Pound The Rock

Pound the rock.

It’s in the footer of my website.

It’s in my email signature.

It’s the first phrase of three I have littered all over the internet. (The second and third being “Do good” and “Have a great time.”)

It’s the motto Gregg Popovich uses at the San Antonio Spurs. Their fan club is named after it. In fact, I’ve been told, it’s the only quote/motto/words-of-inspiration that appear anywhere inside the Spurs’ facilities.

So what about it? Why pound the rock?

This:

When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before. — Jacob Riis

Pound The Rock - Jacob Riis

We love telling “overnight success” stories.

They aren’t true.

Every “overnight success” story is … just a good story.

A story designed to get us to believe “we too” can be as successful as the “overnight” success.

Well, we can.

But not overnight.

Because they didn’t get there overnight.

These stories, so it seems to me, often are told to sell “the overnight method.”

When we buy that method, we get burned. Expectations fall unfulfilled, and we don’t succeed overnight — because we need to pound the rock:

To pound out our weakness,

To pound in our dedication,

To pound out non-essentials,

To pound in our focus,

To pound out dead weight,

To pound in muscle memory.

The true backstory of every success (“overnight” or not) is years of trial and error . . .

. . . effort on effort, and upset and defeat followed by persistence and consistency … all of which finally yield a win.

I’ve long said the most important attribute for any marketing campaign is consistency. You can blog once a day or once a year. If you stick to your schedule, people will accomodate whatever pattern you establish … if you stick to it. What doesn’t work is rush then stop. Publish then quit. Launch then disappear, only to relaunch with flare and pizzaz in 6 months quickly followed by flame-out, just as before.

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order (Mos 4:27).

This isn’t bad news.

Success isn’t in one-trick ponies or luck-of-the-draw rewards.

Success is in being adept at producing desirable results again and again, at will.

Success is in knowing “the wisdom and the order” of how things work, the present limits of your strength (your lactate threshold, for example).

Yes, part of success is arriving at the destination, a destination — of finishing or winning a race.

But grander elements of success are:

falling in love with getting there

knowing you can get there when you decide you want to

knowing what it takes to get there, how to command the elements and the circumstances to combine and align in getting you there

in other words, knowing how to get there again, on command … without assigning any piece of arrival to luck or chance

experiencing your personal capacity to do work every day, to conquer in the face of resistance, and to survive or even thrive in the face of calamity.

“Pound the rock” is a motto to succeed every day.

Between each sunrise and sunset, put.in.the.work.

99 of 100 blows of the hammer end with the rock uncracked.

In a darker moment, the uncracked rock may seem to laugh or scorn.

“What are you doing? Does your work even count? You’re not strong enough. You have the wrong tools. You can’t do this. You’re not making a difference at all. What a waste. Now this, what you’re doing, this is insanity!! You keep swinging, expecting me to crack. I’ll never crack. The outcome is the same. And always will be. Move on … move on to easier ground.”

It’s tricky.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, seeing no results, and expecting a different outcome.

Yet that definition is insufficient.

There are some tasks that are … a pound-the-rock scenario. A scenario where it just does take 99 repeated blows of no-difference-at-all results, which, when followed by the 100th WHAM! everything changes.

It may seem just one blow counted. One blow must have been different from the others. But no … all 99 changed the structure, strength and integrity of the rock until on the 100th it cracked. All 99 up to that point took mental grit and steadfastness and belief that the work was worth it.

I’m not a “good” runner.

I’m not “gifted” or a “natural.”

I don’t have lean thighs.

My VO2 max, when I’m not fully trained, is super average.

My calves are huge, the extra weight doesn’t help.

My calves also don’t connect high on my leg, so their biomechanical leverage is . . . average.

My knees rotate out and my tibia & fibula bow in to compensate, so some force from every step gets wasted in non-vertical, non-forward vectors.

My early years of swimming made my ankles super flexible, and early years of gymnastics trained them to act like absorbers; but great runners have stiffer ankles, trained to act like springs.

Yet my half marathon times keep coming down:

1:42:09 (7:47/mi) — 2008

1:40:26 (7:40/mi) — 2014

1:28:27 (6:45/mi) — 2015

1:24:35 (6:27/mi) — 2017

Why is that?

Because I pound the rock.

There’s nothing special about me.

Sure, I’m learning better form. As I pound the rock.

Sure, I’m in overall better shape … because I pound the rock.

Sure, I’m more flexible and less prone to injury … because I pound the rock (and rollll out, thanks TriggerPoint!).

Sure, I have better run gear and better workout routines … because I pound the rock.

I just pound the rock.

And anyone can pound the rock.

This much about life seems so simple and clear: when you work hard under the direction of people who understand the mechanics of how things work, you get results.

That’s why I put “Pound the rock” everywhere.

To remind myself of, and to stand for, the ethic of putting in the work.

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground” (Gen 3:19).

“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7-8).

Mastery thru repetition.

Affinity through consistency.

Results from no work are empty gains.

Dreams with no work are naught but wishes.

Gains from shortcuts are, eternally speaking, hollow.

Unearned upsides can be wonderful blessings and grace from heaven, but if converted in my mind and heart to expectations or views that “I don’t have to work because good things simply come my way” or “I will succeed because I am deserving of success” … those attitudes diminish my soul and others’.

Which brings me to another reminder baked into those three words:

To touch base, to make contact with, The Rock … every day. That rock being the “lowercase” rock of revelation and the “uppercase” Rock of Revelation who is Jesus Christ.

To meekly remember I am able from the gift of choice.

To meekly remember I am forgiven and cleansed from His gift of mercy.

To meekly remember I am empowered beyond my natural strength by His gift of grace.

So . . . I pound the rock.

By |2022-05-22T21:13:56-06:00January 3rd, 2018|Faith, General Life, Marketing, Triathlon|1 Comment

A frozen banana has a three-fold mission in every shake

The frozen banana has a three-fold mission in every shake.

[1] It cools the shake.

[2] It thickens the shake.

[3] It sweetens the shake.

There you have it.

Frozen banana winter wonderland of thick smooth sweetness in your mouth.

Frozen Banana - 15 Pounds for the Freezer

Why yes, I buy my bananas 15 lbs at a time. A shelf in my freezer is dedicated to bananas. I may even get another freezer and dedicate entirely to bananas.

Pro Tips for the Frozen Banana, etc.

If you’re using greens, blend them first with just the liquids. That will allow them to get chopped up in finer pieces without everything else in the way.

Add frozen fruit last. It’s the hardest to blend and will blend easiest when everything else is already liquidy and smooth.

Try my Homemade Protein Shake Recovery Mix. It’s easy and delicious. And a great post-workout nutrition boost for triathletes and endurance athletes.

For endless inspiration of smoothie recipes, check out my friends at Simple Green Smoothies. Tons of recipes. Other cool food and nutrition ideas. And Jen is the bomb. +400k Instagram followers, she must be doing something right.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By |2021-01-15T16:37:20-07:00December 22nd, 2017|General Life, Triathlon|0 Comments

Are we related? We could be cousins . . .

