The One Thing: Prioritizing and choosing what’s truly important over what feels important at the moment


“Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.” – P. J. O’Rourke

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

The hustle and bustle and clutter all around us is never as threatening as the clutter and the shortfall in perspective overrunning us inside our own minds.

De-cluttering and minimalizing our lives is more often than not just another distraction—another way of temporarily distracting ourselves from what matters most in life.

Put it this way: in the end, on your deathbed, or when you’re in the doctor’s office being given the test results and told that you have a stage IV cancer, what will matter most then?

That you kept a tidy home?

There is an art in life to letting slide that which truly does not matter. (“No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.” – from the motion picture “Fight Club“)

There is an art in life to decluttering our own minds and getting down to what is most essential. In the end, “Feng Shui” ultimately does not matter—it’s just another distraction, another of the “many things”; the real ground zero is inside our own minds; that’s where the real Feng Shui and interior redecorating and de-cluttering needs to take place. It doesn’t matter how the rooms in our house are arranged, what matters is how much attention we’re paying to our own thinking from moment to moment—how observant we are of it versus how often we’re just blindly acting out on it and on our impulses and feelings.

What will matter in the end?

This is the lesson of the baobobs

On all planets there are good plants and bad plants. In consequence, there were good seeds from good plants, and bad seeds from bad plants. But seeds are invisible. They sleep deep in the heart of the earth’s darkness, until some one among them is seized with the desire to awaken. Then this little seed will stretch itself and begin–timidly at first–to push a charming little sprig inoffensively upward toward the sun. If it is only a sprout of radish or the sprig of a rose-bush, one would let it grow wherever it might wish. But when it is a bad plant, one must destroy it as soon as possible, the very first instant that one recognizes it.

Now there were some terrible seeds on the planet that was the home of the little prince; and these were the seeds of the baobab. The soil of that planet was infested with them.

A baobab is something you will never, never be able to get rid of if you attend to it too late. It spreads over the entire planet. It bores clear through it with its roots.

But before they grow so big, the baobabs start out small.

“It is a question of discipline,” the little prince said to me later on. “When you’ve finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care. You must see to it that you pull up regularly all the baobabs, at the very first moment when they can be distinguished from the rosebushes which they resemble so closely in their earliest youth. It is very tedious work,” the little prince added, “but very easy.”

“Sometimes,” he added, “there is no harm in putting off a piece of work until another day. But when it is a matter of baobabs, that always means a catastrophe. I knew a planet that was inhabited by a lazy man. He neglected three little bushes . . .”

I do not much like to take the tone of a moralist. But the danger of the baobabs is so little understood, and they present such a considerable risk if left untended to, that for once I am breaking through my reserve.

“Children,” I say plainly, “watch out for the baobabs!”

My friends, like myself, have been skirting this danger for a long time, without ever knowing it. And so it is for them that I have worked so hard over this drawing.

The lesson which I pass on by this means is worth all the trouble it has cost me.

 

 

 

Perhaps you will ask me, “Why are there no other drawing in this book as magnificent and impressive as this drawing of the baobabs?”

The reply is simple.

I have tried; but with the others I have not been successful. When I made the drawing of the baobabs I was carried beyond myself by the inspiring force of urgent necessity.

This is the only cleanliness that ultimately matters—de-weeding the baobobs in our mind. Yes, it’s important to shower every day, brush our teeth at least twice daily, floss, do the dishes, tidy up the kitchen so as not to attract ants and cockroaches and mice, et cetera. But after this, if we do not focus on our own mind and our own thinking and pay close attention to it—decluttering it of what’s not important and refocusing it on what truly matters, then we are wasting our lives. We are living blind, asleep. The boabobs are growing. The baobobs are winning and overrunning our lives.

What keeps the baobobs in check is death. Ultimately, the only thing we have that can keep the baobobs in check is beginning with the end in mind—actually  s  l  o  w  i  n  g  down and really thinking about what will be truly important to us when we finally “get it”—when we finally get how precious and fleeting and fragile life is and the lives of those around us are; when we finally get how little time we have left.

What matters then ought to matter now. That’s the essence of beginning with the end in mind.

