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A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted

--by John O'Donohue (Jul 26, 2011)


When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

--John O'Donohue, from "Blessings"


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31 Previous Reflections:

 
On May 2, 2016 Susanne wrote:

 
What a beautiful message for a Monday morning!



On May 1, 2016 carl riedy wrote:

I read this poem and may well share it with a dear friend who lost his wife Friday after a long battle with lung cancer. I wonder if this is the way he now feels ... alone, scared, exhausted, lost.
If you have never listened to O'Donohue's interview with Krista Tippett, check out the archives of On Being.  It is well worth the time.
Blessings this day



On May 1, 2016 Clare O'Mahony wrote:

"We are such stuff as dreams are made of" 



On Mar 24, 2016 Heather Byron wrote:

 



On Aug 30, 2015 Rich wrote:

 



On May 25, 2015 Carol Mitchell wrote:

 I am having an assessment soon for Chronic Fatigue. I feel all I need to do is hand the consultant this . It resonates with where I'm at right now. A friend read it to me and the tears started to role spontaneously down my cheeks. Thank you for putting into words my sense of reality for me right now in this moment



On Mar 27, 2015 Anita wrote:

 Thank-you so much for sharing of yourself.  This soothed my soul!  I was listening to Robert Holden on Hay House radio,, and he shared your poem. It comforted me so quickly, I had to google it, to carry it with me for a while.  Amazed that I experience a need to have permission, your words did more than that.  May you be blessed in return!



On Feb 5, 2015 Alisha wrote:

 This speaks acceptance to me. And it saved my life today.



On Sep 23, 2011 Ricky wrote:

And once again to Matt.

I understand deeply that we move about our lives, especially when we identify ourselves as being a person, we hope that we are seen by others, that we are heard by others, and that what we say matters.

You are seen today, you are heard, and what you have said matters, Matt.  You have instantly become my teacher for this day.  You have taught me so much, I am grateful.  You have reminded me again that in my life as I attempt to ease suffering in others, the only change I can make is personal.  This will help me greatly as I move through the day, greeting and sharing my day with the 125 students I work with, each hoping I remember their name.  Thank you again, Matt.



On Sep 23, 2011 Matt Tittle wrote:

 It's Matt, not Mark... small point, but one which strikes at the heart of this issue... 

Yes, both/and is good, but this poem doesn't offer a both/and... it just says stay clear... and hang out with people at ease... It doesn't say take a break, it says some people are better company than others...and the others are too hard... hang out with easy people. Hey, I get exhausted as much as the next person, probabaly more. But I don't seek out easier people as a result... 

That it is a sad commentary to me is legitimate. Poetry is meant to be interpreted. My interpretation is legitimate, as is yours...

Again, Matt... not Mark... we vexed people often feel unsee, unheard, and without our own identity... 



On Sep 23, 2011 Ricky wrote:

To Mark Tittle:

Oh my goodness, I believe the author's meaning in reference to vexed in spirit meant to give the soul who is exhausted permission to let go of the guilt that comes from trying to care for oneself in the midst of much pain and suffering...to give oneself permission for self care mindfully and by offering grace to oneself in the exhausting time.

Many of us who become exhausted are riddled by so much self judgment when we can't offer more to loved ones who are dealing with their own situation that we are not available to give our best, even though we have good intentions.  Sometimes we need time and permission to rest and renew, regain our own sense of giving.  Remember, Jesus took time in the wilderness as well.

Please with patient with us, those of us who need self care.  We are here for you, always.



On Sep 23, 2011 Matt Tittle wrote:

 Stay clear of those vexed in spirit? Really? For those of us vexed and spirit and rarely at ease, this is profoundly sad. I don't want my friends and family to stay clear of me. Even the most vexed in spirit can be sources of care and comfort. Jesus made a point to hang out with us... 



On Aug 18, 2011 sekaran wrote:

learning a new respecting for heart, joy will come slowly but sorrow never come

respecting others is most important in life; while doing so one has having light weight in his mind

excellent and each and every word telling new thing



On Aug 3, 2011 gayathri wrote:

 pancho...loved the perspective and new deeper meaning to MIL - Mother-in-love and FIL-Father-in-love....that is sooo beautiful...



