Toltecking a crying colleague

Many people smile when they open this book, the Toltec Agreements. One does not understand why it’s such a hit, constantly and in many countries. “Always do your best, hahaha I don’t need a book to know this, right?”.

Well, they are printed and pinned on the wall in my apartement. Little by little they probably impregnate the guy…

A few months ago I toltecked a colleague, a young woman bawling her eyes out walking out a meeting with a rude manager. She needed to talk, obviously. What I told her followed the book by the book… but unthinkingly.

Of course there are many ways to deal with managers who manage nothing and then yell once in a while. You can fight back (man to man or with union), you can protect-mute, you can don’t-give-a-shit or quit, choose your way). My way is to deal with these like with the weather (I wrote about it here : Marcus Aurelius VS bad management).

 

  1. It’s useless to comment, you can’t fix anybody. Let go and inner erase what bothers you. Focus on good people.
  2. People deal with their strange patterns, their dispositions (from culture, childhood, etc). It’s interesting.
  3. Trying to guess what’s happening and “why is this” is losing time. Sometimes it rains.
  4. Focus on what’s important in your job, and do it well for colleagues or clients.

 

Have a nice day!

 

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The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

 

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Inventing Ecstasy? Inventer l’extase…

ONE

As a teenager, I was, for some months, fascinated by the idea of the “Perfect Moment”.

I dug in my father’s shelves to find books, elements to think on.

It was from the Oriental “nirvana” and “satori” to the special moment in summer when all is quiet and you have the feeling that “all is in place”.

We all know this feeling, the “Perfect Moment”. After or during good linked sex, in a concert with choir, fireworks, or religion of course.

TWO

When you hear about that, there’s a danger : you wait for it, or more, you crave. You’re impatient. Rapture, you want do deserve it, to know what it is.

Problem is : the more you want the Perfect Moment, the less you have a chance to live it.

I heard about one recently invented Church, where you’d better be visited by God’s angel (or messenger whatever) to become a real part of the community. So your choices are few : you fake to be visited (that’s another article : Because there’s no god in the sky? Because god has other cats to whip? Because you’re not ready?), or you begin to think that all this stuff is a theater, or you run away over the hill to have a glass of French wine.

I can perfectly imagine a girl who hears about crying after an incredible orgasm, from a friend, and then feels nothing like that ever (because she waits for it too much?).

I watched one day a TV program about a grown up man who was in love with a painting (in a Russian museum, I think). Of course the TV team travelled and brought the obsessed guy, blindfolded, in front of the painting. The camera straight on him, watching out for… his emotions. Of course he cried, kneeled, blah blah blah.

Maybe it was real? It was not.

THREE

You can’t invent ecstasy and rapture. Perfect Moments exist and happen, and they catch you by surprise always. It’ll end in tears, most of the times. It’s marvelous!

FOUR

A wrong way up is to look for it, and another one is to fake it. One day, it’ll happen, though. It can be so quiet and peaceful, or you can feel like you’re in front of the Sun.

This feeling, when you feel it’s going away…

Thanks for reading!

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What is Happiness really? – The Flow & Autotelic persons – #Csikszentmihalyi

This little article is just made of things I found on the web. It’s made for people who never heard about the “Flow”. I added a little complement with Autotelism…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

 

Mister Csikszentmihalyi is an Hungarian psychologist. He was interested in happiness, and found out a very curious thing : one is happy when one is… busy.

The components of this happiness are :

  1. challenge-skill balance
  2. merging of action and awareness
  3. clarity of goals
  4. immediate and unambiguous feedback
  5. concentration on the task at hand
  6. paradox of control
  7. transformation of time
  8. loss of self-consciousness
  9. autotelic experience

 

For this last word, I copy paste wiki :

The autotelic personality is one in which a person performs acts because they are intrinsically rewarding, rather than to achieve external goals. Csikszentmihalyi describes the autotelic personality as a trait possessed by individuals who can learn to enjoy situations that most other people would find miserable. Research has shown that aspects associated with the autotelic personality include curiosity, persistence, and humility.

