Perspective – with Giles D’Souza

Giles D’Souza shares his journey from navigating the bustling streets of Mumbai to finding tranquility in movement, as he and Craig Constantine unravel the essence of living fully in the moment amidst the chaos of modern life.

You can take this time for yourself. You can take this time for your clients— take this time for this— and anything above that is it’s fine. Just let it go.

~ Giles D’Souza, 3:15

Giles D’Souza and Craig Constantine navigate the relationships between work, personal growth, and the concept of living fully in the moment. Giles shares his transformative experience of returning from a long journey overseas, which provided him with a fresh perspective on balancing work and personal life. He emphasizes the direct correlation between work and income, especially as a self-employed individual, and how stepping away allowed him to reassess and prioritize his time and activities upon returning. This segment of the discussion highlights the importance of finding equilibrium between professional commitments and personal well-being, suggesting that a deliberate pause can lead to a more fulfilling and intentional way of living.

The conversation also gets into the philosophical, exploring concepts of consciousness, the significance of the present moment, and the universal human experience of navigating life’s fleeting nature. Giles reflects on the practice of mindfulness and the art of letting go, sharing personal anecdotes that underscore the power of focusing on the present to alleviate the burdens of past grievances and future anxieties. This part of the conversation considers the impact of external environments on well-being, with Giles discussing the challenges of living in Mumbai, a city with significant pollution, and how it has influenced his desire for a life closer to nature. Through these discussions, the conversation weaves together themes of personal development, environmental awareness, and the pursuit of simplicity and clarity in a complex world.

Takeaways

The importance of balance — discussing the challenge of managing work and personal life, especially when self-employed, and the value of taking breaks to reassess one’s priorities.

The power of mindfulness — exploring how being present and letting go of past and future worries can significantly improve mental well-being and perspective on life.

Environmental impact on lifestyle — sharing personal experiences of how living in a polluted city can influence one’s health and happiness, and the longing for a life closer to nature.

The significance of the present moment — emphasizing that every second is precious and should be lived fully, whether it’s through work, leisure, or simply being.

The transformative effect of travel — reflecting on how travel can expand one’s perspective, not by ticking off checklist items but by deeply experiencing and immersing oneself in different cultures and environments.

The philosophical exploration of consciousness — delving into the nature of consciousness, the miracle of waking life, and the profound impact of considering our place in the universe.

The aspiration for a sustainable and peaceful living environment — dreaming of a life in the mountains, self-sufficient and in harmony with nature, highlighting the desire for simplicity and tranquility away from urban chaos.

Resources
@one.meal.monster — Giles D’Souza on Instagram

DarkSky International — The conversation touches upon the importance of the night sky

(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)

A package deal

I often find myself drawn into looking at what other creatives are looking at; I find interest in that second degree of separation. I may be interested in a particular creative person, but only if I’m interested in their specific work. But nearly every creative person I encounter, I’m always asking (literally, or in my internal dialog): Where did they get that idea? What were the inspirations that led to that composition. I suppose that’s right next to being interested in the creative process itself—but that’s not quite it. I don’t really want to know how they do what they do. I want to know who they are, and why they do what they do.

The key thing is that unique minds have to be accepted as a full package, because the things they do well and that we admire cannot be separated from the things we wouldn’t want for ourselves or look down upon.

~ Morgan Housel from, https://collabfund.com/blog/wild-minds/

I think it was Homer (Simpson, I mean) who said, just because you are unique, doesn’t mean you are useful. That too harsh by half. It’s not necessary that one be useful (but it’s nice if you want to be able to say, buy food or put a roof over your head.) I want to push back against ‘ol Homer there and amend that to be: Just because you are unique, doesn’t mean people will understand you.

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Reflecting – with Rob Wreglesworth

Reflecting – with Rob Wreglesworth

Rob Wreglesworth and Craig Constantine dive into the challenges of podcasting, focusing on the unexpected joys and hurdles they encounter.

“The willingness of of people to lend their time so generously I think is probably the thing that surprised me the most” ~ Rob Wreglesworth, 2:11

One of the key topics they explore is the impact of podcasting on connecting with people they previously thought were out of reach. Rob shares his astonishment at how podcasting has opened doors to in-depth conversations with innovators and leaders who would otherwise be inaccessible. This revelation highlights podcasting’s unique power to facilitate meaningful dialogue and share insightful stories with a wider audience.

