Monthly Archives: August 2009

It’s your life – what are you doing with it?

  What words express the content, meaning and fullness of your life?   Are you living your life fully?

  yourlife 

Image captured from www.wordle.net

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a hidden wholeness

— “We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.” Anne Frank

“The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and it has overturned the order of the soul.” Leonard Cohen

 

In Parker J. Palmer’s book “A Hidden Wholeness” he writes about living a divided life. Living a life that lacks true integrity is something most people have to deal with, either openly or privately. Parker suggests these factors as things that divide our lives.

 1. We refuse to invest ourselves in our work.

2. We make a living at jobs that violate our basic principles.

3. We remain in settings that kill our spirit.

4. We harbor secrets to achieve personal gain.

5. We hide our beliefs from those who disagree with us.

6. We hide our true identities beyond a mask.

Are you living a whole life?DSC03426

puzzled

David Foster Wallace, excerpt from  a commencement speech given at Kenyon College, May 21, 2005.

This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.
Because here’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, bet it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.

They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving and [unintelligible — sounds like “displayal”]. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.

I know that this stuff probably doesn’t sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational the way a commencement speech is supposed to sound. What it is, as far as I can see, is the capital-T Truth, with a whole lot of rhetorical niceties stripped away. You are, of course, free to think of it whatever you wish. But please don’t just dismiss it as just some finger-wagging Dr. Laura sermon. None of this stuff is really about morality or religion or dogma or big fancy questions of life after death.

The capital-T Truth is about life BEFORE death.

It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:

“This is water.”

“This is water.”

It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime. And it commences: now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Foster_Wallace

 

And so it goes.   What are you chasing that turns out to chase you?  

Where do you see yourself in this mosaic?   What are you doing about it?

managing time

There is an interesting article posted on “Change This” that talks about managing time.   The focus of the article is that you can’t manage time but you can manage your attention to time.

Take a look, http://www.changethis.com/61.03.ManageAttention and see what you think.

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”
Earl Nightingale

playing it safe in an unsafe world

 

Playing safe is probably the most unsafe thing in the world. You cannot stand still. You must go forward.”   Robert Collier

 

Growth comes not when you are at a standstill but when you are moving full speed towards a new destination.   Entropy takes over when we aren’t constantly working on improving ourselves in some dimension.  

In the women’s 10 km run at the world championships the runner in the lead just barely lost to the runner who had drifted back in the final sprint only to recover and push forward for victory.   The lady running in first place thought she had the victory in her hands only to discover that in a flash that victory was gone.  The lady in first place thought her victory was safe.

 

In every aspect of your life there needs to be new growth.  It might not be growth in all areas of your life at the same time yet there must be new growth.   New growth isn’t always easy.  Sometimes growth is challenging and painful.   When you can take time to reflect on the experience you will see that you met the challenge and that you did indeed grow, perhaps in unexpected ways.

Are you standing still?

Personal growth – in one minute

 

Personal growth requires personal attention.  Like so many other life elements requiring attention, staying current with the things that motivate you and inspire you need to have a place in your life.

If your day is packed full of stress, whether it be work or something else, there is often little time to address those things that will help you grow personally.

In some respects personal growth needs to be attacked with short focused efforts so that you  can begin to work on those things that hold meaning to you.    Just like meals need to be smaller and with few calories,   personal growth needs to take place in smaller bite sized pieces.    Not because that is the best way to achieve personal growth but in many cases it is the only way to pack in a bit more into a busy day.   Waiting until the end of the day often means neglecting time for your growth.   Long periods of dedicated time to immerse yourself in learning more about the things you love are elusive and hard to find.   If you take small slices and focus on a specific topic, perhaps 5 pages of reading material,  read just that amount you will be making progress.   Little supercharged moments of growth – new ideas that can be bounced around mentally for a few minutes can help spur personal growth.   Journaling for a few minutes – play around with some ideas that fascinate you and intrigue you might help foster your personal growth.

 

Do you have one minute – just one minute to start making a difference for you?

In one minute what one thing can you do to help you move towards your personal goals?

In one minute … that is all it takes to start making a difference.

One minute each day.  One minute every 4 hours, or One minute every hour.  How do you want to use that one minute?

 

“I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that. “
Gillian Anderson

Be inspired

Sometimes just a simple video clip is enough to inspire someone to begin that marvelous journey towards something greater in their life.

http://www.natureofsuccessmovie.com