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    CV & Research

Nov 1, 2020 - Lessons from tech support about ego

hampster wheelOh my - how the ego-mind does run around in circles and what pain it causes. 

The short back story here is a company that pd.education relies on changed, not their policies, but the way they implemented them - causing our team hours of stress and our customers lost connections to good work, for a time.  My ego brain made much of it - fear, frustration, anger, bewilderment, and justified outrage!  Off went tolerably professional emails suggesting that we deserved better - not treatment, but notification and communication.  I still think those things are true and our team learned lessons we all could take on board about how we hope to treat our customers better than we were treated.  On the other hand, I lost a lot of potential joy moments because I couldn't turn off the brain going around and around like on a hamster wheel (hence the picture).  

Deepak Chopra is doing a series to help people move from their ego-mind to their true self - our unique connection to the creativity and joy of the universe.  So today I am writing for anyone who can identify with this main challenge in life.  Can identify with how, sometimes, it is hard leaving those other hampster brain moments where they belong - in the past.  

And then, bringing grace to this writing is an interaction I just had with a doctoral student.  She is in the middle of what some could see as a struggle, but she is refusing to get on that hamster wheel.   "God Love us!"  she says, and then tells me this is what her mother-in-law, long past, a woman from Belfast, used to say, also with a big smile on her face.  If any place on earth would engender the understanding or what it takes to get past conflict Belfast would be one of them.  "God LOVE us!" and keep smiling.

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Oct 29th, 2020 - Starting again or adding on?

Alana laughing       My nephew Ken told me that it is not how well we go forward but how well we start again that matters!  Thank you for that Ken because it certainly is true for blogging and personal websites.

2020 has been a year all of us will remember because of its unexpected challenges.    I'm sure like many this drove me to greater self-reflection - only to discover that the blog on this site was YEARS old - where did that time go?  Yet it is also confirming to see that many of the blogs from 2019 were demonstrating me as much the same woman and having a similar life as I enjoy today. At the same time ideas and actions mature so my idea is to chronicle that here in days and weeks to come.

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March 30th-Maria Abegunde "Begin with Wholeness, End with Joy"

I met Maria at a conference and the prayer I send with this blog is that she and I grow our friendship rather than letting it go.  THIS RECORDING will give the reader a taste of who she is and the values / practices she lives by.

She asks her students what does it mean to be....? (in my case - me, white, tall, driven, a woman, self-defined as polyamorous, etc)  for that matter what does it mean to be whole? joyous?  All good questions.  Here are my rambling thoughts.

The question is the hard part - what does it mean?  Meaning to whom?  myself since I am writing.  but how do I define meaning?  I suppose it is by impact.  So the impact of being tall was hugely significant in my early life, whereas now it is almost nothing. Likewise although significant to many my early heterosexual encounters and sexual definition had much more life impact that later choices - yet those later choices lead me to the love of my life - Margie, my wife.  So what is meaning?  is it sand slipping though an hourglass to be measured by point in time data?  Or is it like the wind on a still lake, to be measured by the waves it kicks up? I honestly have no idea how to even approach asking myself what does it mean to be me?

Yet I can easily answer what about my life has meaning - my relationships and loves, the times I listen deeply and am moved by another, the connections I make that form an energetic bond that is tangible in its strength.  My work has great meaning to me and the potential for positive impact on both student lives and the institutions they look to for guidance.

What does it mean to self define our reality so that we always start with wholeness and end with joy?  What small actions do we need to take everyday to continue on that path? Then what would life mean?  A source of joy, of love, of beauty that was so great that no matter the crazy darkness that also inhabits this world that faith was never lost and that our True Selves were always available so that we respond with compassion and forgiveness.

What does it mean to be Alana?  It means being driven, to strive for that level of integrity, inspiration and openness - for all people in all situations.  May this always be my path.

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March 11th - The Alana version of Captain Marvel and why we should all do a similar timeline

Not to be a spoiler, but if you haven’t seen the movie Captain Marvel yet there is one scene that is kicking off this blog. Carol stands up and says “Yes, just human” and then remembers the times when as a girl she was shot down and told she couldn’t do it but got up and went on to figure it out and succeed. I woke this morning asking what my

timeline would be?  What are the instances when a decision was made that formed my core strenghts And what would they look like all together in 30 seconds of mp3?  I believe this is an exercise everyone should do because it turns out to be very affirming of our true selves. 

Here’s mine

Zappa quilt. 19?? I’m ?? And back stage in a concert hall in Fort Collins Colorado. I’m saying to rock star Frank Zappa “I can make your quilt. “

Starting the New York showroom,  19??, I’m ?? In a suburban living room convincing my father to loan me money to start my own business in NYC. 

