Circling around to important questions

At today’s Tuesdays with Deborah session, we engaged topics that are asked by reticent bloggers and often revisited by experienced bloggers.

What is a blog? What is a blog post?

A blog is a collection of web content, usually writing. A readable blog post is about 200 to 600 words long. A good blog post is something that will be found and read by someone who is interested in a topic. What topics do reticent bloggers have in mind?

Where are blogs?

The best place for a blog is high on the list of search results returned to a search engine user. Readers find bloggers who effectively refine their understanding of relevant search terms.

Who blogs?

Writers blog!  Businesses develop, grow, and maintain customer bases through relevant and timely blog posts.  People with common knowledge and information needs find each other through the authoring of, and reading of, blogs.

When is a blog post visible?

A blog post is visible as soon as the author decides to publish a piece.  Writers with experience in printed materials can be assured that a “published” blog post can be changed after it is published.  Each blogger develops an sense of when a piece is ready for publishing. Each blogger develops an individual sense of how often to publish new content.

How are blog posts created?

Blog posts are created using a software tool such as WordPress, the software used for the Tuesdays with Deborah blog.  Blogging tools have features that feel like word processing: writing, formatting, and saving. A key difference between word processing and blogging is a “publish” mechanism for making content visible to readers.

The content of blog posts is developed through each writer’s unique writing practice. When is a good time of day for writing? Where is a good location for the writing process? What gets in the way of writing – distractions? Multi-tasking? The internal editor who gets in the way of first drafts being created? Some writers identify clothing that makes writing easier or harder.

Bloggers discover that developing the content is more challenging than learning software features for creating posts.

Answers to the previous questions of who-what-when-where-and-how all come from the question:

Why create a blog? What causes a reticent blogger to enter the world of blogging?

There are many right answers to the questions of what to write, how often to post, etc. Good approaches for any one blog come from on-going refinement of a blog’s purpose.

Understanding a blog’s purpose is not a pre-requisite for beginning a writing/blogging practice.  Discovering a blog’s purpose begins with an idea, leading to some drafts, leading to some publishing, leading to some feedback, leading to a refined understanding of purpose and how to fulfill the purpose.

The current writing challenge is “Passionate Observations.” Here are examples about New YorkDenver, and our own area.

Reticent bloggers are invited to register for the site, read and comment on posts, try out what feels like a word processing tool for adding a new post, and then take a deep breath and press the “publish” button.

Right now, the editor in my head wants a few things different about this post. But the writer will press the “publish” button, in this safe space, and the editor can have a turn on another day.









Essential Learnings

I was looking through my computer files and found a list that was written years ago.  It was a list that I wrote down during a session with a client.  I don’t remember all the details of the session, how we got to this point, but there we were.  She was a Kindergarten teacher, and had been for a long time.  I had a sense that she was doing a pretty spectacular job, and not totally aware that she was.  What I asked her was:”What is it that you want your students to learn?”  This was her list:


That they are worthy of being seen and heard

That they feel respected

That they know they have gifts and the time and space to pursue and share

To learn to focus on what they can do

To have a feeling of self-improvement

The ability to set their own goals

The ability to self-evaluate (not rely on someone else)

To be able to speak up, in a way that will be hear, when something doesn’t feel right

To Know they all have something to contribute

To know that it wouldn’t be the same w/out them (as good)

To be curious about each other


I sat in awe for a couple of minutes, imagining what it must be like for a 5 or 6 year old to have their first experience in school with a teacher that was holding this list in her heart.  After all, this was the year that for most children set the tone for the rest of their education.    A child who learned all this in kindergarten would be starting their education with some powerful tools.

I asked her permission to share the list.  When I shared it with others that were teaching, in a variety of venues, they were all quite impressed.  All of us who teach want this list for our students, no matter what their age.    It is what I want for all my students, although until I asked my client the question, I hadn’t thought to make a list, to set that intention.

