open and flowing
As one grows, one continues to learn and to unlearn, replacing old ideas with new ones and reclaiming others that had been cast aside. One may welcome this flow of information that will nourish and replenish one as one becomes more fully oneself. If one practices openness, one may find it possible to adjust to change with less stress, strain and struggle.
"To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."
- Helen Keller, American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer
compassion for complexity
We are all of us exceedingly complex creatures and do ourselves a service in regarding ourselves as complex. Otherwise, we live in a dream world of non-existent, simplistic black-and-white notions which simply do not apply to life.
- Theodore Isaac Rubin, American Psychiatrist and Author
unconditional positive self-regard
Loving the self makes one loving. Accepting the way makes one accepting. When one has no preconceived expectations, one will open to the beauty of grace. Brilliant inner beauty is like a magnet others cannot resist.
- Tao Te Ching
consider a way forward
The potential maturity of the human species is that we will discover and implement ways of living on earth that are sane and sustainable, and this will be a result of our “growing up” into the full humanity of our consciousness and consequent behavior
There is no other solution to the problems we face as a species now
We have created these problems and we need now to solve them through worldwide collaboration and community that embraces our differences and affirms the underlying unity of our living on earth together
The future and our fate are truly our responsibility and we have the potential wisdom and power and love to make the earth habitable and healthy for the coming generations
Each of us has a part to play and a gift to give
- Thomas Yeomans, Ph.D., founder and director of the Concord Institute
loss and grief are natural
I know this must be challenging for you
Grief weaves in and out until it wears itself out
Be gentle with yourself and know that grief hardly ever takes a linear course
It can surprise us sometimes with its intensity at sudden unexpected moments
Be patient and stay the course by filling your attention with things you enjoy
Someday, when you think of the loss, you will also experience acceptance, transcendence, and well being
from one shore to another
In my youth I was but the slave of the high tide and the ebb tide of the sea,
and the prisoner of half-moons and full moons
Today I stand at this shore and I rise not nor do I go down
- Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese-American writer, poet and visual artist
A reduction in suffering
The early stages of self-investigation require facing one’s suffering and embracing it, rather than turning away from it. Very often, we’re so busy escaping from our suffering, seeking solace in substances, activities, and relationships, that we don’t even feel it. In time, we recognize that our true nature is inherently peaceful, inherently fulfilled, before it is qualified or colored by experience. If one is in touch with one’s true nature, one feels its innate peace and joy, and this brings about a reduction in our suffering. We get in touch with that which lies behind identifying ourselves with the content of our experience. After a while, our essential being becomes our new identity. We remain in touch with its innate peace in the midst of experience. As a result, suffering arises less and less, and in time, simply ceases arising.
- Rupert Spira, Oxford, UK spiritual teacher, philosopher, and author
is it any wonder?
In our ordinary life we are limited and bound in a thousand ways - the prey of illusions and phantasms, the slaves of unrecognized complexes, tossed hither and thither by external influences, blinded and hypnotized by deceiving experiences. No wonder then, in such a state, people are often discontented, insecure and changeable in moods, thoughts and actions...No wonder that, in a blind passionate search for liberty and satisfaction, people rebel violently at times, and at times try to still inner torment by diving headlong into a life of feverish activity, constant excitement, tempestuous emotion, and reckless adventure.
- Roberto Assagioli, Italian psychiatrist and pioneer in humanistic and transpersonal psychology. (Adapted)
degrees of potency
Potent: a conscious yet spontaneous response to what is happening in the here-and-now; no calculation or manipulation
Less Potent: trying to do what is right. This is calculated behavior based on a concept of right, and manipulative behavior based on an idea of what should happen
Least Potent: imposed morality. Imposed morality rests entirely on should and shouldn't. It is both calculated and manipulative, and meets resistance with punishment. It sheds no light on what is actually happening. It often backfires
Persons who lose touch with what is happening cannot act spontaneously, so they try to do what they think is right. If that fails, they often try coercion
Wise persons who lose the sense of immediacy become quiet and let all effort go until a sense of clarity and consciousness return
Envision, hope, accept, transfigure
The unfolding of life does more than fray our bodies with entropy — it softens our spirit, blunting the edge of vanity and broadening the aperture of beauty, so that we become both more ourselves and more unselved, awake to the felicitous interdependence of the world. And yet the selves we have been — young and foolish, hungry for the wrong things, hopeful for the right but winged by hope into hubris — are elemental building blocks of who we become, unsheddable like the hydrogen and helium that made the universe.
- Maria Popova, a Bulgarian-born, American-based essayist, book author, poet, and writer of literary and arts commentary and cultural criticism