Moving to Ireland,  199? Margie and I are in a car and she has just told me she will come if I orchestrat the move. I begin to plan. 

DoctoralNet. 199?   I have put up a video and students are watching. I ask myself why technology can’t help with more student confusion problems?

A key thread here is that someone else had always done something similar that I knew about. I am driven by “if they can do it why can’t I?

What is your movie?  What will it teach you?  As Deepak’s said in or meditation this am “ No one has ever

 

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Feb 2nd - Moving from darkness to .... playful? wonder?

Loss of control has had me in a grip and I fully realise how much I need to get out of the patterns of thought that are controlling me.  Margie comes back today but I don't want to lose the reflective and reflexive lessons I have learned because she was gone.  I have seen my dark side and its name is control.

My ego loves my alpha self, I love the getting things done and the admiration of others.  It can't be at a cost for those I love though and the tension between these two types or ways of being does not sit in one life.  Most of the time the daily effort of life distracts us.  these two weeks have shown me the cracks in the mirror I was holding up.  It leaves me afraid, and of course, the irony in that is that control is an effort of the ego to hide fear.

So now I need to guide my ship - away from the rocks and back out onto the sea of more happiness, joy and playfulness where I want to live.  Follows is my first attempt and steering - looking up from others their ideas on letting go of control and them moving on to what life is like after the work is done.  

The work - to be covered and worked through in future posts

  1. using imagery - rather than toughing it out to climb a mountain with a 100-pound pack on my back (keeping control) I can imagine soaring like an eagle over the challenges inherent in whatever has me uptight.
  2. write down a fear list - control is rooted in fear and false fears at that.  what are they?  let's expose them to the light (seems ripe for another post)
  3. focus on grace and mindfulness - another post is in order, what does it mean to me?  How do I see it and identify when I am there?
  4. move into the present - control fears are the future- remember that every moment can be a release
  5. focus on what I trust - keep moving forward into deeper and deeper faith
  6. perform "esteemable acts" - I stole this one from a list that had made the rounds on the internet bt I like it - we all know when we have acted out of our true self - do more of that.
  7. Say mantras, prayers, affirmations - each in their own time to release the tension that has me caught in the pattern that results in control.  (another path to staying mindful - a first step to mindful maybe?  another post)
  8. Get support - I don't have to do this alone???? (always a hard notion for me isn't it)  OMG another post!  LOL
  9. Keep refining what it means to be free - where am I going?  (posts galore in the making)

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Jan 8th - Planning the next painting

Today was the first Tuesday of the New Year - and my first day as a full member (having paid) of the Kinsale Atlantic Artists group.  To use the words of my friend Gillian - I have found my tribe!!!

They are wonderful and it is beyond marvelous to be doing “real” art again.  “What makes art real -as opposed to not real,” you ask?  Well scrapbooking, although it answered much of my need to be creative was never “real” art to me.  Real means I am using my brain and my skill to build something of general potential interest (as opposed to a family interest) and that I am committed to these ideas developing over time (in a series of work).

AS the reader will be able to see in the picture - this series will be mandalas - searching for the ultimate truths of our lived experience as humans in both our outer and inner worlds.  WOW - that is a BIG philosophical journey and yet I think I can do it.

I was pleased with the first result, which taught me I can still paint.  We’ll see where this one goes.  So far the colors for each season are chosen - each with a range that will play off of beads that are the chakra colors that run from the center (earth) to either the cities or the edge.  Aurora Borealis like clouds will run up and around the cities.

That is as much as I know for certain now.  Likely this one will be more painterly than the last - possibly along the lines of the style of Peploe.

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Jan 8th - Planning the next painting (2)

Today was the first Tuesday of the New Year - and my first day as a full member (having paid) of the Kinsale Atlantic Artists group.  To use the words of my friend Gillian - I have found my tribe!!!

They are wonderful and it is beyond marvelous to be doing “real” art again.  “What makes art real -as opposed to not real,” you ask?  Well scrapbooking, although it answered much of my need to be creative was never “real” art to me.  Real means I am using my brain and my skill to build something of general potential interest (as opposed to a family interest) and that I am committed to these ideas developing over time (in a series of work).

AS the reader will be able to see in the picture - this series will be mandalas - searching for the ultimate truths of our lived experience as humans in both our outer and inner worlds.  WOW - that is a BIG philosophical journey and yet I think I can do it.

I was pleased with the first result, which taught me I can still paint.  We’ll see where this one goes.  So far the colors for each season are chosen - each with a range that will play off of beads that are the chakra colors that run from the center (earth) to either the cities or the edge.  Aurora Borealis like clouds will run up and around the cities.

