I’m just back from 2 1/2 weeks of vacation that was mostly off the grid. It only took me a couple of days to stop feeling weird because I was not checking or answering email, writing blog posts or organizing projects for my clients. The first few days I also felt like I should be reading something for work, or getting exercise, or blah, blah, blah.
Then I just relaxed and did what I wanted to in the moment–sleep, walk, eat, swim, look at the mountains, watch the rain, talk with Jeff and friends, travel into town to buy food, or nothing at all. After about a week I realized these are the true basics of my life, not my efforts of working hard and growing my business. Nor are my efforts to ensure that those I love are happy. My main question was, “What do I want?” or “What do I want to do?”
A hummingbird landed on my finger. Seriously. Walking down the street with my mom, I thought a large dragonfly passed by, so I pointed to be sure my mom saw it. It was a very LARGE dragonfly… a hummingbird landed on my finger.
I was (and still am) astounded. I always love it when wild creatures come to us humans, and this experience took the cake. Then she sat there for a while, looking around like she didn’t have a care in the world. Of course I could not feel her weight, but the memory fills my heart.
I’m not sure how this relates to being motivated in our work, I just wanted to share the story. It’s definitely a great example of how the most unexpected things happen when we reach out. I did not even have to ask–though I am a huge fan of hummingbirds so I like to think she sensed that.
What unexpected bluebirds* have you experienced lately? I’d love to hear!
I vividly remember when I realized that I have a hard time being funny. A colleague and I were presenting to our sales team about the latest details of an application programming interface–not your typical humorous topic.
Fred had them rolling in the aisles with his witty comments. Feeling like I needed to follow suit, I also tried to be funny. Not one of my lines got even a smirk. I am pretty sure the audience felt empathy for me, but all I felt was embarrassed and frustrated.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
~ Albert Einstein
For me, letting go of “taking it personally” is a main focus for my life journey, so I want to devote three blog posts to the topic. Please let me know if I am boring you. Seriously. Comment or send me an email.
In the first post I talked about some changes that help me take life less personally, but did not give very specific practices. These next two post will be devoted to Reminders and Practices*.
It’s summer, so I have to talk about giant green tomato worms. A decade ago in my first real garden I found a GIANT green tomato worm. It was as big around as my thumb and longer, much longer. As it turned it’s face to me, I half expected it to start talking to me, like in a cartoon.
I realized that under my fascination I was still scared of it, wanting to remove it from my tomatoes so I’d have a few to eat myself, but not wanting to touch it, or even go near it with gloves. Then I saw how zany I was being.
God and the Chocolate Ice Cream
You can see more of Mr. Askew’s work here. Or stay tuned, I will be posting more of his videos too!
Happy Sunday! Or is that Sundae? (more…)
I am sensitive, always have been. As I become more self-aware I realize that much of the time when I am being sensitive, I am taking “it” more personally than was intended, or making a situation more about me than is meant by the other. “It” can be a comment, a look, or even a sound.
As I have paid attention to this topic over the years I am more able to let go of taking it personally–I am less upset when another persons’ words or actions don’t agree with mine. Yet it’s also more important for me to connect with others on a real and deep level.
So, where’s that fine line between caring enough to really engage with others, and yet not taking it personally?