Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington (Photo Credit: Steven Pisano, used under Creative Commons license)

Desire

Humility

Knowledge

Perspective

Integrity

Truth

Diversity is not something to be tolerated, it’s something to be celebrated

– Kamasi Washington, 2019 live at The Powerstation, Auckland NZ

We are Infinitely Small

Night over Doha, Qatar 2018 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

Discover the world.

Take chances, take risks.

Follow your instinct, trust yourself.

Create the environment for you to flourish.

Invite others to collaborate with you.

Laugh more and spend more time with friends.

Make time just for yourself.

All things you can find on a Hallmark greeting card, but maybe it’s all true. Try it and find out for yourself, and see if you’re life becomes more rewarding.

Getting across

Lakes district, South Island of New Zealand 2016 (Photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

The hardest part of any undertaking is getting it across the line.

Whether it’s a product, a concept, a script, or a business. Getting it across the line into the right person or environment can prove the most challenging. But why? It’s all about execution.

It’s tough sometimes to gather data, then analyse it, quantify it, qualify it, scrub it, wash it, prep it, and get it just ready for the really hard part: selling it.

We’re all selling something whether we’re aware of it or not. Our resumes sell ourselves, as do our profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter. It’s not a question of if we’re doing it, but how we’re doing it.

Consider what the customer expectations are. Consider what you have to offer. Combine the two and see if it’s a match. Getting it across the line then will be much more holistic, organic, or simply meant to be.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

– Walt Disney

Project of Self Discovery

Self portrait of the author, 2011

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

– Aristotle

Phase One: Initiation

The need to reassess life goals became a priority. Identifying key skills, experience, education, and inherent passion were all contributing factors in determining the direction of the project. The appointment of the Project Manager was made (myself), key stakeholders consisted of close friends and family, and project schedule was defined.

Phase Two: Planning

Building from the initial concept and goals, the deliverables were set. We had to identify any and all potential risk upfront – we couldn’t afford to have any surprises. Budgets were drawn up, planning was signed off, and we were ready to execute. What would follow would prove to be the hardest weeks of my life.

Phase Three: Execution

Rejection, failure, observation, self reflection, and repeat. The movements were always agile, and there was room for iterative changes to the scope. Daily tasks became repetitive at times, but communication was always consistent. Staying clear of the project mission involves collaboration, bounding ideas, and anticipating sudden changes in cost, scope, or schedule. Sometimes the project seemed to have no end in sight, while other times we achieved great success. The acceptance criteria demands personal growth in all areas.

Phase Four: Closure

While this project is still in flight and not yet closed, I can’t yet comment on this phase of the project. I learn lessons every day, I can tell you what has worked and what has not. Final analysis will show that we achieved what we set out to on this project, and the cost was worth it. Future milestones in life will depend of the successful delivery of this project, and one day I may look back with fondness and pride at what was accomplished.

Mother Earth

Avondale, Auckland 2011 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

The indegenous people of the Andes praised the goddess, Pachamama, or Earth Mother. In Peru, there is an entire section of the National Museum dedicated to the potato. The potato is Peru’s heritage and one of our country’s greatest contributions to the world.

The true nature of life is represented in the life cycle of the potato. The soil is prepared, nurtured and condition for birth. Once the seeds are laid, the roots take shape and then we see the green leaves start to grow above the ground. With good nutritious soil, hydration from the water, and some natural sunlight, the potatoes will grow perfectly in the soil itself.

There is a sense of connection to the literal roots of the earth, and the Inca felt it. They were much more intuitive and the breadth of their knowledge was not reliant on much more than their senses.

I recommend if you’re feeling disconnected or lost, look to the soil for answers. Put away your cellphone, visit your nearest grocer or garden shop, get yourself some seed potatoes, find a medium patch in your garden (or planter) and feel the dirt between your hands.

If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Higher Self

Photo from Susan Jeffer’s book, “feel the fear and do it anyway” (photo taken by Christian Espinoza)

This is my guide.

When I connect all the squares, I feel truly happy. I feel whole.

When I tip the balance one way, I loose myself and it’s hard to reconnect.

Try it for yourself, and be real.

It’s not easy to reach, but it’s worth all the stress and anguish in the end.

Reflecting

Arrowtown, New Zealand 2015 (Photo Credit: Christian Espinoza)

Seeking solitude, finding peace in a restful place. Letting go, or longing for a distant memory.

We are all looking for something out there, but often we forget that there’s nothing to find out there at all.

The remnants of the past come back as glimpses in the present. They hurt at times, but they also make us see ourselves better.

We live the stories we tell for ourselves, we see our reflection in others. We close our eyes when we don’t want to see what is in front of us.

Accepting yourself for better or worse is better than believing what is not real.

Start today, speak your truth.