Connections

The Digh Tribe

Posted by on Feb 25, 2012 in Authenticity, Community, Connections, Creativity, Inspiration, Intention, Learning, Wholehearted, Writing | 6 comments

When I learned about an online writing course that author Patti Digh was offering called Verb Tribe I was immediately intrigued and eager to learn more. The tag line is “Because writing is a verb: something you do, a daily practice.”  A daily practice, huh? Almost a year ago I committed to joining my friend Kathy and my husband Jeff in writing daily. We each work on our own projects with our own tools at our own time and pace. Every day.  WriteNiters meets one night a month and we have dinner at a different restaurant each time; read each other’s work, offer feedback and encouragement, vent, brainstorm, and laugh. And of course drink wine! Both smart moves to develop a writing practice that works:  a loving fun support system as well as external accountability.  My first distraction to creating a writing practice: I have struggled with writing on the computer, all my previous creative writing was done by hand. It’s a completely different act and I resisted. But since I can’t read my own handwriting consistently and I didn’t want to have to type it after I’d written it, that felt like writing it twice—aaack—I tap, tap, tap. My purple laptop helps make typing inviting and I have unlimited options for where I write. Where and how do you write dear reader? Daily for a year I have shown up to the page and written—something. Well, most every day. Even if it was crap, I stuck to my commitment to myself and to my fellow writers. I have compiled 63,982 words on 264 pages. The intention was to practice showing up. Yet, the closer I get to the end of my screenplay the less often I have been showing up. Lots of distractions, higher priorities, and excuses run rampant. No wonder Verb Tribe’s slogan grabbed me, because ‘writing IS a verb’ and I wasn’t DOING much writing. I participated in Patti Digh’s live webinar launch for her newly revamped website 37Days and afterwards she offered participants a discount to VerbTribe (I even won a virtual doorprize!) When I read the offer it ‘thrummed’ in me. When my gut tells me I’m on the right path or about to move in the ideal direction I feel it throughout my body. Like the surge of a low musical note running through my veins. And it wasn’t my brain but my body that said: I’m in. My experience of writing daily prompts (for 37 days), copying poems and passages by hand, and taking daily notes about the world around me has been joyfully transformative. As a person and as a person who writes. Patti uses Ruzuku for participants or The Tribe as we call ourselves, to receive daily prompts and to post their writing, thoughts and discoveries, photos, or videos.  It was exciting yet daunting. It was taking a leap before an edge was in sight. This space was ours to create and what we have chosen to manifest is an example of love in action. Our Ruzuku space and our live calls are places where we can be fully seen and fully heard. As people and as people who write.   And then there is Patti. Wise. Articulate. Funny. Talented. Real. Inspiring. Balanced. (Maybe that last one would make her laugh but from my vantage point I see she has actualized a balance of doing and being)  She lives fully—and she writes. She’s a mom first. And she writes. She’s wife to Mr. Brilliant. And she writes. She has a successful business. And she writes.  She has a gift for...

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My hat’s off to Tilley

Posted by on Jan 11, 2012 in Connections, Family, Travel | 0 comments

Jeff researched the best hat to wear while fishing about fifteen years ago. He chose a Tilley Endurables hat and it has been his best pal on many adventures and misadventures. We even have a photo of it taken underwater in the Bahamas where it was tied to the anchor and trying to float. Yes, Tilley hats float. 😉 The owner's manual is quite humorous and written by Alex Tilley himself, here are a few excerpts: The wind cord is like a seatbelt: Useless Unless Worn. From time to time you’ll meet rather wonderful people, simply because they’re also wearing the Hat. Some may become friends, and that’s the nicest thing of all. Hold onto your hat! Here's the insurance policy that comes with specific models of Tilley hats: If your (unbleached) Tilley Hat ever wears out…we’ll replace it free. Ever? Seriously? We tested their promise by sending his old friend in for a new one, including $7.50 for shipping and a request to return the original hat. Below is Jeff's newest buddy! Awesome customer service that. Absolute customer loyalty....

