Tag Archives: context

12-Step Program for America: Step 3

By Jim Selman | Bio

I have been making the case that our country is trapped in a vicious cycle, analogous to alcoholism or any addictive spiral that inevitably leads to ‘hitting bottom’, and that we need a rigorous ‘recovery’ program. Our Constitutional Democracy cannot work if our founding principles, the Constitution itself , and the institutions responsible for sustaining it are not aligned and functioning as a whole. In the ‘recovery’ literature and all 12-Step programs, the first and primary question to resolve is “Where is the bottom?”  Have we had enough of having enough? Are we ready to acknowledge that the system is broken and we are powerless to fix it? If we are, then we can begin the real journey to recovery.

Many would agree that we are ‘out of control’ (Step 1 of the 12-Step Recovery Program for America). And I propose that we—the people—are the ‘higher power’ that can see what is happening and begin to restore us to sanity (Step 2). The

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Moods

By Jim Selman | Bio

Perhaps the most pervasive and omnipresent aspect of being alive is our moods. We are always in one mood or another. Moods are either positive or negative and they ‘color’ our experience of living, affect how we relate to others and our circumstances, and have extraordinary power to open or close possibilities. If we examine this phenomenon, we can see that our moods are portable—we take them with us wherever we go. I can be angry at home and find that mood affecting me at work or even on the golf course.

Moods are also contagious. Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone is in a good mood and then the boss or someone enters the room in a different, perhaps negative, mood and it isn’t long before everyone has ‘caught’ the new mood?

Moods constitute the contexts in which we normally live and experience our lives. But most importantly, they are almost always involuntary—they happen to us. We rarely choose what mood we will be in, especially when we get our ‘buttons

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What is an Elder?

By Jim Selman | Bio

As founder of The Eldering Institute, I am a bit embarrassed to acknowledge that until last week I had not asked the straightforward question, “What is an elder?”  This is not to say I haven’t been involved in the conversation for quite a long time. I have spoken with Elders in aboriginal communities, African tribes, and religious communities. I have read everything I can find on the subject. There is no doubt that the

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Not Easy: Just Clear

By Jim Selman | Bio

Yesterday I was coaching a friend of mine. I was sharing a bit of how important it is to ‘come from’ your vision for your life. Our future is always a product of our actions, and our actions are always a correlate of how we relate to the future. When we act as if the future has already happened, then it is only a matter of time before that future is realized or we learn what we need to learn to achieve it. Her response was, “Well, you make it sound so simple, but it is too abstract and I need to know ‘how’ to have what I want in the future.” This was my response. "I understand. Everything is abstract until we learn it.

I
don’t think learning a new way of being or a different way of observing
the world is simple. I think it is clear when we can set aside our
conventional wisdom and ‘try on’ a different mindset. Not easy, but
clear.

If you are 100% focused on ‘how’ and ‘doing’, then it is impossible to learn a different way of being.

We normally try to BE different (or become resigned that we can’t change the way we are) by trying to change what

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Passion and Purpose

By Jim Selman | Bio

I was working on the design of a course the other day and musing about what would someone in my circumstances want to ‘get’ from a workshop about ‘designing the rest of my life’. When I began to think about it, I realized I’m happy and okay financially. I have lots of friends and family and experience lots of love. I am still engaged in my career and have numerous outlets for my creative impulses. All in all, I can’t think of much that I want that I don’t have

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Growth Too (Two)

I wrote a post on growth a while ago about how insane I think it is to believe we can grow forever—at least in terms of economic growth. I was also reading The World We Want posts by David Korten that echoed the same sentiments but that go further to point out that all the breakdowns that are appearing are perhaps the greatest creative opportunity in history. That got me thinking that while I

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Home

I don’t think it is news to anyone that we experience life through its contrasts. We don’t notice or appreciate hot until we get cold; we can take kindness for granted until it goes missing; we typically put off taking care of our health until it starts to deteriorate. At this moment, I am half-way through the longest trip of my life—mostly work with some vacation thrown in around the edges. Consequently, I am very present to how important ‘home’ is to me now that I am away from it

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The Art of Conversation

I was watching the CBS show “Sunday Morning” on the weekend and it had a segment on the dying art of conversation. The point was that with all our technology and almost real-time connections available with email, handhelds and social networking sites, people seem to have lost the ability to have conversations. It was a thought-provoking and, I think, mostly true observation about what is happening to us. The show also showcased a new book by Stephen Miller called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Conversation-History-Declining-Stephen-Miller/dp/0300123655/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197825461&sr=8-1

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