lessons from the dawn

23 the dawn

Today is the September Equinox.

The days are growing shorter, the darkness increases.

When I began journaling this morning it was still dark.  But as I wrote, the promise of the dawn began to appear over the houses opposite, above, a few clouds ribboning dark against a fast brightening blue.

It wasn’t long before the dark ribbon clouds lit up salmon pink: a new day and a new beginning coming with the promise of taking me into light.

The clouds were then set on fire with pink light and still the sun hadn’t risen.

The promise of a new day is the most beautiful, teaching me a lesson.

I turn off the light in the room and the colour and brightness outside seems to intensify.  Now there are more clouds and they are turning orange and yellow through to pink, I take a picture – the sun almost here.


A lightbulb may immediately change things (and I’m glad for this, living in Scotland with very short days to come), but nature reminds me life moves more slowly through stages.*

I know I can’t suddenly and quickly become a person filled with more light than dark.  I must turn up every day and trust the slow journey of small things which I hope will see me becoming a person who might brings more light as foresight, intention, and love into the world.

This morning the dawn causes me to value my slow journey in the same direction.

(*Check out this post from Seth Godin for a snapshot of lightbulb culture.)

the art of being yourself

22 fail at many

Yesterday, I heard about a TED talk with this title.  Except it isn’t the title, so I’ll have to keep searching – at least I can use the title for this post.

The person telling me about this intrigued when she mentioned how the speaker warned against not acting in a superior or inferior way, but to do the interior work.

It is in honest interior work we find the real treasure in our life.  I often argue that humility is having a true understanding of one’s self: not too high – superior – and not too low – inferior.

Only the person who has a true perception and understanding of themselves can grow in a whole way, helping grow and develop others too.  Humility burns all the rubbish away, the rubbish we hide ourselves with, making it more possible to connect with others and to do what one must do: crystallising our intent or art.

tell me something interesting

21 okay, einstein

“Now you say something interesting.”*

The words come from someone who speaks bluntly, the result of a head injury.

What would I say if I was at a table with hime and he asked me to say something interesting?

What would you say?

But we all have something interesting to say, we don’t have to wish we were someone else more interesting.  Each has an unfinished story about our lives being added to every day.  (We will always say interesting things about what we’re interested in.)

People are amazing, aren’t they?  We need to try and do what it is we love – every day and, wherever possible, together.  (This is my attempt at something interesting to say.)

McNair Wilson tells us, ‘To be less creative is to be less human, less you.’**

‘An artist is someone who brings humanity to a problem, who changes someone else for the better, who does work that can’t be written down in a manual … .^

I knew you had something interesting to say.

(*From Donald Miller’s Scary Close.)
(**From McNair Wilson’s Hatch.)
(^From Seth Godin’s Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?)

the earth turns

20 special offer

The earth spins.

Our small spot on this planet turns to face the sun with a regularity we call day, moving us into the light.

The universe does not keep us in the dark for very long, each day offering a new way of seeing, knowing, and doing, even larger and more beautiful than the day before.

‘Seeing the world as open and full of possibility is the fundamental shift of mind that opens the door to connecting to the Source.  Each of us has a capacity for awe, wonder, and reverence.’*

It’s very possible to be ushered into the light the universe provides every day yet stay in the darkness.  One day there’ll be no more opportunities provided, our darkness will be secured, but while its day …

‘Your worldview is the set of expectations and biases you bring to a situation before any new data appear.’**

Bring on the new data!

(*From Joseph Jaworski’s Source.)
(**From Seth Godin’s Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?


19 what do you see beginning?

Yesterday, I was watching the live session which began U.Lab – a massive open online course (MOOC)* exploring transformation of business, society, and self.

During this, those watching were invited to tweet their response to two question?

What is ending?
What is beginning?

Technology made it possible for responses to form word clouds.

What is ending? The two most used words: WORLD DYING.

What is beginning? Two of the most used words after world: PEOPLE COLLABORATION.

I sensed the beginning of a creative connectivity.  As I listen to the whispers from our future, and experience people getting together and dreaming, I wonder about how we’re increasingly “getting” something: our capacity to make all things flourish in beautiful ways.

We live within systems we see as being greedy or foolish or hurtful, but we’re waking up to the truth, we are the system, which is more good news than bad, because it means we can change things, we can create new systems.

Whatever the past has been, the future can be different.  We’ll each see this differently, and our perspectives are hugely important – we are creative and generous beings, enjoying life as we express these things.

(*There are 35,000 participants, and more in China- accessing through a different platform but the second largest participating country.  It looks like you can still sign up.)

life whispers

18 whispers in

Whispers don’t have to be audible; they can be a look or an attitude or an action.

Every day, we’ve opportunity to whisper things about a larger life, with opening deeper truth which we haven’t fathomed the half of yet.

We can also influence people with whispers of judgement or cynicism or fear.

We don’t set out to do this; more likely, someone in the past has whispered these things into our lives from the way the world and their world was.

But when someone speaks judgementally we can whisper something about a hopeful future.

When something cynical is said, we can whisper we care and inquire positively.

When someone speaks out of their fear, we can dare to act courageously.

None of us set out to be judgemental, uncaring, or risk-averse.

These are the whispers we’ve allowed in.  When we step back, we know we want to live a bigger kind of life, to open our minds and hearts and wills.

We’ll need to identify those who whisper positively into our lives – wisdom is not found in what we know but in who we value.

We can also be whisperers of life in all its fullness to others.

These words from philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin caught my attention this morning:

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love and then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”*

(Quoted in Joseph Jaworski’s Source.)

out of control

18 there is the world

You are not in control.

Richard Rohr identifies this as an elemental truth passed on in traditional societies when a child is about to become an adult.*

When we try and control things then it tends to get ugly.  Donald Miller and his wife Betsy identified five kinds of controller, or manipulator, just from watching interviews on TV.

There are:
Scorekeepers – they control the scores, and they always win; 
Judges –  are those who are always right;
False heroes – promise to deliver something wonderful in the future;
Fearmongers – appear invulnerable and control by fear;**
Floppers – who control by extracting sympathy and attention.

I have met all the above but, more alarmingly, I spot the seeds of each in me.

Hopefully I’m learning to spot them and prevent them growing.  The trouble is, unchecked, these behaviours rob people of integrity and wholeness and perseverance, and are the loneliest of people.

Respectively, these traits are tackled by true humility and courage, gratitude and generosity, and, faithfulness and wisdom.

Seth Godin comments, ‘It’s easier to teach compliance than initiative.’^  The better way is to give up trying to control and instead, behind the scenes, become co-conspirators of goodness and kindness freeing one another to flourish.

(*From Richard Rohr’s Adam’s Return.  There are five altogether, the other four being: Life is hard; You are not as special as you think; Your life is not about you; and, You are going to die.)
(**This made me think of Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada.)
(^From Seth Godin’s Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?)