Archive for June, 2010

One Hundred in a Year

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

I began this blog one year ago on June 30, 2009.

Today, June 30, 2010, I made my 100th post.

(Well, I also wrote the 92nd through 99th posts today, too. A little end-of-year procrastination combined with a last-minute surge in my effort to make it to 100.)

When I began this blog, I was torn between my desire to write and my fear of sharing my writing with others. In the one hundred posts I’ve made over the last year, my love of writing has continued to develop. My fear of writing publicly has diminished. On the balance, a good year.

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey.

Let’s see what next year offers.

Oops!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Back to Radiolab.

A show called Oops, about errors in judgment and/or execution, and the consequences of those errors.

Very uncomfortable.

But, of course, since it’s Radiolab, thought-provoking.

Choosing a Goal

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

There are many goal-setting techniques.

Self-help books, coaches, and teachers all have preferred goal-setting methods.

  • Create your vision.
  • Identify your core values.
  • Journal.
  • Talk to friends and loved ones.
  • Etc.

I choose my goals in a less linear way.

As I learn about new things, I consider whether I’d want to be engaged in that activity. If I think yes, I pay attention to how I feel.

The right combination of feelings is like a recipe for success and adventure:

  1. Fill a bowl with a large dose of curiosity.
  2. Mix in a healthy swathe of apprehension.
  3. Blend with gobs of good humor.
  4. Marinate with time.

For me, the most important thing is time. If I continue to tremble at an idea, I know it’s a good one, worth pursuing. If there’s no spark of fear or wonder, then I know this particular idea will fade.

The centuries-old adage reminds us: “Every journey must begin with a single step.” Not only that, but it may be that the first step is the only one we see. It’s only once we make that first step that we see the next step, and so on.

The most foolish thing to do is to abandon a goal because one cannot see the whole journey at once.

Time, wonder, and persistence. That’s what I use to set and pursue a goal.

The Girl, the Fish, and the Berry Bush: a Fairytale

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Once upon a time a little girl walked through the woods.

She came across a berry bush.

Her mother had told her never to eat the berries for they were poisonous. Her father had told her never to eat the berries. Her grandmother, aunts, uncles, older cousins, neighbors, and so on, had all told her never to eat the berries.

This particular day was heavy with warmth. The little girl’s clothes were sticky, her feet were sweaty and blistered, and her throat was parched.

The girl came across the berry bush in the shade of a tall tree. A cool breeze ruffled her hair as she studied the juicy plumpness of the berries. The berries were ripe, red, and looked sweet. The girl’s mouth watered.

She took a step closer to the bush. Her hand reached toward the berries. Her fingers brushed the berries. But that was all.

She sighed, turned around, and continued her walk in the woods.

After about an hour, she came to a clear brook and quenched her thirst. The water was sweet, fresh, and clear.

As she was drinking, a fish spoke to her.

“Why didn’t you eat the berries from the berry bush?” asked the fish.

The girl was taken aback, although she didn’t know if she was more taken aback by the fact that a fish had spoken to her or that it had known about her encounter with the berry bush.

“They would make me sick,” she stammered.

“How do you know?” asked the fish.

“Because my mother, my father, my grandmother, and all my aunts and uncles told me so,” replied the girl.

“If your mother, your father, your grandmother, and all your aunts and uncles told you the sun will rise at midnight, would that make it so?” asked the fish.

“No,” said the girl, uncertainly.

“Why not?” pressed the fish.

“Because I’ve seen it rise during the day, but never at night,” answered the girl.

“So you’d trust your perceptions above the words and warnings of your elders?” asked the fish.

“Yes,” said the little girl.

“Why not trust your perceptions with the berries, then?” asked the fish.

“Because the berries might make me sick and die! Even if I found out the truth of the matter, it might be too late,” answered the girl.

“Good girl,” said the fish. “You and your mother, father, grandmother, aunts and uncles are correct. You would die if you ate those berries. You must never eat them.” The fish said no more.

