On this day, many are excited about their new lives and prospects, while others are disappointed that their lives have not yet become what they envisioned.
Sometimes, the disappointment is only about timing. Wait for it.
At other times, it is about nourishing our own growth.
Nothing flowers without nourishment, yet we often prevent our own flowering by…
- refusing to sit in the light (to feed our spirit)
- moving so fast through the motions of living (that our roots can’t go deep into the rich soil of our gifts and calling)
- running from, and complaining about, the rain (refusing, instead of seeking, discipline, insight, and instruction)
- blaming others for our bad luck (instead of owning the roots of our problems)
Today, I will patiently tend my own mysterious growth.
I wanted unlimited access to prosperity
And became old and mean
Thinking the difficult search wasn’t fair
Cheated of what I thought
Should be easy
Tired and near blind
I stumbled upon the secret door
Opened only after cursing the other keys
And lifting reverently a solitary one
To be activated by the heavens
There it was. Success only after I wanted
Above all other possible rewards
Depth, insight and understanding.
Now, all worlds
Belong to me
I wrote this because I’m just beginning to understand the mystery; all of this crazy, unpredictable life is about our growth. Nothing else.
Pain becomes worth it.
Hardship becomes worth it.
Loss becomes worth it.
Only after an unconditional surrender to this mystery.
Sometimes when I wake in the morning
It feels as if there is no spark
I wander around in the darkness
Looking for meaning
Stumbling over obstacles to joy
Why am I even here?
Then, if I sit
Long enough to notice it
Waiting for kindling
I remember that others are looking for it too
And it leaps to attention
And laps up despair
A new client of mine was very uncomfortable with her new management responsibility, getting Migraine headaches every time she had to tell her one direct report what to do.
I asked her, “So, why did your boss want you to manage anyway?”
“Because I’m competent…and sensitive to people.”
“Wow!” I responded. “Do you realize how few bosses have those qualities, and how badly that combination of qualities is needed in the workplace? If you have both, you must lead. The world needs you.”
Today she is a C-level executive in a major global company.
What qualities of yours need to be multiplied for the benefit of others?
(Original Post 2014)
Pardon me, have you seen my sense of destiny?
I seemed to have lost it along the way somewhere
Yet, I’ve looked up and down and it isn’t here anywhere
I can’t even remember when or where I had it last
Or any other clue that links the future to my past
I must have lived so long without it that, I’m ashamed to say,
I hardly even noticed it was gone today
Until I read that book
The book that meddled, unauthorized, with my head
Forcing me, irreverently, to unearth the sacred dead
And bow humbly to destiny’s gravitational force
At the unyielding wall of its Holy Source
(I wrote this after Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane awakened me to the marvel of everyday life and everyday people.)
Originally posted June, 2017
My heroes are this cool.
They live with certainty and power and let the moments, good or bad, flow over them instead of control them.
The only way I can achieve this level of equilibrium is to:
- Expect the unexpected and plan for bumps in the road
- See, appreciate, love the gifts of this very moment
- Don’t take delays or aborted plans personally
- Believe I am equal to every obstacle (Bring it on!)
- Remember everything is temporary
- Honor all living things as I honor myself
- Rely on a benevolent Universe for help and support
Looking at the deep scar on my knee I was reminded that I had never thanked my mother for all the time and money she spent on hospitals, doctors, dentists, and medications for me.
What else had I taken for granted?
Clothes and beds and food and school.
Family, teachers, and kind strangers.
Electricity, clean water, transportation, and gravity.
I’ll have to make up for this oversight.
This very moment.
For the living and the dead.
Don’t believe everything you think.
Even if you have been thinking it for a long time.
Especially if you have been thinking it for a long time.
Ever run into a brick wall trying to reason with someone? So frickin’ frustrating!
Ever notice that sometimes you are the brick wall? Especially when someone dares to have a contrary opinion to yours?
It’s taken a while, but I am learning to say, “Tell me more about that,” or “That’s interesting” before I start my reBUTtle.
Consequently, I have found out I am wrong more often than I thought; improving, only because I was willing to peek over the brick wall and discover an overestimation of my own infallibility.
(Original post Nov 2015)
Here’s the safe route:
Always assume people are no less or no more…
…than you are.
Because we all have broken hearts, or have had, or will have, it is safe to deal with everyone cautiously and with the confidence that stems from awareness and deep authenticity.
Delia Owen’s book, Where the Crawdads Sing is a “judge-not” practicum for these critical skills, reminding that appearance, status, decorum, or possessions can never tell the whole story about anyone.
Said no one.
Yet, learning to welcome criticism is a fast-track to happiness.
To avoid anxiety, indigestion, depression, frustration, fits of anger, revenge, and sleepless nights, learn to be friends with criticism. Because…
- regardless of how right or good we are, others will always misunderstand, disagree, and (inadvertently or purposely) taunt
- criticism is ubiquitous; an international pastime
- criticism reveals gaps in our knowledge
- accepting criticism takes humility and one can’t get enough of that
Self-acceptance conquers the pain of criticism.