What you see is what you get….sometimes.

Yep, nothing there. Cartoon by xkcd.com, used with permission.
Yep, nothing there. Cartoon by xkcd.com, used with permission.

I hope you find new people & new ideas & new ways to see the way it all works….good place to start (if you don’t know him already) is Randall’s xkcd webcomic….he gets it, and has fun getting there.

Here’s the link to the one above, and his site….be careful, you’ll get lost in the archives, or just hitting the ‘random” button, which is poetry in & of itself.

 

Doing Business: Does your company really want to hang out with me?

Surprise...
Surprise…

Does your company really want to hang out with me?
by Derek Sivers

Imagine you have a crush on a girl at the bank.

Every time you talk, it’s only business.

But one day she says, “Here’s my cellphone number. Call anytime.”

Wow! She likes you!

You call her and ask her out. She says OK.

You meet up for dinner and after talking for 15 minutes she says, “Could I interest you in a home equity loan?”

Arrgh! That’s worse than if she had never given you her number in the first place!

The fact that she only wants to talk about her business proves that not only is she not interested in you, but she was trying to trick you.

Now you’re insulted and will never go to that bank again, or at least never believe it when they pretend to care about you.

This is what’s happening with most companies’ “Social Media Strategy”.

They’re acting like they want to connect directly with you, get to know you, or hang out where you hang out.

But unless they learn how to stop selling, listen, and be real – they’re just permanently alienating potential crushes.

Shared with permission/original, and Derek’s other essays: http://sivers.org/sms

Writings: Paul Hawken, with “You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring.”

Paul Hawken:
Paul Hawken: “The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.”

I know it’s not graduation season exactly, but it feel like a good time as we look over the lengthening light the Winter Solstice brings to offer the light of Paul Hawken’s words, here.

One of the best I’ve read in past few seasons of speeches was the one Paul Hawken presented here below, as this incredible man with an incredible mind & no formal schooling received an honorary degree.

See what you think… it’s a good read & an inspiring way to start the day.

“You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring.”

The Unforgettable Commencement Address to the Class
of 2009, University of Portland, May 3rd, 2009

By Paul Hawken

When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” Boy, no pressure there.

But let’s begin with the startling part. Hey, Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation – but not one peer- reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, the earth needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.

This planet came with a set of operating instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, and don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food – but all that is changing.

There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The earth couldn’t afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.

When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.

Click here for the rest of Paul’s remarks….

Read more “Writings: Paul Hawken, with “You are brilliant, and the earth is hiring.””

Writings: The world according to Satchel

It is estimated that Leroy “Satchel” Paige was born on July 7, 1906. The mere idea that his birthday is an estimate provides perfect evidence to the mystery that was Satchel Paige. In 1965, 60 years after Paige’s supposed birthday, he took the mound for the last time, throwing three shutout innings for the Kansas City Athletics.

Joe DiMaggio called Satchel Paige “the best and fastest pitcher I’ve ever faced”. His pitching was amazing and his showboating was legendary. His career highlights span five decades. Pronounced the greatest pitcher in the history of the Negro Leagues, Paige compiled such feats as 64 consecutive scoreless innings, a stretch of 21 straight wins, and a 31-4 record in 1933. For 22 years, Paige mauled the competition in front of sellout crowds. Sure, he liked the attention, but to him, there was only one goal. That goal would be to pitch in the Major Leagues.

In 1948, Paige’s dream came true. The Cleveland Indians were in need of extra pitching for the pennant race. Legendary Bill Veeck tested Paige’s accuracy before offering him a big league contract. As the story is told, Veeck placed a cigarette on the ground to be used as a home plate. Paige took aim at his virtually nonexistent target. He fired five fastballs, all but one sailing directly over the cigarette. Veeck was indeed pleased, and Paige helped the Indians win the pennant.

In addition to Cleveland, Paige played for St. Louis and Kansas City. When his Major League career was completed, he compiled a modest 28-31 record with a 3.29 ERA. He also served as coach for the Atlanta Braves in 1968. What made Paige so memorable was his longevity in the game. The main reason his age was so difficult to track was his seemingly endless success. He rarely answered questions about his age, and when he did, he replied with something like: “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

In 1971, Leroy “Satchel” Paige was given the ultimate honor, he was elected to join the very best in baseball history in the Hall of Fame.

++++++++++++

“Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

“I ain’t ever had a job, I just always played baseball.”

“I don’t generally like running. I believe in training by rising gently up and down from the bench.”

“I never rush myself. See, they can’t start the game without me.”

“I use my single windup, my double windup, my triple windup, my hesitation windup, my no windup. I also use my step-n-pitch-it, my submariner, my sidearmer and my bat dodger. Man’s got to do what he’s got to do.”

“If a man can beat you, walk him.”

“It’s funny what a few no-hitters do for a body.”

“My feet ain’t got nothing to do with my nickname, but when folks get it in their heads that a feller’s got big feet, soon the feet start looking big.”

“One time I snuck a ball on with me and when I went to winding up, I threw one of them balls to first and one to second. I was so smooth I picked off both runners and fanned the batter without that ump or the other team even knowing it.”

