Saturday, May 28, 2005

Saying "No"...Eventually

Continuing on from an earlier post by Dwayne over at Genuine Curiosity (It's always about you isn't it?), I am currently working on not over extending myself - very challenging when one is fighting a lifetime of inculcated messages regarding pleasing others and not being too much of a fringe player. All experiences (it is late and I have a sunburn so excuse the broad strokes here) can be reduced to that age old maxim, "everything in moderation." The dreaded gray zone...welcome to that scary place where safe categories and set behaviours don't always apply. Sometimes the exception is the rule in this zone. The key will always be balance. My lesson? Take a deep breath, take stock of all I have promised of late, and then be reasonable about what I can accomplish, finally tucking into the long to-do list one item at a time.

Above all, I'll take the weekend to listen to some good music, enjoy the company of my myriad house guests and enjoy the blue skies as May ends in an explosion of summer weather.

Friday, May 27, 2005

What I am Doing this Weekend...

C'mon.... I just know you were wondering.

I work until 5:00 this evening, then after 5:00 I get changed really quickly into comfy clothes (I have an office job, so I usually wear business dress) and I run to yoga class where I meet Nigel. This Yoga class is called "restorative yoga" and feels like an hour and a half of heaven. The class is very meditative, and helps me focus on living in the moment....bliss!

Then, I am going to make my way home, maybe pick up some groceries on the way (I need bread, and eggs) eat dinner and work on scholarship applications.

Some of you may already know, that I am going back to school Aug 15. Here I am, 26 years old, with a good career job and enough savings for a down payment on my own home, and I am spending all the savings and leaving the "sure thing" that I have built for myself within my career in order to finish my Bachelors degree. I will be studying Applied Communications - which is directly related to business as it is a study of media, marketing, and all the ways people communicate. I think it is important that we learn how to deal with all the images that we are bombarded with in society. Think about it: From the moment we wake up in the morning until we shut our eyes at night, we are being marketed to, and not all marketing is benign. As an example, I will list all the images I see within the first 15 mins of waking up: Advertising on the toothpaste tube, on my cereal box, on the milk carton, on the coffee package, communications in the daily newspaper, sometimes the radio, the covers and spines of books and dvds on my bookshelf as I walk by on the way to the door. These all without leaving the house. So I am looking forward to learning how to navigate this "message jungle" and I look forward to sharing my findings with you.

Anyway, in order to facilitate my return to studies (tuition is very expensive) I will be completing scholarship applications this weekend. Some require answering a questionnaire. Most require that I write an essay. The upside of this is it will help me sharpen my communication skills before going to school. After writing 10 essays in a row, I will not have to worry about whether I am up to task as far as school assignments are concerned. If the scholarships don't work out for me (there actually aren't many out there for more "mature" learners - ie. not straight out of high school) I will apply for student loans. It will be scary, but hey, I'm already a little nervous making such a big change.


Other than Yoga and scholarship applications, I am having a visit from an out of town friend Saturday evening. I look forward to doing some catching up, and leaving the house for the evening for a night out. After all, all work and no play makes Jay grumpy :) and dull.

Thank You Rosa

Rosa Say has reviewed Renaissance Girl on Talking Story!!!!!!!!!

In order for some of my readers to understand how I feel about this let me draw up a comparison. Say I make a movie (could still happen) and it's just a little film for me which I don't really expect to have seen by anyone. Little by little, people start watching my film, but I still think "this is nice, but there aren't that many people seeing my film - no big deal." Then one day, I open the pages of Entertainment Weekly and I see that one of the important film critics, whose opinion I respect and read regularily has given me a glowing review.

This is the business blog equivalent of THAT.

And I am overwhelmed.

THANK YOU ROSA, for making me part of an amazing community of smart and talented people.

Thank you for the incredible review. You have inspired me to become a better writer, and a better person, and that is what the best coaches do.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Linking: Blogging Can Lead To Social Change

This morning, linking from Genuine Curiosity (Dwayne Melancon) to Ripples (David St. Lawrence) to BPG's Big Picture Small Office, I found myself drawn into the "Small Office" story. Below are a few choice quotes that resonated with me, pulled from a series of BPG's posts:

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. If the Elizabethans were an inspiration to Samuel Johnson, the author of these words, I have no doubt he would have found endless stimulation in the Small Office.

