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.

a bit of inspiration to transform tension into balance

riffing with our readers…

Our client Michelle sent us this photo. I immediately thought back to Liz’s post on finding a getaway moment in the city. This is a fascinating alternate view of the same statue. In Liz’s post, the photo is focused on the statue of Gandhi, surrounded by lush greenery — a refuge from the surrounding bustle right in the middle of it.

Here, we see the city, and the lush greenery is missing, waiting for spring to come. This feels contemplative to me, a portrait of a figure in both worlds of green and of concrete, all blanketed by snow. The worlds collide and mix, and, in the center, a man is quiet and present. He looks where his next step will be, but he is neither over-proud nor bowed down.

In my world, I am quite aware of the busy-ness of my work, chores, responsibilities, etc. I cultivate the moments of quiet and mindfulness within that, but there remains a tension.

This photo is of a place I know well, a very busy place. The Whole Foods in the background is always massively busy, and you can see people traipsing in and out of the subway. Yet there is a peace, an ability for the quiet and bustle to live together without, or with little, tension. It is an image I hope to keep in mind as I continue to work towards balance in my own life.

What about you? What do you see in the photo? What does it bring up for you?

gandhimvf

the favor secret

You know how sometimes you need help with something and you don’t ask anyone for help because you think you don’t want to burden that person? Well, here’s a little secret. A lot of the time, people enjoy doing favors for others. They enjoy being helpful. Think back to a time when you were able to really help another person, be it a friend or a stranger. Didn’t you feel great?

So next time you’re hesitating about asking someone for help, remember that you’re giving him/her an opportunity to feel great and just go for it.

climb every mountain, or, you know, every cool rock that’s not really that big

See that wide flat rock in the middle with the emerald green grass on top? We stopped for lunch at the sandy area at its foot during the hike I was on. (I actually didn’t know it was lunch — I thought that was coming up a bit later — whoops!) Anyway, I decided I wanted to climb, so I did.*

The 2nd photo is the view from the top. If you click on the photo and make it larger, you can just make out some of the tiny people down on the sand. It doesn’t look that high in the first picture, does it?? Perspective and relative scale are amazing things.

What’s the cool thing in your sight right now? Decide to climb. It’s awesome.

 

* I’ve done some climbing in the past and know the risks and my boundaries. I don’t recommend just up and climbing a cliff, even a small one, without experience or safety gear.

climbing1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

climbing2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

contagious joy

I was waiting for a train recently, and there was only one other person on the platform, so we got to talking. This young woman had a smile so big it looked like she was about to squeal. She beamed, absolutely bursting with pure joy. Given that this is quite a unique sight, I was curious as to why she was so darn happy. I mean, had she just won the lottery or something?

Turns out, she’s from the Republic of Cameroon in Central Africa and had moved to the United States only the day before. She had just completed her first day of nursing school and was simply admiring the sights all around us, still relishing in her very new experiences of snow and train travel.

This young woman, Marianne, told me how incredibly happy she was. She kept laughing during our conversation, her joy overflowing in the form of sound.

I must say, I smiled the entire time I was in her presence and for some moments afterward. We take so much for granted, these everyday things. Standing beside Marianne, I began to marvel at the snow and the trains, too! I began to marvel at my own work opportunities and at the fun of connecting with a stranger.

When I need a little pick-me-up, I think back to our brief time together, and I smile. Some time has gone by, and Marianne’s joy is still contagious. I hope I can pass it along to someone else.

the listening lady in cornwall

Have a seat. Tell me your thoughts. I’m listening.

This placid lady in Cornwall seems to be indicating just this. Her posture reads as confidant and mostly casual (with a touch of proper at the knees). But there’s no need to prove that. She just is.

And she’s open to listen. To be a receptacle for whatever it is in that moment that I need to speak forth.

This lady is who I aspire to be much of the time. Someone who has no need to prove who she is and who can be open to receive whatever needs to be spoken. To be a ready ear of support without needing to necessarily “fix.” I hope this lady continues to guide me as I sometimes do and sometimes don’t hit that mark.

And I hope the raven over her shoulder enjoys the flight about to happen.

listeninglady

looking down or out

“May I never miss a sunset or rainbow because I am looking down.”
– Sara June Parker

Since moving to a Hudson river town, I have become rather obsessed with sunsets. My Mom tells me that looking at them is healing for the mind and eyes. I must say that I believe her.

We humans look down a lot. We look at computers and phones. We look into our preoccupied minds.

Rainbows come around only every so often, but a sunset… well, there’s one every single day! An everyday reminder to lift our heads and look out.

How cool is that?

sunset

do you have a castle?

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
– Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Dreaming & imagining are super important. I love envisioning my castle in the air.

What comes next is vital. Once you have the imagining, work backwards and break it into action steps for how to get there.

Be present on each step, and don’t be angry if the route shifts a bit as you progress. Castles in the air are designed to evolve.

Basically, you have a vision for where you’re going, and you also get to revel in the wonder & surprise as your vision presents you with new variations on each step. Best of both worlds!

when nostalgia is a comforting reminder

Two friends of mine were in a shop together recently and spotted a journal made out of an old Nancy Drew book. They immediately thought of me (due to my love of both Nancy and journaling) and bought me this gift.

Remaking an old object into a new one is especially important during this era of recycle / refurbish / reuse. But having these older images and items around serve a greater purpose as well. They are comforting reminders of the many journeys within a lifetime.

I look at this Nancy Drew journal cover, and I remember going to the library with my grandmother. I remember falling in love with reading. I remember racing to finish my homework so that I could read the books not assigned by a teacher. I remember my delight at following the adventures of a smart, independent young woman, knowing that I would be one of those someday, too.

We sometimes need those items of nostalgia around to reconnect us to an innocence, a hope, a perspective from the past that helps to renew the present.

nostalgia

rain & sun

A pretty heavy rain just stopped, and I headed out for an appointment. Stepping onto the sidewalk, I was met with blinding reflections of the sun. Everything was shiny, and the sun was having a bouncy field day. Almost as if to remind me “Look, the rain is necessary. It’s part of this whole natural order thing. But don’t forget I’m always part of the package, too.”

Shall we break into a refrain from Annie??

springtime reminder

“Your time as a caterpillar has expired. Your wings are ready.”
– Anonymous

Happy Spring!