This past week, I wrote a couple new pieces, one on purpose and one on the new hiking series, called Willamette Wanderings and Wonderings, thanks, Jules, for the cool title idea.
Though I love writing poetry, and will continue to, it was fun to write a few different pieces this week. Both of these posts will be scheduled soon for next week. Awesome.
Instead of two reflections this week, I am going to write a little about two recent collaborations. Here we go.
This week, Amber, of DiosRaw, and I wrote, Remembering The Mirrored Child Within: Amber and Jeff (3). As with both of the previous poems we collaborated on, writing this poem with Amber was lovely. It is quite a magical experience to pick up a set of verses from a fellow poet, and then add to them, and vice versa. Beautiful.
This week also saw the publication of the interview I did with Bella from Thoughtsnlifeblog. The interview is part of Bella’s Let’s Get Inspired Series, which is, well, simply amazing.
You all know, I’ve only been blogging for one year, and Bella’s blog was one of the first blogs I began following and commenting on. Bella’s blog was inspirational for me then, and is inspirational for me now.
If you’ve not checked out Thoughtsnlifeblog or DiosRaw, please do so. Both of these blogs are inspirational, just like their creators.
I received my second vaccination on Friday, and am pleased, and also a little anxious, to report that I’ve booked a trip to Los Angeles to visit my sisters and mother, and to see my niece graduate from High School.
Part of the choice to travel now, is that I have no idea what the next 6 to 12 months will bring, which made the choice to travel now that I am fully vaccinated an easy one.
Sometime last month I celebrated my one year blogging anniversary. It’s been such a joy to meet so many amazing and inspirational people, and to create, create, create. It’s been a blast.
I recently surpassed 400 posts, now have, well, almost 700 followers, 690 as of writing this post; and, the blog has received over 5,000 comments, has had over 32,000 views, and over 13,000 visitors. Amazing.
I want to thank each of you for supporting me; for following, liking, commenting, and collaborating. You are all inspirational, and I appreciate you.
As some of you may know, over the December holidays, I had a trip scheduled to the Oregon coast, and, at that time, the trip just didn’t feel right, so I cancelled. Well, as I was writing one night after work, I think it was Wednesday, it occurred to me that a trip to the coast this weekend felt right, so I booked a small cottage about 100 yards from the Ocean, and set out late Friday afternoon.
Before I write more about my time in Yachats, let’s take a look at two of the posts from this past week.
2 Writing Reflections
The Reflection Series: Thinking About Time Differently
I always love what I write, even when the writing is difficult, or it doesn’t turn out exactly like I anticipated; and, the latter happens, well, not quite often, yet as a burgeoning writer it happens. It’s part of the process.
The reflection on time and energy was such a fun post to write, as considering how my (our) energy is spent daily is an important consideration. One that I think more about today, than in times past.
As I wrote about in the post, the idea came from a conversation with a colleague of mine, and since that time, I’ve written this post, made a very short video for LinkedIn, and mapped most of my work (and some of the departments). Here is the latter.
As you can see, what is helpful is knowing how much energy each project takes, and the timeframe the work will take place. On the vertical axis, you can see time labeled as work of the year, work of the quarter, work of the month, and work of the week; and, energy is on the horizontal axis.
I am currently reflecting on this graph, and will use the information contained within to construct my next year of work. Super helpful.
The poem guide was created as I sat and reflected upon my childhood and how I was taught well, very well, in fact, how to use, and develop, my intelligence, perseverance, and determination to “get things done.” The issue?
Well, I wasn’t taught, and it is totally okay that this was so, how to develop my intuition. Yet, it was always there, waiting, and, in fact, guiding me, even though I was unaware for a very long time.
I really enjoyed writing this poem as I believe it is a reflection of many young people’s lives, especially in the United States.
Oh, how I love, love, love the coast. Or, maybe it is called the beach, shore, ocean, or sea, where you live. Either way, I adore being at the coast, and the trip this past weekend was no exception.
I spent my almost two days there, walking along the coast trail, taking photos, meditating, and writing. Oh, yes, I did get some nice sleep too.
Here are some pictures from my time in Yachats.
