Laid Off? The One Thing You Absolutely Need to Do On the First Day

Transmitted on May 08 2008 to living fully

Fantastic post by Jason Kester of Expat Software, Laid off? The one thing you absolutely need to do on the first day offers one fantastic suggestion of what to do with your first day of freedom.
“When you get right down to it, you’ll probably find a way to talk yourself out of [doing this]. You’ll come up with some pretty believable excuses, but really it will come down to the fact that you’re scared.”

Well worth the read.

Write Now. Write Often.

Transmitted on Mar 22 2008 to consciousness & Source

Violins are spiraling darkly from a corner of the room. It is late July and the smell of summertime is so thick in our senses that the cold seems a forgotten relative, or maybe the “sponsored child” in some third-world country; one whose face you’ve seen and whose letters you’ve received but whose life recedes to the edge of your awareness until it’s time to send a new check. Months go by, more checks are sent, and the winter crawls past on shaggy bear-limbs until we decide we can’t keep ignoring it.

Here, though, heat settles like a sponge on my neck: I am in a sidewalk cafe in the East Village or maybe Prague, reminded of place by scent of cedar coffee, the sharp bite of orange peels. A notebook is suddenly no home for this feeling boiling inside of me, this unending need to bring some creation, some newness, to the world. All of us are living the embodiment of our thoughts, piled up like a dusty catalogue of desires and hope; even as you read this, we are going through the motions of an existence, sometimes oblivious to the reality we’re creating.

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A Life Lived Richly

Transmitted on Mar 02 2008 to living fully

The great and terrible secret of our culture–indeed, of the world–is that our financial and social rewards are directly proportional to the percentage of our lives that we “hand over”. Long before we are able to conceive of the future, we are asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Long before we are able to understand why or how we’ll get there, we are asked, “where do you want to go to college?”. And at some seemingly-random point, we are asked “what are you going to do?”

What am I going to do? I’m going to be alive; to dream and explore and experience as much as possible. Is that not good enough? Is that not a life lived richly?

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Today, Notice the Small Things

Transmitted on Dec 31 2007 to living fully

Today, notice what goes unnoticed.

Notice the reflections in your spoon. Notice the exact sound your feet make on your bedroom floor. Try to hear every nuance of a dripping faucet. Find a color that exactly represents the word “movement”. Unfocus your eyes and feel just how much air there is between you and the objects around you; all moving, pulsating, yet totally invisible to our eyes.

Or think of larger ideas, even if the answers are impossible. How many children are speaking their first word right now? How many paintings were created today? Why are we speaking English? How many electromagnetic signals are crisscrossing your body right now?

Our world has been accelerated to such an incomprehensible blur that these gestures may seem meaningless or even boring. But I’m convinced that attention is everything. By really paying attention to those aspects of your daily life that were once ignored, you’re training your brain to create finer distinctions, sharpening your senses and invigorating what is otherwise a monotonous series of events (otherwise, you would have remembered them vividly… right?).

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Everything We Know Is Wrong – Part One: Education Is Fatal

Transmitted on Aug 22 2007 to the hard questions

This is the first in a series of thoughts on education reform and the future of learning. Consider this an “overview” post.

Part One: Education Is Fatal

I have long felt that one’s childhood and their education play off of each other--they are never felt or experienced in equal amounts. Our notions of what constitutes “childhood” vary tremendously due to this exact problem. Some might say that childhood constitues being “seen and not heard”, absorbing lessons, biding time until one has developed fully; others insist that childhood is the most free we’ll ever be and our one moment of true innocence. Still others argue that children are merely young adults, capable of almost all (or at least most) of the same thought processes, rationalizations, and ideas.

We can’t settle this by trying to find the “most correct” perspective. Nor can we limit our options and say that it simply doesn’t matter. Not to be dramatic, but understanding how we develop is critical to changing our world. We have managed to create truly staggering societies based on our systems of education, but in a great many ways we have completely missed the point. And these omissions are coming back to haunt us.

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Letting the Universe Live Through You

Transmitted on Jul 28 2007 to consciousness & Source

I have fallen in love, once again, with the open road.

Humanity and nature entwine so deeply in the making of a road: each side, initially struck by the shock of Change, gradually comes to understand and preserve their new boundaries, learning to live together, becoming conscious and not merely outraged at Other. The road becomes, like the trees or the mountains around it, another mark of time, another indicator of an era, another geologic record to be someday excavated by an unknowable future. It becomes the Zen mind, seeking nothing, attached to nothing, yet profoundly aware of each moment brought before it. Cars of a hundred styles and colors flash across its surface; seasons advance, conquer, retreat along its twists and turns. And yet it remains utterly present, indifferent but not uncaring to the world that rises and falls around it.

So, too, do the massive trees I find dancing lazily in the heat. All of them have stood rooted to a single piece of earth for longer than I have lived; most have witnessed more, perhaps, than this road, stretching like hanging hands across a world that has no doubt completely transformed before them…

It is striking for me to imagine that one of these trees is likely my age exactly: that for twenty years, as I have seen and talked and written and walked, this tree (wherever it may be) has remained perfectly in place, its entire journey upwards, its life utterly devoted to a single, unreachable sliver of the sky. The same sun has shone on each of us for those same twenty years; the same energy ultimately pulsates within us. I find myself wondering if perhaps I could have become a tree instead, had I merely learned to drink sunlight; had I merely stayed still long enough. In that kind of life there would be no time, no place, for judgment or reflection--in that life one is a witness, ascending towards the infinite, an inch at a time.

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Become Culturally Conscious

Transmitted on May 22 2007 to culture & civilization

Via Entheology:

In this video Wade Davis, National Geographic’s Explorer-in-Residence, gives an incredible talk at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) about the shrinking diversity of human cultures and the dizzying array of human thought on this planet.
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