Monday, December 14, 2009

Our Holiday Wish for You!

OK, so we know we just posted our last podcast, but we really, really want you to hear this one as soon as possible! We wish you a fun, fulfilling, joyous, choice-based holiday season!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Protecting and Renewing Your Creative Energy

It's the most wonderful time of the year...and sometimes the most stressful! In this podcast, we discuss ways to protect and renew your creative energy so that you can make the most of your life and of this holiday season. Happy--and Energy-Filled--Holidays to you!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Super, Secret Source of Creative Energy

Did you know that in the creative cycle, a secret pocket of energy exists that you can leverage for greater productivity and momentum? Well, it does! In this podcast, we tell you what it is and ponder how we can all take advantage of it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great Gobs of Gratitude, Batman!

In this brief podcast, we simply thank you, our listeners, for hopping on the wild Brilliant Chaos ride with us! We wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Free to Begin...

Ever wonder why you just couldn't start that next project or pursue that great idea you have? Me too! Check out this week's podcast where Lisa and I talk about what it means to "converge" and be free to begin new things! I actually share a personal story about convergence in my own life and how it showed up in a big way when I least expected it!

Hey, and don't forget to share any experiences you have had on convergence as a place for beginnings too! We want to hear from you!

P.S. Ever wonder why there is all that empty space between the title of this post and the podcast player? Me too! I can't figure it out so for now we are calling that "breathing space" or "open space" as there is not a lot of that out there these days...except when you visit Planet Chaos that is. ;)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Convergence as Ending

Gifted people are generally natural-born divergers, and systems need diverging phases. In a previous podcast, we've discussed the concept of divergence: the desire and opportunity to brainstorm, collect information, think outside the box, push pylons, and run gleefully down bunny trails.

Eventually, after all that diverging (and also before it--more on this later), we reach a time for convergence, a time for everything to intersect, a time for creating something definite. Time, resources, and people come together for completion. Ahh...what a feeling!

We hope you enjoy our podcast on convergence as ending, and that after you listen you will converge on this blog and share your responses about it with us!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Squirmy (2009-2009), In Memoriam

A couple months ago, I (Lisa) wrote a blog post about my family beginning a pet-owning adventure. Until recently, I would have had nothing but wonderful things to report. Squirmy, our beloved tadpole, grew legs, then arms, and lost most of her tail (after extensive research, we discovered Squirmy was a female).

I had ordered a Stage Two tank for the frog portion of Squirmy's life (see picture at right). That tank recently arrived, and with it another frog, whom the kids have named Jumbo. Jumbo is definitely a big frog compared to Squirmy, about three times as long and at least four times as hefty. Squirmy would dart around her tank; Jumbo swims the frog version of a portly man's gait.

As I reviewed the instructions that came with the tank, I had a hunch that putting Jumbo and Squirmy in the same tank would not bode well for Squirmy. Further research confirmed my intuition. The introductions would go something like this: "Squirmy, meet Jumbo. Jumbo, meet food." So I placed each frog in a separate tank; a tube connected the tanks, so I adhered a cap on one end of tube to separate the frogs. The research I'd done said that when Squirmy grew close to Jumbo's size, they'd view each other more as friends and less as food and diner, respectively.

I had planned on writing a blog post using the frogs as a metaphor. The message of it would have gone something like "Don't let the huge image of your dream eat your currently smaller reality." Sometimes when we begin the journey toward fulfilling our purposes, we can envision a dream so daunting that we abort our efforts to realize it. The metaphor seemed like a fabulous comparison.

Unfortunately, I never had the chance. A couple days ago, I noticed that Squirmy appeared smaller. I wasn't overly concerned; she was much smaller as a frog than she had been as a tadpole. I figured perhaps she was still shrinking. However, I must admit I hadn't seen Squirmy eat much since making the transition from tadpole food to frog food. I didn't know if she was eating, and I didn't know how to teach her to eat.

Yesterday, when I walked near the tank, Squirmy didn't come see me, which had been her usual habit. Instead, she floated with her head toward the surface of the water. She didn't react when I tapped on the tank's side. I feared the worst, and surely enough, when I poked her with the frog food spoon, I had to face the fact that she had indeed died.

