One Apple A Day #760 – body presence

“Since the pioneering philosophical approach of Merleau-Ponty (1945), it has been acknowledged that the senses are embodied. The implication of this approach is that the senses can only be understood by acknowledging the attributes of the body in which they are necessarily situated.”

fromĀ How our body influences our perception of the world

Last week a dear friend made me realise that we perceive the world through our body. From the perspective of the mind, the body is part of the environment. Or at least, it is the space between our inner and private world and the outer and shared one.

Our shape, proportion, posture, and movement, they all inform our perception of the world and ourselves. 

This could explain some of the differences I’ve noticed in online workshops. When we are in a video-call, we don’t put much attention on things like how everyone is seated, or their distance from the screen. It is as if the screen remove the physical substance from the participants.

However, the body is very much present, and it has a substantial impact on how everyone will perceive and experience what is going on.

It may also explain why walking during an online meeting make me way more creative.

I’ll definitely pay more attention to my body presence in virtual settings.

One Apple A Day #759 – urgency

There are days in which I’m late since the moment I wake up.
I rise pervaded by a sense of urgency for the things I want to do and the ones I have to do. Those days feel like a race, trying to keep up with the next thing to do with a constant feeling of being behind.

This morning I woke up with that feeling and I don’t even know what I have to do today. I struggled to meditate and keep my mind from rushing to the list of things to do.
The sense of urgency is a powerful propeller into action. At least, it is for me. In the right dose, it creates pressure that helps me become laser-focus on the tasks at hand. It is, however, a risky strategy. Too much urgency and I lose focus on my priorities running in circles without getting anything done.

Urgency manifests when my attention in on the final goal more than on what I am doing. In that case, everything happening around me is a distraction; achieving the goal is all that matters. Creating urgency is an effective strategy when I need to be productive.

When I need to explore and be creative, however, urgency limits my range of attention, narrowing too much my perception span.
It is then, at least for me, about finding a rhythm between moments of urgency and moments of unbounded exploration.

One Apple A Day #758 – Less random, more intentional

A few days ago, I was talking with a friend about the impact of remote working. Quite a recurring conversation lately.
He shared with me two fascinating observations.

The first thing is the disappearance of the spaces in-between: the corridors, the halls, the stairs, the lift. All those areas that connect working spaces.

The second observation is that remote work has highly reduced the space for random encounters. You know, like when you’re going to a meeting and cross a colleague on the corridor, then you exchange a few words and maybe remember something you forgot to do or have an insight for your next meeting.

When working from home, there are no spaces in-between, no random encounters. We go in and out of calls and video-calls. It’s a binary thing. You’re in the conversation, or you’re not.
You must decide to write to someone on a chat; you don’t just randomly meet.

The downside of this is the lack of surprises and unexpected moments that can spark new ideas. The upside is that we have to be more intentional in everything we do. We need to choose to connect to someone, and that’s an opportunity to explore our intent, our motivation for doing what we do.

One Apple A Day #757 – My messiness

My desk is a mess.

Right now, it is full of everything.

There are useful things like my notepad, my books, my pens. But also essential items such as bills, tax papers, medial documents. And plenty of “I don’t know why it’s here” stuff like old and useless cables, a screwdriver, a laundry clip, a light bulb, a broken scissors, empty boxes and so on.

Then every now and then, when I have enough of this mess, I thoroughly tidy up everything. I throw away the useless stuff, I archive the important papers where they should be, I reorder my working tools until my desk is tidy and clean again.

It usually takes a few weeks before the messiness resurfaces again. It happens slowly. Like that thing that I can’t check now but I’ll do tomorrow and then stays on my desk for weeks.

The same thing happens with my email inbox or with my todo list.

And in some ways, it works for me.

I love when everything is tidy and clean, but I also need the messiness. 

It’s a bit more complicated when the mess is in my head. 

To clean up the messiness in my mind is a lot more complicated. 

That’s why I’ve learned to ask for help. 

All of this just to say that, right now, my desk, inbox, todo list and brain, they all need some cleaning.

Next weeks are going to be fun.

One Apple A Day #756 – a troubling question

“Who am I?”

This is to me, one of the most if not the most troubling question.
First, because I don’t think it can be answered in words or any other formal ways. Maybe through art, but I’m not sure. I feel that any answers in any forms will always be a part, a glimpse of something elusive.

The second reason is that I’m relentlessly changing. Answers are like photographs, they capture a moment. Even when I feel I have an answer, the truth about who I am has already moved. Maybe just a tiny shift, but enough to make any response obsolete at the moment it appears.

The third and most troubling reason is that anytime that question emerges in my awareness, I know something is off. When what I do is aligned with who I am, my life is the living answer to that question. So magically that question disappears from my radar. When it appears, however, that means there are some misalignments. And that question is like a voice reminding me that something wants to change.