That is as much as I know for certain now.  Likely this one will be more painterly than the last - possibly along the lines of the style of Peploe.

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Jan 6th & 7th, The prisons in our minds

For those who don't know, Margie and I listen as we go to sleep and first thing in the morning to one of the Deepak/Oprah 21 day meditation series - we have done so for going on four years.  We both will tell you that nothing in our lives has ever made such a long-lasting positive change in our life experience.  We own them all and have listened to them over and over as the mood strikes - frequently relistening to a series or part of a series immediately again when the lessons were particularly apt.  I can say that my ability to cruise into old age happy and satisfied is because of this work, and for that, I am truly grateful.

The series we are on is Shedding the weight which they did a few years ago - weight not just physical weight but emotional, mental, and spiritual as well.  The am Deepak said that all weight is caused by the prisons in our minds - where we trapped part of ourselves at an early age - step 1 realize those prisons, step 2 realize that we are not that person anymore, step 3 free them - let it go.  However, we accomplish those steps will change for all of us but for me, this writing is that process.

Physical weight has always been the prison in which I put myself, -not that I suffer from a poor self-image or have held myself back because of it - but as I grow older my bones would like it if I hauled around a few less pounds.  So what's the prison?  Family jumps to mind.  Not feeling loved, being criticized over and over with few accolades to balance the negative inputs.  I'm sure many can relate, and perhaps even more so for those of us driven to be more than, a brighter star, someone who pushes limits because then the family would push back harder to keep us in line.

When I look at my birth family and compare our relations to those values I hold dear, namely love, close relationship, supportive community, etc. I think that over half of my siblings have failed pretty miserably - and for one brother and myself who are blessed to be living with tender families around us have both had the good fortune to marry the right person, who taught us to become the loving people we are.  For my dearest oldest sister her work was social work with cancer patients and so that was likely her path.  It is one of the treasures of my life that as she grows old she has finally found the support that works for her and who treasures her as she deserves.

Step one -realize the prison - family comments that I internalized and protected myself from with weight and the physical medication of carbs to endorphins

Step two - acknowledge that I am not that person any longer and NOWHERE in my life do I get the message to be less than I am or that I am too much.  That's really old news.  So I think its time fore 

Step three - let that childhood memory go - it served and now it doesn't - my birth relationships are what they are - they feed my soul or they don't.  My task is to build the good inputs that will protect my body and my health for as long as I am blessed to be in this world.  Love does that - so next up will be how to give me more love.  I suspect that little girl has been in that prison so long she isn't just going to go skipping down the lane.  

Here's to anyone who ever reads this who can relate - may your prison sentence be over as well.

Alana

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January 2nd - things are happening at DoctoralNet

January 2nd - things are progressing!

  1. Today the staff met for the first time in 2019 - the uni websites are getting a facelift and soon a reorg more to the ways students are using content - highlighting video content and responding to the ways students search.
  2. New customers are getting back to me with questions before I call on them to see how things are going!  Yea Capella and University of Minnesota!
  3. The customer advisory council is progressing as well - in addition to Ali who signed on in December we now have Joanne as facilitator and Cari from UNH and Curtis from Capella.  It makes me think this will be easier than I suspected.

On the human side - I'm reading a good  book - the Oracle that offsets slow internet speeds

Life is good in Castlepark!

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May 14, 2017: Cerbere' France

May 14, 2017: Cerbere' France

We all get to live this life the way we want - that is, the way we want within the constraints of life as we see and experience them.  What travel does is open us up to a different understanding of those constraints because we immerse ourselves in someone else's, often very different world - and then we learn things.

Cerbere' is a small (2K? population) French town on the Mediterranean just 6K from the border with Spain.

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May 7th: Three Ways a JigSaw Puzzle is a Metaphor for Life

May 7th: Three Ways a JigSaw Puzzle is a Metaphor for Life

How do you break from work, from life, from stress?  One of my favourite ways is by working on jigsaw puzzles.  They allow the mind to wander, and maybe I watch an episode of Doctor Who as well.  It has been during these sessions that this week I have been building the metaphor that our lives are like a jigsaw in three main ways - see what you think...

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Happy Birthday to Me! April 11, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me! April 11, 2017

Good morning world!

Isn;t it GREAT to be alive?  So much to be grateful for, so many games to play in this life - but which are those that are capturing my mind and heart this morning?

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The Entrepreneur Journey: Social Media

The Entrepreneur Journey: Social Media

Hi everyone,

Has it really been ages since I wrote here?  What have I been doing?  Tons of work developing our business at www.Doctoralnet.com. Rather than try to catch you up now, I'll just send on bits and pieces that strike me.  Social media is changing the world of entrepreneurship - but how?  This graphic catches my eye as part of the explanation.

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