Saturday, January 28, 2012

Breaking Silence

I'm just going to come out with it. I really, really want to be pregnant and I'm really, really sad that I'm not.

These are things I almost never say out loud. Things I've only spoken to a handful of people. And lately they are things I try not to even think out loud. Does it makes sense to say thinking out loud? Sometimes my thoughts are very quiet little whispers, faintest rustlings that disturb me very little. And sometimes they are giant voices shouting in my head. Sometimes my thoughts are very loud.

And as the days go by and I'm not pregnant, the desire gets a little stronger, and the sadness gets a little bigger, and the thoughts in my head get a little more shouty.

It's my inclination to hold these things to myself. To carry them close, so close. To never, not ever, put them on display. These hurts are too tender. The desires run too deep. And if I hold them tightly, maybe I can control them, maybe I can subdue them, maybe I can shrink the hurt down to a manageable size. Reduce the desire to something saner, more logical. As if desire has ever had anything to do with logic. 

But I'm holding tighter and tighter, and I'm covering over so very much of myself in the process, and the desire still gets stronger, the pain more insistent, the thoughts more and more shouty . . . and the lump of it all, the very dense, hard, massive ball of all the things I'm shoving down and down and down is getting bigger and messier and harder to breathe past and the silence isn't helping me anyway, not really. So here I am. I'm just coming out with it.

I really, really want to be pregnant. And I'm really, really sad that I'm not.

I'm going to try saying that a little bit more and a little bit louder for a while. Saying it out loud and not just to myself. I may even write about it a little more here. And maybe then my thoughts will settle back down to their normal, if mildly cacophonous, hum.

Friday, January 27, 2012

God's Grandeur

God’s Grandeur
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

It Will Be Long

The words come slow and halting
Up up up
From deep down things

They gurgle and falter
And sputter and spit

They've been left
Where solids erode into dust

It will be long
Before they run clear again

The words rattle and snap
Like dry bones
Tumbled in heaps akimbo

Bleached and creaking
Stripped and laid bare

They've been lost
To a merciless sun

It will be long
Before they are whole again

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Wendell Berry


When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

My 9 Second Elevator Pitch

Post Number Three as I continue my new obsession with Fascination. Need to catch up on One and Two?

I am the Intrigue:

According to research, the average person in our time has an attention span of 9 seconds. Which means we can basically pay attention to something about as long as a goldfish can. So we have 9 seconds to make an impact on a potential employer or customer.

I build connected relationships...

It sounds incredibly difficult to boil down an entire person or an entire brand into 9 seconds, but sometimes that's all we've got. And Sally Hogshead shared a tool at her session last week that helps get it done.

through my multi-layered communication...

I don't want to reveal too much about the details of the tool, because I don't know that it's available for wide release yet. I got a little advance access to it thanks to my attendance at the conference last week.

selective insight...

I will say that it's incredibly fast, simple, and fool proof. It's based on using your Primary and Alternate Personality Archetype (revealed by your F-Score Test, get on it now, people!) to define your strongest skills and your unique approach to them.

and paradoxical problem solving.

And here is the result of my labor. My 9-Second Elevator Pitch.
I am the Intrigue: I build connected relationships through my multi-layered communication, selective insight, & paradoxical problem solving. Whether it's employer to employee, customer to brand, or father to son, connection is key.
Tomorrow I'll experiment with applying the Seven Triggers of Fascination at a brand level to define brand personality archetypes for a 9-Second Brand Elevator Pitch.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Falling In Love with Wendell Berry

How To Be a Poet
(to remind myself)


Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.


Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.


Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

I'm Fascinated with Fascinate

Many of you could have predicted this. I'm keenly interested in exploring more about the Seven Triggers of Fascination that I posted about on Monday. I downloaded the Kindle version of Sally's book onto my iPad last night and I can't wait to dig into it this weekend. In the meantime, I sated my curiosity by combing through Sally's website, blog archives and (you'll never believe it) Facebook page. And you all know how much I hate Facebook.

I have a few comments to make about my F-Score results. Passion as my primary trigger makes perfect sense. I'm definitely a warm, connective, emotionally available person, and I do believe people are drawn to me because of that. And I'm certainly a communicator.

Mystique as my secondary makes sense too. As expressive as I may appear, I still usually conceal or leave out more than I express. In fact, I'm most likely to channel my Passion/Connection primary trigger towards others in a way that make them feel comfortable expressing themselves. Frequently that means my own expression takes a back seat while I suss out and explore the emotions of others.

