via transmediatic (emphasis added):

Paul Zak - Future of Storytelling

Dr. Zak, a founding pioneer in the emerging field of neuroeconomics, closely monitored the neural activity of hundreds of people who viewed Ben’s story. What he discovered is that even the simplest narrative, if it is highly engaging and follows the classic dramatic arc outlined by the German playwright Gustav Freytag, can evoke powerful empathic responses associated with specific neurochemicals, namely cortisol and oxytocin. Those brain responses, in turn, can translate readily into concrete action—in the case of Dr. Zak’s study subjects, generous donations to charity and even monetary gifts to fellow participants. By contrast, stories that fail to follow the dramatic arc of rising action/climax/denouement—no matter how outwardly happy or pleasant those stories may be—elicit little if any emotional or chemical response, and correspond to a similar absence of action. Dr. Zak’s conclusions hold profound implications for the role of storytelling in a vast range of professional and public milieus.”

A Kind Sadness

A wave of sadness will hit you. Suddenly. Powerfully. 

It will catch you off guard. Let it

Let it wash over you. Let it crash into your bones and wrack your body with heaving sobs. Let it seep into your being. Let it pour out of you as tears. 

Feel it, fully. Try to name it – not with your head, but with your heart. 

A kind of sadness. A bit of regret. Some pity. Pain. Loss. Frustration. Confusion. Naïveté. 

An apology.

Ugly cry. Gasp for air. Catch a sudden laugh mixed in with the tears. Feel it passing through you. Start to understand the absurdity of the situation. Of you, sitting quietly and alone, unable to distinguish solitude from loneliness.

Aching for peace, realize you’re already immersed in it.
Yearning for connection, realize you already are connected. 

To yourself, first and foremost. A strong foundation to draw from, time and again, as you give and you give and you give. Joyfully. Wholeheartedly. Inexhaustibly. 

Peace comes from living, dark depths and all. Cultivate this connection to self. Cultivate the hell out of it. Allow yourself to feel, always.

Because this is the real stuff. What you’ve been chasing. What you’ve been trying to catch. This is what you’re striving for. 

This moment. This precious fleeting space, never to happen again. Pure and whole. 

This is life.

Living it in full,
~ H

{{ Soundtrack: Home Is Where Your Heart Is on 8tracks }}

Interesting Vancouver

Awe of the everyday. Exalting all things. Differences given equal platform. Expanding horizons. Cross-pollinating. Tapping into human stories.

Oh how I love that this space exists.

A recent post on VanVantage says it well: “Interesting Vancouver discusses how the typical can be intriguing.”

(The 6th annual Interesting Vancouver is upcoming Nov 8th at MOV. Looks like they have tickets left at this point.)

Note: this is actually the first time I’ll be able to make it to IV, so I am very much fan-girling about the idea before actually experiencing it for myself. This is the power of ideas & articulate communication in action, I suppose.

 ~ H

"a.musing. turned 1 today!"

This little note in my inbox this morning surprised me. Brought me rushing back to this time last year. How quickly things change, in retrospect. How time flies.

I do this every once in awhile and recommend the same to anyone else: take this date and look back to what your life was like on the same date: 1 year ago, 3 years ago, 5 years ago, and 10 years ago.

So: July 19, 2012; July 19, 2010; July 19, 2008; July 19, 2003.

What were you up to?

~ H

(Source: assets)

What is it about lists that we find so irresistible? As far as I can tell, no one has tried to figure it out (though it’s possible there are psychologists who have solved the mystery, and I just haven’t seen their work). Maybe it has to do with the promise of something both finite and complete, distilling the world down to something you can manage and then be done with. The world is full of photos of cute corgis, but these 37 are the cutest, and once you’ve seen them not only will your day be a little sweeter but you need search no more for cute corgi photos. It could also be the attraction of something easy to read—because it’s broken into small pieces, you know it won’t require too much work to read, you’ll be able to skim it easily, and if you want to read part of it and then stop, you’ll be able to.
Why we love lists. Better yet, Susan Sontag on the allure of lists. (via explore-blog)

What it takes…

An excerpt from an article in The New York Times - Dave Itzkoff interviews Louis C.K. Truth-bombs follow.


