The lovely and insightful Melody said this recently and I can’t stop thinking about it:

…you can’t ever get it wrong. You can’t screw up your journey. You can’t miss your destination. You can’t NOT get what you want eventually. You are always moving towards happiness and your desires. There’s a natural process at work here that you can’t mess up.

Doesn’t that bring you a wave of peace and delight to know that, no matter what you do, it is always leading you towards a more perfect expression of who-you-really-are?

Go forth with confidence and reckless abandon. Be happy. Be fully yourself. Enjoy this process of life knowing that, no matter what happens, you can’t screw up your journey.

tapeMouth

I’ve written a lot of blogs in the past. Most of them contained long and complex pieces of content that exposited an idea while neatly tying off all the lose ends. Now, I write every day and I simply don’t have time to elaborate my ideas in such great detail. This is by design.

I now see ideas as more valuable than answers. I try to leave 90% of the message unsaid. Rather than taking hours to go over every detail, I find it more interesting to give you an idea without the accompanying instruction manual. The idea might come from my mind, but the insight should come from yours.

While writing those long posts, I noticed that my own insights didn’t connect very well with readers. Your environment and experiences are so unique that mine probably don’t translate. But if I merely give you an interesting idea, you can develop the insights that have value to you.

Like the teacher Krishnamurti, students would come to him and ask powerful existential questions like, “Why do I suffer?” and he would respond just by saying, “Who is asking the question?” In the process of thinking through such a simple idea, the students were able to gain much more clarity than through any answer Krishnamurti might have been able to give.

Try saying, “your hair looks really pretty today,” and then walk away. It has 10,000 words of meaning to her. You don’t need to say all of them.

Sometimes the things you leave unsaid have the most impact. It can be a profound experience to simply open the door for someone without shoving them through it.

Image Credit: yoshiffles

steps

Setting goals can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they give you direction and focus in your life. On the other, they suck valuable resources into an often endless cycle of thoughts, plans, and checklists. And since we donʼt know the future or even how we may want to act in the future, these plans constantly need revisions. Many times this turns into a spiral of incessant planning for the future and never paying attention to right now. This is a problem.

The now is all we have; even when we reach some future time/place it will be the now again when we get there. Because of that, if you want to get from “here” to “there” it can only be done through the now. How do you do this? You simply give all of your attention to right now, to the current step of your goal, and complete it with perfection.

Perhaps the biggest mistake when planning is to make a list of all the steps that will need to be taken in order to reach the end goal. This is foolish. It is sending a signal to the Universe that you know every contingency of the future, which you donʼt. Your place is not to control the process, you couldnʼt even do so if you tried.

Once you have a general idea of where you would like to be, it is your job to just take one step in faith, right now. Then, by forces beyond your control, another step will be made available, and another. Finally, you will be able to look back with awe at what has been created through you.

By focusing on your role of giving your attention to the current step, and allowing the Universe to focus on Itʼs role of bringing you the next step, you can accomplish your wildest dreams. And, you will have a lot more fun along the way.

Image Credit: SeanJCPhoto

is about the last form of praise I’m looking to hear when I publish something.

People like familiar things. If someone likes what I have to say, it is probably because I’m sliding right into their existing viewpoints. I give them validation. I make them feel more comfortable in their current beliefs. That’s a great way to be popular, but what’s the point?

When you’re creating, the most valuable (but most difficult) response to elicit from your audience is this: “I don’t know if I love it or hate it, but I’m going to spend the rest of the day trying to figure it out.”

A while ago I wrote about delights. I said that if the universe wanted to evolve our lives in new ways, it would do so through our delights. The specific quote I posted was this:

“It’s been said by evolutionary biologists and behavioral psychologists, that if the universe wanted to move a human being in a particular direction, that based on what we know of human nature, it would do it through what delights us. Not through punishment or desire, but through delight.”