On Aug 3, 2011 Pancho wrote:

My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but I'd like you to know that I love you all. Last Wednesday at the Kindness Temple we have a strong doses of the Feminine Divine. Hermana Pavi hosted the sharing circle with such grace and fluidity as her poems and writings. Then sister Mia opened the circle to anchor us on the soul-force. All the sharing was coming from the soul. A feast hearts' authenticity. Hermana Gurita spoke about the natural philosophy of time and then hermana Pavi, again, had prepared a balm for the spirit when she closed with her embodiment of generosity by referring to the hosts as: my "Mother-in-Love" and "Father-in-Love". Baeutiful. :-)   These were the three points I shared:   1. The Most Important People 2. SOULlar Charger 3. Schedule   1. The Most Important People After a long day at the Free Farm, a group of teens from the local high school showed up as we were about to clo  See full.

My family calls me Pancho and many of you don't know me, but I'd like you to know that I love you all.

Last Wednesday at the Kindness Temple we have a strong doses of the Feminine Divine. Hermana Pavi hosted the sharing circle with such grace and fluidity as her poems and writings. Then sister Mia opened the circle to anchor us on the soul-force. All the sharing was coming from the soul. A feast hearts' authenticity. Hermana Gurita spoke about the natural philosophy of time and then hermana Pavi, again, had prepared a balm for the spirit when she closed with her embodiment of generosity by referring to the hosts as: my "Mother-in-Love" and "Father-in-Love". Baeutiful. :-)
 
These were the three points I shared:
 
1. The Most Important People
2. SOULlar Charger
3. Schedule
 
1. The Most Important People
After a long day at the Free Farm, a group of teens from the local high school showed up as we were about to close the farm. 25 young people excited to know about practicing permaculture in the city. I had an appointment and my tired body made me hesitate for split of a second, but I recovered. As long as the heart is pumping blood, there's no pretext to not be of service. I surrendered to the now, perhaps, welcoming the blessing for one who is exhausted.
 
And what a blessing! :-)
 
The kids without personally knowing me, tag me with a beautiful sign with expressions of gratitude, love and inspiration. The best present I got, by far, as later I told them, was their attentive presence.
 
At the farm, we have two circles of sharing, ala Wednesdays. 
 
The first one at the beginning to introduce ourselves and to share a person, alive or dead, who inspires us and/or we admire. We invoked Gandhi, Malcolm X, Mother Theresa, moms, sisters, brothers, aunts, fathers but the last kid of the circle was about to blow our minds and hearts. With a big smile, he looked at the classmate who was sitting by his side and he said: "I admire and feel very inspired by Brandon. I'm new to this school, I didn't know anybody but he made me feel welcomed. He is a very kind person and I'd like to be like him."
 
The second circle of sharing, at the end and after walking in the meditation labyrinth, was to  answer the greeting question: "Look at that Earth Flag during your visit here, and at the end please share with us what does it mean to you? What do you feel and think when you see it flying up and high?"
 
Hard to put into words the feeling and vibrations that came out from that circle. Unity, diversity, tolerance, no borders, citizenship of the World, home is in our hearts, equality, justice, sharing with no string attached, healthy food, healthy entertainment, perspectivism, family... all deep reflections from 14 year olds.
 
One of the big joys of the day, another blessing for one who was exhausted ;-), was to witness the faces of two teens who were eating their first strawberry in their whole life. That is, the first fresh, local organic strawberry in 14 years. What an honor to be able to introduce these city kids to healthy and delicious food.
 
These are the true heroes who reminded me that the most important people on the Planet, are the people you are interacting with now, in the present moment.
 
2. SOULlar Charger
I love to come to Wednesdays to let you all know how important you all are for me. The only holistic way to do it, is by showing up.
 
Now the most important people are you all.
 
