want, because people are serving. Simple.
We can all learn to ask for help. Like all things in life, it takes practice, which I write about in this post. Starting small, and building from there. Next time you are feeling stressed, and know you are in need of help, ask. Ask someone that is close to you to assist you. There’s no demerit in it, and we are not deficient when we ask for help.
It’s the opposite. Asking for help is courageous, a sign of strength, and very wise.
Alright, now that we are in March, it’s time to, if you garden, to get seeds and garden plots ready. Well, as I’ve mentioned before, I moved to the other side of Corvallis a year ago now, and there is a lovely community garden about a mile from my place. And?
Well, I called Parks and Recreation last week, which runs the garden, and they had a spot! It’s 10’x20′, which admittedly is a little more space than I was looking for, however, I took it, and am very excited. I’ve not participated in a community garden in about 4 years, and am looking forward to gardening, yes please, and am also looking forward to meeting some new people. Also, yes please.
I am already working on a new post about my gardening experience, which I will be publishing in the next week or two.
I’m going to leave you this week, with the Monday message going out to the team tomorrow. Sleep is so important, as is understanding that when our sleep patterns iterate, like all things in life tend to, to listen to our bodies, and know that nothing in this world stays the same, even when we think it does. Here is the message.
This past year, I’ve been reflecting upon and experiencing new sleeping patterns. I’ve typically been the person that likes to stay up late into the evening. Well, about two years ago, this pattern began to change, and then?
In the past year, my sleeping patterns have iterated a couple of times more. Beginning with, as I’ve mentioned to many of you, late afternoon, and early evening, at times, naps. And, now?
Now, the naps are not as present, yet going to bed at a much earlier hour is, as is getting up much earlier. The point?
There is no one way that sleeping occurs; and, actually, there is no one way anything occurs. Life iterates over time, and when we are present to new things, sleeping patterns, eating habits, whatever they may be for us, we have an opportunity, through new experiences, to learn more about who we are as human beings.
I invite you to always listen to your body, and when you are tired, to sleep; hungry, to eat. And, when not, well, to not.
Remember, there is no one way that life occurs on this planet. When we make sure to get our quiet time, as we’ve discussed the past couple of months, we can hear more, learn more, experience more, and be more.
Well, last week was the first week of registration, and thus far we are busier than last term, which is grand. It will be interesting to see how registration goes the next couple of weeks.
The Saturday paper today read that the Governor of Oregon was intent that all Oregonians receive vaccinations by the end of June. And, in that same press release, the Governor also stated that people working in higher education will be vaccinated by April 1.
I am cautiously optimistic. Meaning, that the plan is a good one, and I appreciate the Governor for creating a strong vision, yet with all of the challenges and changes this past year, I think, staying in our current reality, for now, is best. And, our current reality?
Well, Benton County, where I live is still categorized as extreme risk, whereas Linn County, where I work is categorized as moderate risk. Yes, precarious.
The team and I are planning to be remote the rest of this fiscal year, and if that changes, we will face those changes at that time.
Alright, let’s discuss writing. Here are two reflections from this week.
As I was thinking about writing the poem Found, I was reflecting upon living in Flagstaff, AZ, which is 7000 feet in elevation and gets about 90 inches of snow in the winter. It is an amazing little town, and is beautiful throughout the entire year. Growing up in Los Angeles, the only time I experienced snow was when we traveled to Big Bear, which we did maybe once every other year.
Living in Flagstaff for 4 years was, well, very different, in that we had to learn how to live in the snow. As I reflected upon our time there, I was thinking about hiking in the snow, which is a lovely experience. You can come upon whole meadows, which are completely covered in snow, as far as you can see.
The reflection also reminded me of being disconnected from my inner-self for a long time, and how that’s not the case anymore, and it feels, well, beautiful.
The reflection for this poem was inspired by the WDYS prompt from Keep it Alive, by Sadje. A beautiful picture of the Taj Mahal, with the sun rising directly behind it, reminded me of majesty and brilliance.
I only partake in a couple of prompts today, and appreciate the inspiration these wonderful bloggers create. It is super fun each week to wait and wonder about the prompt, and then to get the reveal. Wonderful.
The picture of the Taj Mahal also reminded me of humanities resilience, and the beauty in standing for each other.
I’ve been thinking more about change this past week, as some states across the country begin to relax pandemic restrictions.
It reminds me that we will all have a lot of change coming in the next year, and, well, actually the next couple of years as we all learn to live in our new realities, whatever they end up being.
It also reminds me of the necessity and need of being gentle and patient with ourselves and each other. There is a lot that can be gained when we are gentle and exercise our patience. We get more for ourselves, and we give more back out to those we love and care about.
As we continue to face new changes this coming year, remember to be gentle and patient with yourself.
I am excited to report that I have two new clients. They’ve both come through work, and I am really enjoying working with both of them.
One is a small business owner, and the other is a local professional. I’ve been coaching people for many years, and it is one of the things I enjoy most about my work. I love to work with people on their personal and professional development, just as much as I do on my own development.
It is in conversations and relationships with other people where innovation, creativity, and developmental growth can occur. And, you know, every time I have a new client, I always learn something more about myself. Every time. Reciprocity is beautiful that way.
Alright, that’s all for this week.
Be well, love well, live well, and have a wonderful week.