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Category: Skillful Means

skills and tools for developing mastery and fostering creativity

TAKE OPPORTUNE ACTION (Another IPS)

TAKE OPPORTUNE ACTION (Another IPS)

Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  a tendency to take action opportunely.  Not tied to past accomplishments, not attached to any outcomes, you’re free to take effective action.  [It’s another water thing, I am thinking.  If you watch a stream, you notice that the water moves the best way it can over, under, around…and gets to the sea eventually just doing that.  Cool.]

I bet you’ve heard it a time or two, the old chestnut about how “timing is everything.”

I bet you’ve noticed that there are times when everything you do is magic.  It all works.  The pieces easily slide into place and the thing you’re doing takes off, dragging you along with it.

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DO WHAT COMES NATURALLY (CREATIVITY = ANTICIPATION + CHOICE)

DO WHAT COMES NATURALLY (CREATIVITY = ANTICIPATION + CHOICE)

All the wise guys say it:  Creativity is a human birthright.

As long as you’re human, they say, you have the capacity to “consciously relate and participate in the world” and, out of that, you make stuff that affects the world and everything and everyone around you.

Even the guys in lab coats agree.  The main thing that distinguishes us humans from the other critters wandering around on the planet is our jones for seeing and solving problems.

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ALIVE AND WELL (THANK YOU VERY MUCH)

ALIVE AND WELL (THANK YOU VERY MUCH)

This was supposed to be an easy “nyah-nyah-nyah” sort of post.

My plan was to crow about how, despite multitudinous prognostications to the contrary (all those declarations that “OMG!  Poetry is dead, Dead, DEAD”), piling words together and mixing them up continues to flow unabated through the world, continues to move and heal a multitude of hearts, continues to evolve and grow and change even in this, our digitally enhanced post-modern world.

No extinction is in sight.

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SEE THE WHOLE GLASS (AND USE IT)

SEE THE WHOLE GLASS (AND USE IT)

We know the cliché – the glass with the water and the accompanying question delivered by some snot of a snippet:  Is the glass half-full or is it half-empty?

We think we know what the guys in the white coats say about choosing one thing over the other means too.

Over and over we’ve been told that if you say the glass is half-full, then you are probably an optimist.  If you say the glass is half-empty, then you’re a pessimist.

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PRESS PAUSE AND GO FOR CLARITY

PRESS PAUSE AND GO FOR CLARITY

For more than 20 years now, I’ve beaten my head against the concept of wu-wei, an esoteric bit of a mind-boggle that underlies a lot of the Taoist way of walking.

What to say about wu-wei?  Even trying to describe it makes the people doing the explaining dizzy.

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HOW TO LIVE WISDOM

HOW TO LIVE WISDOM

In 2011, a video of a kid speechifying after learning to ride a bike went viral.  His dad “interviewed” him after his accomplishment, asking him whether he had any “words of wisdom” for all the other kids who wanted to ride a bike.

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HONORING IMPERMANENCE

HONORING IMPERMANENCE

One of the wisest thoughts I’ve ever encountered about impermanence is this one from English writer W. Somerset Maugham’s novel, THE RAZOR’S EDGE:

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” 

It reminds me of a Hawaiian aesthetic that holds that beauty is made more precious when we understand that it is ephemeral and will not last.

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PRACTICE THE GIFT YOU WANT TO BE

PRACTICE THE GIFT YOU WANT TO BE

All of us with inclinations for tinkering with our own heads and playing around with the structure of our lives seem to be prone to spending at least some time wandering around “looking for ourselves.”

It’s like somehow, in the press of living, we have lost our own “True Self” (a.k.a. “TS”) and like the person who’s misplaced her glasses, we wander around hoping to notice that TS sitting on a shelf or something.

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PLAY A MEAN PINBALL (YES YOU CAN)

PLAY A MEAN PINBALL (YES YOU CAN)

For weeks now I’ve been hung up on the saga of the resurgence of Pinball — that American-made quintessential mix of skill, chance, and enticingly challenging distraction in a glassed-in box that swept up the world and wrapped it up in the epitome of American “cool” and then nearly got killed off by the advent and rise of the now-ubiquitous video game.

The pinball industry lay there gasping at the end of the 20th century.

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