Are you mindfully or mindlessly watching?

There’s been a lot of watching this last week. Watching news stations. Watching polls. Watching twitter feeds. Watching watching watching. Picking apart little data nuggets like a seagull with a cast aside bag of crisps. How many votes now? What percentage? Clark County or Clayton? Seeking minuscule answers like a small hit of a high and then going back for another and another and another.

What makes us seek answers like this? What curiosity hooks us to the point of sleep deprivation? And how can this kind of curiosity make us feel almost out of control in our information consumption…


The One Where I Made Pizza

a happy neon pizza king flinging dough

I’ve made pizza nine times since we began lockdown. This may lead you to believe that I am some huge pizza fan, and that would be understandable, but actually, while I like pizza, I’m not crazy for it. Back in the ‘normal times’, the hubs and I hit our Pizza Express on the corner every few weeks, as it’s an easy meal out and we love our server Suzy. In general, I’m more mad for Mexican or Sushi, but about three weeks into the eat-sleep-repeat rotation that is Covid confinement, I was craving pizza. I figured, ‘how hard can it…


The Novelty of the Road Less Travelled

a few of the silly walks made famous by John Cleese and Monty Python

Have you ever noticed that when you take a new route somewhere, the journey home always seems shorter? This phenomenon is known as the ‘return trip effect’ and it happens for a few reasons. The first is because, already on just the second journey, we are becoming familiar with our environment, weeding out some of the things we noticed the first time and recognising certain way points that make the journey feel shorter. The second reason is because when we are familiar, and thus more prone to autopilot, our sense of time shifts. As time is almost wholly perception, it’s…


Breathe

lungs? a tree? both need air to live credit: cargo collective

We’ve all become a little more conscious of our breathing these days, haven’t we? Between the news of ventilators and aerosolization, to masks and sidewalk breathing etiquette, life in an age of a respiratory pandemic has made breathing both the hero and the bogeyman of our psyches. But of course breath is life, and in this case, it is also the answer to yesterday’s #100DaysOfWonder question: how do we snap out of autopilot and reconnect to our little internal ‘you are here’ arrow?

It sounds so trite — almost too easy — but not everything valuable and worth doing has…


Autopilot

homer simpson and his brain on autopilot — complete with cymbal playing monkey. credit: the simpsons

For the next few posts, I want to talk about living in autopilot. I had a client mention to me recently about how internally distracted she is at the moment. She can be watching TV or helping her kids and then suddenly realises she hasn’t really been paying attention for who knows how long. ‘Why does this happen, and how do I stop it?

We all know this feeling, don’t we? So much of our life is in autopilot. Unconsciously going from one activity to another. One responsibility to another. One obligation to another. Now, however, the ‘busy work’ of…


The Gift of Imperfection

I gave a virtual presentation today to a group of executives. The brief was to talk about how the execs could lead in a more empathetic way during this crisis. As I was building the deck, I found myself returning over and over to the notion of embracing the imperfect, and the beautiful Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi and the art of kintsugi came to mind.

If you are unfamiliar with wabi sabi, it is an aesthetic philosophy that accepts and even embraces imperfection, and the quintessential manifestation of that is kintsugi. Translated as ‘golden joinery’ it is the art…


a huge crashing wave with a sunset reflected within — natural wonder at its finest — credit: anna’s treasures

Day 1 — Why??

First, I have to say, that I have felt supremely uncreative lately. I saw a tweet recently that said, ‘Coronavirus is not a writers retreat’ and y’all, I felt seen. I simply haven’t had the mojo to create. The ‘doing’ has been fine (mostly) but the ‘thinking’ and the ‘creating’ — not so much. So, dear reader if you are looking at this and thinking ‘good lord, please not another overachiever shoving their new #quarentineinspoproject down my throat, I can barely bathe myself daily,’ don’t worry — I hear you. This isn’t it. And if you…


One entrepreneur’s journey to capturing the most elusive commodity

bureau sur la mer — a desk by a window looking out at the sea credit: mparker

The sun rose over the Mediterranean today and the silhouette of my little writing desk against the sea felt like a dream to me. Today is a special day, not just because every day in the French Riviera is special, but because it is the culmination of a long-held dream. One I don’t think I imagined would come and I have been moving so fast lately that I am just now appreciating the ‘big-ness’ of it.

So a little recap of my last decade:

· Nine years ago, I left a lousy marriage in absolute shambles. I was a hot…


What vulnerability can teach us about ourselves and the future of work

robot sitting at a computer in a cubicle credit: shutterstock

Fun fact: we’re only born afraid of two things — loud noises and falling. Sort of strange when you think of it. But in truth, our brains at birth are something of a tabula rasa. A blank slate. Some scientists posit that we aren’t even born knowing how to love, that circuitry only being triggered in our limbic system by our mother’s first caress. But from those first crying breaths, we know our brains begin to learn. And much of what we learn is what to fear. Fast forward to adulthood and we fear so much. …


Why Empathy is the Key to Changing the World in 2018

two silhouettes facing each other — one red, one blue credit: shutterstock

I don’t generally like watching war movies. I find the ‘good’ ones so moving, so deeply disturbing, that I find myself for weeks reflecting on the fear, trauma and pain of all involved. So it was with a bit of reluctance I decided to see Dunkirk last year. …

Monica Parker

Founder HATCH Analytics. ‘Wonder’ Woman. Ex-homicide investigator who’s now a behaviour nerd inspiring positive action in human’s lives. #BetterWorkBetterWorld

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