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Category: Skillful Means

skills and tools for developing mastery and fostering creativity

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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REVAMP ROUTINES (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

REVAMP ROUTINES (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

It’s a perennial bit of advice from most of the entrepreneurial advisers and advocates of DIY bootstrapping in the world to get yourself organized by working out routines and systems of routines that will help you get ‘er done and help facilitate your making that run towards your dream. It does work. It has occurred to me more than once that we humans are routine-building fools.  For some of us the whole routine-building thing may even be automatic. We can…

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SHAPING 101: Your Body Moves Your Mind

SHAPING 101: Your Body Moves Your Mind

I have some most excellent, scientifically correct news:  We humans are a lot more than big old naked brains riding around in vehicles that are kind of like animated meatballs with feet.  I have to admit that is a bit of a relief.  (I like albondigas in their place, but life, it seems to me, is more than a tapas bar.) All during my growing-up years, I was dragged kicking and screaming into the prevalent paradigms that told me that my…

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SHAPER CHALLENGE (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

SHAPER CHALLENGE (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

John Milton (an English poet who wrote epic poems in the 17th century) once wrote: “The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.” Milton did call it right.  All of us humans do have one super-power.  Every single one of us can shape our own reality and make up our own world.  It’s why we find everybody else’s stories so fascinating, I suppose. Because we each have our own…

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BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (PART 6): WAYFARING

BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (PART 6): WAYFARING

I didn’t get it; really, I didn’t.  It took a long time, but finally a light dawned.  The whole pseudo-argument about Life being a “journey” rather than a “destination” is a crock. I mean, think about it.  How can you have a “journey” without having a “destination?”  It’s sort of a package deal. If you’re a tourist yearning to go traveling, you’ve got all kinds of professionals – a whole industry — trying to help you find a way to…

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