Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: podcast Page 1 of 2

The Podcast Roundup is Back…Sort Of!

At first, I thought I’d do a podcast roundup post like I have in the past, and I think will eventually go back to that, but then I sat down to write and realized I only listened to ONE podcast yesterday that was 2 and half hours long. Not much of a “roundup.” Maybe I’ll just summarize? Then I looked up the podcast website to share the link and found he had a good summary and highlights written there. Seems redundant to write my own.

But then again, I know I have my own highlights, insights that came to me while I listened, my own connections. Where will I go? I have no idea. Get a cup of coffee and let’s see.

I started listening to The Knowledge Project podcast  last month and it’s now one of my favorites. He interviews people, mostly people I’ve never heard of, and gets them talking about their work and processes. I haven’t heard a bad interview yet, but this one was extra special.

The title “Core Human Motivations” is what caught my attention. I’d love to dive into that subject. I swear I’m at a loss to explain the motivations of the people around me, as if I’m not human myself and I’m walking among an alien species attempting to make sense of their actions. It’s not true, of course. As far as I know, I am human. And the closer I look around me, the more I realize that I do behave in much the same way millions of other people do. I just THINK I don’t.

So, I keep reading and studying, observing, connecting more dots. Lately, I’ve been wishing I had more opportunity to interact with new and varied people in person, but my location and my temperament limit my prospects. I keep trying though, racking my brain for ideas on how to get out there. I’ve decided to keep my mind and heart open, ready for the opportunity to present itself. It will have to do for now. Something will come up, or it won’t. Either way I’ll be here happily living my life.

I had four pages of notes. Keep in mind, I was driving with a notebook on the center console, pen in hand. When I hear something that I want to remember or have a thought I’d like to expand on later, I reach over and jot it down blindly. I do glance over and to put my pen down in a blank space, but then my eyes go back to the road, so the notes are rather messy, and I have no idea where I was in the podcast, what triggered the thought. Only I can decipher them…mostly. If I don’t look over them that day or early the next, I can lose them completely. They make no sense without the attached memory.

All that being said (yes, I’m rambling a bit, train of thought is my favorite way to blog), here are my favorite thoughts from yesterday’s drive.

Shaming children as they grow up does not teach them to do better, it teaches them to care more about what other people think than to learn what their own wants and needs are.

Convenience doesn’t sell well in cultures that don’t pay by the hour. Time isn’t the driving motivation. It’s like when you are retired and on a limited income. You drive all over town for the great deal or make things completely by hand or from scratch. It’s a cheaper monetary investment but an expensive time investment. We invest what we have.

Things that are “soulful” are generally inefficient. Mediation, admiring a sunset, baking from scratch, quilting…things that feed your soul take time.

Entrepreneurship isn’t the same in every culture. Some people build a dam and wait for the water to come to it. If the water doesn’t come, they decorate it or turn it into something else to attract attention. Others build dams right on existing waterways and syphon off some of what already exists.

In some cultures, money and time are spent on making sure the living room and kitchen are spectacular. In others, it’s the bedroom and bathroom. It an indicator of what you deem important to you. The comfort and enjoyment of guests? Showing your wealth? Or your own personal comfort and satisfaction?

In India they treat their children as assets, they invest in them. They are expected to take care of their parents later in life, and kids expect to do that to the best of their ability. It isn’t a burden for either.

              That’s an interesting take. I’ve always felt that way about my kids. I heard people go on about “four years and then thank god they’re at school.” Or the sentiment that they are a burden on the family until they are 18 and then “See ya! You’re not my problem anymore!” It never made any sense to me. We invest in our time, effort, and money in our family. We’re building something, but we don’t expect anything in return. We do get returns voluntarily in any good relationship. Something to unpack and write more about later.

We live our lives looking for insight and connecting the dots between every experience we have to see the bigger picture. This podcast is a perfect example of that.

              This is how I read. There is no prescribed destination or curriculum to learn. I follow my experiences and learn from them, gathering information, and connect it to other parts of my life. It’s like breathing to me now. I can’t stop.

Shameless people (people who do not feel ashamed of themselves, for not knowing something, or being wrong) are able to connect more dots more quickly.

              Promote places to accommodate that feeling, support others around you in their exploration, and we end up all being smarter and happier.

“Pride” of one’s identity, “Fans” (from fanatic) of one thing or another, are the easiest to trigger or offend.

              This was a great bit, but this line doesn’t do it justice. I’d like to listen to it again and expand on the idea. I think the point is that tighter you hold on to a thing you do or are as an identity, the more likely you are to fight for it. To let it go, or have it challenged, becomes a life-or-death fight.

We tend to copy end states instead of journeys or processes. We see a rich man and copy his car or house instead of looking into how he got where he is and copying those ideas to take us where we want to go.