All of which proves that you don't have to understand something to debate it and you don't have to care about something to vote it down.

"The state has been taking liberties," said E.P. Thompson, a British socialist historian, "and these liberties were once ours."

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "Man's mind, stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions."

There is no better defense against the impact of a new idea than stupidity.

Note: another good reason to branch out and read new blogs...their link lists (thank you Dwayne and David).


TERRY WEBER asks, in today's issue of the Globe and Mail, are "Blogs moving Mainstream?" He cites "the results of a survey released Wednesday by research firm Ipsos."

The poll, which sought out the opinions of 2,537 American adults, found that about 30 per cent of on-line Americans had read a blog at least once.

Among those who regularly read blogs, 38 per cent said they clicked over to them at least once a week.

Although blogs have traditionally been viewed as hit-and-miss in terms of their reliability, the tide now appears to be turning.

Of those who said they read a blog at least once, more than half described them as either somewhat or very accurate.

"Blog readers are also more likely to judge other media sources more accurate than their non-blogging counterparts," the poll suggested.

About 54 per cent of blog readers felt the medium had an influence on public policy. Six in 10 said blogs were at least somewhat influential when it comes to mainstream media.

As if we needed reasons to write...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Movie Review

Ah Yes, It's movie review time, Boys and Girls. So without further adieu (and I'm sure Nigel can add two cents to this later) I bring you:

Renaissance Girl - MY MOVIE REVIEW (for those who wanted to know my opinion... If you don't then I'm not sure why you're still reading)

You may ask:
"What Movie did you see this week, Jay?"

To which I answer:
"What Movie did EVERYBODY see this week?"

And the answer is (cue John Williams music here) Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Incidentally, it's an interesting piece of trivia that Star Wars episode VI was originally entitled Revenge of the Jedi. Later, George Lucas changed it to Return of the Jedi, which I think was a good choice. The Sith are evil dark side of the force people - hence REVENGE Jedi though, are supposed to be all about restraint - so no revenge there, but I digress...
Anyway, so I went on the weekend to see this movie, and I must admit that I did not have very high hopes. Being a bit of a movie buff, I had always appreciated the technological advances in George Lucas' films, but like everybody else on the planet I was left wishing for better dialogue and more passionate performances. In fact, I think the only reason I decided to go to this final installment in the Star Wars trilogy of six (heh heh) was a lingering nostalgia for the three original films of my childhood. I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, there are bits of bad dialogue, and precarious directing choices. Overall though, this film is superior to episodes I and II, and fills out the story very well. I can almost believe that George Lucas did indeed have a cohesive vision of the series, because after watching episode III, episodes I and II became more watchable (and I'm not the only one who thinks so. James Bregman at the BBC agrees. Ian Mcdermid is excellent as Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine. Hayden Christiansen is surprisingly good as Anakin Skyalker getting his evil mojo on. Even Ewan Macgregor, who many people felt was a disappointment in the first two films, seems to have gained a renewed passion and energy for the role of Obi Wan Kenobi.

So there - for all the other nerds out there is my opinion on a movie I saw this weekend.
The force is with Episode III.....or something :)

Ooh for extra fun - or for the really Nerdy, check out Darth Vaders Blog (if you haven't already... But we know you secretly have..... C'mon, nourish your inner geek!)

