Coming together

I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.*
(Joseph Campbell)

Opening hearts and minds starts the process of moving beyond our own views and agendas so that we can start to connect with one another and truly work together to create new systems.**
(Peter Senge)

I enjoyed the way these two quotes came together today.

When our inner and outer lives come together so we experience the rapture of being alive, and we come together with others also exploring and experiencing such a coming together in their lives, then new better ways come closer.

I just had to share Joseph Campbell’s words with someone exploring their values today.

They excitedly exclaimed how they loved them, Campbell describing the experience this person hoped their clients would be able to have through better opportunities in life.

Sometimes all we have to do is come together with some new words to be encouraged and inspired: open hearts and minds, as Peter Senge writes.

*Joseph Campbell, from Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers’ The Power of Myth;
**From Peter Senge’s The Necessary Revolution.

A generous judgement

People are wonderful. And they are hard work.*
(Brené Brown)

Everything changes once you see how the universe is designed for abundance and not for scarcity. It to only changes the condition of your life but it changes you.**
(Erwin McManus)

It is easier to judge another person, but the most important person we will ever judge is ourself, as Robert McKee here suggests for the writer:

Learning to discriminate between bad and good in other people’s writing is not difficult. However, to see it in your own calls for guts and judgement. It requires an intrinsic disgust with banality and an eye for the vital versus the lifeless.^

I value McKee’s words for writers and writing because they often provide a metaphor for the most important story all, being the one we live each day, but today he makes the point for me:

Tough-mindedness not only inspires truthful writing but a truthful life as well. The more you spot these faults in your own pages and trash them with the repugnance they deserve, the more you avoid them in life.^

He uses some strong words – disgust, trash, repugnance – to which I want to add the tension-words of kindness and generosity. Because we live in a universe of abundance rather than one of scarcity.

Yes, let us judge ourselves honestly, but also kindly, generously and wisely.

After all, we need there to be grace in our stories, too.

*From Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness;
**From Erwin McManus’ The Last Arrow;
^From Robert McKee’s newsletter: Why a Writer Needs Ruthless Judgement.

Getting on with things quietly

Perhaps that was the real quest of this adventure, the infinite quest for connection with everything, everyone, everywhere, always – the quest to let down my barriers, let go of my agendas and expectations, and simply be open to when and what may come, now and next.*
(Brian McLaren)

NUNCHI n. The subtle, often unnoticed art of listening and gauging another’s mood.**
(Ella Frances Sanders)

Karen Armstrong describes the state of ekstasis as being beside one’s self or rapt out of one’s self:

The aim if the step is threefold: (1) to recognise and appreciate the unknown and unknowable; (2) to become sensitive to over-confident assertions of certainty in ourselves and other people; and (3) to make ourselves aware of the numinous mystery of each human being we encounter during the day.^

Sometimes we must speak, but not as much as we think.

For the rest of the time we have the gift of silence and listening.

The kind of silence that is about openness to the other becomes our portal to knowledge, understanding, intelligence and wisdom, out of which llife-in-all-its-fullness can form itself within us.

*From Brian Mclaren’s God Unbound;
**From Ella Frances Sanders’ Lost in Translation; nunchi is a Korean word;
^From Karen Armstron’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

Don’t be a warmduscher!

I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become.*
(Carl Jung)

It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one most adaptable to change.**
(Charles Darwin)

Ella Frances Sanders identifies the warmduscher in her compendium of untranslatable words from around the world:

WARMDUSCHER: n. Refers to someone who would only take a warm shower (not an icy cold or burning hot one), implying that they are a bit of a wimp, and willing to step outside of their comfort zone.^

As we grow older, our personality may become more fixed, not because we are incapable of further growth, but because we are unwilling to step into new environments, be that a place, a project, an activity, a person, a book, or an idea.

It has to be something different, not simply another version of the same thing.

We become comfortable, but comfort is our enemy.

We stop living our own story forwards and begin living on the stories of others, where ,

a story is an account of a character, in set of circumstances, facing choices, who undergoes change^^.

Change shouldn’t be a bonus but the norm as we live our one life to its full.

Perhaps time to try some dreamwhispering.

*Carl Jung, quoted in Sir Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds;
**Charles Darwin, quoted in Brian McLaren’s God Unbound;
^From Ella Frances Sanders’ Lost in Translation;
^^From Bernadette Jiwa’s What Great Storytellers Know.


Environment is among the most powerful and important personality levers. If you’re serious about changing yourself and your life, you must change your environment.*
(Ben Hardy)

Show me the hidden things, the creatures of my dreams, the storehouse of forgotten memories and hurts. Take me down to the spring of my life, and tell me my nature and my name.** 
(George Appleton)

We are not only an innovating species, we are also being innovated.

Certainly across the span of history but, thankfully, across the span of a lifetime.

To polish our outside is an easier thing to do, mind, but to innovate who we are inside is more beneficial.

*From Benjamin Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent;
**George Appleton, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.

Also read:
Matt Ridley’s How Innovation Works;
Ken Robinson’s Out of Our Minds;
Bernadette Jiwa’s What Great Storytellers Know;
Erwin Mcmanus’ The Barbarian Way;
Ella Frances Sanders’ Lost in Translation.

Surprised by a future memory

You’ve strategically designed your environment to remind you of your future. Remembering doesn’t only need to be about your past.*
(Ben Hardy)

[I]t is essential to put yourself in the unconditional service of the future possibility that is wanting to emerge. Viewed from this angle, presenting is about a dialogue with the future possibility that wants to emerge.**
(Otto Scharmer)

Here are three things we’ll need to nurture in order to create the environment for our emerging future:

To open our mind to more: books, people, ideas, nature. More , more, more.

To open our hearts so we might notice far more than our minds alone are able to.

To open our wills and try and explore and experiment as people of activeness rather than passiveness.

To have each of these these in all of our days is a very special thing, is to be blessed.

*From Benjamin Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent;
**From Otto Scharmer’s Theory U.

A single thread of beauty will lead you there

the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty*
(John Muir)

It was John Muir who wrote,

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.*

When we have found our thread of beauty it will take us on quite a journey if we are open ourselves to the places and people it leads us to.

*John Muir, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: The Universe as an Infinite Storm of Beauty.

A useful ending

What we call the beginning is often the end. And to male an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we begin from.*
(T. S. Eliot)

Before getting stuck with the thought that the years leading up to this moment have been wasted or have brought you to a blank end, take a little time to notice where you are.

Identify your talents, articulate your values and notice what you’re energised by … and not.

You may just find that you’ve accomplished quite a lot providing yourself with a new place to begin.

*T. S. Eliot, quoted in Benjamin Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent.