Sunday, November 17, 2013

Social Dilemna

So I'm thinking a lot recently about how to manage all of these, my, social outlets. For me it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and then of course this blog. And my quandary is largely around the blurring of lines between business and personal posting.

A while back I realized that all the parts of my big rich life inform all the other parts. So the fact that I'm a dad, a sensitive man, a meditator, and of course all of my other artistic pursuits informed my work and moreover who I am as a creative. So Ive been ok with the blurring of these lines. However it doesn't sit quite right with me. I still ponder whether I ought to separate them out somehow. A few of the areas where I'm not clear about it include:

  • Facebook. I have a Facebook page for my "business". Business FB pages don't allow you to be friends with individuals though, and so I have a bunch of friends (on my "personal" FB page) who are business related. 
  • Instagram/Flickr/Facebook. Before IG I used Flickr a lot. Now I hardly use it at all. Though they technically serve different purposes and aren't actually synonymous. Theoretically I'd use Flickr when I have a whole album of pictures to share from an event or particular time and Instagram for more social one-off kinds of things I shot with my phone. Now FB is a place people share photos much the way you used to only on Flickr or Picasa. And I use IG and FB similarly, though I don't post everything I post to IG to FB. And occasionally I'll photograph something for work, like a work in progress, and post it to the business FB page. So IG ends up being both. 
  • I use Google+ largely for work related things, though every time I open it on my phone it asks me if I want to post the most recent photos and sometimes I say yes so it ends up having images from my personal life as well as work in progress and other business related posts and reposts. Is that ok? 
  • I barely use Pinterest, though this is a little clearer to me what I'd use it for. 
  • Same with Twitter, though I use Twitter a fair amount. Not really with any images any more, and a definite blend of work and personal, though lately heavily weighted towards business related posts. 
So, what am I getting at? I guess I want to know what people think about this mix of business and personal. Is it ok to mix the two as much as I do, as I'm describing? How do you do it? I know I'm not the only one with this kind of questioning going on. Leave a comment. Give me your thoughts. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Good Morning!

5 minutes of mindful breathing and focused prayer.

Water on the face.

RE pad mind dump.

To-Do Today plan for the day.

1 song freak out/let go/booty shake and pull on the Love of God (Hard!).

I feel ready to conquer this.

How do you start the day?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lessons

Here are a few lessons I learned this morning.

  1. When hiking for the first time in, well, months, set expectations carefully. Also, wear less than you would need if you were say, going for a walk. Wish I had a picture of how beautiful the sun was rising over Boulder though. 
  2. When AT&T says that they are going to turn your phone off, you should probably go over there right away. I thought they had made a mistake on my billing cycle, turns out they had, and I had also. So we were both "wrong". My phone didn't work today though and so I lost an hour to sorting it out. Good news, the nice man helping me figured out a way to save $60 a month across the whole plan. Problems coming with silver linings. 
  3. If you are planning on getting up at 6 to begin your spiritual practice of austerities and mind clearing meditation, you should probably go to sleep more than 3 hours before you are going to wake up. Otherwise you'll wake up at 7:15 and have to rush to do everything. 
  4. Everything is as it should be. It's all about your perspective. Despite all of that, I managed to have a good hike (the first in too long), I got everything I needed to accomplished, I got $60 a month knocked off my mobile bill and I probably lost a little extra weight from all the extra sweating I did during said hike. 
I'm very happy with the way twentythirteen is shaping up already. I'm feeling inspired to write (amongst other things) and I can feel that it's going t take some time to get used to this. I'll keep slugging away at it. Meanwhile I'm more connected to Fiona, I have some very interesting work opportunities popping up, I have more to do than I have time for and that's the right problem to have. Thank God for my meditation practice which helps me clear my mind and focus my energy in the right next area. 

Short one this time. I'll probably try and get to it again this week. Thanks for listening. Pictures next time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Here. I. Go.

Well, like so many others I'm sure I'm starting off the year with lots of intentions, one of which is to keep coming forward, and one way for me to do that is to get this ol' blog restarted. I feel totally new to it again, and it's a bit awkward, so bear with me as I get my feet under me again and get going.