And the essence of a true spiritual practice is that it does this for us: it gives us real functioning perspective. Not perspective that kicks in 20 minutes or 2 hrs or 2 days or 2 weeks too late after the baobobs and what’s worst in us has hijacked us and mucked things up for us—after we have made a mistake, and then compounded that mistake with another mistake and then another and then another, exponentially so, all in a misguided and blind attempt to save our pride, avoid some difficulty or discomfort, spare ourselves some feeling of shame or embarrassment or guilt. (“Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs.” And “[i]nsofar as the nature of a challenge is legitimate [and it usually is], lying is an attempt to circumvent legitimate suffering and hence is productive of mental illness.” – both quotes are from “The Road Less Traveled,” pp. 51 & 56.)

A true spiritual practice cultivates something tangible in us—a new and contrary capacity that empowers us such that we actually counter what’s worst and weakest in us.

A true spiritual practice cultivates a love of truth and reality and the courage and grit and desire to face what is difficult to face in life and about life and about ourselves.

If our spiritual practice isn’t promoting this type of courage and desire to face reality and deal with life more directly and honestly, then we’re just bullshitting ourselves with our “spiritual practice.”

A true spiritual practice is what allows us to better connect with what’s best in us and not get sidetracked or distracted, and not let what’s worst and weakest in us take over and get the better of us when we get stressed, in a pinch or a bind, or when things get difficult or when we get flooded emotionally.

A true spiritual practice decreases how often we stress out and flood emotionally, and when we do flood, a genuine spiritual practice is what will decrease how much we flood and how long we stay flooded for.

If our spiritual practice isn’t helping us to do this, then we’re just bullshitting ourselves with our spirituality and our spiritual practices—our spiritual practice isn’t real, but is escapist and is only empowering our weaknesses and what’s worst in us.

Only beginning with the end in mind—and making a daily and ongoing habit and practice of this—is what will keep the baobobs in check.

Only beginning with the end in mind and having this as an up and running “antiviral program” running constantly in the background of our lives and blocking pop-ups (the world and its distractions as well as our own penchant for allowing ourselves to get sidetracked and distracted) is what will keep the baobobs in check.

30 minutes in the morning reading something of substance, something that begins with the end in mind, or 30 minutes (or 2 hrs) of writing in the morning about what will really matter in the end or when the plane is going down, that is what will help center us for the day and allow us to be better able to root out the baobobs and distinguish them from the rose bushes.

And the day we forget to do this, the day we forget to tend to our own mind and read something of substance or write about what truly matters in life, the day we just get up and get going without thinking and without centering ourselves and without beginning with the end in mind and allowing that to fill us with gratitude, is the day we fall off the wagon.

We’re all in recovery.

Whether we wish to admit it or not, we’re all in recovery. We all have an ego, so we’re all in recovery and we all have to deal with our innate narcissistic and reactive and impulsive tendencies. Because we have an ego, we’re all some sort of –holic; we’re all, to a greater or lesser extent, living in denial of our own mortality; we all have avoidant and escapist tendencies; we all piss away time every day doing stuff that ultimately and even much less ultimately does not matter; we’re all prone to lose perspective and sweat the small stuff; we’re all prone to flood emotionally and act out angrily and irrationally and in hurtful ways; we all have baobobs we need to tend to each and every morning and without exception!

That’s just part and parcel of the human condition; that’s just part of being human and fighting the good fight—tending to our own thinking; potty training ourselves to begin with the end in mind, and to do so now before it’s too late and before life forcibly takes this choice away from us.

The boabobs want to distract us with many things, with a life of endless straightening, an endless chasing after this wind or that, a life of putting out one fire after another, when ultimately there is only need of one thing. A good day for the ego is a bad day for the soul. A day misspent by not beginning it by beginning with the end in mind, a day misspent not reading or write something of substance and not connecting with our deepest self—with what is most important in life and will be most important to us when things fall apart or when the plane is going down, is a great day for the ego and its denial and avoidance and distraction mechanisms, and a bad day for the soul

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David Deida, Rabindranath Tagore, Mark Nepo, Chuck Palahniuk (author of “Fight Club”), Stephen Levin on Learning How to Better Engage the Full Intensity of Living and Loving


Living with an Open Heart versus a Closed Heart

Whenever you feel anything fully—i.e., your parents’ indifference or hate, your own bodily knots and pains—you actually live a bit more free even amidst your pain and hurt. Whenever you practice opening yourself, you add less rather than more self-created suffering to life’s natural and inherent fluctuation of pleasure and pain.

