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Moved elsewhere

As is rather obvious, I'm not actively updating my LJ these days. It's possible that I'll come back to it at some point, and in any case I'd like to keep my posts available somewhere. For the foreseeable future, though, I'll be updating my newish website, Whatever Next. You can find it at www.whatever-next.com, if you're so inclined.

Quick holiday highlight

So M & P returned from their travels last night. Along with E, we spent a couple hours sitting in the living room, variously eating dinner, talking about our holiday and just generally catching up. I'm sure it says something that this brief period of low-key hanging out with part of my chosen family felt more like a holiday celebration than just about anything else that's taken place over the past week.

I think it says something kind of awesome, actually.

Thoughts jotted down on today's plane ride

What you did best was what was wanted from you.

-Lois McMaster Bujold

I love this line. It reminds me that perhaps, just perhaps, it isn't my weaknesses that define me, but rather my strengths. My gifts tell the world who I am and what I offer, but perhaps more tellingly, they tell me the same thing.

How much time do each of us spend trying to mitigate our failures and shortcomings, and how little do we spend honing the skills and gifts we already possess? This is no rhetorical question - what is your answer?

Another non-rhetorical question: what is gained by mitigating your weaknesses, and what is lost by letting your greatness (and make no mistake: you have greatness) atrophy?

Where does your greatness lie? What do you offer the universe and your fellows that is uniquely yours? Make the living of your life both an art form and an act of service, if you dare. And IF you dare, you might learn an important truth: that thing that is your unique offering has very little to do with being the best at any given thing, just as being an artist has very little to do with being the 'best' within one's given medium. Art is, as they say, art.

Can you make your life both the canvas and the method of your artist's life? Can you dare?

Can you dare to do otherwise?

-JHF, 12/15/2010

Placeholder: Weird dreams

I've been having the strangest dreams over the past week. No specific visual images I can put my finger on, but almost like there are voices in the dark, whispering stuff I can *almost* figure out, but not quite. I'm not sure if they're speaking a language I can understand in the dream, even. It's sort of like that feeling you get when there's a word right on the tip of your tongue - you know what it *almost* is, but not quite. Except in reverse, of course. In the dream I'm not saying anything at all, just listening to...well, whatever the hell is being said. Really strange. Even in my dreams, I tend to talk a lot more than that. ;)

Anyway. I will try and expand on this over the weekend, but for now I'm just posting this quick bit so I might actually remember to do so.

The reward

The reward for challenge met is not a life of leisure, a series of accolades, or an endless victory lap.

No, the reward for challenge met is more challenge.

The power of tense

One ah-ha moment for me this weekend came in a small group conversation in the midst of yesterday's morning session. I noticed that very often, I explain what I "must" do in terms of choices I have made. So, for example:

* "I chose to step into a leadership path in this community, so I must shift my focus to the group's experience and away from my own."

* "I chose to be in relationship witth M, so that means I have to consider her in my scheduling choices."

* "I chose this profession, so I am obliged to show up on time every day."

Now, all of these things are true. I did make all of the choices mentioned above, along with a zillion other choices, and each of those choices carries an admission price of sorts. What's interesting, though, is that I refer to the choice in the past tense and the obligation in the present or future tense.

What would happen if I referred to the CHOICE in the present tense as well? Would it feel like less of an obligation? I find that making that simple change of tense actually shifts my focus very sharply. Instead of an obligation, the thing I "must" do now sounds like...well, it sounds like part of the choice. and since the choice is present tense, I am also reminded that I am free to make new choices if these don't serve me.

so often it's the things I love most that trip me up (because I care about them so much, I expect). It's really good for me to remind myself that I am not obligated by choices made in some distant past. Rather, I choose today to be here and to be who I am.

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com

Three good things, in very short form

1. Having an absolutely wonderful time at Opening Weekend at the Grove. I love having reminders of why I love this community so much.

2. I'm pleased with the work I've done in ritual and in the community this weekend, too. I've felt a bit rusty in a few places but generally, I am happy.

3. Tonight's ritual included some fantastic work offered by the group that I help mentor. I'm really proud of them and looking forward to the rest of the year with this group.

On the road again...

Heading off to Opening Weekend at the Grove in...oh, about 30 minutes. I'd say "Don't expect any updates from me for the next few days," but it's not as if I've actually written anything of import here for the last 3 months.

So...um, business as usual, then. Right.

Anyone in need of a wireless router?

Buying the new computer led, almost inevitably, to a few other purchases, including a new wireless router. There was nothing wrong with the old one, except that a)It was not a Wireless-N router, and b)It looks nothing like a spaceship.

So - if anyone wants the old one, it's a Linksys WRT54G, wireless router w/ 4 port switch. It doesn't perform perfectly, and E found that with the router at one end of the apartment and her laptop at the other, the signal dropped a fair bit. But if you can place it in a more central location and not have 7 walls between you and the signal, it'll probably serve fairly well. If you're interested in taking it off my hands, drop me a line here or via email at hess42 at gmail dot com.

I almost wish I lived in Minnesota...

So then I could say, "Yes, indeed, my senator is Al Franken." There are a couple of great lines in this 5 minute clip, particularly this one: "We are entitled to our own opinions. We aren't entitled to our own facts."