"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be somone"
It’s Sunday night, which means I’m putting my insomnia to good use and finding more beautiful music to share on here.
Gotta admit, Ed Sheeran has never been on any of my playlists, until now. Him and Christina Grimmie gave me an appropriate amount of goosebumps the first time I watched them perform this song on #TheVoice.
#Np: All Of The Stars
The contemporary economy focuses on this cycle of consumption. It doesn’t really support our efforts to find meaningful work. Today, work is a means to consume or to pay debt for consumption already indulged in. How many people do you know who really love the work they are doing? How many feel bored and alienated? How many are simply earning money to spend it on material pleasures?
Right livelihood demands that you take responsibility for making your work more meaningful."
-Roger Prichard, in Claude Whitmyer’s Mindfulness and Meaningful Work.
As much as our minds are capable of devising amazing ideas, they’re also capable of limiting us in ways we often do not see. I’m sitting here watching this awful romantic movie called ‘You Got Mail’. They play it on TV all the time so I believe this is probably the 16th time I’m seeing it.
The thing about this movie is that it has a happy ending. And each time I watch it I find myself silently gagging in my mouth because of how unrealistic it is. I mean, life doesn’t have a happy ending. We all die. Eventually. But seeing this movie for the umpteenth time keeps reminding me that I’m a pessimist. I focus on the eventuality rather than the present. And that’s a terrible thing to do.
Knowing that we’ll all come to face our mortality shouldn’t be an excuse for us to live poorly. We should enjoy our humanity while it lasts. Focus on the little things that make us happy. Stay thankful for the people and circumstances that are going right in our lives.
Don’t get me wrong though, I still despise romantic comedies. Yet ironically I think we all have something to learn from them. If we could all just open our minds to the possibilities encapsulated in this lifetime we might just find out that it’s worth living.
Even better, we may discover that our existence is not as tragic as we often make it seem
"We all need to heal our separation from reality and our struggle with it. The whole world is in need of that.
So the greatest difficulties we face also offer the greatest opportunities to practice unconditional presence. What is especially helpful in this practice is recognizing again and again that our experience is not as solid as we think. Indeed, nothing is what we think it to be. Meditation helps us to recognize this by letting us notice and relate to the gaps or open spaces in our experience, from which genuine clarity and wisdom arise.
If we take this approach, our old wounds from the past can reveal hidden treasure. In the places where we have contracted and turned away from our experience we can begin to uncover genuine qualities of our being that have long been veiled. In the most painful corners of our experience something alive is always wanting to emerge. So whatever pain or problem we have, it helps us find a quality of presence - where we can open to it, see it, feel it, include it, and find the truth concealed in it - that is our healing.”
-John Welwood: Toward A Psychology of Awakening -
'We live in a culture that trains us to believe that we never have enough of anything and that we always need more in order to be happy. This is a training in anxiety and complexity. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition there is depicted a realm of beings called “hungry ghosts” who sadly inhabit…
Say I were an investor who came up to you with unlimited resources and asked you what you were worth. What would you say? Would it be a dollar amount, or a stock equivalent? I was thinking about that today and I couldn’t come up with a succinct answer.
I mean, what is our worth really? Is it based on the value of our clothes, homes, cars? Perhaps on our titles and job descriptions? Or could it all be about the people who we’d like to love us, most of which are incapable and unwilling to give what they do not have? Think about it.
What exactly would a quote on your worth be based on? In my industry we get calls all the time asking us for a quotation for our services on a given project. Sometimes they call you back to negotiate, but most times they just give the job to the person with the lowest quote. Sucks when that happens because I’m always left there wondering why the client couldn’t have considered my ‘worth’ as it pertains to my competence and value of services.
But in light of recent events, I’ve been led to believe that my thinking is entirely flawed when it comes to my worth. It’s a lesson I’ve been learning recurrently and I don’t know if I’ll ever master it fully. What I do know however, is that our innate sense of self has a lot to do with many of our problems.
Without a strong sense of who we are as individuals, we instantly run to the next best source of security, which are all the material and fleeting things I mentioned earlier. Without the job, spouse, or dream home, we feel as if we do not exist. As if we are mere shells of who we are supposed to be. But who are you without those things? Are you kind? Giving? Talented? Content? Are you here for any other reason other than to accumulate property?
This morning I was at my desk reading about the tragic death of actor and comedian Robin Williams as I contemplated all of this. I sighed as I read of his battle with depression, of his attempts to fight off the demons many of us battle with our entire lives. It all led me to wonder what the bottom-line really is in all of this. I mean, if an internationally renowned celebrity who brought joy to so many people’s lives could abruptly call it quits, what makes the rest of us think we’re so awesome?
Which is when the word ‘worth’ re-entered my mind. And not just the idea of bogus self-confidence, but actual worth – when defined by the Oxford dictionary as ‘usefulness or importance, as to the world, to a person, or for a purpose’.
Now I’m no psychologist but lately life has been teaching me that perhaps if we can actually find and embrace that elusive center that exists within all of us, we might be able to weather the storms with a little more poise, and continued resolve.