Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I like to visualize. It's a practice that has served me well in the past. When I visualize, I can see more clearly, and know where I am going and what I will do when I get there.

I learned about visualization from a friend in my early twenties. I was spinning my wheels a lot at the time. I learned to stop for a mere moment, and see myself where and how I wanted to be, and with that image imbedded in my mind I then moved forward.  Often when I did this, I didn't even have a specific goal, but I knew the general direction I needed to go somehow meeting my goals along the way.

I become troubled when I cannot visualize because of uncertainty or distraction.   If I can't picture where I'm going in life, I feel lost and even get depressed.

There are burdens from being so driven. As I have become older, I find that I have to pace myself. I'm learning though, what to focus my energy on, and how to best employ the faculties I have with efficiency. But none of that is helpful if I can't visualize.

I found a new tool to help me through those times. It's Pinterest, arguably the most exciting thing in Social Media since Facebook. I wrote about it some on the main blog.

What I like about Pinterest the most, is that it's all about visualization. I use it to become inspired, to define who and what I want to be and to re-imagine myself in that incarnation. It's a great tool, and I use it a little every day to reenforce the process.

There are a lot of implications of being older. Health declines. Energy begins to fade. Large print anything becomes a blessing. We adapt. I don't see engaging with an online tool to do what I've always been able to do on my own as a failure. I see it as an adaptation.

From here on out I think it's going to be about adapting more than ever before, and doing things smarter and better. It will be about being truer to who I really am. I'm glad I can see it now. It's a direction I can clearly envision myself taking.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Preparedness is the New Normal

My sister often jokes that as Burners, we have great apocalypse skills. We both know how to sew, use power tools, and can fix anything with zip ties and duck tape. I think it's something we both take for granted at times. We know how to be prepared. 

We were taught to always have five pounds of rice and beans in the house by our mother and that bailing wire can fix anything by our father. Both our parents were masters of improvisation, sometimes out of necessity, and sometimes for the joy of ingenuity.

After 9 years in the Army and 8 years of Burning Man, being prepared is second nature to me. Out of habit, I carry a flashlight and multi-tool in my bag along with a mini hygiene kit and enough snacks to last me a day. I also usually carry some sort of electrolyte powder, an extra couple of doses of my daily medication, multi-symptom cold medicine and pain killers.

What's funny is that despite the preparation I maintain in case of zombies, I still sometimes leave the house without situational necessities like my mobile phone, Tokyo Road Atlas and Japanese-English dictionary.

Crisis can heighten awareness. For those unaffected by a major disaster, this is the chance to learn what more we can do to be ready.  Hopefully for myself and others this means that being prepared for the unexpected will be woven into our new normal.