Connecting with people in silence, creates a heart coherence, which in turn amplifies a "magnetic feel" and a love that is palpable in the air. Given that we all speak the language of the heart, what comes out from our mouth in the circle, most of the time is in resonance with this love force. It is like a collective field energy that flows through the person who holds the mic at any given moment, even if it is only to share our name. It is that hour, that hour being in receptive silence, plus the collective attentive listening when we hold the mic, plus the nourishing food cooked by mamá Harshida, plus the ripples of random acts of kindness, plus the comments in ijourney -- like sister's Brandi-- plus all that goes beyond the world of metrics that make the grand total of the SOULlar charger. One who was exhausted after 18 hours of service, is now recharged at the spiritual and physical level for another week :-)
 
3. Schedule
That's why I don't put Wednesdays in my schedule, I schedule my activities around Wednesdays ;-)
 
May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.
 
Pancho

 

 

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On Aug 3, 2011 richard pitcher wrote:

 God...i hope so.



On Aug 1, 2011 Nicab wrote:

Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops By Thomas Goetz  June 19, 2011  |  9:45 am  |  Wired July 2011 The premise of a feedback loop is simple: Provide people with information about their actions in real time, then give them a chance to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors. Photo: Kevin Van Aelst In 2003, officials in Garden Grove, California, a community of 170,000 people wedged amid the suburban sprawl of Orange County, set out to confront a problem that afflicts most every town in America: drivers speeding through school zones. Local authorities had tried many tactics to get people to slow down. They replaced old speed limit signs with bright new ones to remind drivers of the 25-mile-an-hour limit during school hours. Police began ticketing speeding motorists during drop-off and pickup times. But these efforts had only limited success, and speeding cars continued to hit bicyclists and pedestrians in the school zones with depressi  See full.

Harnessing the Power of Feedback Loops
By Thomas Goetz  June 19, 2011  |  9:45 am  |  Wired July 2011
The premise of a feedback loop is simple: Provide people with information about their actions in real time, then give them a chance to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors.
Photo: Kevin Van Aelst
In 2003, officials in Garden Grove, California, a community of 170,000 people wedged amid the suburban sprawl of Orange County, set out to confront a problem that afflicts most every town in America: drivers speeding through school zones.

Local authorities had tried many tactics to get people to slow down. They replaced old speed limit signs with bright new ones to remind drivers of the 25-mile-an-hour limit during school hours. Police began ticketing speeding motorists during drop-off and pickup times. But these efforts had only limited success, and speeding cars continued to hit bicyclists and pedestrians in the school zones with depressing regularity.

The Feedback Loop
by Thomas Goetz (52.5 MB .mp3)
Subscribe: Wired Features PodcastSo city engineers decided to take another approach. In five Garden Grove school zones, they put up what are known as dynamic speed displays, or driver feedback signs: a speed limit posting coupled with a radar sensor attached to a huge digital readout announcing “Your Speed.”

The signs were curious in a few ways. For one thing, they didn’t tell drivers anything they didn’t already know—there is, after all, a speedometer in every car. If a motorist wanted to know their speed, a glance at the dashboard would do it. For another thing, the signs used radar, which decades earlier had appeared on American roads as a talisman technology, reserved for police officers only. Now Garden Grove had scattered radar sensors along the side of the road like traffic cones. And the Your Speed signs came with no punitive follow-up—no police officer standing by ready to write a ticket. This defied decades of law-enforcement dogma, which held that most people obey speed limits only if they face some clear negative consequence for exceeding them.

In other words, officials in Garden Grove were betting that giving speeders redundant information with no consequence would somehow compel them to do something few of us are inclined to do: slow down.

The results fascinated and delighted the city officials. In the vicinity of the schools where the dynamic displays were installed, drivers slowed an average of 14 percent. Not only that, at three schools the average speed dipped below the posted speed limit. Since this experiment, Garden Grove has installed 10 more driver feedback signs. “Frankly, it’s hard to get people to slow down,” says Dan Candelaria, Garden Grove’s traffic engineer. “But these encourage people to do the right thing.”

In the years since the Garden Grove project began, radar technology has dropped steadily in price and Your Speed signs have proliferated on American roadways. Yet despite their ubiquity, the signs haven’t faded into the landscape like so many other motorist warnings. Instead, they’ve proven to be consistently effective at getting drivers to slow down—reducing speeds, on average, by about 10 percent, an effect that lasts for several miles down the road. Indeed, traffic engineers and safety experts consider them to be more effective at changing driving habits than a cop with a radar gun. Despite their redundancy, despite their lack of repercussions, the signs have accomplished what seemed impossible: They get us to let up on the gas.