 

People who have experienced flow, describe the following feelings:

  1. Completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated.
  2. A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.
  3. Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.
  4. Knowing that the activity is doable – that our skills are adequate to the task.
  5. A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego.
  6. Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present, hours seem to pass by the minute.
  7. Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes it own reward.

 

You can find this when you flirt, when you blog, when you videogame, when you… work. Sometimes you have to think back about it when you ask yourself about happiness. It’s a way to show that it can be reached with(in) yourself…

 

Have a nice day!

 

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Proust & les Hirondelles : Chronicle 4

Absolutely no cunning could prevent a man
from being smashed against his dreams

 

I’m French, I’m sorry : my english is clumsy these days…

Have you ever visited the school you were in as a very little child, now you’re an adult? Among all the memories and the heartbeats you feel, you also find that… everything around is very little, right? You’re taller, now… you’re different. Perspective.

Today is the “braderie” in the city of La Madeleine. We love braderies in the North of France. It’s like your US garage sales, all along some streets : today was about 1.200 exhibitors (or displayers, how to say that?). I took a cool picture of motorbikes toys, you like it?

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I’ve been asked one day about my “goals in life“. I have been very disturbed by this question, which is so… all about efficiency. I couldn’t think of a goal, even one. I feel like Cioran, in shock and in anger, after being asked about what he was “preparing”. If a French says he has “goals” in life, he sounds ridiculously Action Man, that’s it. The idea itself is a nightmare – at least when you’re more than 22 years old. I don’t want to be efficient, I just try to live, right? Dreams, maybe… Dreams, OK.

Absolutely no cunning could… etc…

I’m too lazy to find it, but the stupidest quote ever is something like “Give yourself a very high goal, then maybe you’ll reach a lower but good stage”. Of course there’s a more accurate one, saying that while you try to do that, you fail choosing the right path to achievement, you stay blind to feedbacks, etc. Typical Wrong Way Up. Well yes, these are words only, I know.

I have no goal, not one. It could be “to be happy” or “to be creative” or “to be a better human” or “to help others”, but I already failed in all these fields, obviously! And who will feed my cat, while I John Wayne?

If you want some fun, though, Google Image “Goals Quotes”. Plenty of orders in capitals. Like : <<DON’T LET ANYTHING STOP YOU FROM REACHING YOUR GOAL>>. Ohlalalaa, my French eyes are hurt! I need a beer, I think.

So I found a goal : stay zen in front of bullsh*t 🙂

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It’s when the weather change (warmer air, higher sun, sudden showers) than you can have a rush of childhood memories. Or teenhood, say. Suddenly it’s HERE, you feel the same feeling you had in your mother’s arms, or at school when you were loving some shy redhead in silence, or when you were gathering interesting rocks under open sky. The idea of memories in Madeleines de Proust come from the food, but also from a smell (freshly cut grass, chocolate cake baking, little pot of white glue in kindergarten) or a sound (of swallows flying hunting between streets, or the familiar engine’s roar of you’re father’s car), but also from the light in the air, the clouds, a coming thunderstorm…

Marguerite Duras says somewhere that she can NOT write if the bed is not made. Strange thing is : I never forgot that, because… that’s true.

I bought a Raymond Carver book, “The American Chekhov”, as they say. I know Carver’s work pretty well, but I never read him in English. Good exercise. I can’t resist to a blurb on a book saying “The (Italian, Canadian, whatever country you choose) Chekhov”…

They have something in common, that’s right : they watch meticulously our little renunciations, our microscopic failures, our rushes never said, our words, spoken and immediately regretted, our love silliness, our boredom. But it’s not “laments”. It’s more like : “This is it, brother human, and it not even THAT dramatic”.

I found a rose, there. Is a rose, is a rose, Mrs Stein. Look where she is (“une rose”) :

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In the shades of break-up moods, you have the yellow poison of jealousy, the dark corners of loneliness, the twinge of uncertainty and many more. The invisible bitterness of “having being loved and then not” is sometimes like swimming against the cold current of a long deep river.

