Tag Archives: blogging

changes at change therapy: expectations and silence

Bridge Over Some Water
where does this go?

those of you who have been here often may have noticed that i’ve become somewhat quiet lately. here’s why.

i’m trying to revamp my life a bit. bringing some things to a close, shedding others – basically making room for something new. what that new thing is, i don’t know (i guess that’s why it’s a “something”). i also am experiencing a time when i often don’t have a lot of energy.

trying to post less on this blog has been an interesting experience. writing these regular entries here has mostly been very positive – it’s honed my ability to quickly throw down a few words on a topic in such a way as to express myself at least somewhat clearly. it’s given me a structure to write on a very regular basis. perhaps most of all, it’s connected me to YOU – a wide variety of interesting and insightful people.

so why would i slow down when it’s such a great thing? i guess it’s what is sometimes referred to as a “luxury problem”: too much of a good thing is still too much. in fact, it may not be the writing and connecting in itself that is too much but the expectations i have around it. must post at least 4 times a week. must answer comments. etc. i’d like to experiment with wrenching myself away from these expectations and see what happens. probably some of them are good expectations (like answering comments). others might not be so useful.

the other thing that has been rattling around in my head lately, more than usual, is the whole concept of “improving on silence.” is what i am saying really that important? is the world truly a better place for me adding my voice to the 15 thousand gazillion voices already out there? i need some time to think about this.

i’m not planning to abandon this blog at all. however, i’d like to relax on how often i post, and maybe also on what i post. i’d like to stop or at least put on hold the construction project of building the ego-gratifying self image of “isabella mori the blogger.”

so let’s see what happens …

bryan alexander improv

unable to hear internet legend’s bryan alexander’s keynote address at northern voice (the reverb was awful), i decided to turn it into an experiment. for about 15 minutes, i recorded the words i could hear (maybe every 10th word or so), then i categorized them and turned them into an improv style remix. here is bryan alexander (captured by bionicteaching), and below him, the remix

bryan alexander at university of richmond

good design minimizes confusion and empowers the user. good design is for anyone. so many anyones, they are a whole congregation. the first generation of users talked to nobody. that raised a lot of eyebrows, even frankensister’s. but then, brother, the creature changed, although not into a mouse. the congregation became an audience; there was a different character to it. they changed from puppets to humans – great human characters! “and that character acts,” said kathy sierra to bryan and sean, “it has footsteps! if you do it right, they will pay you the great fee of attention.”

at that point, everyone started thinking and reflecting and more thinking, and they came up with reasons and answers. there were times in 20th century technology, not like right now, where you simply began with two things: a new game, and a moment of confusion. you couldn’t just jump from china to the united states, that would have killed you. you would have become a casualty of science fiction horror stories, landing in the eerie, creepy graveyard that everyone fears. but then it’s never the shininess that pulls us in but the darkness.

let’s get back to technology, like twitter, twitter and more twitter. or turn on the TV, and you have virtual reality! media infects your computer when you download a podcast or some videos from flickr. actually, there are some series of videos i can’t really describe, they’re new gadgets (but really new versions of old machines).

how spirited they are! amazing! what a great way to design things! the intensity sure gets our attention. excellent! it brings up people’s self esteem – aaaah! very attractive, a wonderful gift to the world.

and what is that gift, you ask? it’s text! it’s storytelling. yeah, stories about science fiction, stories about writing stories. their titles can be so good, they themselves bring in large amounts of comments. stories are important. stories are the keynote.

of course, this needs to be explained, even though it’s not explainable. it’s a puzzle but it can be explained in part. you like a sense of mystery, don’t you? it’s a surprise. it brings contrast into your life. surprise is crucial, it’s a shocking shift to suddenly reveal the mysterious, to make it visible. like in a murder mystery. mystery, of course, is a thing of speed. it’s about the hidden chamber, the pregnant pause, the sense of awe and terror that comes with just a few very strange shadows …

and that brings energy into the design, an extra force. the power of it is engaging, it pulls us in. at the same time, we must draw on the balance of power. “it needs to be expressed,” she said, and after a moment of friction, it can be dumped, if only reluctantly.