So now I had a new experience to face: telling my children that their pet had died. I dreaded it all day, and saved the news until we finished all appointments and homework. At first, the kids took the news much better than I'd expected, especially my daughter. We threw Squirmy a funeral a la Cosby Show, full with appropriate attire, eulogies, and to our ultimate detriment, my husband's version of "Taps." It was then that sadness hit Princess Monkey Girl. I actually think it was good that she eventually felt her grief, but those of you who are parents know how hard it can be to watch your child mourn.

So what's the metaphor now? Squirmy was an active, darting type of frog, a teeny thing with lots of energy. She really captured our hearts. We witnessed her metamorphosis, and looked forward to her growth as a frog. Now, suddenly, she's gone. But had we not gone down this path, we would have missed Squirmy's bright animal spirit, and we never would have met Jumbo (in picture above). We now have a full-grown frog to love and enjoy.

Perhaps the metaphor is this: sometimes, as we begin to live the first steps of our dreams, life surprises us. We enjoy the journey while we can, and face and grieve losses that may come. As difficult as they may be, those losses may propel us further toward our intended purpose than we would have gone without them.

So, Squirmy, thank you for gracing us with your life, for showing us the wonder of metamorphosis, for bringing us so much joy. We will remember you, and miss you, and feel grateful for the time we had with you and the lessons we learned about life through you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Most Fatuous

The continuing saga of Lisa and Wendy's new favorite word: fatuous. Most fatuous. The saga began on our October 17 blog post "Floorganization is Fatuous?" and continues here unashamedly. We milk this word for all its worth and even come up with new creative definitions from a "whole brain" point of view - AKA using both our left and right brain processes.

Join us as we celebrate the wisdom of foolishness!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Floorganization at its Finest

The podcast on floorganization has arrived at last! For those of you who need a refresher, floorganization is a Chaotish word (the official language of Planet Chaos) that stands for what we do when we use the floor to organize things, tasks, and other sundry items. Its that simple...or is it? Check out our podcast and hear more on organization games and what we can do as gifted and system thinkers to actually enjoy organizing...and floorganizing.

The pics above are from my very own floor showing a floorganization process I went through recently. The floorganization of my books progressed in concert with the progression of the writing of a school paper.

Also, a special shout out to Jeff Brumley who contributed to this topic. You could be our next featured topic contributor by contacting us with your blog and/or podcast topic suggestions or contributions. Contact us through blog comments, email or twitter. We'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Floorganization is Fatuous?

There was an outcry (actually, an "outlaugh" but that's not a word...yet) as I read the short message left by SemperBlotto:

SemperBlotto deleted "floorganization" (Fatuous entry)

Lisa and I had so much fun adding our new word "floorganization" to yesterday. We were official! Floorganization was official! But SemperBlotto didn't think so.

Adjective (per

fatuous (comparative more fatuous, superlative most fatuous)

  1. Obnoxiously stupid, vacantly silly, content in one's foolishness.

Usage notes

  • Refers especially to foolishness and disregard of reality.

And so continues the war between "creative" and "reality." Those that would label creative expression as stupid or fatuous.

Since floorganization is a word from the Chaotish language, maybe SemperBlotto is right. We are disregarding English reality to introduce a "foreign" word. LOL And yet, I'm already thinking of other ways to mainstream this brilliant word that describes a very "real" way of organizing used by people the world over.

Any suggestions on how to mainstream new words? Do you floorganize? Check out our upcoming podcast on floorganization (coming soon!), I think you'll like it!

PS. Please note that we recorded the podcast before this happened on think you'll find our podcast most relevant, especially those of you who have had or do have people telling you you are not living in reality with all your creative, divergent, or unique ideas or ways of doing things.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


You know how one thought leads to another...and another...and another? Well, that happens frequently on Planet Chaos, and it happened in this podcast. Enjoy, and join in with your own comments on this blog!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pylon Pushing

I don't know about you, but these days it seems everywhere I drive is a Cone Zone. One highway sports an electronic sign warning me "Construction/Major Delays/Alternate Route Advised." Then, when I drive onto the Alternate Route, it has its own line of orange soldiers detouring me toward places I don't want to go. Makes me want to push those pylons right out of the way.

