Hello, and welcome to another edition of my monthly e-letter THE ELEVEN! Or, this month: The Eleven, Eleven, Eleven!

If you're hungry, and in the Portland Metro area on the morning of Friday,11.11.11 please come join me for a German breakfast to celebrate the day! The address is 1823 NE 13th Ave. and it's a potluck - doors open at 10am and we'll schmooze until we're done. Bring something tasty!

This month's The Eleven will be punctuated by some events I'm involved in mixed in with some thoughts on improved communications and community building.  Welcome aboard. And, if you'd like to leave this train at any point, there's a handy little unsubscribe button below. If you'd like to share my writing/thinking with others, I'd be grateful.  
Events for November

1. In Celebration of Amira's Spirit. Saturday, 11.12 4pm-on, Portland, Oregon.  As I mentioned last month, my good friend, Amira, passed away recently. This will be out time to celebrate Amira, view her art work and then give it all away! Please come join us. 
2. Singalong at Grace Peck Terrace, 1839 NE 14th Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 7pm on Tuesday, November 15th. I'll be leading a sing-a-long at a local residential center in Irvington. I'll have plenty of copies of Rise Up Singing
Occupy 11.11.11
3. Population 7 Billion: It's Time to Talk: December 8th, 2011: Movies and a speaker on population issues at Smith Hall, Room 101, PSU, 6:30-9:30 pm. I'm coordinating the showing of Mother: Caring for the 7 Billion; Growthbusters and John Seager, the President of Population Connection (a group I've been active with since 1996) at PSU. More info at The event is free and there will be refreshments. If you find the issue of population scary, confusing, interesting, crucial - please come and join the conversation.  Our Earth just passed the 7 billionth human last month, it's time to talk.
Would you like to help out my bottom line and get yourself something good in the process? Here's one way to do that - if you know someone who uses Constant Contact or you do yourself, please read and/or share this quick action. Thanks.  
Camp 11.11
Camp 11:11 's amazing sculpture at Burning Man 2011

I've been thinking a lot about community lately.  Partly because I live in a very rich community environment (many of us refer to it as the Portland bubble) which benefits me greatly, and partly because of how the world is turning these days, I thought I'd share some lessons learned along the way regarding community building.  


more 11.11 

I think one aspect of community that's important to its success is communication. The ability of community members (you and me) to be able to hear feedback, accept/hear what's useful in the information and act/move on it is key. The better we get at giving and receiving feedback to one another the better our relationships will be and the faster we'll mature. To me, feedback shows that someone cares about someone else. Our society does not really do feedback very well - and because of that, we all generally don't take to it very well.  In an article I wrote a while back I wrote about how we need to get better at opening our minds.  I think it's worth a read. (the comments are also very good)


Since then I've had some further thoughts about feedback. Here's a way to handle feedback that gets your hackles up - to be able to more easily parse what's useful and what's not within the information.  Imagine that when you give a person feedback (positive or negative) that you are speaking to the 20 million other people who do things that way. That's a way for both the giver and receiver to depersonalize the experience some so that the triggering of old hurts does not automatically happen.  example: passenger says to driver: "you're following the car in front of you too closely, please slow down you're making me uncomfortable".  So, the driver in this case is like 20 million other drivers who do this thus making 20 million passengers uncomfortable. That said, the driver can either decide to acknowledge the issue, ignore it, or tease out what they feel is useful without taking the criticism of their driving personally. And it goes the other way, too.


When you are the recipient of feedback, imagine that you are one of 20 million people hear it.  Example: Someone compliments your work on a particular issue. Well, they're complimenting 20 million people who've decided to take actions on that or some other issue - you're in good company.  


How does this help build community? Well, it's one facet in our getting better and better at getting in close with each other and helping one another mature!  And, according to a good friend and amazing therapist, much of her work is about helping people mature because "when they've matured, they no longer need therapy".  


So, here's to improving our communication skills and learning to give and receive feedback well. Of course this is just one area in the communication area and is just one part of building strong communities. These topics are a lot of what I right about so, stick around and perhaps something will appeal to you enough to try it out.  Let me know how it goes!  



From Crystalinks: The number 11 represents twin spiraling DNA and our Reality as a Consciousness Hologram with 11 being a Master or Masonic Number. People see 11 more and more as consciousness evolves.  

Well, the world continues to be its constantly evolving self, doesn't it? Occupy movements everywhere, The State Department postponing a decison on the XL Pipeline, European economic woes (not to downplay what's going on in the U.S...); the big (IMHO very positive) results from our various elections around the country - all seem to point towards our species getting our shit together. Here's hoping we do. Many of us having been focusing energy on the date 11.11.11 and the time 11:11 for a long time. There are many reasons and if you've been reading my work for a while you'll know some of mine.  If it's special for you, why? And if not, perhaps take a moment today to meditate on the possibility that there might be something there.  Some say it's a portal - what flavor portal do you need right now?  

As always, I hope your life is thriving, and if there's anything I can do to support your work or you, please let me know.  Thanks for showing up.

With love in my heart,

Albert Kaufman

wish big

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