              We don’t say “What would Jesus do?” because we want to be the Son of God. We say it to remind ourselves to think more like he would think and react in the same ways. We can do that for anyone we admire.

Truth isn’t something that is taught in any public education system. We teach what to think. You get the information and repeat it back to me for credit. Now you are educated. That’s “schooled” not “educated.”

People aren’t more intolerant today, they are running out of processing power.

              Interesting thought related to another podcast I heard. We receive so much more input than previous generations. The statistics on that are staggering, but I’d have to spend some time looking them up again. At some point, we all just yell, “Enough!” Unconsciously, we shut down and let others take over the details. It’s how we end up with tyrants and dictators.

Social media (my favorite subject) has so many places to put your energy, so many conversations, and inputs, that we don’t have the time or the energy to go deeply into any of it.

We skim over the top, like and move on at best. We comment the first thought that come to mind, reactions, and can do some pretty serious damage to each other. This will be our “printing press,” the thing that changed our world, started wars, and devastated humanity, until we can learn to use it in wiser ways. Then look out world! Great things will happen in the aftermath! Maybe even warp drive!

Kids watch the same shows over and over again. Why? They are learning to recognize patterns and make sense of the world. Adults have learned those patterns, so repetitive things bore us. We watch for broken patterns. A joke is a broken pattern. You thought x would happen and it didn’t, y did instead. Every time we experience that, we get a hit of dopamine. It’s why things like TikTok and IG Reels suck you in for hours. It’s addictive to our minds.

              That doesn’t mean it’s bad and should be banned. It means we should learn how to use it, like we do everything else that brings us joy and excitement. And guess what! Fear and humor light up the same parts of our brains. Humor is “Oh shit! A pattern in broken! But it’s ok, adapt, laugh.” It’s practice. Fear is “Oh shit! A pattern is broken! It’s not ok, I must do something, adapt, and live.”

One more. I know this got long but I told you there was so much great stuff!

Intolerant people don’t read or travel. They don’t have the lenses they need to see another person’s point of view, or adapt to a new situation, so they fight instead.

This is why I love to read. It shows me new worlds, new people, and new ways of seeing. Travel is far too uncomfortable for my conservative and timid nature, so I read…probably more than I really should.

And there you go. Wow…that was a lot of words. I hope I didn’t overwhelm you!

Tony Robbins, Aimlessness, and Free Speech

Yes, I finished reading The Mayfair Bookshop by Eliza Knight this morning, I’m too mentally and physically exhausted to write about today, as I was once again out galivanting around Southern California yesterday. Instead, I shall leave you with a quick Podcast Roundup!

On Purpose with Jay Shetty: Tony Robbins on: Breaking Negative Thinking & Unlock the Unlimited Potential of Your Mind

I’m not a Tony Robbins fan, but I do commonly find that even people I’m not in love with have wisdom to share. This one, though…I’m not sure if it was because my back and shoulder were hurting so much on the drive (I somehow hurt myself (hoeing, lol) pulling weeds last weekend), but the whole conversation was exhausting. I guess I’m not that much of a “driven” kind of person. All I wanted to do was yell at them to take a freakin’ breather.

Yeah, I was grumpy. But I did get a few little gems out of it.

We humans tend not experience life directly and in all it’s glory. We experience what we focus on. And we usually look for what’s missing instead of what we already have.

Also, humans tend to unconsciously mirror each other. What everyone else if feeling and projecting, so shall we. Pay attention to your surroundings, the people you interact with, the books you read, the tv/news you watch.

He also mentioned some ideas from The 4th Turning by William Strauss, which I thought I’d read in the past, but it’s not on my shelf, so maybe I heard of it or read about it somewhere else. I think it may be a book recommended by Oliver DeMille and his Leadership Education model. I will be adding it back to my TBR list.

Secular Buddhism: Aimlessness

The old “You’re not lost if you have nowhere you are supposed to be” thing. Sounds crazy to our “go get ‘em” culture, but it resonates with me. Aimlessness is one of the Three Doors of Liberation. It means letting go of where you think you should be and embracing where you are.

Hmm…suddenly I realized that this is related to the previous podcast.

Conversations With Coleman: The History of Free Speech with Jacob Mchangama

Book: Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media by Jacob Mchangama

I love the people that Coleman has on his show and this one really got me going, even on the long, later than I had expected, drive home from my adventures last night. Not only did I get to add another great book to my TBR list, I found another podcast to listen to. Clear and Present Danger is all about the principles of free speech as they apply today, where they came from, and how they evolved.

There was a lot of great stuff to think about in this episode, and when I read the book, you can bet I’ll be sharing THAT information with you here. Today just I’ll share my two favorite takeaways.

