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Posts Tagged ‘growth’

Who in the When?

So I’ve been on another hiatus from this blog. I tend to only be able to keep up on one outlet at a time, and I’ve been involved in a long string of projects and outlets, professional and personal, and am just now returning to this nexus.

Quite a bit of what I’ve spent my time and energy on over the past many months has brought me to consider questions such as:

  • What are my goals for the kind of world I want to live in, both broadly and close to home?
  • How are my right-now choices contributing to the kind of world I’m creating?
  • How am I letting thoughts of the past or future distract or mislead me from what I should be doing/thinking now?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • How am I behaving, thinking, feeling, choosing in ways that lead toward becoming that person?
  • Can I create a Focus in the form of that person I’d like to be, in that world I’d like to enjoy, and use that as a template for how and who I am now?

I’m still working on those answers, and I think that’s the point. I feel that it’s the process of continually asking these questions that continually leads to better and better answers.

Right now, my answers were to stop by and post again on this blog. Now, I’ve got some work to do, before I can get digging back into better answers, and maybe even better questions.

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I’m going to write more about why Being Special isn’t a competition. I’ve explored more on how each moment is special, and this leads into how each experience is special.

Yesterday, I wrote about using mindfulness to break out of the habits of a dreary routine. This is about more than just escaping a boring rut. It’s about turning your eyes away from that rut, and toward the opportunities to experience that routine in a new way.

We are a collection not just of our experiences, but also of how we perceive them. The same people can come from roughly the same situation, yet come away with entirely different perspectives. Same teacher, different lessons. Why is this?

More importantly, how can we use this knowledge to make better use of the experiences we face?

In each day, we are faced with many moments we can experience as fun, boring, unpleasant, exciting, forgettable… so many ways. In each of these moments, we have the opportunity to try to experience them in a new way. Even if we can’t quite turn a boring moment fun, or a painful moment into pleasure, we can experiment with finding another side to it we’d otherwise miss. As we do so, we’ll learn something valuable about ourselves, and also hone our skills of living.

A skillful life involves building greater understanding and influence in how we experience it, and how we grow with those experiences. Each moment presents a new opportunity to improve these skills, in its unique way. By practicing finding what makes that moment Special, we prepare ourselves for the kind of life we hadn’t before imagined.

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It’s tough trying something new, especially when we’re excited to succeed, yet dread failing. I don’t know what’s tougher: those initial tries where success feels doubtful, or overcoming all the barriers to even starting it at all.

We also have inertia to overcome, which can feel like the highest barrier at all. Maybe we’re comfortable where we’re at. Maybe we don’t feel strongly enough to break out of our shell and risk embarrassing ourselves, or even just wasting our time.

The problem is, the only time we waste is time spent stuck in the same old rut, not growing, not expanding, not fully exploring what it means to be our own unique selves. The bigger problem is how much it’s just basic human nature to find those ruts and cozy down into them for as long as we can. I’ve come to feel that when I least want to move forward into something new, that’s when I most need to take even small steps down a new road. That’s the only way to snap myself out of it and keep moving.

If there’s something you’ve been meaning to try someday, now is the time to find out how you can make it a better part of your life. Commit to taking some of those steps forward, and schedule specific times you can fit some of them in.

If you can’t think of anything you’d like to pursue, try picking a topic you’re interested in, and start to research what different resources are saying about it. Allow others’ viewpoints to both inform and challenge you, as you work to expand your way of understanding this topic. This is another great way to explore new ground, and grow ourselves as human beings.

Whatever path you choose, please choose one that leads you to grow in new ways. This world is better only through the people who inhabit it, and therefore it benefits all of us, when each of us finds ways to better ourselves.

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Hearts flow like water;
Even the lake churns awhile
When part is pulled out.

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So, there was that break I took.  I suppose I invited it by starting to really focus on enjoying a positive association with everything.  That is how it tends to work: set yourself onto a path, and it likes to raise itself up to help you really learn how to walk it.

There has been a number of things that have carried with them their own positive association.  Many of these were easier to enjoy positively because I had decided to find that open connection and foster it.  I’m also now in a much better place than I was two weeks ago.

It was quite a chaotic path I took, however.  So much had to be brought up for examination and worked through that I just didn’t have the words to come over and share.  It was a very internal process, and it took all I had to process it all and still be there for the people here in my life.

Accepting that was part of my process, too.  I knew I wasn’t coming here and posting little thoughts, and I had to accept that despite my resolution this year, it simply wasn’t time.  Trying to make it “time” just because I felt obligated would have cost me for no practical purpose.

As someone recently told me, I need to learn when to be “selfish” in order to secure what I need.  Well, I’ve been told that a number of times, but it’s a lesson I’m finally learning.

May this next fortnight bring me lessons on how to enjoy a smooth and rewarding ride, in a way that supports what I need without frivolously costing anyone.

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It seems lately that many of life’s biggest frustrations are from other people not behaving the way one might expect of reasonable individuals of their age and background. Phrases like, “Surely they couldn’t possibly possibly think that—“, “Clearly they must be doing this deliberately” and “If only they would wake up and see” keep coming up.

I’ve come to realize that in many cases, if not most, they really do think that, they aren’t doing it fully deliberately (or at least, aren’t fully aware of what they’re doing/the consequences/etc.) and they aren’t likely to “wake up and see” anytime soon. (And yeah, in some cases, “they” are “me”.) For whatever reason, what these people can see right now is all they can see, and that alone is going to guide their decisions. Until, when they’re ready, they see things differently — and not before.

Yesterday a friend of mine said of one of his own frustrating people (not me this time), “It’s who she is until she herself decides it’s who she isn’t.”

That’s both freeing, and maddening. Maddening because sometimes you want to be able to MAKE them see, make them decide. But freeing, because recognizing you can’t make them, maybe it’ll be easier to accept the way they are, and work with that.

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