When Questions Get Exponential...And People Get Real

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Today we answered a question together:

"For whom are we responsible?"

As a primarily work-focused training trip to Rollins College (@RollinsCollege), we joined the Ask Big Questions Team (@AskBigQs) to experience and be trained on how to 'Ask Big Questions' on our campuses. In practice and in intentionality, the questions that are Ask Big Questions questions, get to a place that is deep and unexpected but once you share and connect and decide to take action - you're so glad you visited that place of reflection.

I think deeply and at times, too often - I have lists and lists of questions I use as journal prompts and pose to my close friends to reflect and explore, which result in our connecting on a deeper level.

"For whom are we responsible?"

We began with questions, we answered them in the group and in pairs, we brought more questions with us as we traveled together and wrapped up nicely with...more questions.

The beauty of life can be found in the simplest questions. The real question is, are we willing to ask?

Many will find the approach of "Who are you?" or "Where do your passions lie?" to be sufficient in getting to know a person. So before someone asks those questions of you, ask those questions of yourself.

Warning: Questions in the mirror (ones you ask yourself) are sometimes larger than they appear. (like a rear view mirror) ;)

Questioning can get exponential...so write them down. You'll see that one question will lead to more, so pace yourself as you answer.

Use pen and paper when possible, you'll want to remember, revisit and reflect.

~Hasta Pronto



*Sent via BlackBerry

Pride and Privilege

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It is not my usual steelo to post about myself, but there are just some messages of inspiration and forward processing and thinking that need some context and space for details.

My dating life has been one of many options, but most don't make it past our first meeting.  And here's a few reasons why:

  • No genuine attraction (mental, physical, etc.)
  • Good conversation but no 'spark'
  • Ambition but no action
  • Inconsistency or flakiness (the only flake I like is a snowflake or puff pastry...)

One thing that I do acknowledge and am aware of however, is how privilege manifests within romantic relationships.  Privilege has its way of dividing groups of people, of preventing discussion and of fostering resentment or unawareness and misuse of power.  Add love to that and let's see what happens...

I come from humble beginnings.  One family house, single parent home with the support of grandparents and close family members.  In high school, I don't even have any memory about wanting to have a car, much less having the means to purchase one.  My mother worked hard at the United States Postal Service (love the USPS) and found herself struggling to help me through college.  I say all this to say that a tangible goal in my life has always been to make enough money to have decent savings and be flexible and able to travel on occasion.

I've realized lately, however, that these facts play a part in my journey in knowing others in a romantic capacity.  And because I know that a person's upbringing directly affects their perspective on the world, I've found myself making assumptions about those whom I've gotten to know, who come from another world - a world where parents can pay for things, where children can afford to fail at entrepreneurial pursuits, one where you can excitedly welcome your potential partner home to your large, spacious house.

And because I am closer to the life I'd like to live (financially), it may be assumed that I also come from this place.  A result, the misconceptions about where I come from, initially leave the conversation open to negative comments that normally wouldn't be shared.

Another reason they don't make it past the first date
  • Clear disregard, false assumptions and lack of respect for the working class, demonstrated by lack of respect to servers at restaurants, or ostentatious flashing of money.  Like Shania says, "That don't impress me much..."

This presents a conflict for obvious reasons.  I would never welcome someone home to meet my family if they will see them as less, as lower than them...And in another thought, am I contributing to this by showing up as who I am and not where I come from?

As time continues on, I find that I attract second or third generation college graduates, most of whom have the means and the time to pursue what their hearts desire.  Like attracts like, right?  Our interests, past experiences with travel and knowledge are well matched, despite the disconnect in life experience.

I've had a few conversations with friends who have had similar struggles, even read a great article about it and perhaps it is our own apprehensions about truly releasing our resentment about what we did not have that holds us back.  So instead, embracing the opportunity to lay pride aside and allow ourselves to feel deserving of a person who can see beyond our beginnings can be an internal step.  The next, allowing our resentment to fall away and seeing their story too, knowing that perspective can change the more a relationship grows.

Would love to hear your thoughts, reactions and experiences.  I welcome you to share...

