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I started this blog (almost two years ago now) because I wanted to get out my ideas on the intersection of where people feel their passion and souls live and what they do in their lives to create meaning and support themselves. I’ve seen too many of my clients who are just blindly going through their professional careers who then 5, 10, 20 or even more years into it discover that they are completely unfulfilled and feel like they have been wasting their lives. It’s my goal to get as many people as possible to consider what’s important to them first before taking these steps. They might take the same actions, but this time with confidence.
I’ve also been doing a kit of personal reflection and study in my life and tried to share my learnings with all of you. Probably the greatest insight that I’ve had is one that I’ve read and heard for years, but I finally “got it”. As is probably apparent from my posts and my professional position, I’m a great proponent of planning and working your plan. I’m always looking for ways to be in control of what’s needed to be done (just look at all the posts that I have with the tags GTD, actions, goals, and the like). That’s my natural way of being and I can easily teach this to others. I’ve had to be a student of the other side, namely allowing things to happen.
I’ve been so driven to get things done that I’ve been impatient to allow things to happen. I’ve come to realize in a visceral sense (and not just intellectually) that there are too many variables in the world that I have no control over, and I have to learn how to just “be” in order to effectively deal with life’s challenges. As the saying goes “Life happens while you’re making other plans”. If I’ve been working so hard to get everything right, I’m not able to deal with what’s in front of me effectively.
In reviewing some of the data that I’ve seen from this blog, the #1 search term that brings people to my site is “human being versus human doing”. My first post on this is subject is one of my most read posts. I think that people have a great longing wondering if what they do has meaning and if there are other ways of being. As you can probably tell, it’s my work to answer that question with a resounding “Yes!”.
The first step is to practice “being”. It sounds cliche, but you have to work at slowing your mind down and just be present to the current moment. Our fast paced culture does all it can to keep us from bring present. This is not something I can just give you; it takes practice. You will screw it up a lot at the beginning. Keep trying. There are lots of different ways (yoga, meditation, prayer, serving others, etc.). Find the way that works for you and keep trying to do it and stay present.
Once you get that down, it will be much easier to actually take the action steps you need to make your dreams happen. You’ll have a focused goal and won’t have a lot if other things crowding your mind to keep you from the action steps to get them done.
So, how are you being today?
I haven’t posted in the past week, as I’ve been on a sort of personal sabbatical. I’ve had quite the busy and full past few months, and I needed some time that I could take to slow down, take stock of where I am, and get prepared for the months ahead. I’m just now coming out of it, and I think I’m better centered to do what I need to do for the winter.
Part of that was doing my Alternative Black Friday retreat. I had planned on doing that at a location in Arlington, but as luck had it I instead went to The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts, which is a lovely place. The day consisted of meditating, journaling, reading, walking, and other activities. I’ll be planning on doing it again in the future, so let me know if you’d like to be a part of the next session!
Part of doing this was to see what interesting and creative ideas could come out of my head at this time, and I think I got a good one. Massachusetts has 351 cities and towns. I’ve been to a majority of them (having lived in the Commonwealth for most of my life) but there are a number of towns that I haven’t been to yet. I have seen at least one blog about a couple working to visit all 351 towns and cities, and I thought this might be a great idea for me, as I’ve been looking for ways that I can incorporate practices to my life. I’m calling this the Meditate Mass 351 Challenge.
So, here’s my spin on this: I have to do a number of things in order for a town to count in the 351.
- I have to actually be in the town and either meditate/pray/sit quietly for at least 10 minutes. This makes it so I can’t count places that I’m driving through on the Massachusetts Turnpike (Yup, just picked up Blandford!)
- I have to take a picture of me in front of a landmark or building that would only be in that town (e.g. post office, town hall, police station, etc.) It doesn’t have to be a government building, but at least one where there’s no mistaking where it is. For example, I could choose Durgin Park or Fanueil Hall in Boston. It also means I can’t just step over the border 3 feet and sit for 10 minutes. I have to find where the life of the town is.
When will I finish this? I don’t know. It will be a fun project, and might get me to go out of my way to see a town I’ve never been to. I’ve always wondered about Nantucket, Egremont, Wales, and Plympton. I’m setting this as an intention and not a goal. I think that this will allow for some interesting things to happen, and if I just give myself the space for this, I hope they will.
So, what are you creating in order for interesting things to happen?