In David Whyte’s book Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, he describes the word ‘close’ in part, “Close is what we almost always are: close to happiness, close to another, close to leaving, close to tears, close to God, close to losing faith, close to being done, close to saying something or close to success, and even, with the greatest sense of satisfaction, close to giving the whole thing up. Our human essence lies not in arrival, but in being almost there: we are creatures who are on the way, our journey a series of impending anticipated arrivals. We live by unconsciously measuring the inverse distances of our proximity: an intimacy calibrated by the vulnerability we feel in giving up our sense of separation.” Continue reading
Adam Grant’s book Think Again reminded me of Anais Nin’s quote, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” And therefore, we can see them differently if we choose.
Some of the tips he offers for putting a new lens on our views include valuing curiosity, looking for information that goes against what you believe, focusing more on improving yourself and less on proving yourself, looking for people who will challenge you with feedback to help you grow, using questions rather than statements when listening to others, talking to kids at dinner about different topics and what they think about them, considering better practices rather than best practices to always raise the bar, and not asking kids what they want to be when they grow up. Continue reading
Poet David Whyte has a book called Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words. It really is breathtaking, and he reads some of his word-poems in Sam Harris’ Waking Up meditation app too.
Part of his description of the word beginning is, “Beginning is difficult, and our insulating rituals and the virtuoso subtleties of our methods of delay are always a fine, ever-present measure of our reluctance in taking the first close-in, courageous step to reclaiming the happiness of actually having started. Perhaps, because taking a new step always begins from the central, foundational core of the body, a body we have neglected, beginning well means seating ourselves in the body again, catching up with ourselves and the person we have become since we last tried to begin. The radical physical embodiment leads to an equally radical internal simplification, where, suddenly, very large parts of us, parts of us we have kept gainfully employed for years, parts of us still rehearsing the old complicated story, are suddenly out of a job. There occurs, in effect, a form of internal corporate downsizing, where the parts of us too afraid to participate or having nothing now to offer, are let go, with all of the accompanying death-like trauma, and where the very last fight occurs, a rear-guard disbelief that this new, less complicated self, and this very simple step, is all that is needed for the new possibilities ahead. It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: just picking up the pen or the wood chisel, just picking up the instrument or the phone, which is why we so often prefer the story to be more elaborate, our identities to be safely clouded by fear, why we want the horizon to remain always in the distance, the promise never fully and simply made, the essay longer than it needs to be and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility.” Continue reading
Psychotherapist Esther Perel has a wonderful podcast called Where Should We Begin that allows listeners to hear anonymous counselling sessions. In one episode she mentioned was that there are two groups of people. Those who believe there is always someone to help them and those who believe, in the end, you are always alone. There are lessons in both mindsets. One can teach how to be strong and independent and the other can teach how to lean in and embrace support. We can all learn from each other. Continue reading
I was listening to Chase Jarvis, photographer and CEO of CreativeLive.com, on The Tim Ferriss Show. He spoke about intuition. He said, “Our memories and our emotions, all of those things, that’s the equivalent of RAM. We take in like a billion pieces of data a minute or a second or something like that. And we only make use of a very small amount. And the way I do think about this is the equivalent of RAM in the computer like what’s right there on the surface or just below the surface that we can recall. And this theory about intuition is that while we are recording these billions of data points throughout our entire life moment to moment, that we do actually have an archive of those in our body, in the cells of our body. And that intuition is sort of the parsing, what it is called when you refactor, you go back and look at data that’s already there, but you put it through a different process. And to me, this process is intuition.” Continue reading