Bacana Notions is the name of our short ‘n sweet weekly blog.  We aspire to have each Notion in some way capture the essence of the Bacana vision statement.

no·tion noun \ˈnō-shən\ an impression, a concept,
a theory, a whim, or a belief held by a person or group

A Bacana Notion could spark a new thought or give you a grin in the middle of a long day.  It may even provide you with that helpful advice you’ve been waiting for.

shift fear into curiosity

When I was a kid, I was curious about a nest of wasps and mud daubers inside a tire swing. Curiosity led me to getting stung just below my right eye. In that moment, I learned to be afraid of wasps.

Today, I still feel a slight twinge of caution when a wasp flies near. However, I’ve also re-trained myself to be curious again… with boundaries. Those boundaries are a healthy respect for the wasp and an understanding that that wasp may not know my intentions are to just look. There is a trigger on the wasp’s end of feeling threatened and needing to defend. Understanding that allows me to move my fear back to curiosity, combined with respect.

This applies to so many things in my life. And what I’ve come to understand is this…

Curiosity is innate. Fear is learned.
Sometimes what comes first is the thing to hold onto.

slow down before making the turn

Do you feel absolutely inundated with information, ideas, and inspiration?

Do you feel like big changes need to be made in your life but you can’t quite articulate them much less set them into motion?

If the answer is “Yes” to both of those questions, than perhaps it is time for you – in whatever way that you can – to slow down. Take time to digest all those ideas. Take time to reflect on all that inspiration. Take time to gather all the information that is needed. Take time to understand the changes that are occurring and the role you play in activating those changes.

As we all learned when Mom or Dad gave us a driving lesson: you have to slow down before making the turn.

take a moment

In the midst of a busy day or a busy week or a busy month, sometimes it’s good to just stop for a moment and look at the world around you. Give yourself a moment to just breathe.

There’s so much possibility in that moment.

ponies

imagination is genius

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

– Albert Einstein

The society in which I was formed preaches that knowledge and logic trump anything creative. “You have such an imagination” is a phrase that, at times, has been used to shame or silence children and adults alike.

Einstein knew firsthand that logic and knowledge only got him so far. It was his imagination that made him a genius.

Sometimes making an imaginative choice in life is a risk, particularly when others view it as illogical. We must remember to embrace imagination for the special intelligence that it is.

the grass seems greener inside the box sometimes

I’m very conscious these days of not fitting into any box. Which, as much as I accept & love that as part of me, it can be frustrating.

A box can be an easy point of entry… for conversations, new contacts, marketing, etc. It gives the person to whom you’re speaking a handle of stability. The conversation can open from there, of course, but it starts from a place of easily understood stable ground. A box you fit in.

I dread the “box” questions…

What do you do?
I’m an actor, a former stunt performer, an owner of 2 small businesses with a wide range of services (bookkeeping, consulting, organization, tech coaching, etc.), all of which started with me.

Where are you from?
I grew up in the American South with an Australian mum and a British dad. I am a citizen of all 3 countries. Depending on where I am or to whom I’m speaking, my accent and slang varies, and it’s nothing I “put on.” Often, I don’t even realize this until someone points it out. I’ve lived in many different regions in the US (South, Midwest, West Coast, East Coast, and Hawaii) and now hang my hat in London.

What are your interests?
Ballet to martial arts, quiet walking to motorcycles, choral music to hip hop, great literature to loud action movies. I’m not good at favorites.

I often find it difficult to connect with people because that box of solid ground from which to start doesn’t feel familiar to me. When they ask the box questions, I search for the answer most relevant to the moment and often don’t quite find it. I love every unique detail about my life experience, but there are times when I long for simplicity and a box that feels right.

So what I’m doing now… I’m keeping a mental list of some simple answers to the questions above, trying to have a little wiki in my brain that won’t leave me searching for answers in the moment. As I write this, if someone asks me what I do, I tend to steer towards my volunteer work at one of the city farms in London and the work I’m doing there with the animals and people who visit. It’s a tiny thing, but it genuinely excites me and is a door to further conversation if that comes up.

That’s just one thing, though. The search for more wiki entries for my brain continues. Any ideas? How do you like to answer the box questions?

patience is a virtue and a lion

Years ago, a woman who knew me as her personal assistant and the waitress at her brother’s restaurant made the comment, “You have the patience of Job.” This caught me off guard because I’d never thought of myself as particularly patient. Now well into adulthood, I’ve been reflecting lately on this patience of mine. Sure, it’s a virtue. But I am not convinced it’s always necessary nor is it always beneficial. There are some people and circumstances in my past that perhaps didn’t deserve my patience!

Aren’t there times when impatience is the virtue? Isn’t healthy boundary setting a form of impatience? Isn’t saying, “You can’t talk to me that way,” a form of impatience? Isn’t realizing what’s not working in your life sooner than later a form of impatience?

Walking along 5th Avenue in front of the main library in NYC recently, I took this photograph. It wasn’t until a few days later that I was reminded that the library lions are named “Patience” and “Fortitude.” I looked up online which lion was which. Sure enough, I had taken a picture of Patience.

I think that he is reminding me to be patient with myself as I examine my relationship to patience.

lion

which life do you choose?

“Today. I’m in the exact place
in between two lives & you
may ask which I will choose,
unless you’ve been in the
in-between place before &
then you know to simply sit
quietly until your life
chooses you.”
– Brian Andreas

Not sure if there’s much more to say on this one. Whether your “lives” represent life paths, business projects, places to live, or any one of numerous other choices we all have, how can you listen more closely to see which one chooses you?

looking for that lazy summer

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”
– Sam Keen

Lazy is a bad word in our culture. It is not really considered “respectable”, is it? We have to earn the right to be lazy, by working incredibly hard for those few days of vacation. Or by getting sick and finally having an excuse to spend a day on the couch. But, truly, rest has its place. Rest of both the body and the mind can be nourishing, informative, even fun. If anything else, we owe it to our adrenal glands to be lazy on occasion. So… in the midst of your purposeful productivity, I challenge you to find some moments of respectable laziness.

Happy Summertime, all!

the evil word… budget

Of late, I’ve had many discussions with my bookkeeping clients about budgeting. But I almost always stay away from that word at the start.

Here’s my goal in terms of bookkeeping… I want my clients to be aware of money coming in and money going out. As the level of awareness increases, I want my clients to be more and more deliberate with their intentions. I want them to set their priorities for their lives in terms of what they need their money to do for them.

Setting priorities with intention and awareness. That’s what I mean by having a budget. And I believe that is a vital thing for every person to have.

How’s your budget coming?

animal lessons

I remember a teacher telling me that, when an animal walks on stage in a play, the audience will turn its attention to that animal. He said it’s because an animal on stage is real and present. There is no pretending, no putting on. The audience is deeply interested in that realness, that presence.

In Grand Central Terminal in NYC, hundreds of people bustle about with their thoughts on a train time, a meeting, a heavy backpack, a television show they watched the day before, the job interview later that afternoon, etc. I am one of those people. I bustle about, not always present to my surroundings.

One evening I saw this pigeon walking through GCT and, just as my teacher suggested, I became a rapt audience. He was a small, real, and present being walking among very preoccupied larger beings. Taking in the sight of him felt like waking up from a fog of thought into the real and present now.

pigeon