Join me and a few others in the Kismuth and S P A C E online conversation spaces for the new 12-week ‘MIRROR’ project. Reflection and writing. Together, in online forums and over email 1:1 with me.

How did this topic arise? I’m a fan of the Open Space method, which gets people together to talk about things that interest them.

Some titles from the last ten years that pop to mind as I reminisce on this include: Gather: What does it mean to have Community, Origin: ‘What is fromness?’, Rooftop Philosophy in Phnom Penh, Beauty: What is it? Who gets to decide?, Aether: Is the Medium Still the Message?, and you see what I mean? Quite esoteric, but it gets real and cool when we make time to show up, and talk, together, about what it is that intrigues and invites those who might not know one another to discover together on a theme. Dialogue is that style that has a center and not sides, for me, when I host these things.

The one that I had held last week in virtual space was themed ‘A Change of Perspective.’ Through a series of fascinating exchanges, I got to see that there is an even more specific topic we could zero in on. True to Open Space style, I’ve allocated another spot to dive deeper into this topic. It is ‘A World Apart.’

Asing questions: An online reflection space for the very curious

Some of us are far, far away from what we thought we knew, and are on the road ‘indefinitely.’ In these places, on these journeys, we meet and talk. Sometimes we share. I’m looing forward to the next set of online conversations for this series, and I invite you to be part of the Cojournal, ‘A World Apart,’ if you are interested in engaging with us in a written way. That’s also a way to discover, and co-discover, what we don’t know.

Apply at this link…

http://dipikakohli.com/apply

 

Participation fees start at USD10/week, (USD7/week for returning guests.)

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The Mirror | ‘A World Apart’

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$5


Thanks for following this blog. There are a few people who have asked me to keep writing it, so here I am.

Additionally, these days I’ve been writing a monthly column. It’s called Kismuth & The Way II. If you know about this column and you know about Kismuth and you are reading here, thank you. I wanted to share this issue before it gets published next month, for some people who might enjoy it and want to get it first. Perhaps that’s you? Welcome.  I invite you to read ‘Pathways.’ It’s a short PDF, and it’s in the S P A C E shop. It’s $5.

Here is a link.

https://designkompany.gumroad.com/l/dupvc


 

Writing is all rewriting, and so on, and so forth


For context, see this post at my personal site, too. I’ve been making the weekly e-mag S P A C E since 2017.

Pathways

kismuth members, writing

Kismuth & The Way

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found

On beauty

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This is the last week of exploring #softskills in the e-mag S P A C E. Things will change thematically in the summer. I’m going to talk about ‘A Change of Perspective.’ You might be wondering why anyone would make a magazine for themselves to focus on topics and write about them in a series. I was told by KT, an artist I admire and respect, that I create ‘collections’, and I couldn’t agree more. After he pointed it out, I stopped writing personal memoirs for Kismuth and though about what kind of collections I could create, instead. Some of the seasons of S P A C E I recall with great affinity have titles like, ‘In the Vernacular,’ ‘Autumn Leaves,’ and ‘A Philosophy of the Moment.’ Going to places, seeing what I might find, running into people, going out of my comfort zone, looking into the new, and packing what I heard, saw, felt, and discovered into a 16-page zine every week was a satisfying way to process as well as create an artefact, too.

I think all this exploration has helped me refine my communciation skills quite a bit, given that there were so many cross-cultural contexts (Finland, Denmark, Viet Nam, Malaysia, etc). You had to be on your toes and read the air and follow the rules. You had to listen. You couldn’t learn without doing those things. I was taught, in schools in the United States, that the thing to do is assert your point of view (loudly, sometimes aggressively), but this does not work in most places I found myself looking for the stories, over in Southeast Asia and Northern Europe – quiet does, however, and it’s the quiet that I like to write about a lot for Kismuth, now. See Into the Quiet, for example.

The zines in S P A C E are a documentation of the human connexions I took care to note; these were formed through multi-layered conversations with just a handful, in each place. It takes time to build rapport and trust, and I take that time to do it, when I am making S P A C E issues because they have to be genuine, honest, and reported from a place of having done one’s homework to understand. Deeply, not superfcially. So it was, and so it is, to me, to this day as well.  Discover more about S P A C E, how to subscribe to get it, and how to be part of the ongoing conversations, too.

