Posts Tagged With: Slinky

Day 1711: You could be at work now

Yesterday, on my drive into work, I saw this sign:

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I know that sign was trying to sell me something, but I read that sign differently. I realized I could be at work now if

  • I had left much earlier or
  • I was working on other things, like solving world problems,  while I was sitting in traffic.

Actually, I AM at work now.  I’m working on this blog.  My thoughts, which go everywhere — into the past, the present, and the future — are at work, also.  Sometimes that thinking work is exhausting, especially when I get worked up.  I’m working on that.

Are you at work now?   You could be.

Let’s see if my latest photos work today.

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All those photos were taken at work except for one, which was taken on my way into work.  It doesn’t  take much work to notice those Slinkies at work in my office.  People at work bring me slinkies because I work hard at explaining that human progress is like a coil (including a slinky).  We work on similar problems over and over again,  seemingly going in circles. No matter how hard we work, it can feel like we’re not making progress. However, if we work on it, we’ll notice that we’re always moving up. Each time we work our way around over similar territory, we have more wisdom and knowledge.  It takes work to incorporate that wisdom, but I’m working on the belief that it’s possible.

If you want to work your way to another post about how human progress works which I worked on during the first week of this blog, that works here.

You could be at work now listening to this tune that I enjoyed on my way to work yesterday (which includes a reference to slinkies). I think Mark Winkler does nice work.

My cats are at work now

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… but neither of them plays piano. Yet.

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Maybe Oscar’s working on that.

You could be at work now on a comment, you know.

Working thanks to Mark Winkler, slinkies, cats, pianos, and humans, especially those who are working on reading this blog, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 236: Recovering

I was talking to somebody last week about the concept of recovery, which is defined in many different ways, including these (thanks to my old friend, Google):

re·cov·er·y
riˈkəvərē
noun

1.  a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
“signs of recovery in the housing market”
synonyms: recuperation, convalescence
antonyms: relapse, deterioration
2. the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
“a team of salvage experts to ensure the recovery of family possessions”
synonyms: retrieval, regaining, repossession, getting back, reclamation, recouping, redemption, recuperation

Something else that showed up, in my Googling of “recovery”:

SAMHSA announces a working definition of “recovery” from mental disorders and substance use disorders.

Here’s a quote from that 2011 on-line article, from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

A new working definition of recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders is being announced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The definition is the product of a year-long effort by SAMHSA and a wide range of partners in the behavioral health care community and other fields to develop a working definition of recovery that captures the essential, common experiences of those recovering from mental disorders and substance use disorders, along with major guiding principles that support the recovery definition.

The new working definition of Recovery from Mental Disorders and Substance Use Disorders is as follows:

A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

So where was I, before googling “recovery”?

Oh, yes, the conversation I had at work last week. During that same conversation, we also talked about the Ascending Coil. The Ascending Coil — which I first mentioned on Day 6 here —  is an often useful way to look at the ways we humans learn and grow. That is, we tend to go over similar territory and lessons, like this:

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rather than learning in a linear,  building-perfectly-on-what-we-already-know way, like this (which some of us might expect from ourselves):

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If those two images, above, look familiar, that might be because (1) the first one is a Slinky, which some of you are familiar with, and  (2) I’ve already shown these same images in another post, here.

So this is what I wanted to say, today:

When I was having this conversation, last week,  about the process of recovery and the Ascending Coil, I saw something differently.

I saw the word recovering* like this:

“Re-covering.”

Re-covering similar ground,  as we grow.

Re-covering similar problems, sometimes with a sense of despair: “Will this ever end? Will I ever learn? Will things ever work out for me?”

Re-covering similar lessons, learning something new each time (even if it feels like we’re not learning well — or quickly — enough).

Sometimes, as we re-cover that ground, it might seem like it’s the “same old same old”….  like there’s “nothing new under the sun”**.

This is what I saw under the sun, yesterday, in a place I’ve been many, many times before:

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(sigh)

It’s all about recovering, isn’t it?

Thanks to SAMSHA, slinkies, sunsets, and to you, too, for reading today.

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* I could have seen the word “recovery” like this: “re-covery”, but since “covery” is not a word, that would have been the end of that.

** I’ve been thinking a lot about “clichés” this year. For more about that, see here.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 158: The Ascending Coil (revisited)

The first week I blogged here, back in January, I shared the introduction of a book I’m working on, which described a wonderful, useful way to look at your healing journey through life.

The Ascending Coil

I can use the word “wonderful” with all due modesty, because it’s not my idea.  Carl Jung came up with this soulful and true metaphor, which matches so many people’s experience of learning and growth.

This is what Jung said: While we may expect ourselves to learn and proceed through life in a linear fashion, like this:

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The human experience is more like this:

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(And  yes, that is  a picture of a Slinky!!) (Which I’m thrilled to have found this morning on-line, especially since several people I work with have bought Slinkies,  to remind themselves of this concept.)

Look at that beautiful Slinky.  THAT is how we grow. We move around in circles, learning similar lessons over and over again.

Of couse, that kind of path can feel discouraging at times … like we’re moving backwards. Like we’re relearning things we should  know already.

But here’s the good news. We’re always moving up.  Each time we go around, we have new wisdom and experience. Even when we move back around into periods of pain, confusion, or hopelessness, we will turn another corner and continue to move forward.

We can’t fall back. We can’t unlearn.  It’s impossible.

It make take us several go-rounds to learn something “well enough” to change, but we’re always building, in some way, on what we’ve experienced.

Why did I want to revisit this ascending coil, this morning?

Because when I woke up this morning, facing some difficult challenges — some new opportunities that scare me, I had this thought, which helped tremendously:

Today, I am more equipped than I’ve ever been in my life, to tackle what’s ahead of me.  Because, no matter what I’m doing, I’m further along, on this mortal coil.

Thanks for reading, wherever you are, today.

 

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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