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Reading list from Learning2011

Posted by on Nov 30, 2011 in Books, Challenges, Connections, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning | 1 comment

Many of the speakers and presenters at Learning 2011 were also authors and so I've compiled a list of their books and the books they recommended. Being a bibliophile and working with a group of librarians made this list a must have! The Learning Explosion: 9 Rules to Ignite Your Virtual Classroom By Matt Murdoch & Treion Muller The Art of the Focused Conversation Edited by  R. Brian Stanfield Wikinomics & Macrowikinomics By Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams Back to Work By Bill Clinton The Big Sort By Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing Being Wrong By Kathryn Schulz The Indian Clerk: A Novel By David Leavitt Social Media for Trainers By Jane Bozarth Power of Pull By John Seely Brown The Checklist Manifesto By Atul Gawande Take the Lead By Betsy...

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Dean Kamen rocks!

Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 in Connections, Inspiration, Learning, Making a difference, Science, Web/Tech | 1 comment

Prior to attending Learning2011 I had not heard of Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and other amazing and life impacting robotic inventions. He was such a down to earth humorous guy I was hooked before I even heard about what he's done with kids, science, and technology! He founded USFIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) twenty years ago "To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders." I think you'll be wowed by Dean's story and inspired to pursue your dreams with a renewed enthusiasm!  ...

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Learning 2011 Transactive memory

Posted by on Nov 28, 2011 in Connections, Learning, Science, Web/Tech | 0 comments

I found this topic of transactive memory absolutely fascinating! These are two short videos from Learning 2011 of Betsy Sparrow, Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. Betsy is the co-author of “Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips,” which appeared in Science magazine in July 2011. Here are the highlights for me: If people believe information is accessible they don’t bother to remember itThe Internet allows us to access the memories of other peopleTransactive memory allows us to devote more cognitive resources to...

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A call to action from Mr. Clinton

Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Books, Connections, Inspiration, Making a difference, Wholehearted | 0 comments

Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Learning 2011 Conference I attended last week on behalf of my client. Our host and presenter Elliott Maisie asked our former president to tie his speech to the topic of learning as a continued conversation about the future of learning. Mr. Clinton was scheduled to speak for thirty minutes and be interviewed by our host for thirty minutes. He took the topic to heart and masterfully wove the culture around learning into every aspect of his presentation. Mr. Clinton was ushered in by the lively playing of Eric Stanley on the violin. (More about Eric's amazing talent in a future post.) He had two pages of notes, there was no teleprompter for this live audience of just over 2000 people. And he did put his reading glasses on but then proceeded to speak to us from the heart for sixty minutes without using his notes at all! I’m not a public speaker and could never imagine what it takes to connect with so many people so intimately. He knew his stuff. And regardless of a person’s political views or personal opinions of Bill Clinton I think he reached many hearts and minds that evening. I was awed and impressed by his passion for his country, his commitment to making a difference in the world, and for his message of possibility and call to action. Thank you Mr. Clinton for leading the way as a philanthropist and humanist and keeping our dreams for the future alive. Here are the highlights as I recall them; my note taking was scribbled longhand so I’m not quoting directly: The How’s: How do we  invite people to “…drop their barriers to hearing new things in new ways.” What’s the roll of education and learning in creating new systems? Ditto the roll of technology and how will we disseminate it. How to lift people up (third world countries) without tearing yourself down. How to share the future. His call to action: Lifetime learning—be a lifelong learner We have to reform our systems and there’s a vital educational component to that Re-form education how much we can teach through technology Copy models that work, re-forming the way we learn Why don’t good ideas or models travel in developed societies? A glimpse of his initiatives at The Clinton Foundation: Renewable energy and climate change Childhood obesity Mr. Clinton is an avid reader and says he learns best by reading, here are a few titles he recommended: His new book of course, Back to Work (yes I bought a copy!) Bill Bishop’s The Big Sort  Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt (a novel recommended by his daughter Chelsea) Wisdom: Utter once a day: I was wrong or I don’t know. Develop a decision making process that’s rooted in tomorrow. Everybody has a story—he grew up in a family of storytellers where you had to demonstrate you could listen to a story before you were allowed to tell one. Most people are happiest doing what they are best...

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