Walking is a way to find possibility in your life when there doesn’t seem to be any left.*
Austin Kleon

Non-wanderers are called “sleepers.”
Keri Smith

When was the last time you felt really excited and engaged in the thing you are trying to bring into the world for others?

It may be the time to wander into new places, people, reading, activities. To get your heart beating fast, the spirit surging around your body.

Wandering is more than taking a walk. It’s about observation and presence:

When in doubt, scout.^

*From Austin Kleon’s Keep Going;
**From Keri Smith’s The Wander Society;
^From Alex McManus’ Makers of Fire – eBook version.


Origin of replenish: late Middle English (in the sense ‘supply abundantly’): from Old French repleniss-, lengthened stem of replenir, from re- ‘again’ (also expressing intensive force) + plenir ‘fill’ (from Latin plenus ‘full’).

When we fall short, it will be because of our own limitations, not because we had an inadequate ideal.*
David Brooks

My colleague Harriet Harris began a wonderful new initiative supporting students and staff at the University of Edinburgh towards thriving rather than depleting: The Abundant Academy.

I’ve just completed the image for the first of three courses; they are Replenish, Reconnect and Realise. I thought to share this because there’s never been a better time to find the resources that help us to thrive. When we find each other then we are on our way to creating our own academies.

When we were exploring the possible themes for The Abundant Academy, the team of us working with Harriet loved the richness of replenish, a place of supplying abundantly.

Let me know if I can help in your replenishment.

*From David Brooks’ The Second Mountain.

If not yesterday then tomorrow, beginning today

Our possibilities are perhaps not limitless, but they are at least infinitely above our present possibilities of imagination.*
Frank Laubach

My hope for you is that you will first identify your fears, and then welcome them in for consideration. Then, radically accept all of them, knowing that acceptance isn’t condoning or embracing bit simply acknowledging the existence of your fears.**
Beth Pickens

We may carry many fears, disappointments and regrets.

There are many things I wish I had known and had done when I was a young husband, parent, minister … .

Opportunities now gone.

Time running away.

Though the past has gone the future is here, today.

Things that haunt becoming the fuel of hope and determination.

You and I, we can change, we care more than yesterday.

Begin. With the humility of someone who’s not sure, and the excitement of someone who knows that it’s possible.^

*From Frank Laubach’s Letters By a Modern Mystic;
**From Beth Pickens’ Make Your Art No Matter What;
^From Seth Godin’s blog: Beginning is underrated.

Sensitivity to wonder

The best stories and novels lead the reader not to an explanation, but to a place of wonder.*
Peter Turchi

Understanding is not inherited, nor can it be laboriously acquired. It is something which, when circumstances are favourable, comes to us, so to say, of its own accord. All of us are knowers, all the time; it is only occasionally and in spite of ourselves that we understand the mystery of given reality.**
Aldous Huxley

To have knowledge is not the same as understanding.

Understanding comes when we allow that knowledge into ourselves so that it becomes a part of who we are, one way or another.

But we can never fully know, so there also seems to be part of knowing and understanding that means we dwell within this larger world we don’t, and perhaps can never, full know, though must continue to explore.

Here are three wonderful things that need more exploration.

Richard Sennett writes about the callouses obtained by craftspeople increasing their sensitivity:

By protecting the nerve ending in the hand, the callous makes the act of probing less hesitant. … the callous both sensitises the hand to minute, physical spaces and stimulates the sensation at the fingertips.^

The more we probe, the more sensitive we become.

I wonder at the sensitivity scientific researchers In Malawi have shown in digging into the land surrounding and beneath Lake Malawi, uncovering how humans were using fire to shape their world over 85,000 years ago.^^

And Mary Reckmeyer identifies four indicators of budding talent in children calling us to look more closely: yearnings, rapid learning satisfaction and timelessness. These also work for identifying the wonder within.

It’s a wonderful life in a wonderful world inviting us to greater sensitivity.

