Sunday, May 27, 2012

The consumerist experience of tourism

As I've been enjoying the delights and sights of New York and other spots, I've been pondering what I think about the consumerist nature of such an experience. While I'm in it, I've been aiming to experience it and enjoy it for all it's worth- the amazing beauty of Niagara Falls, the breath-taking views from the Empire State Building, the creativity expressed by the likes of
Monet. They are all great things. But it feels highly consumerist - in essence and form. I've wrestled with what I think about this reaction because I think some of it is highly personal that gets put onto these thoughts around consumerism. But I do think some of my thoughts are genuinely about the consumerist nature of tourism and feeling very questionable about it. So much of it crosses against so many of the choices about how I want to live and this experience is reinforcing those decisions and causing me to further question the huge number of ways that I buy into consumerism in my everyday lifestyle. I feel some considerable lifestyle choices coming up ...

No real answers just living into my experience and aiming to process it as I live today.

One thing I'm surer of than ever - I want to live in such a way as I'm able to be truly present in each moment and savor the experience or person that I am present with. For me, that means choices to slow down.

As a book I have at home says -
When I loved myself enough I learnt to slow down- way down.
That's my experience too and it's good to be reminded of that by a few weeks that is different to that.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Where to start?

I'm sitting in New York Public Library wondering where to start writing about the last few weeks. There has been so much amazing stuff, many precious sacred moments, so many places seen and experienced, many thoughts had and a decent amount of angst in the mix too.

So I will start with this moment. What a luxury to be sitting in this quiet room in the midst of busy New York. I've been struck by the amount of public space in the cities I've been to in the US and Canada and the need for them. I've enjoyed the green spaces on the National Mall in DC and Central Park in New York, amongst many others. Space in the midst of life. Crucial.

And that is something that I really haven't had on this trip - space. And more than ever I'm aware of how crucial it is to me; how much my functioning well and capacity depends on it. It's been a lifelong journey of understanding this huge need of mine.
And the journey continues.

I've experienced so much yet have not included many of the things that help me process and feel my experiences before moving on to the next thing. This means that I've not had the capacity to fully engage with the next experience. This is a way I've chosen not to live but I've found myself choosing it this holiday and paying the consequences of it. Thankfully these days I'm very aware of what it takes to reset the button and can go there quickly but it's been a very powerful reminder of how easy it is to return to old patterns of living.

None of that takes away from the beauty and powerfulness of what has been experienced - it's just that they haven't been lived as well as they might have been.

And so today I'm thankful for this place of peace and quiet.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Do you feel conflicted with yourself?  I do much of the time!

Seth Godin discusses this conflict and suggests that we need to get better at self-marketing!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5 Types of Work that Fill Your Day

This is a good post on the different types of work that fill your day.

  1. Reactionary work
  2. Planning work
  3. Procedural work
  4. Insecurity work
  5. Problem-solving work

(Thanks to Matt at What's Best Next for the link)

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Perhaps I am stronger than I think

Perhaps I am stronger than I think.
Perhaps I am even afraid of my strength, and turn it against myself, thus making myself weak.
Making myself secure. Making myself guilty.
Perhaps I am most afraid of the strength of God in me.
Perhaps I would rather be guilty and weak in myself,
than strong in Him whom I cannot understand. 
- Thomas Merton (from Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours)

Thanks to Rachel Held Evans whose blog I read this on.