Are we related? Over Thanksgiving I found out I’m related to 12 of the 102 Mayflower passengers (5 directly), so if you have any connections there chances are good we could be cousins.

Are we related? We could be cousins.

How did I find this out?

www.RelativeFinder.org

Join my group and lets find an answer to the question “Are we related?”

The password is my first and last name together (this website without the ‘www’ and ‘.com’) — all lowercase, no spaces.

Even if we aren’t related, Relative Finder will show you if you’re related to a large basket of famous authors & poets, saints and popes, composers, entertainers, movie stars, sports figures, U.S. Presidents and their families, signers of The U.S. Constitution, signers of The Declaration of Independence, European royalty, scientists and technologists, and more.

FYI, if you’re a family history / genealogy noob . . . “3rd cousins twice removed” explained:

Your first cousins are the children of your parents’ siblings, i.e. your aunts & uncles’ kids. First cousins because you are the first generation down from the sibling connection.

Your second cousins are the kids of your parents’ cousins, or your grandparents’ siblings’ grandkids. Second cousins because you are two generations away from the sibling connection.

Now, your second cousins’ kids, what are they? Your second cousins, once removed. “Removed” just means however many generations down the ladder on either side. The smallest number of generation lines to the sibling connection is the “___ cousin” and the “___ removed” counts the rest.

So when my second cousins’ kids have kids … they will be my second cousins twice removed.

My Grandpa Doug‘s line goes way back to early U.S. colonial days so I’ve got some cool connections, a lot of which are through him. People including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Emerson, Thoreau, Steinbeck, Elvis, Harry Truman, Jefferson, the Bushes, Johnny Carson, Carrie Fisher . . . lots of people.

Pretty cool to find these things out.

If you need a hand getting into the group or set up with anything, post a comment.

Have fun, cuz.

By |2021-12-13T14:21:22-07:00November 26th, 2017|Faith, General Life|0 Comments

Metabolizing Anxiety: Highlights from Ask a Mormon Sex Therapist (Ep 20)

If the mere mention of Ask a Mormon Sex Therapist in my bio hasn’t prompted you to listen, maybe these selections on metabolizing anxiety will.

Btw, these interviews are all Q&A based — usually two Qs per episode, this one has three. To get the backdrop on this metabolizing anxiety conversation, jump to the start of the third question and Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife’s answer at @ 22:00.

What follows are loose transcripts from the episode. I cut “you knows,” “I thinks,” and so on, and added content (in parentheses) that I believe accurately connects allusions to previously mentioned ideas so that it’s easier for you to follow the excerpts.

 

@ 34:33 – Giving people space to grow

To tolerate the discomfort of another’s discomfort is part of what it is to actually give people the space that they need to really grow, and to manage your own anxiety.

 

@ 35:59 – Metabolizing Anxiety

If you’re going to actually grow, you have to metabolize more anxiety within yourself and not use the people around you to manage what is your work, or what is your job, or what is your responsibility.

What is of virtue is to take 100% responsibility for exactly what your responsibility is — in a marriage, or in a family, or in any group — and 0% responsibility for what isn’t your responsibility.

That sounds very selfish, but that’s actually one of the most virtuous things you can do: to really do what your job is in any situation.

It also frees up other people to grow in the ways that they need to grow.

When we get in trouble is when we rush in to kind of get anxiety to go down in the moment, but then we stabilize and mature our destructive patterns.

The virtue in creating goodness is tolerating difficulty up front. That’s what sacrifice is: you take your difficulty up front to create something better ultimately.

It’s against our human nature (to do that, to sacrifice, to tolerate difficulty up front) — it’s natural man to not to do it (to avoid difficulty up front, escaping to an easier path). But what creates goodness and godliness is doing that (tolerating difficulty now).

 

@ 40:15 – When’s the time for metabolizing anxiety?

It’s when you’re having a hard conversation, and they’re pushing on those buttons on you that you like to react to, that you get all self-righteous about.

Instead of getting self-righteous and reacting, you calm yourself down and you stay constructive. That’s what I’m talking about in the “real time”: that you don’t (use) your losing strategies, which are the reactive things we do that feel good in the moment but that keep suffering alive.

You have to really track what it is you do (habitually) so that you can push yourself to do the better thing in the face of a lot of pressure to do the thing that’s familiar. (Catching yourself before you do the familiar thing) is what development is all about.

 

@ 42:56 – The effect of metabolizing anxiety

When you step into new action, or action that’s driven by a sense of what you believe is right, even if it’s hard, you literally expand your capacity as a person, and you expand your sense of self.

 

@ 43:52 – Metabolizing anxiety includes not doing the familiar thing to get validation

Many of us prefer to kind of just do and deal with the (familiar) things that (have, in the past, managed to get us) validation from the other person, and so we constrict our relationships (to doing just those things, even if they are losing strategies that perpetuate suffering) to our detriment.

We have to work against that natural-man tendency.

 

Ask A Mormon Sex Therapist is a sub series of the Rational Faiths podcast.

Have a listen.

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Metabolizing Anxiety

Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

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By |2021-01-15T15:37:22-07:00August 31st, 2017|Faith, General Life|0 Comments

Dating Feedback: Got Asked for Some and Said This Instead

Recently got a request for dating feedback.

Dating Feedback

A few things before getting to my response . . .

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][1]  I don’t think her request means anything about me, but I think it does mean something extraordinary about her heart, her desire and her humility. Not pathetic at all. All good things that I believe will serve her well generally in life and more specifically in dating and nurturing a relationship.

[2]  Pretty sure this has never happened to me before . . . that a date got vulnerable this way, asking for this sort of response. At least not at this early in the game. The rarity of the event is also worth noting.

[3]  The one and only date we shared was Tue, July 11. About an hour together. More like a casual meeting to determine whether a proper date would follow. Anyway, the math is then that her request came 7 days and a morning later. IMHO, a little long to ask, but that’s OK. No rules on that.

[4]  There was no communication between the end of our date and this message.

 

All right.

 

Why am I sharing the “dating feedback” I texted back?

I believe in sharing stuff that others may find useful.

I believe in writing my own story, including being clear on the ground where I choose to stand.

In November, I shared my first draft of The Pillars of Our Partnership and here’s a where-the-rubber-hits-the-road followup to some elements of that.

And because if I ever have the thought to ask someone after a first date / first meeting for feedback … I’m drawing a line in the sand that I won’t. And if I were to say to you or to my future self,

  • “I want to ask her why she didn’t call back . . . “
  • “I want to know why she blew me off . . . “
  • “I wonder what happened, it seemed to be going so well?!?!”

To all those situations, my present-self response to my future self is:

“Doesn’t matter. Continue the search, my search.”