~Hasta Pronto

"I wandered lonely as a cloud..."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Through the sheer curtain of my temporary living quarters, I reminisce on the memories of what it means to be in a romantic partnership and if indeed it is necessary and required for life success.  Even captured a great photo of a cloud as it drifted by...

So instead of focusing on myself in this moment, I decided to zoom in on the anatomy of a cloud.  A lonely one - at least as we perceive it to be externally.

Lately, there has been an influx of decisions by friends and acquaintances to "take a year off" or to "plan ahead without pause for the arrival of a romantic partner."  These decisions, because there have been many in such a short time, have caused me a moment of pause.

I revisit my capturing of cloud and now see this as a free cloud.  One that makes decisions on where to drift on its own.  Having a close regard and almost helplessness to the forces of the wind - all along, floating in a straight path as I watch it move left to right.  No, it is not a cloud large enough to block out the brightness of the sun, or the glint of the distant moon in the largely clear blue sky, but enough to catch notice (at least by unsuspecting me).

Even the sheer curtain prevents me from seeing the clear and wispy outline of its form, but my spirit impacted enough to record it in history, to share it here with you.

Clarified decisions.  When we are motivated to sit up and take notice.  To acknowledge the difference between being whole and missing something that society has defined as necessary to the human experience.  Wandering as a cloud now, no longer lonely.  Instead we take our journeys alone and have our lives fulfilled by personal growth and reflection.  Together, separately, and aligned with a resiliency that uncovers the delicate and impactful presence of a cloud (ourselves), in a space as open as the blue sky, what possibility is as vast as this?!

Wordsworth was onto something with his words.  Allowing for room to experience the joy of solo contemplation accompanied by the beauty of nature.  We have so much to learn from her (nature), that could reveal to us the secrets of life and of development.  Of relationships and our obligation to ourselves, our hearts as Wordsworth says "...they flash upon that inward eye."  We've got some good solo work to do.  Let's start today.

I Wandered As Lonely As A Cloud
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Thanks for reading,

~Hasta Pronto

I remember...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pressed rewind some prose-es ago
Hoping to find the answers, and accidentally finding a non-truth

However lightly lived, life is meant to be heard, felt, arranged, in disarray, full, empty, direct and directionless too.

Fast forward isn't the greatest option either, but this whole "press play" thing is moving really slow...

The time comes when one must decide:
1. Stick through the slow beginning, there's a tremendous climax and ending up ahead
2. Think to oneself, "I should have waited for this to come out of DVD"
3. ...Fall asleep

We have reviews and critics that persuade and show examples prior to walking in and play is pressed. It is our own minds though, that regard reviews as non applicable expectations.

Anyone hear of any good films lately?

Times presses on play anyways, and time does indeed tell much right away. It is the waiting that propels rash deciding.

But, beware of rewinding, as it often replays regret. There are good scenes and epic quotes that should be written down, recorded, etched in stone. And there are also places that you must look away, the scene too gory or action too fierce.

Yes, press play now, I'm back from my trip to the concession. Back with plenty of not so good nutrition that is affecting the length of my own feature film.

The story is yours to watch, while simultaneously in the dark, your feet sometimes glued to the floor, unable to move forward.

Next time, choose a better seat, or wait for it on DVD.

Or better yet, make your movie count.

~Hasta Pronto



*Sent via BlackBerry

This one's for you, 2012...

Friday, December 30, 2011

When at a crossroads, artists are employed. Major highways, flooded with thoughts, minds are, hoping to avoid the police of reason along the way...

Avoidance of decision making leaves no time to feel, only long hours of mindful time wasting that is relieved when time finally tells.

Must it be, that all of the things that are meant to be, be always placed so far away??? Keep stretching.

Listen more for what is real within. Interpret what your gut is saying, use your intuition, share amongst journal pages your doubts, confirmations and forward pushing fears. Reclaim what can only exist and flourish by your command - happiness.

Own it.

Live what you seek, rather than waiting for someone to build it. Learn the skill of biding time usefully. Time. Is. Short.

Time....is not promised to any of us.

