What to they mean, “In the Zone?” Have you been in the Zone, doing what you love, or whatever it is you’re best at? Maybe it’s running, playing music, or maybe making stock trades. We can be so far into what we’re doing that we lose ourselves in it, so that the task seems to be doing itself through us, and we’re in kind of a high, even intoxicated as we observe it all happening. People have been looking at just what this is for a longer time than most of us know – from the early-ancient philosophers to the latest neuro-science research teams. What have we learned? How can we use it? Continue reading “In the Zone! Ooo-Wee! Mastery, Mindfulness and Wu-Wei.”
What do you do when your gardening neighbor keeps sharing his zucchinis with you? I don’t know many recipes for those watery gourds that offer much, do you? There is a story about a ragged farmer who kept giving melons to his king, and the king hated melons. He would graciously accept the gifts, thank the peasant for his generosity, and have the offending fruits thrown on the scullery heap. This went on until one morning a bird startled the farmer as he was offering his tribute. It fell and smashed to the ground. From its broken rind poured forth a hidden treasure of glittering jewels. Continue reading “Unexpected Beauty”
In a story I read recently a woman was overwhelmed by the realities of just being a mom. Her child was having one of his “moments” in a public park. Her other children were waiting in line, so to speak, for the attention they needed. The same issues rolled in on her. How long would this last? How could she calm her child? How was she being seen by the other mamas in the park, whose own days out were being disturbed by all this? Another lady offered to help. What was she really offering, she wondered, pat answers, shaming remarks, or more of the “if only” advice she’d grown to dread?
She was amazed to find none of this – only someone willing to be of service to her in whatever form was needed. Continue reading “Being Everything by Being Nothing”
“How can we know what the future will hold, Athair?” Æthelrad was confused. “What is my destiny, and how can I know who to marry? One is beautiful, one rich, and one virtuous, but which will be the wife for me?
“There is no ‘future,’ as you call it, child. Have I not taught you at all?”
“Yes, Master. ‘There are only possibilities, and we ourselves must choose which is to become.’ You have told me this, but how can we travel a path if we don’t even know where it leads?” Continue reading “Æethelrad’s Dice”
An old mentor of mine, whom I left for being so positive – “That’s wonderful! You’re so talented!” – when I felt the need to be shredded – just became disabled. Some kind of brain injury. Now she can’t talk, can barely walk, can only write. When I was in her group she would often tell us stories of her own difficulties. She wasn’t lying. Her life had been a tough one, and I was helpless to do more for her than sit and listen. Most of us, I think, can only be with so much of another person’s trash until we have dealt with our own, can’t we? Continue reading “The Writer’s Life”