Meaningful Living: part 2

Once we begin to consider a theme or concept, like living meaningfully for example, doesn’t it seem that you become aware of what actually is meaningful?  I do.

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What is our life meaning? Is there a path we are to follow? Is it narrow, or wide? Are there choices? What about the mountains and waterfalls we face?

Sometimes I think of meaning or purpose as a calling I feel drawn too.  But then I think of relationships and the importance of family and friends.  That is what I like most about Millman’s book The Four Purposes of Life . It validates several aspects of meaning..  let me outline them for you with my own observations following each:

  1. learning life’s lessons: I hear people referring to this often when they say things like “there must me something I am supposed to learn from this”.  I look back on my own life’s challenges and recognize learning that has happened.  Some people think we deliberately choose our earth situation to learn specific things.  Could be.  perhaps that is what family and friends are for.
  2. finding your career and calling: from my perspective this doesn’t go away.  Perhaps the search for it diminishes because we know more about it but the shape of it changes as life moves on.  Sometimes our career doesn’t reflect our calling.  sometimes we need help seeing the connection.  Sometimes work meets needs and hobbies are our calling.
  3. discovering your path: I personally find that sometimes this is difficult to find or notice.  It seems it is not the same as the one above but could even be the underlying piece.  But not always.  It could be that this one becomes more evident as we get closer to retirement age.  we often refer to life’s journey or path.  What do we mean by that?
  4. attending to this arising moment: Millman calls this one the integration of the three above and I am still pondering this one. However, I do feel there is a lot of overlap with the top three.  I am still reading his book in between and around a couple of others.  Perhaps I will better understand it as I read on. I catch a glimpse of it off and on and it is still not formulated into words yet.

Why am I so fascinated by meaning and purpose in life? Perhaps it is one of life’s lessons for me.  It is important.  It is important to leaders and to followers.  It is important to those who are currently fighting for their rights or for the rights of others and it is important to the people they are fighting.  It is important to the religious people and for them is connected to the practice of their religion and it is important to those who practice a form of private spirituality because they know life is bigger than just now.  I wonder if it is also important to professed atheists because without a sense of something bigger, what is their purpose?  Perhaps it is very much community focused.

If you send me your thoughts about this topic, I will not post them but hold them as sacred and confidential because they are often very personal. If I have enough material, I will try to integrate it into a summary and post that without names.  It is helpful to me to hear what others think and how they work with it.  I may respond by email.   Please respond at dallacor@rogers.com .

Knowing what is meaningful is only a starting pint.  Out of it must come action or behaviours that reflect it. How does one make changes in their lives related to what is meaningful to them?

Till next time,

Marie

Fall Retreat:  Self Care —  Soul Care.  For details go to http://marieknapp.com/events/retreat-self-care-soul-care/

I need your response, please

Hi folks,

I have had a few quiet moments over the last week.  Hiking in the woods, and kayaking on Georgian Bay give me stillness to tap into my creative spirit.  I would really like to hear your input on my thoughts for future blogs.  Your response to the following is going to be very helpful to me in making the blogs I write most meaningful to you.

Chakras: a framework for self discovery and self care

There is value in learning more about the Chakras.  I see them as a possible framework for looking at different aspects of all that we are.   I believe that this perspective serves not only those who work with energy, and believe in the concepts of the energy field and universal energy, but also those who can approach the concept of the chakras as a metaphor, and thus a framework for learning more about ourselves in a holistic way.

So my proposal is to begin with an overview of the chakras.  I could follow this with writing about each chakra individually beginning with the root chakra.  I expect that I could write 3 or 4 blogs on each.  They could include the different aspects of each chakra, the possible shadow side of each, and in some cases relationships with the other chakras.  I would include practical examples that would draw your attention to their effect on daily life and for self-care.  I would like to make it usable and not simply theoretical.  You could send me personal emails about each one if you wish, or ask questions that could be answered either personally and confidentially or anonymously in the next blog.

I am feeling excited about this approach.   It offers many opportunities to bring in a variety of different authors too.  What are your thoughts?  Would this appeal to you?

You can reply below or send me a personal email at marieknapp@rogers.com

I look forward to hearing from you soon.  Short or long replies are welcome.

Other suggestions are welcome also.

Till next time,

Marie

Wishing you Joy, Peace, Love, and Enough.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is white outside.  Not much white but enough to brighten nature, to give contrast to the green cedars and darkish bark of Maples, Ash and Oaks.  Ahhhh!!!

While some people are scurrying about gradually eliminating items on their lists, others are gathering around tables of delicacies sharing stories with loved ones and commenting on how they really shouldn’t be eating all these things … but … it is Christmas.  We have so much to be grateful for.

May I add to the many wishes you will receive over the days of this Holiday season.  May your Christmas celebrations or other holiday feasts be surrounded by love.  May irritations and conflicts melt with the warmth that floods the space around you.  May your heart be filled and its overflowing goodness spread to those around you … and to those whose hearts are feeling empty or chaotic or hurting.

May you find the new year offers you many opportunities for joy and peace.  May you choose to focus on those things that are loving and caring.  And while we all wish for some degree of prosperity, may we be happy with what is enough.  May we avoid what is more than enough, by sharing that with others.

It may be that we have crossed the threshold into a new world where what is meaningful, spiritual and loving has reached a critical number and begins to grow exponentially.  Let us all support that notion and build on it with fervour.

All the best to you and those you love.

Till next time,

Marie

Welcome to my blog site

Spring seems to represent a time of moving forward … a time to honour the death on one aspect of life and rejoice in the sprouting of new things.  We see this represented in nature all around us as we notice the dead leaves and twigs from last year’s growth and the new buds and blossoms for the coming season.  As you ponder the teachings of nature, consider how the plants grow and blossom without knowing what is ahead of them.  How often do we set expectations for something that lies ahead of us?  Perhaps it is a family gathering or a relationship or a health issue.  Positive thinking can leave us negligent of ways we could  support or prevent or offset something negative.  Negative outlooks leave us discouraged, and hopeless. 

The greatest challenge is to be without expectations.  To be curious in learning and gathering information but to simply notice what is happening and in the moment be our best.   “Let go of the outcomes”  may really mean “let go of any expectations”.  Life is to be enjoyed.  Go with the flow.

But the challenge lies in going with the flow and having a degree of preparedness to be best able to use the flow to take us forward.  Recently someone commented to  me about that phenomenon.  “I want to go with the flow but I really want to be prepared, ” she said.  We talked about the fact that they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  But it is difficult to actually know what that looks like.  How can we get a picture of life that depicts going with the flow yet being prepared?

When challenges of this nature arise, I find working with analogies and metaphors very useful.  We began comparing it to kayaking in white water on a river.  Actually I have paddled in a canoe on class 1 and 2 white water with my husband in stern so I can relate a little to this.  But I love watching him kayak in bigger water and that is what gives me a picture of the real meaning of the analogy.

When paddling in white water you have to go with the flow.  You use the energy of the water to take you where you are going.   There is no point in fighting the water.  It is powerful.  Trying to paddle upstream in fast water is a losing battle.  Life is like that too.

Who would venture into white water in a kayak and plan on  simply going with the flow.  No paddle; no knowledge of the water; no steering; no skills????  No way!!!  Being prepared gives you paddling skills to be able to maneuver the kayak in and out of eddies, for example, and to back ferry to reduce speed.  You use the flow of the water in combination with the boat and your paddle to guide the boat where you want it at the best speed.  A prepared paddler can read the water to avoid trouble spots, know when there are rocks too close to the surface or holes that would be difficult to get out of.

When we face new life challenges, we go with the flow.   Fighting it uses too much energy with ineffective results.  People build resilience to handle the challenges by learning good life skills.  By looking at the challenges from different perspectives, we can be more ready for the bursts of rapids, the stones that lie just beneath the surface ready to tip us over if we are not ready. Learning skills to handle the challenges helps us take life with less speed, noticing more and harnessing the energy of all that surrounds us. 

I love asking nature to reveal its lessons to us.  I love how nature can teach us and speak its wisdom.

Till next time,

Marie