netpositive: (Default)
    I dreamed last night that I felt fine,
    but that some doctor was convinced I needed
    an immediate operation to remove something
    dangerous.

    But I could never get an answer from him, or
    any of the hospital staff what, exactly, was
    the problem.

    Despite going back into the dream -- twice! --
    to try and get an answer from them. Or anyone.

    Ah, sometimes Tir'na Na Nog'th is a subconscious.
    And sometimes, just a left turn at Albuquerque.

    Still, I think maybe I know what it means.

    The answers lie in me and no one else.

    More later, I think. Cleaning, sorting, changing
    and throwing out are all short-term items on the
    long-term plan.
netpositive: (firehand)
Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.
-Swedish proverb
    Statement 1: I am comfortable in myself and I value my friends.
    Statement 2: I value my friends and I am comfortable in myself.
    Do you feel any difference?
    Do you feel any different?
    Do you believe any differently?

    I believe there's a difference between a
    pain in the heart and a pain in the neck.

    I believe there's a difference between
    education and a lecture.

    I believe there's a difference between
    honey and vinegar.

    If you don't understand me or
    think I should be different,
    you don't understand me and
    you're right, I am different.

    And you know, if you think me childish, then
    hey, I think I'll run along and play now.
In the sweetness of friendship
let there be laughter, and
sharing of pleasures.

-Kahlil Gibran
netpositive: (sato)
Irrational idea for today:
Get angry at yourself for all those things not done,
and just give up. Why bother? Who cares, really?

    Write down the facts.

    Down time. Dead time. Resentment. Resistance.
    Have not been as productive at work recently.
    Didn't write words three of the last five days.
    Forgot to use two coupons to save on books.
    Have done zero shopping for the holidays yet,
    and have no idea what to get anyone, either.
    Spent a week waiting on someone to call me back
    about something important, albeit not urgent.
    Skipped possible dancing opportunities twice.
    Can't focus on anything to look forward to.
    Connected with the divine all Wednesday night --
    but connected with nothing since then.

    Write down your subjective self-talk.

    "You'll never accomplish what you want to.
    You're going nowhere right now and that will
    never ever change. Everything before this was
    just a lie, to get your hopes up. You're not
    paying attention to anything or anyone important
    and you are unable to change your bad patterns.
    Look at your inconsistent control of your diet.
    Think of all the things you haven't done by now.
    You hate the 'holiday season'/this time of year,
    and you resist any encouragement or insistence
    from others to be happy, or participate in it;
    it is unnatural not to enjoy this, and you have
    no right to be/feel so different from others."

    Describe your emotional response.

    I feel like I'm not who or what I think I am,
    and that's frustrating after a too short period
    of feeling better and more "me" than usual. I feel
    like I must not really have the self-discipline
    or abilities I envision myself as having, and so
    I'm a terrible being - a waste of time and space.

    I also hate having my schedule/routine disrupted;
    and Thanksgiving through New Year's is a time
    every year when that happens to me.

    I also really hate being told by others that I
    "have to", "should" or "must" do certain things --
    even if I agree and believe in them, or not.

    And then I hate myself for not being thoughtful
    of others, and for not sharing their happiness.

    I have become so afraid to look forward to the
    future for fear of disappointment. I'm afraid
    to try to change things -- even broken ones --
    for fear of renewed, or different, failure.

    Then I'm mad at myself for not even living up to
    my own expectations - for not finding hope in
    things - for not going forward all the time.

    Dispute and change irrational self-talk.

    I don't normally regret for long things, esp
    minor ones, which I have not done once they are
    past. Also, I am usually good about discharging
    my obligations without undue resentment. I must
    be feeling a lot of extra performance pressure
    imposed on me by myself and perhaps (knowingly
    or otherwise) by others. Part of this may be my
    (mis)perception of others' expectations of me...

    I know this time of year is always very difficult
    for me, when it gets dark and cold and my routine
    is thrown off, and I don't feel like celebrating.

    I also know I am often afraid of change because
    I don't know what will happen afterwards --
    and I may not be in control of what does.

