Monthly Archives: March 2023
The recalibration game
A well lived life without calibration is unlikely.*
You choose your purpose and then you give your whole should to that purpose. In due time, you’ll transform.**
We know only too well that
the game of life isn’t one long, smooth path.
If we’re prepared to be honest, then
there’s a neat skill available to us:
Recalibrating allows us to keep on the path that matters
deeply to us.
And the five elemental truths are one way we can recalibrate :
Life is hard – what’s been going wrong; how have I been making things worse?
You’re not as special as you think – am I prepared to leave the false self behind for a more True Self?
Your life is not about you – how could recalibrating help those around you?
You’re not in control: will I accept what I can and cannot do?
You are going to die: will I allow my limitations to help me fulfil my purpose?
*Seth Godin’s blog: Re-calibrating;
**Ben Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent.
I choose this life
As one Buddhist author put it, the “craving to be otherwise, to be elsewhere” permeated my whole life.*
Personhoods are staked on the cards dealt and not the hands played, as if we evolved opposable thumbs of our agency for nothing.**
Trying to stay present to and in
our own lives
is a difficult thing to do –
Perhaps more difficult than ever before.
We can become fixated on
a version of ourselves, or
someone else, that
we can never become,
But to trust and fully live the life we have not only
makes a difference to us but
also to others.
This is how our
“opposable thumbs of our agency” alchemise
flexibility from rigidity.
*Dan Harris’ 10% Happier;
**Maria Popova’s The Marginalian: The Good Luck of Your Bad Luck: Marcus Aurelius on the Stoic Strategy for Weathering Life’s Waves and Turning Suffering into Strength.
I’ll think about it
It is true that once a landscape goes undescribed and therefore unregarded, it becomes more vulnerable to unwise use or improper action.*
They don’t know what they don’t know until they find out they don’t know it.**
I enjoy borrowing thoughts from all sorts of places
to use in my dreamwhispering work.
At the same time, I am reading Dan Harris’ 10% Happier
following a student mentioning it to me;
At the moment, as I read, Harris is writing about
Meditation can take many forms, including,
It strikes me, in dreamwhispering.
We find the words to describe our talents
and our practices, and then can use
use three meditative, reflective exercises to connect with them
Humility to meditate upon the talents of both ourselves and others;
Gratitude to reflect upon the contents of our “loved it” list;^
Faithfulness to ponder the ways we make these live.^^
I’ll probably play with these some more, but
they provide a useful enough place to begin,
Whether we’re walking, sitting, or journaling.
*Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks;
**Dave Trott’s One + One = Three;
^A “loved it” list contains all the things you have noticed bringing lots of energy;
^^I call these enriching environments, and we are able to make more of these happen.
The generative life
We have separated soul from experience, become totally taken up with the outside world and allowed the interior life to shrink.*
You cannot be a hero unless you are prepared to give up everything: there is no ascent to the heights without a prior descent into darkness, no new life without some form of death.**
Self development is not the same as
It does not use secrets to bring you
the life that you want.
Indeed the life that you want may be the one that must
in order to free the life that is
Joseph Campbell spoke of our need for two myths –
A personal myth and a social myth;
There are many ways to develop myths, including
Drop me a line to find out more;
If I can help, I will.
*John O’Donohue’s Divine Beauty;
**Karen Armstrong’s A Short History of Myth.
The human question
Team Darth Vader or Team Luke Skywalker? Do you side with the Empire, even though your soul will probably be crushed in the process, or do you side with the Rebellion, even if the odds are stacked way, way, way, against you? … In the end, we all have our Empire side and our Rebellion side. *
It’s not be accident that the pristine wilderness of our planet disappears as the understanding of your own inner wild nature fades.**
Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Here’s the questions again:
What does it mean to you to be
I have found myself asking a few people this lately;
There are always wonderful and fascinating and transcending responses that tend to cut through
everyday existence to something
Something they want to be or to do,
Even while they are in the thick of
“all the things that need to be done.”
The question simply enables us to
Before it’s too late.
If I’ve learned nothing else,
I’ve learned this:
a questions is a powerful thing,
a mighty use of words.^
*gapingvoid’s blog: The ONE Choice All Fulfilled People Make;
**Clarissa Pinkola Estés’ Women Who Run With the Wolves;
^Krista Tippett’s Becoming Wise.
Other things will come
To follow your gift is a calling to a wonderful adventure of discovery. Some of the deepest longings in you is the voice of your gift. The gift calls you to embrace it.*
I believe in finding what I didn’t know I was looking for.**
I like to think that we each have a gift that
And when it seems that we have found our gift, and
begin following it, then
we will realise this is only a beginning –
If we are open to be changed by the journey,
There certainly is an adventure to be lived.
It means that you don’t have to be
100% sure before starting out:
Look for the smallest expression of what
you are noticing is important to you, and
be ready to follow the trail.
*John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes;
**Austin Kleon’s blog: Spontaneity is learning and browsing is research.
I’ll be there in a moment
A more fruitful approach to the challenge of living more fully in the moments starts from noticing that you are, in fact, always already living in the moment anyway, whether you live it or not.*
This is the pleasure of limits, the fun of play. Not doing what we want, but doing what we can with what is given.**
There are no age rules when it comes
to how invaluable a moment can be –
Nor background, gender or ethnicity rules.
In a moment,
You may make a life-altering decision,
Be wowed by a scene you are looking upon,
Inspired by an idea you have wandered into,
Enriched by something you realise, and,
If nothing else,
You can listen for what
a moment is asking of you.
Thank you to Oliver Burkeman
for reminding us that we are alredy
living in moments like these.
*Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks;
**Ian Bogost’s Play Anything.
Whatever the reason, we generate the meaning we need i the moment. The act of reinterpretation is fundamentally an act of agency; it give us a sense of control and confidence at exactly the moment we feel out of control and lacking confidence. Retelling our story accelerates our recover.*
Given that storms are a certainty in life, there are basically
two responses available to us:
We can try to avoid them –
The problem is, we cannot avoid them all – or
we can prepare ourselves for them.
One way to do this is by
revisiting past storms.
Brené Brown suggests three components to this:
Firstly, the reckoning
is a revisiting with curiosity of your past storm-experience;
The rumble is about
honestly wrestling with
all your stormy feelings and thoughts;
The revolution involves creating
a new and better ending –
Which becomes preparation for the next storm.
In doing so, we have become
less a victim and more an agent.
*Bruce Feiler’s Life Is In the Transitions.
Looking beneath the surface
There’s always something just below the surface, the elements that most people simply don’t notice. But we can if we choose.*
If we stick to the letter of the law, we don’t have to think. Because there’s risk involved in thinking. There’s nowhere to hide if it goes wrong. But real creativity often comes with risk. So don’t just blindly follow the words themselves.**
Why do you want to do this?
If I look beneath the surface,
What will I find?
To serve a work of art,
greater or small, is to die,
to die to self.^
*Seth Godin’s blog: The things you can’t see;
**Dave Trott’s One + One = Three;
^Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water.
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