Rabbinic spirituality WorkPlace Spirituality

Life's Busy, but Good

I’m running  hard at th moment, and therefore haven’t had a chance to post much recently, but figured I’d take a few minutes to do so now.

Last night was Ignite Portland 4, which was amazing. My presentation went fine, I think, but some of the others were truly amazing. Carolynn Duncan did an amazing run down on the Portland scene from an outsider’s viewpoint. Cami Kaos‘ take on bluffing your way through life was a tour de force of stage presence at its best, and needless to say, very entertaining. Betsy Richter presented on how to do project or child management, and why it’s the same thing, which was perhaps the most useful presentation of the evening. And Melissa Lion‘s talk about the use of narrative in online communication was truly brilliant, and I’d have been delighted to have listed to an hour on the subject rather than the 5 minutes (which hinted at a truly remarkable set of ideas, without having the time to flesh them out). Oh, and here’s my presentation on spirituality in non-religious community. There were many other great speakers, but these were some of my favorites (admittedly, also, some of my favorite people).

Right now, I’m theoretically already in the car heading towards Bend for a weekend with a congregation. I’m very excited about this, but do wish that this week had been a little less hectic. I’ll be doing some last minute preparation (read: thinking) as I drive east. But first, since I need to go over the mountains to get there, I need to go buy chains for the car (a legal requirement, and probably a good idea as well). It will be a packed weekend with a service tonight, adult ed and a class for children tomorrow morning, a social get together tomorrow night, followed by some discussion about how one creates a congregation on Sunday morning. It seems like a great group, and I’m really looking forward to my visit.

In the middle of all this, I’ve also been trying to help a friend who found herself in a scary legal situation and scarily short of resources.

It’s all going well, and it’s all good stuff (except for the friend needing help), but I’m running hard doing life and not finding much time for blogging it. Hopefully I’ll have more next week.

General spirituality WorkPlace Spirituality

Say Yes Now, Figure Out How Later

A couple of weeks ago, almost on a lark, I submitted a proposal for a talk to be given at Ignite Portland 4. Ignite Portland is an event wherein 13 speakers are each given 5 minutes to talk about the subject they proposed. The trick is, each speaker has to submit exactly 20 slides which will change exactly every 15 seconds during the course of the talk. Somehow, while writing the proposal, that didn’t seem so daunting to me, especially since I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of being selected. 

I began to have second thoughts the day after submission, when several people commented on twitter about how interesting they found my proposal. I’ll quote the text for you here: 

Spirituality in Community: It’s not just for religion anymore: 

Spirituality is a fundamental part of everything we, as humans, do. Given how much of ourselves we invest in our work lives, it’s no surprise that we derive great spiritual satisfaction and disappointment from our work and the relationships in our workplace. Yet this is an area that we rarely think about consciously when choosing a job or work situation. 

In five minutes, I’ll point out ways of thinking about spiritual satisfaction that will allow us to apply them to our work lives, and how to maximize the spiritual satisfaction we derive in the course of our workdays. This includes such things as finding meaning in our work, finding meaning in the relationships in the workplace, and appreciating the challenges which face us both as part of the job and as barriers to getting our jobs done.

Now, the problem is, that I have just taken two separate topics, each of which I probably have about a book’s worth of content for, and mashed them together for a five minute talk. 

  • Topic 1: A new definitoin of spirituality which implies that spirituality is inherent in everything we, as human beings do.
  • Topic 2: Spirituality in the workplace is good, important and very different from religion in the workplace. 
All of which means I’m going to have to speak very quickly. The real question is, what will I put on the slides?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the other presenters are  bit intimidating to be put into a group with. These are people with big personalities, sharp wits and something to say. And, well, most of them dress better than me, too. 
Nonetheless, somehow, I will come up with a short enough version of what I have to say, with visual accompaniement, by November 3 or thereabouts (which I’m beginning to suspect is sooner than I think). I am excited about doing this, and challenged by doing this. I’m hoping I have something adequate to say that I’m not wasting 600 semi-sober people’s time for 5 minutes (which, in case you are wondering, is 60 hours, cummmulatively). So whatever I have to say, it has to be worth about a full work week of time (but no pressure). 
I might go find a bed to hide under now. Thanks.