A Ritual of Loving Friendship

pesach 2015Sometimes graffiti is pure poetry, utterly appropriate to the moment!

These words written on a dumpster in the neighbourhood came at such a moment!

The last two days I’ve thought a lot about moving, and yes, it’s understandable given that I am moving in just over a month! 😀

Chances are if you’ve made at least one major move in your lifetime you’ve experienced the paradox of what I call ‘loss ‘n the toss’, deciding what to keep and what to send on its journey. While memories are what are truly meaningful and I have a ton that are light and well worth carrying as I make the transition to my new home, I’ve been thinking about how hard it is to conclude what’s physical dross and/or emotional baggage, knowing that some things are best given away and some are best binned. The greatest challenge is moving far from loved ones, entering yet another patch of planetary ‘unknown’. But even now as I mentally plan my packing and shipping, the lever of joy is the anticipation of arriving to explore my new neighbourhood near Locarno. And yes, I have already begun my lessons to dramatically evolve my Italian far beyond shopping and ordering from the menu!

Today I’ve been thinking about how moving often defines important differences between people we hang out with now and then; those we work with; and those who are ‘family’. Some are acquaintances; and others are ‘friendlies’; but on moving day those who truly love us turn out to dry our tears and keep paper cuts at a minimum. Friends are those who help pack, move and even show up with pizza when it’s time to unpack. It’s a funny thing about acquaintances and friendlies… chances are you’d not even think to ask an acquaintance to lend a hand –face it, moving is a vulnerable experience. Have you ever come to crunch time and a friendly offers to help but when the day comes the suddenly remember it’s Great Aunt Tabitha’s birthday bash is that day?

Well, I’ve just discovered something infinitely more ‘Friend’ defining than moving day! Yes, it’s true.

As you may know I’ve been in Israel for over a month sharing an apartment in the heart of Tel Aviv with my friend and colleague Natalie. While we’ve learned a lot about one another during this time, like how easy life is when life goals, values, great food, wild adventures, new ‘Family’ and joy are shared, in the last two days I’ve learned something radically new.

Have you ever wondered where the madness most of us know as ‘spring cleaning’ comes from? Well, I’m here to tell you that it was birthed long ago in the Jewish celebration of Passover, Pesach! For most people cleaning started weeks ago, but we’ve been so busy that here on Kishon Street the scouring and scrubbing began yesterday! Every shelf, corner, nook and cranny has been cleaned; the walls are scrubbed from ceiling to floor and every drawers has been opened and I’m happy to say some of what got turned got tossed.

The fact that we’re eating popcorn as I write and the bits that fall on the floor get popped in our mouth rather than out the window for birds, says it all! From my perspective it’s all about Freedom and making room for new. Making the cleaning my meditation, wearing my pink rubber gloves I asked the Universe to carry my efforts from this rooftop flat out into the world, so if you feel a bit of soap behind your ears it’s just my love overflowing!

So Nat, should you ever find yourself doubting my love, take a breath, and remember “Two days in April!”

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A Mereonic perspective on John Nash: Cooperation vs. Competition

Ch 12 Figure 220 Relationship of the Sun to Earth NASAThis picture offers us an opportunity to make a sobering consideration as we contemplate the relationship of the Sun to Earth. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (August 31, 2012)

Our colleague Nick Woolf long ago suggested that that fact that we evolved and continue to survive in a fiercely competitive environment is extraordinary.  Life on this planet has long competed for resources in order to extend its duration. While mankind has evolved, our relentless quest for ‘bigger and better’ continues to intensify even though getting ‘more’ material wealth fails guarantee a high quality of life. It is precisely this quest that threatens our very survival.

While today’s most asked existential questions seem to be,‘What’s in it for me?’ and ‘Why should I care?’, there is a good reason to care about this work; understanding it and living it.

John Nash, featured in the film ‘A Beautiful Mind’ quantified the value of an individual as being part of a cooperative unit working for the benefit of the whole. The Nash Equilibrium (1950) is considered to be the optimum competitive solution for two opponents who know each others optimal strategy.

The Mereon Matrix reveals the Nash Equilibrium to be inefficient at best. The reason is that the competitiveness it wastes time, human energy and material resources. It also encourages manipulation, deviousness and outright deceit.

In comparison, the competence implicit in the Mereon Matrix, demonstrated in the educational project known as BeLonging where kids use the strategy of communal cooperation that is based on ethical values and prior agreement.

The results leads to a realisation that transcends hope.

The ‘kicker’ is how to get adults to stop acting childish so to renew the childlike joy found in awe and wonder that generates curiosity and cooperation.

The Power of BeLonging

This morning I’d like to share a story told to me a week ago, a precious golden moment that will respire hope for the future that we share today. Continue reading The Power of BeLonging

Did you know that the word Magic…

17 october 2014Where did the last six weeks go? While I kept my promise to write at least 111 words a day, obviously they didn’t always make it to the blog!

I feel like the most blessed person on the planet having just spent four magical days in Mirano, Italy with the most amazing group of individual –friends, teachers and kids. The days and evenings spent with old friends was made even more special in that we were joined by new friends, June and Dana! There to witness The Mirano BeLonging Project nourished our spirits while my Italian ‘family’ at the Cinque Colonne, Sergio, Mama Sergio, Daniella, Sandro and Sabrina, kept us safe at night and very well fed.

We all learned something new, evidence that learning is LifeLong!

Did you know that the word ‘magic’ grows from the same root as ‘teacher’, ‘maestra’ in Italian? It’s the root of the word ‘maestro’, which most of us know as a ‘master’! However, the real meaning is to promote spiritual growth; to call forth and nurture authenticity.

Hmmm….

What if teachers made a shift and instead of cramming information into kid’s heads and force them to dump it out, the teachers, true magicians, were free to start pulling out ‘rabbits’?

What will the future tomorrow be if you dare to occupy your life, your reality?

Pardon the typo’s… 26 hours on a train in 2 days have me a bit on the weary side!

Time for a positive response to the education crisis

stresaReading the news this morning this headline made me weep, every tear catalysing my commitment to the transformation of education through the simple project known as BeLonging.

And then I turned to the BBC and… Continue reading Time for a positive response to the education crisis