It’s not that asking for feedback and pursuing learning about myself isn’t valuable. It is. And I would totally ask for feedback after several dates or well into a due diligence process. But I wouldn’t ask right off the bat because that sets up a situation where someone else’s POV and/or values become more important than mine.

Would I ask career advice from a recruiter who declined to grant me a second interview … and that was our only interaction?

Would I ask fruit advice from someone I ran into in the produce section who’s not a store employee and otherwise a perfect stranger?

Would I ask someone swimming in the lane next to me for pointers on my stroke, unless I were well aware of their approach to swimming and their history coaching swimmers?

Would I ask color advice from the paint clerk at Home Depot who hasn’t taken the time to ask many questions about my house/home/style/family?

No. No. No. and No.

In these situations and so many others, the other person has so little information about me and what I value that I would never put them in a position to suggest what I ought to be doing. They might know. They might have amazing advice … but asking for it at this stage is out of order! They don’t know me well enough. I don’t know them well enough. What’s most likely to happen in these scenarios is that I’ll get a summary of their biography, rather than seasoned, tested, sage counsel that is actually useful for me, given my situation and my values.

I recognize that through the voice of anyone the Holy Ghost can whisper important promptings, and I recognize an element of humility is willingness to learn from anyone. That said, I choose my teachers/coaches/mentors with discretion. I don’t spend all my time learning, so when I am learning, I seek learning from people whose lives I wish to follow, whose values align with mine, whose performance is consistent with what I wish to do, and whose followers/students/proteges conduct lives I wish to emulate or who are otherwise people whose company I seek.

So there’s that. I choose my teachers carefully and won’t ever expect someone I barely know to be aware of my values and therefore offer feedback / guidance / advice that works inside my value system.

And then there’s this:

I believe — and I think this is apparent in the dating feedback I gave — is that when I am crystal clear on what I am offering and what I am looking for (before going out to meet people and go on dates), then I don’t need dating feedback after a first date. I know what I want well enough to make a sound decision right away: “this isn’t a match” or “this is worth continuing to pursue.” YES I mean “this” rather than “she.” Why? Because I’m not acquiring a person. I am looking for a person who wants to work at “this” … a relationship. The “this” is the connection.

Also to Note: “this is worth pursuing” simply means I am clear it’s worth going to the next round of due diligence, or “getting to know someone”, or whatever label works for what is next. These are not the same as: “All in! Show me the dotted line, and I’ll sign today.” (When to do that, to formalize an agreement, is an entirely different conversation. This conversation is simply about dating feedback or other feedback being unnecessary at or immediately after initial contact.)

Said another way, I’m telling my future self that if I ever find myself wanting to ask for dating feedback at the early stage of a first date (or professional feedback after a first interview), my present-self suggestion is that doing so is a misdirected use of energy.

Instead of pursuing that angle, what I do and will do instead is use my “why didn’t this go forward?” energy to inquire more about myself and what I want/need/desire/am looking for so that I can make a sound judgment … “wait, what am I looking for? What am I offering? What am I looking for someone else to be offering? How will it be clear to me that that is what they are offering? What will they say? What will they do? How can I tell quickly and rapidly upon meeting someone whether there’s enough potential to pursue, or if it’s best to walk away?”

Enough. To my response.

My “dating feedback”:

Hey [her first name], replying here to your request for feedback. Mad props for your willingness and humility to open the door for it.

I’m hesitant to say much as I believe at the end of the day everyone writes their own book on love. Rather than feedback, I’ll tell you about my approach. I spent a good deal of time investigating what my values are. There are a lot of things I value, but I boiled those to a short list of what’s most important to me. These encompass my beliefs. That’s Part 1.

Part 2: also spent a lot of time considering my strengths. What am I good at. What am I inclined to do first or without thinking about it. What do I like doing. Because I value a relationship type & structure that is complementary in nature (vs reflective in nature — both being good at the same things), I also have a short list of complementary strengths I’m looking for in someone to date. I’m good at XYZ, she’s good at ABC…and together, we cover the whole alphabet. There are some behaviors that I watch and observe for as indicators of the presence of these complementary strengths I am seeking. And I trust my intuition and connection with God to help me see these in others, while also listening and looking for a presence of matching and similar values — AKA life priorities. What does she put first? Of all choices, where in the hierarchy does she place dating & creating her own family? (To me, this is a nuanced difference from participating and contributing to her nuclear family.) Is that position the same as mine?

So … I could tell you what I’m looking for. But it’s personal, and only valuable to me as I did the work to arrive there. Would be up to you to arrive at your own choices and short list. Also, I usually don’t share it as well because I don’t want to introduce observer bias … “I know that I am being watched for particular behaviors and because I know that and want to be seen as having them, I am going to perform them … but because I’m being watched and not necessarily because that’s what I what normally do.” You know?

There’s not a rightness or a wrongness about any of it. This is not a good-person bad-person situation. Or a “I like/ don’t like.” It’s a … “what’s the healthiest and strongest combination?” I’m impressed by the goodness of most people I meet, including you. And … that doesn’t mean that their strengths are a good match *for me*. Where I’m strong … I can help her. Where she’s strong … she can help me. If we’re strong in the same areas, we don’t need each other as much … and then we’re also mutually blind and weak in the same areas.

All I can really suggest with confidence is come up with your list of values for life. And put them in linear order … what’s #1, what’s #2. I max out at 5 right now. Everything else is on a tier below. No ties either, “these are equally important…” And then … think about your strengths. What do you want to contribute to a dating relationship / partnership / marriage … and what kind of strengths in a man would be complimentary to yours? What things would he not be good at (the things you are good at), so you can support him … as he supports you where you aren’t as strong.

Having that stuff crystal clear … what do I value, what are my strengths to offer, what complimentary strengths am I looking for … that’s all been a game changer for me. I meet people and I have a few things to look for rather than a huge picture of everyone else’s advice about what makes a good relationship work. And then I’m really clear and ok walking away from something or being OK if someone is non responsive or not interested. “She’s not what I’m looking for.” “I’m not what she’s looking for.” Or both. This is way more peaceful for me to handle than … “could this have worked?” “What happened?” “Why didn’t this go forward?” Or whatever other wondering thoughts I may have. Which I do have. Like anybody. And then I fall back on … “was she what I was looking for?” Or, “she gets to choose what she’s looking for. And it’s OK if it’s something other than what I’m offering.”

I don’t think I’ve answered your question. But this is what I have confidence in as a worthwhile response.

Fwiw, here is her reply:

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By |2021-01-15T15:37:22-07:00July 26th, 2017|General Life|5 Comments

“What should I do in New York City?” All Of This.

Since I lived in Manhattan for 5 years (New York 101: Manhattan is an entire island, and it’s 1 of 5 ‘boroughs’ that make up New York City), people often ask what they should do when they visit.