So, twenty thirteen. I'm declaring this:

The Year of Responsibility and Prosperity
(With a Helping of Abundance)

My intentions for the year fall into several basic categories. 

FOR MYSELF
  • Be more responsible in the following areas: Work, As a Father, As a Partner and as a spiritual seeker. 
  • This also means to become MUCH more financially responsible. 
  • This includes becoming D E B T  F R E E. Big goal. More on that later. 
  • As I mentioned before, I have come forward in my life considerably in the last few years, and there has been some time this last year or so that I've been more focused within. It's time to start coming out again. This blog will be one of the vehicles I'll use to do that. 
  • Create More. I want to spend more time in my creativity than in management or suffering avoidance. 
  • Along with the creating, I want to play more. Really play, like a child. With a child. 
  • With the two above, I want to stay loose. I tend to bear down and get all uptight. Less of that. More flexibility. 
  • Exercise more. Eat less. 

WITH MY DAUGHTER
    • Meditate play dance cry laugh cook connect. 
    • Play More. As above, I tend to be a taxi driver, cook, helper, motivator or shepherd, and I want to spend more time being with her. Playing with her. Exploring with her. 
    • The focus of my energy with her is to raise her up. Not to come down on her or be an overbearing force in her life. I want to help her find the wind beneath her wings and see her take flight. 
    • And I really need to watch my reactions with her. I am finding when I tune in to her, with her, etc. that she often, or more often than it's actually true, she thinks I'm upset with her. That's my responsibility. 
    • And similarly, I am pondering what my actions say to her. This is a new level of awareness I'm trying to develop. More on that below. 

    IN MY RELATIONSHIP
    • Be more playful and less serious. It's so easy to get wrapped up in things and to forget to play. 
    • We're setting off this year intending to meditate together at least once a week. And with the kids a few times a month or as it feels right. 
    • Take our kids into consideration in a whole new way.  
    • Be more vulnerable. 
    • Exercise more, eat at home, read and talk. 

    SPIRITUALLY

      • Get back to my daily practice. I'll write more about this in the coming weeks. Chiefly, begin and end the day intentionally and with God. 
      • Meditate. Every. Day. 
      • Keep DJing and participating in classes. 
      • Keep bringing the tools and teachings of the path I'm on out to the world. 

      IN MY CAREER

        • This is the year of getting my career completely back on track. 
        • This is an area where I desire to become much more responsible. This will include being more proactive about communications, timing, setting expectations, tracking time, etc. 
        • It's time to get my social presence out there, finish the web site, and begin networking in a much more aggressive way here in Boulder. 
        • This is the obvious area for me to really engage my creativity, and get myself out there as an artist, as a thinker, as a creative person. 

        One of the key points I've been getting to after going over this list for the last week or so and sharing with a few people is this notion of being responsible to others. Considering others. This is a rich topic, which I'd like to write more about later, and what I want to say here is that it is by considering others that we find our own true work. If I make other people's well being and interests more important than my own, or at the very least be willing to truly consider them, then that is the work I want to be doing in my heart. It is not easy, at least for me. I am finding as I lean into this that it often leads to sacrifice. Mostly of what my preferences are. And that is where the really good stuff starts to happen.

            Tuesday, January 26, 2010

            Ponderings on Separation

            I was writing a letter to someone this morning and part of what I was writing about was the separation we feel between us when we have been estranged by hurt feelings, miscommunication, or some other form of pain. I wrote a phrase which struck me afterwords and so I'm trying to write a little more about it here.
            "There is no separation. That which separates us is only illusion, and when we see it as real, only then does it have power over us."
            This is a concept I know I picked up along the way in the teachings I have been studying and practicing. I hadn't ever spoken it this clearly before though. And I find it to be so true, that when we see these hurts, this pain as real, it is only then that it has the power to separate us. Because when we look within our selves. Look into our hearts, there is no separation between any of us. We are all part of the whole, of all that is. Of love. And what a beautiful thing to hold in our hearts. I want to keep that at the center of my being. I want that to be where I live from, that we are all one.

