Her fire was transplanted into my flickering flame of a heart and has been fueling it since.
Mary Oliver died at 83 after infecting many people with her poetry. So glad I met her heart and invited it in.
The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom may seem a bit corny, yet, these are my reasons it was worth reading:
I always need to be reminded that…
Mitch Albom said he was inspired to write these books by an uncle who thought his life had been a waste. I wish I could thank that uncle.
The first time I used this phrase was in a case where I felt my partner had not listened to me. When I asked, “Can we talk about what just happened? What could I have done differently to have gotten your full attention?” he relaxed, said he was sorry, and gave me a suggestion that I still use…with unprecedented success!
The phrase removes accusatory language and doesn’t put people on the defensive, thus increasing our chances of staying in dialog and experiencing the thrill of cooperation.
I wish it were not the case, but most of us have multiple opportunities to work through relationship dysfunctions. This phrase is a useful tool.
(Dr. Dean C. Delis has a similar discussion about “No-Fault Communication” in his book, The Passion Paradox.)
Because gathering carts at a grocery store is such a tedious and physically demanding job, I always try to take one or two back into the store so someone else won’t have to. Recently, I saw another person doing the same. Even though he seemed to be in a hurry, I stopped him and said, “I’ve never seen anyone else do that. What drives that behavior?”
“I try to always leave things a little better than I found them,” he answered, then recommended Jordan Peterson’s podcast to me.
He was correct to assume I would also appreciate Peterson’s common sense approach to life.
Here are a few things I love so far about Jordan Peterson:
And, also this…
I didn’t go to a public library until I was in high school and read only a few books before graduating. Now, I am (thankfully) making up for lost time, but only realized recently how much I owed to comic books.
They were the door, not only to my entertainment as a lonely child, but to my curiosity, imagination, love of words, and creative inclinations.
Who can say what impact our talents have on others? Thank you, Stan Lee, for using your gifts…and for the reminder to value my own (even when they seem insignificant).
Some days I am unsure about everything.
Should I work toward a goal or let it go?
Should I feel good about myself or bad about myself?
Should I be kind to someone or let them have it?
Should I care?
On those days (lately) what works:
Yesterday a book came in the mail that I had ordered several weeks ago. It was exactly what I needed to read. (Anything You Want, Derek Sivers)
The ambivalence brought important questions to the surface.
Ambivalence didn’t kill me.
That is Tim Ferriss’s go-to question that led to Tribe of Mentors.
Do you know what your go-to question is?
You might be surprised.
Common questions that lead us nowhere fast…
But, tweaking those discouraging/cynical questions can give us the leverage we crave:
Appearances are not everything. In fact keeping up a superficial front causes more mental illness and dysfunction in families than anything else…even drugs and alcohol. Ask any therapist. We are only as sick as our secrets.
Reading Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf reminded me of the complexities and contradictions we all carry around. The cool thing about Herman Hesse is how honest he was. That’s the kind of person with whom I love to hang out: someone who has quit lying to themselves about who they are and quit trying to “market” and compare their ideal self to others.
Only when we quit the hype and/or hiding will there be real energy to improve.
And, this is the truest freedom.
Tim Ferriss wrote his latest book, Tribe of Mentors, because he was overwhelmed with anxiety over a growing list of unanswered questions concerning his own life and productivity. To get clarity he went to his tried and true question, What would this look like if it were easy? which ultimately yielded this reply: What if I assembled a tribe of mentors to help me?
Now, he has not only achieved personal clarity, but helped me and countless others along the way.
So often, our questions (as our prayers) tend to be ineffective due to an unhealthy inward focus on what is not working. When we get the question right, mentors, angels, and answers are free to appear.
(If you haven’t yet read the book, do so, and prepare for inspiration…and answers.)