The Month in Review, January 2022: At Home & Work, Writing & Blogging, A WDYS Poem, and A Note on Overwhelm

At Home & Work

Last Years Garden, Corvallis Oregon

This past month I’ve begun preparing for the community garden, which will officially start in March. As you all know, I participated in a community garden last year, and it was a wonderful experience.

I’ve started to think about the veggies and flowers I want to grow, and have also started to collect cardboard, which will be used to cover the plot until it is seeded. The harvest last season was abundant, and I look forward to more fresh vegetables from the garden this year.

The boys are doing well, Jason is with his mom full-time, and will turn 18 this year; and, Justin is preparing for his internship, and last year at University. Amazing. These two boys, nay, men now, are the light of my life, and seeing them succeed in their individual endeavors fills my heart.

At work, we are preparing for the spring term schedule. We will have about 150 classes on offer, most of them will continue to be remote. We are also filling our Leadership Academies, and will begin to fill our Small Business Management classes in March. 

Both of these training programs are excellent opportunities for local leaders and small business owners to be in critical conversations creating transformation within their lives and their businesses. So much fun.

Writing & Blogging

As you know, I had a poem accepted at Spillwords Press this month. What you may not know, is that the poem, with all their scars, was trending as one of the top 3 poems the week it was published. This happened because of your unwavering support. 

Many of you took the time to visit Spillwords and read and like the post. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You all mean the world to me, and your support is a blessing.

I also had four poems published this month in MasticadoresIndia and MasticadoresUSA, 2 poems in each respectively.

In case you missed them, here they are:

Another heartfelt thank you to all of you for visiting both the Masticadores sites and reading, liking, and commenting on my poems. It means a great deal to me.

I also have a few new things planned for the blog this year. 

  • This month I published the flowers brome, which is a piece of prose poetry. I will write and publish more prose poetry in the future, and may even have a piece of prose to add as well.
  • I am also planning on doing some spoken word poetry this year, and have already purchased a microphone for this new endeavor.
  • Additionally, the month in review will be a new series this year, and will come out at the end of each month.

I will also submit poetry to new magazines and journals this year. I’ve actually already submitted to two, one of which is the Bangalore Review. I’m excited about these new publishing opportunities.

A WDYS Poem

Image credit; Tathanhtaun @ Pexabay

I’ve been doing the WDYS prompt for over a year-and-a-half now. It’s the only prompt I do on a regular basis, and is always fun. The WDYS prompt is created by Sadje, at Keep it Alive. 

If you’ve never done the prompt, I invite you to visit Keep it Alive and take a look sometime. You might find it fun, as I do. 

Alright, here is my response to the WDYS #118 prompt.

our heart’s love…
glasses set for two, the beauty in you,
I see too

a rose
tinted fragrance
wafts upon the shore

it is discord, and accord
both, a common
motion
of

this hearts healing contortions, as
pain racks the heart
and mind

two
becoming one
combined

in a
tale of
romance and
tragedy

we think and feel close…

loving,
while
wandering
a

tightrope

designed for those destined to love
the most, sending their
hearts out, into
the fields
they
go

spreading our heart’s love,
in repose…

A Note on Overwhelm

As I get insights on any developmental topic, I always find avenues to share them with family, the team, and with all of you. They are shared via my poems, the A Blogger’s Diary series, and will also be shared here in this new series.

These developmental insights come as a product of my own internal development, and spending a large portion of the past 30 years in leadership and education.

This month, I’ve been reflecting upon overwhelm. Partly because I’ve been present to my own overwhelm, which comes and goes, and because I’ve been present to the team’s overwhelm, which also comes and goes.

Overwhelm as a concept and practice is simply a state of being overstimulated by our environments. These moments of overwhelm, sometimes last longer than we’d like. They are moments where our bodies are physiologically, psychologically, and sociologically, under more stress and this stress manifests in various ways for people.

For me, the most important thing to remember about overwhelm is that it comes and goes. It is a state of being, like most, which is transitory, yet, often, as human beings, we desire to hold onto these states, and do so unconsciously. 

Yet, as we become more aware of our own overwhelm, we can make new choices. We can stop what we are doing, take a break, go for a walk, sit somewhere quiet and just breathe in and out. 

It is very important to stop when overwhelmed. Stop what we are doing, and do something else. Sounds simple, and is quite simple. When we create the space to breathe, to do something different than we’ve been doing, we create a different response to our environment, and will get back a different reaction.