D: Does it matter that what you’ve achieved (…) can’t be replicated by other performers who don’t have the visibility or fan base that you do?

L: Why do you think those people don’t have the same resources that I have, the same visibility or relationship? What’s different between me and them?

D: You have the platform. You have the level of recognition.

L: So why do I have the platform and the recognition?

D: At this point you’ve put in the time.

L: There you go. There’s no way around that. There’s people that say: “It’s not fair. You have all that stuff.” I wasn’t born with it. It was a horrible process to get to this. It took me my whole life. If you’re new at this — and by “new at it,” I mean 15 years in, or even 20 — you’re just starting to get traction. Young musicians believe they should be able to throw a band together and be famous, and anything that’s in their way is unfair and evil. What are you, in your 20s, you picked up a guitar? Give it a minute.

(All emphases above were added by me. Read the full article here.)

Lesson: Put in the time to hone your craft, rather than fuming about obstacles. Be deliberate and patient with the process.

"Give it a minute."
~ H


Till Roenneberg (Ludwigs-Maximillians-University, Munich) on social jet lag / delayed sleep phase disorder*.

Quick bites:

  • Body clock = individual’s biological, internal time
  • Sun clock = day / night cycle, light-driven time
  • Social clock = society-driven time
  • Social jet lag = what happens when one’s “body clock” does not match their life’s ascribed “social clock”
  • Depending on your sleep-type, your “body clock” may sync up quite nicely with your home’s “sun clock”

Think you have social jet lag?

Think about your sleep patterns on socially-driven timetable days (e.g. workdays) and those when you set your own time (e.g. weekends). Are there differences?

Get curious: Discover your biological night by observing what time you go to sleep and wake up when the choice is 100% up to you (i.e. not driven by professional commitments, family timetables, social calendars, etc.) I wonder: anytime you’re not sleeping according to your biological night (so even if you’re getting enough hours, yet during the wrong times) are you then contributing to your sleep debt? Hmmm….

Implications & applications: education systems, workplace policy, nurturing relationships, output optimization, parenting… the list could go on for days. Piqued.

Simply sharing the video for a quick knowledge-grab - from the longer, more thorough posting on Brainpickings. Maria does a phenomenal job (as usual) with a juicy exposure to internal time, chronotypes, social jet lag, impact quotes, and more. Please do yourself a favor and read her full post here.

Sleep tight,
~ H


* For me, this is driven by curiosity. It’s not about labeling to exalt / vilify; there’s no necessary correlation between being a ‘late type’ (e.g. sleep from wee hours of the morning until afternoon) and being ‘lazy’. It’s about understanding the self to better function in the world. Let’s steer language in the right direction, and try not to use this as the next set of ‘things to be bullied for / disorders that big pharma can fix’. (Ok, people? APA? Ok, thanks.)

Why Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Video Makes Me Uncomfortable… and Kind of Makes Me Angry

Because the message that we constantly receive is that girls are not valuable without beauty.

Brave, strong, smart? Not enough. You have to be beautiful. And “beautiful” means something very specific, and very physical. (…) And my primary problem with this Dove ad is that it’s not really challenging the message like it makes us feel like it is. It doesn’t really tell us that the definition of beauty is broader than we have been trained to think it is, and it doesn’t really tell us that fitting inside that definition isn’t the most important thing. It doesn’t really push back against the constant objectification of women. All it’s really saying is that you’re actually not quite as far off from the narrow definition as you might think that you are (if you look like the featured women, I guess).


Dove was right about one thing: you are more beautiful than you know. But please, please hear me: you are so, so much more than beautiful.

A few excerpts I resonated with, from a thoughtful critique by jazzylittledrops on the recently viral Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign. (Read her full post here.)

Context, contrast, challenge. All sides, all ways.

Your thoughts?
~ H




So this video started going around my facebook today, with about a dozen of my female friends sharing the link with comments like, and “Everyone needs to see this”, and “All girls should watch this,” and “This made me cry.” And I’m not trying to shame those girls! I definitely understand why they would do so. And I don’t want to be a killjoy. But as I clicked the link and started watching the video, I started to feel a slight sense of discomfort. I couldn’t put my finger on why that was, exactly, but it continued throughout the whole thing. After watching the video several more times, I have some thoughts… 

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