virtualDavis

\ˈvər-chə-wəlˈdā-vəs\ Blogger, storyteller, flâneur. G.G. Davis, Jr's alter ego…
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Illiterate: Lost Narratives

Discourse is dead. Soundbite hypnosis prevails. We’ve forgotten how to hear, watch, and read the lost narratives that swim around us, that weave us together. We’ve forgotten.

The lion's head from the side of the lost and found bin... (Photo: virtualDavis)

The lion’s head from the side of the lost and found bin…

Or we’ve chosen to forget, to be illiterate, to ignore the narratives. Chosen to muddle them, to mask them, to distort them.

This is what I see when my optimism is smudged with soot and grease. This is what I was seeing when I came across Tim Akimoff’s thoughts on lost narratives. Or narrative illiteracy.

The saddest thing in the whole world right now is that we’re illiterate.

We’ve lost our sense of narrative. We only remember a few basic things, and into these things we try to cram every thing that makes us happy or sad.

If they fit nicely, we are comforted. If they don’t fit nicely, we re-write them or try to bury them…

The world is full of narratives. It is not ours to decide if they fit something we already understand…

It is ours to listen, to read, to watch. To look beyond the craftsmanship of story to the truths that tie us all together into one big, ugly, beautiful tribe…

And sometimes ours is to suffer in the lack of knowledge. Sometimes ours is to feel, with others, the tragedy that defies explanation. This too is story. (The Narrative, by Tim Akimoff on October 28, 2014, Medium)

Perhaps we can create a lost and found bin for narratives. Perhaps we are that bin… And we can filter through the lost narratives, listening and feeling, even suffering, the truths. And then perhaps we will wipe the smudge from our optimism with a hankie. And sally forth!

Flow, Process and Collaboration

Be driven, but be realistic, and create a culture based on flow, process and collaboration, not work heroism. (Medium)

Sometimes life rhymes. And sometimes it’s difficult to explain exactly why. Why did I stumble across Stef Lewandowski‘s thoughtful reflection on the heavy costs of overworking, “What gets done is what gets done“, and why now?

Why did I just happen to dip into this while scanning the Medium Editor’s Picks? Right as I’ve been deep thinking this whole matter of triumphal solo workathons (and shortfalls, setbacks, etc.)? And why did it coincide with a couple of spontaneous social media exchanges with peers on the very same topic?

Daunted by too much rain, rain, rain, it's tim...

Fearless flow, process and collaboration…

Poetry. Sometimes life rhymes. The message may be as difficult interpret as a summer mirage, but for a glimmering instant we stumble upon mesmerizing clarity.

A little more than halfway through the year isn’t such a bad time to reevaluate priorities and goals. Maybe even to rotate the map slightly. Or turn it upside down to doodle a fresh map…

Stef@stef) is cofounder of Makeshift (@makeshift), a cool “new type of company that makes digital products that ‘give a leg up to the little guy’“. Smart concept. Smart team. London-based. They built Bitsy to make it easy and affordable for you to sell your digital stuff, Help Me Write so you can tap your audience for guidance on what to write about, and Hire My Friend so can explore new work possibilities with help from your friends.

It’s all the more compelling to be reminded by a smart, hardworking overachiever who thrives in perennial start-up mode that we need to unplug. That we need to work smart. And that means that sprinting 24×7 because we have to (and because it often yields ace results, and because everyone has come to expect Energizer bunny tempo from us, and — let’s be 100% honest — because it’s a really addictive!) isn’t such a good idea. Not in the long term. Nor even the sort of middle term. It’s a fast track to burn out. It’s taken me most of my life to acknowledge this. To accept this. And to envision (and begin drafting) a new map.

The frustration and drive that you feel around what you’re working on is a good thing – it gives you motivation and direction, but it’s important to be grown up about it too. There is only so much that humans can achieve in a period of time, and by accepting this fact I’ve found that I’m able to create an environment where I feel more relaxed, creative and inspired than I’ve managed to be in before.

