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.

double whammy

The first color photograph of Earth from space was taken in 1959. What an awesome experience that must have been… to see our planet’s blues & greens for the first time.

Though I grew up with the view of Earth from space as commonplace, there is an incredible sight that I am brand new to beholding. And it is much much smaller than the Earth. It is the flapping wing of a hummingbird.

I took this photo with my phone. My phone! It was a double whammy of awe… the easy ability to capture the image and, of course, the hummingbird herself.

Have you had a double whammy of awe lately?

chasing communication

There are times when I’m trying to get an answer from someone, and I have to chase them for an answer. I find this to be extraordinarily frustrating. What it boils down to is this… my priority for getting an answer is higher than their priority for giving one.

In this situation, I have a choice amongst 3 paths:
(1) Feed the frustration and keep chasing and chasing the answer.
(2) Match my priority to theirs and potentially let the item fall by the wayside.
(3) Find some sort of middle road that has me sending periodic reminders but puts the ball for action in their court. Whenever their priority rises to the level that giving an answer is important enough, I’ll get that and be able to move forward.

Path 1 is not healthy. Path 2 is honestly an option to be considered sometimes. Path 3 is what I try for most often.

To be transparent, I still experience some frustration on path 3, but I also have clearer boundaries in terms of my responsibility. I have communicated what I need, and I can’t move on to the next step until you respond.

Clear communication, delineation of responsibilities, and taking ownership of my own actions. That’s what I can do. I have no control over someone else’s priorities or actions.

It’s one of those combo platters of taking control and letting go. Sometimes they just have to work together.

game of catch

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
– Maya Angelou

These are wise words indeed. But I’ve come to notice that many people throw and throw and throw… that it’s the catching they have trouble with. There are the amazing givers who are not at all great at receiving. There are the millions of people working two or three jobs who don’t receive a living wage. There are the people who equate their worth with their output, who never feel they do enough, who are uncomfortable receiving help of any kind.

The game of catch is a game of balance, of rhythm. Throw and catch, throw and catch.

Do you have a catcher’s mitt on your hand?

amplification or distraction?

“So part of the discernment that we need as creators is to tell the difference between someone who will take our time and someone who will amplify our time.”
— Seth Godin

The quote above refers to people. That resonates with me a great deal.

That said, in the moment that I’m writing this, I’m finding more resonance by replacing “someone who” with “projects that”. So many of us have a notebook of ideas. Things that we want to create when we have the time or the resources or any number of other triggering factors.

I’m feeling called to pursue one of the projects in my notebook. But I’ve also been on a journey the past few years of trying to simplify. Adding a new project to my workload is a step away from simplifying. What I had to sit with before deciding to pursue this new project or not is whether that step away from simplification might also be an amplification of my time, or if it might just be a distraction.

Do you have any questions like that (about people or projects) in your life?

mind walls

My mind has been shifting perspectives lately on some big stuff in my life. My mind has also been resisting those new perspectives, habitually returning to the old thought patterns, to the familiar interior conversation. And to the familiar feelings that come along with it.

Change is strange and can be quite uncomfortable.

What’s helping is to imagine that my mind is getting remodeled. That the stained, familiar wallpaper is getting peeled away, slowly but surely. That the walls are being sanded down, and that I’m eagerly picking out a fresh color of paint.

I’m also considering knocking a hole in one of the walls and putting in a window.

What color are your mind walls these days?

community profile: gloria wong tritasavit

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

Introduce yourself.
My name is Gloria Wong Tritasavit. I’m a San Francisco native. Co-founder and creative director for Harlow & Grey – a line of modern party goods that I created with my cousin Jeanne. I’m happily married with three crazy kids – a 7 year old and 4 year old twins. Busy family life! Instilling values of love, compassion, empathy, and equality in my kids on a daily basis is and will always be one of my highest priorities.

What’s something making you happy right now?
My bed. Sleep can be scarce with three kids who are either waking up from nightmares, talking in their sleep, or are sick. I really love when I get to rest peacefully in my comfy bed!

When was the last time you surprised yourself?
I’m the least athletic person I know. I was throwing around a toy basketball with my son the other day and surprised myself by making a shot in the hoop.

What’s something that brings ease into your life?

What’s something you’ve seen or read recently that you want to share?
The documentary Happy! Its message is not profound by any means, but it’s such a good reminder (especially for all of us who live near Silicon Valley) that money, image, status, and power account for very little of what actually makes people happy. Yet it’s what many spend most of their time chasing after.

Where can people find you?
Instagram @harlowandgrey


live & unplugged

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
– Anne Lamott

We all have different ways of unplugging: meditating, taking a walk, eating a meal slowly, dancing, napping.

Sometimes doing the dishes by hand is a way to unplug. (To each her own.)

My favorite snippet in this quote from Anne Lamott is “for a few minutes”. Our society and work culture expect us to feel burned out most of the time, to save up all our unplugging for the tail end of a day, for the Saturday afternoon, for the one (too) short vacation a year. But, really, sprinkling in those few minutes throughout each day is just as nourishing and, perhaps, more sustaining.

You have ten minutes. How will you unplug?

just missed a big bird

Some people might see a couple of arrows pointing to an area that needs attention from a work crew.

Me? I wonder when the big bird passed through and marvel at the long middle toe.

Have you ever changed the mundane into something a bit magical?

a room for surprise

“Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise.”
– Julia Cameron

I went to hear Paul Simon sing at the Hollywood Bowl recently. He told a story about the oddest title he ever gave a song: “Rene and Georgette Magritte with their Dog after the War.”

One day, maybe 40 years ago, he was visiting Joan Baez. She had to take a phone call and left him alone in her living room. He flipped through a book and saw this caption under a photo: “Rene and Georgette Magritte with their dog after the war.” Something struck him about that sentence, and so he wrote the song. And then I was lucky enough to hear him sing it under a big sky decades later.

So often, when a surprise inspiration strikes (even the littlest of inspirations), we dismiss it. We move on to the next thing in our busy, busy lives. But maybe, if we leave more room for mystery and surprise, we can follow those inspirations and create something wonderful. Because sometimes the littlest inspiration can become a masterpiece; sometimes a mysterious idea can become an invention; sometimes a caption can become a song.

Has any inspiration surprised you lately?

community profile: jeanne chan

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

Introduce yourself.
I’m Jeanne Chan, and I’m the co-founder and marketing director at Harlow & Grey, a modern party goods line I launched with my dear cousin Gloria. I also write a lifestyle blog, Shop Sweet Things, dedicated to sharing modern living, design, style, and snippets of my life as a mom with my two girls (age 7 and 5 – very fun ages!)

What’s something making you happy right now?
My Pilates sessions. Feels good to pay attention to my body again after not working out for almost 7 years.

When was the last time you surprised yourself?
I just finished a book! (Crazy Rich Asians)

What’s something that brings ease into your life?
I also started Vedic meditation. Still trying to hone in on the practice, but when I do carve out the time to for it, it feels very cleansing for the soul. The other thing that is bringing ease to my life is Good Eggs, an organic grocery delivery service I use weekly. I do live in San Francisco after all. 🙂

What’s something you’ve seen or read recently that you want to share?
It’s not something that I’ve read or seen, but I started listening to “The Goop” podcast. The inaugural episode with Oprah is honest, funny, and incomparable. The “How I Built This” podcast is something I’d like to listen to as well when I need a boost of inspiration or motivation in business and entrepreneurship.

Where can people find you?
Instagram @shopsweetthings
Instagram @harlowandgrey