Censorship only brings more attention to words and ideas you don’t agree with. In most cases, the best thing you can do when you hear things you don’t agree with is simply scroll on by, don’t buy the book, watch the video, whatever. Saying “I’m certainly NOT going to listen to Joe Rogan on Spotify because he’s a bad man!” only makes me (and millions of other people) go find out who that is and what he said that upset people, and the subscribe to his channel because we’re curious what else he has to say. Buy banned books! Watch banned movies! Read, study, and decide for yourself what is right and wrong!

And some wise advice from the Stoics about social media. Detach a bit. Use it if you want to. It doesn’t matter what someone else says. That made me smile. I love sharing what I’m doing and finding in the world through social media, Facebook and Instagram, (that’s an invite to follow me) but negative feedback is hard on my insecure little heart. And reading other people’s negativity…well, remember what Tony Robbins said about humans unconsciously mirroring each other?

I’m doing what the Stoics teach; being me, loud and proud, and taking a step back from other people’s feedback. Like it or not, I’m here to stay.

And there you are! Only three podcasts and I found so much. Let me know in the comments if you decide to chase any of these links, or if you’ve read or heard any of the podcasts and authors. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Peace, War, and Education: Podcast Roundup

Today is Podcast Roundup Day! (insert fanfare music here) This week we dive into a little peace, some war news, and liberal education. Two hours of listening and five pages of notes. When I come in the door, sit down on the couch next to my husband, and open my notebook, he knows he’s in for some discussion and gets another beer.

Sidenote: I’m still devouring Attached by Levine and Heller and…holy moly… I feel like heart escaped and wrote a letter to my brain. This book is now required reading. You have an assignment and I expect an essay. More about THAT tomorrow…possibly. I may just need some time daydreaming about it, ruminating on how to use the information.

Another sidenote: I ordered Yung Pueblo’s new book Clarity & Connection the day before yesterday, and it was in my mailbox when I got home last night. You guys…get it. It’s freaking beautiful. It’s not going to be logged in my reading log. I’m just picking it up and reading a page when I have a second and soaking it in.

On with the roundup!

Secular Buddhism: #166 Welcoming the Unwanted

I chose an episode of Secular Buddhism to listen to first because I needed a reminder of peace, you know, while I got gas in my truck $$$$. I couldn’t have picked a better way to start the day.

Takeaways: There are pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral emotions. We tend to label them good and bad and treat them differently which causes problems. Instead, try welcoming them all in without putting a green or red sticker on them as they come in the room.

Feeling angry? I tend to get angrier at myself for having a feeling at all. That’s not helpful. I had the chance later in the day to sit with unpleasant emotions a while and attempt to see what they were trying to tell me. It got ugly and then better. Progress.

I’ll probably listen to that one again soon and hope it sticks in my brain better.

The Intelligence: Defog of War: Your Questions Answered

and

The Quillette Podcast: Russia’s Surprising Military Blunders in Ukraine

These two podcasts were chosen so that I might better understand how a close friend is responding to the current battle between Russia and Ukraine. They were short, enlightening, and gave me a better picture of what’s going on.

What they did not help me with is why it’s happening. I’d like to know more about what led up to the escalation, more history. But that’s probably way above my head and more details than I really need right now.

I’d highly recommend listening to these two episodes, especially the first. They are an hour combined and give a good overview.

I’ve added the following podcast to my listening because it was suggested during the Quillette podcast. I haven’t heard an episode yet, so I can’t say if it’s good or not, but it does look promising.

New Podcast: The Lost Debate

              “To use today’s jargon, we’re a “multi-platform media company.” We believe the most important conversations in society happen in the dark corners of the Internet—on platforms dominated by political arsonists, nihilists, and extremists. Our mission is to infuse more empathy, nuance, and objectivity into those conversations.”

Cato Daily Podcast: Let’s Be Reasonable: A Conservative Case for Liberal Education

I believe we have lost the concept of what a liberal arts education really is, and the differences between a university, college, and trade school education are expected to accomplish. I loved hearing Jonathan Marks’ positive outlook on higher education and Generation Z or iGen (a new term for those born after 1995 and raised with smartphones).

Yep…another book added to the TBR list. Will it ever end?! I hope not. I think once you stop learning, you die…like immediately.

Book: Let’s Be Reasonable by Jonathan Marks

“More than just a campus battlefield guide, Let’s Be Reasonable recovers what is truly liberal about liberal education―the ability to reason for oneself and with others―and shows why the liberally educated person considers reason to be more than just a tool for scoring political points.”

There it is, another Podcast Roundup. I’m excited because I added another show to my list. I’ve been looking for new input lately. I’m always open to ideas, so comment with your favorite podcasts if you have them!

You don’t listen to podcasts? Why? I honestly want to hear this. I’ve always been a talk show fan more than a music fan while I drive, so podcasts…they do it for me.