I learn some of my most valuable lessons talking with clients.  This was one of those moments.  This list has stayed with me, in my mind and my heart ever since that session.  It is what is most important to me in the creation of a learning environment.  I teach NLP to adults, and this list helps me keep clear on what is most important.

This list is also a roadmap for all of us.  Take a look at this list.  Have you learned all of these things for yourself?  Are you unsure about any of them?  If so, these are the places in your life that are worth paying some attention.  We are all capable of learning these things, and we all deserve to know them.  Now, take another look at the list.  Do you affirm this in your interactions with others?  Can you see and know this about anyone you interact with?  I wonder, what our lives, what the world would be like if we did.

Carla Camou, NLP Trainer and Personal Change work:

Have You Checked Your Social Settings?

In case you didn’t know it, we in the Seattle area have been snowed in for a week. I was going to write about how Facebook kept me connected. I was keeping up with friends, enjoying videos from friends who were “stranded” in L.A. and had to drive up the coast to Malibu, commenting on the snow pictures and generally satisfying my social needs. I wasn’t really noticing that I wasn’t receiving any comments on my posts until I asked for help with a fish recipe. Nothing. No responses. Everyone else was getting comments. I was getting responses from my comments on other peoples postings. See how self-centered everyone is? Only care about their own postings. Not mine.

No one likes me.

They all ignore me.

A friend called me. She had no internet connection at her home. Another called later and she also was without internet. So that explained why these two close friends had not responded. I growled to one of my friends that I had been given recognition and no one commented.  She said she had not seen the post.

I’m not sure how I discovered the problem after my days of isolation. Seems I had posted something only for family and I had not changed the setting. You can decide on Facebook who you want to see your posts but that setting remains until you change it. I had a setting for family, which in my case, is only about five people—three of whom are rarely on Facebook and never comment. I don’t even know how long I had this setting. No wonder no one responds. I had inadvertently isolated myself!

As I was relating this story I realized the real life lessons.


There are several personal growth gurus who lecture on this. Are you making decisions based upon inadequate information? I was thinking no one cared about what I had to say because they hadn’t responded. I didn’t know that no one was seeing my posts. Or that some of my friends were without internet.

A friend of mine shared with me that she was hurt that she had not been included in a group. I pointed out that I had posted on Facebook, sent e mails and made an announcement at a meeting about the formation of the group. She did not remember any of these invitations and built a case in her mind how she had intentionally been excluded. Didn’t have all the facts.


I am chagrined that I somehow unintentionally changed my settings so no one was receiving my posts. Are there times we change our settings metaphorically? Do we become pre-occupied so that we don’t notice people trying to communicate with us? Do we translate someone’s body language or facial expression as not being interested in us when that person may also be pre-occupied, in pain or even, shy. I have poor vision and often squint. I found that some teachers or lecturers interpreted this as disagreeing with them or, worse yet, too stupid to understand. They didn’t bother to check and I didn’t know about my inadvertent “settings”. Hopefully we can improve our ability to send and receive messages.

Stop making assumptions and ask for clarification and above all:



War, Communion, Empathy, Domestic violence, Holons, and much more!

Tossing a number of seemingly unrelated insights into the hopper of thought produced a number of intriguing results. I would love to know of anyone you know would might like to toss ideas like these around, to explore further and see where they might lead….
Do you know of anyone – or group of anyones?
Paul Pinchas Zohav


War is a dominator holarchy’s attempt to grow in complexity. But because it’s fundamental integrity stands on the suppression of some of it’s parts, War ultimately fails as a means to rise in complexity. Imperialists and Empires fall.
Marriage that is based on the suppression of one of its holon constituent parts, and including domestic violence tactics of power and control, cannot last.
Domestic violence has to be continually applied to keep a marriage holon intact, but must ultimately fail.
Similarly any nation that stands on the suppression and exploitation, of it’s holon parts, will not last. (Think of the Confederate States of America, the Soviet Union, and perhaps our modern American nation as well. )