            This plays into another realization abut separation I had recently. It is that agreement does not equal closeness, nor does disagreement equal separation. This strikes me as a most basic truth, and yet I am only recently uncovering the concepts I had put together in this area. It seems that long ago I cobbled together the idea that when there is disagreement, there is separation. And that's 'the way it is'. And what a lie. What an ingenious tool of the illusion to keep us separate. And what I have found recently is that in fact, when we are completely honest, and dedicated to speaking truth, even when uncomfortable, or contrary to the opinions and beliefs of the person sitting across from you, there is more real closeness than in agreement.

            So don't believe the lie. And don't let the fear of separation stop you from standing in your truth, because by doing so you expose the truest parts of yourself. And what could be more vulnerable, and beautiful? And when you can do that together, though it may 'feel' uncomfortable in the moment, you are closer to one another than ever before.

            Thursday, January 21, 2010

            Kombucha is Wonderful


            I've been brewing Kombucha now for a little over a year and I really enjoy both brewing (and subsequently drinking) it. One of the by-products of brewing kombucha is the constant production of scobies (scoby stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) the live cultures that fuel the fermentation process. Recently I had amassed enough of them that I started seeking out people to give them away to. Most of them wanted or needed an explanation of the brewing process so I decided to write this post about how I do it. I'll also include a number of links to resources I've found over time.

            To start off, here is a link to the site which I used to get started. He gives a very good and detailed description of the process which provided the basis for how I do it now. On this page the brewing instructions are a third of the way down.

            Now I'll describe how I do it and what I use, then below I'll include some links to the resources I've found. I brew two gallon batches at a time. The first step is to boil two gallons of water. Once the water is boiled I add 2 1/4 cups of organic raw cane sugar and 8 decaf tea bags. I use the Taylor's of Harrogate Decaf Black available here. I like the decaf tea and you can't go wrong with Taylor's. It's available at most Whole Foods stores. Then you let that cool and place it, with a scoby, in a container in which it will ferment. Once you've brewed a batch you also want to include 1 cup per gallon of the finished, fermented, kombucha tea. If this is your very first batch you can use 1/2 cup per gallon of distilled, white vinegar. This will innoculate the mixture and keep it safe from mold.

            I use a glass jar which I purchased at a restaurant supply store. It's this one which happens to be available at Amazon. I like the two gallon batches because with a 2-3 week brewing cycle I end up with a batch that lasts me. I keep the jars in a cupboard in our kitchen, where it won't get too cold, and it's not in any direct sunlight. The scobies don't like to get too hot. They're very sensitive.

            Speaking of the brewing cycle, I do two fermentations. The first one, here in Boulder in winter is 2-2.5 weeks. During the summer months when the weather is warmer it's more like 1.5 weeks. You'll know you are done by a few measures. First and best is to taste it. I take the cover off, push the scobies down into the brew and stir it up a little. Typically there will be some bubbles and the smell will be mildly sour. I sip it with a straw, or dip a small glass in to taste it. If it's too sweet that means you need to let it go for a while longer. There's still too much sugar that hasn't been burned up by the fermentation process. You also don't want it to be too sour, simply because it won't taste good. You have to let a batch go for a long time before it's really too sour to drink.

            I do a second fermentation which adds more effervescence and I add some flavour at this stage of the process. For the second ferment I remove the scoby from the big jar, placing it in a glass bowl. Then I stir the mixture to mix up the cultures which often have settled to the bottom of the jar. I flavour with lemon ginger tea and I use 4, 1/2 gallon Ball jars with 1/2 of a cup of the lemon ginger tea in the bottom of each. I pour the kombucha into each smaller jar and seal them with their standard screw top lids and then store them in the same cupboard I do the rest. I do this second ferment for between a week and two weeks depending on the climate and how bubbly I want it. You don't have to worry too much about it going sour at this point since once the scoby is out the fermenting slows down considerably. Once you're done with this second ferment you may find that some small scobies have grown in the jars. This is fine. I dispose of them as they're not really strong enough to grow into larger ones and fuel a batch.

