Resilience: Riding the Roller Coaster of Life with Ease
- 4 Sessions: Tuesday, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27
- Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
- Location: Village Green Community Center, Kingston, Washington
- Cost: $69
- Suggested reading: The Missing Link by Sydney Banks.
If you are in an elevated state of mind tuned into the miracle of life right now, hurrah! I see you. I love you. I’m so glad to know that you are on the planet. I’m thrilled that in this moment you are awake to beauty and light.
If you are struggling for any reason, I feel you. I honor you for showing up to life, even reluctantly. For you I wish an inkling of how perfectly normal (if crummy) it is to feel the way you do. I wish a glimpse of the sunlight at the center of your being. Take it from someone who has lived in the shadow of depression, anxiety, resentment and rage: the weather sucks, and at the heart of it all you are truly whole, infinitely beautiful, and fine. (And lest it not be clear: when I talk about living in the shadow of depression, anxiety, resentment and rage, I mean my own, not someone else’s.)
And for those moments when you judge yourself and come up short in your own estimation, may I share this from the bottom of my heart?
The snarky in my heart recognizes and bows to the snarky in your heart.
The shame in my heart that I am not a perfect expression of love and wisdom recognizes and bows to the shame in your heart that you are not a perfect expression of love and wisdom.
The Divine that takes form as my heart recognizes and bows to the Divine that is your heart.
However you celebrate (or shun celebration), I wish you all the best. ♥
Looking for something to do during the darkest days of the year (or the longest ones, for those in the southern hemisphere)? Check out the audio and video replays of the Wholeness Hangouts. Always free!
I frequently use art as a metaphor for living life wisely and well. There’s The Art of Living, an exploration of how we are designed to live creatively and joyfully and the potential for waking up every day like children eager to paint on walls and splash in mud puddles. (Imagine!) There’s the Reboot Your Life Creative Immersion Retreat I’m doing with my friend, Cherie Ray, at the end of the year. For over 20 years I’ve been coaching people to be visionary (even revolutionary) and effective, whether they are corporate executives, music teachers, or boat builders. In every field, the fundamentals are the same.
The questions we ask ourselves to help us live wisely and well invite different answers when we ask them as if we were making art. When we realize that human beings are inherently creative it just makes sense to lean into this way of thinking about our challenges and opportunities.
I’ve posted about wonder as the key that unlocks state of mind and the beautiful distinctions between confusion and wonder as ways of not knowing. In this video I point the the critical difference between wonder as a noun or concept and wondering as a verb or way of being in the world.
Who doesn’t love the experience of wide-eyed wonder? When we experience wonder, our minds are open and free, available to insight and fresh thought. We have a keener appreciation for beauty, a sharper awareness of all there is to be grateful for. But when we try to make that experience happen, we may innocently chase a concept of wonder rather than engaging in the act of wondering.
What shows up for you? Let me know in the comments. ♥
Some years ago I made a horrible mistake. (And yes, I’ve made tons of mistakes since then; this is just the one that comes to mind in the moment.)
I was president of a local arts organization, and in that role I was making the rounds of galleries during an Arts Walk. I was particularly struck by the quality of work in one gallery, and I said as much to the owners, who introduced me to the artist.
And then I said, “What’s a talented guy like you doing in a dump like this?”
I didn’t notice that my remark had gone over like a lead balloon. As I look back, I see that I wouldn’t have noticed because the same self-consciousness that gave rise to my insensitivity kept me from authentically connecting with the other people in the room.
I might never have noticed but that the gallery owners sent me a letter of complaint.
I got home late one night to find the letter. I was horrified and defensive. The gallery owners were being unreasonable. They had no sense of humor. They should have known that I had intended no harm.
I wanted to believe those things, but somehow I couldn’t quite settle down behind that interpretation.
I went to bed with a disturbed mind, and as I lay there, I got curious about what was behind my upset.
And then I saw the first piece.
I truly had meant no harm, yet I saw that they truly had been hurt. I couldn’t resolve that gap.
I also had no clue how to avoid making a similar mistake in the future. How do you apologize for that?
If I acknowledged the reasonableness of their position, I would need to do something about being a smart-aleck, and I felt powerless to accomplish that.
It seemed to me that I lacked a key ingredient for a sincere apology, and that was insight into how to prevent a recurrence.
In a flash I saw that the key to having better awareness in the future was taking in feedback in the present.
I didn’t need to be able to second guess other people’s reality. I could simply care, invite feedback, and rely on willingness to do better and the ability to learn to do the rest.
I got out of bed and wrote an apology. I said that I had felt both horrified at causing hurt and that it had been unintentional. I told them that it was unintentional not to defend myself, but to underscore that in no way was my remark related to my experience of their professionalism or contribution to the arts.
I then thanked them sincerely for caring enough to complain and told them that, but for the feedback of friends like them, I would feel helpless to see what was clearly a blindspot.
More and more I see that life gives us what we need.
Life, in the form of circumstances, experiences, and people, will give us exactly what is required for our next itty-bitty evolutionary step.
This is how we learn to walk, to talk, to love.
It appears to me as I write that the less personally we take these lessons, the easier they are to learn. But you know what?
We’re going to take things personally until we don’t.
Like walking, talking, and loving, we learn not to take it personally as we go.
The Art of Living is a 12-week encounter with magic, meaning, and the in-built human capacity to evolve. Together we will explore the deeper intelligence available to every human being, an intelligence that can guide you in the creation of what you want in life, whether you think it is possible at the outset or not.
Almost everyone who has done this work for me comes back for more–not because they need more in order to be whole, but because they finally realize that they don’t need a thing. Participants report greater ease, optimism, and resilience. They feel better about themselves and their lives. They experience massive reductions in anxiety, second-guessing, and analysis-paralysis. And when they do get caught up in those things, they know how to find their way back home to peace of mind and clarity.