The signs leverage what’s called a feedback loop, a profoundly effective tool for changing behavior. The basic premise is simple. Provide people with information about their actions in real time (or something close to it), then give them an opportunity to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors. Action, information, reaction. It’s the operating principle behind a home thermostat, which fires the furnace to maintain a specific temperature, or the consumption display in a Toyota Prius, which tends to turn drivers into so-called hypermilers trying to wring every last mile from the gas tank. But the simplicity of feedback loops is deceptive. They are in fact powerful tools that can help people change bad behavior patterns, even those that seem intractable. Just as important, they can be used to encourage good habits, turning progress itself into a reward. In other words, feedback loops change human behavior. And thanks to an explosion of new technology, the opportunity to put them into action in nearly every part of our lives is quickly becoming a reality.

A feedback loop involves four distinct stages. First comes the data: A behavior must be measured, captured, and stored. This is the evidence stage. Second, the information must be relayed to the individual, not in the raw-data form in which it was captured but in a context that makes it emotionally resonant. This is the relevance stage. But even compelling information is useless if we don’t know what to make of it, so we need a third stage: consequence. The information must illuminate one or more paths ahead. And finally, the fourth stage: action. There must be a clear moment when the individual can recalibrate a behavior, make a choice, and act. Then that action is measured, and the feedback loop can run once more, every action stimulating new behaviors that inch us closer to our goals.

This basic framework has been shaped and refined by thinkers and researchers for ages. In the 18th century, engineers developed regulators and governors to modulate steam engines and other mechanical systems, an early application of feedback loops that later became codified into control theory, the engineering discipline behind everything from aerospace to robotics. The mathematician Norbert Wiener expanded on this work in the 1940s, devising the field of cybernetics, which analyzed how feedback loops operate in machinery and electronics and explored how those principles might be broadened to human systems.


Over the past 40 years, feedback loops have been thoroughly researched and validated in psychology, epidemiology, military strategy, environmental studies, engineering, and economics.
Illustration: Ulla Puggaard
The potential of the feedback loop to affect behavior was explored in the 1960s, most notably in the work of Albert Bandura, a Stanford University psychologist and pioneer in the study of behavior change and motivation. Drawing on several education experiments involving children, Bandura observed that giving individuals a clear goal and a means to evaluate their progress toward that goal greatly increased the likelihood that they would achieve it. He later expanded this notion into the concept of self-efficacy, which holds that the more we believe we can meet a goal, the more likely we will do so. In the 40 years since Bandura’s early work, feedback loops have been thoroughly researched and validated in psychology, epidemiology, military strategy, environmental studies, engineering, and economics. (In typical academic fashion, each discipline tends to reinvent the methodology and rephrase the terminology, but the basic framework remains the same.) Feedback loops are a common tool in athletic training plans, executive coaching strategies, and a multitude of other self-improvement programs (though some are more true to the science than others).

Despite the volume of research and a proven capacity to affect human behavior, we don’t often use feedback loops in everyday life. Blame this on two factors: Until now, the necessary catalyst—personalized data—has been an expensive commodity. Health spas, athletic training centers, and self-improvement workshops all traffic in fastidiously culled data at premium rates. Outside of those rare realms, the cornerstone information has been just too expensive to come by. As a technologist might put it, personalized data hasn’t really scaled.

Second, collecting data on the cheap is cumbersome. Although the basic idea of self-tracking has been available to anyone willing to put in the effort, few people stick with the routine of toting around a notebook, writing down every Hostess cupcake they consume or every flight of stairs they climb. It’s just too much bother. The technologist would say that capturing that data involves too much friction. As a result, feedback loops are niche tools, for the most part, rewarding for those with the money, willpower, or geeky inclination to obsessively track their own behavior, but impractical for the rest of us.

 

Illustration: Leo Jung
That’s quickly changing because of one essential technology: sensors. Adding sensors to the feedback equation helps solve problems of friction and scale. They automate the capture of behavioral data, digitizing it so it can be readily crunched and transformed as necessary. And they allow passive measurement, eliminating the need for tedious active monitoring.

