Tag Archives: attention

going deep

going deep

The aforementioned book “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport was correctly assumed to be an update in a modernized high-tech world (maybe I should call it an upgrade, or version 2.45, of my e-book “Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind …” ).

Newport’s effort is not aimed at teenagers or athletes or incoming college freshmen; it’s specially targeted at performance in an information economy.

I bought it as fuel for my own deep dive into authorship. I already understood what it had to say; I had to see what he said, what he added, and how I could apply it to my world.

Source of featured graphic: http://strongproject.com/blog/how-cal-newports-deep-work-concept-will-influence-office-design/ 
music: EST Symphony
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi5n_mibc9s&list=PLhTM0_t0hv0rlfxG2DO5-15TNnk6ZXFoA

 

I’m 75 pages into the book, and I paused to give you a taste of this gem so I won’t give away the the deeper gemstones in it or the conclusion. You can use the link above to find a version that works for you. You can also use it as an impetus to diving back into my e-book, which I’ve considered updating and upgrading.  We know a whole lot more about the human brain now than when I started it (or finished it) or finally got around to getting into shape so it could be shared.

I had to chuckle with delight as the first two pages are focused on the architecture of deep work; Newport talks about Jung’s Bollingen Tower and other examples of how people configured their space and their tools for their own deep work. I am about to enter the second year here in this little bungalow on the edge of a small river and a forest, close to the roadways and locations necessary to the rest of life.  My workspace has three locations (one primary with two desks and three tools, and three secondary seats, each wide side chairs and tables). Oh, and blank paper, lots of pens and two computers. The main one is on the lower floor in my office corner; the second is in an open space kitchen/living area with laptop or out on the deck overlooking the garden or even on the patio in the garden.

Let me now race through some excerpts from the book so you can decide whether it has application in your world and your life. I’d like my son to get into this book; he dropped away from athletic pursuit (save on the golf course… he came in third in his club championship last year), and into his professional career, now two decades old.  He built the flagship for a regional golf equipment retail chain and drove its sales through the roof, then left for the wholesale side of the game. He’s now a regional sales manager for a golf apparel company in a company in which his people are currently ranked 1, 2 and 3 in their salesman of the year contest.

Deep work, says Newport on page 3, are “the professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes cognitive capabilities to their limit in a hard-to-replicate manner, thereby creating new value and improved skill. “We now know from decades of research in both psychology and neuroscience that the state of mental strain that accompanies deep work is necessary for improvement in cognitively demanding fields.”

I’ve seen it at work on those times when my daughter would retire into her internal mental space and emerge to perform at levels that won her national ranking despite her apparently small size; the coach from one major recruiting school got back in her car and drove off when she saw my child from a distance of ten feet and then read about her selection as the All-Region Player of the Year four years later. The coach from a California powerhouse university whose performance consultant was a nationally-recognized expert in peak performance asked her counterpart from the Northeast snowbound school who that little girl was who’d hit the two 3-run home runs and just exactly where on earth did she come from?

Cal Newport isn’t focused on fastpitch softball, though; he is focused on the world of software, networking, social media and digital communications when he talks about missing out on massive opportunity when he says to his readers that “you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things”, that “to succeed, you have to produce the absolute best stuff you’re capable of producing” and that that output will be valuable in a world where someone with a better product that can be found easily and which is now being readied for the marketplace. Deep work is both scarce and valuable and is a key currency in a world that can also easily produce a lot of something else to distract you. Who is having your lunch today?

Newport talks of “fierce concentration”, minimizing in your daily life and space that which is shallow and increasing, with greater intensity, those times of uninterrupted and carefully-directed concentration.

If you want to thrive, you have to learn how to master hard things, and you have to produce, in terms of both quality and speed, at an elite level. You have to master the foundational skills — think of my e-book “Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind …” as your elementary school.

On pages 33-36, Newport again mentions the new field of performance psychology and mentions K. Anders Ericsson (whom I first heard about during a presentation by Leonard Zaichkowsky, Ph.D.: see the attached pdf  Becoming a Champion in Sport and Life), who says in Deep Work on page 34,

“… the differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.”

The concept of deliberate practice is addressed in the sections on mindfulness in my e-book and especially within the books written by Ellen Langer.

The core components of deliberate practice are defined as follows:

  1. your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you’re trying to improve (or an objective you’re trying to achieve) or an idea you’re trying to master; and

  2. you receive feedback so you can correct your approach and keep your attention exactly where it’s needed or will be most productive.

The first is central to Newport’s book.  I regard the second as also of vital importance; it’s simply “the other side of the coin”.  Feedback comes from competition, or at least scrimmage and free play, and perhaps from simulation and/or dialogue.

The footnote on page 34 describes how Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea of deliberate practice in his book Outliers which generated attempts to poke holes in Ericcson’s theory, answered by Ericcson in his article “Why Expert Performance is Special and Cannot Be Extrapolated from Studies of Performance in the General Population: A Response to Criticisms” [ http://www.progressfocused.com/2013/12/anders-ericsson-responds-to-criticisms.html ].

Focused attention requires deliberate practice.

“Let your mind becomes a lens, thanks to the converging rays of attention; let your soul be all intent on whatever it is that is established in your mind as a dominant, wholly absorbing idea”, said Antonin-Dalmace Sertillanges, a Dominican friar and professor of moral philosophy in “The Intellectual Life” .

The new “science of performance argues that you get better at a skill as you develop more myelin around the relevant neurons, allowing the corresponding circuit [ of neurons ] to fire more effortlessly and effectively. To be great at something is to be well myelinated…. The repetitive use of a specific circuit triggers cells called oligodendrocytes to begin wrapping layers of myelin around the neurons in the circuit, effectively cementing the skill.”

“.. the type of work that optimizes your performance is deep work. If you’re not comfortable going deep for extended periods of time, it’ll be difficult to get your performance to the peak levels of quality and quantity increasingly necessary to thrive professionally. Unless your talent and skills already dwarf those of your competition, the deep workers among them will outproduce you.”

What type of work that you do requires you to go deep?

Buy the book.  Get busy. The world needs your best work.

 

running through walls

 running through walls

“… People are waking up and swimming to the surface through layers of deception. They’re returning to themselves. They’re recognizing group-ism for what it is: a meltdown into self-sabotage. The artifact is the collective. The self is real. Power, choice, and freedom never go away. They may hide, but they can be resurrected. Then the whole fake game crumbles.”

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/the-dependent-victim-psy-op/ 

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music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW6SkvErFEE 

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A.I. Will Eliminate Millions of Jobs. Time to Prepare. | RealClearScience

Posted by Michele Kearney at 11:22 AM 

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What is Artificial Intelligence?

A useful overview of artificial intelligence.

Topics: Guest Post, Technology and innovation

Posted by Yves Smith at 9:55 am | 101 Comments »

By Georgios Petropoulos, a resident fellow at Brugel with extensive research experience from among other things, holding visiting positions at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Banque de France in Paris and the research department of Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto. Originally published at Bruegel

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As new technologies yield humans with much longer battery lives, killer apps and godlike superpowers, within the next six decades, if Harari is right, even the finest human specimens of 2017 will in hindsight seem like flip phones.

How Upgrading Humans will become the next Billion-dollar Industry 

Market Watch | 08 April 017

Obsolete

via

https://solari.com/blog/ 

‘For the first time in history it will be possible to translate economic inequality into biological inequality.’

 

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Daniel Siegel, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA, speaks on 

“Interpersonal Connection, Self-Awareness and Well-Being: The Art and Science of Integration in the Promotion of Health”

[40:00]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP9bT6xfhNE 

vettejoevette1 year ago

I find it bewildering that a brilliant mind like Dr Siegel is sharing scientific information that has such transformative implications for health and well being is speaking to an audience where a large percentage of members are multi-tasking on their laptops instead of paying focused attention.

