Tag Archives: self

Blaming vs. Claiming

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Listening to people from all walks of life, I’ve noticed a common foe of resilience: self-blame. It’s sneaky, like a deadly undertow. The self-blaming person is all hope and forward intention above water, but underneath, their feet are being sucked backwards. There’s no omen more worthy of dread in that situation than the words “I should”, or their ugly cousin “I should have”. The shoulds have their own mysterious, immobilizing power. It’s hard to think of a way out.

Restrained and thwarted by our own thoughts, we become fixated on what we didn’t do in a way that presents zero solutions. “Why did I do that?” “What was I thinking?” “Why am I so hell-bent on self-sabotage?” Did you ever notice that there is no way of coming up with a good answer to such a question? Questions like these are worse than useless; they’re downright dangerous. And yet we insist on wading into the same dark water without our waterwings. Continue reading

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The Present Moment

The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams.

—Jean-Pierre de Caussade

What’s your relationship to the present moment? (“What, you mean, like right now?”) Right now! The moment that you’re in.

It’s ok if you missed it. There are more where that came from.

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Finding Freedom in the Space Between

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor FranklIMG_3793

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space”. The truth is, many people don’t even notice that there is a space between stimulus and response. In fact, that space may be so miniscule, we simply react to a stimulus rather than respond. But the space is there, and there are things we can do to expand it.

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“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

—Viktor Frankl

An Epiphany

The Feast of the Epiphany just passed, for Christians. So I’ve been musing on the other meanings of the word “epiphany”.

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It is one spectacular word. In addition to describing human experiences some would refer to as “encounters with the divine”, this word can also refer to those moments when we’re “seeing the light” all of a sudden, or those moments when our perspective shifts and we feel like we’re “seeing things as they really are”. These days, we might also call that a “lightbulb moment”. “Epiphany” refers to powerful experiences of renewed perception and understanding. An epiphany could happen to anyone. Continue reading

Sing it Loud

Florence Foster Jenkins has been called “The World’s Worst Opera Singer”. In the early 1900s, she was a patron of the arts in New York City who made vanity recordings and gave (self-sponsored) concerts in places like Carnegie Hall. (Ironically, her real first name was an homage to the original poster boy of vanity. It was Narcissa).

Unencumbered by either social constraint or artistic inhibition, Foster Jenkins barrelled onto the stage driven by what can only be regarded as pure joy. She embraced florencetheatricality with gusto. She made her own glittery costumes, sported massive feathery wings, threw flowers, and favoured being lowered from theatre ceilings by rope and pulley. Going home seemed never to have been an option for Florence Foster Jenkins; she went big. Continue reading

Wonder and Awe

Awbaby-and-stars-2e and wonder are two of the emotions most integral to spiritual experience. When people hear that I do something “spiritual”, they’ll say things like, “I don’t believe in God, but when I look up the stars, I can barely breathe”. Indeed, spirituality is all about universal human experiences like wonder and awe.  And this is a good time of year to notice them. What do they do for us? Why do we choose to celebrate holidays that revolve around them? What does it feel like to experience wonder? We could, you know, wonder about wonder. Continue reading