If you’re an American, you ought to know at least this much about NYC. “The City” comprises 5 boroughs. Manhattan is an island. Staten Island is one too, and a joke. The Bronx is up north, Queens clockwise from there, and then wrapped inside Queens between there are Staten Island is Brooklyn. Queens and Brooklyn are the far western end of Long Island (also an island, pronounced “Lawn GY-land”). That said, Manhattan is where everything you’ve ever associated with New York City is. And heads up, if you forget this is what NYC really looks like, you’ll get all whacked looking at the MTA Subway map which is completely out of proportion.

When in New York, do these things

Live Jazz: VJO Monday nights at Village Vanguard

Pizza: Juliana’s on Old Fulton under the Brooklyn Bridge, Motorino in the East Village, Don Antonio’s on 50th in the Theater District. If you want to venture beyond Manhattan for good pizza: Roberta’s and Di Fara are excellent. Di Fara’s is a legend. (btw, if you go to one of these places OUTSIDE New York you’re nuts if you expect the same experience)

Note on Juliana’s: Some people might tell you to go to Grimaldi’s on Old Fulton. Up until a few years ago, that was the advice you wanted. You see Patsy Grimaldi is one of New York City’s Pizza Godfathers. And, true enough, he opened a shop on Old Fulton. Then in 1998, someone convinced him to sell the business, including the rights to his name. The lure of retirement was sweet, so Patsy sold his name.

That person ran Grimaldi’s into the 2000s until 2011 when a little dispute with the landlord arose. By 2012 he was out, but not for good. He simply opened shop on the corner of the same block. He bought an old bank and, still owning the name, slapped “Grimaldi’s,” above the front door. To this day every tourist from Torrence to Tokyo doesn’t know any better, so what happens on Saturdays? A 2-hour line forms at Grimaldi’s doors and snakes down to the water.

HOWEVER . . . those who know, know that when O.G. Grimaldi got wind of the dispute between the landland and the owner of his namesake, Patsy started making moves. No one who loves food enough to open a restaurant ever truly retires. I mean really. Here in Utah the family behind Gloria’s Little Italy spent a couple years off the map and Florida and where are they now? Back in Bountiful with a pizza shop.

Patsy was restless. You bet he was making pizza from 1998 to 2012. And with the tenant of his shop on the way out, it was time. No way would he hold back … the original location, AVAILABLE! So move he did! Right.Into.His.Original.Shop. Patsy rebuilt the oven, refreshed the dining area and set up a bar so guests can watch him and his proteges do their finest work. And just before opening, he christened his comeback with a new sign, emblazoned with the name of his mother: JULIANA’s.

Burgers: Shake Shack (handful of locations; there’s even one in JFK and Las Vegas and other places, so don’t go out of your way for this, but say you go to the Museum of Natural History, well, it’s across the street). If you have time and want to try a +$20 burger, start with the Black Label at Minetta Tavern. If you don’t have time, try your luck watching the bar like a hawk and snag 2 stools as soon as they open. Full menu service there.

Cookies: skip Levain, go to City Cakes on 18th and 8th

Pastries: Pretzel croissant (City Bakery, on 18th and 5th. If it’s cold, they have killer hot chocolate too), a REAL cronut from Dominique Ansel Bakery (arrive an hour+ before the store opens to get a spot in line. The cronuts sell out once the store opens)

Cheesecake: IMHO it was Carnegie Deli, but they are now closed and only ship. Juniors is fine (it’s convenient). Looks like 2 Little Red Hens in the UES is worth checking out. Eileen’s is also good.

Asian: Oh my, how did I leave this out for months? Xi’an Famous Foods (original in Chinatown, convenient locations on 45th near GCT, in the UWS on Broadway and 102nd and elsewhere). There’s only one thing to get your first time: the N1, spicy cumin lamb with hand-pulled noodles. Never seen another noodle like this anywhere. Yum. This is NOT a sit-down restaurant. You MIGHT find a spot at the counter to put your plate and eat while you stand or sit on a stool. Make plans to eat it hot and fresh. It’s better that way.

Korean BBQ: KOKO Wings opened around the corner from my front door and man alive I was a frequent customer. Small combo for 1, medium for 2 or large if you’re starving. Sauces: half and half every time. Sides: 2 words . . . kimchee coleslaw. You can also jaunt over from Herald Square a block and zigzag your way from 35th to 31st (btwn 5th and 6th) poking your head into just about any storefront there and find yourself some delicious Korean BBQ.

Broadway: Try your hand at a lottery (that link or Google ‘playbill student rush’) OR if they offer a “rush” option in the morning, show up 2.5-3 hours before that ticket window opens with a cushion and a good book. You’ll be first in line to get, typically, a front-row ticket.

Dinners: Buvette (West Village), Westville (couple locations)

Fancy-A Dinners: Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Minetta Tavern, The Modern at MoMA, Per Se, Blue Hill, ABC Kitchen, L’Artusi (or any of these)

Don’t miss: the grilled corn-on-the-cob at Num Pang Sandwich Shop

Comedy: EastVille Comedy Club or Comedy Cellar on MacDougal. You never know who’s gonna show up that’s not on the bill.

Experiences: sauna/steam/spa at the Russian-Turkish Bath House in the East Village. Walk The Mall in Central Park and finish at Bethesda Fountain/Terrace. Top of the Rock. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Take the Staten Island Ferry (once it lands in Staten Island, don’t get off … just get right back on and go back to Manhattan. Ain’t nothing to see in Staten Island). The Highline. World Trade Center plaza, 9/11 Memorial. Take the N/Q or F/D to Coney Island. If you go when it’s warm, take the LIRR from Penn Station to Long Beach.

As you can see it’s ludicrously easy to entertain yourself in The City of New York.

New York City - Nat Harward - Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall – 6th (Avenue of the Americas) & 50th – a few minutes before Bon Iver in concert

In part, that’s why I left.

But while you’re there . . . have fun 🙂

Questions? Looking for something else? Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

By |2021-05-06T16:58:44-06:00May 7th, 2017|General Life|0 Comments

When’s the last time you did something for the first time?

Thinking about 2016 and how many firsts I had. First time something happened to me. First time I went somewhere. First time I did something. First time I attempted a new skill.

There’s something amazing about Shoshin, the beginner mindset.

And other research shows mixing up routine with new tasks is good for your brain and overall health.

Say what you will about 2016.

Heartache, catastrophe and the unexpected will ever continue, and at increasing rates.

Both literally, because there are more people on the planet each day and therefore greater probability of something tragic happening to those people.

And as a matter of perception, as every day you and I become aware of more of those people and more of those tragedies.

If you pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense, and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform. — Thich Nhat Hanh

I do new things in part to increase the immensity of my river.

Each new thing gives me capacity to absorb external events and continue on in pursuit of my priorities.