 

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http://www.thehugheslectures.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/feynmanquote.jpg

The Feynmann Technique

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkm0TNFzIeg 

[2:01]

http://cdn.topdocumentaryfilms.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/richard-feynman-pleasure-finding-things-out.jpg

Feynmann on curiosity

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmTmGLzPVyM

[4:23]

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Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership — starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”

His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers …

Includes 17 minute TED video.

 

His books include Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/3158574.Simon_Sinek

 

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http://noetic.org/sites/default/files/uploads/images/Change_7_11_2_lg.jpg 

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source of featured image:

https://hbr.org/2017/01/to-lead-a-digital-transformation-ceos-must-prioritize 

attunement

attunement

The sub-protagonist in the stunningly-good book “The Last Echo”

http://www.audubon.org/news/watch-thousands-sandhill-cranes-lift-platte-river-sunrise 

http://rowe.audubon.org/sites/g/files/amh536/f/styles/hero_image/public/_asc1186_sandhill_crane_0.jpg?itok=fHeOWQCN 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENwycvMtp8Y 

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As featured on WCVB-TV’s Chronicle:

http://www.helmicksculpture.com 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Helmick 

 

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BRzmGY6B0Lb/ 

 

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I saw this mesmerizingly-superb movie“The Music of Strangers”, when my household cable carrier gave me a gratuitous peek at HBO.  

I borrowed a two-CD set of Asian music at the library years and years ago and have been hooked ever since. 

The YouTube channel is linked below so you can sample the music in-depth at your leisure. 

There is a lot of focus in the movie on Yo-Yo Ma (why not, since he’s a well-known name and entity) but the stars of the movie are the other people, especially the story of the founder pictured here, and — of course — the very nature of music itself.

 

http://www.silkroadproject.org/s/arts-strangers 

https://www.youtube.com/user/silkroadproject 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silkroad_(arts_organization)#The_Silk_Road_Ensemble 

 

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Presence-Based Coaching

“… I have a friend, Charlie Lehman, who teaches 6‐year‐olds design technology and he says he has these 6‐year‐olds come into class every morning and they sit down and they center together and he says to them, to these kids, he says, “Children, if you learn what to pay attention to and what to focus on, you can be anything you want in life.”  And so that’s what we’re practicing here. We’re practicing choosing what we pay  attention to.”

http://presencebasedcoaching.com 

http://presencebasedcoaching.com/about/doug-silsbee/ 

http://presencebasedcoaching.com/about/doug-silsbee/#toggle-id-5 

https://www.customerservicegroup.com/pdf/cancoachingwork.pdf 

 

Presence-Based Coaching Resources

Competency Model: 

http://www.dougsilsbee.com/pdf/model.pdf   

Coach Training and Certification: 

http://dougsilsbee.com/training   

 

Resource Library: 

http://dougsilsbee.com/subscribe 

 

Books

Davidson, Richard: The Emotional Life of Your Brain. Plume, 2013. 

Gunaratana, B.H.: Mindfulness in Plain English. Wisdom Publications, 2011. 

Kabat-Zinn, Jon: Full Catastrophe Living. Bantam, 2013. 

Salzberg, Sharon: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation. Workman, 2010.    

Brown, K.W., Creswell, J. D., Ryan, R. M., eds: Mindfulness in Organizations: Foundations,

 Research, and Applications. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Hanson, Rick: Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence. Harmony, 2013.

Siegel, Daniel: The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being. Norton, 2007.

Silsbee, Doug: The Mindful Coach: Seven Roles for Facilitating Leader Development, JosseyBass, 2010.

 Silsbee, Doug: PresenceBased Coaching: Coaching Self-Generative Leaders Through Mind, Body and Heart, JosseyBass, 2008

American Mindfulness Research Association:

 https://goamra.org/   

 

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How Humans Change:

Conditioning, Identity and Self-Generation  

 

 

Chapter Two of 

Presence-Based Coaching

The world needs leaders who are resilient, optimistic, resourceful, authentic, and committed.

PBC-Ch-2

 

https://www.bookdepository.com/Presence-based-Coaching-Doug-Silsbee/9780470325094 

 

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https://chcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/PresenceThroughAttunement-transparent.png 

https://chcm.com/see-person-content/ 

 

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Start Small

 

http://www.coachesrising.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Catalyzing-Your-Development-Doug-Silsbee.pdf 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/presence-based-coaching/id378755196?mt=11 

https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/author/douglas-k-silsbee/ 

 

Expand Slowly

http://www.teachmeteamwork.com/teachmeteamwork/2012/04/doug-silsbee.html 

http://presencebasedcoaching.com/coach-training/course-of-study/ 

http://presencebasedcoaching.com/resources/presence-based-coaching-introductory-call/ 

Commit for the long run

http://presencebasedcoaching.com/event-calendar/ 

 

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http://www.peer.ca/topcoachbks.html 

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https://media.licdn.com/media-proxy/ext?w=800&h=800&hash=o77t00pQEa%2BAV0TeKq56Yz83Q1g%3D&ora=1%2CaFBCTXdkRmpGL2lvQUFBPQ%2CxAVta9Er0Vinkhwfjw8177yE41y87UNCVordEGXyD3u0qYrdfyW8L8DbLOemuQgffywclFZjKfL6QWPjD5O6L4y6KYl5gpHmdo27dA4BYBI3iSdF_NQ8

 

https://www.lollydaskal.com/blog/ 

 

https://www.lollydaskal.com/leadership/4-powerful-ways-improve-leadership-presence/ 

 

information

information

Social Media Is Killing Discourse 

Because It’s Too Much Like TV

We need more text and fewer videos and memes in the age of Trump.

November 29, 2016

music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO6qcRdedck 

An excerpt:

“… social media represents the ultimate ascendance of television over other media.

I’ve been warning about this since November 2014, when I was freed from six years of incarceration in Tehran, a punishment I received for my online activism in Iran. Before I went to prison, I blogged frequently on what I now call the open Web: it was decentralized, text-centered, and abundant with hyperlinks to source material and rich background. It nurtured varying opinions. It was related to the world of books.

Then for six years I got disconnected; when I left prison and came back online, I was confronted by a brave new world. Facebook and Twitter had replaced blogging and had made the Internet like TV: centralized and image-centered, with content embedded in pictures, without links.

Like TV it now increasingly entertains us, and even more so than television it amplifies our existing beliefs and habits. It makes us feel more than think, and it comforts more than challenges. The result is a deeply fragmented society, driven by emotions, and radicalized by lack of contact and challenge from outside….

Neil Postman provided some clues about this in his illuminating 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. The media scholar at New York University saw then how television transformed public discourse into an exchange of volatile emotions that are usually mistaken by pollsters as opinion. One of the scariest outcomes of this transition, Postman wrote, is that television essentially turns all news into disinformation.

“Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information—misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information—information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing … The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining.” (Emphasis added.) And, Postman argued, when news is constructed as a form of entertainment, it inevitably loses its function for a healthy democracy. “I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?…”

Hossein Derakshan (@h0d3r) is an Iranian-Canadian author, media analyst, and performance artist who lives in Tehran. Find his latest project, an exploration of the intersection of performance art and journalism, at @talkingtagsart.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602981/social-media-is-killing-discourse-because-its-too-much-like-tv/?utm_medium=email_marketing&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=engagement_socialmedia&utm_content=active_subs 

Posted by Michele Kearney at 7:47 AM  

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The Magic of the Book: Hermann Hesse on Why We Read and Always Will

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/06/07/the-magic-of-the-book-hermann-hesse 

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Must read:

http://www.duffelblog.com/2017/01/veteran-misses-simpler-time-fighting-unwinnable-enemy-unknowingly-helped-create/ 

via Naked Capitalism

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Vincent_van_Gogh_-_The_Public_Soup_Kitchen_F1020.jpg 

On page 27 and 28, in Lesson #3, Read Your Head Off, in Patty Dann’s book “The Butterfly Hours” :

 

“Read books and magazines and the labels on the backs of cereal boxes. In Beloved, Toni Morrison wrote that one of her characters died “soft as cream.” You can’t use that brilliant line, but when a sentence like that is in your mouth, there is a possibility you’ll find another to offer to the gods.

People often switch genres as they get older, of what they write but also of what they read. They will say “I don’t know why I am suddenly reading poetry” or “I’ve given up reading fiction altogether.” People are often surprised or even uncomfortable, as if they’d suddenly begun an illicit affair if they switch writing or reading certain genres. “But I always loved fiction,” they say. It is as true as swimming in a lake where the water suddenly changes temperature. It can be unsettling, but the oldest students in my class, those in their nineties, just smile and say “And it will change again. You will see.”

Genre does not matter, as long as you’re reading. If you’re not reading, you’re not writing. Reading is part of your daily devotion if you are a writer. When you read as a writer, it is different than reading for pleasure.  You are studying the craft, just as an artist must go to the museums to see the great masters, and a musician must listen to Mozart and Miles Davis, and everyone should read Vincent’s letters to his brother, Theo

When you read as a writer, read a sentence and try to imagine the sounds, the touch, the taste, the smells the writer is writing about. As you write, you put yourself back together.”

http://vangoghletters.org/vg/interface/home/15.jpg 

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An observation in this age of social media, driven by TV, Hollywood and other practices of the creation of a “brand”, is that brand image is the new battleground for supremacy of information. The mainstream media have been knocked off their high perch and, while the pre-season scrimmaging for audience share and recognition has been underway for some time now, the new ratings period is open.  The New York Times is selling its office space, oligarchs are venturing into news company ownership and web site creation, and ioncreasingly we see competition for who should be seen as the premier purveyor of acuracy.

Everyone, before and after the numerous infilitrations, was and is responsible for their own minds.

What we are witnessing is the Oprahfication of truth. The hapless reader is asked, nay being forced, to choose between the Kardsashans of investigative journalism and the others.

It’s just the latest variant or extension of contempt for your own ability to read, decide, and more.  Indeed, along with the Oprahs and her offspring, the Kardashian sub-industry, “reality TV”, revamped and re-packaged TV news, and dozens of other choices, it’s a battle for where and how you should place your attention.

The book “Deep Survival” will explain the real importance of attention.

Eric Booth’s “The Everyday Work of Art” stands as a pinnacle.

Find a copy of Terry Orlick’s interview with the world-class cardiothoracic surgeon Curt Tribble, M.D., in which he discusses the ability to function with an element of uncertainty, the critical importance of focus and distraction control, and the ability to deal with sub-optimal outcomes, all relevant to any pursuit of excellence.

It has been said that the information we allow into our consciousness is what determines, in the end, the content and quality of our lives.

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Leonard Bernstein on Cynicism, Instant Gratification, and Why Paying Attention Is a Countercultural Act of Courage and Rebellion

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/10/03/leonard-bernstein 

tailor-made

tailor-made

Most of us are completely unaware that nearly every piece music is tailor-made to produce a specific emotional, psychological and more importantly – physiological response and state. This is the unseen science of frequency.

DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY: Frequency is a new original documentary exploring the mysterious world of sound. The Secrets & Science of Sound explores the areas of Binaural Beats, Synesthesia and Cymatics with a hope to further understand to what extent sound can affect the human brain and body. Binaural beats is a process in which brainwave activity can be altered at will using sound, Synesthesia is a bizarre condition in which sound can be perceived as colour and Cymatics is the world of sound made visible. These exciting and fascinating areas will hopefully expand our future understanding of the creative and potentially destructive power of sound and how in many ways we are always being affected by Frequency.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9TtsJ33kCA 

[58:22]

http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/06/12/sunday-screening-frequency-the-secrets-science-of-sound-2014/ 

[Ed.: Note the description of binaural beats in the second chapter of Summon The Magic (pages 46-49), and the presence of the book “Thresholds of the Mind” in its bibliography. I was tested by the Haldane Associates in the early 1970’s as having a perfect 50/50 balance between left and right brains. I have been a user of HoloSync since about 2003.] 

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How To Become a Millionaire in Three Years

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvBaRf9LHDs 

13 minutes!

Daniel Ally

See especially pages L-3 and L-4 

Tab L in Summon The Magic

“Mentors, Coaches and Warriors”

http://boydownthelane.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Tab-L-Mentors-Coaches-Warriors.pdf 

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I had the pleasure, along with Mrs. Blogger, of taking in a performance by Livingston Taylor.  We bought the tickets a long time ago, as soon as his appearance was announced, and then we stayed patient. I got the the tix as a present to her, knowing that she would respond to his soft, laid-back approach which includes a lot of show tunes (she’s a fan of musicals). I’d cued up some YouTube’s on him and his family and his gig as a professor at Berklee’s local technical school for musical performance where a buddy of mine had taken an online course in song-writing

The opening act was a four-song set by one of his students, a veteran of The Voice, Rebecca Loebe

Taylor teaches a course on stage presence which he surely exhibited; having bought his book at the concert, it’s easy to look back and pick off the lessons one by one. 

The book, by the way, is hereby informally added to the bibliography of Summon The Magic, sliding in between the two by Greene on preparation for audition. Taylor’s “Stage Performance” is highly recommended for everyone, even if you are not a performer, because it’s about self-presentation, how to have a conversation, cadence, rhythm, connection, and more.  You’ll find a golden nugget on each page. 

And, that night, on stage, he had his audience in the palm of his hand.

 

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How To Build a Business Site

Intermediate Customization

Learning The Fundamentals

Commenting and Commenting Etiquette

Intro to Poetry

Finding Everyday Inspiration for Writing

https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/new-blogging-u-courses/ 

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fruit bowl

creativity and transformation

creativity and transformation

I stumbled across a number of pretty darn good TED talks the other day. 

I am naturally interesting in learning, performance and creativity, and several of the topics seemed to be in alignment with my previous reading about sports and performance psychology.  A couple of them are simply startling barn-burners. 

Here’s a mix of short TED talks, a blurb on creativity, and a couple of long videos on how to be a really good photographer. 

Have fun. 

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Chris Lonsdale is Managing Director of Chris Lonsdale & Associates, a company established to catalyse breakthrough performance for individuals and senior teams. In addition, he has also developed a unique and integrated approach to learning that gives people the means to acquire language or complex technical knowledge in short periods of time.

how to learn any language in six months

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNEWdn0 

This has more relevance than to learning language.

Five Principles

Attention, Meaning, Relevance and Memory

Use The Tools Immediately

Comprehensible Input is Key

Physiological Training

Psycho-physiologic State

Seven Actions

Soak Your Brain

Get Meaning/Body Language

Get Creative/Mix It Up

Focus on the Core (80/20 rule)

Get a Mentor

Mirror/Mimic Feedback

Connect Learning to Your Mental Images

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Fundamentals of Physiological Psychology

http://www.slideshare.net/KrycesTorcato/fundamentals-of-physiological-psychology-by-author-carlson-neil-r 

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The skill of self confidence | Dr. Ivan Joseph | TEDxRyersonU

As the Athletic Director and head coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Joseph is often asked what skills he is searching for as a recruiter: is it speed? Strength? Agility? In Dr. Joseph’s TEDx Talk, he explores self confidence and how it is not just the most important skill in athletics, but in our lives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-HYZv6HzAs 

[This is outstanding!]  [13 minutes!]

