9 May 2017
just ain't possible to explain some things. It's interesting
and do some speculation, but the main thing
is you have
to accept it--take it
for what it is,
and get on with your growing.
There are risks and costs to
a program of action. But they are far less
than the long-range risks
and costs of comfortable inaction.
Be sure to choose what you believe and why you
believe it, because
if you don’t choose your beliefs, you may be
some belief, and probably not a very credible one,
will choose you.
within the Heart
There are four seasons within the clay heart. When it is winter in the world of nature, all the colors have vanished; everything is reduced to gray, black, or white. All the visions and beautiful rich coloring of nature thin out completely. Grass disappears from the land, and the earth itself is frozen and perished in a bleak self-retraction. In wintertime, nature withdraws. A tree loses all its leaves and retires inward. When it is wintertime in your life, you are going through pain, difficulty, or turbulence. At such times it is wise to follow the instinct of nature and withdraw into yourself. When it is winter in your soul, it is unwise to pursue any new endeavors. You have to lie low and shelter until this bleak, emptying time passes on. This is nature’s remedy. It minds itself in hibernation. When there is great pain in your life, you, too, need sanctuary in the shelter of your own soul.
One of the beautiful transitions in nature is the transition from winter to springtime. An old Zen mystic said that when one flower blooms it is spring everywhere. When the first innocent, infantlike flower appears on the earth, one senses nature stirring beneath the frozen surface. There is a lovely phrase in Gaelic, ag borradh, that means there is a quivering life about to break forth.
The wonderful colors and the new life the earth receives make spring a time of great exuberance and hope. In a certain sense, spring is the youngest season. Winter is the oldest season. Winter was there from the very beginning. It reigned amidst the silence and bleakness of nature for hundreds of millions of years before vegetation.
Spring is a youthful season; it comes forth in a rush of life and promise, hope and possibility. At the heart of the spring, there is a great inner longing. It is the time when desire and memory stir toward each other. Consequently, springtime in your soul is a wonderful time to undertake some new adventure, some new project, or to make some important changes in your life. If you undertake this when it is springtime in your soul, then the rhythm, the energy, and the hidden light of your own clay works with you. You are in the flow of your own growth and potential. Springtime in the soul can be beautiful, hopeful, and strengthening. You can make difficult transitions very naturally in an unforced and spontaneous way.
Spring blossoms and grows into summertime. In summertime, nature is bedecked with color. There is great lushness everywhere, a richness and depth of texture. Summertime is a time of light, growth, and arrival. You feel that the secret life of the year, hidden in the winter and coming out in the spring, has really blossomed in the summertime. Thus summertime in your soul is a time of great balance. You are in the flow of your own nature. You can take as many risks as you like, and you will always land on your feet. There is enough shelter and depth of texture around you to completely ground, balance, and mind you.
Summertime grows into autumn, which is one of my favorite times of the year; seeds sown in the spring and nurtured by the summer now yield their fruit in autumn. It is harvest, the homecoming of the seeds’ long and lonely journey through darkness and silence under the earth’s surface. Harvest is one of the great feasts of the year. It was a very important time in Celtic culture. The fertility of the earth yielded its fruitfulness. Correspondingly, when it is autumn in your life, the things that
happened in the past, or the experiences that were sown in the clay of your heart, almost unknown to you, now yield their fruit. Autumntime in a person’s life can be a time of great gathering. It is a time for harvesting the fruits of your experiences.
AUTUMN AND THE INNER HARVEST
These are the four seasons of the heart. Several seasons can be present simultaneously in the heart, though usually, at any one time, one season is dominant in your life. It is customary to understand autumn as synchronous with old age. In the autumntime of your life, your experience is harvested. This is a lovely backdrop against which we can understand aging. Aging is not merely about the body losing its poise, strength, and self-trust. Aging also invites you to become aware of the sacred circle that shelters your life. Within the harvest circle, you are able to gather lost moments and experiences, bring them together, and hold them as one. In actual fact, if you can come to see aging not as the demise of your body but as the harvest of your soul, you will learn that aging can be a time of great strength, poise, and confidence. To understand the harvest of your soul against the background of seasonal rhythm should give you a sense of quiet delight at the arrival of this time in your life. It should give you strength and a sense of how the deeper belonging of your soul-world will be revealed to you.
Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom offers
an exploration of the secret universe we all carry inside us, the
connections we forge with the worlds of our friends and loved
ones, and the products of our worlds reflected in the things we
create outside of ourselves. Gaelic for "soul friend,"
Anam Cara is an ancient journey down a
nearly forgotten path of wisdom into what it means to be human.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.
The world doesn’t pay you for what you know; it pays you for what you do. There’s an enduring axiom of success that says, “The universe rewards action.” Yet as simple and as true as this principle is, it’s surprising how many people get bogged down in analyzing, planning, and organizing when what they really need to do is take action.
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TALK IS CHEAP!
Over the years of teaching and coaching people in my company and in my seminars, I have found that the one thing that seems to separate winners from losers more than anything else is that winners take action. They simply get up and do what has to be done. Once they have developed a plan, they start. They get into motion. Even if they don’t start perfectly, they learn from their mistakes, make the necessary corrections, and keep taking action, all the time building momentum, until they finally produce the result they set out to produce . . . or something even better than they conceived of when they started.
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By the end of the second day, Otis had landed a job. His girlfriend was still rewriting her résumé. Otis just got into action. He figured if someone asked for a résumé, he’d deal with it then.
Planning has its place, but it must be kept in perspective. Some people spend their whole lives waiting for the perfect time to do something. There’s rarely a “perfect” time to do anything. What is important is to just get started. Get into the game. Get on the playing field. Once you do, you will start to get feedback that will help you make the corrections you need to make to be successful. Once you are in action, you will start learning at a much more rapid rate.
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Anyone who works at a high
level of physical skill--as a good woodcarver,
athlete, or instrumentalist does--must trust his or her body
is tantamount to "forgetting." A shortstop or
concert pianist who wonders
for even a split second whether his or her hands are correctly
will flub that hard-hit ground ball or falter in the middle of
that fast-moving Chopin riff.
When we "forget" the body in this way, we learn
the true meaning of the old
saying that "the body has a mind of its own." Even
those of us who play neither
baseball nor a Steinway must learn to trust bodily knowledge
as part of our
inner guidance. As we do so, we, like the woodcarver, become
to external commands and more responsive to the inner teacher.
We start to live in closer conformity to our own souls.
Parker J. Palmer
At This Moment
Right now in this world, there are many, many people who are
starving, many of whom may possibly starve to death soon.
The fact is that 21,000 people die of hunger or hunger-related
causes every single day.
Somewhere in the world right now, children and adults alike are
hiding from war, or sitting in their homes hoping that they're not
killed today. They're often afraid to go out on the streets,
even just to go to the store for bread.
At this moment, there are people who are battling depression,
despondency, and sadness. Not all of them will win their
battles, as a million people a year end up committing suicide.
We must work on our souls, enlarging
and expanding them.
We do so by experiencing all of life--the beauty and the
joy as well as the grief and
pain. Soul work requires paying
attention to life,
to the laughter and the sorrow,
enlightening and the
the inspiring and the silly.
Also in this
world at this moment, people are meeting and falling
in love; children are being born to loving parents;
young people are being hired for their first jobs
and being promoted for jobs well done; people are
working their ways out of financial crises; students
are learning important lessons about life and
living; buildings are being built and new businesses
are being started.
This world of ours is full of life and living, and
it's unfortunate that so much of life seems to be
negative and harsh. Many people suffer want
while others have everything they need and
more. Some families suffer the loss of loved
ones while other families seem to be charmed, as
their children grow to ripe old ages and live full
and happy lives. There are those of us who go
through life suffering from diseases and ailments,
and others of us who make their ways without
suffering from any significant illnesses at all.
And of course, there are all the people who don't
fit on either extreme, but who do fit somewhere in
the middle--folks who don't suffer their entire
lives long, but who carry a significant burden much
of their lives.
