Thursday, April 30, 2009

New poem up at oneplacemostsacred

Well, after a very long hiatus, i have just posted a new poem up at my other blog.  It's called Opening to the spring within.  You can view it at oneplacemostsacred.

So ends a wonderful Poetry month and Poem in my pocket day.  The poem i found in my pocket (really) is one of my favourites.  "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes, 
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting — 
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is #twitter changing #blogging?

Anyone else noticing that we are witnessing a #tippingpoint?  Something happened about 3 weeks ago with #twitter that moved it from the emerging edge to the mainstream.  Just about everyone i know, including me started tweeting.  Non-tweeters are already complaining about twitter updates on Facebook.  #Hashtags are appearing everywhere.  I'm contemplating filing to add an @ sign as my first initial.  (okay, not really)

What i have noticed is that i am more conscious about what i put in the first 140 chars of my blog posts.  That it sets the context and gives a good idea of the content of the post.  I know this isn't and won't become an absolute.  But there is certainly a solid awareness of all of the different places this will now show up and the different ways people will be looking to assess context and content.

Also, i am finding that i am turning to twitter as my main platform for watching for trends, emergent information, and new connections--rather than blog feeds or other aggregators.  I am finding the enforced 140 char limit awesome in terms of helping to manage the signal to noise ratio.  

As Bryan Alexander tweeted today: 
"Managing feeds, in addition to (or instead of) managing items, is an aspect of digital literacy that’s only just emerging" - J. Udell
Thank goodness, it's not just me whose struggling to figure out how to manage all of the incredible amount of content generated.  And how to leverage these interconnected flows of information, insight and opinion.  

I am very curious to see how this will continue to unfold and how quickly we will see hashtags and @-signs become ubiquitous.  

The other pattern that intrigues me is the speed with which this happened.  I believe, if my understanding of his tweets are correct, that Neil Gaiman celebrated his 100,000 follower and his 333,333 follower within about 10 days of each other.  My thought is that the 'viral' nature of the web is evolving and becoming more powerful.  I struggle with the term 'viral' because it feels like it is a metaphor that is obscuring the deeper nature of what is happening here.  The ecosytem (if i may use the term) of the internet is evolving.  With its self-organizing, complex adaptive systems becoming more mature and robust.  The interconnections are beginning to approach the level of those found in nature:  like in a nervous system.  This took a while and it looks to me like we are arriving at a level of complexity and fluidity that will make some very powerful things possible.  Not judging good or bad, just noting the power factor.  

What are you noticing?  Any thoughts?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter on Gabriola

This year was a special one:  the 10th Anniversary of our Community Easter Egg Hunt.  It was held at the Commons for the second time and it is such a special location.  I feel so grateful to have this kind of community space. The Gabriola Commons is 26-acres of community coordinated land with an agricultural focus.  

We were treated to a concert by the Juno-nominated, Gabriola-grown band the Kerplunks. (And they sang the new Lego song!)   And then the wild hunt was on!  Imagine a hundred or so 2-12'ers making like fox and hounds over the fields and through the bushes looking for eggs.  

This is just one more reason why i love living here.  Moms, Dads, kids, Grandparents, folks who just love kids and have to watch the gaiety--all gathered on the green.  Dancing and singing, clapping and cheering.  What a rare experience these days to have so much community out for kids.  And we were joined this year by eagles and hawks, snakes and ants.  Nobody left any litter, everybody had a terrific time, and money was raised to support our local 4-H club.  A big cheer to the local businesses--esp. Village Foods and Coast Realty for their steady support.  
Lots of pics:
Picnic before the show:
Tina Jones of the Kerplunks pointing out the eagle blessing the beginning of the show!

Everybody watching the show:

Do you like my Easter Bonnet? 

Rowan & GranGran

They're Off!!