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How to believe in yourself: Jim Cathcart at TEDxDelrayBeach (8.5 minutes)

(How to transform the world)(nurture your nature)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ki9-oaPwHs 

http://cathcart.com/ 

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The psychology of self-motivation | Scott Geller | TEDxVirginiaTech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sxpKhIbr0E 

Scott Geller is Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems in the Department of Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the World Academy of Productivity and Quality. He has written numerous articles and books, including When No One’s Watching: Living and Leading Self-motivation.

Can you do it?  Self efficacy

Will it work? Response efficacy

Is it worth it? 

Competence, Consequences, Choices, Community

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Why people believe they can’t draw – and how to prove they can | Graham Shaw | TEDxHull

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TXEZ4tP06c 

streetphotonow

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Written by Helen Williams, Community Love Director at Holstee

I was recently given the opportunity to see author Elizabeth Gilbert give a talk in the city of Denver. It was an unseasonably warm evening in early May and the front of the Paramount Theater was pacing and alive with anticipation. Many of us had read Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert’s 2007 bestseller-turned-movie. It was a novel that sold ten million copies and sparked a million responses, good and bad. But what gathered us together that particular evening was Gilbert’s newest output, Big Magic, a reflection on her personal experience with creativity.

I can’t summarize the book for you in a way that will do it true justice, but my one sentence rave review is this: it resparked me. I’ve always been a person who made space for creative endeavors. I dive into books for inspiration for my own writing. I listen to music that moves me enough to drive me toward the piano keys. I soak in colors and shapes to bring myself back to my original love of drawing. All these things and more made me certain, yes, I am a creative person because I participate in these things. I make stuff. I tune in.

“This is what we all must learn to do, for this is how maps get charted—by taking wrong turns that lead to surprising passageways that open into spectacularly unexpected new worlds.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

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But of course when it comes to the pace of life, there isn’t always ample time for the things that make you feel most like yourself. At least that is what I told myself when gaps of time would pass and I hadn’t picked up a pen or a paint brush and a thick layer of dust coated the chipping ivory keys. Other obligations would demand my attention and I would relent, letting those other parts of myself stay paused in midair until I had time to snatch them up again. During these times I would feel hollow, less engaged and sometimes even panicked at the time that would pass without my making space for feeling creatively inspired. These phases of life were dull, unmemorable. In this way, I treated my need for creativity as its own distinct feature of my existence, something entirely separate and extra from the rest of my more normal, responsible, adult life.

What I learned from turning the pages of Big Magic, however, was that I was looking at it all wrong. Creativity wasn’t meant to be a single strain among others. Creativity wasn’t supposed to be a hobby that would often conflict with “more important stuff” or be overtaken when duty called. It was meant to be the lens through which I viewed all parts of my life. Choosing creativity was what transformed an everyday experience into an adventure. Creativity could have a hand in all of it, if I allowed it to be so.

Well, that was news to me! I was so ingrained that creativity was a specific dedication to artistic endeavors that I couldn’t even picture it having a hand in my daily decisions, in the way I approach problems or interact with other people. I had reduced creativity to a rare moment that would come barreling towards me from a great distance and leave as soon as it came. Which, to be fair, was all it was capable of when I forced it into such a limited framework.

And while creativity can certainly make itself known to us in sudden, dramatic instances like these, it can also be more subtle, interwoven throughout the rest of us, the barely detectable hum beneath our every move. Suddenly, nothing was all that commonplace to me anymore. Everything had potential to be more than it was. And while some would view this revelation as daunting (“You mean I have to be creative every second, all the time, with everything?”), I choose to see it as a relief and an opportunity. Small seconds can balloon up and fill us with inspiration we would have otherwise overlooked. It’s looking one inch to the left instead of straight ahead. Mundane moments can present solutions we couldn’t allow ourselves to see. It’s asking internal questions instead of quitting. Conversations, interactions, passing people can all become more if we turn toward them, if we allow ourselves to pause long enough to find the connection. It’s saying, “Tell me more,” instead of simply nodding along.

It isn’t about always making or seeing something with an immediate and obvious purpose. It’s about engagement, simple awareness and appreciation of the here and now. So see what’s here. Soak it all in. It might not be anything except what it is. Let that be enough.

Suddenly, everything holds a new potential to me now, thriving, reaching, awake with possibility. To me, that’s something to look forward to. That’s the discovery of what happens next.

To get your own copy of Big Magic, go here.

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Helen Williams is a Colorado transplant who is passionate about cooking, writing and combining the two on her vegetarian and vegan food blog, green girl eats. She strives, every day, to be less sorry. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reading, loving the community at Holstee or trying to pet your dog.

https://www.holstee.com/blogs/mindful-matter/117673349-creativity-as-a-daily-practice 

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The 9 Types of Intelligence Which Make Us All Human

http://www.zengardner.com/nine-types-of-intelligence-make-us-human/ 

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matt-stuart--london-street-photography-moorgate-underground-big-hand-pointing-nose

The place where I have decided to take my creative yearning is back to the field of photography.  As noted previously, I owned a Minolta SLR and bought a 28-volume Time/Life series on photography and a bunch of other books, got a subscription to several well-known photo mags, and even enrolled in a correspondence course with some very good school in the Big Apple.  The course was pricey, and working in slides and stills can get pretty expensive too, but the course taught me some basics in how to see light, and more. I was a pretty decent amateur but one day some thief broke into my house and made off with the complete camera bag, a memorable event because the fellow left a prize of a pile of feces on the living room floor before he left. Aren’t people wonderful? Well, my step-mother knew I had a thing for photography and so insisted on going by the local mall to acquire for me a basic Nikon SLR.  Oh, Nikon, everyone sighs, but frankly I didn’t like it, couldn’t get the physiology of learning to work and thus the psycho-physical state of flow rarely showed up. One day I inadvertently left the rear window open with the gear on the floor of the back seat and a thunderstorm came by and lingered just above the window. Bye bye Nikon.  By that time, I had already scoped out the possibility of turning pro.  I’d checked out two major photographic schools, one in Boston and the other out in Franklin Country where I’d spent some time.  The one in Franklin County gave tuition-paying people a brand new medium-format rig worth $1,400 but I didn’t bite.  I’d shadowed some people selling their wares at art shows and investigated the economics of selling 4×6’s and more at tourist shops, but the conclusion I came to was that I couldn’t afford to make the investment. One such potential competitor was displaying the most elegant and pristine very large prints shot with the best film printed on the best paper at pretty reasonable prices and, over the course of five hours in a good crowd, didn’t sell a single one. And just at that time digital photography was on the horizon; suddenly people could put their new device on automatic, skip going to school and reading books, and turn out the same kind of thing at radically-reduced expense.  How could I sell them a masterpiece (assuming I had what it took to make one) when they could shoot one themselves?  I gave up the pursuit and turned to different things. Today, everyone has an iPhone.

Then three years ago my daughter gave me a $65 Kodak 14-mp point-and-shoot digital camera. A little playing around, and I was hooked again, and so I began slowly to learn something about digital photography.  Recently I took the next step up and bought a Canon EOS Rebel Vi with the kit lens and a zoom lens. Just today I bought an extra battery and a lens shade for the zoom. I’ve printed a page full of shooting sites and ideas, bookmarked a few events calendars, and started to avail myself of the incredible value of series of educational YouTubes put up by camera vendors on which pros share their tips and techniques. 