Genuinely Inspired

Because this weblog is authored by two people (one more than the other – sorry Jay), Rosa Say kindly allowed our page two opportunities to offer a May lei. I was glad Jay received Scott Hodge’s blog,, to review as I read his work often and enjoy his thoughts on “Life. Leadership. Lattes.” My “assigned reading” was a blog I had not visited previously, Dwayne Melancon’s Genuine Curiosity. After reading the byline to this blog I wondered how I could have missed reading someone “always on the lookout for new things to learn.” I get a good feeling when someone states up front that they are open to learning. I get an even better feeling when, after a preliminary read, I notice that said author is not afraid to draw his lessons from diverse sources…Dwayne seems to be influenced by what he reads (Allen’s Getting Things Done), tunes into (The Apprentice), and absorbs from other bloggers (Christopher Bailey). I have enjoyed Dwayne’s fearlessness in sharing what he is learning, how he is learning, and, most of all, where he feels he needs to learn more. Everything from organizational tips to goal setting with his family, Dwayne appears to understand that to be a true teacher he must reveal to his audience that he is still very much the student. For me this provokes rapt attention and a belief that what I find at Genuine Curiosity will be stripped bare of self-promoting (or protecting) gloss that would otherwise obscure Dwayne’s intended meaning and advice. Dwayne does not try to set himself up as a wise leader but in his empathetic language and accessible posts he certainly elicits respect for his knowledge base... and a promise of repeat visits.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I'm not Fat, I'm just insecure!

I have a problem with the North American weight loss industry. This rant is brought to you by the New York Times, who had an article today discussing how people will spend their life savings and move to Durham, the so called "Diet Capital Of the World" in order to go on the "Rice diet" (apparently a favorite of many celebrities) and lose a few pounds. Apparently Durham's entire economy is reliant on the money these people bring into town.. WOW.

Now while I don't want the entire Durham economy to fail, I do think that the diet industry in general takes advantage of the insecurities of normal healthy people in a very negative way. Don't get me wrong - I think that if somebody eats junk food all the time and doesn't exercise, then they should get out of their chairs and do something, however the diet industry would not be the multi-million dollar industry it is without the buy-in of otherwise healthy people.

So, what we've got is an entire industry that makes its money of the irrational insecurities of regular people... You feeling depressed? Lose 10 pounds. Feel lonely? Lose 15 and then that cute guy/girl will notice you. Want to get ahead at the office? Lose 5 - your boss will be proud of you! And the problem is, we buy into this way of thinking so fully that it starts to work. Men prefer skinny women, even though 50 years ago they preferred curves. Pretty people get ahead at the office - at least in come customer service industries.

We can't allow ourselves to be healthy anymore - it's look like Renee Zelwegger or bust! (have no bust is more like it.) And Dr. Feelgood will sell you some snake oil that will cure what ails you and make you beautiful from the comfort of your own couch and we buy it. Think about it: Cellulite creams, diet bars, diet pills, metabolism enhancers, the zone diet, the atkins diet, the south beach diet, the grapefruit diet, liposuction, stomach stapling, fasting, slim fast, jenny craig, weight watchers, the DR PHIL diet, the Oprah diet....

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Critical Mass

If you live in British Columbia, Canada: have you voted yet?

Did you know that your employer must provide full-time employees with 4 “clear” hours of time in which to vote? Therefore, as the polls are open from 8am to 8pm, if you work from 9-5 you are entitled to leave work an hour early or you could have started work 3 hours late. Sorry I didn’t write this post earlier…to employers: I am not trying to take advantage of the ‘system’ but merely inform employees of their rights [I voted before work today and did not miss any time – but I live in the downtown core so I did not need time to reach my local polling station nor did I have any familial responsibilities, etc. that would have made reaching that polling station, in my off-time, difficult]. If you, as an employer, did tell your employees about this option, good for you and please continue the good work by reading Rosa Say and learning numerous other methods for remaining an empathetic manager.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The Unspoken North American Class Divide

From the New York Times: "Life at the Top in America Isn't Just Better, It's Longer"

Basically, they follow three different people, who all had heart attacks at the same time, and are from three different income brackets. As expected: the rich guy gets better medical care than the poor woman, but perhaps more surprising: The rich guy actually ends up in better health AFTER the heart attack. Interesting article.

It is all a part of a series the New York times is putting out which is exploring class divides in America. I'm really looking forward to further installments in this series, and reading the first couple of articles has got me thinking.

In North America, most of us live the "American Dream" ie. No matter who you are, if you work hard enough you can live the good life. It's easy to see why this idea is so seductive to people. Corporations and governments like it, because belief in it makes happy and productive workers. The working class and the poor like it because they hope for a better life in the future. The rich probably don't think about it much - they're already living the good life.