To be born is to be guaranteed some mix of enjoyment, discomfort, boredom, satisfaction, distress, and certain death. Regardless of how much comfort or distress, satisfaction or guilt, you are presently experiencing, you can surrender and open as you are and thus add less suffering to the mix, or you can shrink and knot yourself closed and add more self-created suffering to the mix.

To remain open as you are, in the midst of all experience, both heavenly and hellish, is the way of living that adds the least amount of self-created suffering to the mix. This is what “living the questions” or living and loving on life’s terms is all about.

Regardless of how much pleasure or pain a moment brings you, the truth is you are openness. When you resist any aspect of the moment, when you close to an emotion, a person, a situation for fear of being overwhelmed or being unable to cope with the full intensity of it, then you deny the openness you are and you create and cause separateness which also causes additional suffering.

Your deepest heart always knows the truth of who you are. And who you are is openness—courageous, luminous, free. In every moment of your life, your deepest heart is tacitly comparing the closed suffering that you are doing with the potential bliss of being more open, which is who you are. “This moment can be deeper.” “I can be braver.” “This love can be more full.” “I can be more open and feel more and love more.”

Your deepest heart knows the truth of who you are and suffers the tensions and pain of your lie of closing yourself off and knotting yourself up.

Even though you may have deeply ingrained habits of fear and closure, you can always practice opening to feel. You practice openness by opening up. By opening to feel your breathe moving in and out and noticing when it’s tense. You practice openness by opening to feel the posture of your body. You practice openness by opening yourself to feeling and noticing more and more of the motion and space around you, the sorrow and suffering in the world and in yourself, the lives beginning and ending everywhere, your own fears and apprehensions.

If we are not open, our lives can quickly become the effort to avoid pain, pretend everything is okay, and we can begin contorting and distorting and knotting our lives up mis-shaping them by chasing imagined securities and avoiding imagined fears.

How trapped we feel in life is entirely a reflection of the depth of the openness that we are willing to consistently meet life with. To the extent that we close and pull back from intense and or difficult experiences, we separate ourselves and thus feel separated, knotted, anxious, tense, isolated, and alone. To the extent that we close down and protect our heart and opt for security, we disempower ourselves and feel helpless and small.

Open deeply and courageously and we are free. Give in and close ourselves, and we feel trapped.

We build our own traps in life by our unique patterns of closing.

Whether we open or close makes all the difference in whether we feel trapped by our situation or whether we can open to our deepest heart and live as love’s means and as an offering of love. Only facing ourselves fully fulfills our deepest longing and allows us to be free and alive as love.

The contour of our closing—the form of our suffering—is defined by what we won’t embrace, feel, open to for fear of being overwhelmed, trapped, hurt. If we don’t embrace and open to our desire to be ravished, then that will define itself as tense armor around us.

We feel trapped by that which we are afraid to face or fully feel. We feel trapped by that which we recoil from, only partially feel, or refuse to feel.

As long as we are alive, we can never be free from pain, loss, suffering, death. We feel trapped whenever we try to minimize our chances of suffering, whenever we diminish the full intensity of life and of our emotions.

Whenever we feel trapped by life, we should take it as a sign that we are clenching from within by the confines of our own refusal and stubbornness and neurotic patterns. We are refusing some experience that our deepest heart recognizes might work in our benefit, we are resisting some person or interaction, we are trying to avoid some feeling that we sense to be too overwhelming or we think ourselves to be too ill-equipped to deal with.

Freedom is openness to our deepest heart. The gift we give others is either the gift of our own openness or the clench of our own refusal and stubbornness.

But we can’t actually know and live this if we are still thinking and acting as if life goes on forever.

Every moment of life we live with a closed heart is wasted life.

(Abridged and adapted and riffed on from David Deida’s book “Blue Truth,” pp. 11-16)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

What does it mean to be a “spiritual warrior”?

What does it mean to be a spiritual warrior?

It is the sincerity and honesty with which the soul faces itself in a daily, moment to moment, way.

And it is this courage that keeps us strong enough to withstand the heartbreak through which enlightenment can occur.

Spiritual warriors have a broken heart—and alas must have a broken heart. Because it is only through the breaks in the heart that the wonders and mysteries and depths of life and our deepest self can enter us.

