Whether my tasks today is cleaning toilets or working my dream job, being the boss or looking for a job, changing diapers or signing autographs, going to the hospital or going on vacation, trying to get well or trying to excel, my obligation is still the same; do it with love. Do it all with love.
The highest task will be lowered without it.
The lowest task will be elevated with it.
There is nothing more important than being here, completely here, right now, with the passion and joy that is only born of love.
Let go of anxiety and live.
(original post 2015)
When I have awakened with that sickening, empty feeling it has usually been because I wanted what I wanted and did what I did…
- Without thinking about the impact on someone else (motivated by greed or selfishness)
- To make myself feel or look superior to someone else (motivated by insecurity and ignorance)
- To spite someone else (motivated by jealousy, bitterness, or hatred)
- Without regard for tomorrow (motivated by immaturity and impatience)
“If happiness is not connected to growth, it is always short-lived.” – Shawn Achor
Noble pleasure sometimes takes us by surprise.
But sustaining noble pleasure has to be intentional. The detours to emptiness are far too seductive and far too numerous.
“Joy is what we feel on the way to our potential.” -Shawn Achor
Whether you agree with this controversial 1951 book or cannot stomach the outdated treatment of women therein, the explanation of why the Martian’s kiss caused women to faint is quite accurate, and quite educational for those who want to have the same power.
The simple formula:
Bring your whole, complete, undistracted attention to the person being kissed; without motive or thought about what comes next, or the mechanics of kissing. or the prior moment, or any other worry or concern.
(Which, by the way, is the secret to getting the most out of any sexual encounter, any event, any relationship, or any conversation in the world of business or pleasure.
Try it the next time you are bored with someone or something and see for yourself.)
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
It sounds bizarre to believe the whole world belongs to us when we feel (and most likely have experienced) quite the opposite: poor, helpless, and abandoned.
But, I am starting to understand why it might be true.
Just the other day, while working on a discouraging project, I decided to exchange an attitude of scarcity and defeat for an attitude of hope. It took a day or two, but, I began to…
- attract abundance from “nowhere”
- have new ideas
- feel joy and energy to take steps forward
- be an encouragement instead of a drain to others around me
To know nothing is lacking is to agree with the same abundant Universe that has remarkably sustained me until now.
This quote seems a bit radical, but after reflecting on it, I found reason to believe it.
Humility equals wisdom because it allows us to:
- discover wisdom well beyond our own personal limitations
- acknowledge that we don’t know as much as we think we know
- appreciate mystery
- listen better
- surrender our illusion of being wise
T. S. Eliot was a pretty smart guy. Mostly because he was a humble inquirer.
People are a mess. Life is often a mess. Things happen. Death is inevitable.
But, sing anyway.
Look it square in the face and sing.
That may sound absurd, but when I do, I find courage. Sometimes, even a smile.
Music seems to connect me to a harmony above the chaos.
That’s a good reason to test the hypothesis, anyway. (Especially when we consider how important music has been in all the stages of our life, how imbedded it is in our memories, and how much music meddles with our emotions.)
When my challenged nephew struggles against the yoke of his physical and mental challenges, there seems to be no relief. As his caregiver, I often want to despair.
I again find myself in the dark cavern of tragedy struggling to fathom the why of the world’s suffering.
Then, this simplest of truths:
Whatever is happening is the path to enlightenment.
If I surrender, all the distasteful and the unwanted will explain the riddles of life to me.
When I get this, life shifts from meaningless trouble to special-ops training.
Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.
My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
“The chances that you will wake up are in direct proportion to the amount of truth you can take without running away.” – Anthony De Mello
Running away is often my modus operandi when I don’t agree with someone.
But, it has been very easy for me to talk about how others are blind and clueless about their own choices.
Cringing at the times in my past when I said and did stupid things (that I thought were smart), alerts me that these lapses in judgment are still happening.
So, I must learn how to:
- ask for help; listen instead of talk
- believe it when people tell me how I can improve
- quit justifying myself
- keep reading
- keep seeking other perspectives
- accept criticism without running from the discomfort
Everyone is critical of how negative and inefficient TV news is, but most of us…
- spend the majority of our conscious hours focused on what’s going wrong in the world rather than what’s going right
- have too many “commercial” breaks for shameless self-promotion or ego-driven side lines
- are more show than substance
It is no accident TV news became what it is. It’s driven by human nature.
If we want something more, we must become something more. More noble. More courageous. More grateful.