Love People Use Things: A New Read

Podcast marketing convinced me to not only buy “Love People, Use Things” by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, but to pre-order it! I’ve been listening to The Minimalists podcast for a long time and when I heard them start to talk about their new book, I knew I had to have it. I didn’t think it would have anything other than the things they talk about, but I knew it would bring me some joy to read it in print. Besides, how else can I re-pay them for all the greatness I listen to every week? I pre-ordered it so early, that when it came, I didn’t know what the package from Amazon was!

Love People, Use Things
In my defense, this room is in transition.

If you’re interested in them, check out their “Start Here” page. The organization of that page is one of the reasons why I love these guys and I so happy that I stumbled across them completely by accident.

Those who know me would probably laugh hysterically when they heard me say I listen to a podcast about minimalism on a regular basis. If you saw my house, you’d know I’m not what you might define as a minimalist, but I am! Everything is relative, right? Compared to some I’m a hoarder and to others not so much. But the comparison that matters most is mine. I’m more conscious of what I gather into my home, into my body, and into my mind. That’s the mental space these guys have helped me get to.

One of the things I’m minimalizing so that I have more space for other things is social media. Staying connected to people from my past like that is like holding on to childhood toys or that old shirt. You’re not going to use them anymore, that shirt doesn’t fit. There’s no reason to keep them. They take up space and deplete your energy. Send them on their way to bring joy to someone else.

The one thing I miss about it though is having a place to share the articles and books I read, or the interesting podcast and website I found. I don’t want to write a post about, I just want to share that I read it and think it’s awesome…you know, social stuff. I’m not sure what to do about it. It may just be one of those things I have to let go.

I’m looking forward to reading this book over the coming week. I’m about thirty pages in right now, and the introduction makes me love them more. The relate minimalism to everything, not just physical objects, but our relationships with other people. And they aren’t ones to say “THESE are the rules. Follow them and you will be happy like us!” They are more like guidelines, things that have worked for them and may make sense to you.

Are you a minimalist? Have you heard this podcast? If you decide to read Love People Use Things by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

The following are links to posts I wrote related to this book.
Letting Go & Making Space
Shortcuts And Compliance = Lazy
Minimalism in Things AND Relationship: Final Thoughts

Travel Anxiety Ended: Podcast Roundup #3

Oh, my goodness, you guys! Another Podcast Review is here already! Are you excited? I am. I have successfully ended my trouble with travel anxiety through technology.

I have a lot to share, but this time I’ll do it slightly different. It took some effort to get the computer out and get started today. I’m tired after yesterday’s adventure. It was worth it though! Breakfast on the pier with a friend and then a walk around Balboa Park and a fancy lunch with my son. Not to mention, the six hours of podcasts I got to listen to. Bonus!

Let’s see…getting out the playlist on my phone…

This time, since I heard I’m going to write ONE sentence about each of the nine episodes I listened to, but there was so much more.

Practicing Human – Simplify This Moment

You can’t see the whole movie at once, only one frame at a time through until the end.

Secular Buddhism – 142 – Wisdom and Fear

The point isn’t to be fearless, it’s to be brave.

Rationally Speaking – Understanding Moral Disagreements with Jonathan Haidt

You CAN understand other people’s ways and needs without accepting them as right for you.

Practicing Human – Energetic Discharge

After a traumatic experience (physical or emotional) we all must rest, and then move.

EconTalk – Don Boudreaux on the Pandemic

The science doesn’t tell you what to do, it simply gives you data (risk assessments) that humans must use to make decisions and judgements.

People I (Mostly) Admire – 35 – David Epstein Knows Something About Everything

Shortcuts that show us instant visible progress hamper our long-term development.

Side Note: As I sat in 15mph traffic, I saw a sign that said “60mph Zone Will Be Enforced” and laughed out loud at the image of someone panicking, attempting to get around people and stay at 60mph to avoid a ticket. Those comical signs are all over the freeways, as I drive ten miles an hour over every week while people angrily blaze around me. How exactly are they doing this “enforcement”? It’s not trivial. I may write a whole post about just that in the future.

Practicing Human – Growth, Death, and Birth

Death makes room for birth, both of which are uncomfortable.

The Creative Nonfiction Podcast with Brendan O’Meara – Episode 266: The Expansive Nothing You Have to Fill with Kristen Radtke

Do the bad work to get to your good work.

No Stupid Questions – 59 – Do Dreams Actually Mean Anything?

It’s the feelings that we continually dream about that we should be concerned about, not the objects and people we see in our dreams.

I did it! I didn’t think I could for all of them. There were a few that I started to apologize about and just write two or three sentences, but I sat back and thought again. It was possible to put it into one, concise sentence. The cooler part is that there was a lot more to those episodes that I took notes on and might write about in the future. And I found at least three new books to add to my TBR list!

