“If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.”
—Leonard Cohen, late Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, novelist
image from Unsplash by Anastasia Taioglou
How have you been feeling lately? To what degree are you experiencing a sense of well-being or discord with the world around you?
We recently had our piano tuned after moving about six months ago. They say it takes about this long for a piano to adjust to its new home so that it can be tuned in harmony with its surroundings.
This past year we’ve had our share of seasickness with numerous ups and downs. Slowly, we are regaining our sea legs and have become more at ease within the ocean of our new communities.
How can you move from some of the lower decks of your life to the bridge of your ship to settle your stomach and view the horizon of each new day?
“Re-examine all that you have been told. Dismiss that which insults your soul.”
—Walt Whitman, 19th Century American poet, essayist and journalist
Image from Unsplash by Markus Winkler
In our journey toward greater mindfulness and self-awareness it can be helpful to stop and re-examine our own perspectives and views of the world around us.
Where and when did you first become aware of specific beliefs?
What factors had you embrace them as your own?
To what degree do you remain open to examining your thinking and not simply accepting what you’ve been told to believe and how to act?
Just because we have done something a particular way for many years does not necessarily mean it is the way to go when you have new information to consider.
What are some of your current beliefs that no longer serve you? How might revisiting your thinking through a more soulful lens help you live a more fulfilling and meaningful life?
Contemplate your monk mind instead of your monkey mind.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from youtube.com
Jay Shetty of the CALM Daily Jay meditation series recently offered today’s quote as a twist on a common theme to mindful awareness.
We all wrestle with chaotic thoughts from time to time, much like distractible hyperactive monkeys playing in the trees and jumping from branch to branch. Unless they are sleeping or grooming one another, their kinetic energy is often off the charts.
Shetty, a former Hindu monk, suggests we develop a monk mind of calm self-reflection and awareness that we can access during times of both calm and chaos.
Bring to mind your own vision of a mindful monk. How can and will you develop and practice these attributes to calm the rambunctious monkeys that often scurry around in your head? Click here to learn more about Jay.
“The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by the asking as it does by answering.”
—David Whyte, Anglo-Irish poet
Image from Unsplash by Hadija Saidi
What are some of the questions you have been asking yourself and others over the past couple of years?
As a lifelong learner, I marvel at the power and insights offered by provocative open-ended questions. These tools dig below the surface of our day-to-day experiences to uncover new depths of understanding of one another and the world.
In the coaching profession we often say “let your questions do the heavy lifting.” The surprising thing for me, based on Whyte’s quote, is that both parties can be shaped through these exchanges.
What are some of your favorite “stop you in your tracks” questions?
How have these questions shaped your identity and opened up pathways for you?
Two books I’ve found very useful on this subject are A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger and The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stainer.
“We learn who we are in practice, not in theory.”
Image from Unsplash by Giorgio Trovato
I just finished binge watching the Disney+ 6-part series Welcome to Earth with Will Smith. It reminded me a bit of the series Running Wild with Bear Grylls but on steroids.
Instead of each episode highlighting a different celebrity, Welcome to Earth took a deeper dive into our breathtaking natural world, and into the world of Smith’s fascinations and fears of exploring.
Watching from the safety of my recliner I felt his excitement in stretching beyond his physical and emotional limits. I too wanted to be an explorer and yet I realized it is hard to do that wearing fuzzy slippers!
Where and how can you learn a great deal about yourself by becoming more of an explorer? What opportunities present themselves to you each day that you have yet to embrace?
“The truth is our finest moments are likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled, for it is only such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways of truer answers.”
—M. Scott Peck, 20th Century American psychiatrist and author
Image from Unsplash by Nik Shuliahin
Most people have a relatively short attention span. Some say it is only around seven seconds before they move on to another shiny object.
It is for this reason I try, on most days, to select and share thought-provoking quotes of only one or two sentences. If the quotes I offer grab you, I do my best to keep my commentaries and exercises to a minute or less.
Your assignment is to simply re-read today’s quote to explore its wisdom. For extra credit, please reply to this post with your views and perspective on searching for different ways and truer answers.
“Many of life’s treasures remain hidden because we never search for them.”
Image from Unsplash by Marten Newhall
Looking again and again at your everyday life is an interesting exercise. How much has it changed over the past year? Where has it gotten worse, stayed about the same, or improved? Where are you discovering lumps of coal, or finding diamonds?
Searching more carefully and deeply for the hidden treasures beyond our current outer and inner horizons is accessible to everyone. With the many challenges facing us over the past fifteen months, some have actually transformed their lives.
Just as an able sailor heads out to sea rather than remaining in the harbors of the past or perceived safety, we can all benefit from venturing beyond our current view of things.
How and in what ways can and will you lead your own search party to discover even more of the hidden treasures life has to offer?
“When making choices in life, combine cognitive, emotional, spiritual, intuitive, and social intelligence.”
Image from Unsplash by Matthew Henry
When you examine your humanness, what do you notice? Look again at your first answer and keep digging through your crust, your mantle, your outer core, and your inner core.
Where have you only glimpsed the precious resources within? Where are there new sources of heat, pressure, and magnetism within, waiting to be captured or released?
How would you rate yourself in relationship to your IQ and EQ? Instead of the old paradigms of intelligence, let’s simply determine our capacity to live better by embracing all aspects described in today’s quote.
Examine a few of the significant choices you have made this past year. How can the further development of your head, heart, and gut intelligence support you in making even wiser choices today and in the future?
“When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”
—Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, 13th-century Persian poet and scholar
Image from Unsplash by Nick Fewings
Over the past seven months, I’ve filled my gas tank once, and have driven less than 500 miles. With limited ventures out for only essential resources and services and some retooling to work exclusively from my home office, my long journeys in the outer world have stopped.
With numerous shifts in my daily routine, I have added far more inner journeys through quiet walks, meditation, reading, and writing. In many ways my passion and pursuit of my own growth and development have expanded and deepened more than at any other time in my life.
Taking this time to journey further within has been more rewarding than I ever expected.
What are some of the ways you have begun to journey within?
What have you discovered about yourself and your world?
In what way do you intend to go further, to tap your own inner wisdom?
Feel free to reply to this post to share your own efforts and progress in this area.
“When you edit your soul, no one wins.”
—Erin Loechner, Author of Chasing Slow
Image from Pinterest
To what degree have you done more than a bit of soul searching over the past several months?
What have you discovered about yourself, those you care about, your community, and the world?
It appears that many of us are reading deeper than at any other time in our lives, to a more soulful and sacred place in which passion, purpose, and our very best selves reside.
Another quote from Erin’s book is “Keep slowing down. You’ve got a race to lose.” This may be pointing us to the “rat race” many of us run unknowingly.
Consider your soul as a kind of Pulitzer Prize of Life, which requires no editing. It need only be read and re-read, expressed and shared generously.
What are a few soul-searching activities you engage in on a daily basis?
How can and will you bring forth the very best of you so everyone wins?