The little girl left the brook and continued her walk.

Learning to See Color

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Go to ted.com to watch Beau Lotto reveal how much our perception of color depends on context.

We may think we see a certain color, but we could well be wrong. Even after watching this program several times, I still cannot make my brain perceive the actuality in many of the illusions he demonstrates.

Be sure to wait for the part where he “translates light into sound”.

But my favorite is the last demonstration.

For more of Lotto’s work, visit Lotto Lab.

Paperwork for Your Death or Illness*

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Take responsibility for your life by planning for your eventual incapacity and death. If you should become unable to make health decisions for yourself, your loved ones need to know what you would want done on your behalf.

Life support or no life support? Tube-feeding or starvation? Machines that breathe for you or failing lungs? Pull the plug, or hang on a little longer?

It’s cruel to make your family guess what you would want. It’s stressful enough for them that you are ill, in pain, and/or dying. Why compound that grief by making them uncertain of your wishes?

Talk with them about what you want to happen and document your wishes in a health care directive or power of attorney, a living will, or whatever form(s) are honored in your state.

Don’t lock those documents up in a safe deposit box. Generally the contents of a safe deposit box are discovered after someone has died, which is too late to discover instructions on what to do in the hospital.

Make copies of the documents and give them to your loved ones. That way, they’ll know what you want and need, which will allow them to provide it for you.

And, while you’re preparing your own documents, go ahead and ask your loved ones to prepare theirs.

Take care of your loved ones so they can best take care of you should the need arise.

*Of course, I am not a lawyer and this post does not constitute legal advice. Consult with your lawyer before making major decisions. Etc.

Building a Tolerance for Love

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Suppose it isn’t easy to be loved. Suppose we have barriers that keep us from receiving as much love as is offered us. Suppose that we are surrounded by love, awash in an ocean of love, but we don’t notice it because we’ve dampened our ability to perceive love.

If this were the case, then whenever we feel alone or unloved, it would be up to us to realize that the only thing keeping us from love is ourselves. Rather than look outside to inventory all the things and people who aren’t loving us, we could look to ourselves to learn how we are blocking love.

What if all it takes to be loved more is to develop a greater capacity to accept love? What if all we need to do is practice?

Just as in exercise, if we want to get stronger, we do push-ups or some other strength-building exercise. If we want to develop our stamina, we run or do some other cardiovascular exercise.

What if the exercise to build our tolerance for love were simply developing one’s awareness, one’s ability to be present in the present moment, one’s mindfulness?

What if we all increased our ability to tolerate love? Wouldn’t we become more loving ourselves?

World Cup!

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

I don’t care to watch sports on television that much. I’d rather be playing than spectating. But I love to watch soccer.

There seem to be just two internet sites that allow you to watch the 2010 World Cup: ESPN and Univision.

But, if you’re not on a college campus or military base or you’re not a customer of certain third party businesses, no ESPN for you.

Fortunately, anyone can watch the World Cup on Univision.

Those of you worried about watching World Cup soccer with Spanish commentary, rest assured, it’s worth it.

Univision, with their extensive experience covering soccer matches as their main sports coverage, are quite knowledgeable with their camerawork. They portray the soccer matches much better than any other coverage I’ve seen so far.

Plus, if not being able to understand the language gets too bothersome, you can always turn the sound off. Added bonus: no more annoying noise from the tens of thousands of vuvuzelas.

Enjoy!

Why Comments Are Being Turned Off

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

I’ve had a couple of people ask me why comments have been turned off on most of the posts.

The reason is pretty simple: I got tired of deleting the spam every time I logged onto the account.

No comments = no spam.

91

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

This is the 91st post on this blog.

Indigo Lantern’s one-year anniversary will be June 30, 2010.

I think I might go for a century by the 30th. That’d be something. 100 posts in a year.

If you have any goals or anniversaries coming up for you this month–best of luck to you as you achieve and celebrate them!