Thursday, April 16, 2009

Letting go

Been approaching life a bit different lately ... letting go of expectations and desires for specific outcomes and finding much more joy in the present. A co-worker asked me today what my preference would be for the department of one that I currently head up. After thinking about the question, I responded that the best outcome, in my opinion for the bank would be for the department to be absorbed as part of the corporate culture - meaning there would be a consideration of environmental issues in all that we do as a bank. But that would mean that my position would no longer be necessary - unless they kept me on as a content expert or knowledge officer... which at this bank would be unlikely.
The best outcome for me professionally would be to grow a division around environmental lending initiatives. But then that would turn me into a manager, limiting my public contact and making my focus more on reports than on business development or outreach. I don't have much interest in reports.
So, in total, the preferred outcome would be for me to become expendable ... the follow on question was, "so, are you okay with that?" My response ... sure ... I am not overly tied to either outcome ... just enjoying what I am doing today and working on growing the philosophy and approach within the bank and out into the community. The experience and visibility are both good for me from a resume perspective. My hope is that I will be able to leverage this time into international travel. I think I am starting to get it ... Buddhists call this compassionate objectivity ... feeling without taking possession. I like that message.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Down time

It has been a while since I wrote ... hope all is well with you.

There must by cycles that we are all subject to ... or maybe I am bipolar. Whichever the case, today was a day that I chose to hide more than seek. I don't know why these changes come or from where. Some days, I can talk to anyone about anything - it seems. Today was a day to step away from all of that. I am not particularly impressed with that decision. I don't know exactly why either.
I had lunch with a friend, bought some flowers for a couple others - just random acts of kindness to let them know I am thinking of them and that I appreciate them. And I am fine with all of that ... I just feel a little out of balance.
Tried singing Willy Wonka ... "if you want to see paradise, simply look around and view it ... you can change the world, there's nothing to it." That helped a bit. Writing helps a bit.
Walked into a social situation with tons of people - all connected to green building, design, or project management ... and felt like I needed to get out of there. Like social anxiety ... and I am not particularly like that. I am a little tired ... have been digging up the past a bit - accepting it as it comes into view - but wondering how it all fits together.
The fact that the universe is a perfect machine does not always translate into knowing where I am at any given moment. Maybe it is a lack of landmarks - that this is all new terrain. There is uncertainty in that picture - but it does not need to be uncomfortable ... it can be wondrous and exciting and interesting and mind expanding. It should be - it is. Let it go ... accept what is and enjoy it. Buy it some flowers.
I feel a little better now.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Listening and trusting

No one is perfect ... I am surely not. I am becoming more aware and more conscious in how I choose to communicate. Old habits weaken slowly ... because they serve a purpose. They keep us "in control" due to the predictability of their effect.
In the book, "The Art of Racing in the Rain," the main character quotes a famous race car driver as saying that in the rain, we loose the predictability of how the car will handle and become reactive. In life, the same thing happens when we are faced with unfamiliar circumstance. One of the ways a driver will compensate is to pre-emptively create a controllable situation - pitch the rear end out around a turn and then control the slide. Because the slide is consciously begun, the corrective action is also well known and can be applied in controlled ways. The driver is never reacting, the driver is acting, and then correcting, predictably.
With my son, I am trying to get there. Consciously acting, listening and counselling with love, and with a calm tone. I have ceased raising my voice. He can tell I am frustrated by his decisions ... but at 18, they are his decisions to make.
Again, I come back to the thought that all of this is necessary for him, and for me, to grow through and to accept as perfect. I am acting in ways that have intergrity to my beliefs and benefit the world around me. The path is what it is ... Although I am uncertain as to its' final destination, I believe it will prove to be a wondrous trip.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Careful words

I have a book in me ... I just know it. :)

Tuesday brought my son home at 2:30 am. The good news, he came home in his own car - I didn't have to pick him up at juvenile detention. The other good news ... I don't sleep when he is out late and so the night was a short one. The tertiary good news ... I was moderating a panel discussion at 7am that morning. So on 3 hours sleep, and under the influence of significant amounts of B12 and caffeine, I began my day.
The panel discussion was addressing the gap between building a great building - energy efficient, healthy, lots of sunlight - and finding a banker who recognizes something other than the financial performance of the building. Daily Journal of Commerce was there taking notes. The conversation went really well ... conclusions all pointing towards taking the extra time and effort to consider how the "healthy" aspects of a project translate into better financial returns for a variety of reasons ... then it happened. The B12 and caffeine wore off. Out of my mouth comes the following, "As a banker, I don't care about how clean the air is or how many people show up to work each day ... what matters to me is how your cool LEED Silver, Gold, Platinum, Living Building performs differently than a traditional building built to code. Show me how your building performs better - lower expenses, lower maintenance costs - and how that generates higher Net Operating Income." :-)
The fact of the matter is that I do care, but I was being intellectually lazy in making my point - The human aspects of the sustainability movement are the drivers of change - In order to support the benefits intrinsic in LEED projects, we need to carefully define and defend how the characteristics of a LEED building contribute to behavioral change in the occupants and therefore add value. I know this ... Creating a healthy environment benefits all parties in various ways. Triple bottom line - People, Place, Profit. I didn't make that point in my statement - but it was a great sound bite ... and so was quoted in the DJC and attributed to me. Dan Weldon, Vice President, Eco-banking Manager, LEED AP, Traditional Asshole Banker. Oh man :)... (laughing at self and at life generally). This is what keeps life fun. Maybe I will have the opportunity to clarify ... maybe not. It is out there in the ether now. And I move on. This message needs to be clear - it takes a community of dedicated, intelligent people to solve complex problems. Linguistics - the translation of one language to another - gets a bit convoluted at times. We need to find alternative paths that are not presently there - life is like that.
I enjoy the opportunity to learn this in so many different and vital ways. It all adds to the richness of the journey. I am building new and unique pathways of reasoning in my brain. Making connections that were not there previously. Through those connections, I will see things which were previously hidden from me. That is the beauty of life and learning. I so enjoy being a student.

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