In the past two or three years, the plunging price of sensors has begun to foster a feedback-loop revolution. Just as Your Speed signs have been adopted worldwide because the cost of radar technology keeps dropping, other feedback loops are popping up everywhere because sensors keep getting cheaper and better at monitoring behavior and capturing data in all sorts of environments. These new, less expensive devices include accelerometers (which measure motion), GPS sensors (which track location), and inductance sensors (which measure electric current). Accelerometers have dropped to less than $1 each—down from as much as $20 a decade ago—which means they can now be built into tennis shoes, MP3 players, and even toothbrushes. Radio-frequency ID chips are being added to prescription pill bottles, student ID cards, and casino chips. And inductance sensors that were once deployed only in heavy industry are now cheap and tiny enough to be connected to residential breaker boxes, letting consumers track their home’s entire energy diet.

Of course, technology has been tracking what people do for years. Call-center agents have been monitored closely since the 1990s, and the nation’s tractor-trailer fleets have long been equipped with GPS and other location sensors—not just to allow drivers to follow their routes but so that companies can track their cargo and the drivers. But those are top-down, Big Brother techniques. The true power of feedback loops is not to control people but to give them control. It’s like the difference between a speed trap and a speed feedback sign—one is a game of gotcha, the other is a gentle reminder of the rules of the road. The ideal feedback loop gives us an emotional connection to a rational goal.

And today, their promise couldn’t be greater. The intransigence of human behavior has emerged as the root of most of the world’s biggest challenges. Witness the rise in obesity, the persistence of smoking, the soaring number of people who have one or more chronic diseases. Consider our problems with carbon emissions, where managing personal energy consumption could be the difference between a climate under control and one beyond help. And feedback loops aren’t just about solving problems. They could create opportunities. Feedback loops can improve how companies motivate and empower their employees, allowing workers to monitor their own productivity and set their own schedules. They could lead to lower consumption of precious resources and more productive use of what we do consume. They could allow people to set and achieve better-defined, more ambitious goals and curb destructive behaviors, replacing them with positive actions. Used in organizations or communities, they can help groups work together to take on more daunting challenges. In short, the feedback loop is an age-old strategy revitalized by state-of-the-art technology. As such, it is perhaps the most promising tool for behavioral change to have come along in decades.


How a Feedback Loop Works
 A modified traffic sign can have a profound effect on drivers’ behavior. Here’s what happens.
 
1 Evidence
 
The radar-equipped sign flashes a car’s current speed.
 First comes the data—quantifying a behavior and presenting that data back to the individual so they know where they stand. After all, you can’t change what you don’t measure. 2 Relevance
 
The sign also displays the legal speed limit—most people don’t want to be seen as bad drivers.
 Data is just digits unless it hits home. Through information design, social context, or some other proxy for meaning, the right incentive will transform rational information into an emotional imperative. 3 Consequences
 
People are reminded of the downside of speeding, including traffic tickets and the risk of accidents.
 Even compelling information is useless unless it ties into some larger goal or purpose. People must have a sense of what to do with the information and any opportunities they will have to act on it. 4 Action
 
Drivers slow an average of 10 percent—usually for several miles.
 The individual has to engage with all of the above and act—thus closing the loop and allowing that new action to be measured. In 2006, Shwetak Patel, then a graduate student in computer science at Georgia Tech, was working on a problem: How could technology help provide remote care for the elderly? The obvious approach would be to install cameras and motion detectors throughout a home, so that observers could see when somebody fell or became sick. Patel found those methods unsophisticated and impractical. “Installing cameras or motion sensors everywhere is unreasonably expensive,” he says. “It might work in theory, but it just won’t happen in practice. So I wondered what would give us the same information and be reasonably priced and easy to deploy. I found those really interesting constraints.”

The answer, Patel realized, is that every home emits something called voltage noise. Think of it as a steady hum in the electrical wires that varies depending on what systems are drawing power. If there were some way to disaggregate this noise, it might be possible to deliver much the same information as cameras and motion sensors. Lights going on and off, for instance, would mean that someone had moved from room to room. If a blender were left on, that might signal that someone had fallen—or had forgotten about the blender, perhaps indicating dementia. If we could hear electricity usage, Patel thought, we could know what was happening inside the house.