It is by honoring how life comes through us that we get the most out of living, not by keeping ourselves out of the way. The goal is to mix our hands with the earth, not to stay clean.

Until the heart becomes opened, we can not be free.

(adapted from Mark Nepo’s “The Book of Awakening,” pp. 55-56)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“Second Skin”

We may insist that we are not in pain, that we are not miserable, unhappy, afraid. But that may only bear witness to how much we have had to become numb, how much grief and sadness we have had to harden our belly to and protect ourselves from feeling. This armoring is the “second skin” we have grown; it is devoid of nerve-endings, it is impenetrable, it allows nothing either in or out. But death can be a gentle kick in the ass if we can still feel it and if we don’t just intellectualize it or compartmentalize it.

(adapted and riffed on from Stephen Levine’s book “A Year to Live,” pg 88.)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Dungeon” – Rabindranath Tagore

He whom I enclose with my name is weeping in this dungeon.
I am ever busy building this wall all around; and as this wall goes up into
the sky day by day I lose sight of my true being in its dark shadow.

I take pride in this great wall, and I plaster it with dust and sand
lest a least hole should be left in this name;
and for all the care I take I lose sight of my true being.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

(from the motion picture “Fight Club”)

Scene: Kitchen at night. Jack and Tyler are each stirring a boiling pot.

TYLER
As the fat renders, the tallow floats
to the surface. Like in Boy Scouts.

JACK
Hard to imagine you as a Boy Scout.

TYLER
Keep stirring. Once the tallow hardens
you skim off a layer of glycerin. . . .
Now . . . ancient peoples found their clothes
got cleaner if they washed them at a
certain spot in the river. Why?
Because, human sacrifices were once
made on the hills above this spot on river.
Year after year, bodies burnt. The rain
fell. Water seeped through the wood and
ashes to create lye. (Tyler holds up a plastic
bottle and shows it to Jack)—This is Lye:
the crucial ingredient. Once it mixed
with the melted fat of the bodies, a thick
white soapy discharge crept into the river.

May I see your hand?

Tyler licks his lips and kisses the back of Jack’s hand.

JACK
What’s this?

TYLER
This . . . is a chemical burn.

Tyler shakes a bunch of the lye flakes onto Jack’s hand. Jack’s whole body JERKS. Tyler holds tight to Jack’s hand and arm. Tears well in Jack’s eyes; his face tightens.

TYLER
It will hurt more than you’ve ever been
burned, and you will have a scar.

JACK (voice over)
If guided meditation worked for cancer,
it could work for this.

Quick cut to a shot of a bright green forest in gentle spring rain. Resume scene in kitchen. Tyler JERKS Jack’s hand, getting Jack’s attention…

TYLER
This is your pain. Don’t shut this out.

Jack, snapping back, tries to jerk his hand away. Tyler keeps hold of it and their arms. UTENSILS are KNOCKED off the table as Jack twists in agony.

TYLER
Look at your hand. The first soap was made
from the ashes of heroes, like the first monkey
shot into space. Without pain, without sacrifice,
we would have nothing.

JACK (voice over)
I tried not to think of the words “searing” or “flesh.”

Quick cut to shot of green forest. Then a shot of trees engulfed in hellish forest fire. Resume kitchen scene:

TYLER
Stop it! (Tyler JERKS Jack’s hand again)
This is your pain. This is your burning hand.
It’s right here. (Tyler smacks his own hand
on the table getting Jack’s attention)

JACK (voice over, stammering)
(Closes his eyes) I’m going to my cave,
I’m going to find my power animal.

Quick cut to shot of the inside of Jack’s frozen ice cave. Resume kitchen scene. Tyler JERKS Jack’s hand again. Jack re-focuses on Tyler…

TYLER
Nooo! Don’t deal with this the way those
dead people do. Come on!

JACK
(Pleading, bargaining, stammering)
I get the point okay please . . .

TYLER
No, what you’re feeling is premature
enlightenment.

Tyler SLAPS Jack’s face, regaining his attention…

TYLER
This is the greatest moment of your life
and you’re off somewhere, missing it.

JACK
(Pleading, stammering) No I’m not…

TYLER
Shut up. Our fathers were our models
for God. And, if our fathers bailed,
what does that tell us about God?

