Words to let sink in

Look at the birds
Consider the lilies
Drink ye all of it
Enter by the narrow gate
Do not be anxious
Judge not; do not give dogs what is holy
Go: be it done for you
Do not be afraid
Maiden, arise
Young man, I say, arise
Stretch out your hand
Stand up, be still
Rise, let us be going…

Kathleen Norris, Imperatives (Extract) 

Finding your Song

Harry Roberts was one of my teachers when I lived at the San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm. Harry liked to boil almost any instruction down to 3 essential tasks:

The first, and not necessarily most important task, is to quiet the busyness in your mind.

The second is to find your song.

The third is to sing that song.

Finding your song describes your ability to access your deep power — which is your appreciation for being alive. This embraces both who you are and all that you have right now as well as the greater possibilities you imagine and envision for the future. We can hear our song more easily when our minds are quiet, when we can reflect on what is truly engaging and important to us — what brings us the greatest sense of belonging and of accomplishment. Finding our song means discovering our fierce and tender heart, where we feel deeply connected to all that surrounds us. 

Mark Lesser, 3 Practices for Simplifying Your Life

Always wanting things otherwise

The emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd: longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence.

Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet, writer and philosopher, The Book of Disquiet