What you will do next

The most important blog post. It is on the most important blog. Yours. Even if no one but you reads it. The blog you write each day is the blog you need the most. It’s a compass and a mirror, a chance to put a stake in the ground and refine your thoughts. And the most important post? The one you’ll write tomorrow.*
(Seth Godin)

The ego is you as you think of yourself. You in relation to all he commitments of your life, as you understand them. The self is the whole range of possibilities that you’ve never even thought of. And you’re stuck with your past when you are stuck with your ego.**
(Joseph Campbell)

Maria Mitchell received a medal from the King of Denmark for her discovery of a new comet, a moment that made her invisible pursuit visible to others. She had stepped outside the norms of her society to pursue her love of astronomy, becoming the first woman to be admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She reflected, though:

Medals are small things in the light of the stars […]. There’s only one thing in the world of any real importance, and that is goodness.^

Her particular pursuit of goodness saw Mitchell at the forefront of the campaign against slavery and the campaign for female education. Although it is unlikely she would describe it so, it was a journey from ego into the self and the opening of a better future.

This is a journey we all find ourselves upon, especially noticeable to us when we come to the end of one year and the beginning of another.

My particular pursuit is for people to discover what they have within them for making a difference, for themselves and for those around them. With this in mind, Seth Godin’s words were timely for me as today I complete my seventh year of blogging and doodling every day. I wonder about the eighth, about what will happen as I continue to aim my words and doodles at myself first of all, these pushing me to where I need to be heading, but also offering them to you, waiting to see what you will do next.

(*From Seth Godin’s blog: The most important blog post.)
(**From Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.)
(^Maria Mitchell, quoted in Maria Popova’s Figuring.)

What you already have but don’t know

In that special silence, you can get a sense of something that wants to happen that you wouldn’t be aware of otherwise.*
(Joseph Jaworski)

Many times in my dreamwhispering work I have been acutely aware of how what has been hidden within a person comes into view when time is taken and generous questions are asked.

Beautiful things inside everyone.

(*Joseph Jaworski, from Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Jospeh Jaworski and betty Sue Flowers’ Presence.)

This is my myth

These self-reflective brains are evolution’s latest attempt to find a way to handle and profit from information.*
(Janine Benyus)

The best discipline is to enjoy your friends, enjoy your meals. Realise what play is. Participate in the play, in the play of life.**
(Joseph Campbell)

When my friend and mentor Alex McManus asked what it means to me to be human, I had to think awhile, eventually responding: to live with creativity, generosity and enjoyment. I now understand this to be the myth I want to live.

Robert Bly even suggests that students will benefit from choosing and exploring a traditional myth to live by, enabling them to navigate to their own:

Then the student would choose the one myth that attracted him and then spend time in college seeing how far he lived it and how the myth lived him.^

Though we will each reply differently to the question, there are ways and means useful to all when it comes to giving them expression. Janine Benyus’ offers four such ways in her steps to biomimicry (echoing what we see in nature as a response to our problems): to quieten, listen, echo and steward, leading us to find and articulate our own myth:

Quieten: to come aside from the busyness of life in order to notice more;
Listen: to listen for the whispers from our lives – values, talents, energies;
Echo: to give expression to these in playful, exploratory and experimental ways;
Steward: and then we’ll be able to live these in both a preserved and developing way.

Some want to be rewarded for what they do in life but life is the reward, being journey rather than destination. From my experience of working with people around discovering and developing their story or myth, I see how it’s figuring out what we have and how to use it and to enjoy this that shapes our myth.

Mythologist Joseph Campbell calls this our bliss:

Life is an expression of bliss.**

I like to think of it as our zing – because it’s loaded with more energy than we can handle and remain immobile – we have to do something with it. And the best way I have found is to give it away:

Generous means choosing to focus on the change we seek to make.^^

(*From Janine Benyus’ Biomimicry.)
(**From Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.)
(^Robert Bly, quoted in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey.)
(^^From Seth Godin’s The Practice.)

More than you know

Nothing is one thing. […] If you’re focusing on the part of your day that was just “fine,” then you’re ignoring the parts that were a miracle, or disappointing or thrilling.*
(Seth Godin)

May you discover you are more than you know.

Make a note whenever you are really energised by something, what you are doing, why you are doing it, who you are doing it with or for, and when you are doing it. In a few weeks you may have twenty to thirty different things on your list, probably small, but these are the best ones and will lead into worlds of possibility.

I’ll be exploring more of what things like this can mean in 2021, especially for those who have found themselves left by the pandemic without work. Spread the word.

In the meantime, however you will be celebrating at this time of year, may it be rich and meaningful.

I’ll be back shortly, but in the meantime, I’m posting pages from something I put together earlier in the year,

(*From Seth Godin’s blog: Nothing is one thing.)