First time walking the new Hoover Dam bridge

 

Lots of car stuff:

Bought a car
Got car insurance
Got a Utah license
Replaced driveline U joints
Changed my own oil
Replaced an air filter
Replaced an engine temp sending unit
Aligned a set of front tires
Flushed my radiator + engine coolant
Replaced a tie rod
Replaced a battery
Took old car fluids for recycling
Bought car tires
Went to a junkyard
Pulled a transfer case
Bought a breaker bar
Replaced a fuel filter
Replace a fuel pump
Started a car w/starter fluid
Treated an engine w/Sea Foam
Drained and replaced power steering fluid
Drove with 4WD
Went rock crawling
Forded a river
Got stuck, figured it out, made it home

 

Lots of marketing stuff:

Used/learned Ontraport CRM
Figured out embedding Ontraport forms into ClickFunnels pages
Built an online school with Teachable
Produced and launched courses on Teachable
Used Zapier for real: Teachable <> Ontraport integration
Built a website from scratch with Squarespace
Programmed forms on a page to autoredirect to a new page after submission
Used Squarespace’s custom CSS injection
Used/learned Google Tag Manager
Setup Google Analytics goals based on firing of tags in GTM
Used Webflow to manage a site’s content
Used UTM parameters … like really
Used/learned ConvertKit

 

Went to/through/across . . .

Lake Powell
Sedona, AZ
The new Hoover Dam bridge (walked)
Oquirrh Mountain Temple
Logan, UT
Bear Lake
Telluride
Oregon Coast
Tooele
Antelope Island (the one in the Great Salt Lake)
San Antonio
Downata Hot Springs
An indoor gun range
Western Grand Canyon Rim
Tibble Fork Canyon
Forest Lake
Uintas via Midway
Snowbasin
Pine Canyon (drove)
Butterfield Canyon (drove to the mine lookout)
Millcreek Canyon (ran, rode)
Old Ward Canyon (drove)
Farmington Canyon (drove)
Cedar Canyon (drove)
Allred + Robinson family sites in Spring City
Three Sisters Lakes + Sunset Peak (ran)
Clayton Peak (hiked)
Mt. Olympus (ran)
Catherine’s Pass + Alta-Brighton loop (ran)
Little Cottonwood Canyon (ran)
Big Cottonwood Canyon (ran)
Lambs Canyon to Brighton (ran)

 

Saw David Copperfield perform

Bought a Mac

Moved to + lived in Salt Lake City

Used YNAB

Stepped into Alum role and mentored current BYU students in their nascent comms/marketing/entrepreneur journeys

Took a long-term commitment to volunteer at a hospital

Co-hosted a little party in Watch Hill, RI next to T Swift’s place

Did a via ferrata

Summited Mt Olympus in the snow

Ran up a mountain with Yaktrax

Volunteered for RAGNAR

Volunteered at the Peak Series

Used social media to get considered for a job

Joined Circle, by Squarespace

Went to a funeral for a former roommate

Was the one to break up a dating relationship rather than be the one broken up with

Listened/watched/read the entire BYU Speeches archive for a single speaker

Sold something on the street to a complete stranger

Passed out giving blood

Shopped at Costco . . . on my own membership

Joined a tri club

Did a blood-sampling lactate test to determine my heart rate zones

Raced a tri at elevation (6400′)

Won my age-group outright in a regular-format sprint tri (swim -> bike -> run)

Did one of those escape-the-room challenges

Did the Utah caucus thing

Voted 3rd party

Played tennis 4 days in a row

Got a Suunto

Started running on Newtons, with Sofsole inserts, Balega socks and Skratch nutrition

Bought my own kickboard, paddles, buoy, fins and snorkel

Trained with said snorkel … man alive, that’s tough right now

Trained with power on the bike

Shipped a pallet across the country via an LTL freight order

Paced a runner

Ran a stand-alone marathon (twice)

Took caffeine pills before the second marathon (oops)

Raced as a sponsored/supported athlete

Coached someone thru their first tri

Finished 26 books

Got evacuated from my residence for one night by the police (SWAT extracted an active shooter from my former next-door neighbor’s house)

Listened in on a police scanner (about SWAT extracting said shooter)

Launched a personal website (this one first, then www.tmbconsulting.com five months later)

Blogged once a month

Took a photo class

Discovered the awesomeness of quick video chatting via Snapchat and Marco Polo

BBQed ribs in the oven

Made world’s best chocolate chip cookies

A number of mental/emotional/spiritual firsts that have been intensely personal

I live by semesters so this will continue.

 

OH AND HOW COULD I FORGET?!? I won my fantasy football league … against all guys who played ball while I was in marching band.

 

What’d you do for the first time in 2016?

Even if your first thought is “not much,” I bet if you think about it your first-time-in-2016 list will surprise you.

By |2021-01-15T15:37:23-07:00December 26th, 2016|General Life|2 Comments

For My Future Mate: The Pillars of Our Partnership

Hey babe,

Been thinking about you.

I don’t know what you’ve been up to, but I’m sure it’s good and I can’t wait to find out. I’ve been working on this thing I’m calling The Pillars of Our Partnership. I’d give anything for a window into your world, if even for only an hour. Here’s a little window into mine.

The other day I was telling Nate, you know, my buddy who started The Loveumentary — the podcast where he’s interviewed hundreds of couples and relationship experts like Gary Chapman who invented the 5 Love Languages — yeah, that guy. I was telling Nate I think he needs an anthem.

Not a song (are all anthems songs?) but like a creed.

(Brian, from Boston, said, “yo! a manifesto!”)

Yes, a manifesto.

A statement of values, the pillars he is gonna preach and that he can build a community around. Something that people listening to Loveumentary episodes, and who might show up to one of his events or a conference or a meetup or join a Loveumentary Facebook group, could all point to as the foundation of what they are working on in their relationships, and a set of ideals they can use when offering support to each other. In Seth Godin language, it’s the “people like us do stuff like this” situation. For Nate, “things like this” hasn’t been codified (yet).

So I suggested he do that.

A few days later I thought, “why wait on Nate? I’ll write my own.”

Before I share what I’ve got, a few obvious things:

[1] It’s a work in progress.

It’s about partnership, and until you and I actually start working on our partnership, all this counts as preparation.

And preparing for a thing isn’t the same as doing the thing.

[2] Perhaps even more importantly, I can’t even say we’ve come to a “first draft” until you add your say.

What’s below are my words. I know I’ve come a long way in learning and practicing the fundamentals of partnership, so I believe in my contribution, but that’s just it. It’s my contribution and I’m awaiting yours to round out this super rough draft.

I know you’ve got so much to contribute that’s unique and powerful. What you’re doing right now, what you’re learning . . . ah, I can’t even imagine how much awesome you have to contribute. Your perspective will deeply impact my understanding of partnership, as well as my performance of actually being your partner.

[3] These aren’t practices and positions I’ve perfected. I am a work in progress. It’s OK that you are too.