Yes, it was great fun. I’ll be sharing some of the new poetry I created this weekend in the coming weeks. One is already scheduled for tomorrow night. I hope you enjoy it, as much as I enjoyed getting to take in all of the scenery and beauty that inspired it.
The end of January. Wow. It’s been almost a year since the pandemic broke out here locally. What a year. And, within 2.5 months of starting to work at home, my first blog post was published. Since then, I’ve created 295 posts, began following so many amazing blogs and inspiring people, and have now over 450 followers. Awesome, and so much fun.
Alright, let’s get to the writing part.
My 2 Favorite Posts This Week
I want to do something different this week, and for a few weeks. Instead of simply recapping all that I wrote, I’m going to choose my favorite 2 or 3 posts each week and provide some of the inspiration, thinking, and reflecting that went into the post. Ready? Good. Here we go.
The reminiscence poem was created as a multi-reflection on my marriage, my childhood, and having two beautiful boys. All three reflections combined in unique ways to create a poem about pain and joy, and recollections about simpler times.
One of the things I love the most about writing poetry, outside of the sheer exuberance I get when an idea flows through me, is looking back, reflecting, and putting on paper some joyous, and yes, sometimes painful life events.
Tanka #2 was created as a reflection on my meditation practice, and the chasing we sometimes do as humans, trying to get to the next thing, and then the next. Reflecting on meditation and then the concept of chasing after things is a paradox, just like all of life.
The last two lines are a reflection upon creating the future from the present moment, with the knowing that already living inside of me, all of us, are the past, present, and future. As, they are one.
Alright, that’s my reflection on the reflections that inspired the two poems above. That was fun. Let’s now turn to one of my other favorite topics, music.
I’ve posted about my love for music before, though it’s been a while. I grew up in a household where music was always present. Whether that was through the TV and MTV, my dad playing his guitar, or sisters, mom, or myself playing the radio, cassettes, or an 8-track.
Yes, I did just reference the radio, cassette tapes, and 8-tracks in the same sentence. I did grow up in the late 70’s and 80’s though.
In this entry on music, I want to do two things. Show you the guitar I bought today, and embed a youtube of one of my favorite songs.
Alright, first, here is a pic of the guitar I bought today. As I mentioned, my dad played the guitar. Though I tinkered with the guitar as a child, youth, and young adult, it’s been years, and I am excited to take some lessons and begin to play.
Pretty, yes? Yes, I think so too.
Alright, now here is one of my favorite songs. I am present to it, because my oldest son played it on the guitars we looked at on Saturday. Was so beautiful.
Here you go.
I just adore this song. Always have, and always will.
Alright, friends, that’s all for this week.
Remember, to keep breathing and take time for yourself. It’s important.
Alright, another week closer to this year’s end, and entering deeper into winter, which, for where I currently live, means more, well, a ton more rain to be accurate. Whereas, I didn’t grow up in a very rainy area, Los Angeles is, of course, known for sun most of the time, I am more comfortable with the rainy weather these days.
And, yes, writing did occur this week, and here is what that looked like.
One of my goals this week was to get, The Leadership Series Part 2.5: Why Developing the Self is Always the First Step in Leadership completed, and that did not happen. Next week. Yes, so what about next week? Let’s take a look.
In the poetry realm, I have a few ideas. I am thinking about two poems right now, one on flow, and one on force, which will be fun. And, then the aforementioned leadership article will be a focus next week, as will another entry in the social construction series. I’m not sure about the latter just yet. Meaning, the topic. Not sure.
I’ve also got a couple of ideas about creating vision, and managing the gap between your current reality and your future projected reality, or the real and ideal in leadership terms. Alright, how about reading. Sure, let’s go.
It is a very Haruki Murakami type book, which means? That, so far, it is awesome. Of course, it starts with a prologue, and the main character is painting a portrait of a client that has no face, or rather has a face of mist. And then?
Then Murakami begins to create the world you’ll be entering into, all of the typical trials and tribulations and the emotional breakdowns and breakthroughs that follow for the main character. I’ve only read about 60 pages, and Murakami has already covered a lot of ground.
I am looking forward to discussing what I’ve read thus far with the remote book club tonight. How about listening? A new entry topic this week. Ready? Good. Here we go.
