It focuses us on the thin line between what is there and what is not there.

standing-wheat-field-sun-rise

The silence is profound this morning. It is not portentous; there seems to be nothing in the waiting. It is a gentle silence, liquid and pastel, a shimmer on still waters. It is good to listen to the silence that surrounds each day. In the same way that music is made alive by the silence that surrounds the notes, a day comes alive by the silence that surrounds our actions. And the dawn is the time when silence reveals herself most clearly.

I once met a man who was raised on the Canadian prairies. We got to talking about the open space, and how it had shaped his spirit. “When the wind stops,” he said, “it is so loud that everyone pauses to listen.” The thought intrigued me. How could the end of a sound be loud? But when I traveled to those prairies, I began to understand. For the people in the great prairies, the sound they hear, the music that underlies their lives, is the constant and ever-present howl of the wind. To them it is no sound at all. When it is removed, the silence takes a different shape, and all are aware of it; all pause to hear.

We need to pay heed to the many silences in our lives. An empty room is alive with a different silence than a room where someone is hiding. The silence of a happy house echoes less darkly than the silence of a house of brooding anger. The silence of a winter morning is sharper than the silence of a summer dawn. The silence of a mountain pass is larger than the silence of a forest glen. These are not fantasies, they are subtle discriminations of the senses. Though all are the absence of sound, each silence has a character of its own. No meditation better clears the mind than to listen to the shape of the silence that surrounds us. It focuses us on the thin line between what is there and what is not there. It opens our heart to the unseen, and reminds us that the world is larger than the events that fill our days.

Into this morning’s silence comes the first call of a bird. I listen carefully. It cuts through the silence like a rainbow through the dawn.

~ Kent Nerburn, ‘The Eloquence of Silence’ from “Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life


Photograph: Tina

This Holiday: Give Presence


Thank you Rachel

How do you make it lie down?

australian-lizard-blue-tongue

…I’ve never seen anything as strong or as stubborn,” he says.
And I think,
how do you tame a wild tongue,
train it to be quiet,
how do you bridle it and saddle it?
How do you make it lie down?

~ Gloria Anzaldua, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue“, From Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza


Credits: Photograph of Australian Blue Tongue Lizard: Tammy Puntti. Poem Source: The Chateau of My Heart

Pause. Then, ask yourself 3 questions:

funny-gif-need-said-question

funny-gif-need-said-question-ask-2

funny-gif-need-said-question-ask-think-3


Ouch. Hitting close to the bone here…


Source: themetapicture

Sounds Like Nature


And this post was inspired by this “List of Nice Sounds

nice-sounds


Gotta know when to hold ’em

cards, leadership, management

I’m on a conference call.
A long conference call.
The discussion is stretching and swirling in a loop.
I can feel my patience growing thin.

Is this normal brainstorming? 
Or part of the creative process?  
Or is this a complete mess?  
Or is my lack of sleep clouding my judgment? 

My mind drifts.
I call up one of my favorite management books: QBQ by John Miller.
John would suggest that I ask the Question Behind the Question?

Why am I amped up?  
What have I done to contribute to the rudderless direction of this call?  

I think about that for a moment.
Nah, can’t be me. Of course not.

I let the debate go on. I listen in silently hoping the solve is coming.

I turn to gnawing on a finger nail.
Aren’t you too old to be biting your finger nails? Disgusting habit. [Read more…]

Talking is like drinking a great Cabernet. Listening is like doing squats.

talking too much


  • “Take this simple test: After your next long conversation with someone, estimate what percentage of it you spent talking. Be honest. No, you’re already underestimating. How do I know? Because it’s more fun to talk than to listen. Add another 20% to your total. If you talked more than 70% of the time, you jabber too much.”
  • “An optimal conversation flow has each person talking about 50% of the time. This is the Ali-Frazier of good give-and-take.”
  • “But, you say, what if your talking partner is just quiet and loves to listen? Stop it. She doesn’t. Listening is like reading a corporate report. Talking is like eating a cinnamon bun.”
  • So how do you achieve this 50-50 conversational ideal? Easy: ask questions. But don’t think that one “How are you?” is going to turn you into Oprah. Actually listen to what the other person is saying, and find openings.”
  • “But if you’re talking about someone whom your conversation partner doesn’t know, especially a mother, keep it short—one minute tops, unless it’s a truly fantastic story.”
  • “I can hear you complaining already: “One minute? But I need to include all the details.” No you don’t…Your job is to quickly entertain and inform, and then to ask good questions…”
  • “Also, let your chattering breathe a little. One dastardly arrow in the big talker’s quiver is to slow down in the middle of his sentence, then to blow through the period so that there’s no opening for anyone to squeeze a word in.”
  • “Another essential rule is to monitor your audience. Is the guy you’re talking to glancing at his cellphone, spinning his Dorito like a paper football or making his tie into a noose? If so, pull the ripcord and ask him if Heineken is his favorite beer, since you’ve just seen him drain five of them. Watch how relieved he is to have a turn to talk!”

~ Rob Lazebnik, a writer on “The Simpson’s. See full article @ wsj.com: It’s True: You Talk Too Much


I have a few ‘acquaintances’ that could benefit from these tips. :)


Image Credit

Serve

Bird-feeding-dog-GIF

“We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead.”

William Arthur Ward


Sources: Image – iraffiruse via clausleesemann. Quote: Yahoo Voices

Patience Grasshopper. Patience.

foot tapping, funny, laugh, business, multitasking, work, professional,

Michael’s in my head again. Jabbing. Jabbing. Jabbing. Gracefully dancing and landing punches like Sugar Ray. With similar effectiveness. Each one leaving a mark. Punch line popping: You are RUDE.

If you want to pay someone a quiet compliment, give them some serious attention when they are speaking.

I’m in the groove. Making up lost time on a long neglected project with a looming deadline. And, then a colleague with unscheduled “drop-in” meeting walks through my door. My flow is interrupted. “It will just take a few minutes,” was the request. Rather than setting expectations as to my time upfront or scheduling a meeting to accommodate the discussion, I reluctantly shoe-horn it in.
We’re five minutes in. And we are wading. In a swamp. My mind begins to wander. (My foot starts tapping. I start playing with my pen. I sneak glances at my watch. TRIGGERS. Susan’s post intrudes: You see the triggers pal. The alarms are coming at you in waves. Pull up. Pull up. Do not go to the “automated response.”

Billion a Second…

black and white, girl, freckles, eye, close-up, portrait, face

This meeting was no different than any other.  No different from the hundreds of meetings in the days, the months before.  Where I’m on to the next meeting while attending the one in front of me.  Meetings with a replicated loop.  Mind whirring…processing.  Me pushing. Me prodding. Agitating.  Me wanting and needing more. Extraction. Creating discomfort.  Manufacturing urgency.  I’m not looking for you to love me.  That’s what your dog is for.  This morning, my level of consciousness had been ratcheted up by a few lines from Daniel Bor the night before.  And, I roll into the first meeting of the day.  I’m listening.  I’m watching.

[Read more…]