Just as preparing for a thing isn’t the same as doing the thing, knowing enough about something I’m striving for to write a handful of paragraphs about it doesn’t mean I’ve come anywhere near mastering the practice of it. Working with and toward the ideal of these pillars is something we’ll do together. I imagine that even if starting in a “maximally prepared” state (I read all the books! Listened to all the podcasts! Went to ALL the seminars!), actually being in a partnership will be incredibly challenging, shaping, stretching and growth-inducing. (Those are positively sounding words for HARD, incredibly frustrating and at times SUPER challenging.)

So yeah . . . this is my first cut and I eagerly await your input to get us to draft 1.

From there, every year and month and day we’ll get to revise and refine.

Preface

There are a couple life fundamentals that aren’t unique to partnership in my book, but are necessary pillars for living. Those are Choice, Responsibility and Communication.

Choice: people get to choose and we not only tolerate choice, we celebrate and embrace it . . . man, this is the first one and I’ve already re-written it several times. There are SO MANY THINGS that go into what all I mean by “choice” and how important it is. Our words and actions allow for others to choose. Every moment is a surprise because in humility we cannot predict and should not judge what others will do, and even when we do predict and predict correctly, we don’t arrogantly assume our prediction had anything to do with the outcome. Like I said, there’s a lot here. I could really use your help boiling down my thoughts. God’s ultimate gift to us is power to choose; we choose, circumstances and other people don’t choose for us no matter how much it seems the contrary, and we’re responsible for our choices.

Responsibility: directly following choice . . . because people choose, they and they alone are responsible for their choices and the following consequences. If this has a boundary where it’s no longer the case or becomes conditional, I don’t know where that is yet. This makes a lot of people uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable at times. Especially nowadays when people love to blame life’s circumstances on “the system” or “the man” or some external object. Yikes. Ah . . .  so much to say!

Here’s another thing on my mind in this realm: expectations! Expectations are like choices we try to make for other people. They represent, among many things, made up rules we think everyone knows and has agreed to, even when they haven’t.

Example close to us and what we may face as we date: “If you really wanted to be a good boyfriend, THEN you would _____.” SAYS WHO? I mean, maybe. But is there a DEFINITIVE manual on being a good boyfriend? No! So if you WANT me to ____, ASK me. If you don’t ask . . . I may . . .  but I also may not! It may not be something I’m even thinking about . . . so if you want to be sure it happens, and you’re thinking about it, then ask me! Then I can choose to say Yes or No. And then I’ll be responsible for it, truly, because I have chosen.

Wow, there’s so much in here about boundaries of responsibility to unpack, but for now I’ll say: no circumstance can force choice upon a person, all choices are ours, therefore all results are ours.

OK OK OK some more here too . . . when it comes to development and personal needs, it’s my job to find out what I need to learn, it’s my job to then learn what I need to learn, it’s my job to seek mentors and teachers, it’s my job to learn and develop; it’s my job to be healthy, it’s my job to be fulfilled, it’s my job to discover what I like and what nurtures me and then do the work to obtain those things; it’s my job to ‘discover’ and decide what’s important to me — my values; it’s my job to declare for myself that “I am enough.” It’s no one else’s job to do any of those things for me. The same is true for you. Can I ask for help? Absolutely. I look forward to yours. Can you ask me for help with those things? Absolutely, I want you to.

Communication: pretty inescapable from the above on responsibility. Communication is . . . using words to express yourself as accurately as you can — yourself, meaning mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually; all the aspects of you.

Communication is using the words “will you” for requests (see my unfinished rant on people saying “Do you want to ____?” as an imperative or invitation). In response to people’s requests, communication is using the words “Yes,” “No,” or “No, and here’s my counter offer.” Communication is verbally expressing wants and desires, and then for the ones you want right now actually making the request (Will you…?) beyond the statement of desire.

Communication is transforming all internally held desires/hopes/expectations into words. Communication is not ever putting someone else in a position to mind-read their way to connecting/helping/working with/serving/loving you. Communication is not attempting to mind read, but is instead asking questions to let the person you are interested in hearing from speak the truth from their own mouth rather than getting answers from your imagination.

Communication is knowing you can only hold people to the promises they have actually made with speech and signatures (that sounds like responsibility and choice too).

Communication is acknowledging fulfilled promises and healthy behaviors; I think that’s a not-yet-complete functional definition of gratitude.

Communication is: owning and stating your stake in the ground, what’s important to you, what you value, the thoughts and intents of your heart, and taking the responsibility to let the world know what you’ve chosen in those realms.

See? I need your help here.

What’s missing? And how can it be said better . . . more simply and in fewer words?


With all that in the background . . .

Here’s my start at:

The Pillars of Our Partnership

The Pillars of Our Partnership
Not a stock photo — snapped this at Yale. Inside there are memorials for every student who has ever served and died in the U.S. Armed Forces. I was moved.

Why Partnership?

Because we believe that all performance is elevated and enhanced when done with the support of a dedicated partner. Even if the ‘act’ is solo (such as running a race or giving a speech or performing a piece of music) . . . a human preparing/practicing/living/acting without a dedicated partner will always, in the long run, underperform a human acting with the support of a dedicated partner.

What do I mean by dedicated?

Tennis star + coach  >  tennis star + coach(*0)

tennis star + coach + spouse  >  tennis star + coach + spouse(*0)

A coach could be called a partner. But a coach isn’t a dedicated partner. A coach is a partner for the activity they coach. A dedicated partner is a partner for all things.

This ‘math’ is our belief.

And it’s not performance alone that’s elevated and enhanced, but experience too.

Shared sorrow is half sorrow.

Shared joy is double joy.

Remember in Into The Wild when Alex Super Tramp writes “happiness only real when shared”? Yeah. All experience of that sort happens in the space between the Self and another.

And on.

The Pillars: Priority, Striving, Belief, Equality, Service, Togetherness, Forgiving, Vulnerability, Unconditionality

Priority: Partnership is a relationship that comes first. When I can respond to several people, I respond to you first. When I choose to allocate my time to several opportunities, I allocate time for us first. Regardless of circumstance or proportion and in all cases of competing choices, consideration goes to our partnership first.

Striving: I am a human. You are a human. I live and act imperfectly. Even when my intent is thoroughly pure, my actions will fall short and be laced with imperfection. The measuring stick, therefore, is not result or absolute ability. What counts is striving, putting forth effort that matches the bounds of present ability, accompanied with a willing heart that were it immortal and perfect would perform perfectly. Jesus asked if anyone had any fishes and loaves. He didn’t complain when the numbers were few. They gave what they had, and He made that work. Likewise, I give what I have and you make that work. You give what you have and I make that work. Together, we give grace to each other for our imperfect humanity.

Belief: Ready for this?

  • I believe in my own goodness. You believe in me believing in my own goodness. I believe in you, believing in me, believing in my own goodness.
  • You believe in your own goodness. I believe in you believing in your own goodness. You believe in me, believing in you, believing in your own goodness.

