Genuine fascination gives us an edge on problem solving

Example of creative problem-solving and also how someone's fascination with a particular creative medium, in this case: mushrooms. Genuine fascination with something particular gives us a unique advantage: the ability to see what most people don't. We see opportunities, experiments, and solutions that no one thought possible.
To most people, mushrooms are a food source. To mycologist (mushroom scientist) Philip Ross, fungi are much, much more. In fact, Ross is most passionate about mushrooms’ ability to be used for building materials and it is this is what he primarily focuses his attention on. Recently, the mycologists figured out how to make bricks from growing fungi that are super-strong and water-, mold- and fire resistant.
Inhabitat reports that the 100% organic and compostable material is made from dried mycelium and then is grown and formed into just about any shape. It has a remarkable consistency that makes it stronger – pound for pound – than concrete. He recently patented his own version of the mycotecture procedure.
During an interview with Glasstire, Ross explained:“It has the potential to be a substitute for many petroleum-based plastics. It’s left the art world and seems to have entered a Science Fiction novel or something like that. With this stuff it’s possible to go into regional production of biomaterials. For instance, here in San Francisco, we could start producing lots of local materials using this fungus and could create a pilot project of sorts.”

Good Humaning: What it is I think I'm up to...

Photo by  Fernando Puente

In 2016, when I completed my research on Master Craftsmen, I was also recovering from painful leg surgery. I had many, many insightful conversations with my subjects. Some conversations were transformative and deeply influenced what work I chose, and how I went about my work. The most important lesson: craftsmanship rests on deliberate practice.

In 2017, I took up daily yoga around the same time as my physical therapy. There, I could take all my anxieties about changing my life’s course and the frustrations of my recovery to my yoga mat. My mat took a pretty big beating in those early months. I had many profound lessons within that 2×5 foot space. Without really intending to, I had taken up a practice and dedicated myself to it. Over time, my practice became very…deliberate. I also was able to make significant connections between what craftsmen and women were referring to by the idea of “showing up”, “meeting a challenge,” or “being deliberate” that I will continue to explore and share.

In 2018, I turned my attention to developing my business (something I had been doing the whole time, but now in a more focused way). I took many of the lessons I had learned and continued to work on them. And, as is typical with most learning, when I stopped going to yoga regularly and stopped writing and researching regularly, I started to forget some of what I had learned. I genuinely learned what I learned, but had not integrated all of my insights fully.

This blog category (NotesFromMyYogaJournal) is one of my practices for trying to anchor my experience by exploring from within and reminding myself about what it means to be human. Part of that work is re-learning what it means to be a good human or to do “humaning” well. 

I refer to “humaning” because I learned so much from my last few years of research, writing, and building my practice. Between learning and integration lies “the journey”, “the struggle”, “the gap.” Hence, this theme…and me sharing some of my own re-learning practice here.