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.

the end? turn the page

We experience lots of endings. A project wraps up. A meeting comes to an end. A conversation concludes. A relationship drifts apart. A day, a life, and so on.

Set aside the gloom for a moment, though.

I choose to replace “ending” with “page turn.” When something comes to a close (good, bad, exciting, devastating), we long for closure. I long for closure. But I don’t always get it. And in time, when I can turn my face to the next page, the next something is there to lead me on to the next adventure.

As one project wraps up, another is being planned. As a meeting ends, the action steps begin to be implemented. And so on.

There really is no end. Just the turn of a page.

a rose by any other name…

I learned recently that there’s a kind of rose named Carefree Wonder. Who knew? I happen to think it’s a marvelous name, particularly when I came upon this sign while walking in a rose garden. Apparently, the Carefree Wonder rose got this name because of its hardiness, even when up against bugs, disease, and weather.

I am no rose but I certainly do my best to keep myself hardy. I like the reminder that hardiness can go hand-in-hand with carefree wonder. Could carefree wonder be called heartiness?

carefree wonder

a simple step towards focus

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
– Zig Ziglar

“I just need to focus.” How many times have you found yourself saying that under your breath? It’s a phrase that used to be with me constantly. It’s much less so these days (but still there sometimes).

Here’s one simple step towards focus, away from letting others pull at your direction on any given day…

Turn off notifications.

Off.

On your phone, your tablet, your computer, everywhere. No sounds, vibrations, icon badges, or banners letting you know you have new email. Nothing popping up with a preview of what has just come in.

No alerts about new tweets or likes or comments. Take control back from the many, many things vying for your time & your attention. Set a time block in your calendar for when you are going to check email & social media. Outside of that time on the calendar, you have other things to do.

Are there sometimes exceptions? Sure thing. If there’s a person whose email you must look at right away, you have options. In iOS, you can make him/her a VIP and set separate notification rules. Not on iOS? Lots of other options, including IFTTT (Google it!). There’s always a way to make an exception. Just don’t make so many exceptions that you’re ignoring the general rule.

You have control over your own focus. Don’t give that power away to others. Keep your direction in the time that we all have. Turn the notifications off.

not just a pretty picture

Walking along a dock with a friend recently, I was intrigued by a bird perched on a post. I got out my phone to snap its pic, and the bird spread its wings and lifted up into the sky. My phone camera followed it and captured this gorgeous moment.

Ever since that afternoon, I have become a bit obsessed with this photograph. It was my Facebook cover photo, my phone’s “wallpaper,” and I have its mini version as a jpeg on my desktop that I click on to view every once in awhile.

Yes, it’s a great picture (if I do say so myself), but I can’t help but wonder if there is something else about it that is speaking to me.  Something metaphoric perhaps.  Like it being my time to lift off and take flight?  I don’t know for sure.  But when something intensely gets one’s attention, it’s important to be curious as to why, yes?

bird

the force be with you

“Do or do not. There is no try.”
– Yoda

In my mind, this is linked directly with my post in which I respond to the common thought of there not being enough time.

There is exactly as much time as you need. From the list of all the things you can do, you have the power to choose what you will do, what your next step in this moment is.

Thought and planning are brilliant. I love them. But it all boils down to action.

And when you choose your action, commitment and follow-through are essential.

Don’t try. Do.

Yoda, awesome he is.

spring cleaning doesn’t have to be in the spring

I set aside last weekend to do a deep clean of my home. Closets, shelves, cabinets, the works. Here’s what I discovered:

  • I’ve outgrown the need for certain books and clothes.
  • Hanging a new picture in my kitchen changes my mood in the morning.
  • I live alone, so I don’t need seven mugs.
  • I have a great project that is ready to come off the back burner.
  • Order relaxes me and makes me feel more energized and effective in my day-to-day.

What does spring cleaning (or summer cleaning!) do for you?

ending or beginning? or both?

If it’s not obvious by now, I love trees. (Can’t recall how many tree images I’ve used in various blog posts.) I think the stories, the shapes, everything about them is beautiful.

It’s hard to see in this photo, but even though this tree is almost completely hollow and appears dead, there are new buds on its branches. Beginnings and endings co-existing, with space in the middle for dreams, brainstorming, & quiet. And the “endings” not actually endings, after all.

So what’s beginning for you?

hollow tree

zora logic wins

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”
– Zora Neale Hurston

So what she’s inspiring in us with this quote, long after her death, is:

Utilize your cleverness.
Shift the perspective.
Turn the tables.
Claim your power.

Thanks, Zora.

be your own reality show

Though I am a much larger proponent of scripted television (jobs for trained actors, please), I do admit to watching and being a fan of 2 “reality” shows – Survivor and The Voice. Part of what fascinates me in the reality TV realm is that the story is by no means unfiltered. Depending on how the editor cuts the footage of any given moment, there may be totally different narratives presented.

What the creative team behind the show is doing is trying to anticipate the most compelling storyline for their audience. Based on what they believe the audience wants, they craft the story to fit.

Step out of yourself for a moment. Imagine you’re watching a reality show, and you (the you that you’ve stepped out of) are the central character. (In a sense, be your own target audience.) What storyline would you like to see? What events would compel you, connect with you, make you root for you? How would you like to feel during any given moment of your story arc?

Now step into the shoes of the editor. Look at the moments, the context, the relationships in your life. How do you edit, craft, order those things to reach your storyline goal?

It seems a tad esoteric, I know, but sometimes examining life and goals and actions in a way that can be totally foreign can give you a really interesting perspective. This thought exercise may just surprise you with some compass coordinates to consider for your path in life.

palm trees make me LOL

I’m from Kentucky. I also have roots in a tiny North Dakota town. But for the past fifteen years, I’ve lived in New York City. This spring, as it happens, I am employed in Berkeley, California, so I’m getting to experience the other side of the country. People have been telling me, “you’ll love it out there!” But, honestly, I don’t. I mean, I see California’s beauty, and I understand its appeal. I even understand why some people would feel called to move here from the east. I just don’t happen to be one of those people. The first few times I saw a palm tree, I actually laughed out loud. They are just so surprising and look to me like a Dr. Seuss drawing come to life. Also, the “vibe” (a good California word, no?) just feels bizarre to me, not at all like home.

My Gramma, who lived her entire life surrounded by Dakota prairie land, told me once that mountains and oceans upset her, that she was actually a bit frightened of them, so foreign they were to her. Yet New York City was certainly foreign to me before age 22. What was it in me that said “yes” and “home” to that particular place? Perhaps it was a feeling of belonging. Perhaps I could feel the city energizing me in a specific way. I certainly know people who have never felt that way about New York, even after living there for years! Maybe those same people wouldn’t LOL at the sight of a palm tree.

Here are some urban trees that do feel familiar to me.

How do you know when to call a place “home”?

park