“The only change is that baseball has turned Paige from a second class citizen to a second class immortal.”

“There never was a man on earth who pitched as much as me. But the more I pitched, the stronger my arm would get.”

“When a batter swings and I see his knees move, I can tell just what his weaknesses are then I just put the ball where I know he can’t hit it.”

“Ain’t no man can avoid being born average, but there ain’t no man got to be common.”

“I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a while I would toss one that ain’t never been seen by this generation.”

“Just take the ball and throw it where you want to. Throw strikes. Home plate don’t move.”

“They said I was the greatest pitcher they ever saw…I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t give me no justice.”

“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

“Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”

“Money and women. They’re two of the strongest things in the world. The things you do for a woman you wouldn’t do for anything else. Same with money.”

“Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.”

“You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them.”

“My pitching philosophy is simple; you gotta keep the ball off the fat part of the bat.”

“I never had a job. I always played baseball.”

“Mother always told me, if you tell a lie, always rehearse it. If it don’t sound good to you, it won’t sound good to no one else.”

“Don’t eat fried food, it angries up the blood.”


Reposted from http://www.satchelpaige.com/

Writings: Don’t believe everything you think

Dont-Believe-Everything-You-Think

 

Don’t believe everything you think.

First time I heard this, I thought, “Well, that’s dumb. You wouldn’t think it if it wasn’t real to you. Besides blah blah blah….” If you’ve ever been inside my noisy head, you know I just went on. And on.

Then I looked at what I had just thought (or said in my head) and asked myself if it really was dumb. Maybe not. Maybe there’s another way to look at it….

And I realized I didn’t actually believe that thing I had just thought.

That reminded me of a story.

I’m seven years old, in early third grade. It’s the weekend, and my mom is in the back, hanging clothes on the line. My slightly younger sister got a lighter from somewhere, lit a candle, and crawled under a bed to play. The candle caught the bed afire, and smoke started to collect in the house.

raviBecause I went to school, where they trained you in the ways of the world & suggested ways to think, I knew exactly what to do. And I did it, unprompted and unguided, all on my own.

I went quietly and quickly, without talking to anyone, outside to the front yard and stood in the front yard. I remember, even now, hoping my sister was ok, but knew I wasn’t supposed to go back inside until they told me to.

And that’s what I learned from fire drills at school.

(Luckily, my mom was handy with a fire extinguisher, my sister came out of it OK, and when my mom asked, “What are you doing out there?” to the kid standing in the front yard (me), I didn’t say anything, because you’re not supposed to say anything to anyone during a fire drill.)

Interestingly, I don’t recall ever reviewing this with my folks, which meant I had to reflect on it on my own. Naturally, I came to realize that my sister had been in danger, and everything I was instructed to do didn’t help at all. And being afraid of being caught doing the wrong thing really didn’t help the situation. This all started to crystallize in my seven-year-old brain that sometimes you have to do what you’re told, but keep your eyes open, and options open, and your mind open. Shoot, while you’re at it, keep your heart open, too.

Then maybe you can help put out fires, little as you are.

A day after, I remember asked my sister, who had a certain grounded wisdom then, as now, why did she have a lighted candle under the bed. She said, “It was dark under there.”

And I would say, now, it was no darker under there than in my beclouded brain that was full of the thoughts of others that I had made into mine, and rendered me pretty useless in a real emergency.

You ever been in this kind of situation? and head space, and heart space?

Kinda cool to shake free, wasn’t it?

It’s more fun this way – challenging not just what others think but what we think – and I like the look on your face when you do.

Sunny days to you and sunny smiles, because you get it, hey.

Loving you,
Brother Ian

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Writings: Any way you look at it…

You have it. I have it. Most everyone you know has it.

It feels almost impossible to escape it. No matter what we see or develop feelings about, it ends up coloured by our old thoughts, our old wounds, our old successes.

Someone says, “Yay!” and we can’t echo the cheer, because we had a different experience.

Someone says, “I hate that!” about something we’re fond of.

And when we pat ourselves on the back because we have an open mind, because we see things clearly & others don’t, because we get it & they don’t…there’s a bit more.

See, everything we say comes from one place – our heart. And it’s great that each person’s heart is different from each other person’s heart. And whatever each of us sees & feels & knows is shaped by the life in front of us, the way we see it & feel it. There’s no way anyone else could see it exactly the same way.

And that’s beautiful. It’s our chance to share our angle on things with our friends, and sometimes with people who don’t have as good an angle.

It’s our chance to celebrate the people who see things differently (or not at all!) from us, because they have something to share, too. It gives us a chance of real understanding, while still learning to cherish the place we see life from as well.

And that’s the beginning of the chance to be kind.

Love to you all –
Brother Ian

Writings: “The only way out is in, and the only way beyond is through.”

“Spiritual materialism is rampant and a life filled with spirit is a rarity. I don’t care how many crystals you have, how vegan your food is, or whether your Venus is in Jupiter since the last time you blamed your problems on the moon.