In the shades of illness… Oh, another time, OK?

You can read books (or see a therapist, it depends on how you’re made), self help or philosophy : you’ll read everywhere that you have to find your happiness inside you, right? Again? I “have to”? The capitalized ORDER quote is <<BE HAPPY AND SMILE>>. Yes, each time, you want to punch the author in the face! Bim! Paf! Pouf!

Give birth to a dancing star from the chaos you have within

Strange star, but that could be my Nietzsche goal, maybe… Well, see?

Thanks for reading! Merci!

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Fecundity of Limits

If you’re a creative person, you encountered the “Fecundity of Limits” concept, obviously. Fruition. I’d distinguish :

  1. the limits you choose yourself
  2. the limits given to you by someone in charge
  3. the limits you encounter while you’re building your stuff.

Choosing your own limits is such… a pleasure. It’s about preparing your work. Paint something with 3 colors only. Write a book in a month. Travel, but no more than 5 miles a day.

Limits coming as instructions can be a relief. Many actors talk about the freedom you have while you have to obey strict orders. It’s about unfolding inside a frame : perfect for certain personalities.

The limits you encounter are parts of the building process. Your technical shortfalls is a good example. You then move forward “within” your capacities – trying maybe to push them back. The budget can be a limit. You’ll discover the others while you work : It’s a stream, a current!

Tool : Choose, change them, ask someone for limits (as seeds), think about them while your create, and then… forget your feedback : you’re in the flow, a good one!

Thanks for reading! Work well! Travaillez bien !

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The Castaway Syndrome

At some moments in your life, you really have the feeling that you’re “helped”. By whom, well, you will never know, silly!

If you want to spend time to figure it out, you’ll find books about that : God, your Angel, Quantum Mechanics or The Universe (please add Capitals everywhere, this is important).

For me, it’s useless to try to guess, because you will never know. Use all of it, though! Coincidences and signs, good intuitions, instinct, speed, meeting the right persons at the perfect time, this is all magic and a source of joy and amazement. Dance with them, c’est la vie !

But.

Irony of life is very powerful too. You meet the right person, but at the wrong moment. You encounter failure and betrayal, craziness, slowing downs or closed doors. Everything seems to brake. You make bad choices, you’re wrong. You probably expected too much, or in the wrong way, and life begins to slap your face and hit your skull, ouchy! Coincidences are stupidly useless, signs become dirty fuchsia feathers in a gutter.

Okeyyy so what? Your exhibition is a mess, your published book has no success at all, your future wife chose another guy, your startup starts to go down, c’est la merde, oui ?

“Time to move forward” and “Keep smiling” and “You build your own Happiness” don’t work for the moment. Try, and you’ll feel (and look) ridiculous. Insisting is wrong. Curiously, everybody “needs space” around you. And in space, nobody can hear you scream!

It’s time to wait, to park, to rest, to think. Shipwrecked, sailor! Castaway!

Find a corner. Narrow your goals. Regroup. Think without overthink. Put some puzzle pieces. Find your peace. Or scream, OK, but inside your belly. Real screams annoys everyone…

OK, in your car, on the highway : SCREAM!

Then, also, do something unusual.

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : katrinalbertnyc

Proposition

A proposition is disturbing, a proposition comes to you, towards you : it’s an impetus, it gives you something to feel, a proposition is the contrary of a steady lukewarm attitude, a proposition is showing a potential of actions : if you accept it, it will build, with you, another state of your life, a proposition can be interesting, a proposition can move your brain, your spirit, or put you on alert, a proposition is an invitation, a proposition shows you a new way to organize the world, a proposition shows you a contrast between what you have and what you could have, a proposition is an upsurge : the world is talking to you, you can be modified by it, a proposition can make you move, a proposition can destabilize you, a proposition can trigger a rearrangement, a proposition can result to a big satisfaction, to a richer moment, a fulfillment which could join up with your personal library of experiences and make you available for more exploring paths.

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