Yes, I went back and added up the hours/minutes of each episode. And, yes, it was hard because I’m not that bright when it comes to numbers. It totaled up to almost six hours, give or take few minutes. I spent a lot of time in the car and not a minute was agonized over.

Technology has ended my travel anxiety and made driving much more peaceful in so many ways, but that is another post my friends. Have a great day and go listen to some podcasts while you get where you’re going. You won’t regret it!

Want to read more about the podcasts I’ve heard? Go back to the beginning and check out my first Podcast Roundup #1. At the bottom, you’ll find links to more.

Podcast Review #2: Buddhism, Stats, and Grammar

I have neglected this gem of a recurring post, haven’t I? If memory serves, and yes, I can go back and look but it’s far more fun to rely on memory, I only did a podcast review only once. Holy…I did go look it up. It’s been longer than I thought! I posted Podcast Roundup #1 all the way back in April. Why? I loved writing it and I love podcasts. I have plenty of notes from my listening time every week. Hm…consistency isn’t my strong suit. But here we are again, so let’s jump in!

Podcast review driving notes.

Each week I spend a total of about four hours alone in the car driving down to the city to visit with friends. I decided a few years ago that it would be time well spent if I made a playlist of my favorite podcasts to listen to and it has been a wealth of greatness. On my last road trip with my husband, I introduced him to a few of my favorite economics and political podcasts and we had a blast listening, pausing, and heatedly discussing what was being said. Far more fun than simply listening to our favorite albums, especially since we have diverging musical interests.

This week’s podcast review includs Buddhism, statistics, an author interview, and some funny grammar.

First on my playlist was Secular Buddhism #8 – Problems with Terminology & Symbols.

The “symbols” part is what leapt out at me. Symbols are something I’ve seen people battle over and I never understood why. I still don’t really. It’s just a flag. It’s just a ring. It’s just a piece of bread. Symbols are used to remind us of something important, not to replace or represent an idea, person, or thing.

My wedding ring is not my marriage. It’s there to remind me of my promise. If I take it off and forget to put it on, if I lose it, I have not forgotten or lost my marriage. If I take it off and give it back, or throw it away, I’m using it as a symbol that the marriage is over. It’s the intent, not the action that tells the story. It’s the same with any symbol. Symbols are not sacred, they are reminders.

He went over some specific Buddhist symbols, so I made a note to look them up when I had some time. My favorite symbol is the meditation beads, many individual pieces connected to make a whole. I found an interesting site that explains some others at buddhistsymbols.com.

Next up was my first experience with Rationally Speaking. I heard the host, Julia Galef, interviewed on EconTalk last week and was so impressed with her that I wanted to hear more. This episode was an interview with Tim Harford about his book “The Data Detective.”

Yes, I’ve added The Data Detective to my TBR list, and used my new book tracking notecard file to record where I heard about it and why I want to read it! More about that in another post because I know you want to hear about it and try it.

In fact, I think we all should add that book to our TBR pile. It seems we could all use some help in that area so that the stats are less likely to be used scare us all into submission.

The thing he said that struck me was the question he hears so often is, “How do I get my dumb friend to stop being so dumb?” We’ve all thought that. Right? He says it’s strange that it seems no one wants to fix their own reasoning. Their reasoning is fine, just like their driving. It’s everyone else that’s a maniac.

This interview went right along with the ideas I’m reading in “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt, who I saw she also has interviewed. Weird the connections that keep coming up.

One more thing from that interview. He said, “We think in stories not numbers.” I agree, most of us do think in stories that’s why it’s so easy for someone to look at the statistics, create a story to explain them, and then use it to get people to do what they want them to do. We all need to be aware of that if we are going to be better at thinking rationally.

Side note: I wrote “Bring Your Cup” in my notebook. Maybe I’ll remember next time, but I bought the most awesome travel mug at Target a few months ago and I keep forgetting to bring it to Panera! I bought it so that I could use my own cup when I went out for breakfast with friends and then be able to take a last cup for the road and not have it get cold in ten minutes. Bring your cup you silly girl, sheesh!

Grammar Girl is always a fun listen. The cadence of her voice is sing-songy and I can’t listen to it for long, but her episodes are short, usually pretty funny and filled with interesting tidbits. This episode was about particles and prepositions. Formal grammar is not my strong suit. I’ve tried to learn the rules and be able to sort out the how’s and why’s but it’s just not in me. My sons are brilliant at it, and they do it for fun. Nerds!

She went over the origin of a few words and the difference between “I was run over by the car” and “The car ran over me.” But my favorite was this line, “This is the kind of pedantic nonsense up with which I will not put.” It just struck me as hilarious, and I had to write it down.

