Global Citizenship

Automation Apps, Leadership in Sales, and Free Information

What are automation apps?

Automation apps are internet-based technology platforms designed to do things autonomously. The free automation apps I use now are for customer service and involve email newsletters, calendar events, progress reports, and help chat. I use apps that work with my Squarespace website and implementation was relatively quick: Acuity Scheduling, Pure Chat, MailChimp, and Google Sheets. I like automation applications because they give customers an immediate response and enable people to take action while also saving administrative cost that means more billable hours.  

Leadership tools, free and paid options

What you might notice is that many of these automation technology platforms are free to use. This is the case for all of the applications I have listed above. (Paid options, for businesses that need more support and use.) The idea that the basic services should be free in low-income brackets aligns with the transition going on to stabilize infrastructure and promote sustainable community development.

We need more people who have leadership skills to meet the needs of the future as changing economies and ecologies impact large segments of the population. Sharing information and resources is key. The transition has been taking place, like it or not. We have seen the impact of an internet of things in music industry CD sales, newspaper sales, and other digital media products and services. 

Building automation for the future 

What these kinds of new technologies share is distribution and visualization of data in real time based on a persons activity and interaction. While tracking technologies are tricky, they do play a significant role in visions of the future, as explained in a documentary by VICE on the internet of things and the third industrial revolution.

Reflecting on automation and the future

How do you use automation in your daily life? You might use automation several times every day like when you pump gas at the station, take cash from the bank machine, book your yoga class online, or purchase something on Amazon.

What do you imagine the future to look like and how do you see leadership? I imagine a future where the quality of life is optimized for all being on the planet. That requires a great deal of collaboration and communication to distribute the right things at the right time. Making the best of the work at hand is an art, a creative life is an adventure with many free and intrinsic rewards!


My top 3 favorite talks from TedX Santa Barbara, Outside In

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Here are my top 3 favorite talks from TEDx Santa Barbara's 2017 event. If you don't know, "in the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection."

1. The World Needs a New Definition of Activism | Lea Ann Mallett

This delightful storyteller, activist, mother, and TEDx speaker, Lea Ann Mallett is worth a watch if you would like to do more good in the community without having to endanger your livelihood by climbing a redwood tree or spending time in jail for civil disobedience.

Her definition of activism is very similar to what is taught in the program Enchantavism: Changing the World with Story, Myth, and Inspiration. I attended the four-part series at Pacifica Graduate Institute this fall and I highly recommend it! 

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"For more than thirty years, Dr. Chalquist has collected resources for bridging reflection and action through the medium of reenchantment, hope, imagination, and story. Change the story and you change the system. He calls this approach Enchantivism. Quiet people can do it. Burned-out activists can do it. You can do it, and it’s fun. Unleashed, Enchantivism can help communities find renewal and creative ways of affecting positive change for a future we can all thrive in."

2. What Civilians Need to Understand About War | Andy Carroll

This talk is about letters and communication between active duty military service people and civilians. It brings out the depth of feeling and meaningful connection between individuals and family by showing some example from an archive of real letters. The preservation of history and culture is so inspirational to me.  I have been working on the theme of Mermaid Love Letters for the last year and aspire to create a similar feeling in that fantasy game project.

3. Ending Preventable Blindness: reinventing cataract surgery | Jeffrey Levenson

Wow! This talk took me by surprise because of the amazing scale in impact being accomplished with simple surgery methods. Vision is a HUGE part of my life and knowing that organizations are out there preventing blindness and giving people their sight back just blows my heart open. It made me think, what misconception do I have about resources and procedures that limit the potential good I could be doing for others? 

Body Mind Exercises by Jean Houston


Jean Houston presented Myth and Present Madness, at a public event hosted by Pacifica Graduate Institute November 2nd. I was so inspired by her point of view and imagination. She is able to communicate complex ideas while also engaging in a playful and humorous way. This complex and multi-sensory form of communicating is something you can practice using her methods. Below, are two videos of Jean's recent work and you can see her teaching style and even learn from the online video. If you are interested in learning more (like me!) here are a couple other links to check out:

A Passion For The Possible - Body Mind Exercises by Jean Houston, 1996. "Jean Houston leads the viewer in a series of exercises to help activate the kinesthetic body - the body of muscular imagination. We learn ways in which we can inhabit our own bodies with more mindfulness and find the hidden possibilities that allow us to think more creatively. We learn to engage our imagination, our memory and even learn how to do many things at the same time. Dr. Houston calls this "multitracking" - finding within ourselves a larger, deeper, more adventurous life and spirit. Jean Houston is widely known as one of the great explorers of the human potential. Mentored by Margaret Meade, she has reached her own human potential as philosopher, cultural historian and author of 15 books, Beloved and A Mythic Life. Well nurtured by her father, a former comedy writer for Bob Hope, Dr. Houston also has been given the great gift of humor, which resonates throughout her work."