“[Something might be] mundane and old hat to me, but could be really interesting and insightful to a listener. So I’ve gone to the other end of the spectrum now and just decided to ship the whole conversation pretty much unedited—unless there’s any horrendous bits that need cutting out. That’s definitely helped me cut down [time spent].” ~ Rob Wreglesworth, 19:25

Another significant part of their conversation revolves around the technical and creative aspects of podcasting, such as editing and the use of AI tools. They discuss the delicate balance between over-editing and maintaining the authenticity of the conversation, emphasizing the importance of letting the natural flow of dialogue guide the editing process.

Additionally, they touch on the innovative use of AI, like ChatGPT, to enhance the podcasting process, from generating episode notes to improving show discoverability. This exploration sheds light on the evolving landscape of podcasting, where technology plays a crucial role in enhancing content quality and listener experience.

Takeaways

The power of podcasting—reveals its unique ability to connect with thought leaders and innovators previously considered unreachable, highlighting the medium’s capacity for in-depth and meaningful conversations.

The surprise of generosity—discusses how individuals are often more willing to share their time and stories on podcasts than expected, offering rich, engaging content for listeners.

Editing for authenticity—explores the balance between editing content for clarity and preserving the natural flow of conversation, emphasizing the importance of authenticity in engaging the audience.

The use of AI in podcasting—touches on innovative ways to utilize AI tools like ChatGPT for enhancing the podcasting process, from generating episode notes to improving show discoverability and listener engagement.

The challenge of verbal ticks—addresses the continuous effort to improve speaking skills, including the identification and reduction of verbal ticks, to ensure clear and effective communication.

The evolution of content strategy—considers the decision-making process behind what content to edit out and what to keep, aiming to deliver the most value to listeners while maintaining interest and relevance.

The impact of episode notes and SEO—evaluates the effectiveness of various methods for enhancing podcast discoverability, including the debated value of publishing full transcripts for SEO purposes.

Resources

Innovate Eco — Rob’s podcast.

https://innovate-eco.com/ — The Innovate Eco web site.

https://www.instagram.com/innovate_eco/ — Rob is @innovate_eco on Instagram.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robwreg/ — Rob on LinkedIn.

(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)

Conversation

Good conversation mixes opinions, feelings, facts and ideas in an improvisational exchange with one or more individuals in an atmosphere of good will. It inspires mutual insight, respect and, most of all joy. It is a way of relaxing the mind, opening the heart and connecting, authentically, with others To converse well is surprising, humanizing and fun.

~ Paula Marantz Cohen

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Connecting and respecting

The idea of narrowing the number of people we’re intending to serve with our creative efforts is freeing. Kevin Kelly‘s 1000 True Fans is liberating in the sense that it frees us from having to imagine: How am I supposed to create something that excites and engages with millions of people. But even “just” those 1,000 fans is a daunting group to imagine.

It turns out that finding, connecting and respecting a small group of supporters and customers always outperforms the hustle for more. And that if you can create a remarkable story that’s worth spreading, it’ll spread. Not because you need it to, but because your customers do.

~ Seth Godin from, https://seths.blog/2023/11/the-reluctant-spammer/

Unfortunately, I’ve not yet found my people. Yes, certainly, people tell me they love what I create—but I’ve not yet found something that goes beyond being interesting to people. I’ve not yet found something that solves a problem for them… Excites them to action… Enables them to create something of their own…

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Awareness – with Anna Bezuglova

Anna Bezuglova transforms the mundane into sacred practice, challenging our perceptions of daily life and movement with insights from her unique journey and teaching philosophy.

“The dialogue of sacredness of deep meaning is something that is often connected to daily things. It’s not only the physical practice that I treat in such a way but also just daily moments and living life. Being present to it all the time— and it doesn’t matter whether I’m doing an official session of practice, or I’m driving a car, or I’m talking to my husband, or I’m teaching a class, or I’m just walking down the road. I think this mindset shifts something in the way you do things day to day.” ~ Anna Bezuglova, 3:00

In a deeply reflective conversation, Anna describes how she treats daily practices as sacred, a wisdom imparted by her Zen teacher. She shares her journey of recognizing the sacredness in her routines, initially performing practices that outwardly seemed sacred to others but later realizing their intrinsic value to herself. Anna emphasizes the importance of being present in every moment, whether it’s in a structured practice session or the simple acts of daily living, highlighting how this mindset transforms the mundane into something deeply meaningful.