And last, but certainly not least, I listened to CNF, the Creative Non-Fiction Podcast with Brendan O’Meara on the way home. I love this guy! Just about every week I listen to him interview an author and I find things to connect with, be inspired by, and things I never would have guessed would be interesting. Episode #264 Rachel Monroe Talks About the Things Writers Don’t Tweet About was an inspiring one.

My takeaway was, once again, I’m in the same boat as every other writer. “How do I have any authority to write anything?!” is a question we all ask ourselves. I’m not perfect. I’m not the master of anything. I’ve never completed a degree or have some certificate that says I know what I’m talking about. Who do I think I am?

I’m me. And I am the master of my own perspective. I have every right to share my experience the best way I know how. Right now, that means blogging here with you. The more I learn, the more I want to share. The more I share, the more I learn. It’s as simple as that. I’ll keep writing.

One more thing before I go! Do you support anyone on Patreon? I have in the past. I find it to be a great way to support individual creators for what they give the world for free. This week I finally (sorry it took so long Brendan!) went over and added Brendan O’Meara to my support list. I’ve listened to his podcast every week for years and never been disappointed. It’s time I gave something back. I hope it helps keep you on the air, man. You’re awesome.

There you are my friends, a second glorious podcast review! Do you listen to podcasts? When do you find time to listen? Do you have any favorites to share? Shoot me a comment and let me know. I’d love to try them out!

I making a solemn vow to do this podcast review more often, but I doubt it will come every week. Would every month do? I think so!

True Nature, Driving, and New Podcasts

As you have probably heard, I love listening to podcasts while I drive and yesterday, I tried out a couple new ones to share with you. One got me a little closer to that idea of the true nature of things that “Returning to Silence” was getting at.

Understanding the true nature of things while I'm driving.
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

What’s Essential hosted by Greg McKeown

I picked this one because I loved his book “Essentialism” and plan on reading it again. I’m not sure if the podcast will add more to my understanding than the book does, but it was worth a listen.

The Daily Stoic

I’m a big fan of Stoic philosophy and have been studying it passively for years. As a highly emotional and reactive personality, it has helped me learn better ways of dealing with the world. Most days I wish I were better at it, but I’ve come to accept my progress for what it is. I’m doing the best I can with what I have. I am making headway, no matter how slowly.

I added this one to my repertoire because my sons started listening to it. Side note: there is nothing in this world as awesome as your kids picking up and getting into something you’ve been interested in for years.

This podcast is short and to the point, just a little something to think on as you start or end your day.

And then there is this one, the one I really want to talk to you about.

Secular Buddhism with Noah Rasheta

I’ve been leaning more towards Buddhist teaching for some time now, not for its spiritual aspects (although that’s pretty interesting), but more for its teaching about human nature. I’ve found guidance and support by reading and trying to understand this teaching.

Listening to this podcast is an extension of that effort and I liked it to much that it will stay in my rotation for a while. It added to the thinking I’m learning in the book “Returning to Silence.”

Speaking of that book, I had some gems to share from it today!

“People usually depend, consciously or unconsciously, on the conceptualizations of the world.”

Funny thing…that’s exactly what the second episode of Secular Buddhism (#150 Buddha Nature) I listened to was about!

He told the story of his Buddha rock, a stone he had painted at a monastery and kept in his house and then in his yard. The rock was supposed to remind him of the Buddha Nature, the weight that keeps us grounded, maybe an anchor. Moral of the story was that it was the nature of the rock and his connection to it, not the painting on it, that was supposed to be the reminder.

We all do this to everything around us, every day. Everything we see and experience in this world, we label and categorize. This person is fat. That person is rude. That tree is tall. That thing hurts me. But those labels are not the true nature of those things. When we can see past the descriptions and labels, we can begin to see the reality, the connections, and more.

It reminds me of, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” The true nature of what we see and experience isn’t what we label it with.

If you want to read more of my posts about “Returning to Silence,” go back to my first post on it called, New Read: Returning to Silence. You’ll find a list of posts at the bottom of the page.

Connected by Souls

We’ve all heard it before.

“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” – John Donne

Earlier this week I listened to Aubrey Marcus’ interview with Humble as I drove to meet a friend for hiking.

The part I’m talking about starts at 8:40 but at 10:00 he says it most clearly. I’ll paraphrase. “We’re a drop in the ocean. If we separate ourselves completely, we’ll dry up.”

We all feel the longing to connect with other human beings at some level.

Christians say that God is in us, that we are created in His image, that we have a soul. What if that soul is actually a part of God and therefore, we are all connected in that way?

Remember the Borg from Star Trek Next Generation? All of the Borg are connected by a hive mind. When one is separated, it continues to communicate with the hive and becomes anxious, longing to return to the hive. If there is a small group of them, they operate as a smaller hive and aren’t as lost, but they still work toward reuniting with their source. What if we are like that with God?