The next time you are overwhelmed, I invite you to stop what you are doing, and do something different, and see what you get back. You might be surprised.

Alright, that’s all for the January month in review.

I appreciate each and every one of you, send you my love,  and wish you a blessed coming week.


#poetry, #breathe, #healing, #heart, #home-and-work, #human-development, #january-review, #life, #love, #mindfulness, #overwhelm, #pain, #poems, #strategies, #writing-and-blogging

A Developmental Moment #5: Patience as a Concept and Practice

Expanding our Patience While Limiting our Reactivity By Understanding and Practicing Our Emotional Intelligence

The past few weeks, I’ve been thinking more about patience, and just how important being patient is in all aspects of life. For sure, patience was, and is, something that I continue to be present to, as patience was, and still is in some ways, something that is a developmental opportunity for me.

How do you feel about the concept and practice of patience? Do you think it affects how we interpret the world, and how we, for instance, function at home and work?

I think it does affect all aspects of our lives, whether we are aware or not.

In this post, we’ll explore a couple of ways to expand the concept of patience by unpacking the stimulus response system, and by exploring ways we can increase our patience, or, conversely, decrease our reactivity. Ready? Good. Here we go.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

The Stimulus Response System

In some ways we are programmed to respond to our environments. As we navigate our environments, our brain takes in data and information, let’s call them inputs, processes them, and then runs through a selection of outputs, or responses. Pretty simple, yes?

Yep, pretty straightforward. The issue? Good question. Well, if we never question our responses, and simply react, we can become reactive, which means that an event occurs and we react without pause. Super helpful in an emergency situation.

In a non-emergency situation, however, it is not always as helpful. There are ways, however, that we can slow down the stimulus response system, which creates a space for more choice.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence has been written about for a long time. Very simply, having emotional intelligence means that you understand that there is a space between a stimulus and response, and you can access this space. Accessing the space between a stimulus and response, also means that you are able to make more choices and handle emotions that arise more readily. Important.

Learning about and practicing emotional intelligence is important for all aspects of life, and is particularly effective in our relationships. When we can slow down and increase our choices, we, at the same time, increase the outcomes that are possible in each situation.

Home and Work

As we learn more about our emotional selves we create the opportunity to reduce reactivity, and understand our own humanity. For instance, anger was something that was present for me a lot of my adult life. There are many reasons this is so, knowing today, I was only ever upset with myself for not living the fullest life possible. Knowing this is helpful.

Additionally, understanding that anger can arise, and not mean that I am an angry person is also helpful. We must be careful with the concepts we internalize. If we internalize concepts, such as anger, as part of who we are as a human being, we then become an angry person. It’s just how it works. If, however, we understand that anger is an emotion that, like our thoughts, will arise, yet is not indicative of who we are as a human being, we are immediately freed from the concept. Super helpful and liberating.

Further, it is important to understand that our emotions not only affect us, they affect everyone around us, even if we are unaware. It’s not possible, for example, to carry anger, and to not give it out. We will. And, when we do, then all we see is anger, because, in fact, that’s what we are creating.

However, when we learn about and practice strategies that can increase our emotional intelligence, and at the same time, slow down our reactivity, we have new choices. New ways of being, and of releasing old concepts that we once believed in.

Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash

Closing Thoughts

Emotional intelligence has a direct impact on our patience. When we slow down our impulse to react to external stimuli, such as other people and events, and internal stimuli, such as thoughts and emotions, we create a space to choose being patient over being reactive. Important.

And, in the space we create to be more patient, we get to choose from a plethora of ways to respond (not react) to a person or event. Powerful.

There is one practice that has been instrumental in my practice of my own emotional intelligence, and that is meditation. I’ve written about meditation lots of times, and, in fact, it has been scientifically documented that meditation decreases reactivity.

As our reactivity decreases, we see and experience the world more slowly, our patience increases, and we are able to understand our thoughts and emotions on a deeper level. Which also means that we will understand everyone in our lives that much better as well.

And, when we understand ourselves and those we love and care about better, our relationships begin to blossom. Our relationship with ourselves, yes, and with everyone else. A beautiful cycle.

#conceptandpractice, #developmental-moment, #emotionalintelligence, #home-and-work, #leadershipdevelopment, #meditation, #patience, #reactivity, #selfawareness, #selfdevelopment, #slowing-down, #stimulusresponse, #understandingyourself