And this doesn't mean that life is fair or unfair,
of course--life just is. We deal with what
we've been given as well as we can, and then we move
on. I think, though, that it's extremely
important that we at least keep ourselves aware that
while we may have enough food to eat today, many
people don't. While I may be pretty healthy
today, others aren't, and they're suffering pain and
they have a great deal of fear for their futures.
is only with the heart that one
can see rightly;
what is essential
is invisible to the eye.
awareness, this sense of perspective, that can help
us to make the most of the lives that we're
living. Life without a healthy perspective, it
seems to me, is a life that keeps us from feeling
deeply and that keeps us from feeling the compassion
that can help us to love our neighbor as we've been
called to do. And loving our
neighbors--helping others who need help and
encouragement and love and support--is one of the
most important elements of living a full and
If we think that others always are doing fine, we're
ignoring the fact that many of them aren't.
I've met many people who seem to be distant and
disinterested in anything but themselves, and I've
later found out that they were suffering from
depression. I've seen people cancel important
dates and meetings, and they've seemed to be
arrogant and uncaring; later I've found out that
they were dealing with a true and difficult crisis.
If we're not aware of the fact that life is very,
very difficult for many people, it's impossible for
us to practice compassion on a broad scale.
It's impossible for us to keep in mind that other
people need us and our love and our support.
If we're ignorant of the truth that we have things
very, very good while others have them very, very
bad, then we won't be able to use our strength and
resources to help those others who don't have access
to the strength and resources.
we endure our own tragedies or trials, most
develop some empathy and compassion for
others who are suffering. The trick is to keep that
sense of compassion going throughout
our daily lives,
when we are likely to go on automatic pilot and
back into being judgmental, especially when times are tough.
Keeping in mind
the fact that other human beings are constantly
suffering is not being negative. It's not a
pessimistic worldview--it's a realistic one.
It's not being cynical, but being aware. We
don't keep this in mind because we want to feel
terrible, but because doing so helps us to
appreciate much more the fact that things are going
well for us. I have a place to live, plenty of
food to eat, nice clothes to wear, and even health
insurance. I'm aware that all of these things
are truly blessings and that I should appreciate
them very, very much. I'm in a very positive
situation in this world compared to billions of
other people, and I cannot lose the awareness of my
blessings if I want to live a full life.
At this moment, there are people who have much more
than you do, materially and financially.
That's okay. Let them have it, and don't envy
At this moment, there are many people who don't have
anywhere near the blessings that you have.
That's not really okay, but it is what it is.
Appreciate what you have and find a way to share
that. It may be that your material blessings
allow you to have time to mentor a young person or
work a few evenings at a soup kitchen. You
don't have to give away everything or do away with
all the hunger in the world. Be aware of the
problems and practice love, practice compassion, and
practice charity. Take advantage of your
blessings so that you may be a blessing to others,
even in very small ways, and you'll find that when
you're looking back on your life years from now,
you'll be most glad of the things you did for
others. Know that now, and build a past you'll
be proud of, day by day, moment by moment.
of the most important elements of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
In the twelve years of livinglifefully.com's existence, this
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constitute a character fitted to acquire all the good which
can yield. Those who have this character are prepared, in whatever
situation they are, therewith to be content and have learned the science
of being happy.
desire. . . causes us to act and think in ways that result in
yet even more desires and cravings. Like a dog running
after its own tail, cause and effect chase each other around
in circles. "But," you may be asking,
"don't we need to desire things?"
certainly true that not all desires are equal in terms of how
they create suffering. Some desires, of course, are
simply a matter of preference that might not really make much
of a difference. Wanting to paint your house pink
instead of brown will not harm anyone--except maybe the
there definitely are many good desires. For example,
without the desire for food we would not stay alive. It
is when our desire becomes an unquenchable craving or
obsession, or causes us to do harm to ourselves or others,
that it creates suffering and unhappiness. If you have
ever been hurt because you tied your happiness or well-being
to a person, place, opinion, self-identity, behavior, or goal,
then you have firsthand experience of desire.
Don't worry about genius. Don't worry
Trust to hard work, perseverance,
the best motto for
"Don't grumble. Plug on!"
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