A nifty idea, but how to make it happen? The problem wasn’t measuring the voltage noise; that’s easily tracked with a few sensors. The challenge was translating the cacophony of electromagnetic interference into the symphony of signals given off by specific appliances and devices and lights. Finding that pattern amid the noise became the focus of Patel’s PhD work, and in a few years he had both his degree and his answer: a stack of algorithms that could discern a blender from a light switch from a television set and so on. All this data could be captured not by sensors in every electrical outlet throughout the house but through a single device plugged into a single outlet.

This, Patel soon realized, went way beyond elder care. His approach could inform ordinary consumers, in real time, about where the energy they paid for every month was going. “We kind of stumbled across this stuff,” Patel says. “But we realized that, combined with data on the house’s overall draw on power”—which can be measured through a second sensor easily installed at the circuit box—”we were getting really great information about resource consumption in the home. And that could be more than interesting information. It could encourage behavior change.”

By 2008, Patel had started a new job in the computer science and engineering departments at the University of Washington, and his idea had been turned into the startup Zensi. At Washington, he focused on devising similar techniques to monitor home consumption of water and gas. The solutions were even more elegant, perhaps, than the one for monitoring electricity. A transducer affixed to an outdoor spigot can detect changes in water pressure that correspond to the resident’s water usage. That data can then be disaggregated to distinguish a leaky toilet from an over-indulgent bather. And a microphone sensor on a gas meter listens to changes in the regulator to determine how much gas is consumed.

Last year, consumer electronics company Belkin acquired Zensi and made energy conservation a centerpiece of its corporate strategy, with feedback loops as the guiding principle. Belkin has begun modestly, with a device called the Conserve Insight. It’s an outlet adapter that gives consumers a close read of the power used by one select appliance: Plug it into a wall socket and then plug an appliance or gadget into it and a small display shows how much energy the device is consuming, in both watts and dollars. It’s a window onto how energy is actually used, but it’s only a proof-of-concept prototype of the more ambitious product, based on Patel’s PhD work, that Belkin will begin beta-testing in Chicago later this year with an eye toward commercial release in 2013. The company calls it Zorro.

At first glance, the Zorro is just another so-called smart meter, not that different from the boxes that many power companies have been installing in consumers’ homes, with a vague promise that the meters will educate citizens and provide better data to the utility. To the surprise of the utility companies, though, these smart meters have been greeted with hostility in some communities. A small but vocal number of customers object to being monitored, while others worry that the radiation from RFID transmitters is unhealthy (though this has been measured at infinitesimal levels).

Politics aside, in pure feedback terms smart meters fail on at least two levels. For one, the information goes to the utility first, rather than directly to the consumer. For another, most smart meters aren’t very smart; they typically measure overall household consumption, not how much power is being consumed by which specific device or appliance. In other words, they are a broken feedback loop.

Belkin’s device avoids these pitfalls by giving the data directly to consumers and delivering it promptly and continuously. “Real-time feedback is key to conservation,” says Kevin Ashton, Zensi’s former CEO who took over Belkin’s Conserve division after the acquisition. “There’s a visceral impact when you see for yourself how much your toaster is costing you.”

The Zorro is just the first of several Belkin products that Ashton believes will put feedback loops into effect throughout the home. Ashton worked on RFID chips at MIT in the late 1990s and lays claim to coining the phrase “Internet of Things,” meaning a world of interconnected, sensor-laden devices and objects. He predicts that home sensors will one day inform choices in all aspects of our lives. “We’re consuming so many things without thinking about them—energy, plastic, paper, calories. I can envision a ubiquitous sensor network, a platform for real-time feedback that will enhance the comfort, security, and control of our lives.”

As a starting point for a consumer products company, that’s not half bad.
 

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On Jul 29, 2011 Mahesh wrote:

wow! beautiful



On Jul 28, 2011 vijay rathod wrote:

the poem shows how to fight with the odds in life.a poem with the positive notes.



On Jul 27, 2011 Ricky wrote:

I would like to respond to you, Brandi.  We are to be compassionate with others who are in pain, and also with ourselves.  We can be the change we want to see (Gandhi), and frankly that is the only change we can make.  Ourselves.  We need to be healthy, though, in order to be the best we can be for others...as in the poem, 'Be excessively gentle with yourself.' 