In this week's podcast, we explore the topic of Pylon Pushing in our lives, the capacity to explore and heighten beyond artificial boundaries set before us. We talk about using improv when we want to see exactly where true boundaries lie.

We hope you enjoy this podcast and look forward to your comments on where you might be Pylon Pushing in your own lives!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Maventurous/New Beginnings

Hello, and welcome to the inaugural Brilliant Chaos podcast! We are starting our podcasting adventure with the theme "New Beginnings." You can hear our first episode by clicking on the arrow in the upper left corner of the player above.

We hope you enjoy our podcast, and look forward to your comments, questions, inputs, and non sequiturs. And please let us know if you can identify the term for phrases such as "new beginnings," terms with two words that mean the same thing (and, apparently, we don't mean synonyms or redundancies!).

P.S. We also invite you to incorporate the word "maventurous" into your vocabulary soon and often!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Time to Rest

I never thought I'd feel good about not dancing. I am a dance-aholic! I love my Nia workouts. I thrive on moving my body. If I don't, I become fidgety, my body starts to ache, and I feel less able to focus.

But I've had to let my dancing go for now. At my house, we're enduring the final weeks of our marathon summer break, forced on us due to my kids' school constructing a brand new building that will open in ten days (but who's counting?). And we've all had enough of vacation. Even my kids have proclaimed their wishes to return to school. They want to see their friends. They're ready to start classroom learning again. And they're getting on each other's last nerve.

Hence, my current dancing hiatus. While my kids are old enough to be left alone, they no longer have the wherewithal to get along, both in my presence and even less so in my absence. If I leave them while I go dancing, I have no guarantees that I won't return home to tears, and I'm not willing to gamble like that. The places where I dance don't have childcare for kids my kids' age, so I've decided that for the last couple weeks of summer break, I'll forego my dancing routine. It's not ideal, but I'll survive.

What I didn't expect was that I'd actually thrive. Yes, I'd rather have the opportunity to go dancing, but not dancing has opened up other possibilities for me. Not only have I let go of dancing, I've also let go of having to be my children's constant schedule planner and entertainer. I've let go have having these final two weeks be "meaningful," of creating memorable moments and learning opportunities for my gifted kids. I think they feel that some kind of pressure, which I never intended to create, has lifted, and they can just laze around, be bored if they want to, and if they don't, create their own entertainment.

As well, my body seems to be responding to the rest. I have a few aches and pains that will probably diminish now that I'm taking a breather. I hope that when I can return to dancing I'll have more energy and fewer twinges throughout my body.

And last but not least, while I've devoted fewer hours to exercise and less mental energy toward managing my kids, I've actually accomplished something huge! Today I cleaned out and organized my office! I still have a ways to go, but I've made a huge dent in an area that has felt out of control to me for a long time. I've moved things around, created space for a bookcase to make its home here, and released energy-draining clutter. Amid this cleaning frenzy, I've still moved my body, and I've made pathways for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy.

So while I'm looking forward to returning to my dancing, I can say that I believe in the assertion that "There's a time to rest." I find that as a gifted person, I tend to create grand schemes for my life, and I can be somewhat rigid about making them happen. But sometimes releasing my agenda is good. In fact, sometimes restful periods can be surprisingly and ironically productive.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Growing a Frog in the Comfort of Our Home!

Meet Squirmy the tadpole. He (or she--we're not sure) is the newest addition to our family. The requirements for pets around here rival those for gaining a top secret security clearance, so Squirmy is our best bet: no mess and low maintenance. (Unlike Skippy from our previous blog post, Squirmy won't leave "presents" on the neighbor's lawn.)

Squirmy arrived today after weeks of waiting. We bought the Grow-A-Frog kit and mailed in the gift certificate, and until today I've listened to multiple despairing questions regarding Squirmy's ETA. Fortunately for my sanity, a small styrofoam package came with today's mail, and our pet owning adventure has begun.

