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.

fruity newness

“Taste every fruit of every tree in the garden at least once. It is an insult to creation not to experience it fully.”
– Stephen Fry

I didn’t know that cacti produced edible fruit until I moved west. An exciting discovery! This thing looked like a dry white kiwi on the inside. It tasted rather bland to me, but perhaps I didn’t try it at its ripest moment. Or perhaps I was stuck in my kiwi comparison. My delight did not come from the actual texture or taste but from the newness of it. I’ll definitely be going back for seconds.

When was the last time you tried something new?

a cloudy sunset

The sun sets every day, and it’s beautiful. But, when there are clouds in the sky to reflect the colors, it can be stunning.

When you have clouds pop up in your life, are you just trying to move through them? Or are you taking a moment to see what they’re reflecting?

a turtle to behold

“Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.”
– James Bryant Conant

I’ve always liked the tale about the tortoise and the hare. The quiet confidence and the patient determination of the tortoise appeal to me more and more as I get older. For even taking things slow and steady requires a certain gumption, the sticking out of the neck.

How apropos that this turtle is my closest neighbor in my new big city. She surely will have much to teach me as I behold her.

What creature do you behold?

a freezing fire

If you zoom into this photo, you can see the goop on my face & hands. And the wet spots on my clothes are from the goop underneath as well. This is me learning the logistics of a fire burn for stunts, and it was freezing.

The thermals I’m wearing underneath the outer clothes were soaked in goop & ice overnight. And I was completely covered in that same icy goop everywhere else that was exposed. Though the whole point is to act like you’re burning, in reality, the moment you start to feel the heat is the moment you need to end the stunt.

This was a long time ago, and fire burn gel technology has improved exponentially since then. It no longer has to be a freezing endeavor.

But I still think there’s something to ponder here… What appears from the outside as something with a great deal of heat feels to the one experiencing it as a great deal of cold.

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to maintain a calm exterior but were experiencing a great deal of turbulence inside? Or vice versa, a time when it was important to show a lot of enthusiasm while inside you were just rather blasé about it?

There are many instances in this world of the exterior and the interior not matching. The key is to find when those instances serve a purpose and move the story forward, and when those instances mean you are not being true to yourself and some change needs to happen.

smelling the metaphoric roses

I drove across the country this summer, from the Northeast to the Southwest. There were moments when the beauty so overtook me that I had to pull over and really take it in. This overpass, somewhere in the middle of Utah, with its tar-filled cracks, was just as majestic to me as the mountains behind it.

“Stop and smell the roses” is a common phrase that provides both literal and metaphoric instruction. There wasn’t a rose in sight on the Utah interstate but I couldn’t help but stop and smell them.

When did you last stop and smell some metaphoric roses?

community profile: andrew feliciano

We’re so pleased to introduce you to another member of our massively cool community of Bacana clients. Welcome to Andrew Feliciano!

Introduce yourself.
My name is Andrew Feliciano, a Los Angeles native and recording studio owner specializing in voiceover. I’m an outdoor enthusiast and avid rock climber.

What’s something making you happy right now?
Making stuff. I’ve always had an interest in making stuff from growing up with do-it-yourself parents. I have really enjoyed the resurgence of the maker movement. I’ve been inspired by the seemingly unlimited amount of quality content on YouTube and other places on the web where people are sharing their expertise and passions for all kinds of crafts: woodworking, electronics, carpentry, costume making, and anything else you would be interested in.

When was the last time you surprised yourself?
I recently started walking to work when I can and was surprised how much I like doing it, and, this most recent week, did it 5 days in a row. I actually went out of my way a little to do it, which was not something I had anticipated happening. I luckily live about a mile from where I work, which not everyone has the luxury of, but the act of 20 minutes of light activity in the morning before starting the day has been a nice change to the start of my day.

What’s something that brings ease into your life?
Automation. More specifically using modern tools (largely web-based) to do things for me. Many people have used auto-pay for bills, but now you can do additional personal things like getting regular deliveries of household items from Amazon or other services and setting reminders for calendar events and personal tasks. But also work-related automation tasks with tools such as Zapier, Workato, and other web-based tools. Many of these sorts of things have been available to larger businesses for a long time, but now are accessible to individuals.

What’s something you’ve seen or read recently that you want to share?
I just finished reading the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. It was an easy read and immensely helpful as a small business owner, but these ideas can be used in any facet of life.

Anything else you’d like to share with the Bacana community?
I have come to realize in the last few years that good communication is one of the most important aspects of everything we do as people, but also one of the hardest. Being a good communicator causes so much mental discomfort and constantly challenges our identity. There are plenty of aspects to this, but I’ve found that a common theme always comes back to listening first and empathy. Some examples are active listening techniques, the book The Five Love Languages for relationships (something I resisted, but was surprisingly straightforward), and Getting to Yes, which I recently read. I can’t say that I am a shining example of this, but I do try to keep these ideas in mind.

Where can people find you?
Best place to get in touch would be via my company’s website, www.voicetraxwest.com.

merely a sentence will do

“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am.”
– Thomas Merton

Reading this sentence fills me with relief, and I’m not exactly sure why. Perhaps it’s the coming-back-around “conclusion” after much seeking & struggling & striving. Perhaps it’s the clear understanding of self because of the seeking & struggling & striving. Perhaps it’s the recalibration of the word “ambition.”

I just know that when a single sentence stirs something in me, I better pay attention.

What does this quote bring up for you?

the care of leadership

“Most leaders think leadership is about being in charge. No, it’s not. It’s about taking care of those in your charge.”
— Simon Sinek

Whether in your business, a community group, a group of friends, or your family, do you take a leadership role? How do Simon’s words resonate with you?

a birdbath for ideas

Each morning, I tip out the birdbath and refill it. Right where I tip it out is this flower. It’s just one. No other flowers with it. But it is vibrant and unusual, and it is flourishing.

This flower isn’t bothered by the water having been used the day before. (Nature is pretty good like that — understanding that usage does not equal diminishment.)

There are parallels in how we humans nourish ourselves. That old favorite t-shirt that might have seen better days but is just so darn cozy. That meal that is second nature to whip up and is the epitome of comforting. In things like that, previous usage leads to a type of nourishment.

Why is it rarely the same with ideas? At times, I find myself seeking some new idea for my work or my life. The seeking is bound together with the desire for newness. This seems completely contrary to the understanding that, when we hire an employee, when we look for a colleague, we place great value on experience (aka, previous usage). Why then do we place the expectation for all of our ideas to be new?

What if an old idea, a previous thought, pops up? What if, before being discarded, that flower of an idea is considered, even if just a little bit. What if the time that has passed since someone first had that idea was like the birdbath water, and now that “old” idea has something about it that might just be flourishing?

Pondering from a birdbath brain…

caterpillar identity crisis

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.” 
– Richard Bach

I was trying to remember when I stopped thinking of myself as a girl and began to think of myself as a young woman. And when I stopped thinking of myself as a young woman and began to think of myself as a woman. Those shifts took place but were gradual and so can’t be locked into a moment. And, honestly, I’ve forgotten at times that the shifts were made. The identity of “young woman” still hangs on me occasionally, perhaps because I have no kids, perhaps because I have a young face, perhaps because I have a youthful energy, perhaps because I have close friends who are older than me. But I am 41 years old. That is not young.

I wonder if that butterfly forgets it has wings sometimes. I wonder if other creatures it’s known all its life still expect it to crawl.

What does it mean to truly (and completely) change how you think of yourself?