A Fresh Idea for 2023: Your Time is Not a Democracy

As a new year unfolds, here’s an idea that I think it’s worth reflecting on: your time is not a democracy.

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast episode on The Chase Jarvis Live Show entitled “Your Life is Not a Democracy“. I thought about the same idea, but applied to time and how it’s our responsibility to make the most of it to live a fulfilling life.

Time can be tricky. Time can be a blur. There isn’t enough time for everything at once.

Some days, you wish you had more hours to work on as many projects as possible; however, other days, everything just seems to be moving slowly, and momentum fades away. Regardless of what any given day brings, it’s you the one deciding where your focus is.

Then again, your time is not a democracy.

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Things that made my year – 2022 edition

We’re getting closer and closer to the end of 2022. Where did the time go? Funny how time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s a list of things that made my year:

  1. Celebrating my son’s first birthday.
  2. Having my mom around for two months and celebrating my son’s birthday with her.
  3. Publishing my debut novella Kaleidoscope Eyes.
  4. This interview about my novella.
  5. Realizing that, as independent author, learning takes place every day, and it’s scary and fun at the same time.
  6. That it’s important to focus on the step in front of me, not the entire staircase.
  7. Learning about Amazon Ads for authors.
  8. Writing #LetrasDesnudas.
  9. Joining Té de Querer for some great writing workshops and making new friends.
  10. Publishing three articles on Excélsior (Mexican newspaper, all available in Spanish): Carta para la niña que se convertirá en mujer, Promesas de hoy para un mañana seguro, and Urge modelo de salud con perspectiva de género.
  11. Discovering the Curious Fox podcast.
  12. Rediscovering The Chase Jarvis Live Show.
  13. A great podcast in Spanish, Hablemos Escritoras.
  14. Joining Good Reads as an author.
  15. Learning that Depeche Mode is releasing an album next year.
  16. Finding joy in writing my newsletter.
  17. Listening to some great artists: Neo Soul, Toni Braxton, Sade, Tom Jobim, The Human League, Spice Girls, and Alicia Keys.
  18. Castella tarts.
  19. Tuna and salmon poke bowls.
  20. Janet Jackson’s album “Control”.
  21. Learning the meaning of surrender.
  22. Tara Brach’s talks and meditations.
  23. Waiting Game by Junior Boys.
  24. Toda Tercafeira by Soul Quality Quartet.
  25. Deciding that my new NFL team is the Seattle Seahawks.

 

Grateful for all the lessons learned. Grateful for the wonderful people who walked with me every step of the way. Grateful for all discoveries. Looking forward to 2023!

Creating Habits: Ask Yourself Questions to Move Forward

If you’re looking for ways to create new habits, especially as we’re getting closer to the end of the year, it’s worth reframing the way we look at this specific action.

You will find a ton of information on the Internet on how to do it. The advice will be useful, without a doubt. You can get information from a variety of sources and make your own plan to proceed and improve your life.

My suggestion: ask yourself questions that require a mindful answer.

This idea comes from James Clear when he was interviewed for The Chase Jarvis Live Show. When Chase asked him about creating habits, James proposed going inwards to develop what you need.

This makes a lot of sense. You are the expert of your life; therefore, you are the only one who can tailor your habits to advance your career, improve your craft or your life quality.

I came up with a list of questions to help you get started.

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What’s the value of your time? Hint: It doesn’t have to do with money

As you get ready to start a new day, let me ask you: what’s the value of your time?

Something that may come to mind is “I’m worth $25 an hour”, or maybe more dollars depending on your occupation and experience level. While that’s a valid answer, time goes beyond the value of money.

One thing you can’t buy more of in this world and that is time.

Minimalismmadesimple.com

The relationship between money and time is peculiar. When you have some cash in your hands, you can either spend it or save it. The same thing happens with the way you use your time. However, unlike money, you can’t get back the time you’ve spent.

