Infinite Self

Translation of Ashtavakra Gita by Anonymous

Yesterday
I lived bewildered,
In Illusion.

Bu now I am awake,
Flawless and serene,
Beyond the world.

From my light
The body and the world arise.

So all things are mine,
Or nothing is.

Now I have given up
The body and the world.

I have a special gift.
I see the infinite self.

As a wave,
Seething and foaming,
Is only water.

So all creation.
Streaming out of the self
Is only the self.

Consider a piece of cloth
It is only threads!

So all creation,
When you look closely,
Is only the Self.

Like the sugar
In the juice of the sugarcane.
I am the sweetness
In everything I have made.

When the self is unknown
The world arises,
Not when it is known.

But you mistake
The rope for the snake.
When you see the rope,
The snake vanishes.

My nature is light,
Nothing but light.

When the world arises
I alone am shining.

When the world arises in me,
It is just an illusion:
Water shimmering in the sun,
A wein of silver in mother-of-pearl,
A serpent in a stand of rope.

From me the world streams out
And in me it dissolves,
As a bracelet melts into gold,
A pot crumbles into clay,
A wave subsides into water.

I adore myself,
How wonderful I am!

I can never die.

The wold world may perish,
From Brahma to a blade of grass,
But I am still here.

Indeed how wonderful!
I adore myself.
For I have taken form
But I am still one.

Neither coming or going,
Yet I am still everywhere…

I am the infinite ocean.

When thoughts spring up,
The wind freshens, and like waves,
A thousand worlds arise.

But when the wind falls,
The trader sinks with his ship.

On the boundless ocean of my being
He founders,
And all the worlds with him.

But O how wonderful!

I am the unbounded deep
In whom all living things
Naturally arise,
Rush against each other playfully
And then subside.

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Brand and Style Guidelines – a promise of design productivity

Everyone in the company has a love-hate relationship with the style guide. The brand and style guidelines holds a promise of productivity for designers, developers and vendors. Having worked on style guides for both E*TRADE and PayPal, I considered it an operational role that required patience and grit to work with innumerable stakeholders across the company and delivering something that allowed smooth execution.

It is always a work in progress and never ready. Designers complain that it is restricting and Developers complain that it is never detailed enough. Having said that I am a huge advocate of the style guides because it ensures the vision, values, attributes of the brand are executed out consistently across various channels. There is no second guessing and the designers can be free to innovate on the interaction and experiences.

One thing to remember and set expectations for others is that “Change is inevitable”, so plan for it. Make incremental and planned updates that can be communicated to the organization and the vendors quickly.

Here are some of the resources to get you started on creating a style guide.

Designing style guidelines for brands and websites – Smashing Magazine
Brand identity style guides – Logo Design Love
20 top tips for designing effective brand guidelines – SAATCHI

 

Work place, women and productivity

I am generalizing and discriminating when I say that in a meeting women take notes and men don’t.

There are always exceptions to this and there are men who are avid list makers and great Product, Program and Project Managers. I have huge respect for them since they make lives of the contributors so much easier. But my experience in many years in work force, consulting and otherwise has made me realize that when it comes to creating meeting agenda, taking notes, sharing next steps and action items, it is usually done with the women in the team irrespective of the role. If she is not doing it, it is only because she knows that there is another person in the room who is taking care of it.

This is especially challenging when the teams are small and there isn’t a luxury of having a project manager, program manager or a secretary on the project. My assumption is that the task of setting up the agenda, expectations, documenting the minutes and action items falls upon the Product/Project Manager or Owner. The excuses range from:

  • I have it all in my head and you can reach out to me anytime if you have a question.
  • I can’t be doing all these, I have better things to do by owning this vision.
  • I don’t believe in making lists and wasting paper.
  • I’d rather be checking my emails while you all discuss the details of my product/project.
  • I am not good with words.
  • I can’t write.

What they don’t really say out loud is “It is a girl thing” because we still have not evolved to think that I can do everything a girl can even if that means more streamlined meetings that are effective and saves everyone time.

My tip to you visionaries – make a list, it will free your mind to do greater and better things. And if you make your list to run effective meetings, you will have a team to collaborate and follow on your vision.