Hello dear friends,
Many things are shifting right now. Many good things are ending, and many good things are in process of becoming. Much of the time, we can point to all sorts of things going wrong in our lives, but right now I want to focus on a few joys. (I’ll spare you the rotator cuff woes and the challenges of cortisone and spring migraines . . . )
The books in the photos above have all been really important to me lately, even though I’ve finished only The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. I’ve had the privilege of discussing this book weekly with a great group of friends since January, including my dear spouse (yes, this is what we do for a date!) In this time of elections, I strongly recommend taking a dive into this book if you’ve ever had the thought about someone “You’re such a smart, good person —- why are you so deluded in your politics?” It REALLY helps one understand how we make moral decisions about politics and religion, and why good people can have such different ideas. It also offers strategies as to how to talk and listen to others in ways that are constructive, respectful, and that even have the potential to change people’s minds.
Devotions by Mary Oliver arrived this week, and I’m so looking forward to this last compilation of poetry from one of my most favorite writers. Wild Mercy is hot off the press. I’ve read several of Mirabai Starr’s books, and can’t wait to explore women mystics, especially some I’m not yet familiar with. Doesn’t it have a great cover? Christian McEwan’s World Enough and Time is wonderful in helping one to have the attitudes of “enoughness” and “spaciousness” (my word for the year) in a world which is moving too fast and seemingly asking way too much of us each day.
For the past two months, especially, I’ve felt quite busy, overly so. I’ve been balancing okay on the surfboard of my days, but very much been hanging on by my toes in the wild ride. Many good things came up this year, and it was too hard to make a decision on what to cut out so I did all of them (which isn’t a great way to live a life, but a great way to have an exciting season!) I audited two university courses, one on Classical Islamic Thought, the other on Sufism (Islamic mysticism). I’ve always been interested in how we humans live out our spiritualities, and never before had the opportunity to learn about Islam, in person, from a scholar I respect. There’s been the book group on The Righteous Mind, my own Story Circles (small groups on different topics which I facilitate), and a huge influx of opportunities for reading my poetry in public (which means the stimulation of writing more poetry). I also supported my painting teacher, Shiloh Sophia, in her online course with the Shift Network on “The Dance of the Critic and the Muse”.
But now that several of these projects have finished, I have freed up 18 1/2 hours in my weekly schedule (including the driving time getting to these opportunities). I am SO EXCITED to transition to other great things to do, like rest and read!
Are things shifting for you in your days? Is it time to assess how you invest (not necessarily “spend”) your time? I’ve found that though we so often say we HAVE to do it all, we usually do have more choices than are immediately obvious. Choose, to the extent possible, how you invest your days, for of course this is how we spend our lives.
With much love and many blessings,