“Wherever you go, there you are.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn
By now it is probably obvious that I love to travel. But what you might not realize is that I also love coming home. It wasn’t always that way. Years ago I was constantly scheming up ways to get out of town. Naturally, the more exotic the location the better—but I really wasn’t that picky. Above all, I longed to escape to the open road and the infinite possibility that it held. When I finally had to come home it was more like a punishment, or at least the penalty that must be paid until the next adventure came along. Then somewhere along the line my thinking started changing—until now I am as happy returning home as I am packing my bags to go. So what’s different? Ultimately, I’ve come to believe that coming home after any length of time provides a huge mirror into a person’s life. What we think is important, what we feel we have to be and do, and even who we think we are, are all reflected in the thoughts and images of what we must return to after we’ve been away. Continue reading
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell
Even as a child I was an excellent planner. I saved my allowance and babysitting money and planned trips and purchases, while my sisters impulsively squandered their capitol. As I grew, I perfected planning to a fine art, constantly gathering information, making lists, and then working it out in my head, long before any eventuality arose. I never considered the possibility that there might be another way. From my perspective the world was made up of good planners and bad planners and I knew what side of the spectrum I belonged. That was until I discovered that there is something beyond planning. Rather than a question of either/or—this other alternative transcends the need and replaces it with intentionality, heightened awareness and an interconnected whole. Continue reading
“To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight- and never stop fighting.” ~ E.E. Cummings
Don’t think you have worthiness issues? Never struggle with feeling good enough? That’s impossible according to author and speaker Brene Brown. Over the weekend I came across this woman’s work and it got me thinking a lot about how even the most confident among us still struggles with feelings of vulnerability. According to Brown, the only ones of us who don’t feel at least a little vulnerable are sociopaths without the capacity for empathy. In fact, Brown believes that, “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” So what do you do when you aren’t feeling good enough or worthy of love, happiness and success in your life? Fortunately, Brown offers ten powerful practices that can lead to greater courage, confidence and self-acceptance for each of us.
“The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.” ~ George Vaillant
Those of us into simple living or minimalism knows that identifying and eliminating any thing superficial and nonessential in life is critical. In fact, the television show “Hoarders” illustrates weekly the extreme burden that too much stuff can bring to a person’s life. But I’ve just come to realize that there is something that actually should be hoarded—and that “thing” is a friend. Actually, an abundance of research now shows that finding, keeping and appreciating friends is good for our physical and mental health, good for our occupations, good for our creativity, will add years to our life, and enrich our experience in every way possible. If we are willing to accept that as true, then understanding the science of friendship is one of the most important actions each of us can take to create a life of happiness, meaning and purpose during our time here on earth. Continue reading