“If the way we carry and express ourselves condemns others while lifting ourselves, then we’re as off target as the people we’re condemning. I drink with the thinkers and smoke with the preachers and I’ve never met a good man that believed he has the answers.

“Let your personality be your greatest work of art, and let your actions weave a thread of unity. Laugh at the voice(s) in your head, befriend your ego before you listen to that bullshit that tells you to destroy it. That’s McDonalds spirituality – even attempting to get rid of ego means you want to avoid this and move towards that – creating more of the same inner conflict you’re trying to avoid. Inner silence and enviable peace doesn’t come from the avoidance of life as it is, it comes from moving as deeply into life as you can. The only way out is in, and the only way beyond is through.”

—Bryan Elli

Writings: Those who have ears to hear…

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN

“If we can learn to listen, maybe life will tell us how it needs to regenerate. In the ancient ways, the leader was not the one who told people what to do, the leader was the one who listened, watched the signs, was attentive to the inner world.

Sufis talk about the ‘ear of the heart.’ This is something you learn in the relationship with the teacher. I spent 20 years sitting at the feet of my teacher listening. You learn through listening. You learn how to listen to what is between the words. You learn to listen to the heart, to the soul. You listen to people’s dreams, the signs in their lives. And similarly one can listen and watch the signs in the world around us.

The earth is calling to us, sending us signs of the extremity of its imbalance through earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and storms, drought, and unprecedented heat. These are what Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ‘Bells of Mindfulness,’ awakening our awareness to where it is needed at this moment in time.”

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Interview:
http://www.goldensufi.org/a_interview_how_light_gets_in.html

 

Writings: Old Zen story…and, seriously, why are you still carrying her?

Ymonk-feetou’ve heard this one before, hey – 

A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together.

At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her.

The senior monk carried this woman in his arms, forded the river and let her down on the other bank. The junior monk was very upset, but said nothing.

They both were walking and senior monk noticed that his junior was suddenly silent, and enquired ,“Is something the matter, you seem very upset?”

The younger monk replied, “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman?”

The older monk replied, “I left the woman a long time ago at the bank. However, you seem to be carrying her still.”

Writings: It’s the dream we carry, with Olav Hauge

It’s the dream we carry
that something wondrous will happen
that it must happen –
time will open
hearts will open
doors will open
mountains will open
spring will gush forth from the ground
that the dream itself will open
that one morning we’ll quietly drift
into a harbor we didn’t know was there

by Olav Hauge

Writings: From anger…the next step

It’s easy to say “I love you”. It’s easy to talk about love, and presence, and the Absolute, and ‘being aware of awareness’, and cultivating a deep acceptance of what is. It’s easy to teach, to say things that sound true, and good, and spiritual.
But these are just words. There is a world before words.

When anger surges, as it will, can you stay close,
and not numb it, or lash out?

When fear bursts in the body, can you breathe into it,
and not fuse with it, or run away into stories?

When you feel hurt, rejected, unloved, abandoned,
can you make room for that feeling, welcome it in the body,
bow to its intensity, its fire, its presence,
and not attack, or act out, or call people names?

Can you commit to not abandoning yourself
now that you need your own love the most?

It’s easy to talk about love.
It’s easy to teach.
Until our old wounds are opened.
Until life doesn’t go our way.

What triggers you
is inviting you
to a deeper self-love.
Can you see?

There is no shame in this:
We all have tender places.

– Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster

Writings: Lighten for a moment, with Sarah Norrad

Lighten for a moment beautiful one.
Place down those shackles, tethers and bounds.
Allow all your responsibilities to release too.
For this special moment,
just be free.
The sun has risen and is touching us with her light.
We have grown and are touching the world with our own.
Lighten for a moment dear one.
This work is done more easily,
if we saw it not as heavy but as light.
Place down those shackles, tethers and bounds.
Let the wrestling match with life become a sweet dance instead.
For the sun has risen and is touching us with her light.
And we have grown and are touching the world with our own.

~ Sarah Norrad

Mount Baker sunrise – photo by Ian Byington

Writings: The two hungers

Sir Laurens van der Post, with a Bushman in the desert

Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about the two “hungers.”

There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; but the Great Hunger, the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning…

There is ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is to have thrust upon them a life without meaning.

There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness. But of far more comfort to the soul is something greater than happiness or unhappiness, and that is meaning. Because meaning transfigures all.

Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy. You are content – you are not alone in your Spirit – you belong.

Laurens van der Post

[Photograph of Sir Laurens Van Der Post, with a Bushman in the Kalahari Desert.]

Writings: The Silence, by Wendell Berry

Though the air is full of singing
my head is loud
with the labor of words.

Though the season is rich
with fruit, my tongue
hungers for the sweet of speech.

Though the beech is golden
I cannot stand beside it
mute, but must say

“It is golden,” while the leaves
stir and fall with a sound
that is not a name.

It is in the silence
that my hope is, and my aim.
A song whose lines

I cannot make or sing
sounds men’s silence
like a root. Let me say

and not mourn: the world
lives in the death of speech
and sings there.