Posted: 21 July 2011
Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Write down your top three dreams. Now write down what’s holding you back from them.
(Author: Michael Rad)
2. 1 job that I love instead of 3 jobs that I like/tolerate (depending on the day)
3. A spiritually enriching creative daily life
1. Babies are expensive. I’m in school and transitioning careers and working in theatre. Also – while it would be great for one of us to be able to stay home with the baby – we can’t swing that financially right now. Also, I need to be in better health so that I’m not a high risk pregnancy and can have the baby outside of the sterile, stressful, medicated hospital environment.
2. Studying part time does not make this happen quickly…but it’s the way I can do it. I’ll get there.
3. This is the one that’s hard. I want to meditate, and write, and dance, and exercise and go to church/find spiritual community, sing, and pray and love the world on a daily basis. I want to have spiritual holidays with my family (read anything Mayim Bialik has written about the value of Shabbat…) and celebrate the seasons and read religious texts and study with other religious seekers. I want to write and direct and create and perform. And money and time make it really hard. But I’m trying…
Posted: 17 July 2011
A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
My favorite quote of all time is Alan Kay: ‘In order to predict the future, you have to invent it.’ I am all about inventing the future. Decide what you want the future to be and make it happen. Because you can. Write about your future now.
(Author: Cindy Gallop)
1 year from now – internship. Finally doing what I’m spending this time learning to do. 3 years from now – working as a therapist. 5 years from now – licensure. But within that framework – within the year – perhaps a cat. Within the next 3 years – a baby. Within the next 5 years – a move to Northampton or someplace nearby. Time spent getting rid of the things we don’t need (physically, spiritually, emotionally) and building up the things we do. It only gets better from here J
Posted: 4 July 2011
When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?
Write about that moment. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, let the miracle play out in your mind’s eye and write about that moment in your future.
(Author: Bridget Pilloud)
When the acceptance letter arrived, I expected to be happy. The leaden feeling in the pit of my stomach was not happiness. I continued with the process, finishing interviews with other schools, puzzling through the idea of moving to an unfamiliar town in a whole different world, by myself, again. It wasn’t appealing. It took the interview at UConn to realize that this wasn’t what I wanted. That I wasn’t supposed to spend my life doing research in a vacuum, I was supposed to spend my life surrounded by people who would benefit from something that I could give them. That I was supposed to keep working with children, for a while, and give them all the support and love I could, until I found what it was that I really needed. That I wasn’t supposed to move by myself ever again.
I may never get a Ph.D. I may get some other sort of doctorate, or a collection of Masters’ Degrees, like pearls on a string. But I realized that day that as much as I love to learn, and to teach, and to study, I’m not destined for a life in academia. Just like I knew when I was 17 that I didn’t want to be a doctor or a lawyer just because I was smart, that I didn’t want to apply to Harvard just because I could. I need to work with people, not numbers and studies and books. I love numbers and studies and books, but not enough to give up connection.
I claim to be a misanthrope. And it’s not entirely untrue. There are days when people make me crazy. There are days when all I want is to be alone. But that’s because there are other days when I pour everything I have into making something work for everyone around me, including me. And there are days when I get love and strength and happiness poured into me from the people whose lives I get to be a part of every day. So there are days I need to recharge, to hate people, to hide from the world. But that’s because on the other days, I need people as much as they need me.
Posted: 4 July 2011
Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Take a moment, step back from your concerns, and focus on one thing: You have one life to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted. Sounds simple, but when you really focus on it, let it seep into your consciousness, you realize you only have about 100 years to get every single thing you’ve ever wanted to do. No second chances. This is your only shot. Suddenly, this means you should have started yesterday. No more waiting for permission or resources to start. Today is the day you make the rest of your life happen. Write down one thing you’ve always wanted to do and how you will achieve that goal. Don’t be afraid to be very specific in how you’ll achieve it: once you start achieving, your goals will get bigger and your capability to meet them will grow.
(Author: Colin Wright)
I just don’t think it’s about one thing. I could pick one thing, and focus on it, and highlight a plan for that one thing. And then when I could there I could pick another and methodically work my way through some sort of “bucket list”. Or I can live the moments as they come – rather than hyperfocusing, I can take it each second and find that what I thought I wanted may not be nearly as important as what’s happening right now. I feel like I’ve spent so much of my life thinking about what to do next, where I want to go, and most of the times that I’ve tried to predict, I’ve been wrong. But when I sit with it, and follow my instincts and don’t think and plan too much, I start moving in the right direction.
I’m not saying I’m going to stop planning. I’m too organized, too much of a planner to give that up. I’m just saying that I think when I try to push myself in a direction, it’s never the right one, but when I follow the pull of ideas and feelings, I find my way to the right places and times. When I act on that little voice in the back of my mind that isn’t the critical one, I often find that it will tell me who and where and when things are just about perfect. I don’t want to make to-do list goals for my life – if there’s only one try for this time around, I want to notice the moments when they happen instead of trying to orchestrate them along the way. There’s a reason I never choreographed my solos in college – when you just follow the music, you can’t possibly do the wrong steps.
Posted: 4 July 2011
When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we’ve gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you’ve got to choose to see them.
(Author: Jonathan Fields)
In some ways, I feel like I have already stumbled onto the alternative path. I took the roads that seemed right, I did the things I thought I wanted, and then I found the way that I’m going. But what am I missing? Is there something else I could be doing? I still muse sometimes about a coffee shop that I might run, or a librarianship, or a youth ministry. They still hover in the back of my mind, just as teaching does. But I think I found the right path. I think that I’m going in the right direction, toward counseling, toward healing. And I think that with that also comes the spiritual path – back to light, and community, even if that’s not church, or even if it is. I think maybe right now it’s about figuring out the ways to get there, not so much about where I’m going. I think the direction is right…but the journey has a lot of options and twists and turns. Which internships, when do we move, when do we have kids? Those are the paths that are less clear – we know we’re on them, but we don’t exactly know how the road will go, and where the bumps and exits are. The destinations are clearer now, but the journey is still an adventure.
Posted: 3 July 2011
I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think of a time when you didn’t think you were capable of doing something, but then surprised yourself. How will you surprise yourself this week?
(Author: Ashley Ambirge)
I don’t think I really am conscious of ways to surprise myself. Often, it comes with intuition, with knowing. Sometimes when the right words come out of my mouth, or my pen, the true words, I’m not really sure where they came from. Sometimes when people like me, even love me, I’m not sure why they do. I think that it’s not about choosing to surprise yourself, it’s about letting life surprise you, and being open enough to the voice that knows more than you think you know.
Posted: 2 July 2011
These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Is fear holding you back from living your fullest life and being truly self expressed? Put yourself in the shoes of the you who’s already lived your dream and write out the answers to the following:
Is the insecurity you’re defending worth the dream you’ll never realize? or the love you’ll never venture? or the joy you’ll never feel?
Will the blunder matter in 10 years? Or 10 weeks? Or 10 days? Or 10 minutes?
Can you be happy being anything less than who you really are?
Now Do. The Thing. You Fear.
(Author: Lachlan Cotter)
“But I fear, I have nothing to give, I have so much to lose” ~Sarah McLachlan
This is where my fear lives – that what I am is not enough, and what I can lose by risking is much greater than what I can gain. But I am risking – I’m exploring a new career, the right career, and loving it. I’m risking being my whole self as often as I can do it. I’m risking the fear of something being wrong to go to the doctor and make sure that I am okay, to care for myself in the biomedicine sense, that has been so neglected. I am working on it…I’m fighting the fear every day.