It is detrimental then, to revisit the ideas, situations and people that are of little 'mutual benefit.' What drains, rather than sustains and motivates. Time to close those unproductive doors: "Everything Must GO!"

Once the final sale is made, one can start a new beginning, with investments that bring returns. With a heart that gives on purpose, automatically and by default, symbiotically.

It is amazing how much of this world's art (paint, photographs, music, writing), grows out of anguish. Instead, I'd like to see what manifests, when we bring our authentic and selfish happiness work to paint the world...

~Hasta Pronto



*Sent via BlackBerry

My First Language

Monday, July 18, 2011

Press Play...then read :)

Sitting on lines on staffs with elongated necks and accurate posture, music notes have floated into my language space with such easy and fluidity.

As years pass and the sampling continues, there is one origin of language that needs no translation. Music.

It is a piece of life, a sweetness of life, that at times, transcends the speakable explanation of a feeling. A medium through which we can bridge life, love, sorrow and compassion. We listen to heal, we listen to relate, we listen to sing, we listen to understand.

There are some words and remnants of beats that continuously pull us into remembering. To reminisce of that time when that song was played. To join memory with present and bring feelings to surface level.

As healing and expressive as it is, we take it for granted. Preferring silence is admirable and when used with meditation and reflection beneficial. But at times the mind is just too loud with thoughts and angst. We must then override with song.

Singing aloud in our spaces, losing our voices in the process while gaining them at the same time is a wish that we should experience more often.

Music is freedom. Music is indeed for life. Check the below track, expect expletives. Lowering your volume in a shared space is advisable.

~Hasta Pronto

Who Are You?!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

As we continue to search for love and live a life that matters, I have some food for thought items that your mind has surely been craving...please, indulge your intellect and give nourishment to your mind by reading and reflecting on the following post...

To those who continue their search for the one, with whom they feel a long term commitment can be shared...

Back Up.

Take a break. Pause. Spend time with you and only you. Clear the clouds that keep you from seeing what the surface of your life, your earth looks like. Let the mountains, peaks, valleys, earthquakes, icecaps and streams of your life's happenings be crystal clear.

Know Thyself.

Take that time and discover who you are. Ask yourself questions, write them, write your answers. Record who you are at that very moment in what you think and feel. Who am I? What do I like? What is love? How is God actively blessing me? How am I being true to myself? In what ways am I being who others expect me to be? What do I want most out of life? What are my flaws? How have I grown? What are my goals? Why are these goals important to my life? What are your struggles? What is your purpose in life? Who do you want to be? What are you afraid of? Define beauty.

Know Thy Wants.

Now that you have created an accurate picture of you right now. Use this momentum, after a short pause but still in a mind of clarity, to then narrate (not list) what you want in a partner. What characteristics do you value in a partner? Annnnd go! Define what you mean by what you mention as you write. Paint the full picture, be clear.

Know Thy Desires.

"If there is something to desire, there will be something to regret. If there is something to regret, there will be something to recall. If there is something to recall, there was nothing to regret. If there was nothing to regret, there was nothing to desire." ~Pavlova

Know Thy Sacrifices.

To whom much is given...much will be exfoliated away. In situations where we are desirous of a person that we find has the things that we want and can support the person who we've defined we are, there comes a point where we must be challenged. This challenge can be a small obstacle or happening, or it can be a part of us that requires further refining or defining. Exfoliation if you will, to remove the useless surfaces of ourselves to reveal the smoothness and receptive nature of new skin. This does not mean that we should compromise who we are for what we want. This instead means that in order to fully receive someone as they are and who they want to be, we have to understand our own journey and be adaptive to that journey together, along the way.

I repeat. The above inquiries to yourself should all be written. Pen to paper. This is so important to do as we make the decisions in life of what career path to follow, who we want to share our lives with and how we want to matter to ourselves and our God as we flow through this world. This exercise and investment in yourself will assist you to, as my dear friend Luqman has highlighted:

"See how realistic you are. What your thinking process is. What's important. [Give a] clear picture. Prevent going on emotions alone. [Provides a] written record."

~Hasta Pronto