Therefore, the value of your time is higher than you can imagine. How are you currently managing it?

Continue reading “What’s the value of your time? Hint: It doesn’t have to do with money”

Ola #LetrasDesnudas

Todo con él siempre es lo mismo.

No sé por qué este es el único pensamiento que anida en mi cabeza cuando vamos en el coche.

Se peina el bigote, enciende el vehículo y prende el estéreo. Siempre en ese pulcro orden.

“¿Está bien si escuchamos este álbum?”. Esa pregunta tampoco falla. Llevamos meses con las mismas pinches canciones, pero tocan en diferente orden, para mi fortuna.

Yo sólo le digo que sí con la cabeza. Ya me di por vencida. Lo suyo es la certidumbre de saber que, sea como sea, va a sonar algo que le gusta y eso lo va a animar para cantar junto con el artista.

Para mí es un martirio. Estoy cansada del concierto no solicitado. Estoy cansada de que hasta un pequeño recorrido en el auto es una extensión de la rutina.

He optado por quedarme callada porque no veo el punto de iniciar una discusión estúpida. Él no quiere cambiar.  No importa lo que le diga.

Empiezo a escuchar su canto a lo lejos mientras miro por la ventana. ¿Hay alguien que intenta hacer cosas diferentes en su día? ¿Existe alguien así?

Otro pensamiento me atrapa: desde hace un tiempo, vivo en un molde de plástico con él. Antes me agradaba la idea. Era muy cómodo. No nos complicábamos con discusiones profundas ni nada de eso. Todo tenía una consistencia simple: cenar, ver tele, cama y luego cada quien para su casa.

Yo cada vez tengo más ganas de platicar, de escarbar en la profundidad de sus pensamientos más íntimos permitir que él haga lo mismo conmigo. De apagar el televisor y escuchar música variada mientras bailamos en la recámara. Quiero descubrir más sobre qué inventaríamos hacer debajo de las sábanas. “Pa’ adentro y pa’ fuera” no lo es todo.

Él puede ser mejor. Yo puedo ser mejor. Nosotros podemos ser mejores amantes. Pero todo siempre sigue igual.

Tras la muerte de nuestra mejor amiga el año pasado, ya no puedo ver la vida igual. Un día estás, al otro ya no. Eso es fuerte. Tenemos menos tiempo del que pensamos.

Lo miro manejando y cantando igual que ayer y antier. Me da no sé qué porque casi no puedo diferenciar un día del otro cuando estoy con él.

Nos paramos a cargar gas y yo salgo a la tienda de conveniencia para respirar otros aires y por un breve instante, considero la posibilidad de no regresar al carro. Siempre estamos a una decisión de cambiarlo todo por completo.

Vuelvo con botella de agua en mano. Antes de arrancar, me mira y sus ojos verdes me hablan antes de que pronuncie palabra. Me da esperanza captar su nobleza.

“Has estado muy pensativa. ¿Estás bien?”
“No…es que me he estado acordando de Andrea…ya ves que esto es reciente.”

Me abraza y el mundo se siente un lugar seguro de nuevo.

Nos vamos a comer una hamburguesa y aros de cebolla. Me cuenta sobre un videojuego que está por salir a la venta y yo me quedo maravillada.

Los textos de este blog pertenecen a la autora Alicia Strathern.

Imperfect creativity: good is enough

Imperfect creativity is natural and good enough.

Anything that requires creativity has a human touch and humans are imperfect. This idea is still hard to assimilate. At some point in our lives, we’re taught to avoid mistakes and get flawless results.

Recently, I thought about my literature teacher in high school. Our discussions in class tended to lead to all kinds of random topics. One day, he expressed his frustration at some students that were obsessed with getting perfect marks. His words were unforgettable:

“In this life, you have to deal with the fact that you’re not perfect.”

He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Maybe that statement sounded too harsh at the time, but the wisdom is there. If you think about it, life itself is imperfect.

