Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Snow

February 9th, 2010 by Collin Canright | No Comments | Filed in Personal

I was the first one out on the street this morning, the first one out in the snow, the first one to make tracks in the street. It was 4:30 am, and it was very quiet.

The swoosh of the brush pushing the pile of flakes, dry like cereal flakes. I thought about how quiet it is when it snows, the snow not only looking like cotton but absorbing and muffling sound like a blanket.

I pulled onto the unbroken snow on Byron street and turned right onto Wolcott avenue, where I merged with the tire tracks of a car that had been headed east onto Byron before I got out but turned north onto Wolcott before it passed my house.

I stopped after I turned and got out to look at the perfect tracks in the perfect quiet of the perfect snow.

Liberating

February 3rd, 2010 by Collin Canright | No Comments | Filed in Personal, Psychology

I’m stepping back tonight after completing the second part of a week and a half of the 2010 Men’s Leadership Development training, in which I and my leadership colleagues have been setting the themes and planning our goals for 2010. We’ve been using Dr. Judith Wright’s Evolating model for personal transformation as both a touchstone and tool to guide our ongoing planning.

Liberating is the fourth stage of the model, before rematrixing, which I wrote about on Monday. The Evolating model describes a process of “discontinuous change or transformation to a more advanced stage of being,” and as a result, it deals with ways of being and styles of attitude more than concrete goals.

Liberating is just that–a liberation in the form of new behaviors, attitudes, and ways of being. Liberating comes after the revelating stage, in which patterns of behavior or thinking are revealed.

Revelating is the insight that may or may not lead to change. In many cases, an insight into a faulty thinking pattern may remain an insight, and the faulty thinking remains. With liberating, you experience the freedom of breaking through, of trying new things, of experiencing new sensations and feelings, of thinking in new ways, or all of those and more.

My liberating experience started last week as I noticed some long-standing attitudes that have limited my firm’s growth for years. Many lie in the experiences I had in growing up in small businesses on both sides of my family, and I have seen both how those experiences have kept the firm going for 20 years but with a pattern of control that limited their size.

The pictures at the top of the page, of my 50th birthday celebration, are another example of liberation. I almost didn’t have a party at all, and instead I used the experience as an ongoing project of looking back in order to look forward.

Seeing what I have accomplished, as well as the gaps–personally and as a result of my family experiences–has been freeing, showing me what I have to draw on as well as where I need to retrain myself. Therein lie the seeds of liberating behaviors that lead to lifelong lasting change–and business growth in 2010.

m stepping back tonight after completing the second part of a week and a half of the 2010 Men’s Leadership Development training, in which I and my leadership colleagues have been setting the themes and planning our goals for 2010. We’ve been using Dr. Judith Wright’s Evolating model for personal transformation as both a touchstone and tool to guide our ongoing planning.

Liberating is the fourth stage of the model, before Rematrixing, which I wrote about on Monday. The Evolating model describes a process of “discontinuous change or transformation to a more advanced stage of being,” and as a result, it deals with ways of being and styles of attitude more than concrete goals.

Liberating is just that–a liberation in the form of new behaviors, attitudes, and ways of being. Liberating comes after the revelating stage, in which patterns of behavior or thinking are revealed.

Revelating is the insight that may or may not lead to change. In many cases, an insight into a faulty thinking pattern may remain an insight, and the faulty thinking remains. With liberating, you experience the freedom of breaking through, of trying new things, of experiencing new sensations and feelings, of thinking in new ways, or all of those and more.

My liberating experience started last week as I noticed some long-standing attitudes that have limited my firm’s growth for years. Many lie in the experiences I had in growing up in small businesses on both sides of my family, and I have seen both how those experiences have kept the firm going for 20 years but with a pattern of control that limited their size.

The pictures at the top of the page, of my 50th birthday celebration, are another example of liberation. I almost didn’t have a party at all, and instead I used the experience as an ongoing project of looking back in order to look forward.