Though podcasts have been around for well over 25 years, I didn’t start listening to podcasts until about 5 years ago. I know, I know, I am now playing catch up. Fun!
Here are a couple of podcasts, which you may not have heard of, and are very good.
Alright, so I have a soft spot for the television show the office. Fun. And, an Oral History of the Office does a great job recounting just how hard it was to get that show on the air in the United States. A very interesting and entertaining podcast.
Louder Than A Riot was one that I stumbled onto, as I listen to most of my music on Spotify, and I caught an ad about the new podcast. Wow. The podcast traces systematic and structural racism in this county in regard to hip-hop. A caution. The episodes are raw and explicit. The topics they cover are so important, and the two hosts, Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden, are stellar.
Resistance is one I just found this past week, and it traces systematic and structural racism in the United States through the lens of protesters all across the country. I’ve listened to most of the episodes already, and they are well done. Again, the host, Saidu Tejan Thomas Jr., does a fantastic job. This podcast is also raw and explicit.
Alright, that was fun. I recommend all three. How about stimulation? Yep, here we go.
It has occurred to me off and on over the past several weeks, and I’m sure I’ve written about it, that stimulation is something that I monitor. Important. Why?
Because when we are constantly stimulated with work, computer screens, phones, television, even conversation, we are depleting our vital energies. And? That’s oaky, we just need to be aware that replenishment is needed and necessary.
What can we do? Well, there are many things. All of which we have discussed in previous posts. My favorites? Yep, there are two that I consider paramount.
So important. Both meditation and walking get me away from all stimulation, and, in a way, create a reset of sorts. Simply meaning, they restore my energy levels. Oh, and there is one more. Naps. I take several naps now each week. Super refreshing.
What we do to get our quiet and reenergizing time matters less than we get it. That I get it, and that you get it. So?
If you’re not getting enough replenishment time for yourself, make sure to create that time. It can start with simply leaving the computer station, or setting the phone down, and walking out the door for a walk. Really important.
Alright, that’s all for this week.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a lovely remainder of 2020.
Well, like many places around the globe, cases in Oregon are approaching an all-time high. Difficult. Yet, it is the current reality. For now.
And, as I wrote about in a previous entry, the time I have to write is less today than it once was. Partly due to work, which continues to expand as we serve more and more people with remote education. Lovely.
Though there was less time, I did write quite a bit of poetry this past week. Even submitted a couple to two other national publications, just for fun! Right, so here’s what that looked like.
Wow, that was fun. Fun to think about, reflect upon, and write. So much Fun. And this coming week?
Well, I am currently working on three more poems, a new entry for the reflection series, the second installment in the leadership series, and a new developmental moment article. And, you all know that as new insights occur, well, those will also be considered and written about. Happens every week.
What a powerful book. In fact, it is so powerful, I’ve purchased my own copy, which has arrived, so I can read it again. I also watched a great documentary about Ramana last week, called Arunachala Shiva, The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, which I highly recommend. And, along the way?
Well, I fell in love with a mountain. Arunachala. My life coach spent 5 years at the Ashram at Arunachala, which I had no idea about until yesterday; and when we talked, we talked about how drawn I am to that mountain. I will find myself there in the future. That is known. The book?
I may have more on that in the future. Now? I am taking it all in, reflecting, and meditating upon it. That’s about it for now.
An excellent read. About? Yep. I believe the book is about compassion, and humanity’s resiliency. Meaning, whether we are aware of it or not, we know far less than is knowable, and, well, quite frankly, that can be painful.
Yet, inside an awareness that there is much more to know about, than we know, there is also beauty, and a joy that comes from this gift. Both pain and joy are possible. It really depends on which one we choose.
Wait, what?! Yep! WOW. I would just like to say two things. Ready? Good. Here we go.
I appreciate you. I appreciate you liking my work, commenting on posts, and supporting me on a regular basis. We’ve had some excellent engagements and conversations. Know that you are always appreciated. Always.
I also want to thank each of you for the lovely community that has developed, and that I have so graciously been welcomed into. Absolutely wonderful. I am so grateful for all of you. I love reading your work. You are all so inspirational and talented.
