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.

good ol’ summertime

My nephew has this summer thing figured out: sprinkler & skivvies & squeals. Feel free to copy his ways. Children are experts when it comes to making joy happen. And we grown-ups sure admire the experts of anything, yes?


peek-a-boo from under a rabbit

Here’s what I know about this photo:
First & foremost, it brings me massive joy.
Pancake (the guinea pig) is snuggled underneath Misty (the English Giant rabbit).

Here’s what I don’t know about this photo:
Did Pancake snuggle under Misty as she was sitting there?
Or did Misty plop down, not seeing that Pancake was underneath her?

Either way, they were both perfectly content with the situation and stayed this way for quite a while.

And really, whether you’re snuggling under a giant rabbit blanket, or you’re cuddling around your guinea pig friend, it’s just all about being cozy, isn’t it?

What makes you feel cozy?


acknowledge that box

“People who refer to out-of-the-box see the box… People who don’t know the box even exists are the innovative thinkers.”
― Lisa Goldenberg

I recently learned that, in some cities in Scotland and Japan, the street lights were changed to emit a soft blue color at night. And that, when the change was implemented, those cities had a notable reduction in suicide and crime rates. I consider this innovation to be attributed to out-of-the-box thinking.

Lisa Goldenberg says that innovative thinkers don’t know the box exists. Sure, that is true in some cases. And I believe that sometimes we’re not capable of out-of-the-box thinking until we first acknowledge the box in which we’ve been thinking. A single moment of insight can do wonders for seeing that metaphoric box.

Had any of those insights lately?

community profile: natasha patel

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

Introduce yourself.
I’m a career counselor, writer and teacher. Call it polymath or renaissance soul. But I thrive when I’m pushing more than one idea forward to execution.

What’s something making you happy right now?
Season 2 of UnReal, my 6 year-old niece, really balanced bourbon cocktails.

When was the last time you surprised yourself?
When someone (not a client) asked for advice, and I didn’t answer with what I really thought.

What’s something that brings ease into your life?
With my schedule, a simple evening at home with a movie.

What’s something you’ve seen or read recently that you want to share?
Attempting to conquer Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It’s the 20th anniversary of the publication.

Anything else you’d like to share with the Bacana community?
I’m working with a new theater company in Atlanta that is focused on playwrights and production, called Onion Man Productions.

Where can people find you?
You can follow me on twitter at laRenSoul, or my website for career counseling is

standing on backs

My friend Michelle took this photo of one of the ewes in her flock with her 2 lambs. The ewe is quite literally protecting and supporting her children. It’s the most literal image of standing on the backs of those who have come before us that I’ve seen.

On whose back(s) do you stand?


show off

My Gramma planted flowers and colorful bushes along the front and sides of her house in rural North Dakota. She’d monitor their blooms carefully and eagerly. When the blooms finally came, she’d say, “Look! They’re putting on a show!”

I thought of Gram while crossing Park Avenue recently. The chorus of tulips were lined up so gorgeously in front of the fabulous diva tree. I had to stand in the median for a moment and watch the show.

Have you seen any good shows lately?


to life

“You have to walk toward the things that make you alive.”
– Leslie Odom, Jr.

I love this as a new barometer. Each of us on a daily basis faces choices. Which way to move, what decision to make, where to take the next step. I’ve always been one to weigh the pros and cons of these decisions and then to move forward based on careful consideration.

But I’d like to add a new metric to my considerations. Along with “what feels smart” and “what is most useful for me and the world” and “what makes most financial sense” and “what fits into the timeline” and countless other questions, I’m going to move this one to the top of the list: “what makes me feel most alive?” And perhaps a variation as well: “what brings most life to the world around me?”

L’Chaim, y’all.

the familiarity of new places

Friends of mine in Louisville – my hometown – recently bought a house that, 50 years ago, had been rented as duplex apartments. Serendipitously, my uncle was a tenant on the 2nd floor of that house in the 1960s. It was my cousin’s first home. During my last visit to Louisville, my friends showed me the upstairs of their house, and I imagined what would have been my uncle’s kitchen and living room, where my baby cousin’s crib might have been. I imagined his little sister (my aunt at 14!) and his mother (my grandma at 51!) walking up the stairs to visit, perhaps holding a casserole dish or a dripping umbrella.

The phrase “if these walls could talk” is a common one for a reason. We all see and feel (and imagine) history in the various buildings we roam inside of, walk past, inhabit, and visit.

This train depot in my town was built in 1910. The building is now a coffee shop with wifi and couches. I sit there and imagine the family reunions that took place long ago, the newspapers read on sturdy wooden benches, the tickets purchased at a ticket window. Perhaps, 50 years from now, someone will walk past this same building and imagine me sitting inside on my laptop sipping Irish Breakfast tea.

I hope so.

Do some places you know have stories to tell?


letting go of things you value

“Let it go.”
– Elsa, Frozen

As I’m writing this, I’m preparing for a period later in the year during which I will be feeding my nomadic self (aka, more or less homeless) for 6 months or more. As a self-proclaimed nomad who likes to nest, I must emphasize that I do love my nest, complete with the home comforts I allow myself. Home comforts some of which don’t travel well.

I’m in the process of making an inventory of my home. What will get recycled, donated, or sold (aka, “the shedding 2016”); what will potentially get shipped to my next nesting location (Australia); and what few items get to travel with me as a nomad.

I am by no means an expert packer. Far from it. I read the postings from those non-nesting nomads out there about how to travel full-time with just a backpack’s worth of stuff. I already know that won’t be me. At least not this time.

After my previous shedding (selling / donating / recycling many of my things before moving from Hawaii to the UK), I found that I have become less and less attached to material goods. I like simplifying & letting go. What that also means is that, when a material good makes its landing in my little nest, it is appreciated and valued in a deep way. So this shedding is a new level of letting go.

Elsa was singing more about ideas & emotions, all of which can be embedded in material items that we’ve come to value. Here’s to seeing how much I can let it go.

that bird watcher stillness

“In order to see birds, it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”
– Robert Lynd

When I see a bird out my window, perched on the deck or fire escape, my instinct is to move closer so that I can see it more clearly. But, most of the time, when I make that move, even if it’s a slight one, the bird flies away. I’ve learned to be still and silent when doing my bird watching.

This little guy has his beak open. Best to watch in silence so I can listen to what he has to say.

Are you a bird watcher, too?

bird on chimney