But let's talk about Rebellion as my dormant trigger. Sally's model equates rebellion with surprise, creativity, and untraditional ideas. If Rebellion is my dormant trigger that means I am least likely to fascinate in this way. And yet, I'm normally perceived as very creative person. In fact, creativity is a vitally important part of what I do on a daily basis. I can certainly agree that I'm not likely to surprise others. I'm usually pretty dependable. And I'm not likely to buck a traditional system unless I see glaring errors in it.

I honestly thought my dormant trigger would be Alarm, because I almost have an aversion to people and situations that are all about urgency and negative consequences. I'm a deadline girl only when I have to be, when I need to meet expectations within a work environment. So even when I adhere to Alarm, it's being driven by another facet of my personality (Trust). And I almost never apply pressure to others in this way.

It's interesting.... Maybe the scores were pretty close between dormant Alarm and dormant Rebellion and there was one little question that tipped the scales? Or maybe the model is flawed/skewed by equating creativity with Rebellion and rule-breaking. Aren't there lots of other ways to be and be perceived as creative? Or perhaps my creativity is just another trait that's expressed through the lens of my Passion/Mystique archetype, and as such is more subtle and nuanced. Because I'm certainly not an in-your-face, different-just-for-the-sake-of-difference kind of person.

One way or another, it definitely has me thinking. Tonight I'm going to walk through Sally's template for creating a 9 Second Elevator Pitch. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, take the F-Score Test! Email me your results!

Above image from Fascinate on Facebook. Don't you think that pretty well captures it?

Monday, January 23, 2012

What Makes You Fascinating?

Last week at a conference in Indiana I heard a new take on an old favorite....personality typing

Sally Hogshead is building a brand (and publishing a new book) about Fascination and the idea that we are all hardwired to Fascinate (essentially compel, hold the attention of, bewitch, captivate) and be Fascinated by others. 

According to Sally's research, there are 7 different triggers that we can use Fascinate and we all have primary, secondary, and dormant triggers. 

I love, love, LOVE personality profiling, so you know that I whipped out my iPad and was awaiting my own results before the session was even over. Please take the test too, so we can compare results and fight about whether or not this a brilliant new approach to personality types. I can't decide where I stand.

The link to her assessment is here. Check it out to see what (supposedly) makes you fascinating. And read through my results below to see if you think they ring true for me.

F Score
Meet Your Triggers
Your primary fascination is PASSION. (Nicely done, you.) Even without realizing it, you're already instinctively applying this trigger when trying to persuade others. Your secondary trigger is MYSTIQUE, and your dormant trigger (the one you're least likely to apply in your personality and behavior) is REBELLION.

Your Primary TriggerPASSION
You quickly create warm emotional connections.
WHO YOU ARE: Expressive • Intuitive • Social • Impulsive • Enthusiastic
» You captivate others with your vibrant and attractive style of communication.
» Your approachable and transparent style makes you an "open book."
» You intuitively understand ideas and feelings of others.
PASSION TRIGGER LEADERS:Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo da Vinci, Tom Peters, Jim Carrey, Jack Welch, Nicholas Sparks
PASSION is one of the most immediately fascinating triggers. Your primary PASSION trigger means that you capture widespread attention through colorful words, ideas, and actions. 

Your Secondary Trigger MYSTIQUE
Your subtle style makes every detail more influential.
WHO YOU ARE: Understated • Complex • Rational • Reserved • Deliberate
» You persuade others by selectively culling your words and actions.
» You make careful decisions, usually thinking before acting.
» When you do share an idea or opinion, it carries more influence than it would for those who tend to "over-share."
MYSTIQUE TRIGGER LEADERS: J.D. Salinger, Johnny Depp, Bobby Fisher, Marilyn Monroe, Vincent Van Gogh, Greta Garbo, Agatha Christie
Having MYSTIQUE as your secondary trigger means you have a complex mind and reserved demeanor. These natural strengths are perfectly suited for certain professional scenarios.

Your Dormant Trigger REBELLION
YOUR DORMANT TRIGGER (the one you are least likely to use): REBELLION
You are unlikely to fascinate others with creativity and surprise.
» You are perceived as stable, trustworthy, and consistent.
» Most likely, you influence others through strong relationships and respect.
» Your word is your bond.
REBELLION adds freshness and surprise. It can spark fresh creative ideas. This trigger encourages people to break out of old ways of thinking, and find more innovative solutions.
Should you dial up your REBELLION trigger? Perhaps, if you want to shake up dusty routines, and become a more pioneering force for your message.

Here is YOUR personality’s fascination archetype:
You are The Intrigue.
You are:
  • Selective
  • Subtle
  • Multi-Layered