Here are three of my favorites:

Photography: Talking to People (Adam Marelli)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJHfT7lYqCo (1:48:10)

The Art of Travel Photography (Lorne Resnick)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En0DIfiu6TA (47:21)

Steve Simon’s 10 Steps To Becoming a Great Photographer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JjwNiInIOk (58:30)

You’ll enjoy them if you are a photographer, painter, videographer or street performer.

I’ll be taking five to six weeks off to pack and unpack. I’m moving. I’ll be taking my camera, my writing books and tools, and mooving out closer to farm country.

Currently on my desktop:

 “God Laughs and Plays” by David James Duncan, The Triad Institute

and 

“The Big Picture: On The Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself”, by Sean Carroll (Dutton/Penguin House 2016)

Blessings…

music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2rGbFhZrpk

 

‘sense of outrage’

A Sense of Outrage

Image source: http://www.whosefaultyvision.com/photoblog/2012/10/24/veiled-face-london/

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

There are enough active shooter scenarios going down lately that it’s all but impossible for one person to follow, investigate, deeply investigate and analyze them all.  Some of them seem to be, or have proven to be, hoaxes, or at least laden with jarring gaps in factual evidence and reporting so as to invite inquiry.

There are a growing number of bloggers who inquire, probe and analyze. It’s hard enough to make the rounds to see what they are saying and compare it to what the mainstream media are saying, or the governmental spokesepople have said at any given time or moment. These events also “play out” in the social media with heavy “gatekeeper” invovlement. 

But it has gotten to the point where some specialized service or institute or dedicated branch of investigative journalism could be devoted to the task. The latest — well, now, actually, second-latest — is the one in Chattanooga where gaps and discrepancies became evident almost immediately. There’s one that just popped up in Maine that strikes me as the real deal.

(See my pdf entitled “catastrophic crunch” for a sampling of offerings about the Chattanooga shooting incident.  Nothing here should be seen or construed as a criticism of anything there.)  The individual reader still has to have an active mind, a well-honed “crap detector” and some time.  catastrophic crunch

But the active shooter scenario is just one small focus.  The anniversary of the incident involving MH17 (as discussed here  and here) is another example.

 

“In times of terror, when everyone is something of a conspirator, everyone will be in a situation where he has to play detective.”

Walter Benjamin

 

If you’re a regular reader of Occurrences Foreign and Domestic, its source blogs, and other outlets I might not yet know about (hint, hint), then you are perfectly well aware that there is a whole host of events, people, industries, corporations, governmental agencies, politicians and more who deserve a greater degree of attention than they are geting or want. We live in the era of increased governmental transparency, we are told, when the reality is quite the opposite, when government itself is wholly engaged in surveillance, and when they are hastening to put all of their activities behind a locked barrier.

I’ve regularly suggested a coalescence, some collaboration, a congealing and coordination among like-minded individuals to hone and sharpen focus, improve efficiencies, etc. Many online centers of activity are regularly begging for financial support, spinning their wheels, fending off hackers and DDOS attacks, scrambling to add technologies (and pay for them) or otherwise looking over their shoulders.

Open question: Where is the best source for training and education in investigative journalism? Perhaps someone involved in the investigative trades could convene a panel discussion or online virtual seminar to help bloggers and citizen journalists get better, stay safe, and do more incivisve homework.

 

“All the clues are there in front of us, hidden under a veil, we cannot get the clue by searching for, we have to search for the veil instead.”

Arkopaul Das, THE DEAD VETERAN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gwuo6Fto1U

“All people, whether Aspie or neuro-typical are predisposed by their society to make guesses, jump to conclusions and then seek to defend those conclusions, regardless of logic or changing circumstance. This is sloppy, illogical thinking which may not hinder your life too much, under normal circumstances. But if you want to be a great detective, then such thinking will absolutely ruin your chances.”

Alexei Maxim Russell, Trueman Bradley – The Next Great Detective

 

 

“Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. IRE was formed in 1975 to create a forum in which journalists throughout the world could help each other by sharing story ideas, newsgathering techniques and news sources.

Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. began in 1975 as the brain child of a small group of reporters from around the country who wanted to share tips about reporting and writing.

A meeting was organized in Reston, Va., by essentially four people: Myrta Pulliam and Harley Bierce of the Indianapolis Star’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team; Paul Williams, former managing editor of Sun Newspapers in Omaha, who worked on the Boys Town expose; and Ron Koziol of the Chicago Tribune, who covered police and courts.

Others at that inaugural get-together were columnists Jack Anderson and Les Whitten; David Burnham of the New York Times; Len Downie of The Washington Post; Robert Peirce of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; Jack Landau of Newhouse newspapers; Frank Anderson of the Long Beach Independent; John Colburn of Landmark Communications; Indianapolis attorney Edward O. DeLaney and former New Orleans reporter Robert Friedly.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which had passed resolutions supporting freedom of information, helped in the formation of IRE, including the design of the first IRE logo. A grant from the Lilly Endowment also helped IRE get started with a $5,278 bank account.

About 300 reporters attended the first IRE conference in Indianapolis a year after the Virginia meeting. For three days, experienced journalists offered advice in 90-minute segments on how to tackle everything from city hall to ethical problems.

The conference was significant for two reasons. Not only had a group of reporters and editors struck upon a highly successful model for sharing information, the organization voted to turn down a major grant from a non-journalistic foundation. The new membership was determined to rely upon the support of professional organizations and journalists themselves.

At the organizational meeting, Les Whitten asserted that what most characterizes the investigative reporter is “a sense of outrage.”

During the course of the meeting (and with the help of a dictionary), it was determined that the simplicity of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the resultant acronym, IRE, seemed to fit such an association.

Reporters and editors who had been investigative reporters or who had organized investigative teams were at the initial meeting in Reston. They remain the backbone of the organization, although professors, students, freelancers and book authors also have joined IRE.”

https://www.ire.org/about/

 

“Of course it’s very hampering being a detective, when you don’t know anything about detecting, and when nobody knows that you’re doing detection, and you can’t have people up to cross-examine them, and you have neither the energy nor the means to make proper inquiries; and, in short, when you’re doing the whole thing in a thoroughly amateur, haphazard way.”

A.A. Milne, The Red House Mystery

 

https://www.ire.org/resource-center/ [For members only]

Includes tipsheets, a library of stories and story packs (collections of IRE and NICAR resources designed to help you approach certain topics and beats with an investigative mindset), a bookstore with printed and digital resources, listservs (mailing lists to exchange ideas, information, techniques and war stories with members and non-members), and a large collection of archived audio recordings from conferences, webinars and other training session.

 

“Blackstone’s Police Operational Handbook recommends the ABC of serious investigation: Assume nothing, Believe nothing, and Check everything.”

Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho

 

Tipsheets available at IRE (for members only)

Several of the most popular are listed here:

Story ideas and development

Investigating Local Government

Effective Information Mining on the Web

Project Checklist

(More than 5) Databases for criminal justice reporting

Investigative Reporting on a Budget: 8 Simple Rules

Investigating Nonprofits

The Art of the Interview

Policing the police: Uncovering law enforcement

Following the dollar in public spending – Vendors, Grants and Contracts

 

“Persistence is often a detective’s greatest ally.”

Lara Adrian, Taken by Midnight

 

Blogs: 

http://ire.org/blog/extra-extra/

http://ire.org/blog/on-the-road/

http://ire.org/tag/transparency-watch/

http://ire.org/tag/behind-the-story/

These are open for public consumption; there are others for members only, for internal organizational news, as well as blogs built around ongoing conferences.