Anna’s reflections extend into the lessons learned from her father, a martial arts teacher and a Buddhist, who, despite never directly teaching her martial arts, deeply influenced her perspective on life and practice. She recounts growing up in the challenging times of the 1990s in Russia, drawing resilience and a unique outlook from her parents’ examples. This background informs her teaching philosophy, where she advocates for a holistic approach to movement that intertwines physical, cognitive, and emotional aspects.

Anna argues for the significance of continuous change, consistency, and awareness in practice, underlining how these elements contribute to a fulfilling and transformative journey. Through her narrative, she challenges listeners to see movement not just as physical exercise, but as a comprehensive method to engage with life, fostering change, and personal growth.

Takeaways

The sacredness of daily practice — a reflection on how integrating conscious intention into routine activities transforms them into meaningful practices.

The influence of upbringing — discussing how parental examples, especially in the face of adversity, shape resilience and perspectives on life and practice.

The concept of change in practice — emphasizing that constant evolution and adaptation in one’s practice mirrors the dynamic nature of life itself.

The importance of awareness — highlighting how paying attention to the body’s movement and presence in space can significantly improve one’s practice and overall well-being.

The role of a teacher — the necessity of embodying the principles one teaches, as coherence between words and actions fosters trust and facilitates learning.

The power of coordination — explaining how developing coordination through movement practices can enhance the ability to adapt and succeed in various aspects of life.

The commitment to long-term learning — advocating for the importance of dedication and persistence in practice to experience genuine transformation.

Resources

Having a Practice — Anna’s blog post mentioned by Craig.

The Bamboo Body — Anna Bezuglova’s movement school in Barcelona based on Ido Portal teachings.

@anna.bamboo — on Instagram

The Bamboo Body — on YouTube

Feldenkrais Method — A movement pedagogy designed to improve body awareness and enhance movement efficiency through gentle exercises and mindful practice. The method was developed by Moshé Feldenkrais and is used worldwide to assist in rehabilitation and promote physical and mental well-being.

Ido Portal Method — A holistic approach to movement culture pioneered by Ido Portal, focusing on developing strength, mobility, and the physical and mental aspects of movement practice. It encourages exploration of various disciplines, from martial arts to dance.

(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)

Embodied

I could do a lot worse than sitting staring at trees. We know they’re alive, and yet they’re so still.

Trees are the longest-living life form we know, and manifest their temporal and geographic histories within their very bodies. In both form and function, trees tell the stories of their individual past, which is intimately connected to the history of their microenvironments as well as that of the planet. This distinctive and intimate relation between trees and their temporal and geographic histories is what we call the ‘embodied history of trees’.

~ Dalia Nassar from, https://aeon.co/essays/what-can-an-embodied-history-of-trees-teach-us-about-life

“You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.” ~ JRR Tolkien

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Why not?

Because it’s crazy. It’s insane. It will never work. You’ll hear this a lot if you have a lot of far-out ideas. “Moonshots” is the term I prefer for such ideas, or a really big swing.

And then in an instant he realised that rather than building a cable through the wildernesses of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in the hope of saving a couple of days’ transmission time for the telegraph, one could build a cable directly from Newfoundland to Ireland, under the narrowest point of the entire Atlantic Ocean. If he was able to do that, it would reduce the time for a message to pass between the two greatest cities in the nineteenth-century world from a matter of days to just a few seconds.

~ from, https://www.slow-journalism.com/app-issues/the-death-of-slow-news

Why not, indeed. Because what if your idea actually worked?

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Listening

I’ve now done a lot of recorded conversations for podcasts. I’ve spent a lot of money, and I’ve spent a vast amount of time. I’ve had every imaginable problem. I’ve been stressed out. I’ve literally worked myself to exhaustion and illness.

The line from Zeno was that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. That reason? To listen more than we talk.

