Tag Archives: Environment

Reflections – Three

I was visiting a friend this past weekend and we had tea, did some meditation, and a little bit of guided writing.  It’s an interesting way to spend a few hours.

Setting an intention to engage in mindful activities.

So, the writing exercise was basically a prompt, and we saw what we could come up with in ten minutes.  I don’t think we could have been more ying-yang.

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The Internal Dialog

We’re already nine days into the new year and I realize I haven’t posted anything yet.  True, things have been busy.  Crazy busy.  But that’s no excuse.  After all, my mind is constantly churning out thoughts I seem to have no control over.

Spewing and spewing more words, phrases, ideas, and concepts than I can wrap my head around.  Nonstop.  Mass internal confusion.  The collision of thoughts like sub-atomic particles ricocheting around in a super collider.

Condensation trails in a cloud chamber.

It’s no wonder it’s tough to think and write cohesively.

What is that voice in our heads constantly telling us how the world is?  And I don’t mean that voice from the subconscious that warns us when we need it most – that’s our gut talking.  That’s intuition.  That’s something entirely different.

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The Darkness and the Light

Fear, desire.  Lightness and dark.  The polar opposites are said to be interrelated.

But that doesn’t seem to match our perceptions of reality.  I mean, do people fearing some awful event actually have a secret or subconscious desire for that event to happen?  Self-flagellation??

I’m not really sure.

There is a growing body of literature talking about our power to manifest the things we want in life.  And I’m not sure how much credence to put in that line of thought.  This mystical power if activated improperly, by a negative focus, would rain terror down upon us.  And that seems to negate the concept of free will, or our ability to say “no thanks.”  “I don’t wish to be struck by lightning.”

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So Many Buzz Words, So Little Time

From some of my prior writings, you know how I love buzz words.  Especially in the employee-employer context that I see so often in the management literature.

I’m not really sure what motivates people to “rebrand” and try to stake original claim to concepts that have been around forever, more or less.  And I’m also not seeing any of this “elevated thought” being put into actual practice by all of the “influencers” and so-called “thought leaders.”  In fact, I see the old traditional, industrial-age, top-down, hierarchical, my-way-or-the-highway management structure still thriving.

And regardless of all the hype about worker retention, the words of my past managers still ring in my head that “attrition is our friend.”  In other words, if you were one of the creative ones, the ones that offered innovative thoughts and solutions, that in anyway questioned authority and the old “we’ve always done it that way” mentality, well then, you needed to be driven out of the organization, not retained.  You were a threat to management.

In fact, if you were innovative, you were considered a direct and lethal threat to the management team that was busy (barely) trying to justify their own existence.  They didn’t want any smart folks replacing their glacial-moving, accomplish-as-little-as-is-necessary, paper-pushing to retain their Herman Miller “Cosm chair” complete with “auto-harmonic tilt, intercept suspension, and flexible frame” working “together to give them the feeling of weightlessness.” 🙂 

So, with that slightly cynical and sarcastic, yet realistic, intro, here are today’s buzzwords.  And there was a cluster of them today.  “Unbossing,” “servant leaders,” “knowledge workers,” and “compassionate directness.”

And now that the laughter has subsided . . .

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Lazy or Brilliant ?

My last post was a bit short.  And it really only listed out some research findings.  Although it was interesting research about the power of positive relationships.  And it did include some fun terms like “micro-aggressions,” “micro-experiences,” and “positive alacrity.”

I had to look up that last word “alacrity,” and it means “promptness in response, cheerful readiness.”

One could say that I didn’t put a lot creative effort into that post, or mockingly, and fairly, say that “I phoned it in.”

But sometimes shorter and simpler is better.  The acronym I used for this was “KISS.”  I used it as “keep it short and simple.”  In law school, it stood for “keep it simple stupid.” That’s kind of interesting because one might think that highly educated folks, like lawyers, might not mind long and detailed analyses.  It goes with the territory.

But people are pressed for time.  And maybe that time is not well spent on “legal briefs” or social media?

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Fulfilling Relationships = Life

I really do like studies.  Even the ones where we think there are obvious conclusions, as if we didn’t need any documentation.

“Everybody knows that!”

But us humans do like to research.  To authenticate, substantiate, certify, justify, confirm, establish, corroborate, prove, support, validate.  Whatever word you want to use.

We like confirmation and quantification.