JACK
I don’t know…

Tyler SLAPS Jack’s face again, bringing him back to his pain…

TYLER
Listen to me. You have to consider
the possibility that God doesn’t like
you, he never wanted you. In all
probability, He hates you. This is
not the worst thing that can happen…

JACK
It isn’t… ?

TYLER
We don’t need him…

JACK
We don’t… ?

TYLER
Fuck damnation. Fuck redemption. We
are God’s unwanted children, so be it.

Jack looks at Tyler—they lock eyes. Jack does his best
to stifle his spasms of pain, his body a quivering, coiled
knot. He tries to wiggle free, but Tyler holds on.

TYLER
You can go to the sink and run water
over your hand and make it worse, or—
look at me—you can use vinegar and
neutralize the burn, but first you have to
give up. First, you have to know—not fear—
know—that someday you’re going to die.

Jack spasms, he is a wide-eyed zombie of pain …

JACK
You … you don’t know what this
feels like. . . .

Tyler shows Jack a LYE-BURNED SCAR on his own hand.

TYLER
It’s only after we’ve lost everything
that we’re free to do anything.

Jack slows his trembling, takes the pain. Tyler grabs a bottle of VINEGAR and pours it over Jack’s wound. Jack closes his eyes, holds his hand, and slumps to the floor in an orgasm of relief.

TYLER
Congratulations. You’re one step
closer to hitting rock bottom.

Turning Dragons into Princesses: What One Brave Thing Are You Going to Do Today?


What brave thing are you going to do today?

Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Invite someone dangerous to tea.” – Sark

What bit of apprehensiveness or aversiveness or lack of strength or perhaps even modicum of immaturity within yourself are you going to valiantly try to overcome today?

Is today the day when you will finally meet your own inner-Tyler Durden and invite him to tea? . . .

It’s much easier and safer to sit in a chair behind a desk and your computer screen and read or cite a quote, thrill to the words and the ideal it encapsulates, than it is to actually get out of that air-conditioned climate-controlled and safe environment and get to work attempting to actually live the words, put them into play in the real world, and in your own life and relationships.

The latter requires integrity and courage, and in fact helps to create these. The former requires neither, and if fact lessens both our integrity and our courage.

The easy way in life is seldom the right way.

Consider the following oft-quoted but seldom lived or acted on excerpt from Helen Keller—

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. . . . Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. . . . Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” (from “Let Us Have Faith,” pp. 50-51.)

That’s what’s usually quoted.

(And need I say rarely practiced or attempted?)

She goes on in the next paragraph to write, “Serious harm, I’m afraid, has been wrought to our generation by fostering the idea that they would live secure in a permanent order of things. It has tended to weaken the imagination and self-equipment and unfit them for independent steering of their destinies. They have expected to be given security instead of creating it and providing it, and so they now find none within themselves or in their universe. Before it’s too late they must learn and teach others that only by brave acceptance of change and all-time crisis ethics can they rise to the height of superlative responsibility.

The expectation we have of security first—of not having to use our courage, of not having to feel the fear and do something anyway—has also weakened the will and weakened our courage and our bravery and resilience. It’s weakened what’s best in us.

Thus we avoid difficulty and danger and the unknown and intense emotional situations and interactions and clutch anxiously at security first because we feel ourselves to be out of shape psychologically, to be ill-equipped to cope with the full intensity of life and strong emotions and feelings.

By repeatedly avoiding danger and difficulty and intense emotional situations and interactions—by backing down repeatedly—we shrink ourselves and our comfort zone.

And what’s more, the psychological musculature that we might have gained and developed by courageously wrestling with a given difficulty or emotionally intense encounter we not only don’t gain, we actually lose a bit of whatever emotional musculature or psychological fitness and stamina we might have already had by refusing the fight or the difficulty or the intense encounter.

Courage is a case of use it or lose. Grow or die. Get busy living or get busy withering and wilting away. There’s no neutrality when it comes to courage and developing emotional and psychological fitness, stamina, and health. With every choice in life to either avoid some immensity or difficulty and run from it, or to hold our ground and hold onto ourselves and face it and deal with both it and ourselves, we’re either building neo-cortical and limbic muscle mass, or we’re losing it and atrophying those parts of our brain.

Without constant use and practice, our courage muscles atrophy, we loss that musculature and become soft, less fit for life. And thus we become more tense, more afraid, more likely to clam up, wall up, clamor for security, more likely to feel anxious and insecure.

