Posts tagged ‘life’

April 1, 2017

Let your passion lead you

Inspiration to follow your passion from filmmaker and adventurer Frank Wolf, who made a six-week, 1,800-kilometre canoe journey from Saskatchewan to Nunavut and wrote about it in the Spring 2017 issue of Explore magazine:

I quit my job to do this trip — another necessary loss [along with loss of comfort, loss of routine and loss of connection with those left behind]. I had a choice between stability and passion. Passion won out and now a summer of possibility awaits, future be damned.

And three days into the trip, when Wolf snapped a tendon in his thumb and could no longer flex the digit:

When you put months of time and energy into a venture like this, the loss of partial hand function is a relatively small price to pay. A tendon can be repaired later, but these remote quests are once-in-a-lifetime.

Pursue your passion, people. Move through the obstacles as they appear and keep striding forward to where your heart wants to lead you.

March 17, 2017

Let go of the need to “control” your life

In today’s performance-driven, dog-eat-dog world, we all need a reminder to let go, trust our intuition and go with the flow of where our instincts lead us (even if our minds don’t always agree with that direction). Rower Sara Hall has this to say on the topic in her memoir Drawn to the Rhythm:

The necessity for letting go . . . is hard to grasp and harder to execute because we humans, so gloriously smart, are so afraid to trust our own instincts. We have to control everything — our bodies, our lives, our relationships, our physical environment — and we often try to do this by force, by exercising the strength of our muscles and ego to bend the world to our command. We think if we get a grip on whatever challenges us — a good, hard, take-no-prisoners grip — we’re golden. But we’re not. Sometimes . . . the best solution is . . . to . . . [l]et go. . . .

Our endless struggle with ego and control, both within ourselves and in reaction to others, is a diversion that serves us ill. . . .[W]e squander our energy and our precious time on earth, and all of us must find the source of courage that allows us to loosen our hold and follow the calling of a greater imperative. Trust me.

February 23, 2017

Everyday synchronicity

“Synchronicity is just something that I expect as part of my work day.”

Author Gail Anderson-Dargatz spoke these words at a literary festival I recently attended on Galiano Island, British Columbia. Gail had just given a reading from her new book The Spawning Grounds, and she, fellow author Ann Eriksson and the audience were engaged in discussion about those “meaningful coincidences” that pop up every so often in life.

Gail suggested that we should expect meaningful coincidences in our lives every single day — in tiny doses, at ordinary moments, for small things as well as big.

What a refreshingly joyous approach to daily life!

Let’s all welcome an abundance of everyday synchronicity into our own lives. Start today!

December 27, 2016

Follow that trail of crumbs to live more fully

Ever had an exceptionally appealing idea pop into your mind without warning, then dominate your thoughts for weeks or months afterwards?

In her travel memoir A Year in the World, author Frances Mayes suggests that these kinds of spontaneous, powerful ideas may be our subconscious mind’s way of ultimately getting us to where we need to be in our lives. She writes:

Should you not listen well to the questions you ask out of nowhere? Only in looking back do you find those crumbs you dropped that marked your way forward.

So when those seemingly random but totally tantalizing crumbs enter your conscious mind, gobble them up. They are fuel for your fabulous future. ♥

October 14, 2016

Just a dash, yet so much more

At a recent performance by the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in my town, orchestra conductor and artistic director Dr. Wes Janzen spoke these words:

On your grave marker, there will be a birth date and a death date. Then there is a dash. That dash is your life.

Wow. Those words drove home for me how short life really is — as short as the dash that sits between the birth and death dates on a gravestone.

Dr. Janzen’s words made me realize how little of “your life” others will see of you when you’re gone: that dash doesn’t communicate any of your joys, achievements or successes. It ignores the obstacles you overcame. It disregards how your smile lit up a room; how you taught kids to play the piano, baked drool-worthy goodies for friends, or fixed people’s cars for free. That dash doesn’t convey any of the depth of your experience. It doesn’t recognize your contribution to the world, to your family and friends, to your community.

This might all sound a bit depressing, but in another sense, it’s empowering. My life truly is my own to make of it what I want. No one cares about the outcome — the substance of that dash — except for me, and possibly some of the people around me. So the best thing to do is live my life according to my own principles and passions, and to share the results of that process with my friends, family and community.

True, my life might be a mere blip on the radar of the larger world, but it can leave a lasting and meaningful mark on the lives of the people around me. I can be a teacher, an inspiration, a confidante, a buddy to laugh with, a shoulder to lean on, a superstar volunteer, a person who always picks up the phone and says, “yes, that’s great, let’s do it!” The people on the receiving or collaborating ends of all this will share the depths of their experiences with the depth of mine, and maybe that is enough.

July 7, 2016

Celebrate being single!

To all you single people out there, check out these inspiring words from actress Drew Barrymore in her book Wildflower:

It’s ironic that we rush through being “single” as if it’s some disease or malady to get rid of or overcome. The truth is, most likely, one day you will meet someone and it will be gone. And once it’s gone, it’s really gone! Why does no one tell us how important it is to enjoy being single and being by yourself? That time is defining and amazing and nothing to “cure.” It is being alone that will actually set you up the best for being with someone else.

Ms. Barrymore is right: we need to celebrate and treasure our single days. Being single is a life experience that, in most cases, is a time-limited opportunity. It’s a time to learn more about who you really are as your own person — about what makes you happy and content, what drives you, what your goals and priorities are — all on your own terms.

Flying solo is an exciting, rewarding, nurturing and adventurous time in your life. So is coupledom, to be sure, but in a very different way.

So be proud of your solo status, and never hang your head or make excuses about it. Own it, and enjoy every moment of it. Being single is a special gift that you get to treasure for only so long!

July 4, 2016

Be a frequent cliff jumper

Thought of the moment, courtesy of science-fiction author Ray Bradbury:

If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair, we’d never have a friendship . . . . You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

 

July 3, 2016

All roads lead to . . .

Thought of the moment, courtesy of 17th-century French fable-writer Jean de La Fontaine:

A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.

Hmmm, so much for procrastination!

Or, perhaps each of us really does have a specific purpose in this life, and whichever road we take will ultimately lead us to it, whether directly or via a more circuitous route.

June 24, 2016

Follow your bliss, witness magic

Thought of the moment, courtesy of American writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell:

Follow your bliss, and doors will open where there are no doors.

Magic does exist, if you listen to your heart and follow where it leads. . . .

June 18, 2016

What matters in life, in three quotations

Sometimes we need a reminder of what really matters in life (and what doesn’t). Here are three quotations that drive the message home on three different levels:

From Dee Williams in The Big Tiny:

Whose idea was it that we should all get jobs, work faster, work better, race from place to place with our brains stewing on tweets, blogs and sound bites, on must-see movies, must-do experiences, must-have gadgets, when in the end, all any of us will have is our simple beating heart, reaching up for the connection to whoever might be in the room or leaning into our mattress as we draw our last breath.

From Peter Matthiessen in Indian Country:

[Our society’s] lunatic insistence on “progress,” on “growth,” on gross national product . . . is destroying the land and air and water, the wild animals and plants . . .  not to speak of quality and craftsmanship, birdsong, silence, night, and the very soul of man.

And from Henry Miller in The World of Sex:

Why are we so full of restraint? Why do we not give in all directions? Is it fear of losing ourselves? Until we do lose ourselves there is no hope of finding ourselves.

❤