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Category: Life Notes

values, mindsets, finding your own meaning and mana

BLESSING FROM AN ELDER (Pete Seeger)

BLESSING FROM AN ELDER (Pete Seeger)

There once walked a gentle, funny, and very stubborn man, a musician who believed passionately in the power of people singing together out loud. It was his skill to induce crowds of friends and strangers to join their voices together and create transcendent harmonies that lifted up the people’s hearts and spirits and set the world to shining for a while, cloaked in visions of belonging, of unity, and of peace. With his long-necked five-stringed banjos, his 12-stringed guitars, and…

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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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SMALL TOWN * BIG ART ON THE ISLAND

SMALL TOWN * BIG ART ON THE ISLAND

One time a friend asked one of the old-timers who had lived his whole life on the island of Maui through the decades that made up the beginning of the end of the twentieth century what it was like to live his life in this place.  They were digging holes for pasture fence posts at the time. The island had gone through numerous transitions during that one lifetime.  Henry Burns had seen many of them. The laconic old man stopped…

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SWEET DRINK OF WATER

SWEET DRINK OF WATER

I like watching Judy Bruder be.  She is one of those people who seems to be comfortable in her own skin – what Hawaiians call being “pa’a”, grounded.  It does look lovely on her. Judy loves art.  She has a “good eye” for it and a warm tendency to nurture, celebrate and take delight in the people who make good art.  These tendencies of hers have stood her in good stead as she continues to develop and build her shop,…

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LEGACY-SCHMEGACY, KEEP ON WALKING

LEGACY-SCHMEGACY, KEEP ON WALKING

Lately I keep tripping over people who are either “building a legacy” or are trying to convince me that I should be doing one too.  It’s beginning to make me all kinds of grumpy. These strangers are telling me that my life will only have “meaning” if I do stuff that will somehow “impact the future” after I’m long-gone.  That one makes me scratch my head.   It’s even a bit intimidating. Me, I’m still walking towards my dream and I’m…

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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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