The missing dot


The other day, during a deeper conversation with my 9 year old daughter, we discussed how by gaining knowledge and insights we can enrich our life and that of others. This is a daily process, and sometimes a “dot” or connection is missing, or out of sight for a while.


We do not progress at the same speed or with the same rhythm all the time. I tried to explain the idea to her and used the metaphor of the “connecting the dots” drawing game. The more dots there are, the harder it is to make some of the connections.


As I tried to finish one myself in preparation of this post, I discovered a missing dot/number, it required me to zoom out and look at the whole picture I had drawn so far. This way I was able to make the correct connection with the next dot. When we stagnate within a certain development or project, seeing the whole picture may help finding missing links towards continuation.


The phrase “connecting the dots” can also be used as a metaphor to illustrate an ability (or inability) to associate one idea with another, to find the “big picture”, or salient feature, in a mass of data. In the case of computer technology, missing a dot can even cause a country to drop off the world wide web, as they encountered in 2009 in Sweden.

“What was essentially a typo last night resulted in the temporary disappearance from the Internet of almost a million Web sites in Sweden — every address with a .se top-level down name. “The .se registry used an incorrectly configured script to update the .se zone, which introduced an error to every single .se domain name,” says Pingdom. “We have spoken to a number of industry insiders and what happened is that when updating the data, the script did not add a terminating ‘.’ to the DNS records in the .se zone. That trailing dot is necessary in the settings for DNS to understand that ‘.se” is the top-level domain. It is a seemingly small detail, but without it, the whole DNS lookup chain broke down.”


I think what distinguishes scientists, artists, and certain entrepreneurs from other people is that their creativity allows them to make unexpected connections between the dots. They can see both tree and forest at the same time, and make sense of it (or as some artists do to make nonsense out of it, like Dadaism). Being able to see and treasure the “dot” in front of you, will show you the path to the next one and/or make the right connection. As far as the human connections are concerned, the Karmic Connection versus Soul Mate is a very interesting one, which is for another post.


My daughter “got the picture” and referred to other related images, like the star constellations and chemical/molecular structures. Our dialog concluded, as I observed that life is not just one “connect the dots” picture, but a whole series. To which she replied: “I wonder mom, how all these images look together, at the end of your life.”

Axiom of Life

Axiom of Life

In my eyes of heart
In my heart of eyes
Magical moon had lit
Many stars smiled
Over my clouded heart

On my drums of heart
On my heart of drums
Songs played magically
Music oozed slowly
Over my beat less heart

To my dreams of heart
To my heart of dreams
Life roused freshly
Smile smiled smilingly
On dry lips of my heart

For my life of heart
For my heart of life
Colors faded naturally
Season changed timely
For me to be my part

Kranthi Pothineni

Sometimes a certain theme appears in your life, and all of a sudden you see it everywhere. It’s the middle of the summer, far away from Valentines, yet hearts show up every day now, in the most unexpected places.

I listened to an interview called “From Heartache to Joy” with Mindie Kniss the other day; her website is titled “Restart your Heart.” Last night I was watching a live Internet event called HeartCore women and suddenly my heart started beating faster, what’s up with all these hearts I wondered…?

One sentence that struck me during the HeartCore discussion was: “What is more important, a great dental insurance, or doing what you love to do?” I love my job, and yes it even comes with a good dental insurance. Can I just love my job, or do we all need to change, chase “success” and earn a lot of bucks?

Another realization I had, was that it seems that 9 out of 10 successful business women are coaches. Is that what it takes, or is it the best way to fame? I don’t want to be a coach! What do I want?

This question and several related ones followed me for several hours, what do I really love to do? How do I like to do what I like? Is there something I could be doing, that I would love even more? Who could help me to solve the matters of the heart?

That same evening I dear friend who lives in Singapore, pinged me on facebook, her newborn baby woke up at 4 am, so while feeding the baby we chatted for a while. She’s a coach, a great one I must say. She told me she needed online marketing and social media help. As we discussed a compensation I suggested that she could coach me, with everything that was currently going on I could certainly need some feedback and guidance!

That night I woke up at 2 am, not sure why, could have been the lightning and thunder. I listened to the sound of rainfall for a while, hoping to fall back asleep. Instead I got drenched in a down poor of words and thoughts. I got up and made a few notes on the first piece of paper I could find. In the dim light my eyes were challenged to focus. In the morning I had a hard time to decipher my mixed words, like putting puzzle pieces of a dream together.

