Tag Archives: Seth Godin

Year of self-compassion #40 #longtimesun

A blessing for myself, my friends and my world sustains me where there is nothing else to hold me.  In a few days I will start my next lap around the sun on this little blue dot. It has been a year like no other. There are literally no words adequate to describe the process of pain, healing, reclamation, confusion, sadness, disappointment, celebration, loss. despair, relocation, affirmation …. processes have collided, subsided and arrived in gentle waves and in tsunamis.

This trip around the sun is one I had planned as a jubilee year, because my 50th which should have been a jubilee begun with devastating news of my love’s life limiting illness and I needed to prepare for being the sole bread-winner and calibrate my life around what was ahead. We thought it was going to be a sprint and yet it was a marathon, ending as my 59th year started. Jubilee is meant to be a time of celebration, harvest and letting the land lie fallow. In this biblical tradition it is the time when slaves and prisoners are set free, debts forgiven, and mercies of God manifest. Forgiveness is a pre-requisite for freedom. Mercy comes from the French for thank you which is hard to accept when the gifts and invitations to forgive are consequences of breaches of trust.  These are the sunk costs of relationships, the decisions made in good faith for good reasons and gifted with generosity – all good decisions although they didn’t end up necessarily with a good outcome.

In the Longtime Sun blessing, usually sung three times, the first time is for your self. Your Self and it is a blessing of Self Compassion. We are stardust – united in time and space, created literally in the heat of the moment, some kind of cosmic love unfolding in points of light made visible in our life force. We embody the blessing and wait for guidance, to be shown the way forward.  This blessing is my go-to when I have nothing else to give or receive. It brings me back to my essence and invites me to turn inward and outward with equal measure to the Uni-verse – the one voice – calling me to love and light, calling out my love and light and in being shone upon empowered to shine for myself first.

Long Time Sun
May the long time sun
Shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light
Within you
Guide your way on
Guide your way on
Making the next trip around the sun with the intention of being a Jubilee experience may reveal new pathways and be lit from within and without.  With insider knowledge about what has been before and with out some of the heartache of the past year.  With freedom and with forgiveness, with gratitude and mercy for myself is how I want to set out on my Jubilee journey.
Making another trip around the sun is a gift and one this pilgrim wants to make with more forgiveness of self. The “if only’s” and “why didn’t I’s” and the “how could I have missed” are not serving me they are sunken costs, good decisions made in good faith, even though they didn’t all end up the way I thought they would, they were still good decisions at the time. This is a lesson from my study this week too in Seth Godin’s alt MBA and  not one I am easily embracing … but it is a truth is … each decision is a new one.
I like the idea of blessing myself and being blessed to go forward and be guided in the knowledge that each decision is a new one. The stardust is the glow and never leaves you and as CS Lewis writes:  There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. But it is Joni singing Woodstock that brings me to take another step in this pilgrim path full of golden stardust, song and celebration and gratitude for having a garden to get back to with family and friends along the path.

Woodstock

by Joni Mitchell

I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it’s the time of man
I don’t know who I am
But you know life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
And we’ve got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil’s bargain
And we’ve got to get ourselves
back to the garden

© 1969; Siquomb Publishing Company

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Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

Year of Self Compassion #28 #querencia

As I head towards my 60th birthday in a few months, I am embracing what Jane Fonda calls “Act 3”. Right now, I am in the wings, backstage, changing out of one costume, re-applying makeup, checking out the props to see if they are all ready. I am freshening up.

My Dad was a psychologist and I was introduced to Viktor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning) at an early age. The biggest takeaway that was regularly reinforced in the home was that the freedom to choose how you will respond to a situation, was the only freedom no one could ever take away from you. Choosing how to appear in Act 3 requires time for reflection on what is still useful from Acts 1 and 2, what can I put down, what do I need to pick up and of course re-wiring …. making sense of what has been and making choices about the meanings of choices made past and how they will serve me into Act 3. This is not the work of nostalgia, it is the work of querencia.

Querencia is that place where we feel ‘at home’. The place where we draw our strength and inspiration. In bullfighting it is the place where the bull goes to that part of the ring, where he takes a big breath and gathers his energy, deliberately and with focus, before he goes in for another charge. Hemingway described querencia as the place where the bull “is inestimably more dangerous and almost impossible to kill” (Death in the Afternoon). In my early childhood one of my favourite books was The Story of Ferdinand, the bull who preferred to smell flowers that fight the provocative matador, such a great metaphor for nonviolence (did you know Hitler banned this book and Gandhi loved it?). The bull ring is perhaps the location for the opening scene for Act 3 and their are many choices in the centre and circumference, including smelling flowers and making a charge. I have an inkling bullshit fighting will feature. Regardless of what is on offer, at this time, I am gathering myself up to prepare and being at home with myself.

I am finding parts of myself that have been dormant or hidden for a long time and hardly made an appearance in Act 2. There is Chekov’s principle operating too:

“If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don’t put it there.” From Gurlyand’s Reminiscences of A. P. Chekhov, in Teatr i iskusstvo 1904, No. 28, 11 July, p. 521

There are shots in the locker yet to be fired and Act 3 is beckoning. Working out what was there in the beginning and has potential to re-appear or be revealed is intoxicating. Music and drama certainly feature as unfinished business. So far, I have taken my electronic keyboard (which I bought in the middle of Act 2 and has hardly been used) to be repaired. I have enrolled in Seth Godin’s altMBA program will preoccupy me in October to unleash new ideas and bring discipline, diversity and collegiality from around the world. I am reverting to my family name and doing all the paperwork to accompany that decision. I have signed up to sing in the Jenolan Caves in 2019. I have downsized my dwelling space and my wardrobe. I am beginning to get back to the gym a few times a week. And to my astonishment, I am getting recognition and reward for my movement building in the gender investment gap. All of this is just to remind myself that the re-wiring is happening and Act 3 is beckoning and brimming with potential.

The agony of grief and tsunami of challenges, the final scene of Act 2 has offered, are Shakespearean and invisible to many given the choices I have made about what is visible and what is invisible. I am gaining energy from knowing the practice of reflection brings wisdom, integration and wholeness. The practice is also a way of leaving things on the cutting room floor and picking out a new costume or remodelling an old one, sewing a patch on to bring new life to something that was past it’s use by date that can be freshened up with a bit of colour.

I am in the wings, at home, gathering energy for Act 3. Querencia

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Photo by Giovanni Calia on Unsplash