Have we become settled with the notion that it is okay to offer a short cut of ourselves to another? Today's computer technology and the pace of our daily living has made it status quo to send fragmented sentences, a word here or there, or icons to convey the feelings in the message we want to deliver. These quick responses perhaps have their place, but at what point do they become a hindrance instead of a helping hand?
Begrudgingly, I have put up with one of the newest short cuts for the past several weeks: Gmail's Smart Reply. For those who don't use Gmail as their email provider, this is a program that apparently scans incoming emails for the purpose of "helping" us write our own email responses. As we start typing our sentence, Smart Reply jumps in and finishes it for us. Voila! It may not be what we were going to write, nor contain words we were going to use, but oh well, Gmail is telling us this is the "smart reply."
Could Smart Reply, and other programs like it, become easy-to-use options whereby we end up being less present in our written communications? Might we become complacent with doing less of our own thinking? Could there be an ever-progressing cultural assault to dumb us down? Consciously instigated, or not? The less we think for ourselves the easier it becomes to succumb to the box of choices the world outside of us offers.
We human beings are wonderfully complex. The notion that an icon, scattering of words, or a program that completes our sentences is going to convey the fullness of our message is dubious. The time we take to respond, or not, and the words we use to communicate to another speaks volumes to who we are, and to the value we place on our relationships.
And what of the value we place on the most important relationship we have? The one with ourselves. The looming tragedy in relying on these short cuts, is the loss of power in choosing our own words. The words we speak and the sentences we care to author informs us of who we are - and how we have come to know ourselves.
The words we choose are powerful agents in creating our experience. When we say or write that we are "delighted with" something or someone, we are! When we say or write we are "depressed or lonely," we are! Whatever it is we are saying, or writing, this IS how it is. It is not going to be some other way - than the way we are telling it. (Unless we are lying, but that's another topic.) We are are own scriptwriters.
Or are we? Could the steady reliance on these types of technology short cuts be shorting out our inherent power? The words we choose to use and the sentences we author are potent. Depending on the intensity of our feeling that backs the words we choose, therein lies our potential to create; the mix of our feelings and the meanings of our words is a powerful fuel. When we take action with that fuel pack within us, here is the spark that ignites and empowers us to bring our thoughts and ideas into manifestation.
This is not an effort to take us back to the days before "smart" technology. There is a time and place for its use. It IS a shot across the bow, a heads up, and a reminder of the power we wield when we use our own words, author our own sentences, and tell our own stories.
Words are akin to being magical. There is an almost endless array of them available to us for our use. Each one of these words vibrates with its own meaning. They lay waiting, as in a magical pool, to be chosen and fully energized by our intent.
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(By the way, it's possible to delete Smart Reply by going into Gmail settings.)
Oh! You wild and weird woman! Is there anyone amongst us who is not weird? Who does not have a freak flag to fly? Even those that hide their flag and feign perfection, or those that offer pretense of being above the fray of frolic and fun - that too is weird. Isn't it?
In fact, that's the MOST weird; pretending to be who we are not. Capping down on our natural effervescence. Bottling up the joy that would love to bubble up and over - if we could only allow it.
Canadian director, Domee Shi, the 2019 Oscar recipient for Best Animated Short Film had this to say in her acceptance speech about nerds and weirdness:
"To all the nerdy girls out there who hide behind their sketchbooks - don't be afraid to tell your stories to the world. You are going to freak people out but you'll probably connect with them, too, and that's an amazing feeling to have. Thank you, Peter Docter, for believing in my weirdness and giving me a voice at the studio."
Thank you Domee Shi for your words!
It is our weirdness that makes us unique. It is the seed of our creativity. Lay claim to the weird and nerdy within you. Sign on the dotted line and own ALL of who you are! The world is waiting.
She was asked, "About what are you optimistic?"
Life begins and it stays beginning
Life does not begin over
Each moment births the next new moment
This is the optimism I am
The Great Shift
"I am!" I declared to the Universe at large.
To which the Universe crisply and clearly replied, "Yes, you are. We've always known this. We are absolutely delighted that you are aware of this now, too. Welcome. Make yourself at home. Help yourself to all that pleases you. It is our great pleasure to gift you everything you will allow yourself to accept."
We have no more control of the acorns that fall, than we do of the "nuts" swirling chaos in our world. We do not, however, have to stop and stand under the oak tree.
It's There I Want To Be
They asked the poet to describe his love as a color....
This is not where I want to be! Twirling in my head is the question, "What the hell does it matter what color I call my love?"
Take me instead to between the colors
to between the letters of L O V E
It's there I want to be
In between what is left forsaken - as though the in between moments are but a pause of meaningless nothing before the next word or action
No! Take me to the pause
Let me breathe in the the nothing
Let me melt into what I can not possibly know when I name and frame my love a color
This is the month our North American culture pays special homage to Love. This particular writing honors the relationship between all of us who have loved, and the loved one who has gone before us:
Do nothing, say nothing and you could be nothing. Being nothing in its purest, most elemental form is profound. Nothing is no thing. Unbounded. Unlimited. Energetic potential.
If you are no thing then you must be space. Space is room. Lots and lots and lots of forever room. Not A room, but endless space to play, to try, to fail, to succeed, to breathe, to be, to live, to die, to be reborn - or not.
Yes! Do no thing, say no thing and be no thing. Open your arms. Wide! Lift your eyes ... and fly!
Life after life they would meet again and again, always pretending not to know who the other was. This was the original contract they signed, eons of ages and civilizations ago. Their agreement was held in the veil of forgetfulness.
Their contract would remain unknown until each had fulfilled their human destinies; to Love one another with Devotion, allowing Space and giving each other the Gift of Listening from their Hearts.
Could I love myself enough?
There were a lot of things going on in my dream, as in my waking life, but as I stood on the beach shoreline, it was the towering, twenty something foot wave that had my immediate attention. It was seconds from coming down on top of me. With no time or safe place to go, my plan was to drop to the sand, hold my breath and wait for the wave to recede. Waves always recede.
The weight and force of the wave pinned me face down to the sand. I waited. I kept waiting. My lungs were at tearing point. I had to breathe. The wave was not receding. Rather, it became solidified laying atop of me, leaving an air pocket the size of a small hand around my nose and mouth. Desperate to breathe, I dared to let the air out of my lungs and took in three fast, short, shallow breaths...and awoke in my bed.
The pall of that dream hung over me for the next twenty four hours. Like the wave, itself, there was no escaping its message. My daily, waking life was a towering weight of never ending, always ongoing duties, errands and chores. Doing for others, doing anything at all were the reasons I could not do for me; could not, would not, should not nurture my creative soul. I was "needed" elsewhere - and elsewhere was suffocating me!
Hereiswhereiam is sustaining and nurturing me. It is, this blog is, the result of the "moving force" in my dream. My creative soul was screaming for air. Writing had to matter more than the reasons to do it - or not to do it. The matter, the focus, the energy I gave to writing had to bring to bear more weight than the wave of all my other thoughts, habits or patterns combined. Could I love myself enough to give me room to breathe? "Yes," she said. "At long last, yes!"