See you this summer for S P A C E | Summer 2024, ‘A Change of Perspective.’

Here is a link.

http://chuffed.org/project/spacethezine

Thanks.

100 Conversations, space

Communication skills

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100 Conversations, found

Soft Skills | Conflict Resolution

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This summer, I’m starting a new theme for my weekly e-mag, S P A C E.

The theme is ‘A Change of Perspective.’

Find out more about S P A C E at my personal site, dipikakohli.com/zine, and also at my design studio, http://designkompany.com/zine.

I send the zine out by email once a week, every week, and the seasonal sets are 12 issues each.

That’s a lot of links but here are some more. The shop is at http://gumroad.com/designkompany and the crowdfunding page, just updated, at http://chuffed.org/project/spacethezine.

Checkit.

 

D. Olah

kismuth members, space

A change of perspective

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At the beginning of February, I began writing in earnest on the theme of ‘Soft Skills’ for my weekly e-mag, S P A C E.

The stories were a mix of things, some of which were researched pieces from internet articles that then peppered up some personal commentary to add to them, which I felt comfortable sharing through the online space for the zine because I know everyone who subscribes, personally. I mean, you have a mini-mag with an esoteric name like S P A C E and you don’t go head to head with the likes of TIME. Wait.

Wait.

Some of my favorite stories in the series this time are Q&A interviews with HR experts. The titles of those issues of S P A C E are: S P A C E | ‘Is it an Employer’s Market, or an Employees?’ and S P A C E | ‘People Operations.’ You can find them in the shop.

Subscribe to ‘Soft Skills’

I can send you all the issues in the series if you subscribe to S P A C E.

To do that, here is a link.

http://chuffed.org/project/spacethezine

Thanks.

 

&Cojournal, space

April

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Here is my column this month, in Saathee.

 

Trust the Process

vignettes, writing

Trust the Process

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Philip Oroni

 

 

Soft Skills in the workplace, at home, and in the world

&Cojournal, 100 Conversations, vignettes

Soft Skills

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I like quiet space. I always have. This book expands on it, in vignettes from Phnom Penh. / Photo: Debby Hudson

 

Next from Kismuth’s collection of short books is Into the Quiet. It’s a curated collection of articles, and additional bits and pieces, on the subject of stilling, quieting, and finding comfort there.

Here’s a link.

http://kismuth.com/into-the-quiet

Thanks.

 

essays, vignettes, writing

Into the Quiet

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See https://kismuth.com/soft-skills-in-the-workplace-at-home-and-in-the-world/

 

kismuth members

Soft Skills mini-conference No. 2

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This season I am reading articles, and conversing with experts, on Soft Skills for my weekly e-mag, S P A C E. This involves a lot of internet conversation, back-and-forth about how it works when it works well. Of course, this is a spectrum.

The more you read and discover, the more you find out.

It’s not like anyone has this perfectly down pat, but, I think, if we can aim to understand someone by giving them room to talk and not thinking while they’re talking about [insert anything] or being defensive or taking it personally or judging, then the result will be much better quality. In terms of communicating well. My opinion.

Communicating effectively in 2024. How do you do it?

It’s very easy to talk about this and it’s hard to do it; but there are tools, there are kits, there are quizzes and self-assessment tools all over the internet right now, because we are in an era of multi-channel communication and ‘even silence says something’ thinking which is hard to work with if you have something that is very real and labeled ‘information anxiety.’

I am reading about those things, too.


Talking about talking


Soft Skills, in this current season.

I’ll expand further, in my crowdfunded zine, S P A C E. It’s a weekly.

Meantime, if you want to hear more, or get links to some of the best sources I’ve found, definitely let me know; say hi.

Thanks.

found

Listening to understand, not to reply

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It’s nice to be writing a column, Kismuth & The Way II, for Saathee Magazine. The first series ran for a time and then the pandemic hit. I resumed the column this year, to gather a few new pieces, mostly tiny vignettes about everyday life in Cambodia. Where I live. It’s a long story.

More about that, soon.

vignettes, writing

Writing a column again

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It’s 2024.

People I know who are 24-35 are asking, ‘Why am I doing this?’ They’re asking, ‘What can I do to make meaning in my life?’ I’m digging into this question a bit, for good advice for young people.