AFS programs foster transformation that lasts a lifetime

My Global Alumni Sticker on file cabnet

My Global Alumni Sticker on file cabnet

Imagine you are 16 years old and leaving home to travel to a new country without your family. Young students from all over the world have this adventurous experience each year with AFS, American Field Service. I learned about this program because I was named after an Iranian AFS student who lived with my father's family. In 1998 I moved to Italy for a year where I learned Italian and became a member of another family, that I cherish dearly.

The lessons of this international exchange are the foundation of my compassion for myself and others as we all move ahead into the uncertain future. Founded after WW2 this nonprofit organization is a solution to humanities challenges today. Because of challenges I experienced and overcame, I fully support this program and highly encourage you to participate in any form.

AFS programs foster transformation that lasts a lifetime. Today’s exchange students are tomorrow’s changemakers: diplomats; thought leaders; influencers in the international business and non-profit communities. Every new exchange student is another global citizen in progress—an individual primed to help build a more just and peaceful world. And the impact doesn’t stop with the students. Host families’ lives are transformed by new members from across the globe and host communities gain greater cultural diversity. That’s THE AFS EFFECT.

AFS Infographic

Quotes: Power of Myth

Quotes from Campbell, J., & Moyers, B. (2011). The Power of Myth. Anchor.

Myth in the modern world

  1. When the story is in your mind, then you see its relevance to something happening in your life. It gives you perspective on what's happening to you. page 2
  2. It is the imperfections of life that are lovable. Page 3
  3. That is why people have a very hard time loving God, because there is no imperfection there. Page 4
  4. Mythology teaches you what's behind literature and the arts, it teaches you about your own life. Page 14
  5. The difference is that one who cracks up is drowning in the water and witch the mystic swims. page 16
  6. I have a feeling that consciousness and energy are the same thing somehow. page 18
  7. Well, automobiles have gotten into mythology. They have gotten into dreams. And airplanes are very much in the service of the imagination. Page 23
  8. The only mythology that is valid today is the mythology of the planet – and we don't have such mythology. The closest thing I know of to a planetary mythology is Buddhism, which sees all beings as Buddha beings. Page 28

  9. God is a personification of a motivating power or value system that functions in human life and in the universe, the powers of your own body and of nature. Page 28
  10. There is the mythology that relates you to your nature and to the natural world, of which you are part. And there is a the mythology that is strictly sociological, linking you to a particular society. You are not simply a natural man, you are a member of a particular group. p28
  11. We need meds that will identify the individual not with his local group but with the planet. A model for that is the United States. p30
  12. All men are capable of reason. That is the fundamental principle of democracy. Page 31
  13. Reason has to do with finding the ground of being in the fundamental structuring of order of the universe. P38
  14. Basically serves four functions. The first is the mystical function... The second is the cosmological dimension... The third function is the sociological one... And that is the pedagogical function, of how to live a human life time under any circumstances. Myths can teach you that. p39

Myths and dreams come from the same place. They come from realizations of some kind that have to find expression and symbolic form. And the only myth that is going to be worth thinking about the immediate future is one that is talking about the planet, not the city, not these people, but the planet, and everybody on it. Page 41

The Journey inward

  1. Myth is a manifestation and symbolic images, and metaphorical images, of the energies of the organs of the body and conflict with each other. Page 47
  2. The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth. page 48
  3. The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience, that is the heroes deed. Page 49
  4. Serpent sheds it's skin to be born again, as the moon it's shadow to be born again. They are equivalent symbols. Page 53
  5. The Jungian archetypes of the unconscious are biological. Page 61
  6. We know they are not entertainment stories because they can be told only at certain times of the year and under certain conditions. page 63
  7. A metaphor is an image that suggest something else. Page 67
  8. There are dimensions of your being and a potential for realization and consciousness that are not included in your concept of yourself. Your life is much deeper and broader than you conceive it to be. What you are living is but a fractional inkling of what is really within you, what gives you life, breath, and depth. Page 71
  9. The metaphor is the mask of God through which eternity is to be experienced. page 73
  10. The person who has had a mystical experience knows that all the symbolic expressions of it are faulty. Page 73
  11. It seems to me that we have lost the art in our society of thinking and images. p73

   The first storytellers

  1. The ancient myths were designed to harmonize the mind and the body. Page 87
  2. The earliest evidence of anything like mythological thinking is associated with graves. p89
  3. I would say that is the basic theme of all mythology – that there is an invisible plane supporting the visible one. Page 90
  4. The main theme and ritual is the linking of the individual to a larger morphological structured than that of his own physical body. p90
  5. These early myths helped the psyche to participate without a sense of guilt or fright and the necessary act of life. Page 92
  6. The function of the artist is the mythologization of the environment and the world. Page 107
  7. The center of the world is the axis mundi, the central point, the pool around which all revolves...  Movement is time, but stillness is eternity. Page 111

