“Take me down to the spring of my life, and tell me my nature and my name.”*
‘You have to keep finding new and creative things to be grateful for. […]
Which simply means, you have to keep looking – hard.
Or else your brain just switches to autopilot, and all your blessing start turning to dust in your mind.’**
What is hard-looking?
Does it have to do with how long I look for? Do I need special glasses? Do I have to screw my eyes up? Or squint?
It’s probably all of these things.
Looking slowly helps. Through the eyes of others. Putting ourselves in an unfamiliar place. Playing the “Yes and” game. All are ways of seeing harder.
” ‘Yes and’ isn’t a technique. It’s a way of life.”^
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has some good news and some bad news for us. The good news is that we can regain our curiosity, the bad news is that it doesn’t hold a “charge” for very long:
‘The rebirth of curiosity doesn’t last long, unless we enjoy being curious.’^^
This is why going to spring of my life, as George Appleton puts it, is so important. Going deep is also found in these words of Richard Rohr which recognise we can’t be everywhere doing everything:
‘The principle here is to go deep in one place and you will meet all places.’*^
There is a reason we notice the things we do. And when we do, things begin to happen, first within and then without. As Eckhart Tolle notices:
‘Awareness is the greatest agent of change.’^*
It is the agent of change because we become more an agent of change ourselves. Erwin McManus connects the courageous life to this. He points out in his book Uprising the connection between humility and integrity (connection not only to others but our world, too), and the connection between integrity and courage:
‘One person who chooses to live a heroic life disrupts the narrative.’⁺
That’s why, when we look hard there’s a change coming.
(*George Appleton, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(**From gapingvoid’s blog Count your blessings.)
(^Cathy Salit, quoted in Daniel Pink’s To Sell is Human.)
(^^From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Creativity.)
(*^From Richard Rohr’s Eager to Love.)
(^*From Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.)
(⁺From Erwin McManus’ The Last Arrow.)