Let your yes be yes and your no be no now …*

Aware of what’s around us.  Present.  Seeing things clearly, hearing them as if for the first time. […] Seeking a state of awake seems like a worthy quest.  And when we find it, it’s worth cherishing.**
(Seth Godin)

The ability to say yes and no well to the challenges and opportunities requires us to have clarity about who we are and what we want to be about.

It’s hard in an increasingly distracting world and it’s becoming harder … and there isn’t an app to help us.  By all means, let’s use the technology, but alongside this, we need to develop “unwired” skills and disciplines that allow us to listen, to be aware, to know.  The things that will release our imaginations in a different way:

‘The imagination is an essential tool of the mind, a fundamental way of thinking, an indispensable means of becoming and remaining human.’^

Imagination makes possible the creative act of turning information into knowledge into understanding into wisdom.

It opens up human playfulness as a means of proceeding, something the functional-first dimension of technology leaves behind:

‘when utility rules, adults lose something essential in the capacity to think; they lose the free curiosity that occurs in the open, felt-fingering space of play’.^^

(*The Pioneers, Let your yeah be yeah and your no be no now.)
(From Seth Godin’s blog: Simply awake.)
(^Ursula Le Guin, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Redeeming the Imagination.)
(^^From Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman.  The felt-fingering refers to children playing with felt.)

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Because because because because because …

Because of the wonderful things he does –
We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz.*

Dorothy and her companions were to make their journey to the Wizard of Oz because they thought he could help them.

To know why and how we do the things we do really matters.

It takes time, questioning and ongoing reflection but it can be the most liberating thing that we can do.

It is what Dorothy and her friends were going to discover about themselves.

Towards focusing on our because, Ben Hardy’s five means of forcing our function to a higher level are helpful.

Figure out how to invest more of yourself in what you do.

Use the expectations of your environment to hold you accountable.

Increase the consequences of failure.

Do things that are more difficult.

Change things, do things differently, rather than same old same old.

Each of these will help us feel the real because because because because because.

(*From the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz.)
(**See Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)

One finger one thumb one arm one leg one nod of the head keep moving

Here’s another saying from somewhere in my childhood: Every day in every way I am getting better and better.

I wish I knew at half my age what I know now.

As I thought about this, regret gave way to gladness: I know many things now that I didn’t know at 29 or 30.

It means I’m still moving, still growing.

Agility is important to keep moving in this journey.

Open minds, open hearts and open wills develop our agility.

Read another book.

Ask someone to tell you about the things that are important in their lives.

Do something you haven’t done before.

Open your mind open your heart open your will keep moving …

Transcendence

The gravitational pull holding you down is the struggle you must learn to transcend.*
(Ben Hardy)

To the human nothing is as it first appears.

When the World Wide Web appeared we came upon blue words.  Phrases and sentences that, if clicked on – whoah, took us somewhere else.

Everything is blue.

Perhaps you were hyperklinked here from my other blog, but people, places, ideas, objects, smells, tastes, sounds and more transport us to new possibilities and experiences.

Transcendence means “to climb beyond.”

We are a transcendent species.

This is not it.

This is not who I am.

My next contribution will be …

(*From Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)

Complacency and the gift of randomness

Struggling with one’s own shadow self, facing interior conflicts and moral failures, undergoing rejection and abandonment, daily humiliations, experiencing any kind of abuse, or any form of limitation: all are gateways into deeper consciousness and the flowering of the soul.*
(Richard Rohr)

True meaning in life is to be discovered in the world rather than with man or his own psyche.  I have termed this constitutive characteristic “the self-transcendence of human existence” [-] self actualisation is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.**
(Viktor Frankl)

We must create our most enriching environments but there is no such thing as a perfect one.  We are in danger if we believe there is.  They are all gardens full of rocks and weeds.

Then we must break out of our environment, disrupt the danger of complacency with some randomness, some practice that is different or reading someone who brings us something new or we disagree with.

It’s not easy because our environments are woven together with our emotions, making them tricky places for us, as David Brooks points out:

‘far from being a cold engine for processing information, neural connections are shaped by emotion’.^^

Journaling is always really helpful for capturing this, making whatever other means for inquiring of our lives more effective:

‘Journaling makes the other keystone activities ten times or a hundred times more powerful.  If you’re not using your journal daily, then your meditation, visualisation, and prayer will be far less effective.’^

The mythologist Joseph Campbell writes about the critical nature of our myths or big stories that we tell:

‘The ancient myths were designed to harmonise the mind and the body.  The mind can ramble off in strange ways and want things that the body does not want.’*^

Journaling becomes a way of capturing and unwrapping the myths we live within, to be able to change them when we become complacent within them and re in danger of ceasing to grow.

(*From Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now.)
(**Viktor Frankl, quoted in Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)
(^From Benjamin Hardy’s Willpower Doesn’t Work.)
(^^David Brooks, quoted in Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber’s The Slow Professor.)
(*^From Joseph Campbell and All Moyers’ The Power of Myth.)