 

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

Raymond Chandler, Red Wind: A Collection of Short Stories

 

http://ire.org/publications/book-list/ [Holy Cow! A seemingly-endless list of books I’ve barely heard of, all written by investigative journalists, many of  which I’d like to read (or at least a review)…

http://store.ire.org/

http://ire.org/blog/ire-radio/2015/07/13/ire-radio-podcast-conversation-laura-poitras/ [Laura of course has been in the news recently, as has her compatriots Gleen Greenwald and Edward Snowden)..

https://www.ire.org/events-and-training/

https://www.ire.org/events-and-training/upcoming-events/

https://www.ire.org/about/board-directors/ IRE has a distinct “mainstream”. flavor.

Here’s their list of staffers: http://www.ire.org/about/staff-bios/

That’s one resource. Are there others? Or better ones?

 

“I may not carry a detective’s badge, but I’m certainly the highest ranking member of Albatross Harbor’s neighborhood watch program. And like tilapia, I know something smells fishy when I taste it.” — Jarod Kintz

 

“… Unlike many professions, a degree in investigations is not a requirement to enter into this field. Competing against individuals with extensive backgrounds in law enforcement, security and investigations can be a daunting task, but many industry veterans certainly believe hitting the classroom can help jumpstart a career in investigations…..”

http://www.pinow.com/articles/1115/top-25-private-investigator-training-education-2012 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5J5TRF4XIo 

 

“The general public have a warped view of the speed at which an investigation proceeds. They like to imagine tense conversations going on behind the venetian blinds and unshaven, but ruggedly handsome, detectives working themselves with single-minded devotion into the bottle and marital breakdown. The truth is that at the end of the day, unless you’ve generated some sort of lead, you go home and get on with the important things in life – like drinking and sleeping, and if you’re lucky, a relationship with the gender and sexual orientation of your choice.”

Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho

 

Every morning I wake to sunshine and birdsong (sometimes a little bit of morning fog). I rise to take my morning coffee. (There is always coffee. And my pantry is always full of good food. Make a note of that.)

Then I begin my work. I do this work on behalf of all of you, although I’ve never spoken of it before. But lately I’ve heard people wondering: why is it we are not more upset by the things that are going on in the world? In our own country, our own town? Why is there no generalized rage at the contempt for life displayed by those in power? Why are we so servile to the rich and corrupt? Why do we not swarm the streets in protest every day, demanding someone’s head on a platter?

Well, now I’ll tell you: It’s because of me. Every morning I actualize the consciousness that in most of you is only potential, and (I am convinced) it is this mighty force that continues to keep things in place. Which is good for me, because my life is truly fine (see above). It would be ungrateful and hypocritical of me to wish to upend the status quo, when it has given me everything I need and more. And so through this work I do I’m really just trying to give back to the universe.

But whenever things seem to be a fraying a bit at the edges, I start to worry. Perhaps I alone am not enough. More of you should be aware of the power you wield, and wield it consciously; otherwise at some point things could get bad, even for me. So I’ve decided to go public. I’ve decided to ask you all to join me in a single daily meditation (yes, that’s all it takes).

There’s no personal ambition here – I’m not seeking power or celebrity. And there’s no cost – I’m not in this to get rich; I am already rich, relatively speaking. I just want to keep the good life that I have. And from observing you closely every day where I work, where I live, and when I travel, I can see that you do too. Many of you have told me as much. Why shouldn’t you? You’re human! It’s that simple.

So now I invite you to join me in my daily practice. Here’s all you have to do. Repeat along with me:

Nothing in my life is changed by Euro-austerity and the humiliation of Greece.

Nothing in my life is changed by the latest mass shooting.

Nothing in my life is changed by the latest oil spill.

… the Chinese stock market panic.

… the mass deaths of migrants.

… the War on Terror.

… the War on Drugs.

… the acidification of the oceans.

… the suicide rate of children, transgender people, or soldiers.

… police assassinations.

… the disappearance of the Monarch butterfly.

And so on…

More here:

The Cognitive Dissidence Mantra

by Christy Rodgers / July 15th, 2015

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/07/the-cognitive-dissidence-mantra/#more-59141 

 

“It takes a certain kind of man willing to work long, grueling hours in a career offering few rewards.”

Jon Michaelsen, Pretty Boy Dead

 

Source of quotes:

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/detective 

The Spirit of the Game

photography courtesy of http://reagentx.net/new/tag/astrophotography/

The tenth chapter of the e-book Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind… is actually one of my two most favorite chapters.  (Those two speak to me, and they ended up being assigned the letter E and the letter J.  Funny thing how those things work out, huh?)

It’s entitled The Spirit of the Game and, while it is laden with concepts of spirituality, it doesn’t attempt to proselytize. Parker Palmer (Footnote 111 on page 55) gives as good a defintion of spiritual as I could find.

There are references from within religion’s expressions, but spirit includes them all, allows you to parse and understand them if you desire to do so, and ultimately it transcends them.

The Spirit of the Game ranges across the topics of prayer, intention, attention, life alignment, love, mastery, presence, soul, music, movement, ex-stase, awe, connectedness, the sweet spot in time, gnosis, peak experience, yoga, samadhi, behavior, discipline, intent, will, performance, creativity, energy and grace.

It will bring you to James Neill’s http://www.wilderdom.com.

It will bring you to the web site of a dojo called www.bodymindandmodem.com.

There’s a quote in there from the fellow whose insights were the key that unlocked the door to the creation of this e-book.

It was in the middle of the explosion of the decades of research into the brain through the use of functional MRI studies and Roland Perlmutter, M.D. (neuroradiologist, Duke University Medical Center) is the individual quoted from within the book On The Sweet Spot: Stalking the Effortless Present.

It’s not that quote (footnote #24) that quickened me.

The one that made we sit upright, that confirmed my interest, my work, the value of these concepts beyond sports, and the value of sharing this material shows up near the end of my e-book.

But here’s a better expression of all of that from an old blog of mine (circa August 21st, 2013).  I’d been reading a Sports Illustrated in a medical waiting room and encountered a letter to the editor that was “surely of interest to the father of a professional fast-pitch softball player whose hand was broken by [Jennie] Finch when she stepped on it during a pick-off attempt at first. Was Finch mad at her because she not only did not strike out but managed to draw couple of walks against her and made one of them stand up for a win? The bone was broken above the knuckles, making it impossible to hold or swing a bat, but a visualization process I designed on the basis of my readings [actually, it was an audio tape from Lydia Ievleva; see this] and which she implemented which came to fruition in front of the orthopod ten days later and got her a clearance to return when the doctor said said “I’ve never seen a bone heal so quickly”. The bone and the body that it belonged to went on to earn a Second Team All-American slot in the ASA Majors division.”

Back then in 2013, I referenced the book On The Sweet Spot and my own e-book Summon The Magic and the applicability of what I have come to understand about the human mind/body/spirit as an antidote to the oppressive wars, narcissistic psychopathology of leadership, and the failure of the average human being — especially the dormant American ones — to wake up and effect some change.

From the description found at the Amazon link (but the emphases are mine):

“… as Richard Keefe, the director of the sport psychology program at Duke University, looked deeper into the nature of his experience, he found profound links to the spirit, the brain, perhaps even the soul.

Keefe recognized that the feeling golfers and other athletes have of “being in the zone” is basically the same as a meditative state. And as a researcher with experience in brain chemistry, he went one step further: If we can figure out what’s happening in the brain at such times, he reasons, we can learn how to get into that “zone” instead of just waiting for it to happen. This is the Holy Grail of sport psychology — teaching the mind to get out of the way so the body can do the things it’s capable of doing. Keefe calls it the “effortless present,” when the body is acting of its own accord while the brain has little to do but watch.