We all care deeply about you, and honor the work you are doing in your fast paced world...please remember to be gentle with yourself.

Much love,

 



On Jul 27, 2011 Brandi wrote:

 It is Wednesday and 10:20 PM on the  East Coast. In Santa Clara you are  sitting together in silence at this very moment.

Today I work had an anxiety attack, simply because I've been trying to slow down and slow down those around me for weeks, and getting nowhere. I saw so much pain in these past few weeks that could have been avoided with honesty, calm, and authenticity. But in a fast past office and city this is a struggle to create. Like so many have said, "How did you know?"

The truth is, I know how you know :) 

I will continue to follow the little pieces of the puzzle that are bringing me closer to myself and to the Universe. It's all a bit of a Metta-morphosis, as my hermano Pancho might say. I will continue to listen and be grateful for the "unintended" support and for my family near and far.

Light and Love



On Jul 26, 2011 Juls wrote:

 yesterday my world turned upside down,  today I get this in my inbox thankyou  x 

 



On Jul 26, 2011 Pat wrote:

the comments are as touching as the poem itself - thanks to all for sharing your hearts



On Jul 26, 2011 Ricky wrote:

I have already shared this poem with dear friends who are in the depths of cancer treatment.  In analyzing John O'Donohue's work, I am impressed with his sensitivity to the human condition of living outside of ourselves, somewhat unconscious, moving in a way that is rushed and frankly deeply troubled, with very little focus on stillness and quiet healing.  While most of his writings based on his background focuses on calling on a power (God) outside of us, this work reveals a deep understanding of how much bigger our existence on this planet truly is.Many interpret the 'still time' he refers to as being overcome by debilitating disease, injury, or grief.  Why wait for something tragic to happen?  The practice of meditation, yoga inner work, and prayer are all ways to become still enough to get back to Oneself.  The reading last week on relaxation and this reading go hand in hand with a focus of slowing down and liste  See full.

I have already shared this poem with dear friends who are in the depths of cancer treatment.  In analyzing John O'Donohue's work, I am impressed with his sensitivity to the human condition of living outside of ourselves, somewhat unconscious, moving in a way that is rushed and frankly deeply troubled, with very little focus on stillness and quiet healing.  While most of his writings based on his background focuses on calling on a power (God) outside of us, this work reveals a deep understanding of how much bigger our existence on this planet truly is.

Many interpret the 'still time' he refers to as being overcome by debilitating disease, injury, or grief.  Why wait for something tragic to happen?  The practice of meditation, yoga inner work, and prayer are all ways to become still enough to get back to Oneself.  The reading last week on relaxation and this reading go hand in hand with a focus of slowing down and listening with intention, rather than waiting for 'life' to get your attention!

Honoring the healing nature of tears is something missing in our culture... when really the healing of tears and the stillness rest offers is exactly what we need physiologically-we are programmed to feel.  Honoring this is fully connecting to the infinite existence of our true Self during this time of learning.  We only find this peace when we let go...aparigraha.

Thank you so much for these readings. 

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On Jul 25, 2011 Tristan wrote:

Cried on and on like never before last night. And then see this in the morning?!? If I were to take it personally, I'd say, "How did you know?", well, rereading, I see only some of it seems to apply to me, and some to those near to me. Glad to read all your reflections on its relevance to you, and glad however much we share the boat. Lovely to see it expressed so beautifully in poem.



On Jul 24, 2011 Navin wrote:

trees,rivers,ocen,hills,valley,fullmoon light in woods,or sunrise-sunsets,birds- all have one thing in common  if you take time and  observe  beautyful nature and seasons its always nurtures our spirit uplifting way       2. desires are root cause of most of depression  3, solution to all emotional  feelings are in spritual living  ,not in materilistik  RAT RACE  4. knowlege  will release us from emotional roler coster.   5.in bhagvat geeta first chapter starts with Arjun vishad yog  great warrior arjun faced depression before war started and his elder brother dhrmraj udhisthir became depressed after the gret war of mahabharata shri krishn gave arjun spritual knowlege and removed his  depression for ever  five thousand years ago same principle  we can apply to lifes and deaths ups and downn  6. good friends or good books always help   always love navin