    This is all conflicting with my desire that
    *this year*, "things will be different":
    because I have things I really want to do
    and relationships that I want to maintain,
    or improve, despite my feeling lethargic and
    disconnected, and overwhelmed by pressure.

    Substitute alternative, rational self-talk.

    You've run into a whole bunch of roadblocks!
    Let's take them one at a time out of that wall.

    You do good work, and that will continue.
    However, you would like periodic feedback
    from others that you are helpful and useful.
    At present, you're not getting much of that.
    But you will have your annual review soon and
    that should tell you where you stand and what
    you can do to improve yourself or help others.

    You did write, two days out of five. Both days
    you did extra beyond your (self-imposed) goal.
    Two of those other days you did some research
    that you've recorded in your notes to support
    your upcoming work. Plus you should have some
    help with your research as you get organized
    and know what -- or who -- to ask for.

    More books? You have plenty to go through yet!
    There will be other chances -- and coupons --
    whenever you finally need more reference works.

    As for your unhappiness about holiday shopping,
    this is a manifestation of your fears about money,
    uncertainty, and simple lack of time, as well as
    frustration with insistent insanity in spite of
    both negative and positive reality checks. However,
    you generally shop for others via wish lists and
    gift cards. You also try to help others who need it,
    via charity donation requests or invisible acts of
    kindness. It all happens, at an appropriate level,
    in a way that works for both you and the recipients.

    You did collect needed contact and resources
    information, so that you can now proceed with
    settling something you've procrastinated about.
    You are taking steps to take care of yourself in
    smaller and larger ways; however, there will be
    moments when you fall down, for whatever reason.
    Blaming yourself never helps get you back up.

    You have celebrated, and will celebrate, with
    someone important to you; even if you do feel
    fear of the implicit acknowledgment that time
    passes, you can still be grateful for all the
    time that is, and all your presences in it.

    In addition, you are back in touch with people
    both close and far away from you, and you have
    another chance to let them know what they mean
    to you. You can do things you want to. It's ok
    to balance that with what others want you to do.

    Remember: a phone is simply a tool. Use it.

    Notice your thoughts and feelings,
    acknowledge them non-judgementally,
    and let them go.


    I feel these things. They may or may not be
    rational, but I do not discount that I feel.

    Refuting the irrational idea:

    Look back. It was not a lie; it is your path.
    Look down. Those are your feet, standing still.
    Look forward. There is your chance to take steps.
    Look up. Remember standing in a concrete courtyard
    a few nights back, all those lights shining upwards
    and one star looking down through reflected glory?

    You haven't left the universe, any more than it's
    left you. It finds you even in this. The universe
    has a weird sense of humor, you see, by making you
    go through ecstacy just to get to the laundry.

    Fear of failure is understandable, especially when
    you have been used to success. But the worst that
    can happen could still be for the best if it frees
    you from further fear of failure. So why not try?

Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't,
I give myself reasons why I can.

-anonymous
    Tactics:

    Listen to any music that helps right now.
    Skip the rest until sumer is icumen in.

    If there's blockage in the way, you have always
    found my own unique way to get past it. Use your
    innate resistance, rather than feeling used by it.
    They say you can't, or you shouldn't? Say: "I can.
    I will. I must. And no, I won't let you stop me."
    Aikido your critics with their own negative energy.

    Continue to get rid of ten things a day
    to make room for the ten thousand things.
    Then you will have what matters most to you.

    Breathe.
    Breathe once just to go in and out.
    Breathe twice, to reestablish the pattern.
    Breathe threefold -- for those who were,
    for those who are, and for that which will be.
    Then keep on breathing, however you do it.

    Continue to celebrate even the smallest things.
    If you don't share another's joy at this time,
    don't disrespect it. Find it in your own terms.
    If only the fact that the year, and the wheel,
    will continue to turn -- that spring will come.

    Listen to others -- but find your own voice.

If you hear a voice within you say
'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint,
and that voice will be silenced.

-Vincent Van Gogh
netpositive: (iconnerific)
When you think of [x] as your business,
you also think of [y] as the machinery
that makes that business operate.

It would be nice if you could let everyone use [y],
but basically you've got to use it yourself.