Connection and Communication
This past week, I’ve been very present to connection and communication. Yep, first with the connection and communication I have with myself, and then with everyone else. and then? Yep. The connection and communication I see that everyone else has with everyone else. Does that make sense? Good.
We can in fact call this the connection and communication system, which I’ve also called the relationship system. They are one and the same. It looks like this.
Why am I present to connection and communication this week? Good question.
Mainly because connecting and communicating is harder today. Yet, it is a paradox though. Watch.
Though you may be thinking, well, that doesn’t make sense because technology bridges connection and communication. Yes, this is true. However, what’s often missing is the feeling part.
Let us say that we are also a system made up of the following. Thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting. Well, when you are connecting and communicating almost exclusively through technology, not in-person, the feeling part of connecting and communicating is much harder to manage. It just is. And?
Well, if we are unaware, the connection you have with that person, or people, may become disconnected. Or, rather, less connected. Meaning that connection and communication live along a spectrum, so it’s not connected or disconnected, there are subtle variations.
And, knowing about these variations is important. Sensing them, knowing about them, and then creating contexts to talk about them. Important for our friendships, familial relationships, work relationships, and, well, all relationships. Important.
Alright, before I go, one question.
What are some things you’ve done to remain connected and communicative with those you are in relationship with?
I wish you a lovely coming week. Please stay healthy and well.
Another wow. Lots of writing this week. Fun! And, next week?
Hm. I’m a little more unsure about my writing next week than usual. I know, I know, I actually write that quite often, or something like that, maybe in a different way. Why?
Because I am truly unsure how it will go. Much of that has to do with how much time I’ll have to write. It’s different every week. And?
Well, here’s the plan anyway.
More poetry? Oh, yes, of course! I am having such a great time writing poetry. I am working on several pieces right now! Much fun.
I will also be working on the Leadership Series this week, on installment, well, 2.5, which is the other half of the second installment on developing the self. More fun!
I’m sure I’ll also have a reflection series post this week, though last week that did not occur. We will see. And, you know, for me, that’s part of the fun.
Seeing what comes. What insights happen throughout the week, and how they, sometimes, turn into poetry or another post. The creative process is quite beautiful. Wouldn’t you agree?
In last week’s entry, I wrote a little about the 2-week freeze the Governor put Oregon under, which expires, I think, this coming Wednesday.
Yet, not really. Why?
Well, it turns out the county I live in, and the county I work in have been classified as extreme risk. Meaning?
Continued restrictions. Difficult. And, yet totally understandable.
Last week, my oldest son told me that University sent everyone home over the Thanksgiving break, and told them not to return until winter term, which starts in early January.
Like I’ve written, it is hard right now, for everyone, everywhere. Hang in there.
Head and Heart
The Monday message I scheduled to go out to the team this week was created specifically because of how hard it is living inside of the pandemic right now. Has been hard, and is still hard. That is our current reality.
And, inside of that reality, it is important for each of us, all of you, yes, and me, to remember to take care of our head and our heart. Really important.
I’ve written a lot about how I take care of my head and heart, so will simply write here that however you do that matters less, than doing it. Taking care of yourself. Being with yourself. Caring for yourself. Important.
When we care for ourselves, we can care for everyone else that much more. It works that way.
Please remember to take care during this terribly stressful time.
And, lastly, I wanted to share a couple of quotes that are also part of the Monday message scheduled for tomorrow. Why?
Well, because I think they are inspirational, just like each of you. Here we go.
“One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right if the head is totally wrong. Only through the bringing together of head and heart-intelligence and goodness-shall man rise to a fulfillment of his true nature.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
“People with high levels of personal mastery…cannot afford to choose between reason and intuition, or head and heart, any more than they would choose to walk on one leg or see with one eye.” -Peter Senge
Wow, what a busy, busy week. I know, I know, I always start out that way. Yet, it really was. So much so, in fact, that my time was allocated to other things, and writing in some ways, not all ways for sure, took a little bit of a back seat this week.
Simply meaning that I didn’t get to work on larger pieces this week. Yet, you know what I did get to work on? Yep. Poetry. I am absolutely falling in love with writing poetry. Love. And, here’s what that looked like.