What if that feeling of being disconnected and lost is because we have been separated from the source and now it’s getting worse because we’ve become separate from each other? On this physical plane, we can’t completely return to God, but we connect in small groups to ease our separation anxiety until we can. Or at least we used to.

When asked which was the most important commandment, Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

To love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, and mind, is to honor the creator. To love my neighbor as I would myself, is to honor the creator in them. We love them on earth until we can all return as one to God.

Book Run Adventures!

20190415_1505179173004691977306707.jpg

Books are one of my very favorite things in this world. I’m obsessed with having them, reading them, making notes in them, and writing about them. I wish I did more of the writing about them, but I’m working on that. You can’t just wish for something to happen; you have to make it happen! So here I am, writing about…something.

Since I’m still reading “Revenge of Analog” and he was talking about book stores, I got a bug about going to Barnes & Noble yesterday. That is no small feat since it’s 60 miles away and in the direction of the city. For those that don’t know Southern California, that means traffic. But…books!!

Our small town has three, good sized used book stores. They are nice to browse through from time to time, but they are old and crowded and not very organized. I wish we had a new book store that was closer, but alas, that’s another cost of living rurally.

The truth is, there is just nothing better for finding new fiction than browsing the aisles of a real bookstore! Amazon is great for finding a specific book I go looking for, like when I see one recommended by an article or a friend, but not much good for browsing. So, got in the truck and headed down the highway.

First obstacle. It usually takes me about an hour and half to get there, but as soon as I hit the main freeway the traffic stopped dead. Wondering what in the world could be going on, it dawned on me that I saw a sign the day before to expect delays due to Coachella Fest weekend. Oh man…this could take forever!

I sat there wondering for a moment if I should abandon the mission, but then traffic started to move again. Maybe it was over? It stopped again. It moved again. It wasn’t permanently stopped and, besides, I’d change freeways in a couple miles. It wouldn’t be so bad after that. I kept driving.

Getting closer to the change in freeways, I see another sign. “Road construction. One lane only.” Are you kidding me? I consider aborting the mission again. Nah, it’ll be fine after that. It’s only a couple more miles.

Nearly three hours later, I arrive at the bookstore. I’m stubborn and I had my heart set on book shopping. If I turned around, all the time would have been wasted!

After a breather and a bathroom break, I consider whether I should get a cup of the sweet-smelling coffee they are selling at the front of the store or not. A cup of coffee will need a sweet snack to go with it.

No! Must not deviate from healthy diet! I’ve already spent most of the day sitting on my butt. I can’t add several hundred calories to that. I head to the fiction aisles.

Going through the books on the shelf, I try to focus and start to read. No one is waiting for me. I have all the time in the world, but I don’t have that much money. I’m going to have to narrow down my choices. I can’t just throw books into the pile all willy nilly!

So many great books. How can one possibly choose? By cover, of course! One had praise from Stephen King on it. That’s good enough for me! One said “student” and “history” on the cover. Nice. One was called “Tell me no lies.” Romance. Like that!

I picked up “Wicked” and walked around with it for a while. My mom read it and loved it, so have a lot of my friends, but I know the story too well and although I’m sure I’d love it, I can’t buy them all so I decided to put it back.

I got “Bird Box” because the TV show looks awesome, but my family isn’t a fan of scary TV shows. I’ll read it and give myself nightmares. I passed by a table and saw “Rebecca.” Like the movie my husband loves so much? Yes please! And then, just as I was about to walk away, I saw “bookstore” and “Paris.” I picked it up and read the back.

FB_IMG_1555450768391.jpg

“literary apothecary”

“prescribes novels for the hardships of life”

“mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal is himself”

I’ve always dreamed about opening a bookstore of my own. One of those, if I were rich, kind of dreams. I imagine a warm meeting place where people can hang out and talk books and music, meet people, drink coffee. Maybe some used books could be shared. Children come there to find new magic. It’s a beautiful image. This book was for me. I think he must have come right out of the book and handed it to me. If this were a movie, it might have fallen off the shelf at my feet all by itself, so I’d be sure to find it.

Six books. As I made my way to the front of the store to buy them, a woman asked if I needed a basket. “No thanks! When the arms are full, it’s time to go!” She laughed. Book people know the struggle. Man, I wish I could WORK at a bookstore.

At the front of the store, I found a line about six people deep with one cashier. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to stand here and read this little darling while I wait, like eating the chips while you wait at the checkout because you didn’t eat lunch before you left for the grocery store.

I read twenty pages while I waited. I fell in love instantly. It’s just that beautiful.

Leaving the store, I realized I was hungry for more than words and that I was right across the street from one of my favorite places, Panera. I put my books in the back seat and drove over.