*From Peter Turchi’s A Muse and a Maze;
*Aldous Huxley, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Love Is the Last Word: Aldous Huxley on Knowledge vs. Understanding and the Antidote to Our Existential Helplessness;
^From Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman;
^^From Futurity’s article: Team Finds Earliest Signs of Humans Changing Ecosystem With Fire;
*^From Mary Reckmeyer’s Strengths Based Parenting.

Across a lifetime and into a day

Our deepest calling is to grow into our authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be.*
Parker Palmer

I think my life is increasingly being marked by slowness.

Yesterday, when sharing aspects of my work with some new students to the University of Edinburgh, I found myself joining up dreamwhispering, mindful doodling and the wander society.

Dreamwhispering involves slowing things down so we see ourselves and others more completely.

Doodling derives from dawdling, slowly paying more attention.

Wandering, when connected with flanering, becomes observation with purpose.

The means I use are also slow: conversations, paper, pens, walking.

Slowness allows us to see self-growth across a lifetime, in turn making it possible to bring the richness of our lifetime into a day.

*Parker Palmer, quoted in Ian Morgan Cron’s The Road Back to You.

Open doors

That we are here is a huge affirmation; somehow life needed is and wanted us to be. To sense and trust this primeval acceptance can open a vast spring of trust within the heart. It can free us into a natural courage which casts out fear and opens up our lives to become voyages of discovery, creativity and compassion.*
(John O’Donohue)

We talk about risk like it’s a bad thing. But all forward motion involves risk. You can’t find a risk-free way to accomplish much of anything.**
(Seth Godin)

the door is open and
we need only pass through –
our humility, gratitude and faithfulness making this possible.

to know who we are, what we have
and to find small ways of expressing these means
we are more than enough

the open door is our calling

That’s how you’re going to fix the world – with your own gifts and talents.^

*From John O’Donohue’s Benedictus;
**From Seth Godin’s blog: Appropriate risk;
^Ken Sleight, quoted in Terry Tempest Williams’ The Hour of Land.

Who’s telling stories now?

I tell great stories as quickly as possible. That is my jam.*
(Hugh Macleod)

Our lives are whispering great stories to us all the time.

Through our talents, our energies, our values.

When we listen to these, they come together,it leading us to interact with our environments more fully and significantly, producing more great stories.

*Hugh Macleod’s tweet; Macleod is referring to the stories in his artwork, but his words work for dreamwhispering.

How we see

More than “how to see,” drawing teaches “how we see” – the various shortcuts and hacks by which the brain renders the external world. … Drawing wasn’t such hard work but seeing was*
(Tom Vanderbilt)

A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms and atmospheres. … At this threshold a great complexity of emotion comes alive: confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope.**
(John O’Donohue)

Once we really begin to see (and I mean with more than our eyes) not only do we find there to be far more than we thought, but there is often far more than we can handle. But the effort somehow changes us.

Artist Michael Grimaldi warns Tom Vanderbilt that in their art lessons,

We’ll be deprogramming a lot of our biases with things.

We like our biases and programmings. They’re how we mange to navigate our worlds. Yet, our worlds are far larger than we know.

To slow down and be able to see people, places, the world, objects, ideas, god, myself, this is unnerving … and wonderful.

*From Tom Vanderbilt’s Beginners;
**From John O’Donohue’s Benedictus;
^Michael Grimaldi, quoted in Tom Vanderbilt’s Beginners.


The flow experience, like many others, is not “good” in an absolute sense. It is good only in that it has potential to make life more rich, intense and meaningful; it is good because it increases the strength and complexity of life.*
(Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)

Then when the grip of some long-enduring winter mentality begins to loosen, we find ourselves vulnerable to a flourish of possibility and we are suddenly negotiating the challenge of a threshold.**
(John ‘Donohue)

There is more of the seasons in us than we allow: life-in-all-its-fullness including winter and autumn as well as spring and summer.

We have to be vulnerable to possibility.

*From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow:
**From John O’Donohue’s Benedictus.


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. *

(T. S. Eliot)

These words came to me at the beginning of the journey I still find myself on today.

I have hardly begun.

*From T S Eliot’s Little Gidding.