On Jul 24, 2011 Smita wrote:

 Wow...thank you for this!  I'm going to print this out and put it on my fridge.  :)  I felt like this passage described exactly what I've been experiencing for many months now.  It can be very scary, especially not knowing where it will lead.  But I believe this sort of "collapse" is necessary, particularly when we have ignored, abandoned, and drifted far from our soul.  I really appreciated the reminder to rest, to be gentle, to retreat, to look inside, to trust myself, and to allow body & soul to meet once again and move together as *one* unit.  I also appreciated the reminder to be present with nature, to discover the simple things, and to stay in the company of those who feel they have all the time in the world.  Yes.  I am seeing how all of these things can cradle us as if we were coming into the world again for the first time.



On Jul 23, 2011 Conrad wrote:

Returning to myself is like noticing my noticing while I am noticing. It is similar to being in the present. Interestingly, the word nowhere is composed of now and here. Being here now is being in the present.  Being here now may then be like going nowhere. When one notices one's self as being more connected to everyone and everything, that may similar to being no one, going, nowhere. This reminds me of Sharon Begley, author of "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain," when she and Jeffrey M Schwartz said:  "Through mindfulness you can stand outside your own mind as if you were watching what is happening to another person rather than experience being at herself….  Mindfulness requires direct willful effort, and the ability to forge those practicing it to observe their sensations and thoughts with a calm clarity of an external witness….  One views his thoughts, feelings, and expectations much As A Scientist Views Experime  See full.

Returning to myself is like noticing my noticing while I am noticing. It is similar to being in the present. Interestingly, the word nowhere is composed of now and here. Being here now is being in the present.  Being here now may then be like going nowhere. When one notices one's self as being more connected to everyone and everything, that may similar to being no one, going, nowhere.

This reminds me of Sharon Begley, author of "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain," when she and Jeffrey M Schwartz said:  "Through mindfulness you can stand outside your own mind as if you were watching what is happening to another person rather than experience being at herself….  Mindfulness requires direct willful effort, and the ability to forge those practicing it to observe their sensations and thoughts with a calm clarity of an external witness….  One views his thoughts, feelings, and expectations much As A Scientist Views Experimental Data—that is, as a natural phenomenon to be noted, investigated, reflected on and learned from.  Viewing one’s own inner experience as data allows (one) to become, in essence, his own experimental subject."  Thanks for the opportunity to respond. Warm and kind regards to all readers.

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On Jul 23, 2011 gayathri wrote:

 Thank you much for all the Daily Virtual Blessings..:))

liked the poetic flow and putting into words the feelings of depression and sadness....even the negativities feels enjoyable if poetic...

but excuse me for picking up on this - "stay clear of those vexed in spirit. Learn to linger around someone of ease".  just thinking what incentive would the other person/someone of ease have to be around me that is vexed in spirit.....or in other words if someone of ease thinks that they should, 'stay clear of those vexed in spirit' then....

keep the beautiful thoughts flowing Dailyyy...

thank you,

gayathri



On Jul 23, 2011 rahul wrote:

In the last few months, I've been feeling like my life exists somewhere at a place in the middle of this poem.  All of the stuff at the end seems too inconcievable for me to understand at the moment, but I can understand the line that reads "travelled too fast over false ground" and "open up, to all the small miracles..."  When I slow down enough, I can see magic in the chaos.  Ironically, meditation alone seems to be kicking up more dust that tends to stick in my eyes and cloud my clarity, while combining it with running (esp in the early a.m.) helps me slow down enough to dance through the dust storm.  And I suppose running may be an apt analogy for wherever someone finds their life to be along the spectrum of this poem.  The destination may not be clear, and the path hazy and narrow, but all we need to understand is the next step and muster the stamina to take it.



On Jul 22, 2011 PK wrote:

 When i read this passage, in the beginning I felt that it was too dark and lingering on the negatives too long and too much.

But as i reflected on the later parts, I began to feel that the author actually built up the drama and negativity to create "stress" and then helped us to release it through beautiful images that resonate in the hearts of the readers.

As John eloquently put it, gradually, I am returning to myself, having learned a new respect for John and the joy that dwells far within negative stress.