all of this can lead to addiction. but there are a lot of ways. if you’ve ever heard the twilight, you’ll find out that it’s designed so that the covers are the series. it’s a classic, classic endemic economy that sets you up to trust each other. it can look like a facsimile, and i understand that concerns you.

you are silent now.

but you have the scoop.

good design is mysterious.

journaling – what works for you?

today, please visit marie at coming out of the trees.    about her blog she says

i’m passing along a collection of excerpts from my personal and therapy journals to whomever needs to read them. i’m sharing my story so that those of you who are on a similar journey can know that you aren’t the only one – and so you can know that there is a way through. it is my intention to tell my story with both authenticity and dignity.

the title of my blog comes from a phrase i penned in the fall of 2007:

“i feel like i am walking through a thick forest and i don’t know where i’m heading, i only know to follow the compass. i believe someday i will come out of the trees and into a clearing. i believe that, when i enter the clearing, i will finally know my primary life’s calling. until then, i have to walk in faith.”

marie gave me the great honour to comment on one of her journal entries what works for you?.  in that entry, she talks about her relationship with god; i concentrate mostly on the journal writing process – a topic, as you may know, that interests me quite a bit – see journaling for healing, creative writing: waking up from our routines,
women, therapy and blogging, journaling: a dialogue or blogging yourself home.

blog action day


october 15 is blog action day.

blog action day is an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. the aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.

the goal

first and last, the purpose of blog action day is to create a discussion. bloggers are asked to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue.

by doing so on the same day, the blogging community effectively changes the conversation on the web and focuses audiences around the globe on that issue.

out of this discussion naturally flow ideas, advice, plans, and action. in 2007 on the theme of the environment, we saw bloggers running environmental experiments, detailing innovative ideas on creating sustainable practices, and focusing their audience’s attention on organizations and companies promoting green agendas. in 2008 we covered the theme of poverty, and similarly focused the blogging community’s energies around discussing the wide breadth of the issue from many perspectives and identifying innovative and unexpected solutions. this year we aim to do the same for climate change, an issue that threatens us all.

how you can help

from the smallest online journals to huge online magazines, blog action day is about mass participation. anyone is free to join in on blog action day and there is no limit on the number of posts, the type of posts or the direction of thoughts and opinions.

how it all started

blog action day was founded by collis & cyan ta’eed in the summer of 2007. with the support of their team at envato in australia as well as numerous volunteers, they recruited over 20,000 bloggers to write about the issue of environment on october 15, 2007 – making the first blog action day an immediate and quite unexpected success.

in 2009, collis and cyan asked the team at change.org, the world’s leading blog network for social issues, to take over responsibility of blog action day and expand its reach. we were honored to accept the offer.

want to participateÉ click on the image at the beginning of the post.

diversity and inclusion

here’s a little more from raul’s blog. the topic raul broached was diversity. by the way, those of you who are not engaged in social media, please don’t run away. because guess what – what’s happening in social media is very similar to what’s happening IRL – i mean, in real life 🙂

raul quotes tamera kramer

“diversity actually means diverse voices too. and I also would throw in that while lack of women’s voices is a HUGE issue, we should also be talking about opening the field beyond white/ straight/ physically capable. let’s define what being truly diverse really means.”

tamera is absolutely right. why isn’t there a conversation around diversity and what it means both in general for the speaker’s circuit and for the social media world overall?

there are some very good comments on raul’s blog, ranging from whether “having a conference for example for gay Latino men that excludes everyone else” is or isn’t the answer (tris and cecily say something about that) to underscoring the need to hear the voices of people with disabilities (ganga and glenda weigh in on this) to wondering how supportive social media in vancouver – and probably elsewhere – really is (kudos to steff) to warning of the pitfalls of social privilege given to people with diverse backgrounds, using the example of livejournal (atomicpoet).

here are a few things i added to the comments

inclusion AND diversity, once we go beyond the obvious, are very difficult, one of the reasons being what tris mentioned – it’s HARD to grasp.

it’s like fish trying to understand why humans fear drowning, or a grasshopper trying to grasp what’s so good about living under a rock 200 m deep in the ocean.

or wait! in most cases that would be the wrong metaphor – because a grasshopper sees no need to imagine the life of an undersea creature.

or wait! THAT’s what social media and blogging are – theoretically – so good for: hearing/seeing/reading what “those other” people live like, love, hate, and laugh about.