Bobby Baldwin, as told to Mike Caro
    Lessons from unlikely sources this week:

    The original of the above quote used
    "gambling" for [x] and "money" for [y].

    But... that could so easily be rewritten
    with [x] as one of many different words
    and [y] standing for "time", "energy", etc.

    My time in this life is important to me.
    My energy in this life is important to me.
    I use them as I need to, to make life better.
    I use them to create happiness
    for myself and others.
    I use them to gather strength
    for myself and others.
    I use them to offer support
    to myself and others.
    I use them for teaching,
    learning, and creativity.
    I use them to face fears
    and to move forward
    in small steps.
Apart from the scars, the one remaining trace
of Brunson's run-in with death is an obsession
with punctuality. "To me, a man's word is his bond.
When you say you're going to be somewhere at a
certain time, that's your word, and if you don't
keep the appointment your word's not worth a damn.
I feel very strongly about it.... The most valuable
thing I've got is my time. It's more valuable to me
than money or anything else." It was the only sign
he ever gave of being a man who feels he is living
on borrowed time.

A. Alvarez, on poker legend Doyle Brunson
netpositive: (firehand)
Hafiz says,
"That sounds wonderful, just
Wonderful.

Someone please - start writing
Some great
Lines."

-Hafiz
    The broken escalator going up
    takes more energy than
    the one going down.

    The broken escalator going down
    takes more skill than
    the one going up.

    When the escalator breaks,
    use your feet and hands.
    If someone helps you along,
    gratitude is not an evil.
    images and text behind cut )
    Ah, don't ask too much of me, or
    I might actually tell you.

I appear as a steady mountain
Yet bit by bit,
Toward that tiny opening
I am going.

-Rumi
netpositive: (firehand)
We either make ourselves miserable
or we make ourselves strong.
The amount of work is the same.

Don Juan Matus
    Ah, I must have a very full life,
    if adding just a little bit more
    makes it overflow so.

    New wave and heavy metal.
    Tae Kwon Do and lindy hop.
    Social work and reading alone.
    Design and testing.
    Housecats and cheetahs.
    Regency romances, Civil War history,
    all the science fiction I can stomach,
    and all the fantasy I can stand.

    more text and some images behind cut )

    "Well... he tends to promise the moon,
    but then too often he tries to deliver
    a medium-sized asteroid instead."
    -me

    If I'd only had a spoon, I could have turned
    that sweet corn cake upside down, for you.
    But there is no spoon, yet.

You are the Sun in drag.
You are God hiding from yourself.

-Hafiz
netpositive: (firehand)
Inevitably, Cosmic Forces get involved.
You know how it goes.

-Top 10, issue #2
    Personal, positive, present tense.
    Visual, auditory, emotional.

    While walking to the Metro this morning,
    I get a small stone stuck inside my shoe,
    small enough to rattle around while walking.

    With all the construction going on, both housing
    and commercial, there's lots of rubble around.


    This isn't as much a problem during the summer,
    as it's easy enough to knock a stone out of sandals.
    But now it's fall, and I'm wearing my sneakers,
    and it's the 2nd block of a 7-block walk,
    and I'm already running late.

    Don't have time to stop. Fix it when I get to Metro.

    At block 4, there's a traffic light at two major streets.
    Pedestrian crossing is complicated by both having medians,
    the street junction not even being close to perpendicular,
    normal traffic flow dictating left- *and* right-turn arrows,
    and unending construction on the Edmund Fitzgerald building
    image behind cut )
    (aka Clarendon 1021) continually blocking the cattycorner sidewalk.

    Crossing, not quite fast enough, get stranded on the median.

    Well, if I have to stand still for a few seconds anyway...

    Take right shoe off - shake - shake - shake -
    the left turn arrow shuts off -
    quick, have to finish crossing -
    with one stocking foot, shoe in hand.

    And when I put my shoe back on,
    there's a small stone inside it.

    Grr.

    I *think* it was a different stone - felt smaller, lighter,
    less pointy. But still annoying. Still a stone in the shoe.

    Finally shake it out on the upper escalator at the Metro.

    (so if on the way home I find that escalator broken...)