It's good to want to be more than you are, but I think that the American dream is a fallacy because it's really not that easy. Studies have shown that climbing from lower to upper class income levels just doesn't happen too often. And why should it. If you are struggling to put food on the table, you often don't have alo of time or energy left at the end of the day for anything else.

I think that North America's blatant refusal to admit that we have a fully functional class system is making things worse. In Europe, it is actually easier for people to live the American Dream of increasing your income bracket. And Europe is KNOWN for being classist if anything. I think the key to this lies in denial. Europe has always been very open about it's class problems. America says "no... we don't have those problems here - we are the land of opportunity!" And in refusing to admit to a problem, suddenly has no problem to deal with, and so nothing gets done.

The result: A Chambermaid, making 21,000 has a heart attack and is sent to the hospital here the rich man decided not to go. She receives sub-par care there, and the rest of her life is saddled with a whole host of health problems. She can't work, and can't afford a home of her own. The Rich man, meanwhile is happily retired and healthier than ever. I'm not sure the american dream is really working out for everybody in this scenario

Friday, May 13, 2005


What would happen if no one in Canada voted in our, obviously, impending Spring Federal election; a larger than life statement that we, as a Nation, are tired of the bullshit? If those we voted in cannot get it together to do the work they were hired to do then maybe it is time they all packed up their office work minutia and pissed off. I just read this article about another day given over to in-fighting…

Although the above paragraph and fact that I am uncomfortably attired today (I’m a little behind on laundry so I am wearing too tight jeans from yesteryear) would lead one to believe that I am in a bad mood this morning, such is not the case. I have been feeling pretty light this week because I have been noticing little moments of real connection with my community. Regularly I bemoan the fact that I have been in this small city for far too long; wouldn’t it be the solution to all my woes if only I were to live in a foreign country, etc, etc. I have been trying to be in the present more and in so doing I can see the beauty in the here and now.

For sanity’s sake I need to practice this ‘awake in the moment’ way of being because I will be here for awhile, paying off debts, establishing myself in my chosen field. If constantly desiring to escape, my energy to live well – now - is diluted.

So I want to thank café servers (here and here) for remembering me, saying, “hello,” and giving me a free coffee every once in awhile…local venues and organisation chapters for hosting great lectures…and new and old friends for instilling in me a sense of joie de vivre. And thank you again Rosa for including me in an online community which inspires me to be present.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

My May Aloha

As part of our Ho'ohana online community, Rosa has asked me to send a lei of Aloha out to fellow bloggers in the community with a review (another grea Rosa!) I have been given the immense pleasure of reviewing Scott Hodge.

I knew that this exercise was going to be a good one when I readScott's byline. Anyone who writes about "life, leadership and lattes" is definitely a person after my own heart. Upon reading more of Scott's blog, what really struck me was his tremendous enthusiasm. No matter what he is reviewing: A new CD, a book he's reading or even web-based teleconferencing, he brings an infectious joy to his writing. The web based meeting post is a particular favorite. Who knew meetings could be so exciting?

One of his more recent posts about his passion for leadership called "Inspiring Others" is really worth checking out. Here is another example of the infectious enthusiasm I mentioned:

"He left inspired. And so did I. And I also left reminded of the fact that no matter how complex our jobs as leaders get - there is nothing that can replace reaching inside the heart of another individual and inspiring them to greatness. There really is nothing like it"

What a great sentiment.

Scott also brings his own spirituality out into the open in his posts. I can see that his church is one of the most important aspects of his life, and it is nice to hear him talk so openly about his beliefs. On this topic, I especially liked his recent post on "Cultural Christianity" An open discussion about how sometimes the church can sometimes drive young people away without meaning to.

But it's not only Scott's more recent posts (and a beautiful new blog format I see!) that are worth checking out. I clicked my way into his old blog and found many great posts there too.