I started to connect the dots (I’ll post more about that later): in 2009 I did everything I could to attend a 3 day workshop in Utah, called Book Publishing 2.0, hosted by Michael Drew and a whole team of other great people. A few years ago, I started not only this blog, but several other ones as well. Further back in time, at least 25 years ago, I wrote a short essay about the essence of being a woman. Finally the fog lifted and I saw the answer to my question: “What do I love doing?” clearly: I love writing!

I love reading, I love doing research, but above all I LOVE WRITING! I’m not a large crowd person, I feel best when in solitude. Writing suits me well. I also realized that what coaches do via personal interaction, I can accomplish via my writing: Inspiring people to living an optimal life.

Bless the heart,

♥ Mo

Update on Aug 14: I received this via an email: “Take care of your heart.  Nurture it and fill it with hope regardless of what has occurred.” Veronica

Your last jacket does not have any pockets

Approaching 50 made me re-evaluate my goals in life, and ponder what is important and meaningful to me to focus on? What do I still want to accomplish before I get really old? What is on my bucket list and how can I realize these things?

I noticed that having certain things is much less important to me than doing/seeing certain things. I think that when you’re getting to that point where the daily trip to your rocking chair becomes a challenge these “things” no longer serve you, they become meaningless ballast. What you need at that point are memories, many of them, and preferably happy ones.

When your body is too old to do major physical work it is nice to “return” to that awesome trip to Joshua Tree State park, when hiking between the cacti, watching the coyotes play hide and seek, or the first time you went down a difficult slope on your skis and managed to arrive in one piece.

When your eyes no longer see sharp, near or far, it is great to see the sights in your mind’s eye like that sunset in the South of France that was so red you thought the lake was on fire, or the hundreds of floating flower arrangements, lit by candles leaving trails of light on the dark sea, during the Loy Kratong celebration on a Thai island.

Making memories is more important than obtaining materials, things break or become obsolete and only satisfy for a short time, memories are always there to cheer up a dull or sad moment. I realize now that these memories seem very small and unimpressive, a butterfly landing on your hand, a banana bread coming out of the oven, a piece of music, the purring cat in your lap.

So many of us are chasing the latest gadgets, a bigger car, a better house, that must have outfit, more money in the bank, a large nest egg, and think that happiness comes from/with that, yet when you’re old you do not remember that iPad, you remember that lake where you found a 250 million year old fossil. My mom always says: “Your last jacket does not have any pockets” and she’s right, enjoy live now to the fullest, collect memories, not things!

Namasté, Mo

Sweet Darkness

This is the strangest cloud I've ever seen

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

~ David Whyte ~

(House of Belonging)

More Cooking: A Dutch Winter Dish

When Winter approaches in the Netherlands (Holland) we start eating richer dishes (to keep warm!) that we call stamppot. To stamp means mashing and so we mash together usually potatoes, some kind of meat (or keep that on the side) and a vegetable. The dish I am making used to be a stamppot, but my mother turned it into an oven dish called Andijvie schotel.

In Holland we make this dish with endive, something I have not found yet here in the US, but as I found out via this website called The Cook’s Thesaurus there is a French version called Escarole and as I found out it has very similar texture and taste.

Escarole

For my Escarole dish you cut up the endive/escarole/chicory into 1 cm (1/4 inch) strips and wash well. Cook in boiling water (a little water on the bottom of the pan) for just a few minutes to wilt! Drain all water and put the endive in an oven dish and sprinkle a little nutmeg on top.
Before you start, peel some potatoes (enough to cover your oven dish) and start boiling them, by the time your endive and/or meat are ready, they’ll be ready to get mashed.
Then bake some minced beef with beef spices of your liking, make sure it ends as very small cooked pieces. Place the meat on top of the endives in your oven dish, and then cover it with your home-made mashed potatoes topped with bread crumbs and little pieces of butter.
Bake in a 350 (180C) oven for about 30 minutes (to get the top golden brown I turn off the oven after 30 minutes and turn on the broiler for just a few minutes).
I love it when I can make a whole meal in one dish! This time I used a small (just for two) oven dish, but when you make a huge batch, you’ll enjoy it several days!
Enjoy! Eet smakelijk!