Great beginnings

Productivity
It's a marvelous Monday. Did you start off strong? If not, maybe it's time to revamp your opening rituals. Successful people spend the first hour of their day in preparation and edification. Postpone email and other non urgent tasks. There are more productive ways to begin your day than to see what other people need or want from you. Give yourself some time to gear up before launching into administrivia. The truly urgent messages will make their way to you, but the others can wait. Practice mindfulness and gratitude. No matter where you are in time and space, there's something you can be grateful for. What is it? Bear it in mind as you begin your day. Eat that frog. Determine the most important task for the day and devise…
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What are you creating?

Productivity, Text Talk
I've come across a lot of things worth sharing as of late. Long ago I used this space, not only for musing, but also for sharing news articles or other things of interest. Sometimes a video catches my eye. Other times, it could be a picture. Today, it's a word. Something to ponder: There is no one lonelier or more unhappy than a person who does not know the pure joy of creating a life for himself or herself. To be human is not merely to stand erect and manifest intelligence or knowledge. To be human in the full sense of the word is to lead a creative life. ~Daisaku Ikeda
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Emerging Superachiever?

Personal Narrative, Productivity
I received an electronic newsletter earlier this week.  In it, Dr. Sally summarized the common traits of academic superachievers. She was referring to their level of scholarly productivity - in other words, how much some researchers contribute to a given knowledge base in comparison to others. Those who are extremely productive are superachievers, and they have five things in common: passion, planning, persistence, perspective and partnerships. Academic superachievers are excited about their work. They have long-range plans and short-range objectives. They never give up, they maintain a youthful spirit, and they collaborate. Although I feel good about who I am and what I've done, I'm not an academic superachiever. I'm at the emerging end of the achievement scale, and quite frankly, I've spent more time debating my interest in being…
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Good credit. #NaBloPoMo #amwriting.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity
When good things happen, people tend to underestimate how much credit is due to their own efforts, and overestimate the influence of outside forces. That was just luck. It's only because someone else did thus and such. I was in the right place at the right time. Meanwhile, when something negative happens, the opposite is suddenly true. They get plenty of credit for the poor outcome, while the external forces are let off the proverbial hook. It's all my fault. I always do thus and such wrong. If only I had done this, that or the other thing. In either case, the scales are always tipped to favor luck for good things, and self for bad. Why is that? We are co-creators in this world. That means just as there…
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Beets and baby steps. #NaBloPoMo

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity
Baby steps count. I've said it before and it bears repeating from time to time. As I've mentioned, I'm traveling a lot these days. When I'm home, I try to detox to some degree. This weekend I had the great intention to make hot pink smoothies. What makes a smoothie hot pink? One half of one raw beet! My time is limited on the weekends, and I was excited to make it to my local grocer to get beets and the other ingredients. Once home, I unloaded the groceries and immediately departed. No time to clean beets and fire up the blender. I rushed around handling other business, lamenting my unprepared beets. Hours passed in this way. Then one day. Then two. Not until I was just about ready to…
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A thank you note.

Writer's Craft
I promised myself I would write. I owe it to myself to keep my promise. Joshunda's sentiment to write as exploration and truth-telling, and ultimately as an expression of self-love, resonated with me months ago.  That afternoon we talked love, pets, career, life, all in no particular order. Mostly we talked writing. We talked writing as inquiry. As work. As joy. As required. As radical.   I hear her voice whenever I talk myself out of writing. When I procrastinate until "later today."  Or when I say "tomorrow."  I hear her voice when brilliance flashes at inconvenient moments, and I neglect to take note.  When I resist.  When I do anything other than sit and listen to the ideas clamoring to be revealed, or prodded, refuted, developed, acknowledged...I hear her voice. Today, I am listening. And…
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A Request

Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative
You are not an impostor and you are not alone. This, despite any feelings or supposed evidence you may have to the contrary. I wish someone had shared this with me before I started graduate school. I wish it had been the hook of a song I was required to sing each morning upon waking. I wish I had repeated it, hand over heart, at the beginning of each class period; a pledge and a reminder. As it was, I didn't figure these things out until quite near the end of it all, after many days (years) of wondering what the hell I was doing there. Really. A former student of mine solicited advice on finishing up away from peers and profs. It's a good question. There's enough isolation during…
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Done and Done! | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge
The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot. ~Michael Althsuler August was the rare month in which I never wondered, where did the time go? In fact, more than once I wanted to hurry August along. I had two goals to accomplish. The first and easier of the two: run 50 miles. The second, a sight more challenging: write every day. Publicly. Depending on your relationship to either running or writing, you may have ranked the goals differently. For me, the exercise was no sweat. I've run 50 miles in a month previously. It was my first time this year, but not my first time, you know, ever. Barring unforeseen challenges, I assumed it could do it. The writing, however, is a different matter entirely.…
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Don’t Give Up | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity, Writer's Craft
Anyone who has ever made a resolution discovers that the strength of their determination fades with time. The important thing is not that your resolve never wavers, but that you don’t get down on yourself when it does and throw in the towel. ~Daisaku Ikeda 23 down. 7 to go: I have made a commitment to write (and share) every day for 30 days. Some days it’s been a joy – especially those days when I have time to truly craft or be playful on the page. It’s also rewarding when I’m feeling a bit righteous and want to make a little noise about something on my heart. Unfortunately, not all days are sunshine. When I’m tired, or my day simply hasn’t gone as planned, I often debate skipping and…
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Favorite Things | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity
From time to time, friends mention various and sundry ailments or concerns, and inquire as to whether I might recommend a remedy. Occasionally, I can! Below, you'll find a brief catalogue of the items I share most regularly. Beginning Meditation Most people naturally assume my Buddhist practice incorporates meditation. It does not. However, meditation, even a few seconds once in a while, can benefit anyone. One year I felt unreasonably harried and unfocused and thought learning more about meditation would help me slow down a bit. It did. I particularly like Jack Kornfield's easy going and clear delivery and guided practice sessions. Once every year or so I listen to his mini-lectures and sessions again, as a good reminder to slow down and be fully present. Shallow or Irregular Breathing…
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