Communion: It is the capacity of holons to increase in individual and social complexity by means of a linking process named communion.
In popular culture Communion is most often cited as a spiritual practice of the Catholic Church, an performed by a congregant in which by eating the wafer (symbolic of the Body of Christ) and drinking the wine (symbolic of the blood of Christ) causes unity with Christ and thereby experiences a reconnection to the Divine, or Salvation.
In philosophical circles my understanding of communion is that it is the experience, the medium of being, that causes, permits one or more individual or social holon/holarchies to become one, to link and form a higher-order more complex holon or holarchy.
Note: that it can be no accident that communion shares the same roots as communication and community. In the world of Be-Do-Have Communion is the from the realm of BEING that allows the DO-ing of Communication, which when fulfilled, completed allows the holon of Community, a HAVING, to arise.)

Communion, as an expression of our universe’s tendency to organize and rise in complexity.
Social alcohol consumption appears to function as a kind of chemical based communion.
Hormonal genetic processes appear to underlay procreation through a biology-based communion (and notably, need not be dependent of thought or intelligence)
Social anger and resentment would appear to function as the glue that assembles mobs, resulting in mob behavior.
Music and spiritual social behaviors have the capacity to link holons within a concert or a church.
Fans: Those who watch or follow a given movie, TV program, sports team, fashion, political movement, and so forth become joined, at least temporarily, into a kind of social holarchy.


Empathy is associated in neuroscience with the development of mirror motor neurons.
Apparently human infants are born with a large number of mirror neurons and that allows infants to learn in their early years of living. Then in the first few years many neurons atrophy. This may be the reason that language, for example, is more easily acquired prior to four years of age, after which acquiring language and other skills of living need to be part of a more formal learning process.
The capacity to empathize may be highly correlated to the degree infants and toddlers are actively loved, handled, touched, and talked with.
If so, then we ought to be able to measure the difference in the average capacity to empathize between males and females. This difference, it is suggested, is a result in the different degrees of human nurturance between male and female infants.
Without the capacity to be empathic a human’s capacity to experience communion and join to become more complex holons is limited.
With a diminished empathic capacity comes the inability to link with other humans, to form good quality human relationships, to be aware of the impact of ones choices of behavior upon others. This phenomenon may help explain aspects of what has been named Asberger’s syndrome, Narcissism, psycho-sociopathic behavior, and more. It is far easier to hurt, murder, kill, dominate another if one is in some sense “immune” to the feelings of the other, the consequence of one’s chosen behavior.
Domestic Violence: A number of our citizens, many males, but not only males, appear to have a deficit in their capacity to experience the pain or joy of another. In the place of good quality empathy, force is used to manipulate and to maintain an interpersonal relationship.
Empathy also seems to be the key ingredient required for holons to move from heap to “good quality” holarchy.

If any of this intrigues you as it does me, let’s talk!

Have aliens, will travel

Alien adventure on the marriage planet.
Synopsis: It pays to learn how to communicate before moving in together.

Sometimes, as I listen to couples in my counseling and coaching practice, it feels like I am in a Star Trek episode in which alien cultures meet and struggle to develop communication protocols.

For example, I coached a couple who had just moved in together (new planet) and, in the process, discovered issues they did not have when they lived separately.

Making and sharing a home together for the first time they now had to communicate about issues such as: who cleans the bathroom and to what standard; who is accountable for taking out the trash; who cleans up after dinner; who does the shopping, what should they shop for, and at what expense?

Living apart and courting one another these questions were not relevant, but having just moved in together, they became critical. The couple’s capacity to communicate, to negotiate and resolve issues in a cooperative manner became central to how they would share their lives. Any lack of development or impairment in their capacity to listen to one another was going to show up, big time.

As counselor and mentor I was able to help two alien beings move from courtship to partnership, and welcome a new dawn on the marriage planet.

Have aliens will travel.