Thanks Scott, for making my day a little brighter. Your enthusiasm is always welcome at Renaissance Girl!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Seth Godin has this to say about the limiting qualities of fear:

"Fear of failure is actually overrated as an excuse. Why? Because if you work for someone, then more often than not, the actual cost of the failure is absorbed by the organization, not you. If your product launch fails, they’re not going to fire you. The company will make a bit less money and will move on.
What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism.
We don’t choose to be remarkable because we’re worried about criticism. We hesitate to create innovative movies, launch new human resource initiatives, design a menu that makes diners take notice or give an audacious sermon because we’re worried, deep down, that someone will hate it and call us on it.
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” “What a waste of money.” “Who’s responsible for this?”
Sometimes, the criticism doesn’t even have to be that obvious. The fear of, “I’m surprised you launched this without doing more research…” is enough to get many people to do a lot more research, to study something to death and then kill it. Hey, at least you didn’t get criticized."

I think we all understand deeply the paralysis that is created by that kind of fear. As artists, writers, business people, human beings even - we all have felt that sinking feeling of not being liked.

So how do e move past that feeling, to a place where we can be creative and remarkable? One of my very wise friends (also an artist) told me to play.

He said "when a child is playing in the sandbox, do they worry whether the sandbox likes what they are doing?"

Play is very creative. You use your imagination and also turn off that destructive little voice inside that says you don't measure up. This combination of letting yourself go and turning off your inner critic is the best environment for becoming remarkable, or realizing your inner artist.

So be a kid. Play in the sandbox.

In fact, that has become my new "mantra" ever since my friend gave me those words of advice. When my fear of criticism rears its ugly head I think to myself "sandbox" and allow myself to play.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Observation as Isthmus: Connecting Seeing/Listening with Understanding

Evelyn Rodriguez, at Crossroads Dispatches, writes an interesting post on observation after a reader of her blog describes her as a “New Age Californian”:

Basically, he was scanning his repertoire of worldviews and his frames of references to "figure" me out. I'm only picking on him because it is the umpteenth time of late I've personally experienced this pinning down.

The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. - Paul Cezanne

We all do this all the time. One of the functions of the brain is to filter and pattern match: oh, yes table, not new information. No need to process its texture, the craftsmanship, the woodgrain, or to touch this one. Table, check, done.

I am including a large portion of her post because I do not want to dilute her meaning here:

Before we concoct stories - and many marketers are fairly proficient at creating, telling and spreading stories - we could use a refresher course in observation and listening.

Observe all men, thyself most. - Benjamin Franklin

Observation is especially key at the fuzzy front end of marketing - at the innovation stage. Even more cost-draining and time-consuming than the wrong sales pitch is if you built your entire product on the wrong premise.

Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes. - Thomas Wentworth Higginson

One of the most challenging skills in the world has got to be seeing things from the perspective of the customer, the employee, the partner, the supplier, the person sitting on the other side of the table from you – because we are constantly filtering everything through our own perspective and making unconscious, assumptive leaps about others based on our perspectives, our decision-making framework, our autobiographies, our experiences with others beforehand, and our frame of reference.

I made a promise to keep a watch over myself, to remain master of myself, so that I might become a sure observer. - Paul Gauguin

This is a big topic and this post can't do justice to it. One helpful practice is to practice observing - versus thinking - when you are in any one-on-one with another person. It's called bare attention by Buddhists. Observing is not thinking. You note, register, observe mentally what's arising moment by moment. You're not thinking "about", needing to do something "with", and most importantly not comparing or putting things in relation to anything. You can always do the analysis later.

In Anthropology this is called “participant observation” or, tangentially, being “culturally relative.”

Rodriguez’s discussion inspired me to put the above into practice when I am ‘assessing’ myself. How often do we attempt to categorize ourselves and find the result to be a cramming of our unique character traits into a pre-formulated standard that does not accurately represent the diversity of ‘us’? How many of us are truly observing ourselves? If we do not know ourselves or are mislabelling ourselves, how can we possibly hope to have the inner compass/context to observe the other?

Friday, May 06, 2005

Lack of Focus

Yesterday I received a new project at work and, even though overwhelmed, I felt a little hopeful that this would be an exercise to spark a real surge of productivity, especially in my more involved, mainstay project...not to mention adding a much need jolt of energy to my normal work day.

