Sunday, May 26, 2013

Above All Else, Love

Spring in Victoria
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2007

Above All Else, Love

I have expanded with love
Burst forth from the cement of the city sidewalk
the rogue flower

I learn and I shift
my perception
I engage in the moment that is
and leave the moment that will be
to its own devices

I have no animosity in my heart
no blame
I have expanded with love

I learn
I do my best
I share the gift of love
worship the living temple of my self
Love is a story of the world
in which 
we all belong

Gillian Cornwall, c. December 2011

Life will go to where there is room for it to be.
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2011

Spring Tulip
Gillian Cornwall c. 2011

*Dedicated to Romina, in her time of mourning and to Erika, as a new life grows inside her.*

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sakura Snow - A Poem for People Who Pass This Way

 Cherry Blossoms, Victoria BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2011

Sakura Snow

I passed a pom-pom poodle
rolling in sakura snow
pink licks on white
Do poodles bite?
His name "Fondant"
or "Cupcake"
or the like.

A child had chalked
upon a desk
an abandoned
roadside desk
in white on black
"Narwhal - Unicorn of the Sea"

My town
sensual circus
chalked flowers
coat the sidewalk
outside the IDA.

Elderly apparitions
of times gone by
tap my back
and winking, whisper,
"Carpe Diem - Seize the Day!
and don't forget
this was our town too
long, long before you.

This poodle,
this parade,
First People, 
I am belayed 
to wooden sidewalks
opium dens
gold and railway men
before this town was yours and mine
this town, this town
pink petals crossing time.

-Gillian Cornwall,  May 5, 2013.

With imagination, all is possible.
Gillian Cornwall, May 2013.

Victoria Day Parade, Victoria BC
c. Gillian Cornwall

Fan Tan Alley, Victoria, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2011.

 Mount Baker, Victoria BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 2013.

Chinese Cemetery, Victoria BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. April 2013. 

Beautiful Old Buildings, Victoria, BC
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2011.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Going Social

Flying High in the #YYJ
View through Fairfield to the Olympic Range, WA
G. Cornwall, c. 2011

Going Social

During the past week, I attended Social Media Camp in beautiful Victoria, BC. It was two and a half days of intense learning and interaction with friends and colleagues on the topic of social media.

This was my second year in attendance and a significantly different experience than that of my first year in which I only knew 2 or 3 people at the camp and I was very new to Twitter. As a result, during my first year, I spent a good portion of the conference on my own, with mild anxiety and shades of elementary school isolation as I sat outside, eating my bag lunch alone in a crowd, hoping the cool kids would talk to me. 

Over the past year, I made efforts to increase meaningful conversations with my local (and distant) Twitter community. I set up and went to coffee 'tweet-ups' with folks I hadn't yet met in person, helped with some fundraising efforts and and community events, attended local chamber of commerce and public relations mixers and reached out where and when I could, sharing content from my blog and interacting with others based on their online content. 

This year at Social Media Camp, while I was there as a representative of my workplace, I also had the opportunity to meet many people IRL (in real life) with whom I've had a long Twitter association. Additionally, it was an opportunity to introduce myself to new people with whom I can now continue to interact online. 

Before attending this year, I made a promise to myself to find 3 people at camp on the first day who were standing alone and looking lost, engage in conversation, welcome them and introduce them to others. Two of the folks were new to camp and one turned out to be a session speaker! I was happy to help the new folks have a more engaged experience and share with others. I don't like to think of anyone having lunch alone unless that is what they want!

I met many incredible people with great big hearts and minds this year and I am grateful for the opportunity to share experiences with all of you! The most common threads in sessions and conversations throughout the event resounded with human interaction:
  • meaningful conversations
  • shifting mindset between the one and the all
  • kindness as a starting place for all acts
  • attention economics - the consideration of others and room for them in your content
  • self-awareness and acceptance
  • gratitude
This year's camp has helped me to understand my social media 'maturity' level and to learn from my social media elders. It has taught me to listen and to ask. For the friendships and the lessons, I am eternally grateful to each person I meet along my path, each person who shares potential, choices and ideas, all who hold up mirrors when I lose sight of myself, all who hold up lamps to light the way and those who quietly allow me to make my mistakes and learn, holding out a helping hand when I slip and fall.

Thank you. I hope you will grace me with the gift of helping you in kind. Social Media Camp organizers, volunteers, speakers, participants, award nominees and winners, supporters and sponsors - congratulations on an epic success!

See you in the Twitterverse. 

-Gillian Cornwall, c. May 12, 2013.

G. Cornwall, c. December 2012.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Talk To Me

Coconut Palm - Lana'i, Hawaii
G.Cornwall, c. December 2012

Yep. I'm gonna do it. I'm quoting The Spice Girls song, Wannabe.
"Tell me what you want,
What you really, really want."

At times, I want to tattoo this on my forehead so everyone I encounter can see it, but the print would have to be kind of small to make it fit and people would need to stand really close to read it and that would just be awkward all around but you get the idea, right?

Call me simple, for I hope that is what I am. I am not going to be able to guess what you are thinking, dreaming or wanting with any kind of regular accuracy. If I'm very lucky, I may get it right 10% of the time; however, if you tell me what you want, yes, what you really, really want, what's going to happen then? 

Well, now we are getting to the heart of the matter and, guess what folks, the star of the show, more often than not, is our old nemesis, fear. So, if we don't express our truth kindly and clearly because of fear, what do you get as a result: frustration, confusion, dissatisfaction? One thing I'm fairly certain we don't get, is that which we truly desire
we also don't get: rejected, turned down, laughed at, anger or misunderstanding, right? 

 ...or do we? Because if we aren't clear, most people will guess, make assumptions about us, take our fear of clear expression as a personal affront to them:
"Well, she obviously doesn't care about us or she would have said something!"

So, our fears become our self-fulfilling prophesies and we lose out on opportunities that we were afraid of losing out on because we are afraid to speak our truth ...and so the cycle goes.

Does speaking your truth always result in the magical fulfillment of your wishes and desires? Well, no, of course not. 

Is there a chance you won't get the result you want by expressing yourself clearly and kindly? Absolutely.

The thing is, if you know you're not going to get what you want, where you want, how you want, when you want and why you want by remaining silent, then why not speak your piece? At the end of the day, you have nothing to lose but fear.

One of my main frames of reference when considering fear is this book: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. There are parts of the book that don't resonate with me, but the four points have helped me gain greater understanding of my self and those around me. I have erased "old tapes" and created a framework for moving through life with ownership of my actions and reactions. 

Briefly, The Four Agreements state:
  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don't take anything personally
  • Don't make assumptions
  • Always do your best
Keeping these in mind helps me to understands my fears, to sit with them, poke at them and, often, resolve them.

As an aside, I believe that it is fine to not know what you want for a time. It is helpful to articulate that and to tell someone you are currently trying to figure it out. 

I wish each of you peace, joy and clarity on your personal voyages through this glorious life. 

-Gillian Cornwall, April 26 2013.
Hulopo'e - Lana'i, Hawaii
G. Cornwall, c. December 2012