Do Grandmothers Hold The Key To Human Evolution?

Few are aware that Charles Darwin, who fathered the idea of “survival of the fittest”,  also suggested that cooperation is the foundation for long-term survival and evolution.  Interesting new research is adding evidence to that theory. 

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.
Charles Darwin

Find more at NPR/All Things Considered

Are “I-Statements” Selfish or Helpful?

Raychel Sanner and Stephen Leonardi for Unpslah

An interesting question came up during today’s communications class. We were discussing the technique of talking about the impact another’s behavior is having on us rather than defining the behavior and naming it back to them.

Called “I-Statements”, this is commonly believed to create less confrontational conversations when conflict arises. For example, “I am uncomfortable with …” or “I feel unimportant when…” can get a better response than, “you do …” or “you are …”.

But, in this class, someone questioned whether I-Statements are selfish. We are, after all, just talking about ourselves. Several began to agree.

Here’s a different way to look at it …

Continue reading “Are “I-Statements” Selfish or Helpful?”

Poem: We Trusting

cj - we trusting

Relationship, honor, trust, these are tricky things. We pay for our lack of skill, mastery, by turning off, turning away. But oh, the gifts that we may reap with open transparency.  This is my poem about it.


We had a quick chat, didn’t we …
A moment where thoughts, words, feelings
flowed between just us
shielded from the rush of life outside.

We, enclosed
by these
sheer walls of intimacy.

We, hidden
in this
transparent column of trusting.

We, protected
by this
clear bond of
love and honor.

lucid prisms
weaving sanctity and
reverence into light.

All Rights Reservednapo2014button1

The Path

We think the journey is about mastering our skill, our specialty, our problem, our market…. It’s not.

The journey is about mastering ourself:

Once upon a time

I walked a long road to see what I would find.

Traveled rocky places and moments where
sandy underfoot felt smooth as air.
Felt light breezes,
frigid nights,
and warm summer days.

And still I made my way
till I became rooted
in the soil of myself.

2013 Copyright




… so open that every letter gets its own windowpane.

…so open it doesn’t need serifs … sans serif all the way.

…so open, that the sun probably always shines on it, just like this.

Hope I can be that open today.

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Esteeming Self – Creating the World

2015-6-4 Bryce ARC.jpg

Every one of us is creating … 
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We are creating with every thought, word, and action.
It’s as natural as breathing and about as hard to stop.

But how much time do we spend re-creating?
Creating thought, action, emotion
that originated with someone else,
or from our own repertoire?

 We re-create things we think we know
will work, will look good, will be easy.
We think we’re pretty smart about our re-creating, our copying.

Problem is –
It can be a lie.
It can be lazy.
It can be a waste of good brains, imagination and intuition.
And often, it doesn’t work. 

And yet, we often reward re-creating rather than stepping out;
We celebrate how much ‘like’ this or that person one is, or 
how close we came to that meeting that
mark of genius of so-and-so’s

or such-and-such’s.

Let’s look closer,
when so-and-so or such-and-such got their

first bit of attention …
we were more likely to see them as threats than genius.
And we know that.
And we fear that reaction for ourselves.

So this is the question:

How do we create meaningfully, originally,
if we don’t have the confidence and will to be
… us?

Without that confidence, we are less motivated to
see the world around us with our own eyes,
take in information our own way…
process it our own way.
It stops us from mishy-mashing it all up into our own little gestalt
and offering it back to the world for better or worse.
It stops us from manifesting
uniquely, originally.

That is a loss for us and for the world.
We experience that loss by not living true.
The world loses our insights, skills,
questions and answers,
… love.

Choreographer Martha Graham expressed it like this:

Continue reading “Esteeming Self – Creating the World”

Hello, again ….

Creating needs solitude. And, creating needs friends:

Sometimes we say it again, say it with friends.
Sometimes we need a witness.
Sometimes we need a mirror.
Sometimes we just need, and it helps if someone is there for us when we do.
Sometimes, only the oldest of friends will do.

Here’s to saving, savoring, celebrating that
wonderful thing called
good old friends.

Hello, again!   Hello world!

© Christie James, 2010