I believe that wholeheartedly. In fact, I’m ready to show myself exactly how much I believe it. For the month of February, I am going to allow my delights – and only my delights! – to direct every move I make. No major plans, commitments, or schedules. Just spontaneous delight, moment-by-moment.

The practice is simple. I will continually ask myself, “what would delight me most in this moment?” and then go do that.

So, why am I doing this?

The short answer is that I believe what I said earlier, that delights lead us forward in positive ways. As always, there are many unanswered questions in my life and many areas in which I could evolve. Letting my delights lead me from this point forward seems like a worthwhile experiment at worst, and a profound new habit at best. A month will give me enough time – and enough feedback – to determine how successful this approach can be in my life.

If this sounds insane, that’s probably because it is. Logically, I could foresee many terrible things happening. But, in my world, logic isn’t nearly as powerful as belief.

I believe in the power of delight. I believe in the organizing structure of the universe to catch us when we finally have enough faith to lean back and trust the process. I believe that, when we follow our hearts (our delights!), nothing can ever really go wrong. It is time to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and dive into delight.

But this isn’t quite as scary as it sounds. Think about it: how can you ever go wrong with delight? By very definition, you can’t be miserable while also being delighted. Unless I’m missing something, shouldn’t this be the most enjoyable month of my life? :)

But is delight sustainable all the time?

If you confuse delight with pure happiness or pleasure, no. But delight is the expression of joy in its most pure form. Delight simply says: “The core of my being longs to enjoy this right now.”

Within that context, you can go through the full spectrum of ups and downs of normal life. Delight can be sad (like watching a sad movie), stressed (like giving an exhilarating speech), productive (like cooking or doing engaging work), or a myriad other things. The way I see it, delight is the expression of daily life at its optimal emotional state. That, unlike happiness or pleasure, is a sustainable practice.

So my journey this month is to get in touch with that core feeling and to follow it wherever it takes me. There will most certainly be a pruning process that strips away some undelightful things, as well as a growth process that adds new delightful areas to my life.

The “pruning” is perhaps the most scary aspect. It requires that I be willing to give up any of my commitments if needed. What if, for example, I find myself not delighting in this blog? I would have to give it up until it becomes delightful. Luckily for you, writing these blog posts is one of the most enjoyable things in my life and I expect to continue. But I’m sure there are other areas where it will be difficult to say “this doesn’t delight me” and drop it at that.

As much as my delight permits, I’ll keep you updated on this process with any valuable insights. February should be a delightful month. Literally. :)

worth

That’s a pretty boring chart, isn’t it?

There is nothing you can do – now or ever – to change how worthy you are as a human being. The fact that you exist makes you 100% worthy of love and happiness and self esteem. No event, no circumstance, and no person (not even yourself!) can take away your worth. It was there the moment you were born and it will continue at maximum strength until the moment you die. You are worthy.

openHands

Our common tendency is to grasp things as tightly as we can. Our possessions, our families, our ideas, our beliefs. The first reaction we have is to clench our fists around them in an attempt to gain as much control as possible.

This forceful reaction provides a false sense of power. We think that if we can always see it, and control it, and tell it exactly what to do at all times, then everything will turn out all right. But if we let go, or turn our backs for an instant, then all could be lost. Does this sound like the characteristics of true power?

Instead, the tightest grip you can have is an open hand. The true power of our Universe is reserved not for those who have the tightest stranglehold, or the most lawyers, or the biggest weapons, but those who can let go the most freely. To this person, coercion becomes cooperation and fear turns to freedom.

On the surface, an open hand may seem to imply passivity. Itʼs much the opposite. Sure, others may have more forcefulness (which is vastly different than power), but they soon become bound by the shackles built with their own hands. When you allow yourself to let go, it becomes a sign to the Infinite that you are willing to cooperate and accept life as it is. It is only then that you will find the full power of the Universe on your side.

The meek shall, indeed, inherit the earth.

Image Credit: Martin Gommel