by Timothy Binkley
A couple of years ago a student in Chile contacted me about one of my articles he had seen referenced but couldn’t find. That article was not readily available online, so I sent him an offprint. This made me realize that I would like my writings, artworks and software to be easy to find for anyone interested in them. I decided to build a website that contains these resources. Initial steps were taken as I gathered some materials but progress slowed as I found it difficult to retrieve data encased in obsolete digital as well as analog formats. The challenge of scanning other materials seem daunting, especially when the original document was a typescript with mathematical formulae. I began to doubt the value of building that website as well as the value of the works destined for it. My transformation story may not be as profound as some, but it has been a great relief from stress and a boon to my self esteem.
For many months my website development has been stalled. In addition to the challenges already mentioned, my mind boggled over a very simple matter: The Menu. My wheels spun over what sort of menu to choose and how to implement it. My Monkey Mind kept chattering away about how the navigation structure had to embody conflicting specifications and be built with incompatible tools. And it kept returning to the difficulties of gathering together the remaining materials.
After seeking help from Sonya Shannon’s Transformation Oracle my perspective shifted. I realized that I needed to get a grip in order to tame the monster I had created from insecurity, procrastination and self-doubt. Taking first things first, I let go of my useless preconceptions about the menu. I also accepted that things needed to be taken one step at a time.
Almost immediately I found a simple and elegant solution to the menu. That stumbling block emerged on my path not because of its difficulty but rather due to my willingness to overcomplicate the problem as a way of distracting me from the broader scope of my tasks.
Once the menu was in place, I began to see how to integrate the different components of the entire project to put each element in its proper place and end up with a coherent whole containing disparate parts. Later that day I started coding.