The truth is…

The hardest thing to get over when you’re trying to live a dream is the possibility that you might fail or that it might not be for you. But the truth is, that’s not the worst thing in the world. If you fail or find out that you don’t like something, then you just got closer to finding out what you’re truly meant for.
— Ashley C. Ford on TGD, December 2015

The Shadow Side of the Sharing Internet

In her latest On Being blog post, Courtney E. Martin thoughtfully and honestly considers what we lose (and save) by moving from engaged participants to selective curators.

“[Using technology such as the iPhone and Instagram to capture, curate and share] can be a creative act, a celebratory act, an act of connection across distance and time. It can also be an act that pulls us out of the moment and out of the rare bliss that is unselfconscious and fully absorbed existence. Taken to the extreme, there aren’t enough “likes” in the universe for that kind of loss.”

Luminous rectangles

“One is left to wonder, not without wistfulness, how the glowing screens into which we stare day and night, and through which we both consume and communicate so much of our experience of life, might be dimming the inner light of that interior rectangle where the wholeness of thought takes shape.”

When the going gets tough ....

 
When the going gets tough may I resist my first impulse to wade in, fix, explain, resolve, and restore. May I sit down instead.

When the going gets tough may I be quiet. May I steep for a while in stillness.

When the going gets tough may I have faith that things are unfolding as they are meant to. May I remember that my life is what it is, not what I ask for. May I find the strength to bear it, the grace to accept it, the faith to embrace it.

When the going gets tough may I practice with what I’m given, rather than wish for something else. When the going gets tough may I assume nothing. May I not take it personally. May I opt for trust over doubt, compassion over suspicion, vulnerability over vengeance.

When the going gets tough may I open my heart before I open my mouth.

When the going gets tough may I be the first to apologize. May I leave it at that. May I bend with all my being toward forgiveness.

When the going gets tough may I look for a door to step through rather than a wall to hide behind.

When the going gets tough may I turn my gaze up to the sky above my head, rather than down to the mess at my feet. May I count my blessings.

When the going gets tough may I pause, reach out a hand, and make the way easier for someone else. When the going gets tough may I remember that I’m not alone. May I be kind.

When the going gets tough may I choose love over fear. Every time.
— Katrina Kenison
 

Faithfulness versus Effectiveness

“As long as we are wedded to 'effectiveness' we will take on smaller and smaller tasks, for they are the only ones with which we can get results. If we want to witness to important but impossible values like love, truth and justice, there must be a standard that trumps effectiveness. The name of that standard is 'faithfulness.' At the end of the road, I will not be asking about outcomes. I’ll be asking if I was faithful to my gifts, to the needs I saw around me, to the ways in which my gifts might meet those needs, to 'the truth of the work itself.'”

The first question

 
noun_you.png
 

Am I being/doing my best?

“The best is not proud; it is humble; the best is not what is pleasing; it is challenging; the best is not what is selfish; it is going beyond the self. And for those reasons, the best is not easy; it is perilous; the best is not definite; it is uncertain; it is not what is triumphant; it is what is worthy. The great question we must ask every day is this: what are the best things that we can do with our lives, our moments, and our dreams? And to answer it, we must remember: they are things that make the world a truly better place. For it is only in the struggle to do our best that our insignificant, improbable lives discover meaning.”

Source:  Umair Haque, How to Have a Year that Counts

New Year

On the first day of 2015, I read and I walked.

In the morning I immersed myself in The Faraway Nearby and other writing by and about Rebecca Solnit; just before noon I re-emerged into the here and now: a rare clear, blue, winter day in Vancouver. And so it was easy and natural to set my intention and destination for the afternoon: a long, city walk with my faithful companion that would eventually lead us to the trails alongside Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake at Stanley Park.

 
 

We stayed until daylight waned, and then retraced our steps home along the seawall, pausing at Sunset Beach to sit on a log and watch the moon rise over downtown Vancouver.

 
 

On the first evening and night of 2015, sleep came easily and early, and was long and deep.

On the second day of the new year, I woke up early to write. I wrote for as long as I had walked the day before, trying to make my words as perfect as the day had been, before realizing the shortest, simplest way to the truth of my experience is the best version to save and share. So here it is.

After publishing this post yesterday evening, I returned to reading and discovered The Gifts of Hibernation, a beautiful essay at the On Being blog.

Hibernation restores us to our nourishing, grounding source and, in so doing, frees us to become a force of reason, reflection, and kindness.  (Source)

How did you begin 2015?  And have you been "hibernating" this winter?