The result is that I, and my team are being smart about how we spend our time, rather than back-filling with a resource that we shouldn’t be using up—our personal time. (Medium)

Time. Timing. It’s one of the essential ingredients in poetry.

And life.

And work.

So are flow and process. Ideally. Though not always. Thanks, Stef, for the timely reminder. And thanks for building tools that help out with the collaboration part too.

Time for fearless flow, process and collaboration. Time to add bold lines and colors to my new map…

A Place to Relax

Calm.com "A Place to Relax"

Calm.com “A Place to Relax”

Sometimes (like this morning) I need a reminder to unplug, unwind, untether, and drift.

Mindfulness meditation. A bike ride. Windsurfing. Pruning fruit trees. Gardening. Walking. Alone. Maybe my dog. And whatever critters I happen upon.

But sometimes I push it back. Again. And again. Until I finish this project. This phone call. This email. This errand.

Calm? Relax? Are you kidding? When? Where? How?

Sometimes it’s challenging to leave time for calm. Time to relax. Time to drift…

A Place to Relax

There’s no longer any excuse. Two minutes. Or ten if you’re feeling decadent. That’s all it takes at calm.com, “a place to relax”.

Simple.

Try it now.  Find your calm.

Update

Curiosity got the better of me. Who are the good folks behind calm.com? No About Us page and no hint of a link to any company or person kind enough to help me uncrank. My dear friend, Twitter, offered some help where @calmdotcom is engaging in dialogue with fans including this exciting update.

@ hi guys, I love your website, why don't you make also a 20 min relaxation? thanks for your work
@paolo_roganti
Paolo Roganti
@ hi, we are going to add a 20 minute session really soon - hang tight!
@calmdotcom
calm.com

That’s good news indeed. Although twenty minutes is probably a bigger slice of time than most visitors will dedicate. Quick calm. Calm on demand. These are the sizzle in the steak for an online meditation coach. Twenty minutes is enough time to de-velcro my posterior from my desk chair and head out into real nature, birds, water flowing. But it’s nice nevertheless, if for no other reason than it shows they’ve been receiving positive feedback and encouragement to roll out a longer format meditation.

A few other recent accolades to pass along via Twitter to reinforce the good vibe before I ask an innocent question that might be perceived as cynical. It’s not, of course. ;-)

Any morning that is insanely hectic leads me to http://t.co/8rGnSwAs for a break to restart and recharge.
@NationHahn
Nation Hahn
You have to appreciate a CEO sending a company email telling everyone to take a few minutes off with http://t.co/klFPTTSe
@nateknox
Nate Knox
Just finished a double session on @. It's amazing. I can still see and hear nature even when I've been too busy to go for a hike.
@K4tycakes
Katy Elizabeth
http://t.co/cC8Y6rBe could be a way for people to build a meditation habit while at work, the place where most people need it most.
@VictorMathieux
Victor Mathieux

Hmmm… Lots of calm.com love. Now time for my question: Is there a connection to bcalm wellness drink? Not sure. A few suggestions, but no confirmation.

Mashable‘s Stephanie Haberman believes that calm.com is the most relaxing 2 minutes you’ll spend online:

In the frenetic, crazy, digital world we live in, sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and smell the roses. Calm.com, a relaxation therapy website, gives the stressed-out masses a place to relax… Try it. Your sanity level will be glad you did. (Mashable)

And The Inquisitr ‘s James Johnson suggests that calm.com is designed to do almost nothing but offers a lukewarm review:

I actually did find the gentle music to be rather relaxing… Was I rejuvenated and ready to go about my day for another 10 hours? No. However I could definitely see where a writer stuck on a paragraph or a stressed out computer programmer could find solace in a few relaxing minutes involving a website that asked them to do absolutely nothing after making their selection. (The Inquisitr)

In short, calm.com is a clever idea. Well executed. Simply. Elegantly. With no shilling. And yet… I can’t help but wonder, is this a marketing concept for a consumable of some sort? Or is it the gift of a benevolent tech geek with a meditation habit? Either way, thanks. Great concept. I’m hooked.

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