social media and blogging have helped open a lot of topics that were previously taboo or accessible only to far-off corners of society. terra gave a fabulous example of that when she talked about how mommybloggers did away with stigma around mental illness during MentalHealthCamp.

are we ready to take the next step?

the next step is going from nodding enthusiastically to acting on what we have found when we looked through the social media windows into other people’s lives. here are a few ideas if we truly want to hear the voices that so far we have not heard, for whatever reason (one of them being that our ears were closed). how do we make it possible for those voices to be heard?

let’s take the voice of poverty. how is someone on low income going to get to an event in a far-off suburb? car? probably not. public transit? IS there public transit going to the event? and if so, how much does it cost? how do you think it feels for someone on low income to always ask for money for such events? and remember, they need to get the money for it beforehand, not after, because if you are on low income, you have days where you have no cash whatsoever.

the voices that haven’t been heard much are often untrained voices. tris says we should look for “the best person to speak on that topic”. it’s easy for the mainstream to say what “best” means, and that measuring stick is often self-referencing. does “best” mean polished, up-to-date, articulate, in-group like? or could it mean someone who adds a new perspective, someone who wakes us up, perhaps by making us feel uncomfortable? we all love to quote people like gandhi, dr. martin luther king or einstein for the courage they instill to go against the grain. easy to do in hindsight and from our comfy chairs. but think about how lonely, scared, inept and other they felt when they first started out. are we ready to tolerate, even embrace that otherness?

inclusiveness means including everyone. here’s an example, which is the second part of my comment on raul’s blog

re blogging dads, tris – one of the reasons why social media here in vancouver is clique-y (and it’s not terribly clique-y but still noticeable) is because the vast majority of people who can get together at a bar on a thursday evening at an hour’s notice are single, mobile people, who live and/or work downtown.

a south vancouver grandma like me, or rob who has two little kids – well, it’s hard for us to do that. so the cliquishness comes from different lifestyles, among other things. added to that are the unique social skills and habits that social media types display.

my point is that inclusion is not only about the obvious. tris also made a good point – that being in loud crowds does not appeal to everyone. now of course we can’t always try to make everyone happy or comfortable. but it’s important to remember that if a group always behaves the same way, it automatically appears unwelcoming to those who don’t or can’t behave in that way.

a big topic, i know.

which is why i like to propose something: let’s have a topic for our next northern voice blogging and social media (un)conference:

diversity and inclusion!

then maybe we can think about it and take it into the flesh-and-blood world …

blog post #1000: possible dreams

this is my entry for joanna young’s newest mission impossible group writing project where she challenged writers to push their blogging boundaries. i had asked you, my dear readers, to suggest what i should do. all kinds of interesting ideas came up and i’ll definitely try to incorporate as many as possible in my blog in the coming weeks.

a podcast was something that i had wanted to do for a long time but never go around to (that was a suggestion by raj, by the way). i needed to move out of my comfort zone for it – simply in terms of overcoming the procrastination of trying it for the first time; and also because i certainly don’t feel as comfortable speaking as i do writing.

so here we are: my first podcast (see the fancy tingamajig at the end of the post).  not quite sure that the technology works the way i want it to, so just to be on the safe side, here is another link to the audio file.

by the way, this is also my 1000th post.   last year around this time i had my 1000th entry (including all the pages, the archives, etc.).  but this is the 1000th real post.  yay!!!

aaand – here is the text version:

i thought i should also discuss a topic i don’t usually discuss here. quite a while ago, one of my blogging friends, pete quily, who, by the way, is one awesome authority on adult attention deficit disorder (or attention surplus, as he often likes to refer to) – so good ol’ pete asked me what topics i am interested and do NOT write about. that’s a question that’s tumbled around in my mind for a long time now.

so one of those topics is dreams. i am very interested in dreams but for some reason i never blog about them. here’s one i wrote down a little while ago.

biking to haedy’s in the middle of the night. i turn the corner along some row houses and can’t find her house for the life of me. instead, i see a huge starship hovering over vancouver, surrounded by lots of lights.

later it turns out that is a threat. i and a few others from a theatre troupe are spies. we get locked into a barrel-like wheel and spun off somewhere.

