Tomorrow is not a brand new day if what we bring to it is our old conditioned mindset. The building blocks of tomorrow are forged in the choice we make in this moment. We have one chance to make a different choice, and then we must continue to demonstrate allegiance to that different choice by continuing to choose it in the face of the momentum of habit which serves to undermine an experience of our fullest possible expression.
Authentic choice begins with awareness that we even have a choice. From there we can ask: In this moment, what choice feels most supportive of the unseen opportunities awaiting me on the other side of this choice?
Arguing with insanity only serves to amplify our own. Best leave insanity be: truth needs no defense.
Insanity arises from a misguided attempt to create peace, but peace is not man made. Notice insanity with mild curiosity. Maintain a point of awareness on the neutrality of the breath. Shift awareness away from the point of contention, and look instead for what the situation reveals about truth. Take responsibility by humbly acknowledging your role in creating the situation, then learn what that experience of insanity can teach you about peace so history can’t repeat itself.
Insanity rises and falls within the space of enduring peace. Amplifying uncaused peace raises a mirror allowing insanity to see its own reflection. This short circuits insanity, giving it nowhere to go but home.
When we choose an action, we choose the result, even if that result is not one we could have possibly foreseen.
If we don’t consider the possible outcomes of our actions, there is a genuine risk that we will do more harm then good to ourselves as well as to others.
If we don’t take action until after we have fully considered the possible outcomes of our actions, we won’t ever take action because truly we can never fully know. Every thought, every action, changes the course of history in ways we will never know.
We are left with one viable option: choose what feels most right within the context of our limited understanding as viewed through the lens of the intention we hold for our lives. From there, we begin to notice how we feel as the ripples from our actions reveal themselves. Those feelings can then inform our future actions, and align us more fully with the intention we hold for our lives.
One key, then, to integral action is to hold a clear intention for our lives which transcends the substance of our lives. When viewed through this lens, each choice is no longer simply about what we think we want: each choice becomes a beacon of who we are.
In this way, “why” we make the choices we make is more telling of our character than the actual choices themselves. From there, “how” we take responsibility for the ripples of our actions tells the rest of our character’s story. It is either a story of intention or one of chance: a story of mastery or a story of speculation.
Sometimes we emphasize
The beauty of the flowers
The beauty of the vase
While all the while
What’s left unseen
Is the stillness
That holds them with grace
(from volume 2 of my anthology)
When our mind is absorbed entirely in the pursuit of achieving a specific outcome, we can miss a wealth of opportunities. Finding and maintaining just the right amount of tension between achieving a specific goal and allowing for other possibilities is a genuine art. It’s a skill worth cultivating, though, if your ultimate goal is to experience the fullest possible expression of yourself in this lifetime.
So what does it take to strike the perfect balance? It’s not as difficult as one might think. The answer: one conscious breath.
Maintaining a bit of awareness on our breath as we perform the tasks in our day creates an open quality to whatever it is we are doing. We are no longer fully identified with the task, which allows us to experience this moment more fully and respond more skillfully. We are far more apt to notice subtle nuances and epic possibilities than if we are intent on one specific outcome. This extra bit of vision dynamically informs our actions and empowers us to make synergistic course corrections along the way.
Our ultimate destination is not one we can know at the beginning of the journey. Navigation is an iterative process best served by noticing cues along the way and responding accordingly. Each moment then becomes one of authentic discovery. The result? A consistent experience of enduring fulfillment and meaningful success.
When you become aware of disappointment, notice one breath consciously.
Notice the opportunity that the disappointment creates: an opportunity to open, to explore, to discover. When fully embraced, disappointment provides a pristine opportunity to know ourselves more deeply. Instead of saying “woe is me”, try asking “what can I learn?”.
The situation is always neutral: the only thing that fluctuates is our feelings about the situation. That happens to be good news, because our feelings are often the only things we can control. In truth, we can learn more about ourselves from our feelings than we can ever learn about anything else.
If we are paying attention, our feelings can show us where we are at and what lessons we might benefit from learning. We must be open to learning those lessons, though. When we are open to those lessons, even a moment of frustration, anger, or despair can be transformed into fuel for healing, discovery, and expansion.
But don’t take my word for it. I encourage you to try it for yourself. The next time you become aware of feeling constricted within a situation, rather than rail against it, try opening to it. I find gratitude to be an amazing opener. You might try: “Thank you for this opportunity to know myself more deeply.” Then breathe. Then see what shifts for you. Get curious: what can the situation teach you that will help you experience greater ease and greater joy?
Let me know how it goes.
When we are clear about what our highest priority is for our life, it gets very easy to know which activities to say no to and which activities to continue exploring. When our highest priority is discovery, then every day offers an experience of meaningful success.
What primary activities are you saying yes to today? Do they align with your highest priority? Are they an extension of who you are, or merely a useful, exploitable skill you picked up along the way? For anyone committed to inspired living, the distinction is of utmost importance, and easy to ascertain: Does the activity fuel you, or are you fuel for the activity?
Whether you are struggling with the tedium of the daily grind or you are flat out frustrated with the entire scene, these moments can be transformed with a simple shift of focus.
Our daily life is our proving ground where we sharpen our skills in preparation for our magnum opus.
Dig deep and commit to doing the work that needs done. Welcome the challenges that present themselves each day. Commitment during these critical times will help us successfully navigate similar challenges that await us after the curtain rises on our life’s work. In many respects, commitment is our ticket to the big show. How badly do you want to see it? How much are you willing to pay?