One advantage of having an online blog is that you can come back and correct various errors made in public, or at least insert parts to your presentations that you’d forgotten. After my last workshop in Los Angeles, I went back over my notes looking for the usual missing 50% – 70% that I’d accidentally omitted or just couldn’t find an appropriate moment to include. So, for the record, here’s some material that was designated for that event but never made it into the conversation, along with a few brief highlights of parts that did, all related but somewhat randomly placed here for intuitional evocation…
Fingerspitzengefühl (German): Literally, the fingertip feeling. The ability to spontaneously think clearly about numerous phenomena and to understand how they relate on multiple levels.
The Zen Buddhist monk and scholar D. T. Suzuki gives some sense of contextual reconstruction when he writes of the experience of satori: “Satori may be defined as an intuitive looking into the nature of things in contradistinction to the analytical or logical understanding of it. Practically, it means the unfolding of a new world hitherto unperceived in the confusion of a dualistically-trained mind. Or we may say that with satori our entire surroundings are viewed from quite an unexpected angle of perception.”
Pihentagyú (Hungarian): Literally, with a relaxed brain; quick-witted people who come up with sophisticated jokes or solutions, too tiring or complex for most other people.
Lynda Barry describes her creative process as “creative concentration.” She says that when adults find themselves in a state of creative concentration they are experiencing the same things children do when they are playing. Barry says that three things characterize this kind of play: an interaction with something that feels alive, no planning, and a sense of anxiety. Her example of interacting with something that feels alive is a child that carries around a security blanket or stuffed bunny. The child knows that the object is not alive but will also claim that it is not dead either; the object is somewhere in between. She believes that at the center of any true artwork there is something alive, and emphasizes that an adult cannot find this creative life through planning what they’re going to make, write, or dance, or by watching other professionals. Instead, we must use our bodies during creative concentration just as children do when they are playing.
Desenrascanço (Portuguese): To artfully disentangle oneself from a troublesome situation.
Desbundar (Portuguese): To shed one’s inhibitions in having fun.
Honesty generates and promotes authenticity. Honesty is a clear and timely transmission of your own actions, perceptions, thoughts and emotions. If you want people to know who you really are and engage you in real ways, the pathway to that is honesty in self-expression.
Honesty fosters courage. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is doing what you know you want or need to do, despite your fear. Courage starts with self-awareness and admitting to your own feelings, motivations, and actions. Keeping a clean slate is a daily practice of courageousness, especially when you fear the anticipated consequences.
Honesty also builds trust by bringing people closer in dependable connection. It forms a context for relationships in which you are seen as representing “what is so” and can be relied on. Such trustworthiness invites and empowers others to offer parts of themselves they otherwise could not, deepening intimacy and connection over time, as well as expanding spectrum of engagement.
Majime (Japanese): Someone who is reliable, responsible and able to get things done without causing problems for others.
Dadirri (Australian aboriginal): A deep, spiritual act of reflective and respectful listening.
A huge part of the search for happiness game is about recognizing and adapting to the fact that most happiness, truly freeing and fulfilling satisfaction, comes only through producing happiness or resolution for others. The first steps in this direction involve identifying what or who you care enough about to want to make joyful, whole and free. That is, what or who you already have an enthusiastic willingness to sacrifice for.
Sehnsucht (German): “Life-longings”, an intense desire for alternative states and realizations of life, even if they are unattainable.
“It is tragic how few people ever ‘possess their souls’ before they die. ‘Nothing is more rare in any man,’ says Emerson, ‘than an act of his own.’ It is quite true. Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” ~ Oscar Wilde, De Profundis