later: a basement theatre. it takes a break in the afternoon. it’s hot. i try to close it but enemy type people keep trying to get in. i have a hard time closing the right door and even there: one is just a bamboo screen, the other a very flimsy lock.

in the basement theatre. i need to take a shower. i step into the shower and detect that i can communicate telepathically with the shower. i ask about the threat associated with the starship. something big and apocalyptic will happen. i ask the shower a bunch of questions about it (it’s a bit like pendulum divination). in the end, i ask the shower whether it has good intentions towards me. it doesn’t. i immediately step out.

i know something apocalyptic is going to happen. maybe just one more day to live for everyone. i want to be with loved ones, very much. but they are all difficult to reach. i’d even settle for someone called tony, a questionable actor who at least doesn’t want to kill me.

later, my husband, my youngest daughter and i talk. we now know that there is going to be a massive earthquake. what is the safest place to go? an inland plain, i decide. definitely not by the sea, and not by the mountains. maybe a place like langley? how will we get there?

if a client brought this dream into a session, what would we look at?

first of all, the client might have something come up immediately; i’ll always take the client’s lead.

often, though, a client brings something that she or he doesn’t quite know what to do with. in that case, i might ask a question about the part that had the most energy. when people tell a story, their faces, body language and voices tell a story, too. their eyes might light up at a certain point, or they might cross their legs and look out the window all of a sudden. there might be a long pause somewhere or a feeling of uncertainty.

in this case, the shower scene seemed significant. “interesting,” i might say, “you were communicating with the shower.”

and so we could have a conversation about that. what does it mean to talk to a shower? what’s a shower? is it about rain? cleanliness? oh – there’s a connection to the shower scene in hitchcock’s psycho? yes, right, the shower has evil intentions. and you stepped out of it right away. do you always do that – remove yourself when there is danger? no? that was unusual? in what other ways was that dream unusual?

psychology is still unclear about the cause and function of dreams. one way to look at dreams, though, is to take them as narrative – a way for a person to tell a story about important aspects in their lives. “everything is autobiographical,” says freud, a quote that can be used in so many ways. a dream is autobiographical, the way it is told is autobiographical, and how the person talks about it autobiographical. sometimes a telepathic shower is just weird, and that’s it. but to me – to my biography, my life story – it was meaningful. i don’t need to consult any dream books, though. all i need, and all so many of us need, is just an hour of talking to someone about it.

why we blog and other intelligent waxings on self-expression

i just want to send some kudos to hank for his fabulous blog post want to know what i think?

in that post, hank waxes intelligently and humourously and historically about what makes us blog, or generally express ourselves, like martin luther,

famous for publicly posting his disagreements with catholic dogma (except for the parts dealing with hating the shit out of the jews, he was sweet with that). i shall distill his arguments thusly: “OMFG ppl teh pOpe is GHEY, jezuz dont wan’t u 2 b @church!1! jus spk 2 him IRL! WWJD LOL ^_^”. understandably, the vatican was well shat with such blatant protest-trolling and, once the pope had written “FIRST!” and been flamed for being a nOOb, the ensuing comment thread took off and still rages today

or even earlier, like the

hairy cro-magnon smearing his handprint on the wall of his dining cave with a mixture of blood, faeces & clay as if to say ” … um, so, that’s my wall”.

or never mind humans, how about animals?

natural as laying your eggs into the brain of your host organism and flying away, leaving your offspring to burrow through its cherished memories.

i was going to be real academic about this and link his words to research and psychology and all that brainy stuff. however, every time i came across something that was somehow related, it just didn’t measure up to hank’s incisive analysis. so let’s just let well enough alone, shall we?

out of bounds! what’s possible?

joanna at confident writing has a neat new group writing project: the theme is possibility.

the challenge, should you accept it, is this:

1. break out of your current blogging comfort zone and

2. post something that’s written in a form you haven’t used before, or that’s created using a different medium.

a new form might be an imagined tale, mythical fable, short story, poem, haiku, fairy tale, tv drama… you choose it could be two lines if you always write 200, 200 if you always write two.

a different medium might be something you’ve not experimented with before, like a podcast or video, or sharing a photograph, or creating something that blends words and a photo or painting, or hand written words, street art you create, capture and post or… well the world is your oyster really.

what do you think? what would you suggest i do?