And then I went home and checked my personal email.

There was a message from someone I was once involved with and who I had thought would just fade away (great distances involved). And now I am thinking about the last time we saw each other and fantasizing about future possibilities.

Today's life project: research ways to stay in the present. Step 1 = perspective; step 2 = a Friday session of Hatha yoga.

If anyone has more, tangible steps for me to take I would appreciate hearing from you...I have checked out Christopher Bailey's post today which reminds his readers of one of his archived post titled, "Wandering and Getting Unstuck."

When I finished speaking I distributed a handout with some quick ideas for getting "unstuck" which I think are useful for anyone feeling this way. They're loosely based on ideas from the book Unstuck by Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro.

Idea #1: Clarify your Purpose
Before you get to the doing, figure out what drives you. Ask yourself: Why do you exist? What must you contribute in order to achieve not only success but significance? Make the task of defining your purpose an act that rejuvenates you. And remember to keep it brief: brevity creates even greater clarity.

Idea #2: Create YOUR Headline from the Future
Stories are powerful tools for generating energy and excitement. Create a newspaper headline from a future date. What will it say about all you have achieved? Now think: step by step, how will you get there?

Idea #3: Create a Haven for Free Thinking
Your environment holds great power over the way you think. If you’re stuck, find a place that’s new and claim it as your haven for free thinking. This could be a local park, a museum, a coffee shop. It should be a place that reignites your thoughts and imagination.

Kathy Sierra from Headrush wrote something the other day that really inspires me to appreciate what I have to offer in my work world and the "real" world in general:

According to James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds, that lack of diversity can hurt both innovation and decision-making. Sometimes with terrible consequences.

But he contends that it's not necessarily the lack of demographic diversity that's at the heart of the problems... it's cognitive diversity you need. If those doing the hiring are going after only world-class, exceptionally bright people with similar skills, the differences between the Chosen Ones may not be that useful. He claims the company needs to hire not just only the smartest people!

So, it is ok that I am an emotional flake? I may come up with some amazing, original, mind-blowing contribution anyway...because I am an emotional flake?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Sushi with Jay

I was handed a new project today and, although it dovetails nicely with the project I am currently swimming in, I feel a bit overwhelmed. Mostly this comes from my fear that I will be found out at any minute - I am an impostor who cannot actually handle this writing sucks, etc. So, I am going to take a deep breath (or three), have a sushi lunch with Jay to center myself and dive in. Taking my cue from Rosa Say I will celebrate the uniqueness of today's date and attempt to flush limiting thoughts from my mind while exercising my production of the positive.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Because I Believe in Balance

Here's some positive thoughts to contrast my somewhat less than cheery post from yesterday. Rosa Say at Talking Story noticed something very special about today. The date 05-05-05 is not something that happens often. In order to commemorate this, Rosa decided to make a list of things to do with three sets of zeros and fives and said:

"This is a great day to make things happen instead of letting them happen to you."

I want to to nip over and read her list for yourself, but I have added to it with one of my own - some thoughts to take with you on this unique day:

0: non constructive complaints

5: emails or phone calls to reconnect with people you haven't spoken with for awhile.

0: worries about the future today - remember that life is full of possibilities instead.

5: big smiles to people you've never met, like people you pass on the street.

0: self criticism, instead- every time you look in the mirror today admire...

5: great things about yourself

Cheers to all! And Mahalo to Rosa!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I'm Dissatisfied today.

-Why? You ask.

I'm not sure.

-Then let it go.

I tried that already, it hasn't worked yet.

-Well, what's really bothering you?

I don't know, I'm dissatisfied, and grouchy. Everything I experience today is clouded by a field of negativity. Even listening to the things my friends say, I automatically start to judge and criticize internally.

-That's a dangerous place to be.

I know. When I feel this start to happen I pull back, readjust my thinking and move on. The difference about today is that I've had to do this continually.

-And is it working?

Well, I'm trying to be open-minded, but I still feel dissatisfied. Like something isn't quite right.