    A lot of one's life is like that. Of course one still has to try
    to overcome the obstacles, and reduce or remove annoyances.
    Struggling at work. Living at home. Or longing for the taste
    of grape juice in a world dominated by apple - orange - lemon.

    But sometimes, one just has to wait, until the right time
    to shake the stone completely, entirely, out of one's shoe.
Time goes, you say? Ah, no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.

-Henry Austin Dobson
netpositive: (firehand)
Out to the west there's a trail that leads somewhere
And a call of the wild that takes some people there...

-Joe Jackson
    There is never time to do it right -- but
    there is never time to do it over, either.

    Don't blindly assume -- ask others what they want first.

    2 steps forward, 1 step back -- is still 1 step forward.

    "That which doesn't kill you, wakes you up."
    -Wu Jackson
image behind cut )
    "It's hard to shepherd if you don't have any sheep."
    -Sara Mason

    Live each day as if it is your first and last --
    but please don't let that stop you from thinking ahead.

    If you walk without rhythm, you'll never learn.

    Thank you, Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, and Cher.
Sometimes I think we should be sending out an SOS...
But mostly I just think of all the things I can't wait to see --

-Joe Jackson

When taking part in an interactive broadcast,
viewers need signals to let them know they have been
successful in their task. The feeling of being
involved in the program and the interest in the
outcome of the story can be reinforced by praise.
You need to know you have been successful, so
you can be confident in continuing to enjoy
the rest of the program.

PRAISE, from Design Patterns for i-Media
netpositive: (iconnerific)
Using the light, being dark,
Being the world,
You perfect harmony
And return to the Way.

-Tao Te Ching, "Becoming"

    I'm feeling more isolated than usual here at work.

    Internal teams and projects have been reorganized.
    And we're about to start a major additional effort
    without what seem to be adequate resources, and
    with what seems to be rather, er, belated planning.

    Even without being paranoid about some "nuances"
    or outcomes of choices being made - or not made -
    I feel uncomfortable with the current direction.

    I don't disagree with the basic concept, but
    I'm worried right now about our ability to execute
    everything well and on time - if we can at all.

    A number of my coworkers are very good people.
    Smart, hard-working, some offbeat senses of humor.
    They have made it bearable to be working in the midst
    of our normal state of blind chaos. But it feels like
    my efforts to help promote visibility or organize chaos
    have not borne any of the fruit I had hoped for yet -
    if they will at all. I know I've gotten a lot of credit
    for trying... but where do I trade in that credit now?

    And as the year fails, I am now looking for some sense of
    finished accomplishments, or of continued progress.

    I keep coming back to this quote that struck a chord,
    from the training sessions I attended last week:

    Automating chaos leads to faster chaos.
    -Dorothy Graham

    Where am I? Where do I go from here? How do I get there?

image behind cut )

I choose to stay grounded, and observe
my situation with compassion and detachment.
netpositive: (iconnerific)
My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.


images and text behind cut )
I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.
Whoever brought me here, will have to take me home.

-Rumi
netpositive: (firehand)
Be with those who help your being.
Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.
Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.

-Rumi

Looking up, at the sun, the moon, the clouds, the stars.
Looking forward, into the wind, the rain, and the darkness.
Looking out, for myself, and for others.
Looking around, just to see what I can see.

And looking at your eyes, hoping they see: me.

images and text behind cut )

Self-conscious, uncertain
I'm showered with the dust
The spirit enters into me,
And I submit to trust.

(Smash the radio
No outside voices here
Smash the watch
Cannot tear the day to shreds
Smash the camera
Cannot steal away the spirits
The rhythm is around me
The rhythm has control
The rhythm is inside me
The rhythm has my soul...)

-Peter Gabriel
netpositive: (iconnerific)
Lion: All right. I'll go in there
for Dorothy - Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch -
guards or no guards - I'll tear 'em apart.
Ohhh! I may not come out alive but I'm going in there.
There's only one thing I want you fellas to do...
Tin Man and Scarecrow: What's that?
Lion: Talk me out of it.


Last weekend, while the mice were away:
text behind cut )
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man: Courage!
Lion: You can say that again!
netpositive: (Default)
Left the book I'm reading on the kitchen counter -
along with the folder with the latest sketches.
Dropped off the blue shoes for reheeling and gluing.
Found out my favorite sandals can't be resoled.