All religions describe some kind of heightened awareness in their disciplines; Keefe explores whether such mystical experience is a fundamental aspect of our evolution, an integral part of what makes us human and keeps us from despair. And he brings the discussion back to the applications of such knowledge, reflecting on our ability to use these alternate planes to achieve better relationships, better lives, better moments. Keefe’s true subject is extraordinary experience — being in the zone, in the realm of effortless action. On the Sweet Spot builds from the physical and neurological to the mystical and philosophical, then adds a crucial layer of the practical (how we can capture or recapture these wondrous states)…..”

That’s what summoning the magic is all about.

If a mind can heal its own fractured hand, why can’t many minds heal a fractured world?”

 

And, oh look, that calligraphic expression I mentioned back in healing a sick world shows up on page 75.

(So that’s where I put it..!)

 

Even Caitlyn Jenner makes an appearance in a potent retrospective.

 

But speaking of sports (and there are plenty of sporting references in The Spirit of the Game), last Monday’s news had an example (and there are plenty of them every day) of attempts to “psych out” an opponent — to take them off their game. My exact reference is to the US/Australia women’s 2015 Women’s World Cup opening match in soccer and the re-surrection or re-mindfulness of the US keeper’s legal difficulties. I take no position on the keeper or her history. In fact, I raise the point because, in all my research and other encounters, I have never met a performance psychologist who embraced or helped someone else “hone” the art of dissing.

You see a lot of it in pro sports. Larry Bird and some others have shown that, if you’re going to get into “trash talk”, you’d better be able to back it up.

The entire discipline of sports/performance psychology would suggest that you expend your energy focusing on your own game, that your attention to your opponent’s game in an attempt to create an advantage more often backfires than not. There’s a book listed in my bibliography that comes so dangerously close to taking the wrong approach that I won’t even identify it for you.

Refefence has already been made to bringing the best you can bring to the exchange as an ideal way to respect both the game and one’s opponent. Pre-game, in-game and post-game “trash talk” is trash and doesn’t fall within The Spirit of the Game.

Julia Cameron would understand. On Monday, her book “The Well of Creativity” got packaged with two of her earliest books, The Artist’s Way and The Vein of Gold, and shipped off to a friend.  I had thought “The Well of Creativity” was the one actually I received today (more dementia, or lack of focus) but the recipient is a close friend so it’ll all come out in the wash.

Arriving today was Supplies, which Cameron describes as good, plain water for those thirsty aspiring or working people who are busy making things — “books, musicals, movies, plays. board games, computer programs, sculptures, watercolors, greeting cards, effective aprons, better lives”.

The second page reminds us all of an “extremely effective technique” a lot of us have forgotten, or dismissed, or turned our noses up at beause it seemes so juvenile.

Several more pages in, and I had to put the book down; I was hooked. It’s serious shee-it. (I’ll report back on it in good time, but it’s a workbook and I’ve got to do the work.)

So, here you have it:

Tab J (The Spirit of the Game)

I hope that it will make your performance and creativity soar.

thinking, doing and being

food for thinking, doing and being

”Mastery of kitchen utensils does not guarantee creativity in cooking but, like the tools of any trade, they must be used with individual and even idiosyncratic vision to yield results.”

 

The July-August edition of Cook’s Illustrated arrived as I wrote this; it was not an act of serendipity because I subscribe to the magazine for its recipes, reviews of foostuffs and tools, great recipes, and outstanding cooking tips. It was an obvious act of synchronicity, given the title of this chapter and the selection of the image at the top that I’d already made.

Inside the magazine, ahead of the tool review, the kitchen notes, the ingredient notes, the blind taste test of balsamic vinegar, three pages on knife sharpeners, two (illustrated) pages on how to grill trout, the right and wrong ways to cook sausage, the ultimate method for char-grilling steaks, and two pages of illustrated quick tips, is Christopher Kimball’s “The Don’t List”.

Alas, folks, it’s not online.

If you call right now and ask issue #155, you’ll get closer to a mastery of kitchen utensils.

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In the past, you’d had the second chapter (the one about the brain) which I noted was probably outdated by the time it got to you. I was right.

“In a landmark study published last week in the journal Nature, scientists revealed the discovery of vessels that directly connect the brain to the lymphatic system. According to a EurekAlert press release, the discovery radically changes the current understanding of the brain’s role in responding to major neurological diseases, and opens up several amazing new areas of research.

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine discovered that the brain has a direct physical connection with the lymphatic system, which collects and removes toxins from the body. The doctors discovered peculiar vessels hidden in the meninges, or membranes covering the brain, in mice. They used an innovative dissection technique to locate the vessels, which they previously thought simply didn’t exist. Using live imaging, the scientists were able to demonstrate the function of the vessels as they interacted with the central nervous system.

The discovery raises a wide range of questions about the brain and the diseases that can affect it. Alzheimer’s disease, for example, is caused by the accumulation of large protein chunks in the brain. Scientists believe that these proteins accumulate because these lymphatic vessels have trouble removing them. The team said that the discovery also had implications for the understanding of many other neurological diseases including autism and multiple sclerosis.

According to Dr. Jonathan Kipnis, the study’s lead author and researcher at the University of Virginia’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia, this is the first time lymphatic vessels have ever been identified. Previously, there was no mention of any such type of vessel in medical textbooks.

The amazing new discovery of the strange lymphatic vessels may very well shape the way we approach treating neurological diseases in the future, and will undoubtedly change our understanding of the brain’s role in regulating the various functions of the body for years to come.”

http://www.statecolumn.com/2015/06/your-brain-and-immune-system-are-linked-amazing-new-study-says-yes/

“… According to Dr. Jonathan Kipnis, the study’s lead author and researcher at the University of Virginia’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia, this is the first time lymphatic vessels have ever been identified. Previously, there was no mention of any such type of vessel in medical textbooks.

The amazing new discovery of the strange lymphatic vessels may very well shape the way we approach treating neurological diseases in the future, and will undoubtedly change our understanding of the brain’s role in regulating the various functions of the body for years to come.

The chairman of UVA’s Department of Neuroscience, Kevin Lee, Ph.D., explained his reaction at first:

“I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped,” he said. “I thought that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not.”

When showed the results, he had just one sentence for the team:

“They’ll have to change the textbooks.”

Moving forward, knowing the brain has a direct connection with the immune system changes how researchers approach neurological conditions. They can now ask mechanical questions. If the disease has an immune component, the vessels should play a major role.

Treatments can be developed based on direct responses on the brain’s lymphatic system. While the shotgun approach to tackling neurological conditions will continue, teams can now approach diseases such as MS with an eye towards activating the brain’s immune system response.

It’s a hell of a discovery. Not only is it cool we are sitting in the middle of 2015 and still mapping our body’s internal structure, but it offers hope to people suffering from neurological diseases.

The study is in the June 1 issue of Nature.”

http://www.newsledge.com/brain-immune-system-16235 

 

 

 

But I’ll still give you the ninth chapter of the e-book Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind… (a collection of excerpts from some of the best books and sources on performance psychology, coaching, neuroscience, etc.) and which is entitled Food for Thinking, Doing and Being.

 

Tab K (Food for…)

 

It ranges across the topics of the performance triangle, will skills, homeostasis, change, the mind-body dialogue, thinking tools, the ACT triangle, decision-making, suggestion, auto-suggestion, attention, and meditation, among others.

It will get you closer to mastery of your performance. [What do you perform?]

The ninth chapter also crosses the threshold of the use of audio-assisted or audio-driven neditation through brain wave changes that can gently pull you into proper states for doing (beta), relaxation (alpha), problem-solving and thinking (theta), and rest/sleep/deep sleep (delta and deep delta).