Honestly, there’s not anything to find that’s readily applicable across the board. For now, I’m reading, listening, joining email lists about the topic of Personal Growth, investigating blogs, finding out about podcasts, and, of course, occasionally dipping into the ocean of social media posts. Rarely, I find something that I can say ‘Yeah, that applies, even with the pandemic-adjusted world, it still fits.’ Sometimes there are commencement speeches that I used to think were amazing, but they failed to take into account all the things we know now and factor in that mark 2024 and not 2014, which was when I landed in Southeast Asia. In the decade since, much has changed. Of course. Naturally; and talking about change comes easily to me since I was exploring this well before arriving here, too.

Now, I’m understanding more and more that when some talk about ‘change’ they’re not really talking about change at all – that is a given, after all, that change will come – but they’re talking about something more internal than that.

More personal.

The reality of it is becoming clear to me. I’ve observed countless startups, and nonprofits, and NGOs talking about change and making change and the center of what these things are really about is emerging after a decade of sitting back and watching from the sidelines.

I’ve already talked about it.

Ego.

People in the higher-up places in their positions corroborate this. It gets in the way.

But it’s there. It’s always, always there. Ego, competing with the big thing that the true self is seeking: connection. Oh, there’s so much to say, and so much to feel, and of course, it’s a personal take anyway no matter what I could write or share. I know that.

Still, I want to try.


What is the meaning of growth & change, truly?


I don’t mean to get too philosophical here, today. But I think there’s a parallel you can draw between the design process, which was my practice for a decade in Seattle and Raleigh-Durham, and that of finding inward transformation which is what we explore in Kismuth columns, books, and articles (and conversations – but that’s hard to share since it gets so personal and what we say together is confidential, besides).

Why is trust so important?

Because it takes time. It takes learning, uncovering, and feeling okay with what you see. Who you’re with. It takes aeons to build. It means something: it means lowering your guard. Not everyone is ready to do that, of course, but it’s requisite for real change, I feel.

During the design process, I asked clients of Design Kompany to think bigger than just what other people would think of their new brand identity’s ‘look’, which, if I’m honest, is what people often think they want when they sign up for a design with DK. I’m glad they wanted to work with me because they liked DK’s portfolio, but I encouraged them to go a step further and investigate more deeply into the ‘why’ of what they wanted to do, say, make, and share with the world. This of course got personal and I started to focus more on owner/operated firms with just a few people because DK’s process could be the most useful, in those cases. People who were ready to ask questions, big ones. And think through lots of stuff, with me asking the questions to get them to explore.  I think that what we always find out together is that the design process can call out something cool. It’s not external validation that people care about, after trusting me through this process, it’s something else. More personal. More true to who they really are.


An inward transformation


I believe that the process – with trust in it – can lead to a deep and meaningful inward transformation. Fixing your issues, resolving what’s been unresolved. I’ve helped people make tattoos or personal brand identities for themselves, when going through a big shift in life.

Such stuff to talk together and get a design together to give concrete form to those shifts can be giant work.

I see it. I find out. I watch people start coping with old stuff and dealing with it. Dealing with baggage – the traumas of childhood baggage, relationship baggage, all the stuff you never coped with. I had friends in the past who were therapists and they used to talk a lot with me about their own issues. Long story short, I tried my best to learn how to be a good listener for them, in those times. I learned how to lean on others, too, in other times in life, when things got difficult. Sometimes the skills in listening – soft skills – can be a great source of support. Just listening. Which takes a lot of energy and giving, of course. I feel that a process of inward transformation can truly happen… with trust. Trusting the process. Trusting yourself.

My opinion.

Here’s another one. You can listen to a podcast interview I did with a guest, SV, who had a fascinating take on this. Listen to my episode of the podcast ‘New Baselines’. Which is at this page:

Podcast

 


Being very honest


More to say about the work to find inward transformation and peace, as we all converse and connect and try new things n our own ways wherever we are. It’s a conversation, but it’s also a zine. A zine called S P A C E. More about it is at my crowdfunding page. That link is:

http://chuffed.org/project/spacethezine

Thanks!

100 Conversations

A true process of change begins with trust: this is why

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