Earlier this year I revealed that my word for 2023 was acceptance. I had been reading Michael SingerMy Surrender Experiment’s book The Untethered Soul and it reminded me of how important accepting the Is-ness of every experience was to living a peaceful and happy life. Also important is living in the present moment—not the past, not the future, just now. After a couple of months of practice, I’m not an expert and likely never will be. But I believe I’m getting better. As Singer continually reminds me/us, the problem is not the experience you are having or are witnessing. The problem is the story we are telling ourselves about the experience. It doesn’t matter if it happened two minutes ago or 20 years ago, that story running through our minds, that narrative, is either re-creating that event in our mind or emotions, or passing through us. By the same token, it doesn’t matter if something has happened yet (or will ever happen), the story we are telling ourselves about what might happen is our choice. We face that choice in every moment. Right here. Right now. [Read more…]
For as long as I can remember I have been seeking happiness. Back in high school when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up—I said “happy.” I convinced myself that the pursuit of happiness was not only our self-evident right, but that it was equal to the unalienable rights of life and liberty. (Remember the constitution?) I think I’ve read every book with the words happy and happiness in them ever written. And while I am mostly always happy, there are days when it isn’t easy. Then recently I’ve read a couple of books that have me questioning that pursuit on a much deeper level. Is it possible I’ve been seeking the wrong thing? And is it possible that what most of us want when we say we want happiness isn’t located where we’ve been looking?
In January of 2022 I selected the word surrender for my word of the year. Often referred to as WOTY, it is customary for people to pick a particular word to hold in their mind, and perhaps guide them, throughout the year. I wasn’t entirely sure why I selected surrender, only that it seemed like the perfect next step after using “trust” as my word for 2021. As things happen, surrender became more and more meaningful to me as the year unfolded. Then recently I reread a book from several years ago by Michael A Singer. That book, titled The Surrender Experience is Singer’s follow-up to his first book the untethered soul—the journey beyond yourself. Together, those two books are helping me recognize my own surrender experiment and where I hope to go from here. [Read more…]
As some of you know I grew up in the desert southwest. My love of sunshine continues to this day but unfortunately, my skin has paid a price. In my pursuit of the perfect tan, my skin (particularly on my forearms) has become ridiculously thin so that it often bruises and sometimes bleeds at the slightest injury. By the same token I was listening to a podcast this week that asked, “Are we all becoming very thin-skinned and fragile these days?” It went on to ask if our pursuit of comfort and convenience was making us “bruise or bleed” at the slightest inconvenience, threat or annoyance. Regrettably, those questions struck a bit too close to home. Everywhere I look (especially on Facebook!) people are bruised and depressed about how awful things have gotten (climate change, no gun control, schools, etc.) and how mean and impatient other people have become. And don’t even mention religion or politics! Fortunately, there is a cure. Just like using a powerful sunscreen on my arms helps—enhancing our antifragile selves could allow us to live more peacefully in our stressful world.
A common theme on this blog is simple living and minimalism. Those topics are all about letting go of stuff and clutter in our lives so that we can all better focus on what really matters. If you do a Google search you’ll see tons of books and blog posts around the idea, including a recent best seller called, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And while all of that focus on cleaning up your space is important, most of it ignores how cleaning up your thinking and what goes on in your mind is even more vital. Call it magic or merely life changing, once we learn to empty and let go of the chatter and mind clutter, chances are good that the exterior space around us will be equally free of distraction. [Read more…]