This is the ever presence and victory of belief (over fear and doubt). We give each other the benefit of the doubt. We assume first and always that the other has and is acting with the best intent — even when it seems and feels there’s ill will or intent to do harm. We assume positive will because we believe in each other’s goodness.

Believing in goodness also means believing you always have something to contribute and teach, while believing the other has something to contribute and teach you. Belief is believing in value.

Belief includes courage, and when I say, “you are enough,” you believe it, you believe that for me it really is enough and because I haven’t said so, I truly am not expecting more.

Equality: I hold myself to the same standards to which I hold you. Every agreement is a two-way street. Everything we ask for is also something we are willing to give. What applies to me, applies just the same to you.

Service . . . and Acceptance of Service: This is a pillar to love AND be loved. It’s not enough to give. Sometimes giving is easy. Service here is also to receive it. Sometimes, it is hard to receive help and support.

I look for ways to serve you, you look for ways to serve me.

You look for ways to ask me to serve you, I look for ways to ask you to serve me.

We both ask for help and support and service from the other. Especially in areas where we know the other may be lacking competence, comfort and confidence.

Because I know you embrace my meager, imperfect offerings of service, I look forward to you asking me to do things I’m no good at doing, but that will make the world of difference for you and for us. This is one way I really show my love and demonstrate Priority. Likewise, I look forward to asking for your help with things I know will be hard for you or that you may not enjoy, but you’ll strive (just as I strive) to serve because you, like me (equality), put us first (priority), being more willing to serve our partnership and be possibly embarrassed or frustrated, than tickle those insecurities and withdraw from growing our union.

Togetherness: We do all things together. See above re: how this holds even for solo performances.

You still have your victories, I still have mine. You are still responsible for your choices, as I am responsible for mine.

And yet we embrace an element of togetherness in all things.

We invite and value and recognize an element of shared victory. Of contributing service that enhanced the outcome. Of a material impact worthy of acknowledgement and commendation.

We don’t have boundaries about “my things” and “your things.” There’s always some shred of sharing and togetherness. If it isn’t obvious, or if it’s tempting to do solo and to push the other away, we resist that urge and look for and invent some way to do all things together.

Why? Because at least tangential involvement is always possible, and because of complementariness: my strengths support your weaknesses, my weaknesses are supported by your strengths. Complementary support IS how we grow together. And that’s what we’re committed to as partners: growing, excelling, experiencing . . . together.

Are we attached at the hip? No. Do we text each other every hour of the day? No. Do we relay every thing that happened to each other every day? No. Must we like the same things? No. Must we always travel together? No. Is asking for space ok? Yes, with a definite time limit of when we’ll reconnect.

All experiences are OPPORTUNITIES to grow individually and they are LEARNING experiences in how to come closer together, more fully knowing each other, operating together and fulfilling … partnership.

Forgiving: I see two kinds here.

One is forgiving in response to misperception: seeing that our experience of hurt follows our mistakingly and temporarily believing the other’s intent was for harm or driven by ill will. To come around and believe there was no ill intent and our hurt was not desired is to forgive. It’s not so much forgiving me as I didn’t intend to harm, but it’s forgiving yourself and our mutual imperfect communication that led to your misunderstanding. This again is a humble acknowledgment and an embrace of our common humanity, and it is where leaning on the Lord is so helpful. I didn’t mean for you to feel hurt. Yet, you felt hurt. It’s OK, because He felt that hurt. He can take the hurt. I didn’t want you to have the hurt. But now you’ve got it. Give it to Him. You can be whole.

The second kind is forgiving in response to actual ill will or intent to harm. I pray these situations between us will be few and far between. Ideally, never. To not include forgiving as a pillar would condition partnership on perfection. Perfection is unattainable in this mortal sphere. The moments we stand on this part of this pillar will hurt the most.

But the Lord has healed me and He has healed you. We can be made whole again and again and again.

Vulnerability: Vulnerability is a particular type of communication. It’s communication where you and I share and express all our thoughts and feelings, even the ugly ones.

There is a boundary here which is “dumping.” That’s vomiting all the nasty, which is sharing all that with no commitment for healing, improvement, forgiveness, etc. That’s not vulnerability. That twisted “vulnerability” is a form of dominating and emotional manipulation.

As Brené Brown says:

“Real authenticity actually requires major self-monitoring and isn’t . . . [communication with] the lack of self-monitoring.”

Healthy vulnerability, what I’m talking about, is that anything could be shared. There’s a willingness to share anything, and what actually gets shared is the complete truth of what’s relevant. (What’s relevant? Hmmmm . . . )

Vulnerability, in both directions is knowing it’s OK to be fully transparent because sometimes thoughts and feelings are just passing by and temporary . . . and hanging on to them and not sharing them has a way of keeping them around longer and allowing them to do more harm. So we share them, to be honest about how we feel and where we’re at in the moment. And (together) we work through them so they soften and then lose their grip.

It’s OK to share because I can stack up what you’re thinking and feeling in the moment as an experience you’re really having and not as something you’re committed to forever. And likewise, you won’t hold anything I ever share over my head, especially the stuff that I’m passing through. How can I say this better? Maybe we can borrow straight up from Neal A. Maxwell and Joseph Smith:

“Our light speeches from time to time, have nothing to do with the fixed principles of our hearts” said Joseph Smith. Should we not distinguish between the utterances of the moment and considered opinions? Do not all of us wish for that same understanding on the part of our friends, hoping they, “with the breath of kindness,” will “blow the chaff away”? (NAM, Mar 1986)

More . . . some of this came out in the section on service: vulnerability is asking for things that seem and feel hard to ask for . . . help where it feels embarrassing you can’t do it alone, desires that seem dark or weird or unconventional, challenges you’d rather me not know that you have.

Vulnerability is sharing the “darkness” within. Our inner demons. Our naughty thoughts. Our carnal natures. We all have light, and darkness. Vulnerability is letting down all propriety in each other’s company. It’s OK to be 100% you, even all the things you’ve ever thought were never OK about yourself.

Everything that’s there is you, and all that makes up the you that you are that I love. Therefore, it’s OK to share.

What else?

Vulnerability is also this: I can be strong for everyone in the world, but you are the one person where it’s OK for me to expose myself completely . . . I don’t always have to be strong for you. I will be strong. I will be strong with you and for you. But in my weakest moments, it’s OK to bare my all and be completely weak and exposed. It’s OK to have moments of powerlessness with you, moments where you have total advantage over me. And it’s OK because you’ll love me still. And I’ll love you still. And you won’t take advantage of me. And I won’t take advantage of you. And we won’t abuse the privilege of seeing the other in our weakest, most exposed positions.

I am a man. I’m supposed to be strong . . . and with you, just you, my partner, it’s OK in those moments if I’m not strong. While I’m strong for everyone else, you are the one person who gets to be strong for me.

Unconditionality: We live and choose and speak and love and act on these pillars. No. Matter. What. Nothing you do earns my fulfillment of my promises. Nothing I do causes me to deserve your fulfillment of your promises. We each, independent of the other, at all times and in all things, choose to strive to fulfill our promise in the partnership.

