Tuesday, December 28, 1999

Effortlessness Through Passion

I spent the weekend before Thanksgiving in the woods with friends. I went to camp in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Lots of time and space! Being in nature does that best for me. I more easily find time to connect with myself. Nature is my personal passion.

I saw very old cedar, pine and hardwoods standing tall and quiet, waiting for whatever comes their way. The fire's flames sometimes flickered, sometimes settled down to coals and sometimes burst into a roaring blaze. But it was always there to warm me. The last day of my visit, we got up early and went to the woods in the fog. While sitting quietly, waiting, the coyotes began to howl. We could track their movement by their continuous yipping and howling.

What are you passionate about? It could be nature, art, great food, music, or spending time with those close to you. Whatever it is use that passion to learn more about yourself. Most of us learn about ourselves when a physical or emotional emergency enters our lives. We struggle thorough the crisis and come out the other end knowing more about who we are and how we react. While very insightful, this kind of learning is costly. Using our passions can be effortless and can, over time, even decrease the emotional and physical emergencies that we encounter.

That weekend I was reminded that I can stand tall and quite and there really is nothing to do but wait. I remembered I have an internal flame that sometimes flickers, sometimes roars, and sometimes burns down to low coals, but always provides me with a sense of warmth and energy. Yes, that flame even goes out on occasion. But I learned that I have the power to rekindle it. And, I took inventory of all that I have to howl about and know that to let loose makes me more of who I am and helps others know where I'm at.

“When you pursue your passion, you are 100% focused and living by your values.” ~David A Burnet

“A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.” ~Oliver Wendell Homes

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” ~Raymond Inman

“The act of discovery is not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” ~Arthur Conan Doyle, in a 1896 article for Scientific America

Put yourself in an activity or place that you are passionate about, that inspires you, and just listen to your internal desires.

Thanks to Jim, Drew and Maggie.

Sunday, November 28, 1999

Taking Action

Any individual actions you take may not lead directly to the results you are seeking. Sometimes we are not even sure what it is we want and are acting towards. But taking action creates “intent” and we can more strongly define our intentions when we act.

For instance, you might want more reserves (money, time, love, space) or a new job. Expressing that desire is a start, but taking action, any action, is even better. The thing is, expressing the desire is still a “head” activity. And quite frankly, your head can interfere. It will slow you down by presenting you with options, alternatives, and doubts. And this all takes energy. Get out of your head and let your body take over through action. Trust your body, it really does know you very well.

Do you need a well-defined set of steps? No. You can begin by doing just one or two things that put into action your intention. You might start putting a small amount a week into a savings account or buy a years supply of stamps, toilet paper, food staples, etc. Perhaps you will buff up your resume or print some business cards with your new job title. These steps will put you in action and that's the point. Now, as you begin taking action, let go of the goal. Develop an interest in your actions only. Focus your awareness on your movements. Do not judge your actions. Simply notice your actions and observe. Occasionally check for results, but forget yourself and the goal. Don't get caught up trying too hard to reach the goal. It has served its purpose, to get you started. Now that you are moving, the goal can be very limiting. Be open to the messages you get from your actions and you may find something even better along the way.

Learning is movement from moment to moment. ~J. Krisnamurti

Stop thinking and talking about it and there is nothing you will not be able to know. ~Zen paradigm

I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues. ~Duke Ellington

Friday, October 15, 1999

Time, Space, Choice

Often people tell me they want to find more time; more time in their day, week, month, year and life.  The usual approach to this dilemma is to start structuring and organizing their days as though becoming more efficient, structured and focused, will somehow allow them to be organized enough to "find" the time to do the things they love.

I suggest focusing on space instead of time. Take a look around you right now. Is your space cluttered? How does the office desk look, the bedroom closet, the kitchen cupboard, the dreaded basement and garage, your car, your head? Space we can do something about. As my space becomes less cluttered, time opens up for me. No time to create space you say? Delegate it! Hire it out! Through space comes clarity. Through clarity comes better actions and decision. Through better actions and decisions comes time.

Create some space in your life today and see time magically open up for you?