Building community in a changing world

Monthly Archives: March 2021

March 24, 2021

An Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Last week, I blogged about a recent dharma talk from Jonathan Foust about managing your energy wisely. At the 43:36 mark, Jonathan delivers one of lessons that I just love – “an autobiography in 5 short chapters” – here’s a summary:

1. I walk down the street and I fall into a deep hole in the sidewalk.
2. I walk down the same street, I pretend I don’t see the deep hole and I fall in again.
3. I walk down the same street, I see the deep hole, I still fall in. It’s a habit.
4. I walk down the same street, there is a deep hole and I walk around it.
5. I walk down another street.

March 19, 2021

Cultivating Vitality

As always, I loved the latest dharma talk from Jonathan Foust about managing your energy wisely. Here are a few of the many nuggets:

1. You have finite amount of energy & time. How are you gonna use it?
2. You should balance how you challenge yourself with some recovery time.
3. Ask yourself: “What’s between you and feeling vital”?
4. The key is slowing down &amp figuring out what you really want. Otherwise, you are doomed to learn the lesson over and over again. You’ll have constant anxiety wherever you go.
5. It takes energy to stay on the path of knowing what you want and really pursuing it.
6. The more you practice, the more confidence you gain that you can sit with anything.

March 9, 2021

Weary in Spirit

“We all know at times what it’s like to be wearied in spirits. Mine, I confess, are exhausted.” – Emma (2020 movie)

Man, this has been a bear. As we get closer to the end of the first quarter of ’21, I can see the end of the tunnel. But sometimes I feel like it’s a mirage. The trauma we all feel undoubtedly will continue beyond when things get back to “normal.” There truly is a ‘new normal’ coming. And getting used to that idea is tough. Real tough sometimes.

This note from Elizabeth Lesser about “Facing the Grief in Our Hearts” captures that sentiment nicely and offers an interesting insight: allowing the grief. Here’s an excerpt:

I know I am not alone. We all have lost so much. For some, the losses are big: the lives of loved ones, family we can’t be with, our own health, our jobs, school for the kids, financial security, physical safety, mental stability. Some of the losses are more subtle: routines that keep us grounded, predictability, companionship, pleasure. The disruptions pile up so that we don’t even know how much we have lost, what we are feeling, how much grief is gathering in our hearts.

It may sound like a counterintuitive strategy to turn and face the grief. There’s a lot of advice and inspiration flying around about NOT doing that—about being strong, hopeful, positive. That’s all good. I’m a big fan of strength and hope and positivity! But I have found that unless I get in touch with my very human feelings of sadness; unless I tip my hat to the reality of loss; unless I let myself mourn…the inspiration stuff is a layer that wears off pretty quickly.

March 3, 2021

Time Management & Mindfulness

I learn a lot about technology from Steve Dotto and his “DottoTech” site. Lately, he’s shared his wisdom over a 4-part webinar series devoted to explaining how to use tech tools for time management. Flow state, time audits and focusing. The “Pomodoro” technique.

Interesting stuff, but I’m a little scared to even attempt to improve my level of organization because I’m a tad OCD. I have my “to-do” list on paper and I always beat expectations. Every day. So I worry that by becoming more organized, I will actually spend more time working, not less. I’m not someone who needs that.

Then again, it would be good to track how I spend my time as that’s the definition of mindfulness. Conscious of what I do, day after day. So I’m going to give the pomodoro a try for a week and see if I improve my work lifestyle. Or if I get too wrapped up in the stats…