by Angela Noel
January 5, 2017
Sometimes, even if I want a grilled cheese sandwich, the bread is moldy and the cheese has a funny (but not in a good way) smell. I must adapt my dinner preferences as I must adapt my life to the circumstances within it.
When we make New Year’s Resolutions, no doubt the goal is to resolve an issue we perceive in our lives today. We resolve to stop something we’re doing. Or start something new. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to break the routine and introduce a new idea. The issue I have with resolutions, as we practice them in daily life today, is with the stiff formality of it all.
Our lives are fluid. But, resolutions assume only a grilled cheese will do.
So I don’t make them. (Actually, I don’t make either resolutions or grilled cheese. The former, because I think they don’t work well, the latter because I always burn them.) Instead, I create intentions. They’re ideas I want to live into, frameworks that set a direction, but don’t specify the road.
An intention, in my definition, is three things: personal, non-restrictive, and contribution-based.
Continue reading “Setting Intentions: A Resolution Revolution”
by Angela Noel
December 29, 2016
I am a Polylego. What, you’ve never heard the term? Of course not, I just made it up. I needed a word to describe my habit of reading multiple books at the same time. Poly, means “many”–which of course you know. Lego, also the name of a very successful toy brand beloved by my son, boyfriend, and legions of others, means, “I read” in Latin. Thus, we are henceforth dubbed, polylegos. You’re welcome. Continue reading “What the Heck is a Polylego?”
By Angela Noel
December 8, 2016
I’m writing this blog post from my new writing nook thanks (in part) to Colleen M. Story. She didn’t build it, my boyfriend Paul did, but she inspired it. That’s Colleen’s gift: Inspiring creative people to prioritize wellness as the single greatest asset towards fulfilling our artistic purpose.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I’m not a creative type.” I have a message for you: Oh, yes you are. Anytime you solve a problem at work, you’re being creative. Anytime you figure out how to keep your kid from lighting his hair on fire by accident while still encouraging his interest in chemical combustion, you’re being creative. Colleen’s blog focuses on writers, but the wellness lessons apply to all of us. We face a world where we sometimes (a lot of the time) don’t prioritize our health and pay the price in dull thinking, aching backs, and a few too many cups of coffee or glasses of wine. Colleen can help change that. Continue reading “A Blog to Love: Writing and Wellness”
By Angela Noel
December 1, 2016
One night, a couple of guys went to McDonald’s for dinner. Already, it was a special event.
The younger of the two went to the restroom, emerging just in time for their chicken nuggets and Big Mac to arrive. On his way back to the table, his hands still wet from washing, he noticed something. Continue reading “A Particularly Special Guy’s Night”
By Angela Noel
November 17, 2016
Matthew French, whom you may remember from my very first blog post, recently released his second album, Winding Road. He asked me to listen to it, not because I’m a musician or qualified to critique his music the way a writer for Rolling Stone would, but because he was curious about how it would make me feel.
I think that’s the key to Matt’s music, actually. He’s not writing songs for those people OUT THERE. He’s writing for a few friends, who might be listening to his music sitting cross-legged on the carpet drinking wine from a mismatched set of tumblers someone found at a garage sale. In other words, me. And maybe you. Continue reading “Music Review: M French’s Winding Road”
Guest Post by Annie Reierson
November 10, 2016
There are a lot of different terms we use when experience significant changes in our lives: Starting over, Moving on, A new chapter, Begin again, Go back to the drawing board.
However, there is something about these terms that seems amiss. They suggest that all the experiences and interactions that I had before were insignificant. To me, “starting over” says that I just scrapped everything, as if somehow my past experiences didn’t bring me to the place where I stand today. But, that’s not what it really feels like to experience change. Continue reading “Why I Won’t Be Starting Over”
By Angela Noel
November 3, 2016
“Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world . . . You see we are like blocks of stone out of which the sculptor carves the forms of men. The blows of his chisel, which hurt us so much, are what makes us perfect.“- from the movie Shadowlands
Jayme Sisel ran her first marathon in 2007 and her first half-Ironman that same year. “One was for me, the other one was for my mom. I forget which was which.”
Pushing herself to her physical limit — lungs burning, feet pounding — gets all the bad energy out and lets the good stuff in. Running was Jayme’s solace when her mother lay dying of cancer. Continue reading “What Makes Us Perfect”
by Angela Noel
October 27, 2016
Galileo Galilei disrupted the status quo, challenging the beliefs of some of the most powerful people of the day — including more than one Pope. Considering Galileo lived during the time of the inquisition, ticking off the Vatican was kind of a big deal.
Along with pushing scientific boundaries, he developed mathematical instruments to either sell to the military or for uses in engineering. Solving problems and posing theories using observation, data, hard work, communication, rhetorical argument, and grit made Galileo a successful entrepreneur. Running afoul of the prevailing authorities of the day, the Catholic Church, made his story into a cautionary tale for all those who would speak truth to power.
Dipanjan Chatterjee could be the intellectual descendant of Galileo. He and others like him, hired by corporations to be an EiR or Entrepreneur in Residence, must find the courage to speak truth to their “corporate overlords” without losing their heads. They must bring new products and processes into systems fundamentally designed to reject anything that challenges the comfortable stability of the past in order to drive progress. Though the modern day Inquisitor is less likely to wear a robe, and more likely to shop at Brooks Brothers, EiRs face many of the same troubles Galileo did 400 years ago.
For example, Pope Urban VIII initially liked Galileo, supporting his ideas overall while asking him to go easy on the whole “earth revolves around the sun” thing. Unfortunately for Galileo, when his resulting book came out, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, the Pope found reason to be offended, hauling Galileo to Rome to defend himself. Dipanjan, as far as I know, hasn’t been called on the carpet by a religious official, but he continually faces the Sisyphean task of attempting to convince huge corporations to try something new without losing his job or his mind.
Luckily, he’s been preparing for this job all his life.
Continue reading “The Makings of an Innovation Commando”
By Angela Noel
October 20, 2016
Charles Eastman was a complicated man. I had never heard of him until my son and I visited the Baaken Museum on the banks of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. I wandered outside of the museum, as Jackson built an electrical circuit, and read the placards placed at regular intervals on the terrace. Looking out over restored wetlands on the museum property connected to the lake by a snaking track of road, I learned that Mr. Eastman had lived near the lake as a child and later wrote a book about his early life as a member of the Santee Dakota tribe.
Intrigued by the opportunity to read about my adopted Minneapolis home through the eyes of a young boy raised in a Native tradition, I downloaded the (Free!) book Indian Boyhood, published in 1902, that afternoon.
I devoured it. Continue reading “Book Review: Indian Boyhood”
A Love Letter by Julia Zhang
October 13, 2016
I was a two-year-old preparing for the most important role of my life: Best Big Sister Ever. My parents told me it was my job to take good care of my little sister because she would look up to me, which is a big responsibility.
I relished responsibility. I loved to show off how great I was at doing jobs for my parents, like fetching my dad’s sandals for him, or helping my mom break the ends off string beans . . . taking care of a little sister was just another job that I could get pats on the head and praise for. I read stories with my mom like this one extolling the virtues of sharing, and practiced taking care of a baby with my dolls. As much as I rehearsed for my role, when baby Jenny came into the world, I was wholly unprepared for one thing – how much I would absolutely adore her. Continue reading “Wanted: Best Big Sister Ever”