Lumunos helps you Reflect ~ Connect ~ Discover your gifts to find your call in life, through these stories and observations here, through our website, and through retreats. Help us help you continue to discover your calling in life. Donations are accepted through our Website.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Making Art

My definition of art contains three elements:

1. Art is made by a human being.
2. Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
3. Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording... but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.

By my definition, most art has nothing to do with oil paint or marble. Art is what we're doing when we do our best work.

(This is a re-post of Seth Godin's blog, which we at Lumunos highly support, as Seth is all about changing the world by people living their call.) To COMMENT on this blog, click on the blue title you see in your email; a "Comment box" will pop up, and you can write your comment there. THANKS for your comments, already!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Four Steps to Action

When a disaster happens in a far away place—like Haiti, the Asian tsunami of 2004 or even Katrina in New Orleans—what do I do? And how do I know if there is anything I should do?

Here is a four part process that Lumunos uses when inviting people to make decisions around priorities, adapted for the current crisis in Haiti:
  1. Pay Attention: Notice what is going on. Be willing to look at the horrific images and read the heartbreaking stories. Not all the time, 24/7. But be willing to take it in. Don’t turn your head. Stop. Pray. Something very significant and important has happened here. Even if ultimately you are not called to do anything, ignoring it is not an option. Nothing will happen if you aren’t willing to pause.

  2. Look for Connections: How does my life connect with what is happening in Haiti? Do I know anyone who knows anyone there? Do I have gifts or experience that might be helpful? If I am going to give money, what kind of organization do I feel a connection with?

    There are other kinds of connections to make as well, connections between our other roles and our role as a world citizen. If I am a parent, how do I process this with my children? How do I encourage them to care? Does my work connect in any way with this crisis? Does this tragedy strike a cord deep within me that other situations have not?

    Our call emerges only as we discover connections between the situation and our life. Are there dots that connect you with Haiti?

  3. Join with Others: Talk it over with friends. Connect via facebook. Use your small group/book group/knitting circle/bible study/bowling club to wonder together what you might do. This does two things: helps you decide if there is something you are called to do for Haiti. Secondly, there might be something your group decides to do together.

  4. Take a First Step: Frozen inaction, accompanied by handwringing and feeling overwhelmed and guilty, is the worst option. Massive leaps (e.g. trying to get President Obama on the phone to offer more aid) are usually equally unhelpful. But if you find a connection, then make a small first step. Email to someone you know who might know someone. Give. Practice gratitude. Pray.
It may also be that you are not supposed to do anything for the people of Haiti. If you have paid attention, looked for connections and found none, maybe you are called to something else right now. If you remain open, you will find other ways to help make the world a better place.

by Doug Wysockey-Johnson

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti relief is everywhere. Much is needed, and much is being given. I’m moved by people’s generosity, which seems to be happening everywhere I turn.

Here in Washington DC over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, the Haitian Embassy became a drop off point for goods donated. Massachusetts Avenue (a four lane road where all the embassies are located) moved slowly for many hours as hundreds and hundreds of people came by with donations; the attitude was palpably positive, and continued under spotlights late each night.

My local women’s boutique, an small independent store, is giving a percentage of sales all week to Haiti relief. They had such a good response when they first sent out the weekend sale offer, they are extending the effort. This of course helps them by bringing in customers, who are in turn happy for the chance to support Haitian relief, and money goes to Haiti, creating a win-win-win. One can of course ask why we buy something to actually give, but I’m going to stay with the positive here, and am grateful that a small independent businessperson is so civically minded. They started out by selling hand-knit sweaters on a table at the Eastern Market, and slowly developed into a successful business that is happy to give back locally and globally.

And of course it is happening on a grander scale, too. Starbucks is donating a million dollars, immediately, to the Red Cross, and giving individuals the chance to donate to Red Cross as well (100% of in-store or on-line donations goes to the Red Cross) without any purchase needed. Today on NPR I heard stories of our U.S. military using our very impressive organizational power and resources to coordinate aid in Haiti.

It seems we have learned our lesson – one of them anyway – from Katrina – to give help, and give it immediately.

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me­ - you did it to me. (Jesus speaking, from Matthew 25)

Thank you to all of you who have been moved to give to those in Haiti, in all the many ways that we can give: in the prayer vigils, the organizational efforts, financially, in goods and services. I was at a “Dancing Your Prayers” session on Saturday night, and a man said “I danced
for Haiti; they are with me always." For the generosity I see on large and small levels, I’m grateful.

by Tiffany Montavon

Friday, January 15, 2010

Poinsettias & Call: Miracles Happen!

Bill Johnson walks us through "how to tend poinsettias" - and gives some hints for tending your call, too!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Can’t Get No Satisfaction

If your commute to work is the high point of your work day, you are probably in the wrong job. Unless you have a very very interesting carpool, getting to work should not be better than doing the work.

A survey released yesterday found that most people enjoyed their commute more than their job. Only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their work. This is the lowest level ever recorded by the Conference Board Research Group (http://www.conference-board.org/Publications/sponsoredresearch.cfm). A part of this is due to the recession, which is making work tougher on most people. But worker satisfaction has been on the decline for more than two decades.

A blog is no place to suggest easy fixes or glib maxims about something as complicated as work satisfaction. There is real pain behind these numbers. Anyone who has ever had a job that was not right for them (and most of us have) know that it is soul wrenching to show up day after day when we are burned out or bored or in over our heads.

But how about this for a first step: Self reflection. Stopping long enough to think about what is really important; reflecting on our values; what matters and what kind of work environment we do best in. Perhaps knowing ourselves better is the first step in finding work satisfaction.

Many years ago Augustine wrote:
People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass themselves by without wondering.
A.D. 354-430, Confessions
Lumunos helps people do this kind of reflection. Coaches, therapists and spiritual leaders can too. Sometimes we need look no further than a good friend or family member.

There are no easy paths to the perfect job. I’m not even sure there are perfect jobs. I do believe that knowing ourselves better is a critical part of finding meaningful work.