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Friday, May 3, 2019

TEACH SUZUKI: I Have a Rooster (Maybe You do Too)

TEACH SUZUKI: I Have a Rooster (Maybe You do Too): The Teach Suzuki Podcast broadcast an episode by this title last week. I Have a Rooster I have raised chicken hens for some time now an...

I Have a Rooster (Maybe You do Too)

The Teach Suzuki Podcast broadcast an episode by this title last week.

I Have a Rooster

I have raised chicken hens for some time now and we enjoy the nutrient-filled eggs produced by our tended flock. Recently I raised another flock of baby chicks to add a second coop. I anticipated that my first flock was aging and might not lay as many eggs in the coming years. I tended my young flock in the back room of our outdoor shop aided by heat lamps until the hens were strong enough to endure the outdoor spring temperatures in their new chicken coop area.

Imagine my surprise at 5:00 a.m. one morning to hear the burblings of one of the hens. This seemed a little earlier than usual to hear the hens stirring for the day. The 5:00 a.m. gurgle greeting continued for several more days.

"Honey, I think we have a rooster," I told my husband. I explained about the continuous 5:00 a.m. wakeup calls. We inspected our new coop to see if we could distinguish the culprit, and that is when we recognized that one of our birds was larger than the others.

Fast forward to the end of the following week. Now the noisy morning greeting assumed more form to resemble the familiar cartoon rooster crow. Uh oh, I thought, what do I do now?

The more I thought about my dilemma -- a rooster among the laying hens -- the more I recognized that we all have roosters in our studios too, and I do not mean the feathered kind.

How do we handle roosters in our studios? What can and should we do about our roosters if anything?

I hope you enjoy this episode about handling the roosters in your studio.

Until next time,

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2019 by Paula E. Bird

Monday, February 4, 2019

Monthly Focus (February) and Weekly Mission #1 & 2

You can listen to the monthly focus and weekly missions as discussed in the podcast episode 148 TSP Possibility and 149 TSP Give Me Your Word.

This month's focus is LOVE. February is the month that we usually associate with romance and love. The grocery stores are full of heart-shaped boxes of candy, and jewelry stores and florists have stepped up their advertising game with suggested occasions to offer flower or jewelry gifts. I have made "Love" the theme for the month of February and will suggest different aspects of love in each week's mission.

Why would love be an important focus? Love is a strong feeling and can mean many things to many people. All of these meanings can be different from one person to another. Love can be pleasant or painful, intense or mild, and directed to a person or thing.

This month, think about the important role love may play in our lives. I will use this focus to give strong consideration to how love plays a role in my life. I hope you will join me.

Dr. Suzuki once said, "What is man's ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty." He also said, "When love is deep, much can be accomplished." Dr. Suzuki wrote much to indicate that love was important to him, and many of us will recognize that love is a central theme in many religions, as well as literature and culture.

One possible examination is my suggested mission for this first week of February. This week, let us examine the center of our love experience -- ourselves as individuals, Consider the love and acceptance that we give to ourselves. We may harbor unpleasant thoughts about ourselves, our history, and ultimately the future that lies before us because we are stuck in a place of not loving ourselves, or we think of ourselves as unworthy of having that ultimate loving relationship with ourselves and what lies outside of ourselves.

This week, let us look inward at ourselves and at the relationship that we have with ourselves. Let us have the tough conversation with ourselves about the love we have or do not have with ourselves. Here are a few questions that might open up that conversation:
  • Am I harder on myself than I am on others?
  • Do I expect more of myself than I do someone else?
  • Am I more critical about my performance or achievements that I would be for someone else?
  • Do I accept myself for who I am, or do I think that I have unfixable flaws?
  • Do I feel that I am worthy of what I have in my life, or do I think that I was just lucky to get where I am?
  • Am I open and honest with others or do I wear a mask for fear that others might truly discover who or what I am?
For weekly mission #2, I suggest we turn our focus outward and look at our family relationships. I suggest that you draw two circles: an outer circle, and an inner circle. In the inner circle, list the names of close family members: spouses/partners, children, parents, and siblings. In the outer circle, list the names of extended family members: nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, grandparents, grandchildren, etc. Review the names in each of your circles and reflect on these questions:
  • How satisfied am I with my family relationships?
  • Are there any problems that I struggle with in any family relationship?
  • Are there any family members that I avoid having conversations with?
  • Have I been out of touch with any family member?
  • Am I out of relationship with any family member?
  • Are any of the reasons that I have for being out of relationship still important to hang on to?
  • Is there any reason NOT to reconnect with a family member where the relationship has gone stale or cold? Can I think of a way to do that?
I hope that you will join me on the monthly focus and weekly missions. Please be sure to comment about your discoveries and experiences.

Until next time,

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2019 by Paula E. Bird

Weekly Mission #4: Clarity of Our Intentions

Our last weekly mission for January was about getting clarity of our intention and vision. I recorded an entire podcast devoted to this weekly mission. You can listen to that episode here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Weekly Mission #3: Clarity About Personal Habits

What’s important about getting clarity about our personal habits?

Much of what we do is habitual. Our brains are apparently designed that way in order to be efficient. When we perform an action one time, that may be an anomaly, but if we were to perform the action a second time, we would find ourselves on the road to building a habit. We need to be clear about what habits we have and whether they serve our purposes.
By altering or replacing or eliminating some or all of these types of habits, compulsions, or drives, we are practicing our ability to abstain. This type of practice is helpful for building strength of character. Here are some questions to help guide you to gain clarity about your personal habits.

  • Do you have any little drives or compulsions that you do daily? These little things can be personal habits – good or bad – or they could be little routines that you follow daily. Start by noticing these things and making a list of them to examine in more depth later.
  • Do you complain about things that you do or that happen routinely to you? Take a closer look at these things and decide whether they are the product of some habit or addiction that you have.
  • Are there any new habits or routines that would be better replacements for old habits and compulsions that you no longer want to continue.
  • Now tackle one thing at a time in the lists of unproductive habits or routines and come up with a workable plan or two to address these issues to gain personal clarity about the things you do without thinking.