Sitting here, on the couch, listening to the clock tick, makes me wonder if I am afraid of silence; of being idle; of stillness. I always encourage others to cultivate that empty space – that quiet well – for themselves, but do I do it for myself? The pull to constantly be reading or figuring out a problem or checking for a message or writing a blog post (*ahem) or vacuuming or making something better, or cleaner, or more worthwhile…the pull to be productive in some form – to be doing something, always – is strong.
Sometimes almost always, it’s too strong, and I give in to the pull; the allure of constant engagement or stimulation or growth or value creation. The desire to always have something to show for how I am spending my time. Proof of worth. Validation that I am thinking or doing important things that matter. Ensuring I am making something of myself. Being the one who always knows the answer or who can figure it out, or refer you to someone who can. Continue reading “silence keepers”
Henry David Thoreau once wrote the words, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Though Thoreau lived in his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond many years ago, those words hold a deep truth. Wildness can mean so many different things to so many different people, but whatever it means to myriad humans across the globe, I have found embracing wildness to provide healing, inspiration, introspection and reason to explore. I have found wildness to be a foundation from which to do my work in the world, and I have found wildness to drive my choices as I tap into the potential of life on this beautiful earth. I have found wildness reason to cultivate community and exist in the world in a way that aligns with beauty and truth.
Here are 10 more reasons to embrace wildness, in all its forms, in the months to come. Because you just never know how making some little changes to your way of being might contribute to the healing of the planet. Continue reading “Why To Embrace Wildness”
What would it look like to dance with a mountain? To be so attuned to the natural world that you could two step or swing dance with an ancient pile of rock and earth? To live so fully in your own wild nature that you could communicate with the world in a way that makes the sky weep in understanding and the plains shiver with anticipation of what is possible when life chooses harmony over dissonance? To figure out how to identify the part of ourselves that is akin to rivers and hilltops and soil and trees and holding that as our center point? Continue reading “To Dance With Mountains”
Wake up to bird song, or waves or whispering pines. Open your eyes to the dawning of a new day, and wander toward voices when you are ready for company of the community.
Stretch your body, swim, kayak, run, hike. Let your body move how it wants to move as the light starts to fill the sky. Remember that you are a body and your body is you – you are partners in this life, not enemies. Continue reading “A Summer Day”
There is something magical about watching the light of a new day spread its fingers across the sky as the horizon changes from black to dusky pink to tangerine orange to glowing yellow. Maybe it’s the ancient rhythm that persists despite increasing human impact. Maybe it’s the spectacular color show that sometimes comes with it. Maybe it’s the opportunity to live another day on an incredible planet. Maybe it’s witnessing something that is infinitely bigger than we are, but of which we are still a part. It’s probably all of those things and more. Living on a small lake with a view out the kitchen to the east has afforded me plenty of opportunity to reveal in the first new colors of the day. I am grateful for the daily opportunity to put myself in the way of beauty. After all, it’s going to show up whether I notice it or not. I think it’s better to notice.
As Cheryl Strayed once wrote, quoting her mother:
There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.
Continue reading “Sunrise”
Productivity doesn’t equal worth. Right? Deep down, I know this statement it absolutely true. At the core, each living being on earth is of infinitely more value than can be measured or quantified. Each person, or creature, or plant, or river is so much more than whatever is accomplished or produced in a lifetime. Yet we have a hard time accepting this. We see our land-base as a commodity more often than we see it as a partner in life. We tend to use water and air and soil for our own gain with little thought beyond what our actions might mean for someone across the world or a child born three generations from now. Often we mean well and even start to change our ways, but then life gets hard and it’s easier not to. We slip back into believing that more is better and that getting ahead and making the grade is what’s important. We start to see high productivity as the ideal and we lose faith in believing that it really isn’t when we are trying to tell the truth and the people who have the power to create change don’t believe. Or don’t want to.
I say I am trying to be ok with mediocrity. In another blog post recently, I wrote,
I’ve recognized that if I’m going to stay in my day job and thrive as a human being, mediocrity is my new goal for success. It’s hard to let old tendencies of wanting to be a top performer or make good grades or always receive glowing reviews go. But I’ve realized that, at least in my current life and work situation, being a top performer isn’t what matters to living the life that I want to live.
Continue reading “Productivity Doesn’t Equal Worth”
Buddhist teacher Cynthia Jurs spoke in my Space Between Stories class last weekend. She spoke of acting from the subtle and how important it can be to stop and breathe in the midst of the chaos that seems to punctuate our world more than we want it to. She spoke of focusing on the space that is between where we are and where we want to go. She said it’s that space that allows new things to come into being and that it is important not to rush out of the unknown into a new story. It’s important to rest in the space that’s in between. From that space we can see and start to recognize our gifts, and we can offer those gifts out into our communities, our workplaces, our families and the earth itself. She reminded us that it is from our gifts – those gifts that are unique to our own being — that we can affect the “powers that be” in the deepest way and contribute to the healing of the world.
Cynthia shared the story of how her life’s work came into being, and without telling the whole story, (You can read more about her work and its origins at Earth Treasure Vase: A Global Healing Project) her vocation essentially took shape from living out of her deepest prayerful question: How can we bring healing and protection to the earth? Of course, there have been no easy answers, and it took her awhile to embrace the mission put forth to her. But by living in accordance with her deepest prayer, she has helped invite waves of healing and hope into the midsts of people all over the world. Continue reading “Subtle Acts of Healing”