The Wild Hunt

Searching for the last few

That was fun!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Trust and Collaboration

Trust is an essential ingredient in any true collaboration.  The most important thing to understand about trust is that it is a result.  Not a given, not an expectation--a result of a repeated pattern of behaviour.  If you want someone to trust you, you need to demonstrate trustworthiness over time.  How much you trust someone depends not only on your past experience of their behaviour, but also on the degree of risk you have shared. 

There are two vital components to trust:  letting go and engagement.  If you want to be trusted you must be prepared to be fully engaged in the interaction.  Half-hearted commitment to your actions will not inspire trust.  And less than full engagement with the other sends a message to your partner that they may not be safe as your attention is divided or you are distracted. In collaboration this activated focus is so essential.  Engagement evokes the energy for the group.  Without it collaborations go flat and creativity dries up (because creativity is all about risk engagement).

If you have decided to trust someone, then you need to practice letting go into that trust. Attempting to manipulate a trust relationship by continuing to attach to outcomes or control of the situation, prevents the other from fully participating in the collaboration and inhibits your own performance.  It endangers the collaborative effort by disturbing the delicate interplay and dynamics of creativity and emergence.  Ultimately, not letting go into trust, once it has been reasonably established, defeats the entire point of collaboration.  

NB: Photo is of Saito Sensei demonstrating loading for a hip throw.  For practioners please note: head position of uke should have neck fully extended and relaxed down (but this would leave him headless in the photo, so he's holding it up so you can see him).

Saturday, April 04, 2009


The degree to which we turn our pain into suffering is the degree to which we obstruct our own healing.

I've been engaging with pain a lot the past couple of days.  The transitory physical pain of minor illness, the long term emotional pain of grief and heartbreak, the illuminating pain of spiritual exploration of the edges of compassion and conflict, courage and fear.

I am in the middle of a practicum in Integral Psychotherapy with Robert Masters and Diane Bardwell-Masters, so this is not simply a casual exploration. I am learning on myself, nothing new as y'all know, and also on fellow practicum mates and practice clients.  

So the edge that fascinates me most is the dynamic space where pain and suffering dance.  How quickly one becomes the other and how slowly and how much work it takes to unweave the knot of suffering from around our pain.  And when i add on the layer of spirit, it gets even more interesting.  Then compassion and its counterfeits enter the arena.  Then my aspirations jostle with my abilities of the moment and reality and spiritual ambition spar.  

I am amazed at how fast pain converts to suffering.  When i pay attention, i find it is such an habituated response.  Pain is felt and then almost immediately the storytelling starts. And then we're off into the dramatics of our suffering, the siren call that keeps us asleep. The song of Maya sinuously weaving a tapestry of illusion so tight and fine we mistake it for truth and name it our reality. Humming an addictive distraction from the simple pain that could awaken us--that could align our perception more closely to What-Matters-Most. 

I'm still working on how to write about my own inner journey.  So until next time, here are some gems i came across in my explorations today.  First some lyrics from Melissa Etheridge that tell the harsh truth:

Everybody's got a hunger
No matter where they are
Everybody clings to their own fear
Everybody hides some scar

Precious pain
Empty and cold but it keeps me alive
I gave it my soul so that I could survive
Keeping me safe in these chains
Precious pain
Then some from Robert Masters' new book, "Meeting the Dragon" (avail free here):
Where pain is consciously felt hurt, suffering is the conversion or manipulation of that hurt into some level of melodrama, wherein we are likely so busy acting out --and being literally occupied by--our hurt role that we've little or no motivation to stand apart from or illuminate it.  
As we step back from the dramatics of our suffering, we start to see through our role as the sufferer, and to also see our investment in that role.
It is in the conscious and compassionate entry into our pain that we begin to find some real freedom from our suffering. 
The healing of pain is found in pain itself. As we become more intimate with our pain, we find that we are less and less troubled by it.  Suffering is , among other things, a refusal to develop any intimacy with our pain.  In fact, suffering jails our pain.
And from Barbara Kingsolver, some lyric prose:
In my own worst seasons i've come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window.  and then another: my daughter in a yellow dress.  And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon.  Until I learned to be in love with my life again.  Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, i have taught myself joy, over and over again.
 In solidarity with the broken many,

