Archive for the ‘awareness’ Tag

Getting in touch

If you’ve ever broken your arm, you know how hard it is to do without a hand.  Deprivation is the only way to get past some of our entitlements.  Doing without a hand is much worse than when the power goes out. In the latter case, you realize how dependent you are on an uninterrupted energy feed.  But when your hand is out of commission, the helplessness is even greater.

It’s interesting to note that a large number of modern conveniences are about reducing the work of the hands:  household appliances, office gadgets, automatic transmissions.  The 20th century was all about work-saving – i.e., hand work saving – innovations.  By now we are much less dependent on the strength of our hands, and as a result, we’re perhaps that much more out of touch (note the phrase!) with handiwork.

But the knowing that’s contained in our hands is a precious and vital part of our humanness.  The stresses of 21st century life are more painful for lack of attention to the gifts of the hands.  I’m not talking about recognized gifts or ‘talents;’  I’m not referring to the legerdemain of a pianist or surgeon.  The life of the hands has no relation to logic or intellectual accomplishment.  The hands can lead or teach us only if we stop listening to the rational mind and let devoted attention rest on the hands’ activity.  The resulting awareness can’t be articulated, but it provides comfort and confidence that can hugely benefit our stressed psyches.

Next time you must work in the garden, or wash the dishes, or sew on a button, hand write a note, make a bed or a pie, brush your hair or arrange a closet, take a moment to absorb the wisdom of your hands.

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Marks on paper

See, the thing about drawing is that since we have so totally neglected it, when we put it to even the most tentative use now, we open floodgates.   On a very hot summer day, if you jump into a pool the shock of the coolness jettisons your awareness to another dimension.  Drawing can be like that. 

Very often when we seem to have issues they are actually not issues at all but limitations in our awareness.  New technologies prove that by imagining aides to everyday work – things that simply remove limitations – we can and do create them.  The same applies to lifestyles, beliefs, goals and concepts as well.  If any of these seem disjointed, out of whack, not-quite-perfect in whatever way, consider whether refreshing your awareness is what is required. 

Something’s wrong, hard to put your finger on it; or maybe it’s easy to name the problem but you’re stumped on its solution.  Rather than pronouncing the situation impossible, the factors unworkable, and the frustration of it all more than should be asked of an honest human being; rather than leaping to the conclusion that you’re being dealt with unfairly, take a small step back and sit down with a clean (or not-so-clean) piece of paper and writing tool, (pencil or pen or lipstick if necessary) and without forethought apply the writing tool to the paper and let it move.

Here’s a hypothetical example:  you have an appointment with a potential buyer whose interest in your product is lukewarm.  You wonder how to present your company in a way that will make this buyer take notice.  In addition to all the usual preparations (research them, prep irresistable informational materials, etc.) you also take five minutes to draw, to put your thinking in visual terms, to move your consciousness to a higher vantage point so you have more awareness at your disposal.

What do you draw in those five minutes?  The range of possibilities is infinite.  Perhaps you scribble aimlessly, just following the whims of intuition while thinking about your upcoming appointment.  The result will reveal where your concerns lie.  Or maybe you make a picture (and remember, this is not art!) of your potential buyer, and this will reveal your assumptions (which may or may not be true).  Or possibly you diagram the relationship between you and the customer, and include present and future schematics.  Looking at this product of your five-minute drill will most likely send you back to the drawing board with several brand new ideas.

It doesn’t matter what you draw.  I repeat, it doesn’t matter one iota what you draw.  The miracle is in the drawing.  The discovery is in making one mark, which leads to another, and another.  That’s all, but it’s enough to leverage your awareness to new levels of power and inspiration.