I anticipate this will be an interesting experiment on three fronts. First, I look forward to watching a tadpole turn into a frog. I've never seen this metamorphosis up close and personal, and it intrigues me. Second, I can't wait to see my kids' reactions. They totally dig this kind of learning. Already they've shown so much excitement over Squirmy, and as s/he changes, I imagine my children will bring an energy and joy to the process that will fuel my own. And third, this experiment will show us how well the kids can care for a pet. Who knows--if they show themselves to be unlike most other children and truly take the responsibility they've promised to take with Squirmy, the pet restrictions around here may lift, and we'll actually be able to own a higher maintenance a sea monkey.

Time will tell...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dog Poop @ Midnight

It was a dark, dark night...very dark. Skippy, dear Skippy, needed to go for his late evening walk. And since I was the official dog sitter, it was my turn for dog duty. I put on his "you'll feel sharp electrical current if you do not behave" collar (Skippy was a big, big dog), got out the plastic bag for the anticipated dump, put a key to the house in my pocket, and off we went. Everything was fine until we got to block number three, third house on the left...the sniff-around-and-time-to-poop location (all dog owners know what I'm talking about). Skippy did his business. I then proceeded to fulfill my part of the program, but for the life of me could not find the poop. The house lights did not extend far enough into the yard to be of any help. I could not find it!

So. Now what? Well, first of all, the title of this blog came to mind and I laughed. Second, I went through my I go back to the house, get a flashlight, and come back to do a search-and-pickup? Do I knock on the door, at this late hour, and let the occupants of the house know I'll pick up the poop the next day? Do I just continue on our walk and bless this neighbor's yard with a "gift" to help their soil receive additional, needed, and helpful nutrients?

Well, dear Planet Chaos friends, I must admit I went for option number three. I know, I know. I totally wimped out. My sense of responsibility is stilled pricked as I think about it. As I write this now, I'm wishing I had gone back to get a flashlight (or knocked on the neighbor's door, lol) would have made for a much better story on many levels. ;)

What is your relationship with nature and animals? I'd love to hear your stories of successes, failures, dilemmas, and learning opportunities of taking care of our planet (Earth, that is).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And Welcome Again!

It's 3:31 a.m. Mountain Time, and I can't sleep. It seems I still have energy coursing through my body from the brainstorming session Wendy and I had about Brilliant Chaos. Instead of tossing and turning anymore, I give in, shuffle to my computer, turn it on, log onto Facebook, and discover that Wendy not only has been busy launching this blog site, but she's still awake too!

This is what happens when Wendy and I collide on creative ventures. We don't get much sleep, but we sure have fun! And we look forward to bringing this kind of energy, wonder, exploration, and hilarity--along with provoking plenty of thoughts and reaching people's hearts--to the place where giftedness and systems thinking meet.

So fasten your seat belts, folks! (Stow your tray tables, and return your seats to their original, upright positions.) This rocket ship is taking off! Destination: Planet Chaos! Enjoy the ride!

Welcome to Planet Chaos!

Welcome! Welcome to Planet Chaos I say! Lisa and I are so glad you came by! At this, our dawn of a new blog, we, your guides to this complex yet fabulous planet, appreciate your visit and invite you to come by often.

Let me give you an introductory tour of Planet Chaos. Planet Chaos is the "third entity" of friends and mavens Lisa Lauffer and Wendy Balman. A "third entity" is what is created when we are together. Its that energy and space between us that is alive with spontaneous fun, depth, divergence, reciprocity, pylon pushing, creativity, maventurousness, sparkiness, movement, etc. in service of bringing the qualities of the gifted life and mysteries of the systems around us to light!

Planet Chaos is our playground as we draw out the wisdom of the vast research of the world of giftedness as well as systems theory. Everyone is welcome on this planet and if you have even one bone of fun or wacky, you'll enjoy our blog posts, twitter tweets (see posts on right side of this page), and even upcoming podcasts and videos.

Stay tuned! We have a wealth of enjoyable learning and fun ahead!

And, this is place for you to play as well. Please feel free to not only read, subscribe, and listen to our podcasts...but post your comments and lets have a conversation! Or two...

Thanks for coming!