Category Archives for "Personal Growth"

2 Hawaiian Sounds – In a Bamboo Forest

Here’s a free download from a good friend of mine, Aren Souza – no relation, although I wish we were 🙂  He’s a creative. Period.  When I try to think of a word that can categorize him that’s it.  He is a musician, artist,  studio recorder and a good surfer.  Lately, he’s been experimenting with recording nature for fun and to help him sleep.

From Dan Zen Flickr

Aren sent me this .mp3 from a recent recording session in a bamboo forest near his home in Ka`a`awa, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. It’s like an audio rough draft, raw and unedited, so there’s some non-forest-y kinds of sound but that’s cool for me – real life!

I’m listening to it as I write and have been using it, not to help me sleep, but as an ambient background to help me improve my focus and concentration. Here’s a link to download directly.  It’s about 40mgs and 17 minutes long.  Let me know what you think.


Book Review of Linchpin By Seth Godin

Here’s a quick (sort of – it’s more than 5 minutes but less than 10) video review of Seth Godin’s new book Linchpin. Bottom line? I like it. I took away 2 “don’ts” and 3 “dos” that make a lot of sense to me.

Free Your Mind

Workout: Organize Your To-Do List

Spend 15-30 minutes on an initial brain dump, getting things out of your mind and onto a task list. Set a timer. Don’t feel you need to order or arrange or prioritize anything just dump the contents in your head onto a sheet of paper, a spreadsheet or digital note taker. Categories may help in the emptying process, however, so feel free to come up with tasks from Home, Work, Finances, Email, Phone Calls, Family/Friends, etc.

The next step, according to David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, is to sort your list into “Tasks” or “Projects”, those tasks that can be grouped together or are related/dependent on each other. Often the way the task first appears on our list is in a form that is not “actionable.” This may require some re-writes on our part. For example, my list may include “work on the yard” – which is a good thing according to my wife :). The problem is that “work on the yard” is a multi-task “Project” that I will need to break down into actionable tasks such as “buy gas for mower” and “rake the leaves” and “get the weed-eater back from my friend”.

As your working through your list you may find somethings are not really tasks that you can do or are related to things that don’t belong to you. Scratch those out.

Now the next step for this workout is – nothing. You don’t have to do any of the tasks, really. Toss the list if you like. Do what you want with it. Guilt free. You may find that in the act of creating the list you generated some enthusiasm for acting on items on the list. Do those or don’t. It’s up to you.

Some people find that a list like this brings a sense of order and peace. Just seeing what you have to do on paper, nicely arranged and displayed, provides a sense of freedom.

You may find that the list has done just the opposite and it has increased your anxiety and stress. Then your next task is to identify the task or tasks that are causing the stress. Can you do anything about it? If no, than your stress will do nothing for you. If yes, ask yourself what is the very next thing you could do towards completing the task. Then, because you have stress, do it and release it. Then move to the next thing you could do, do it and release that.

The place where we want to be is acting upon that which can be acted upon and accepting that which we must accept.

I Know I’m Alive When…

Warning: This post is NOT drama free and is only as deep and meaningful as you make it.

Just got back from the beach. And yes, it was another beautiful day in Hawaii. I went to surf with my family but sat along the shore for about 15 minutes. I wish I could say I was contemplating deep, spiritual, and philosophic thoughts but I can’t ’cause I wasn’t. What I was doing was sitting on the sand watching the waves roll in because I was – cold. There. I said it. Cold as in not warm, as in brrrrrr…I couldn’t motivate myself to get off the sand and into the water. So I sat there. And contemplated. And thought.

One of my sons, Micah, was already in the water, catching waves, braving the icy chill of the noon time Pacific ocean. He’s always been the first in, last out boy. The other was contemplating the uh, conditions, with me.

Two things pushed me past the cold. It wasn’t the waves because the conditions weren’t that great (in fact, if I really had gone to surf I would’ve turned around and gone home instead). The first thing was that I had come to surf with my two boys, to be in the water, hang out, spend some time together. They’re both getting older and pretty soon I’ll be going to the same beach but surfing alone. I want to receive this day as the gift it is. Being and wanting to be “being,” both physically and spiritually in that moment, pushed me past my warm, comfortable spot on the sand.

The second reason I got in the water was that I recalled, simply and profoundly, my mortality. Not only are my days of surfing with my teen-aged sons quickly passing, but my own days of physically being able to get out in the water and surf are measured. I turned to the “contemplative” son next to me and said, “I’m going out and I’m going to relish in the cold! I’m going to savor each moment of that initial, icy plunge because this is how I know I’m alive! I can feel. I want to feel. I’m going out in that water and I will feel because I’m alive.”

No joke. I’m not kidding or making this up. This is what was going through my brain and what we were talking about. A little dramatic? Maybe. (More like a little traumatic for my boy but he’s used to it…) He raised one eyebrow, grinned at me, rose to his feet and moved to stand at the shore beside me. When that first touch of cold blue hit my feet I slowed, but only for a moment. Then I grinned, raised my one eyebrow, turned my face out to the sea, and keeping with the spirit of the moment, embraced the drama by yelling “I’m alive!” as I plunged into the waves.

Are you Living Up to You

“Hell begins on the day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts which we have wasted, of all that we might have done which we did not do.“- Gian-Carlo Menoi

This quote stops me. It forces me to look, to really search for who I am and what I’m supposed to be doing. When I can say “I’ve done my best,” I can say I’m done. Until then, I must continue to do as Paul the Apostle when he says:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

I don’t want to waste a sunrise.