What My World Sounds Like: “Let Go”

February 26, 2009 | filed under listen, what my world sounds like | Leave a Comment 

frou frou 'details' cover

Much of what I’ve been listening to this week is several years old. For instance, Frou Frou. This band, consisting of Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth, released their only album, Details, in 2002 and disbanded in 2003. They have a sort of electronic trip-hop sound.

Frou Frou – “Let Go”

Young people have solutions

February 26, 2009 | filed under great ideas, inspiring | Leave a Comment 

dome home

These little ones are defying expectations with stellar ideas.  Recently, there was the news of a 9 year-old in Singapore who’s fluent in six programming languages and created a successful iPhone application. 

Now meet 12-year-old Max Wallack who won a design contest by creating a yurt-like dome home with a built-in bed made of  plastic, wire, and packing peanuts.  The idea allows for cheap housing for the homeless, as well as addressing the problem of increasing landfills.

Gotta love innovation.
Source: TheDesignBlog.org

What’s good? Alternative currency

February 26, 2009 | filed under give time/money, great ideas, plain cool | 1 Comment 

Click to see full image

Pay it forward with Time Banking, an egalitarian concept where communities offer services to each other in exchange for time dollars, not real dollars. For instance, I build you a basic website, which takes me 6 hours. In exchange, I’m able to use that 6 hour credit in exchange for services some else offers. Perhaps, I need someone to babysit my brother for 3 hours, take me to grocery store for 1 hour, and landscape the front yard for 2 hours.

Time banks draw on a community’s resources by  listing the services every member can offer.  When in need of something, members log-in to the Time Bank’s website to find someone offering those services.  It’s an incredibly easy system that can reduce financial limitations and is inclusive to all members of society that have something to offer.

Given the economic climate, I’m curious to see if we’ll see an increase in Time Banks and other forms of alternative currencies.

To learn more about Time Banking, go to TimeBanks.org.  Below are a few articles recently written about them.

Detroit Free Press – Time banks pay off for community
San Francisco Chronicle – Sweat Equity:In this East Oakland community, time really is money
The Jerusalem Press – There’s no time to lose

Go ahead…laugh

February 25, 2009 | filed under great ideas, health | Leave a Comment 

Interesting concept. I’d definitely like to try Laughter Yoga. I know that I’m certainly prone to the contagion of laughter. Anyone else in San Antonio curious?

The Visual: 350 (parts per million)

February 25, 2009 | filed under learn something, moment of truth, pay attention, watch this | Leave a Comment 

For the first time in several months, I rode a bike today. Not for fun, but for transportation faster than my legs. I thought about how wonderful bikes are as a mode of transportation when you’re not traveling far distances.

“I want to live in a community that localizes most of the facets of my life,” I thought.

Then, I saw this video and that desire intensified. Only 90 seconds with no words, it illustrates the importance of a number most of us don’t know the significance of.

Courtesy of 350.org

Mind control, focus, and reflection

February 24, 2009 | filed under consider this, moment of truth, read this | Leave a Comment 


Recently, I’ve been more focused on self-mastery.  So many of us are reactionary and that’s part of the reason why so many people aren’t happy with their lives–because there isn’t a strong enough sense of control.

The one thing we can control, even if it doesn’t necessarily seem that way, is our reactions.  In order to effectively do this, we need to exercise control over our thoughts and feelings.  It’s no small feat, but one I’m sure is certainly worth the undertaking.

Ever since seeing Revolutionary Road, I’ve been keenly aware of the path I’m on and what its limitations are.  There’s a certain way I’d like to live my life and I’m not even sure how much I’d truly enjoy my life if I got everything I think I want without a change in the way I approach life.

Therefore, I’ve been making some changes.

One change is in my level of gratitude, simply appreciating what in my life I understand as good.  Looking for the good has forced me to find some sort of lesson in my daily experiences.  Doing so has, even in this short amount of time, enhanced my level of personal accountability.

Today, I found this short article on Naikan, a Japanese method of self-reflection, hinged on 3 questions:

1. What have I received?

2. What have I given?

3. What trouble have I caused?

Self-reflection is the most important aspect of personal growth.  I’ll be working to answer these questions daily.

Letting go of holding on

February 20, 2009 | filed under consider this | 1 Comment 

The other day I was thinking about someone I know.  They work this job that they don’t truly seem to care so much about just looking at their actions.  When you talk to them, though, they profess otherwise.  The office dynamics are screwed and they don’t seem to be the most highly regarded person in the office.  But according to them, they are where they want to be.

In thinking about this person, I wondered why they wanted to stay at the job so bad?  Why hold onto a gig that clearly wasn’t working out?  If they stay, there will always be contention in the office amongst their co-workers.

“Why not just let it go?” I thought.

Sometimes our hands are so tightly clasped around what we have that we can’t open them to receive anything else, especially in ignoring all the signs that scream “this isn’t working.”

As I recollected over this situation that wasn’t even mine, I began to feel really guilty and intrusive, as though I wasn’t minding my business.  Then, I flipped the investigation around and started examining myself.

There are certainly relationships, habits, and beliefs I’m holding onto that aren’t working out for me.  Yet, I continue to hold on.

Maybe it’s time to let go.

Deep down, I do believe that everything happens for a reason.  I believe in signs.  Perhaps what we think is just madness in our lives is sometimes madness and sometimes it’s something else.  Maybe an indication that something needs to give.  Wouldn’t acknowledging that be finding the good?

What do you need to let go of?

Finding the transformative moment

February 19, 2009 | filed under consider this | 2 Comments 

And nothing gets done.

I just found out that my loan forbearance request for my government loan while I’m doing a government program was denied because, at the time, the loan was in deferment. Not that it couldn’t have been taken out of deferment to be put in forbearance. So now it’s 74 days delinquent. They report to credit agencies after 60 days.

No one informed me.

I hate the government.

Incompetence and apathy are a dangerous combination.

There is a bit of a transformative moment in this for me though.  In realizing how the intentional inefficiency on their end negatively affects me, I began to wonder how not performing my best at my job negatively impacts the population I work with.

How does not performing up to par hurt the people I’m supposed to be helping?

That’s a question we should all ask ourselves.

Pay it forward

February 19, 2009 | filed under challenge, great ideas, random | 2 Comments 


Don’t be rude

February 19, 2009 | filed under plain cool, random | Leave a Comment 

Last night, I was speed walking on an incline on the treadmill when this girl on the machine next to me starts talking on the phone…for about 20 minutes. Okay people, the gym is for those who want to work out. If you’re on the phone, you’re not working out and maybe you shouldn’t be there. If it’s important enough to take the call, it should be important enough for you to find a private place to talk. If it’s not important enough to find a private place to talk, it’s not important that you take the call.

Don’t subject strangers to hearing about your life unless they ask; we really don’t care and you’re being rude.

In response to what he calls a “worldwide epidemic of bad manners,” Randy Hill created Use Your Inside Voice solely to address the ill-mannered. Look through it and spread the word.

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