Monday, April 27, 2009

Nice Work, If you can get it.

Every so often, if we allow ourselves, we can make an intuitive leap to the next stage of our development. Usually, an event in our lives will precipitate the leap. There is something about certain events, for example a death or a change in residence, that can stir up and break apart our established assumptions about living. We can sit there and mourn the loss, but then we can also see the opportunity in the change in front of us. The time is ripe for growth and insight.
"Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Nature of Regret

Inherent in regret is the holding on to the past. If you look at any regret you have, you will see that your thoughts are dwelling outside the present. More often than not, the feeling that you have is one of loss, because what was, in the past no longer is, in the present.
If you will instead focus on the present, and remain steadfast in your focus on the present, you will gain a sense of power. The past cannot have power unless you give it power. The present is the only true source of power. So the present gives us power, and we are free to give up power to the past (and the future in the form of worry). But in giving up power to the past, we feed the feeling of loss. We are free to choose again and again, to bring our thoughts back to the present. In the present we will find our true comfort and meaning.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Catching Up

I read this somewhere: "If you caught a fish every time you went fishing, it'd be called catching."
Of course, it made me chuckle. But it's also true. It's just the same idea as "there is no try, there is only do," in the words of the great but fictional Yoda.
I'm thinking, I'm thinking. Is thinking also doing? Or is it just fishing, but not catching? Does that mean it is not a worthwhile endeavor. I think not.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bless the Beasts and the Children

One of my favorite parts of living with a dog is seeing how she lives completely in the moment. Her joyfulness is unbridled, her love is unconditional, her loyalty is unquestionable. She has got a great way of living! She lives in virtue without even trying. She is an inspiration to me. Other than that occasional peeing on the floor thing.
Speaking of inspiration, children do that too. I have learned so much from my children. They seem to be able to find my growing, unhealed parts so well! They challenge me to become a better person, every day.
I would not want to be a child again. Nowadays it looks very hard to grow up, with all the stuff going on in the world.
I wouldn't mind being a dog, though. In the right family, of course! Perhaps that can be arranged in some other incarnation of mine?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

"Intentional Listening" is what I heard in my head as I awoke the other morning. It seemed to make perfect sense at the time, coming as I was from the state of dreams. Apparently, I had been dreaming about listening with intent, or I had been intending to listen. Or maybe....
Anyway, I let the phrase just sit there in the outskirts of my consciousness. I even had the thought of going through my day, intentionally listening. I wondered, do I listen WITH intent, or do I listen FOR intent? Or both?
When we are interacting with others, we can always choose to listen with intent. In fact, we do that without even thinking about it. We come to any interaction with preconceived notions about how it will go. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. It helps if we do not go into a situation with the idea that it is not going to go well, as there is a measure of self-fulfilling prophecy at play here. Say you go into a post office expecting a long line, surly clerks and an overall frustrating experience. Chances are that is what you get. You could instead go in with a book, treasure the waiting time, or strike up a pleasant conversation with the person next to you in line, then smile winningly at the clerk (OK, forget getting through to the clerk). Then your intent improves your experience!
It's the same with listening. If your intent in listening to another is to really, really hear what they have to say, not only the words, but their intent, then you have got a win-win situation. You may not like what you hear (insert example here) but if you listened with the intent of truly communicating, then you accomplished something! By the same token, if you read this post with the intent of being enlightened, you have just been fooled! Haha, Happy April Fool's Day!