And thus a vicious downward cycle is set in motion.

Again, it’s a very dynamic relationship. One where there is absolutely no neutrality. We either live more daringly, take our lumps, but also possibly gain some benefits and strengths and occasional windfalls we would have never gained any other way, and grow and become more than we were before. Or we shrink, surrender, take the path of least resistance, and in doing so weaken ourselves, voluntarily cripple ourselves a bit, render ourselves more anxious, more insecure, more avoidant, less fit for life, and more likely to read and talk about courage rather than actually practice it. (We become more dis-integrated and hypocritical—more likely to say one thing but do the opposite.)

What’s more difficult when meeting someone new and exciting and interesting? Opening yourself up, risking being rejected or pushed away for being real with another, risking sharing honestly what’s on your mind, what’s really going on inside of you, what’s happened to you, what you’ve been through, and risk being rejected by another for being who you are and where you’ve been?

Or not doing this and keeping the relationship and the conversation at the level of a superficial though perhaps entertaining and witty exchange?

How does avoiding opening oneself, avoiding “living the questions” (that magnificent phrase of Rilke’s), avoiding risking being real and vulnerable in any way square with what Helen Keller is saying?

If you quote something, don’t you then have the responsibility of actually trying to embody it—of struggling honestly and heroically to live up to the ideals expressed?

We are safety-first creatures. We think life goes on forever. We think the Universe owes us a safe and secure and comfortable existence. We think things have to be made safe for us before we will take a leap. But how much of a leap is it really if things have been made safe and secure and fail-proof for us beforehand? It’s not a brave heroic character-building leap into the unknown; it’s not even a leap at all. It’s just a small next step into the known, into yet more safety and security—a continuation of the sure-thing we want to believe life is.

Make no mistake about it, Helen Keller’s excerpt is about living the questions; it’s about taking her words and getting off our butts and going out into the real world and putting them into practice in our own life and in our relationships with other real live human beings and living with more courage, more honesty, more integrity, more openness, and making our lives a bit more of a daring adventure. It’s about rowing for our lives towards the next great adventure or towards the next immense and plunging falls or dizzying possibly life-changing love or relationship. It’s not about rowing towards the safety of the nearest familiar shore and the shallows of a fallow riverbank where nothing new can occur in our life or in our relationships. It’s not about excerpting Keller’s words from the safety of our cubicle or laptop and keeping them in our head as an ego-fantasy or ego-ideal, and keeping them out of our limbs and actions where they’re meant to be. No, it’s about making space in our life, and then holding that space open—space for something new and unprecedented to occur, space for something immense and unexpected, space for something strange and courageous to happen.

To know and not to act is not to know at all. It is in fact to undermine our own development and sin against our own integrity. Because to know and not to act is to become more rather than less dis-integrated; it is to become better at compartmentalizing things that really ought to belong together. It is also to become more practiced at becoming disembodied or more in our heads. It is to become more comfortable living falsely, presenting a false self, becoming more of an ego in a skin bag.

It also serves to add more confusion to the world, more say or pretend to aspire to one thing but in reality do another and opposite thing.

It takes courage to act with integrity, to integrate what we recognize as being wise and healthy and beneficial for us, and actually try to live up to it and practice it and put it into play in our life. In fact doing this actually creates more courage. As well as self-confidence and integrity and real self-respect and self-esteem.

The Waiting Place. . .”

(…for people just waiting)

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

All around us there are people waiting for us to be brave, waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage, and in doing so transform some of the dragons around us into princesses.

Are You Wasting this Moment of Your Life?


“This is your life; and it’s ending one minute at a time.” – Chuck Palahniuk (from the novel and motion picture “Fight Club”)

 

Our life is an offering.
Our unoffered love is our suffering.
Our ungiven love clenches in us as stress.
Relaxing now into this moment opens us
and frees the gift our love wants to be.
You and I are love’s means.
Will we die fully given?
Or will we die ungiven and still waiting?
Now is our chance.
If you are waiting for anything
or anyone
in order to feel more full,
more free, more open,
more relaxed, more happy
or more loving,
then you are wasting this moment of your life.

(David Deida, adapted from “Waiting to Love: Rude Essays on Life After Spirituality,” pp. ix-xi)