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

More on Coral vMeme

More thoughts on Spiral Dynamics emergent Coral vMeme. Inspired by comment on my original post from tenzwarszawy:
...for me Coral would somehow reflect selfishness of Red but on different level where Self is wider and organizing systems according to it's needs would mean setting new standards, paradigms or system metacomments and playing with them with full respect of others needs.
So it is a selfish game but on the level where self is wider than individual ego structure - it's like discovering divine possibilities of mankind reflected in singular entity.
Curious what you think.
The way i see it emerging is this:  Yellow is Survival meme transformed.  This is where all systems are coming online; all 16+ senses are re-awakening to allow us to connect to immanent dangers and act for survival of self, species, planet.  Awareness of transpersonal self, holonic free-agent functioning within holarchies.  Turquoise is transformed/transpersonal tribalism.  This is being enabled by social media.  We are seeing the arising of holonic/holarchical clans within a global tribe consciousness. 

So Coral, to me is transformed/transpersonal Warriorship.  What you are talking about as the wider sense of self i think is captured by the anarchistic flavour and the following: "Seeks only to express the intent of the energy of the Universe as expressed in personal acts of presence, art, movement, love".  This is the fully integrated ego--not transcended ego as many current practices and teachers are promoting, but the integrated ego--the divine experience as body, as human.  There is moral fire here.  As Marilyn Hamilton coined it to me, "it's the Kick Butt meme".  This is warriorship transformed to guardianship.  Warriorship arising as and from Being.  And the butt is kicked with love in alignment with flow of Being Consciousness. 

I like the way you put it:  organizing systems according to it's needs, but with full respect of other's needs.  This is the holonic nature.  A lot of folks are talking about autonomy and radical autonomy in regards this;  i challenge this.  Autonomy precludes the essential integration of interdependence of the transpersonal perspective that is online for this vMeme.  I am preferring to refer to this quality as mature-evolved-Being-centered-holonity. There is definitely, as you point out, a solid sense of unique personal center AND a full integration of interdependence and connection to Being.  That is the phenomenon i find present in Aikido.  This nurturing of both the unique center and a profound capacity to connect at the level of essence with the other. Language can still fail me.  If you haven't experienced it, i invite you to look for a good dojo near you and try it out.  (Look for a lot of smiling.  That's the hallmark of good Aikido.)  Sorry, gotta promote the art whenever i get a chance.  

Would love to deepen this conversation.  I can tell there is a lot more here if i had a reason to think about it further--and others to think with :)

Foolish blessings to you all

A Happy Adventurous April Fool's Day to you all!

Foolishness i engaged in today:
  1. White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit as soon as i woke up (I love you Gracie!  I miss you Gracie!)
  2. Taught a sleepy Gareth about the tradition and worked on his routine with him (he told the bro's the Easter Bunny had come!  TeeHee)
  3. Took myself too seriously. (Only a little..i'm getting MUCH better ;))
  4. Got on the ferry to Nanaimo, got off the Ferry in Nanaimo, took call on cell phone to say meeting was cancelled, turned around and got right back on the ferry from Nanaimo...
  5. Had oatmeal and French Toast for dinner.
  6. Watched Looney Tunes.
  7. Engaged in a little pookoobraznost! (Please help my spelling here dear Rafushka!)
  8. Blogged this (and played with tweeting all day long)  I guess you just can't call it Twittering.  That really sounds foolish!

Such an open space day.  All about letting go and letting come.  Being in the NOW.  Whatever happens. Integrating it all with a sense of joyous abandon.  Inviting intimacy with all that is--warts, alligators, tigers and all.

May you all be blessed with utter foolishness.
May, "I know nothing!" be your battle cry and prayer.
The Venerable Reverend High Dupess, Wendy The Valorous (Church of St. Murphy the Divine); Dr. Wendetta When, Dean of Accidental Education, Titanic University;  And Other Mystic Titles Too Arcane to Mention