So, while I’m not overly surprised, I do find it intriguing that the research bears out that modern medicine has very little to do with our overall health – only about ten to twenty percent at best.  A full eighty percent or more is determined by our relationships.  At least that is what a seventy-five-year study conducted by the Harvard Medical School concluded.

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Advanced Camping And Chemical Chaos

I was on a pretty good writing streak for the last half of October and into November, but Thanksgiving this year has brought some new challenges and disruptions and we’ll see where the Universe is going to take me now.  Still plenty to be thankful for.

So, what’s the new chaos??

And I suppose you could call this Part 9 of my series on marriage and divorce, because separating from my last wife is what placed me in the environment that spawned the challenges I now face.  A product of many factors, but economics was one of the primary triggers.

Not that I couldn’t survive monetarily, but the loss of assets lead me to the house I would end up in, and that would lead me to a different type of deterioration.

***

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To Have and to Hold – Part 3 – Where the Rubber Meets the Road

I remember in my first semester of law school being in property class.  One of my fellow students was answering the professor’s question.  They grilled us pretty hard.  The Socratic Method.  My classmate made an error.  They had said,

“Well, that’s not fair!”

My instructor paused for a moment.  Chuckled.  And then replied.  “I was wondering how long it would be before someone used the ‘F’ word.  If you’re going to argue that something is not ‘fair,’ then you have to tell me why it is not ‘legally fair’.”

***

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Cross Over – Into the FIRE

Now that I’m retired, I’ve been sharing time, and stories, with my fellow retirees.  I can tell you one thing in common between us.  We are all much happier than we were during the days of our productive employment, even if we were working on one of those lofty, feel-good, society-serving, professional pathways.  Things are much better now.

Simply put, we have a lot less crap to deal with.

And the people we used to work with often stymied our ability to live up to our maximum potential, or to serve our target population to that full potential.

We fought the good-fight, but we didn’t often win.

And now that I’m retired, I keep seeing a billion articles about retirement and what resources you need to retire plastered all over the Internet.  I’m seeing these as a result of targeted ads, I’m sure, but if you stop and read any of these posts the common wisdom you can derive is that neither I, nor any of my retired friends, could possibly afford being out of the workforce.

We all must be starving to death.

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Time Fell Back

For being a totally artificial construct, time certainly can beguile us.

Lead us into a false sense of security when there seems to be plenty of “time-to-spare.” Yet place us in a state of sheer panic if time has “escaped us.”  Particularly for workplace deadlines.  Or when we’re dashing across the airport terminal trying to catch that connecting flight.  Or maybe when we’re counting the seconds between the contractions a mother endures during childbirth.

A new life blooms that will soon be “ticking away” the hours.

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Life Review

I recently finished reading, “Backwards: Returning to Our Source for Answers,” by Nanci Danison.  It’s a fascinating read as the author describes what people have come to recognize as a near-death experience, but she refers to her adventure into the unknown as a “beyond-death experience.”  Or that she experienced “temporary death,” which implies a longer time out of the corporal self and an ultimate return – with vivid memories of what happened.

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Gray Days Revisited

Gray Days Revisited

I think I’m going to start a new tradition on Word Press.

It’s obviously the beginning of November and this is the time of year when those of us who live in areas with decreasing sunshine are afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  “SAD” – what a cute acronym.

SAD has become more of an issue for me after my days spent in Arizona where there seemed to be an unlimited supply of Sunshine – even during the monsoon season.

Well, I wrote a piece about these “Gray Days” a while back, and I re-posted it last year, and so now the tradition has solidified.  This time, I’ll just put the link below (and above) as opposed to re-posting the blog.  If you have the desire to read further, click away.

If not, well you’re missing out 🙂

It crossed my mind, when I re-read my post today, that I was in a highly creative state of mind when I originally wrote it, as well as the posts surrounding that time in general.  You see, I was in love then, and the creative juices always flow more when I’m in love.

I might have been in love with a person, a place, or even a passing idea – a newly formed and beautiful image in my mind.  A dream.

But love, regardless of its source, is all powerful.  And while it’s difficult, we writers do try to express such feelings with words.

I read a great post from my blogging friend Cristian Mahai today that began with a beautiful quote from Faulkner.  Check it out for a little inspiration about the writer’s duty and about beauty.  I think this fulfills my duty for the day.  And read on, if you wish, about how even the grayest of days can be colorful and inspiring!

Here’s the link, again, to – Gray Days.

In Metta

LOGOz

Photo:  Even the most gray, rainy, and cold days can be very beautiful – like this image I captured in the Rocky Mountains.