Of Synchronicities and Intentions
Sunday, December 28, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, my Beloved and I had a talk about my blogging. I had written a piece that brought up questions for her about how my choice of words and focus served my world view, and whether I thought that my approach really contributed to creating the world that I want to live in.
We've had a number of conversations of this type, and they are always helpful to me, because, to be perfectly honest, I've never been 100%, absolutely, and completely clear about what my underlying intention is in terms of blogging, and as a result, I believe that I haven't always been a true contributor to the world I want to create.
I know that blogging feeds me somehow -- it's something that I usually feel called to, and I find it satisfying (nearly always, anyway) -- but I am a firm believer in the notion that clear intention tends to lead to clearer results, so this lack of clarity has been bothersome to me.
Which leads me to the synchronicities -- a couple of days ago, I was cleaning my office and listening to an episode of "This American Life" -- the episode included research from a man who had studied the concept of the "bad apple". He wanted to know just how much "negative" behavior by one person in a group could impact the group.
Turns out (according to his research at least) that the energy of a single person in the group can have a lot of impact -- groups that he studied, into which he inserted an actor who demonstrated one of three behaviors that team-building experts have identified as having detrimental impact on the efficacy of groups (being a "jerk", being a "slacker", or being "depressive/pessimistic") performed with 30-45% less efficiency than groups that didn't include that actor.
Which doesn't come as a huge surprise to me -- I've worked with groups for a long time, in many settings, and I've seen, first hand, what a single person can do to sow discord in a group.
When I was working as a queer rights activist, there was this one woman in the queer community who was well known for her ability to join a functioning group and have it dysfunctioning within a few meetings. There were even rumors that she was a plant (maybe government, maybe right-wing -- they were rumors, after all), because the connection between her arrival in any given group and its imminent implosion had a certain clock-like precision to it.
So, as I listened the TAL episode, I simply thought: "Hmmm. Interesting story," and finished cleaning my office.
Then, yesterday, I got an email from someone that linked to this video (it's long, so I'm not going to embed it).
This video was also about the power of attitudinal contagion (this time, both in terms of additive as well as detractive interactions -- note: I prefer additive/detractive to "positive/negative", because the p/n words are so attached to judgmental other stuff in my head).
Now, when something like that comes across my path in this kind of synchronous rhythm, I tend to pay attention.
I decided long ago that, given the choice of living in a strictly random Universe to which we bring meaning, or living in a divinely ordered Universe in which no event is accidental, my choice was clear -- I want to live in the divinely ordered thingamabob.
This, for me, is a pretty pragmatic decision: If, in the end, it turns out that the cosmos I live in is completely and utterly random, and I'm absolutely wrong about Life, the Universe and Everything, then -- well, when I die, my component cells will rejoin the Earth, the self-aware persona that I think of as "I" will cease to exist in any form beyond whatever might travel along as those component cells wander off to become something else, and "I" will be none the wiser -- I won't be disappointed about having been wrong.
If, on the other hand, it turns out that the Universe I live in is, as I suspect, an organic, transforming being of which I am but a tiny part, and that the "coincidences" that I experience are, in fact, rich opportunities for growth being presented to me through the mechanism of that larger transforming being -- well, then, I may as well act on the notion that thought creates reality, and construct a life that fits with the notion that either everything is a miracle, or nothing is.
It basically boils down to the fact that I find the second format more . . . fun.
But back to my synchroncities . . . . .
I haven't clearly gotten the third-of-three part of the synchronicity (which is a well known confirmation tool for receiving guidance or totemic symbolism, stimulating the "notice this!" node of our brains, and, of all things, building jokes -- the "rule of three"), but I'm pretty that this third synchronistic experience will be along any minute now, so I'm going to take the hint early and start applying my consciousness to the "message".
I think it has to do with me setting a clear intention for blogging.
I've been puzzled by my sporadic blogging style. I stand in amazement at people who can pump out a five-to-ten blog-posts each day, and I have wondered about the times when I have had a blog-stall (and there have been many of those, as my regular readers can attest). I'm beginning to think that it has something to do with this absence of clear intention.
I think that when I'm not clear about why I'm doing this, I'm much more easily distracted by this current event, that personal story, those shiny toys, and these niggling second guesses -- so sometimes, I don't blog at all, because I can't decide what kind of a post would serve the intention of the blog (because I don't have an intention for the blog).
I'm going to experiment, though, with some intentions.
I actually have two personal blogs, and I've been acutely aware of the difference in their tone from the beginning -- Teh Portly Dyke was my outlet to the larger world -- a place where my readers might have little (or no) context for me -- at least that was the intention at the beginning, when I blogged completely psuedononymously. This Is The Thing was a blog where I spoke to people who knew me in my professional and personal context -- I was known by my real name there from the beginning.
Since my coming out at Portly Dyke, I have noticed that there continues to be a slight difference in tone between the two blogs, even though I'm no longer completely anonymous at TPD -- and that leads me to believe that I actually still have different intentions (albeit unconscious ones) when I'm blogging at each blog.
At TITT (wow, I never realized that that is the acronym for my original blog -- interesting . . . . . ), I rarely provide much explanation of my world-view or lexicon -- I generally assume that the reader there has bothered to check out who I am and what I do, or they have come there specifically in reference to who I am and what I do (although this, too, has changed since I came out, and new readers have shown up at TITT -- ooo -- now I'm all excited about that acronym!).
At TPD, I explained my lexicon a lot, although often in the more generic terms required when reaching out to an audience which has little personal knowledge of me, and where readers sometimes drop in from the blue. To find TITT, you kind of have to know where it is, whereas TPD is now linked hither and yon.
I do think that I have arrived at a unified intention for both blogs, though -- an intention which I'm going to try on for a bit and see about: I want to blog an an infectious agent -- an infectious agent of light.
Not light as in "sweetness and -", and not light as in "light vs. dark" -- light as in "best disinfectant", and as in "bouyant and headed skyward", and as in "likely to be able to read more easily if it's on".
I am going to try a two-branched approach, though, since TPD and TITT seem to have developed their own personalities, and I don't think that's an "accident", either -- here at Teh Portly Dyke, I'm going to try out being an outgoing infectious agent of light -- being a reading lamp of sorts for others -- and at This is The Thing, I'm going to try out being an incoming infectious agent of light -- shining that light into myself and my own internal quandaries and ponderings.
It's a start anyway. If I have that intention, I suspect that the choice of subject matter and the approach I take may be far less overwhelming.
Posted byPortlyDyke at 11:30 PM