Ok…Southern California…it took me ten minutes to drive across the street. Really. What are all these people doing here? Whenever this happens, I’m reminded why we moved to the desert. Yes, I may not have a bookstore to hang out in, but at least it doesn’t take me ten minutes to drive less than a mile.

Once I parked and got my lunch, I went back to the truck, moved the seat back, got myself all situated with the new love of my life and started to read. It was a beautiful hour. I can’t wait to read the rest of it, but I’ll have to wait a little. I’m about 200 pages from the end of The Brothers Karamazov and about three quarters into “Revenge of Analog.”

Before I headed home, I checked to see if there was a good podcast to listen to. Tim Ferriss interviewing Neil Gaiman! Can this day get any better?

The Rabbit Hole of “Curated”

56393121_10218561963270543_6536291448227102720_o

Stick with me here. It’s worth it!

I started reading a great book this morning called, “The Revenge of Analog – Real Things and Why They Matter” by David Sax. It was recommended in an article about keeping physical journals, ones that you write…by hand…with a pen!

I’ve been keeping journals on and off since high school. I find it interesting how little my handwriting has changed over the years and how much it can drastically change in a week or even a day when I’m rushing or angry.

But sometimes I wonder, will anyone ever read them? I sincerely hope they don’t! Or at least not while I’m alive. Most of them are filled with craziness that I wouldn’t normally express. Something about writing every single piece of bullshit out with a pen often helps me let said bullshit go. If I can’t say it, I write it, and then I feel better.

I have taken long and short breaks from journaling over the last..um..thirty years. The longest break was in my early twenties. Man, I wish I had taken the time to write things down back then, but maybe that’s just stuff best forgotten.

Then there are times when I wonder what the point of all this writing is; the futility of writing down thoughts that never see the light of day, the lists, the dreams, the angry rants. There’s just so much there, even if I wanted to, I’d be hard pressed to go back and make any sense of it on a regular basis. Then an interview on The Creative Nonfiction Podcast gave a great idea to help me fix that!

The author being interviewed said he looked back on his journals and notes every month and put together a newsletter for his audience of all the most interesting things he found, ideas, and quotes. I don’t have a big audience to share that kind of thing with and even if I did, I’m not sure they’d want to see that far into my reality. But it would be a healthy exercise for me to take an hour or two a month to read what I wrote the last thirty days and write myself a nice summary. I tend to forget the ups and downs in month, or a week for that matter, and this practice might shed some warm light on my attitude changes. There may even be a blog post in there.

You see, I’m one of those people that has a short attention span and a weak memory. When I’m feeling good, I think I’ve always felt good. When I’m feeling down, I get depressed and think I’ve always been down. It’s weird but the best way for me to combat that is to write things down.

Want to know something weirder? I do the same thing about making dinner. If I haven’t had time to make dinner for my family for a couple days in a row, I get it in my head that we are ALWAYS going out to eat or scrounging for frozen pizza. If I write what I made for dinner on the calendar, I can look back on that last few weeks and reassure myself that Taco Bell employees do not know us by our first names.

I guess I should circle this back to that book I started reading this morning. You do know this post is about a thought I had while reading that book, don’t you? Welcome to my brain. It’s fun. Trust me.

Reading that book made me think about the word “curated.”

“Curated” is an adjective that means “(of online content, merchandise, information, etc.) selected, organized, and presented using professional or expert knowledge.” It has come up in my thinking a couple times this week.

When you hear the word curated, you probably think of museums but in this case, I’m thinking about printed magazines and books.

Here’s the deal. (That’s for my husband. He hears that sentence several times a day from me.) The internet is an amazing place because everyone can put their “art” out in the world for free. You can have a free social media page, keep a blog or vlog, self-publish a book, record your music and have people all over the world download it, or put your visual art up for the world to see and love. It’s a world of infinite and free information! But there is a down side. It’s not all worth spending time on and we each only have so much time and attention!

So here we are scrolling through our social media pages, hopping from one blog post to another, randomly finding and playing music, and reading “news” article after article. It feels like a waste of time.

How can we fix this?! How can we spend our currency of time and attention more wisely? Enter “curated” content, otherwise known as a book, magazine, music album, or “TV” station. Yep, it turns out that those that can pay a little extra are moving back towards things like book stores, paper magazines, and news stations for their information. It seems we’d all gladly pay someone we trust to sift through all that content that’s being created and present us with curated information that has already been vetted, organized, and is relevant to our needs. The hard part is finding an author or an organization you can trust!

It’s amazing to me how we create new technologies that will open up the room and air things out like a big spring cleaning. People rush in to see it all and find new ways to use it, but when the dust settles, the tried and true comes back. The old ways with a fresh new look!

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: