Reeling into the new year

Welcome, January 2nd! This vital but underrated day comes without the hype of its first out of the gate sibling. It lacks the rush of enthusiasm that often accompanies something shiny and fresh like the intentions, resolutions, and goals – IRGs for short – declared just yesterday. When we woke this morning the IRGs were waiting patiently right where we left them, but maybe they got nudged out of the way while our attention shifted into the post-holiday-return-to-normal routines.

Integrating something new requires effort and making adjustments to what we’re used to. The process can be accompanied by discomfort or exhilaration or any sensation in between, but key to any ounce of momentum is the readiness to try.

As a client wrote to me after a recent session during which we explored next steps for preparing herself to approach a very patient pile of boxes, her mind begins “reeling with thoughts…realizing there is a lot of emotion, ideas, potential…” Sound familiar? The mind can paralyze us or it can allow us to push forward at whatever pace feels right at the moment.

The brief response I sent back to her was returned to me word for word formatted as prose. It was an unexpected gift sent as the result of an unexpected gift. I present it today as a little offering of support to encourage forward momentum with whatever IRGs you’re ready to embrace in this new year.

Reeling is to be expected.
Change begets change.
You are changing and evolving.
What is boxed up can be unboxed,
revisited, retired, reinvigorated, and more.
All that you are inside will never change.

When you choose to lighten your load,
all that’s inside you will simply be lighter and freer
for more and new exciting thoughts and ideas,
and all their friends.

Things Can Really Hang You Up the Most

The content of this post was written by my friend, Paul Overton, teacher, creator, seeker, writer,  Renaissance man, and as you’ll soon read, active liberator of spaces. He shared it on facebook earlier today, and it kind of blew my mind. It has been reproduced here in its entirety with his permission. You are invited follow him at https://www.facebook.com/dudecraft.

It’s five a.m. and I’m sitting on the floor of my apartment with a shirt in each hand, trying to decide whether to keep either of them. I have been doing this for ten minutes, and god knows how long it might go on.

I’m supposed to have a simple rule in place that keeps these things from happening: If I haven’t worn it or used it in the last two months, it goes. But the practical side of downsizing is always more complicated. Continue reading

The stuff in her dad’s garage

A little over seven years ago, a friend invited me to meet her parents at their home in San Jose. Her father had amassed a collection of stuff in the garage, and she asked me to bring my camera in case I was inclined to photograph it.

Having been told little about what to expect, but assured I’d be interested in what was there, I was prepared for a garage packed to the gills scenario.

We arrived at the house where she grew up and rang the doorbell. Her mother met us at the front door, and said she’d see us at the garage. We walked back toward the car and waited a few minutes on the driveway for the wide double door to rise.

Continue reading

Musings on divestment past, present and future

In short: it just doesn’t make sense for universities to invest in a system that will leave their students no livable planet to use their degrees on, or for pension funds to invest in corporations that will ruin the world we plan to retire in. The one thing we know the fossil fuel industry cares about is money. Universities, pension funds, and churches invest a lot of it. If we start with these local institutions and hit the industry where it hurts — their bottom line — we can get their attention and force them to change. This was a key part of how the world ended the apartheid system in South Africa, and we hope it can have the same effect on the climate crisis.

from http://math.350.org/

Let me start by saying that the quote above is as far as I’ll go with regard to the examination of the oil industry and climate change. Plenty of people can, have, and will speak about these topics in ways that far exceed my ability and desire to do so. For instance, there’s my partner, Sven, who reported on a lunchtime interview with Bill McKibben as I snapped away with my cameras to document the event. This is about something more: it’s about taking action in alignment with our values.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH Continue reading

“Local sustainable movies”

sign in window of Lost Weekend, a San Francisco video storeWhat’s sustainable here?

This is the window of Lost Weekend Video, one of a handful of San Francisco’s independently-owned video stores. It’s my neighborhood video store, and it’s accessible via a quick jaunt or pedal down the street and around the corner. On these chilly winter nights, it’s a place to reassure myself that I’m not the only one with a hankering to cozy up under a blanket and watch a film.

The store’s offerings are circulated without the aid of postage and disposable plastic mailers. It’s people powered – you go there to choose what you want. You swing by a day or few later and return it when you’re finished. You can chat with the owner and his staff about the latest releases, their favorite music, politics, and more. You can run into friends and neighbors. You can even bring your dog, or say hello to the dogs of strangers that are patiently waiting for a treat at the counter. Those treats are procured from another local independently-owned store just up the street.

This is the kind of business that is disappearing from the American landscape. Please, do what you can to support your local businesses. You’ll be supporting your neighbors and keeping your dollars circulating in your community. When you buy from an independent, sometimes you pay a little less, sometimes you pay a little more, but either way, the exchanges and rewards of the interactions are always priceless. The benefits outweigh the savings. In fact, you’ll be earning more!