The fine art of living


Letting go


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All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
~ Henry Ellis

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up.  In letting go, we’re actively participating in an outcome we hope for.  In other words, letting go is faithfully accepting that whatever is meant to happen will happen.  Conversely, holding on when hope for change or growth is obscured by logistics only causes frustration because we’re doing nothing to further our hopes and dreams.  If we simply realize that letting go gives us permission to take what comes our way, we can either use — or discard —  it as a potential stepping stone toward our Someday.  We’re still holding on to a hope for something more or something better.  We’re merely letting go of the expectations — the sometimes crippling desire to control an outcome we truly have no control over.  It’s compromise.  It’s acceptance.  Once we do that, we truly begin to live.

Are you holding onto something it’s time to let go of?

Getting ready

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In yesterday’s post, When you least expect it, I talked about how I’m afraid if I don’t stick my nose into fate, then I might miss out on what I’ve been waiting for my whole life — or perhaps what I never knew I’ve been waiting for.  But then I worry that tampering with timing and logistics may alter the course of my future altogether.   Instead, I must move forward with the expectation that my limited imagination underestimates the fruits of my labor and that I will be overwhelmed with gratitude once I finally arrive.  However, I have a feeling it’s going to take a lot more patience than I think I possess, while at the same time filling the time and gaps to equip myself for Someday.  And on the days when I’m feeling discouraged and see no progress, I need to remind myself I’m not missing out.  That I’m just getting ready.

How do you fill the time as you wait for your dreams to come true?

Dissecting the muse

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Thoughts that trigger the mind and cause us to react,
the more things change the more things remain the same. ~ D.M.

I read the above quote on Facebook yesterday.  The latter half of the saying (compliments of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr) is familiar to me and, although somewhat circular, makes sense.  Things may change, like jobs, relationships, financial situations, health and/or dreams, while the reality of life — the here and now, or status quo — is unscathed.  As for the first part of the quote, perhaps D.M. might be stating that various feelings may cause the subconscious to elicit a certain type of response.  And, depending on the direct correlation with Karr’s contribution, these feelings either 1) have no bearing on the current logistics, or 2) any deeply held emotions and/or reactions remain unaltered despite changes on the surface.  Or maybe a little bit of both.  Whatever the intended meaning, this passage speaks directly to my writer’s soul.

How do you discern the above quote?

When only up close and personal will do

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Technology and its ability to keep us connected 24/7 has been a lifesaver for me.  I honestly don’t know that I would have adjusted as well to a cross-country move a dozen years ago without email and mobile phones, and since then Facebook, texts and Skype.  But no amount of technology can “fix it” when you want nothing more than to be face-to-face during something as simple as a celebration, or as complicated as an unexpected hospitalization.  Updates still travel back and forth via satellite, but no amount of technology can make up for a message conveyed only through the human touch, or even a look that speaks volumes.  Right now I find myself in a place where I desire to provide support and comfort to a close friend going through a difficult time — while knowing my hands are tied.  And I feel helpless and a bit lost even as I offer up words of love and encouragement.  I know my friend understands and would feel the same way were the situation reversed.  I just wish things could be different.

Are distance or logistics preventing you from being up close and personal?

A thorn in your side

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Most of us are familiar with the expression a thorn in one’s side (or flesh), or a source of irritation.  For some, this “thorn” may be a dead-end job.  For others, perhaps it’s a debilitating illness.  And for several, it could manifest itself as an unfulfilled dream or settling for second best.  When I find myself experiencing one of these quote-unquote thorns, I try to do two things.  First, I realize while a thorn can cause pain, it’s also a form of protection.  For me, this means whatever I’m dealing with at the moment may require me to be protected from harm, proceed with caution, be taught a lesson or granted more understanding.  Second, I attempt to work the thorn out from my flesh.  I do this by looking for a different job (hypothetically), seeking medical attention or continuing to pursue my dreams.  And I know anything I happen to be settling for is simply a temporary set-back — a side-effect of logistics or whatever the case may be.  Just a tiny little prick in the scheme of things.

Do you have a thorn in your side; how do you deal with it?

Listening to your heart

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Money may be an issue.  Distance can create challenges.  Lack of communication, miscommunication, commitments, poor timing — these are a few of the logistics that try to pound a nail into the coffin of our dreams, when the heart cries out something completely different.  I wonder if it’s possible, then, to don the blinders in order to maintain focus on our desires — without allowing reason to squash our hopes.  After all, common sense doesn’t always take into consideration that certain things defy logic, and that’s just the way it is.  Period, end of story.  Perhaps you’ve always wanted to be a writer, or a beach bum or a multitude of other wishes, but you have a family to support, you’re allergic to sand or you’re not the throw caution to the wind type.  That doesn’t mean your heart isn’t talking.  You simply may not be listening hard enough.  The outcome, the one you work toward and dream of every day, doesn’t have to change.  You do.

Never let the odds keep you from doing what you
know in your heart you were meant to do. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Does your head tell you one thing, while your heart beats out a different tune?