Rapid Fire Learning | June 2010

Aloha Ho‘ohana Community,

If you are newly joining us, Rapid Fire Learning is another way we “take 5” here at Talking Story: It happens on the last weekend of the month. Jump right in! If you’re one who likes learning of the backstory, you can catch up with a fuller explanation of what it’s all about here: Rapid Fire Learning Returns to Talking Story. Click on the tags near the post footer to skim through previous month editions.

I’ll go first, and I invite you to join in. Use the comments here, or send me a trackback from your own site. Tumble something, or tweet yours one-by-one in the Twitter 140 if you like!

My RFLs for Iune ~ June, 2010:

One of the mantras I had adopted for 2010 was “Less will be more.” (Here is the backstory.)

Within the spirit of that mantra, I gave June of 2010 up to an experiment, one of using, and doing, as little as possible in diverse ways. More simplicity. Less complexity. More calm. Less busy-ness. These became guidelines I applied to everything, including my work. One of my reasons was family, for I knew there were graduations, weddings, and some vacation time to be had this month, and I wanted to focus on people and on conversation, and see if I could further wean myself from my digital habits, habits I know to be too hungry in their greediness with my time and attentions. Thus RFL is a bit more focused for me this month, for here are the 5 key learnings I have taken from my Spring-into-Summer, June 2010 Less is More-ness of a month:

From beneath

1. While my intention was to “see and better hear others” more than usual, I learned to see myself more, and began to watch my own habits as they happened. I have noticed that I dabble a lot as new inputs come my way. It is possible to remain an incessant dabbler without choosing, and without deciding for long stretches of time. On the one hand, I like that I jump into dabbling as I do, and that I do not hesitate, nor stifle my curiosity. On the other hand, this dabbling gives me a wanton restlessness that I do not like very much, and I need to end it at some point, with a choice or a decision of some kind being that ‘ending’ or a finish-with-flourish.

Crown flower buds

2. When you are family, you take each other for granted way, way, WAY too much. We all know this, but what do we do about it, and how often? We think we know all there is to know about each other, forgetting that family grows and changes just as our friends, co-workers, and other peopled relationships do. This month I taught myself to catch up with family more intensely, asking them better questions, and listening to their whole answers in that I welcomed their going “off topic” whereas that meandering can honestly annoy at other times. Family can be endlessly interesting; I’m the one that gets boring if I’m not careful with curbing my impatience for an answer. Impatience can kill a much more fascinating story.

Inner Beauty

3. I learned how little I really need my laptop (when traveling) now that I have my iPhone and my Kindle. When home, and in-office, and I force myself to ignore my laptop, I start to initiate phone calls, and connect with people more by voice and conversation, and less by email and text message. Voice is better. Conversing is richer. Both give you a timely, emotional connection that simply cannot be duplicated because there is interplay.

And you are?

4. Part of June included a totally unintentional radio silence both online and off (I had to cancel a speaking engagement for the first time ever) because of a worrysome family accident that brought everything else to a halt for me. I learned who missed me, and who did not as connected to a business initiative I’d taken on: Decisions previously fraught with emotion became very easily made, teaching me how useful emotional detachment can be if only I can manage to stage it in a less dramatic way!

Of the earth

5. I hate that I have become a skimmer in our world of informational overload, for I crave that old ability I once had, and have lost, to read slowly and deeply. In these June weeks I’ve learned that I can get that ability back if I enforce longer stretches of digital/interweb abstinence on a daily basis. Yes, daily. Turning off once a week or weekend is not enough, not for the habit shift which must be re-cultivated.

Magnolia story 3

This Less is More RFL-ing dished up more time I could give to my hobby-ing on Flickr… the photos I have included as dividers here are a few of my personal favorites, among those which caused me to focus on the natural beauty around me. Click on any photo to get the larger view appearing on my Flickr stream.

So how about you? What did you learn this month?


  1. Anne says

    5 takeaways from the past several months that have freed me emotionally and spiritually:

    1. No matter what happens, I’ll be ok
    2. It’s not about “you”
    3. I’m loved, forgiven and free
    4. I am created, chosen, celebrated and cherished
    5. …and, it’s not about me!

    • Rosa Say says

      Sounds fabulous Anne, as any “freeing” certainly can be! Thank you so much for participating in RFL, and sharing this with us.

  2. says

    Rosa, I love the less is more and feel an ever deepening call to defy the persistent trend to always be doing. This month I learned:
    1) I could devote portions of my day to me. Huge revelation! I changed my schedule to set aside the same hours each day for billable work and the remaining hours for things that once plagued me with guilt for either doing or not doing. Such a simple shift but so amazingly freeing and easy.
    2) I don’t need perfection for peace. I learned to take joy in progress rather than perfection and held fast to peace even when all around me there was chaos. A precious gift indeed.
    3) To let go of unrealistic demands on my time and energy. I’m harder on myself than anyone else ever could be. I stopped setting these internal standards and deadlines that no one else required or needed.
    4) To embrace this season of play. Summer brings out a playfulness and I have allowed that spirit into my professional space; it has proved energizing.
    5) A word I’d heard long ago but had forgotten – “lovemarks” – helped put into perspective my business mission and my life passion to truly make an impact.

    • Rosa Say says

      I was cheering for you as I read these Karen, starting from the very beginning: We know that guilt doesn’t serve us well, yet it is still difficult to ignore it, and your energy triumphs this month are spectacular. Maika‘i — well done!

  3. says

    Mahalo Rosa! Yes, guilt, oh the guilt, lol! Summer is a good time to shed layers and it feels good to lose that one. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to reflect, learn from others and cement the lessons of the past month.

  4. Roselia Conrad says

    Less is more!!! So true.
    What I learned this past month.
    1. I no longer feel guilty about not answering emails right away. Days go by now and I’m okay with that. More time for reading.
    2. More “grit” gets washed away when family listen, and then talk their truth ASAP….accummulated grit only leads to explosive confrontations. ouch.
    3. I may be getter older but I am DEFINITELY NOT set in my ways. Yeah!!
    4. I am sooo happy when writing.
    5. I like my human emotions. Great creative tools. Great spiritual guidance.