Born of the one light, Eden saw play*

Being put in our place by something bigger than ourselves is not a humiliation; it should be accepted as a relief from our insanely hopeful ambitions for our lives.**
Alain de Botton

a person is so far formed by his surroundings, that his state of harmony depends entirely on his harmony with his surroundings^
Christopher Alexander

Whilst I walk as much as I can
on my way into work and
back again,
When I arrive at my workplace,
I tend to remain inside until the end of the day;
my room has no window,
Only a ceiling lite.
But today I will be taking a few moments outside,
Here and there,
Looking up at the sky,
Feeling the cold, damp air,
Noticing the shape of the trees sunk in tarmac –
We benefit so much from nature,
That even those unimpressed of wild things,
Subconsciously gain a great deal
in terms of wellbeing, focus, ability to think and problem solve.
Even a minute will have some effect;
Though we may not recognise it,
We feel at home,
Our bodies thick with hundreds of
thousands of
years of connection
with nature.
There are very few buildings that compensate for being inside,
Our work environments often working against our reasons for being in them,
So I will
slip outside.

*We can’t go wrong with some Cat Stevens to accompany;
**Alain de Botton’s Religion For Atheists;
^Annie Murphy Paul’s The Extended Mind.

It’s a beautiful day*

Because it’s not for you. It’s for them. Generosity unlocks doors inside of us.**
Seth Godin

We change the story when we are prepared to notice.

The odds against us being here are
astronomical –
We only know this because
we are here.
Life is hard,
We know only too well,
But we are here,
Together.
We are not as special or important as some,
But we are here and get to
brig our unique beauty into the world.
Our life is not about us,
Abundance is community,
Freedom is inservice,
Enjoyment is in generosity.
We are not able to control many things,
Yet we are able to control our response to
everything.
And one day we will die,
But until the
we are alive
within countless possibilities, and
it’s a beautiful day.

*Accompanying soundtrack from Neil Diamond;
**Seth Godin’s blog: The lifeguard hack.

Soft gazing and hard staring

When we shift our mindset and open ourselves to the awe of daily life, we may find that opportunities to be wowed are all around us.*
Jonah Paquette

Awe is the feeling we have when we encounter the monumental or immeasurable. We experience a sudden shrinking of the self, yet a rapid expansion of the soul.**
Nick Cave

We can find ourselves
in awe
of the things people do in the
ordinariness of life.
I think Nick Cave is right,
If we can get past the fact that we can’t do what this person can,
And we’re okay about feeling small in that moment,
We can also feel an important part of us growing;
Rather than resentment, we feel awe, and
our soul grows.
This was my experience just yesterday
as I listened to someone share the different things that
energised them but I couldn’t do.
I realised that I wasn’t hard staring at their lives,
With all of it accompanying judgement,
I was soft gazing with openness;
I was then able to help them and
they were able to help me.

*The Wise Brain Bulletin: Mind Bending Awe;
**The Red Hand Files: #157.

We don’t need another cliché*

Clichés grow in the barren mind of the lazy writer. … Create a story that only you could write.**
Robert McKee

This isn’t
hyper-individuality;
it’s about every one of us needing to know that
we are capable of exploring a different life through
humility and
generosity and
faithfulness –
Your unique beauty.

*Soundtrack for today from Tina Turner;
**Robert McKee‘s newsletter: Why Story Needs Your Unique Vision.

We go to a place of abundance

Because it’s not for you. It’s for them. Generosity unlocks doors inside of us.*
Seth Godin

In reality, the secret is simple. When the heart is aligned with its eternal image, abundance cascades forth from that place of origin, infinitely more powerful than the scarcity and constriction of the world.**
Cynthia Borgeault

Do you find your way to your place of abundance at the
beginning of the day –
Whether for a free moments or longer?
I go to the words of others:
My “blog tribe” folder of posts –
Containing almost 400 blogs,
Freely given by a host of people I mostly do not know;
I’m waiting for a number of books to arrive,
Second-hand and costing a £few
but rich with ideas that are new to me;
And ancient scriptures, familiar and
always unfamiliar.
Your abundance may be quite different:
A reflective walk,
Holding a generous thought,
Being still with a beautiful piece of music …
The generosity of others provides us with an abundance
out of which we shape a generous day.

*Seth Godin’s post The lifeguard hack;
**Cynthia Bourgeault’s The Meaning of Mary Magdalene.


An obscure thought

Enjoy your obscurity while it lasts.*
Austin Kleon

It’s a strange thing,
When our existence is one of obscurity we want to be
noticed,
But when we are noticed to the extent that
our day is dictated to us by others and their
machine then
we desire obscurity:

There’s no pressure when you’re unknown. You can do what you want. Experiment. Do things just for the fun of it. When you’re unknown, there’s nothing to distract you from getting better. No public image to manage. No huge paycheque on the line. No stockholders. No e-mails from your agent. No hangers-on.*

These words from Austin Kleon translate into
an everyday
for all of us.
And once we’re known in our workplace or field
it’s difficult to find our creative spaces,
Though, thankfully, not impossible to
introduce things that are fun to us,
To “waste time” experimenting and exploring,
Creating our own development plan,
Playing within it every day.
A good place to begin writing down the things that get your
blood pumping:

I’ve come to believe in the power of writing down your vision. I don’t believe writing down a vision for your life creates any sort of magic in the universe, but I do believe it sets a general compass for your subconscious.**

Rainer Maria Rilke writes about creating our own obscurity:

What is needed is only this: solitude, great inner solitude.  Going within and meeting no one else for hours – that is what one must learn to attain.^

As my friend Sam Radford points out,
When we waste hours like this
we avoid wasting years:

We waste years because we don’t have the opportunity to waste hours.^^

*Austin Kleon’s blog: A message for graduates;
**Donald Miller’s Hero On a Mission;
^Maria Popova’s The Marginalian: Rilke On the Relationship Between Solitude, Love, Sex, and Creativity;
^^Sam Radford’s blog: Wasting years by not wasting hours.

Just a doodle 54

To listen to the voice of the world, the self must be silenced.  And the flâneur is the incarnation of this ideal: dazzled by beauty, he decides to relinquish the self in order to consecrate his life to contemplation.*
Federico Castigliano

*Federico Castigliano’s Flâneur; also,, the female flâneuse.