Seeing what I have accomplished, as well as the gaps–personally and as a result of my family experiences–has been freeing, showing me what I have to draw on as well as where I need to retrain myself. Therein lie the seeds of liberating behaviors that lead to lifelong lasting change.

Tags: , ,

Qi Gong

January 31st, 2010 by Collin Canright | No Comments | Filed in Personal

I reached a milestone today: I learned the 36th and last of the Qi Gong exercises I started learning back in September 2009, with Sifu Yamel Torres at the Chinese Martial Arts and Wellness Center.

liangong-collected2As Sifu Torres explains it, “Qi gong literally means “breath exercises” and is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese martial arts and spirituality. Its primary driving force was the search for health and longevity.”

In the style I learned–and I see from browsing around on the internet that there are a good number of styles–there are six sets of six exercises. Each set focuses on a different part of the body, the back, the knees, and so on. All are a triple combination of breathing, stretching, and balancing. Each set starts with fairly simple movements and progresses to increasingly more complex movements, many with subtle variations on the initial exercise’s theme.

I like the meditative aspect of the exercises, which require a combination of breathing and mental focus. Indeed, they are mental as well as physical exercises, for I found that it takes brain work to remember the moves and notice the subtleties of movement.

I am not the most coordinated person on the planet, and to remember movements with my arms and legs going in different and not especially common directions while focusing on my breath isn’t easy. But the pain in my lower back and stiffness and numbness in my leg is considerably less.

My desk was across the wall from Sifu Yamel’s studio, and I would hear him working the teacher he trains hard. I started working with him finally on the more gentle Qu Gong exercises to gain flexibility, reduce back pain and stress, and increase my level of energy. So far, so good.

The story of how Yamel met a Chinese martial arts master, became his student, and decided to carry on his legacy is both inspiring and moving. Ready Yamel’s discovery of the Seven Star Praying Mantis style of kung fu in tribute to Master Raymond Ly (Ming Loy) .

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tags:

Chicago Art

January 7th, 2010 by Collin Canright | No Comments | Filed in Chicago, Personal, Photography

Christina and I spent the end of a snowy day on a date at the Art Institute of Chicago. We met in photojournalism school and without thinking of that tend to visit first the current photo exhibit in the downstairs gallery.

Today we saw the exhibit “C. D. Arnold Photographs of the World’s Columbian Exposition” in the Chicago Cabinet, a series showcasing the Institute’s collection of Chicago photos. These photos are large platinum prints, very sharp of documenting the 1894 exhibition.

C. D. Arnold. Chicago Day, Grand Plaza in front of Administration Building, 1893

C. D. Arnold. Chicago Day, Grand Plaza in front of Administration Building, 1893

In spite of all I have heard about the fair, I had never really comprehended the scale of the project, the size of the space, the massive ironwork of the buildings. Everything was the largest of the time, and everyone in the small studio space with us seemed awed as they marveled at the beauty of the white city in the photographs.

We were struck by the design detail of the entrance of the Transportation Building, designed by Louis H. Sullivan. A note directed us to another current exhibit at the museum, “Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago.” This traces the arts and crafts movement from architecture, furniture, graphic, silverware, decorative arts, and photography.

Blessed Art Thou among Women, a photograph by Gertrude Käsebier 1899

Blessed Art Thou among Women, a photograph by Gertrude Käsebier, 1899

Some of the furniture from the Prairie School is famous, and I was surprised at how little I liked it. It’s too stick like and boxy and heavy for my tastes. Christina agreed. But we loved Sullivan’s ornamental work and the way he and other artists intertwined natural forms in their designs.

We also liked photography by Alfred Stieglitz and Gertrude Käsebier and the summation of the curators that this period brought together and blurred the distinctions between the fine arts and the applied arts.

We don’t always remember the things that drew us together in the first place.

Tags: , , ,