Deeo sleep is where the body heals itself, where your neuroplasticity kicks in, where you can can begin to make changes in your body’s chemical engineering. It’s a subject I’m still exploring, so caveat emptor.

Some of the books noted in the bibliography are relevant. The first three are older, very good general introductions to the topic, the last two written by physicians.

The fourth (Thresholds of the Mind) can easily be found either as a used book, online, or e-book. It’s very very good and is written by the fellow who runs HoloSync ( https://www.centerpointe.com/v2/ ) which is a product I’ve used since about 2002 (it’s better than crack, said one psychopharmacologist); I’m now researching other options, since it’s pretty expensive.

Afterwards, You’re a Genius: Faith, Medicine and the Metaphysics of Healing, Chip Brown, Riverhead Books (Penguin Putnam), New York 1998.

Healing Beyond the Body: Medicine and the Infinite Reach of the Mind, Larry Dossey, M.D., Shambhala, Boston 2001. [A recognized leader in this field…]

Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D., Bantam New Age Books, 1989.

Thresholds of the Mind: How HoloSync Audio Technology Can Change Your Life, by Bill Harris, Centrepointe Press, Beaverton, OR 2002. [The explanation of the science behind the use of audio tones to drive brain waves and create mental states for learning, creativity and more… , to balance right and left brain, and to provide very deep meditation and its benefits). This amazing system is highly recommended and is available through www.centrepointe.com .]

At the moment, I am also checking out BrainFM  (https://brain.fm ) and The Unexplainable Store (http://www.unexplainablestore.com ).

 

http://thirdeyeactivation.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/binaural-monaural-beats-isochronic-tones.jpg

We as individuals can master these tools to take control of our own lives; we can gradually introduce them — by modeling them, teaching them or even simply introducing them — to others.  

Perhaps then we can get to this point:

Lives filled with laughing,

and lives filled with weeping,

are both possible.

It is for the individual to decide which will be chosen.

Arts and Athletics

Arts and Athletics: Using All Your Common Senses

 

I went to see the home opener of a summertime inter-city league game for college players who want to make it to the majors. [Good luck.  There are only 720 such jobs but, as has been said, there are 700 positions and someone’s got to fill them.  And the smallest paycheck they can give you when you win the job is over half a million a year.] 

“Baseball is like church. 

Many attend but few understand.” 

 Wes Westrum

Just the other day, I was told that my grandson is gonna be a catcher.  His coach told me.  

His uncle was a catcher in high school.  His grand-dad was a catcher for the team that won the state Class B slo-pitch championships. 

His coach (his mother) was a two-time NFCA regional Division I All-Star catcher who was nationally-ranked in the top ten in three offensive categories; she earned a master’s degree in sports management while she was an assstant coach for a D-I college team while she played for a perennial national amateur championship club, played pro ball for two years and then did color commentary on TV in the third season, and then earned another master’s degree, that one in elementary education. 

bs8

The Catcher

“His legs are buckled into clumsy shin guards; his face is hidden by the metal grille of a heavy mask….  His chest is covered with a corrugated protective pad, and his big mitt is thrust out as if to fend off destruction…. his field of vision gives him his own special view of the vast ballpark.  In a sense, the game belongs to him.  He is the catcher.”

Time, August 8th, 1955

“Catching is much like managing.  Managers don’t really win games, but they can lose plenty of them.  The same way with catching.   If you’re doing a quality job, you should be almost anonymous.”

— Bob Boone, Kansas City catcher,  in the 1989 season opener issue of AstroSports

 

“A good catcher is the quarterback, the carburetor, the lead dog, the pulse taker, the traffic cop and sometimes a lot of unprintable things, but no teams gets very far without one.”

– – Miller Huggins,

 

in The Complete Baseball Handbook by Walter Alston

 

“Consider the catcher. Bulky, thought-burdened, unclean, he retrieves his cap and mask from the ground (where he flung them, moments ago, in mid-crisis) and moves slowly again to his workplace.  He whacks the cap against his leg, producing a puff of dust, and settles it in place, its bill astern, and then, reversing the movement, pulls on the mask and firms it with a soldierly downward tug.  Armored, he sinks into his squat, punches his mitt, and becomes wary, balanced, and ominous; his bare right hand rests casually on his thigh while he regards, through the porticullis, the field and deployed fielders, the batter, the base runner, his pitcher, and the state of the world, which he now, for a waiting instant, holds in sway.”

—  from “In the Fire”, by Roger Angell

 

Quotes from Baseball’s Greatest Quotations, ed. by Paul Dickson, HarperPerennial, New York, New York 1991.

 

 

“Coaches of tee-ball kids and the like are usually wholechild centered. As the youngsters get older and more skillful, coaches become learner-centered. After a couple of more years, the coaches are sport-centered, teaching strategies as well as more sophisticated techniques….”

 

Coaching the Mental Game

Find out more (and read about the trap into which most coaches fall) in this very short series of excerpts from Coaching the Mental Game: Leadership Philosophies and Strategies for Peak Performance in Sports – and Everyday Life, by Harvey A. Dorfman, Taylor Trade Press (Rowman & Littlefield), New York 2003.

Harvey Dorfman, now deceased, lectured at major universities and for corporations on psychology, self-enhancement, management strategies, and leadership training.

1Dawgs4

To know baseball

is to continue to aspire

to the condition of freedom,

individually and as a people.

A. Bartlett Giamatti, Take Time for Paradise

 

 

http://miselu.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/c24-image-2-1000x970_c.jpg

The book “The Well of Creativity”, based on a series of interviews of Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg, Keith Jarrett, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi et alia by Michael Toms, arrived yesterday. I tore into it like a kid opening presents at his birthday party. 

I have studied or read for years most of these people for years. Cameron’s “The Vein of Gold” arrived a few weeks ago. Jarrett’s music takes up a lot of space on my iTunes files, and links to his YouTube videos on improvsation are tucked away for regular enjoyment. 

While Cameron is a source for those with writing block, she is also a source for those interested in writing or composing music. 

Echoing what John Temple said about being the dream, Julia says simply “be the music”, and I’ve set up my keyboard synthesizer and begun a file for this kind of stuff:

 

http://www.freejazzlessons.com

http://miselu.com/?gclid=CJLXvrSs9cUCFQgXHwodjiQAmg 

 

 

Tab G is the next chapter due out in the e-book series entitled Summon The Magic: How To Use Your Mind to be a better athlete (or anything else you want to be).  

My athletic days are over, unless you count the in-pool therapeutic walking, stretching and swimming I’ll be doing just as soon as the summer warmth returns to the pool.  

But a review of this sixth chapter (“The Arts and Athletics: Using All Your Common Senses”) will help my musical inquiries as I seek to develop and train the small muscle groups in my upper distal extremities. Will that make me a phalangist?

I can still remember the night I first listened to the four-disc series “Time Signatures: A Career Retrospective”, put on my Koss Pro 4A headphones so I wouldn’t awaken the wife, and discovered this song. 

And this feverishly-paced ditty

 

Tab G (The Arts & Athletics)

 

Whatever gets your temperature rising is likely to be aided by 90 pages of excerpts drawn from educators, neuroscientists, performance psychologists, experts in movement disciplines, and two of the people you met earlier in the Je Ne Sais Quoi symposium.  

The sections on developing and using kinesthetic imagery, brainwave entrainment, resonance, improvisation, vocal toning, proprioception, mindfulness, perception, sensory experience, rehearsal, concentration, attention, observation, and awareness skills will slowly get you en fuego.

Turn up the heat on your internal burners and get cooking. 

And remember: you decide what’s on your menu.