Recreated all the sketches while standing in Metro.
Hit the ground running at work, and never stopped.
Delivered 12 screens covering all the public views
(finished them yesterday, proofread this morning).

Still refining the paper prototype templates further
before starting on designs from the latest sketches.
Reported a bug. Modified draft project plan template
and sent it on to the next person starting a project.

Answered questions about search, navigation, usability,
relevancy evaluation, scheduling, form design, and search.
Talked with my federal manager - have things to consider.

Finally remembered to update my timesheet for yesterday
(and last Friday, last Thursday, and last Wednesday...).
Admin designs from the latest sketches are not yet done
for presentation to client and users tomorrow at 3 PM...

Images behind cut... )

Who am I? Do you know? I do - but then I blink.
netpositive: (firehand)
Nothing ever goes away until
it has taught us what we need to know.

-Pema Chodron

Just do go ahead.
Another powerful mantra.

-George Dorn
    Is dreaming waking, or
    does it just lead to and from it?

    If I dream of Orange Line breakdowns and
    running on all fours on hot sticky asphalt
    to try to get anywhere; or if I dream of
    my favorite collaborator at work coming
    to me with one more idea/project and I find
    the words, "I can't do it, I'm too busy"
    come easily to my lips - but I wake up; or
    if I dream of The Last Italian as being
    a bit more thoughtful and concerned about me
    than he had usually been in real life, then
    where am I? Who am I? Which way am I going?

    Image behind cut )

    Dear Tir-na Nog'th aka Unconscious,

    Sorry there're so much stuff on (y)our plate(s)
    right now -- the hazards of complex patterns.
    Could you please refrain from sending anything
    more up the down escalator for the time being?
    We're just reflections, not separate storerooms.


    Forever yours in Amber,
    Conscious
The first step in this practice, then,
is to choose to see all of life as a classroom
filled with spiritual lessons. Be a lifelong learner
who walks in humility and with receptivity.

from Practice Teachers
netpositive: (Default)
Dealt with an unexpectedly difficult
meeting this morning, took some good
pictures, worked some on scheduling
and finances. Oh, and killed flies.
I'm afraid that I may have to give up my
Libertarian Discordian Taoist Union card
because of the last item. If flies want
to live, they really need to follow a
different path... one other than mine.

Trying to look up: pictures behind cut... )

And so what if I do write epic poetry at times?
That is for me to do, and you to wonder about.

"The sages may pronounce all [stress] to be
the folly of humanity. They are undoubtedly
right, but the words of the sages are too lofty
when we are scrounging in the dust for our
survival. Many of us must face these pressures,
at least for the moment. Even if we would like
a way out of this madness, we will not be able
to forsake society all at once."

Deng Ming-Dao

Folks (1)

Jun. 24th, 2004 01:17 am
netpositive: (Default)
Some random pix from the Washington Folk Festival:

Images behind cut... )
netpositive: (bluebells)
"If you see a whole thing - it seems that
it's always beautiful. Planets, lives....
But close up a world's all dirt and rocks.
And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired,
you lose the pattern."

Ursula K LeGuin, "The Princess"
    Work is currently crazy and busy and stressful.
    Outside of work, things feel disjointed - chaotic.
    Right now, my life feels full of tiny frustrations,
    bruised by collisions between my dreaming and my reality.
    I do try to make amusing stories out of them - with
    myself cast as the ruefully laughing goat - but inside
    I may be suffering from the contusions of daily life.
    Be gentle with your laughter. Be kind to my spirits!

    I need to remember to step a step back sometimes
    and to review all the paths that I am following.

    And I will value even my stumbles and bruises
    when they arise from fuller engagements between
    what my path is, and what I am trying to achieve.

    If the goal is overwhelming,
    it's okay to take baby steps.
    My goal is not just to survive,
    but to live.
POSITIVE RESPONSE TO FAILURE will be used only if
a viewer has failed to complete a task. It will follow
ENCOURAGEMENT AFTER DIFFICULTY.

-from Design Patterns for i-Media

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netpositive: (Default)
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