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Category: Skillful Means

skills and tools for developing mastery and fostering creativity

NAME IT, GAME IT (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

NAME IT, GAME IT (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

Hawaiians have a saying: “In the word, is life; in the word, is death.” As a poet and a writer, I believe in the power of words.  It’s a part of the nature of the scribblers in the world, that.  We believe our words make a difference. No, I lie.  Real writers and poets believe we are magicians who remake the world. When all is said and done, it seems to me, all of us humans are little more than…

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USE YOUR RESOURCES TO FIND YOUR WHY

USE YOUR RESOURCES TO FIND YOUR WHY

Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  an understanding that what you already have is the starting point for building the space where you want to be.  [Gather your resources and see what you’ve got.  What you choose to use and how you choose to use them breathes life and form and definition into the Why you are already living.] The Light of My Light (LOML) and I made some “What-Get Soup” again the other day.  The soup is a throwback to…

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CANCEL THE SEARCH FOR THE ONE TRUE SELF

CANCEL THE SEARCH FOR THE ONE TRUE SELF

Despite assorted life-coach advisories and dictums, I have never actually found the search for and contemplation of my own self particularly interesting.  When you’re adept at making (and living) in stories and poems, searching for your one “true” self seems like a waste of time. Delphic pronouncements about the importance of “knowing thyself” are fine, but then there’s that New Age-y corollary that says you have to also embrace and love that self unconditionally or something.  This last bit is…

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CHECK YOUR FILTERS: Roadmaps and Story

CHECK YOUR FILTERS: Roadmaps and Story

The thing about living your life as a poem or a story or any other kind of art is that there’s got to be a theme to the thing.  (It’s one of the rules, according to grade school English and art teachers when it comes to analyzing some bit of self-expression.) This online dictionary I am looking at tells me that a theme is “an idea that recurs or pervades a work of art or literature.”  It’s how you make…

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HELP SEEDS FULFILL THEIR PROMISE

HELP SEEDS FULFILL THEIR PROMISE

One of my favorite quotes about seeds comes from writer-filmmaker-cum-social entrepreneur Kenny Ausubel who co-founded Seeds of Change with his wife Nina Simon in 1989.  The seed- growing company’s mission, “to restore ‘backyard diversity’ into the food web through marketing organic, biodiverse heirloom seeds to gardeners,” continues to this day. Around the same time that Ausubel was doing that, he was also helping to put together Bioneers, a non-profit group that holds an annual conference which, it says here, functions…

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TRANSMUTE THE ANGER TRIFECTA (Another IPS)

TRANSMUTE THE ANGER TRIFECTA (Another IPS)

Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  an understanding that anger energy can be used to unify rather than divide.  [Anger is a wake-up call, a signal that change is needed.  If you can respect other people’s ways of dancing while working towards making room to do your own dance, the anger can lead to more understanding, communication, and caring.  Not easy, but doable….] Three ‘R’s make up the Anger Trifecta:  Resentment, Rage, and Regret.  We all know that.  And almost every…

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OTHER VOICES: Grace Iwashita Taylor

OTHER VOICES: Grace Iwashita Taylor

New Zealand’s Grace Iwashita-Taylor is a Shaper and a poet. She lives her life as a single mother, as a loving daughter trying to deal with the realities and challenges of her beloved mother’s decline into dementia and as a youth worker in a place that is one of the most expensive places to live on the planet. She is also an award-winning spoken word and published poet, playwright, and performer. The poet’s upu (words) circle around and around the…

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SHAPING IS BUILT ON ACCEPTANCE

SHAPING IS BUILT ON ACCEPTANCE

Okay.  Almost everybody agrees:  we humans can shape our own worlds.  All we have to do is make the choices that help us get to our own bright and happy place. Making choices, deciding where and how we want to go, is our best and brightest super-power, it says here. So, why does it keep going glongy?  Every time we use this supposed super-power of ours, why is it that the options we choose rarely transport us over the threshold…

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LET THERE BE LIGHT (The Power of Small)

LET THERE BE LIGHT (The Power of Small)

Very often it is the little things that make a big difference in lives that are lived on the edge. In poorer parts of a city, where people’s homes often do not have access to reliable electrical service and where windows that let in light might be a bad idea in terms of home security, people either spend a lot of time outside their unlighted homes or use open fires, candles or oil lamps as light sources.  These can be…

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MAKE ROOM FOR CHANGE (Another IPS)

MAKE ROOM FOR CHANGE (Another IPS)

New year, new start, new plan, but same old you.  Ai-yah!  It’s the perennial conundrum that! At the start of every new year, it’s “traditional” for those of us who follow the 365-day Gregorian calendar to make some sort of list of resolutions at the start of the new year.  Many of us do. We start the process by reviewing our actions and our lives over the past year. Self-flagellation ensues.  Some of us pull out special whips for the…

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