Sacrifice and bliss

  1. The sanctification of the local landscape is a fundamental function of mythology. Page 113
  2. I think the sense of the presence of creation is a basic mood of man. p 214
  3. People claim the land by creating sacred sites, by mythologizing the animals and plants – they invest the land with spiritual powers. 115
  4. One should find the symbol in the landscape itself of the energies of the life there. p117
  5. That Cathedral talks to me about the spiritual information of the world. It's a place for meditation, just walking around, just sitting, just looking at those beautiful things. Page 119
  6. Spirit is really the banquet of life. page 121
  7. The artist is the one who communicates myth for today. But he has to be an artist who understands mythology and humanity and isn't simply a sociologist with the program for you. Page 122
  8. The hunter is an individual in a way that no farmer will ever be. page 123
  9. Society is always patriarchal. Nature is always matriarchal. Page 125
  10. With the planters, the plant world is a teacher.
  11. There is no such thing as a self-centered individual and the vegetable world. You can cut a plant, and another sprout comes. Pruning is helpful to plant. The whole thing is just a continuing inbeingness.
  12. Another idea associated with the tropical forests is that out of rot comes life. Page 127
  13. So in the forest and planting cultures, there is a sense of death as not that somehow, that death is required for life.... "I am the vine, and you are the branches." Page 127
  14. The North American culture is a very strong example of the interaction of hunting and planting cultures. Page 127
  15. It's fascinating to compare the coming together of an invading planting society or an invading hunting or herding people in conflict with planters. The counterparts are exactly the same across the planet – two systems and conflict in conjunction. Page 131
  16. What you get in the vegetation tradition is the notion of identity behind the surface display a duality. Behind all these manifestations is the one radiance, which shines through all things. The function of art is to reveal this radiance through the create object. When you see the beautiful organization of a fortunately compose work of art, you just say, "ahh!" somehow it speaks to the order and your own life and leads the realization of the very thing that religions are concerned to render. Page 134
  17. That you have to balance between death and life – there are two aspects of the same thing, which is being, becoming. p134
  18. The hero is one who has given his physical life to some order of realization of that truth. 138
  19. The bodhisattva represents the principle of compassion, which is the healing principle that makes life possible. 139
  20. It is the suffering that evokes the humanity of the human heart. Page 140
  21. The sinner as the great awakening are a god to compassion. Page 145

  The heroes adventure

  1. Whether you call someone a hero or monster it's all relative to where the focus of your consciousness maybe. Page 156
  2. The father quest is a major hero adventure for young people. That is the adventure of finding what your career is, what your nature is, what your source is. Page 158
  3. The adventure invoked quality of his character that he hadn't known he possessed. Page 159
  4. Something that's characteristic of our sedentary life is that there is or maybe intellectual excitement, but the body is not in it very much. So you have to engage intentionally and mechanical exercises, the daily dozen and so forth. p160
  5. When you follow the path of your desire and enthusiasm and emotion, keep your mind in control, and don't let it pour you compulsively into disaster. page 162
  6. The edge, the interface between what can be known and what is never to be discovered because it is a mystery that transcends all human research. page 162
  7. Odysseus' men were not ready or eligible for the experience which I've been given to them. page 165
  8. Because there is a certain typical hero sequence of actions which can be detected in stories from all over the world and for many periods of history. p166
  9. The rituals of primitive initiation ceremony is there all mythologically grounded and have to do with killing the infantile ego and bringing forth an adult, whether it's the girl or the boy. Page 168
  10. The quest to find the inward thing that you basically are is the story that I tried to render in that little book of mine written 40 odd years ago – the hero with 1000 faces. page 170
  11. Desire is the bait, death is the hook. Page 172
  12. Mythology is poetry, and the poetic language is very flexible. 174
  13. This is the threat to our lives that we face today. Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purpose? Page 178
  14. Psychologically, the well represents the power of life locked in the unconscious. Page 180
  15. One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity and is contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that. Page 182

  16. But in doing that, you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there's no doubt about it. Page 183
  17. This, I believe, is the Great Western truth: that each of us is a completely unique creature and that, if we are ever to give any gift to the world, it will have to come out of her own experience at the summit of our own potentialities, not someone else's. Page 186
  18. Damon and you can swallow give you it's power, and the greater life's pain, the greater life's reply. Page 202

The gift of the goddess

  1. She gives nourishment, as the plants do. So woman magic and earth magic are the same. p209
  2. It's the female as the giver of all forms. Page 226

Best and Bogus WIN

The Startup Weekend Presentation BEFORE: The "Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skill sets - primarily software developers, graphic, web and user experience designers, and business people - to build applications and develop a commercial case around them." - Tickets are still available for those who want to register!