Letters are a more personal way to connect to your family, friends, and loved ones. It is a great way to let someone know you are thinking about them.
I struggle with the carbon emissions used to deliver letters, so I will be cautious not to go overboard. I keep in touch often via the internet, but I would like my friends, family and loved ones, to have the tactile experience of holding the letter in their hands.
When I took my coaches training, a particular subject area related to "What's hard to be with?" Often times, we human-beings in our need to be right, or loved, or even simply liked all the time means that we fail to stick-to-it when the going gets tough. I, too, have often been guilty of the same behavior in my life. One place you often find yourself not doing that though, is in a relationship that you've already invested a lot of emotional energy into. So what about the rest of life and other relationships?
I want people to know that their options for meaningful work are greater than they might realize. I think one of the greatest barriers to a healthy community is the conflict people feel between the lives they want to live and the way they earn their living.
We spend a lot of time talking about who we 'want' to be. Social change lingo is permeated with phrases like 'walk your talk'. But as we commend ourselves in our healthy aspirations to be the best we can be, we must also continually check in with who and where we actually are in our development as human beings. In other words, we have to know and accept who we are in order to become who we want to be.
So who are you? The first step to improving your relationship with yourself is to really examine your relationship with yourself. Take stock of how you perceive yourself. Simply, take a good honest look in the mirror of your mind, and describe what you see. Of course, in any self-exploration exercise where deeper truths are being uncovered, the reflex for self-judgment is inevitable. The point here is NOT to render judgment; it's simply to get to know yourself a little more deeply than perhaps you knew yourself yesterday.
1. Take a self-inventory Ask yourself, "Who am I? Why am I here?" Either in a journal, or a private document, or speaking into a dictator, depending on how deeply you get into it, try and set aside at least half an hour to brainstorm. Try completing the sentences:
i. When I think about who I am, what comes up is .. ii. In order to sustain myself, I need … iii. My values are … iv. What I dislike is ... v. For the future, I hope for … vi. I'm afraid of … vii. I want to…
Hold current issues in your life – specific relationships and events – in mind as you answer these questions. The key to this exercise is to be as honest as you can. Notice what you're proud of, and not so proud of; what comes up that is hard to admit, and what maybe goes against an idea of who you want (or don’t want) to be. We all have growing to do in some way or another, so, just for this exercise, let yourself be just as you are.
2. Try out a personal/professional coach Some people have a gift and a passion for helping others succeed in their lives. They make themselves available to be used as tools for self-discovery, goal-planning, and decision-making. Having an outside person listening and reflecting your personal exploration can be tremendously valuable. Coaches have a great reputation for listening for 'blind spots' and often specialize in overcoming barriers to personal success.
3. Try out a psychotherapist Distinct from most typical coaching, a session with a therapist is usually less about reaching a goal and more about more clearly seeing things as they are. Today, the classic idea of the ‘head shrink' is no longer what therapy is about. We've learned that our individual personalities are quite unique, and our complex thoughts and emotions are not reducible to textbook psychological disorders. There are however, some patterns and tendencies that seem to be just part of being human. A skilled therapist understands this, and can help to guide you into a deeper understanding of just who you are (and perhaps how you got that way!). This can be a very freeing and energizing experience, and do good things for your relationship with yourself.
4. Find a new 'edge' Our lives can become quite routine and comfortable. If we have our routines really well set up, it's not uncommon to develop a false sense that we have it ‘all figured out’. A lack of humility only makes us slow and inhibits our ability to respond to the unexpected. It's good to be in touch with your 'edge'. If you're a closet musician, go to a weekend voice workshop or take a music lesson; If you've been neglecting your body, try a yoga class or rock climbing, take a dance class; Test your brain with a mind-puzzle or learn a new language; Test your interpersonal edge by interacting with strangers; volunteer at a soup kitchen; take a writing or public speaking class; express your ideas in an online forum; address an unspoken/underlying issue in your most important relationship; Make a slightly higher risk investment than you're used to; Write a letter to the government; See if you can sit still and quiet for 10 minutes or longer.
5. Reward yourself The fact that you're even reading this shows that you care about yourself, that you want to improve your relationship with yourself and presumably with the world around you. Show yourself that you care by treating yourself to something you really enjoy. Allow yourself to relax whatever self-imposed restrictions you've placed on yourself for what you're 'allowed' to do or have. Take a break and fully enjoy whatever indulgence you decide upon, whether or not it's 'too' expensive, or full of calories, or not on par with your regular sustainability standards. A healthy relationship with yourself is the foundation any approach to sustainable living.
I realized upon waking yesterday morning that I have been caught up lately in what Buddhism would call the world of Hunger.
What is a Buddhist world? I hesitate to say I have any definitive grasp on it, but my basic understanding is that it is essentially a breakdown of the states of mind in experience. In the Buddhist construct, there are ten:
I'd like to be better at changing what I do with my time. I think we all get stuck in these "habit ruts" where we hang out with the same people doing the same things in the same way...all the time. Or, we spend time on stuff we really don&
My brother and I, for one reason or another (probably some combination of our upbringing and the environmentally conscious teachers we had at our elementary school) are both resource conservation hippies, so we both fixate sometimes on questions like, "Why don't people give up their SUVs?" or "Why do people insist on consuming so much energy and resources?" In line with the fields of questioning we each entered (his as an Electrical Engineer, my own as a major in Communication focusing on Information Technology), he sees it as a question of convincing people.
On July 8th, 2006, at 4:50pm, I narrowly missed being able to change my life. It's the little things like this that make you wonder about coincidence, and just what it really means when one's life is indiscernible from many delicately-strung coincidences.
I've been looking for a place to document and discuss this particular goal in my life, and this site seems uniquely suited to do so, as one of the most fascinating parts of Buddhism is its attitude towards change. Becoming a practitioner is somethi