So why is it worth hanging onto perfection?

Perfectionism is connected to your self-worth and is something you probably have to keep working on to overcome.

Creatives Doing Business

That’s another hard pill to swallow. In the Western culture, this is a constant struggle. Aim to be perfect or go home. On the other hand, in other cultures of the world, embracing imperfection is normal.

For example, there’s the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi. Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, defines it as “the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”

I love the idea of finding beauty in the imperfect. There’s value in creating, doing your best to give it form, and releasing it to the world and let it be in its full glory with glitches included.

Creations are never complete. There’s always an improvement to make or a new version to start from scratch. After all, wabi-sabi is based on the cycles of nature, which are constantly changing. No creation ever stays the same.

With this concept in mind, how can you embrace imperfect creativity in your daily life?

 

Temporal #LetrasDesnudas

Hola,
¿Me estás pensando?
Yo sí.
Sobre todo en el silencio.

Cuando me siento
y me doy cuenta
que estoy sola.
Me faltan tus abrazos.

¿Por qué somos temporales?
Aún si viviéramos
en los mismos lugares,
tendríamos que despedirnos.

Pero hay despedidas
de cinco minutos.
De a la vuelta
de la esquina.

O de hora y media
en carro o autobús.
También las hay
de vuelo redondo.

Unas punzan
más que otras.
En todas se añora.
En todas se atesora.

¿Sabes?
Por fortuna,
las despedidas
también son temporales.

Por eso
te espero
te abrazo
en cada sueño.

Hasta que volvamos a encontrarnos.

 

Los textos de este blog pertenecen a la autora Alicia Strathern.

Impaciencia y tú #LetrasDesnudas

¿Sabes quién eres?
¿Quieres descubrirlo conmigo?
Yo quiero.
Anhelo, fantaseo.

Tu transformación natural.
Palpar tu curiosidad inmensa,
la que alguna vez
me atrapó.

Existe,
en tiempo presente,
ese tú
lleno de pasión.

¿Por qué te temes?

Vuelve a ti
mientras espero
a que arda
tu infinita llama.

Sólo recuerda,
la paciencia sí es finita.

 

Los textos de este blog pertenecen a la autora Alicia Strathern.

Commentary on sense of wonder in companies

Sense of wonder is a key value for creativity and, at the same time, it’s a crucial asset at any company regardless of industry.

When you’re reading a job description, it’s common to find the company’s mission, vision, and values. The ideal candidate  would not only align with them but also embody them in and out of the office.

As a professional who’s been involved in the creative industry, it has come to my attention that sense of wonder isn’t listed as a corporate value. What would we do without adding a spark of newness to our daily tasks? The 9-5 working hours bite hard.

If surprise and spontaneity were a core part of a day in the office, and every colleague had a chance to incorporate them in their processes, professional environments would be more dynamic.

What does sense of wonder in companies look like?

Every industry is unique, and it would be impossible to find a fit-for-all scheme. This is why, when it comes to defining or redefining corporate values, it’s important to think about the culture that will be built. Culture itself affects behaviour. Therefore, encouraging sense of wonder in each collaborator has roots in attitudes and willingness to be part of that dynamic.

How does your company think about sense of wonder?

sense of wonder and creativity

Sense of wonder and creativity: surprise yourself daily

One element of creativity that’s worth revisiting as often as possible is sense of wonder. This concept tends to be associated with childlike wonder, which makes sense. What else would come to mind when thinking about a person who’s constantly surprised by life?

James Clear puts it in precise words:

Children are joyful and treat each day as a miracle. (…) Each day, they hear a new word or listen to a new song or learn about a new animal. It’s their first time visiting that restaurant or jumping in that pool or riding that rollercoaster. The world is continually unfolding before them.

 

Clear also asks a couple of important questions: How can you introduce more surprise into your life as an adult? How can you renew your sense of wonder and creativity?

Continue reading “Sense of wonder and creativity: surprise yourself daily”