# # #

Whew.

I have no idea how grand and soul-stretching a journey this is going to be.

If being an entrepreneur has been a rollercoaster, then I imagine we’re in for the face-smashing, extreme-Gs of interstellar space travel. But tell you what, and this is probably obvious, I’m up for it. Not looking for an ordinary-tier partnership. I want and am working and will work for what’s extraordinary.

So, there they are for now: nine Pillars of Our Partnership.

Nine though? Don’t like the number. Would rather there be 8 or 10 or 12. I bet you’ll point out some biggies I left out. We’ll get there.

I’m so . . . just brimming and teeming with anticipation for you and what you’ll add.

When you get this, will you holler?

Onward and upward,

Nat Harward

P.S. also toying with mottos, crests, etc. “Truth and Kindness, in Deed and Word.” <== What do you think? (what led to this: strive to be kind, but never demote the truth. Words are powerful, but greater sermons are preached in action.)

P.P.S. [Nov 15] Had this thought . . . conflict and negotiation gotta go somewhere, right? Are they pillars? I don’t know . . . conflict is inevitable, you and I will never be 100% on the same page and that’s a good thing because it means we’re both continuing to have unique and meaningful contributions. We need each other. And when we’re not on the same exact page, that reality requires negotiation . . . which is communication that gets at how two people who want to choose differently will then choose to choose together . . . ok, so maybe there’s a second tier of pillars, things that combine pillars . . . communication + choice + togetherness ==> conflict; resolving conflict requires negotiation.

P.P.P.S. Guaranteed I will keep thinking of more facets; this chain of post-scripts will prolly get mighty long. Will work in those thoughts with you.

P.S.x4 [Nov 16] The word mindfulness belongs here. It’s laced in throughout already, but is so distinct it deserves to stand on its own, no? Perhaps as a pillar of living and there’s a version of it for partnership.

By |2023-11-05T21:00:28-07:00November 14th, 2016|Faith, General Life|3 Comments

(draft) Silence and Feeling

I haven’t had the radio in my car on since . . . May. Or April.

Every now and then I’ll stream music from my phone or listen to a book or podcast.

But for 90% of the miles . . . I drive in silence.

# # #

Feeling and emotion is as real of a dimension in our human experience as thinking and intellectualizing.

We’re prompted so so much to interact intellectually.

Or to interact with responsive emotions, those emotions which are secondary. They are easier to inflame. You can kind of turn them on and off at will … anger, frustration, annoyance, disgust to name a few.

But dwelling there . . . in mind and in responsive emotions . . . has me miss out on the actual experience of being me that happens at the level of primary emotions.

Hurt.

Sadness.

Grief.

Rejection.

Contentment.

Satisfaction.

Honor.

Acknowledgment.

My world has been filled with NOISE that interrupts and drowns those out.

Those emotions are calmer.

Deeper.

Quieter.

More still.

If I move too fast and have the volume too loud, I don’t feel them.

I miss them, feeling instead whatever’s triggered by my environment.

So I’ve turned the volume down.

To feel . .

That is to be connected with myself and what’s actually happening. That is to allow what exists to be there. That is to know myself. That is to resolve all the underlying bits and pieces of my life. That is to do the actual self-awareness and self-improvement work to be available to accomplish more on my own and give more to others.

So yeah . . .

I’m a fan.

Of primary emotion feeling.

And for me, it happens in spaces of stillness and quiet.

It’s there too that, as Elijah said, comes the still, small voice of the Lord. There is that “inner wisdom” narrator. When all that there is to hear is what is inside … not the messages and agenda of others outside … there’s some good stuff there.

A lot more to say.

But for now, that’s all.

I’m a fan . . .

Of primary-level feeling.

And that happens in quiet spaces.

# # #

OH one more thing . . .

 

SOMETIMES that can even mean NOT listening to “good stuff” like General Conference talks. We can take ANYTHING and make it noise. Even holy music and holy writ and holy service can, in our dark desperate moments, be used as distractions.

It’s OK to have time and space of doing nothing but being with yourself and feeling.

We’re NOT required to cram every second of every day with content consumption and busy activity.

By |2016-10-09T23:32:39-06:00October 9th, 2016|Faith, General Life|0 Comments

(draft) A Seemingly Innocuous Argument for HRC as President that’s Actually REALLY Unhealthy

“But think of what it would mean for all the little girls in the United States and the world to see a woman in the White House . . .”

. . .  said a pro-HRC friend.

I’ve heard stuff like this before.

The token victor who then “opens the doors” for everyone else of the same demographic to feel able and capable and worthy.

Well.

It’s a totally unhealthy framework to come from.

The healthiest place for a person to affirm his or her identity is from Self.

In fact, it’s UNHEALTHY to affirm value, capability, identity, worth, possibility, in the actions of another.

Little girls don’t NEED a woman in The White House to say, “as a girl, I can do whatever I want.”

That’s unhealthy.

To place stock of one’s ability in the accomplishments of another.

If a young girl did that . . . built a chunk of her identity as a WOMAN/FEMALE on HRC being president . . .

What if HRC does a horrible job?

What if HRC gets assassinated?

What if HRC gets impeached?

What if she loses in re-election?

What if ANY un-stellar thing happens?

Then all the girls with their identities wrapped up in HRC, a female, being president, could have their futures shattered … “ah, I wanted to be president, but look how it turned out for HRC, a woman . . .”

Or whatever.

There are 100 ways to spin this.

Bottom line:

The ONLY healthy place from which to assert and affirm one’s value and identity is from the Self, and connected with that for those of us who credit existence to a supreme creator and more specific believe we are created in His image . . .

“I have worth because I say so(, that I am a child of God who believes in me and loves me fully, always). I can do good and make a difference because I can and do choose to do that(, with the gift of agency He’s granted unto me and with the power and support He lends to me every day).”

You think this girl needs to see a woman in the White House to become president?

No.

With self-affirmed value like this, she’ll get there all on her if she so chooses to commit herself to that endeavor.

It is a MISTAKE to say, “Oh, but an upside of having a token first-timer of a new demography in this visible position is GOOD because think of the message that sends to everyone of that demographic . . .”

NO.

Think about the ILL already existing in our society if YOU believe that people NEED to see “someone like them” doing something good in order for them to grant themselves permission to go for it.

EVERYONE has value.

EVERYONE is better off believing that and affirming their value on their own, rather than locating it or “finding” it in someone else’s accomplishments.

YOUR value is NOT contingent on ANYONE ELSE’s choices.

If you can see this is true for you . . .

Then indeed I believe you can see it’s true for EVERYONE else too.

# # #

Btw, this is the case for ALL combinations of demographics and roles/positions/accomplishments.

By |2021-01-15T15:37:23-07:00October 9th, 2016|Faith, General Life|0 Comments