And, next week? Yep, here is what I’m currently working on.
An Insight Poem
The Reflection Series Part 4: What Does it Mean to Live a Life Full of Insight?
The Reflection Series Part 5: What Does it Mean to Live and Love a Communicative Life?
I am finding that it is necessary to shorten my articles a little. That certainly doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing longer pieces. Yet, at least for the time being, I am working on some shorter posts. We will see.
Okay, so I am still reading the book on Ramana Maharshi, yet am also now reading another book for the book club, which I’ll write more about in a moment. Ramana?
I am about 1/3 of the way through the book, maybe more, and here is what I love the most about the book thus far.
The book is set up as a Q&A session with Ramana and the narrator. And? Time and again, the narrator basically asks Ramana the same question in different ways. And, each time? Yep.
Ramana gives a very different answer that points the narrator, and the reader, back to the same place. Fun. The place?
Inside of you, of course. No matter the question, the seeking, the apparent frustration, the answer? Yep, already lives inside of you. Stay quiet and listen. Lovely.
A 2-week Freeze
Well, here in Oregon, we are now on a 2-week freeze, which the Governor did say would be extended if the cases continued to stay steady or rise. Impact?
Hardest hit are the local small businesses, especially those in the food industry. Phew. Difficult.
We will be working with small business owners in the coming days and weeks to ensure they have what they need to pivot their businesses once again.
I’m not sure a more resilient group exist right now, with the exception of those in healthcare. Amazing people all around.
Remote Book Club Update
Quick updated. I was able to get the remote book club together for our first meeting a week ago Saturday. Fun!
We’ve chosen to read, Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman. It’s actually pretty good thus far.
Sort of an inquiry, as the title relates, into the human condition in regard to emotionality, and the spectrum of how that plays out in stressful situations. Interesting.
Well, that’s about it for this week. Time to go see what you are all up to, and to see if I can finish the insight poem on this night. Ha! Even more fun.
The first stanza? Sure. Here we go.
Insight is such a delight, A fancy quite bright, which lives Beyond the pale moonlight
Fun, fun, fun.
Alright, everyone, please stay healthy and well, and have a wonderful week ahead.
Remember, you are an inspiration to me, and to everyone around you.
It is interesting to consider. I do like writing poetry, and am having a lot of fun doing so. Funnily enough, as I’ve written before, I haven’t read much poetry, though when I find poetry I like, I go back to it again and again.
And, I’ve been reading a lot more poetry lately from the blogs of some of the most outstanding poets and writers. Lovely.
I also love the challenge of writing poetry. It is an interesting paradox. In some ways it is easier than the other topics I choose to write about, and yet, in many ways much more difficult. Hm.
I enjoy sitting with a peice, pondering it, reflecting upon it, until the right words show up. Fun. I also like being out on a walk or hike, and find that inspiration stirring me to stop on the path, and make notes in my phone.
Is it like that for you? It is often that way for me.
Anyway, at this time, I have planned another installment on sensitivity, a piece on sociology, and, hm, ah yes, a post on wonder. That’s what I have for now anyway. The poetry, you ask? Good question.
You know that works a little differently than the other things I choose to write about. Well, sort of.
With poetry, I usually see something that inspires me, and then from that derive a concept and then write. So, in a way the process is similar to my other writing, and yet feels a little different.
Lastly, I wanted to acknowledge just how hard this year has been for everyone. Really. It has been.
Yet, I also want to acknowledge the resiliency of the human spirit. Very resilient. Much more resilient than people imagine. And, it is beautiful to be a part of and to witness.
I have found and read so many inspirational stories this year. Please know that you are all inspirational to me. All of you.
Though life has been extraordinarily hard this year, and, well, looks like it will continue to be, at least from a pandemic perspective, for some time; know that you are bringing people hope and joy each and every day by writing as you do. Just as you are and as you do. Wonderful.
I’ve laughed and teared more at my computer screen these past few months than at any other time in my life. And, I’m not young. Ha!
Right. Well, it is about time to wrap up this installment. Yet, before I do, let me leave you with two quotes I adore from two very inspirational people. Here you go.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” ― Helen Keller