Intentions, work, and listening

So, I had this idea of crafting little goddess figurines with clay. And then it refined into wanting to make a specific goddess to represent different women I admire, and make a poem about each one.  I wrote my first poem, then sat down with intent to make the goddess.  But for some reason, goddesses did not emerge from my clay. Veggies did, and I ended up with a weird series of friendly little carrots, peas and cabbages. Art is not my bitch.  But I really like my first poem.
I’m at a work thing. My intentions for this summit included taking the necessary steps to make a very specific mobile book out of our existing content. Making good progress on that. I think I’m going to learn how to do ePub tagging so that I can do this myself. In general, I’m astounded at how complicated this company is making “going mobile.” Seriously, the culture here is to move at the speed of print. We have all this great content and dozens of divisions each embarked on their own development projects to create proprietary platforms and apps and go to market strategies that aren’t intercompatible (not sure if that is a word, but I’m keeping it).  And virtually no one (except us) made any functional apps that do something other than deliver content. We have all these beloved customers who have daily professional challenges and no one here is thinking about asking them if there are any little tools that would make their lives easier.  We’re just giving them content in a new venue. In dozens of new venues.  Mind you, they are really good venues, but why so many?  I wish my son could have been here to roll his eyes with me.  Instead, our developers were, so there was that. They hate us biz types, for good reason. All we do is bloviate.
Another goal was to not stick my foot in my mouth. Fail on that. 
I had the mike at a panel discussion and complemented the panel on describing the technology they’d developed and asked if they could comment on the up front and diminishing costs as they rolled out their first then subsequent titles, and asked if they could share their technology with other divisions to speed the over all move towards mobile.  And could anyone comment on how that would work as a shared service.  Crickets. Apparently, we are at a Summit to brag, not share. What’s the point?
Highlight though, they invited a doctor who works for the company that makes speech recognition stuff for the health care field. He was interesting. Stuck my foot in my mouth there too, when he explained that his software prompts the physician to provide greater specificity because it can lead to better reimbursement. The way he worded it was exactly the way we teach coders not to lead the physician in a query because its against the rules.  I could have kept that to myself. But he did reveal trade secrets about 3M and Apple, so it was good to meet other smart, capable people who also open mouths to change feet.
Here’s what I want: $75K to spend a year “out of work” to experiment (no big stupid market research and biz case writing) and throw a few good ideas at the wall to then follow what works. Getting laid off right about now would be outstanding. How does one go about making that happen?  Oh, and I also want to learn how to do the app development myself to start, then hire someone better than me after proof of concept, so I’m not stuck waiting for help.   I guess that means I need an iBook and an iPad too.  Problem is, I’m good at ideas but my execution and design is always a bit hacky.  At least my experience here is helping me see what not to do, so I suppose that’s good. Like don’t use Adobe DPS, expect Apple’s store to be a pain in the neck, and don’t expect my company to have a vialbe e-store or app distribution network anytime soon.
My mouth is evolving none the less.  I was too silent for a decade. I entered a phase where I had to MAKE a new story, and ooh baby it was a dramatic one.  When I moved out of my marriage house, I remember hearing myself tell my stupid story over and over and over to the point where even I was tired of hearing it.  First I was the victim, then the rescued, then it got more honest.  Necessary steps. I feel myself moving into more of a listening mode now. I’m not my story. I’m not even my thoughts. I’m not what happened to me. What I am, is the potential to live fully awake and aware in this moment so that I stop crafting stupid regretable stories, and so that I live in a good experience rather than collecting tales that I tell others later to try to get attention.  I didn’t discover this. I heard this when I shut up and listened.
Seems pretty obvious.  I have a mediatation download from iTunes recommended by a friend whose zen I admire.  It was actually quite expensive for an iTunes download (which is evidence that its the content that people value and will pay for, not the venue that sets pricing but that’s last topic and I stray).  Anyway, it is Adyashanti, who is some American guy who leads these mostly silent meditation retreats. Yes, ironic, an audio download from a guy who teaches people to shut up.  Its 2 long preambles and 3 guided meditations. The 3 guided meditations are back to back on 1 track thats 1 hour and 20 minutes. I’ve been listening periodically all summer, but this weird thing keeps happening. I listen intently for a few minutes. Then I get relaxed, decide my back doesn’t like sitting lotus, so I lay flat. Then I fall asleep. Then its the end of the session and the tingshaw bell goes “ding”. And for some reason, I awaken feeling sexually aroused.  So, I’m succeeding well at a regular practice of masturbation, but the meditation has been a bit more challenging than I expected.
Yesterday morning, I made it through all 80 minutes and actually heard about 40-60% percent of what he said when my mind wasn’t completely out on a walk about.  Lotus position still uncomfortable, so this time my strategy was to bend into some of the more uncomfortable yoga positions (half pigeon for example) and listen while breathing through the stretch. It kept my mind alert enough to stay awake, and was metaphorically helpful to hear him explain how to just let everything be as it is, while letting my body settle into something usually much more difficult. It turns out, he says some really good stuff there near the end of each session. And it helped me be more silent than usual all day at the summit when I actually had my foot out of my mouth and could have spoken.
We went for an evening boat ride because at least this company realizes that most creativity happens outside of the meeting rooms. But then they had this really loud band, so mostly people who wanted to collaborate just spent a lot of time shouting “what did you say?”  or standing out on the deck where the scene going by was so breath taking, talking business felt like sacrilege.   It’s ok, I was just listening anyway.  I made some nice friends, but it was different, less desperate for validation or attention. More intentional.

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