To learn from people who can teach us. To find something that makes us better.

~ Ryan Holiday from, https://ryanholiday.net/27-things-ive-learned-from-150-million-podcast-downloads/

The rewards I’ve gotten—the things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had—have been worth every penny and every moment and every hardship.

The opportunity to speak with hundreds of people (most of whom I’d never have crossed paths with, let alone had a good conversation with) is priceless.

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Little Box of Quotes

I didn’t set out to collect quotes. I simply wanted to randomly be inspired, or challenged to think, by things others have said or written.

…and 30 years later, I now get a little email from my past self every day. No noise. Just a quote.

https://littleboxofquotes.com/

In 1994 I began collecting inspirational quotes, displaying them randomly on my personal blog. After a few years I copied them all onto 3×5 cards. I put them in a small box and continued to add cards. Today, there are more than 1,500 quotes and the collection continues to grow.

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It never gets easier

Very early in my rediscovery of movement, someone said: What was once your workout, will one day be your warmup. It’s both motivating (simply do what you can, today, and the changes will come) and inspiring (it implies that the people far ahead, at one time, were here, where I am today). I can now see in hindsight that it is an expansive perspective: One will expand their capabilities as one expands one’s practice to bigger and better things.

Years later I realised that the answer to this question is: everything. There can be more articulation of the toes; rotation can be made more extreme; even that ineffable quality of artistry can be developed. It’s often thought that the greater your prowess, the easier your performance becomes. However, as I progressed upward through the ranks of the ballet world, I saw that this wasn’t the case.

~ Barbara Gail Montero from, https://aeon.co/essays/the-true-expert-does-not-perform-in-a-state-of-effortless-flow

Years into my rediscovery of movement, I realized it was truly a mastery practice. Something which can be done, forever, just for the process.

And just now, it’s occurred to me that this is also true: What was once my warmup, will always contain enough challenge to also be my workout.

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From scratch

Clear cut and plant. Clear cut and plant. I’m not sure, but this doesn’t feel like a great idea. I started reading this article thinking it wasn’t going to be that interesting. I was wrong. I’ve moved through forest where there are no trails: doing boundary monitoring and corridor maintenance for the Appalachian Trail Council, and bush–whacking towards rock climbing. It’s type-2 fun. But reading about what these super-humans do to move through clear-cut “blocks”… *shudders* that’s definitely type-3 fun.

Up in the sparsely populated wildernesses of the north, meanwhile, logging companies work 24/7 to fell trees for lumber, leaving behind ‘cut blocks’ – bleak fields of stumps, mulch, roots and detritus covering thousands of hectares. Following in their wake come hordes of seasonal tree planters, who drive for miles up dangerous roads to enter these remote areas. Staying in basic bush camps, off the grid and armed only with shovels and bags of saplings, they set about creating new forests from scratch.

~ uncredited, from https://www.slow-journalism.com/app-issues/the-tree-musketeers

“Fun” comes in 3 types: Type-1 fun is fun in the moment. Type-2 fun isn’t fun now, but we’re really going to enjoy this once we get past this sucky part, even more so as soon as we’re done, and especially years from now when we retell this story. Type-3 fun isn’t fun now, mistakes have been made, life choices need reconsidering and this is actually going to be a cautionary tale when retold.

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148 lines

Preparation—getting everything just so, the right desk, the right software and computer, the right room, the right beverage, the right time, the right mindset—is really simply a form of hiding. Sometimes it’s only a few moments, sometimes it’s days, but I always hide before writing every single one of these blog posts. I definitely don’t enjoy the hiding. I mildly enjoy the writing. I love the reading and thinking parts that this 13-year labor of insanity requires. But some people are not only good at the writing, they absolutely love the craft of writing itself.

While you or I may respond with a counter-argument, Tolkien went home and wrote 148 lines of heroic couplet […]

~ Brenton Dickieson from, https://apilgriminnarnia.com/2013/05/21/mythopoiea/

This seemed insane. Who would take an idea for a counter-argument, from a conversation, and rush off to go write for what must have been hours? And then I realized that I do that sort of thing all the time. I run with an idea down some rabbit hole, forming it into something real in the world. It’s only that I don’t it with writing.

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