-Change something then.

But what? It's just a general dissatisfaction, a sort of bleah feeling.

- Well, change what you can. Sit differently. Mix things up a bit.


-Write about it - purge it from your system. Vent and then move on.



I understand what Nigel was getting at in earlier posts: How in the Western world when you are feeling unsatisfied you almost feel guilty. We have so much here, we should appreciate what we have and not let the ugly feeling of dissatisfaction creep in. There are millions of people in the world who would trade places with me in an instant. I know that. I also think about one of Chris Bailey's recent posts: You Can't Always Get what you want:

"However, what happens when we don't get what we want? How do we respond? Sadly, I've been known to shake my fist at the heavens and complain about the unfairness of it all. I've also been told that I can be a bit melodramatic at times, as well.
Just maybe there's greater learning in not having our desires completely met. Okay, obviously. But, often getting to the core of that learning takes patience and an openness to considering other possibilities. Take time to slow down, get curious, and reflect on what's there. Because you may not get what you want, but you do get what you need."

I think it is ok to be Dissatisfied. I also think that there is additional learning to be had in riding out our dissatisfaction- looking deeper into what we really do need (as Chris says) and honoring the little voice inside ourself which is trying to tell us that maybe something isn't right (even if it's not the something we think it is.

Cuz I try, and I try, and I try and I try... but I can't get no satisfaction.... today.
But I can try to listen to myself to feel better tomorrow

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


While I would like to say I have been crazy busy and hence the recent lag in posting, I cannot make excuses for this bout of motivation-lag. However, I caught the last few minutes of a CBC (I think - it was late, my apologies for the lack of sourcing) program showcasing the work of Bellona. I want to direct people to their work because not only was the basic strategy of "one foot in front of the other" highlighted as the way to tackle mountainous jobs/problems/tasks but their work was presented with an underlying sense of hope. I was surprised because the program was focused on nuclear waste and its disposal and had the potential to be a horrifying piece informing viewers on the sad state of affairs. Instead, I was left feeling hopeful that there was a group of people out there committed to working on this issue and that there was a place for ALL OF US to contribute. I am a big fan of straightforward problem presentation with tangible solution possibilities.

Probably because I have a hard time doing this in my own life.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Don't Panic

I have just finished reading "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" for the third time, and yesterday I watched the movie of the same name. Douglas Adams, may he rest in peace, was a brilliant man, an incredibly funny man, and light years ahead of his time (which is only fitting for an author of the hitchikers guide to the galaxy n'est pas?)

While I originally enjoyed the books for their unique humour, I think the older I get, the more I appreciate the irreverent and absurd ways that the hitchiker books approach the "ultimate question of life the universe and everything". From narrating the thoughts of a bowl of petunias or a sperm whale as they materialize in the air and fall to certain death, to perfectly expressing the pain and horror of REALLY BAD POETRY, Mr. Adams essentially tells us: "So you have no idea why you're here or what it all means, so what? Just look around you at the weirdness of life, have a good laugh and a cup of tea and stop taking everything so seriously" Or this is what the books say to me anyway (yes, it's true, I talk to books.)

Lesson 1: we learn is DON'T PANIC - a good life lesson, really
Lesson 2: The answer to life, the universe and everything is 42 - you should have asked what the question is.
Lesson 3: Nothing makes sense, and sometimes strange and troubling things happen so you might as well roll with the punches and enjoy yourself.

SO, Don't panic, never stop seeking/asking important questions, and don't forget to have fun.

There you have it folks, the Tao of Adams.

I'm sure everybody in the world has read the Hitchhiker books by now. If you haven't yet, get thee to a bookstore. If you have but it was a long time ago: read them again, you can thank me tomorrow.

The movie is a little different from the book, but I think effectively keeps within the spirit of the books, and is done in a way that honours Douglas Adams' original. The casting is inspired and they keep the irreverent tone - In fact all entries from the actual guide are repeated pretty much verbatim.

So there you are my movie/book review/life philosophy.

Renaissance Girl: more than just a blog - it's a way of life :)