“Before I speak, I have something important to say.” ~ Groucho Marx
What a fabulous way of encouraging the reflective side within us all. Speaking up, voicing ‘your truth’, and getting in a word in a conversation are generally esteemed as valuable means of communication, yet they don’t always bring about connection. When I find myself in conflict, speaking tends to be the cause and listening the resolution.
"Untilled ground, however rich, will bring forth thistles and thorns; so also the mind of man." ~ Teresa of Avila
Untilled ground, an untrained mind, will never bring me joy or peace of mind. ‘Thistles and thorns’ are the incessant attack thoughts, justified judgments, rigidly defended opinions.
"Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world." ~ George Bernard Shaw
My thoughts, my beliefs, my opinions all cloud the window, fog the lens through which I see. For far too many years I thought what I saw through that blurred vision was all there was. Plato’s cave comes to mind.
“Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.” ~ William James
A humbling thought to remind myself when I think I 'know' someone, when confronted with anticipating a reaction from a particular situation. Ask yourself this, “Do your loved ones know every single detail about your life?” Could be beneficial to surrender my assumptions, if, of course, I wish to have a different experience.
“There's a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don't, and the secret is this: It's not the writing part that's hard. What's hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.” ~ Steven Pressfield
And that 'Resistance' that he is talking about here is that little inner critic in the bleachers of our minds, found in every vocation. It's self-imposed job is to heckle and berate, telling me that I will never be good enough and to just pack it in. My job is to rise above the baited taunting by remembering my purpose for being: to live, to love, and to express that passion in whatever way Love inspires me to pursue.
“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” ~ Dalai Lama
I sometimes hear scoffs when I bring up meditation or mindfulness, as if the practice is a luxury fad that adrift millennials are getting into; another hashtag to go on their Instagram pics or Tinder profiles, along with #yogalife and #blessed. But practically speaking, what is meditation but becoming more aware of one’s bodily experience while retraining the mind to be present. Sounds like the ultimate productivity tool if you ask me. As Benjamin Franklin would say, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again