            Then you can drink your batch. I then further decant into G.T. Dave's bottles. I like them because of the size of the mouth and they have nice metal tops which are easy to wash and refill. Also, I drink about one 16oz bottle of this kombucha per day, so the size suits me. For larger bottles, the Santa Cruz Organic juice bottles are a handy size and I've found them easy to remove the labels from. These are great to bring to parties, etc. Once I've done this final decanting I keep it in the fridge.

            You can skip the second ferment if you like the flavour and amount of bubble the first ferment produces. These days I try to rotate two batches so I don't run out in between. You can do this by starting a first ferment every time you finish one, so you've always got a batch going from ferment one to ferment two and so forth.

            An aside. I've heard some people have concerns about a batch going bad and people getting sick. I've personally never experienced this, and from what I've read this only happens if you get mold on the scoby. Once in Oakland during a really warm spell we had fruit flies invade our kitchen and they laid some eggs in the top scoby. I threw out that batch and the scoby and continued on with no ill consequences. Also, as it is a fermented beverage, there is a slight amount of alcohol which is a by product of the fermentation. I'm a sober alcoholic, and I have no qualms about drinking the kombucha I brew. The degree to which it is intoxicating is so minimal that I estimate I would need to drink practically a whole batch to get a buzz, and it wouldn't be a very satisfying buzz at that.

            If you give it a try, I hope you enjoy brewing as much as I have. And do let me know how it's going. I'm happy to provide any advice I can and certainly share in your successes.

            RESOURCES
            The site I linked to above, with the initial instructions I used to get started.
            http://web.mac.com/willwinter/willwinter.mac.com/GOOD_STUFF.html


            A great overview of Kombucha and the whole process.
            http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/index_kombucha.shtml

            An alternate source for the brewing instructions with pictures from a cool site.
            http://www.instructables.com/id/Kombucha-Brewing-Instructions/

            An article about selecting different teas for brewing kombucha.
            http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/kombucha_teas.shtml

            Site with good information and supplies you can order.
            http://www.organic-kombucha.com/index.html

            Monday, December 28, 2009

            Now *That's* Courageous

            This is my first official 'Shameless (friend of my) Self Promotion' post. I wanted to write something about how inspired I have been my friend Kate Swoboda. I met her several years ago when she began dating a good friend of mine. Over time we got to know one another and one of the things I always appreciated about Kate is that she is very direct. This sometimes made me uncomfortable, as her opinion was not always aligned with mine (when are all of our opinions always aligned...uh, never). And I came to appreciate this quality in her. I came call Kate a friend and have watched as my friends' grew and changed and they worked on themselves and the relationship. And as someone who has spent a good deal of time 'working' on my relationship, and myself, I have been so impressed and honoured to know them as they have transformed. I'm proud to know both of them and they each inspire me in their own ways.

            Yet I digress (imagine that). This post is about Courageous Kate. In the past year(s) I have seen Kate change an enormous amount of the way her life works, and now, at the beginning of the coming year she will have transitioned completely from her former job into a career and life as what she calls a "counselor/coach, retreat leader, and e-course creator". I call it living a life that's more fulfilling and aligned with one's vision for the world, one's purpose. And I find it incredibly inspiring. So this post is to encourage you, dear reader, to check out Kate's site and the projects she has going on. I personally recommend her as a coach and though I have not done the e-course or one of her retreats, I know they are amazing experiences that give participants everything they need to start living a more purposeful, passionate and fulfilling life. And that's something I believe in very deeply.

            Her site is: http://www.yourcourageouslife.com/
            She has a Vimeo channel here: http://www.vimeo.com/user2236602
            And can be found on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/katecourageous

            Seriously, take a few minutes to check out what she's up to. I'm inspired reading about this stuff and if you feel the slightest pull, I strongly suggest you try out one of her programs. They have been created by someone who changed her own life and they are sure to change yours if you so desire.

            With love and care.