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February 16, 2012


thankyou for posting this Beth - number 5 especially. It doesn't work in a simple or instant way, but subtly and with good attention, we can develop greater capacity for happiness, is my experience.

Interesting responses and questions--shall have to link to the post... Still considering mine. Or not quite considering.

Interesting -- and while the first 4 are not surprising to me, the last one is. As I am getting older, I find that happiness (or if not that, at least unhappiness) can be a matter of choice. Not always easy to follow up after making the choice, but practice helps.

The quick typing fingers that turned IS into IF in item 3 (!!!) belong to a you who has wrestled with many of these questions one way and another. But I hope you aren't expecting quick answers. I will do a writing practice on each one in the week ahead and share if it seems true.

We all know in our hearts the way to live without regret, in full appreciation of what is in our life now. And yet we all get pulled away from it--why does that happen do you think?

Thanks to everyone who's commented so far. Vivian, I'm looking forward to what you discover in your journal practice. Lilian, I think it's complicated. Many of us don't want to hurt the people closest to us, and also don't want to be alone, so we make compromises that take us away from our true or deepest selves, choosing a middle ground. And is that bad, necessarily? I've known people who really didn't compromise, and lived life exactly the way they felt compelled to do, or wanted to do, and they may have died without regrets but they also left ruined relationships and a lot of hurt and pain, especially in their children. I don't think it's so simple. Not having regrets may mean being at peace with your choices, feeling you did your best, and knowing that you tried not to compromise on your basic values. It kind of depends on what we actually think life is about, doesn't it?

It seems very complicated. Shall we say our truest, deepest self is solitary? or not? You've hit it with your last comment, I think: "...depends on what we actually think life is about.."

Mm. Thanks for this.

Somehow, I find a connection between your post and this interactive feature I came upon this morning. I think you would appreciate the questions it asks of us: http://www.dreamsofyourlife.com/

It's a companion piece to a BBC documentary I would really like to see: http://dreamsofalife.com/

This article came up on FB recently but no such thing as too much here and thanks for the commentary.Wisdom at the end.. perhaps this is what Kierkegaard meant with "life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards".Real change as you allude to is difficult,its incremental,and a daily struggle.There is backsliding.So I wonder if these patients were miraculously given more time would they reorder their lives because of these insights or would they go back to a lifetime of self defeating conditioned responses.Some would reorder but i am afraid i am drawn to the cynicism of Seneca "We often want one thing and pray for another,not telling the truth even to the gods"
Still.I am on the periphery of the climbing community out here in the West.There are acidents sometimes involving the death of appallingly young people.There was one last month of a young woman from near where i live in an acident in Patagonia.People sometimes say at these funerals that at least this person died doing what he/she enjoyed.I find that trite and unsatisfactory.In the case of the Patagonia acident the young woman's obit ended with a part of a poem found in her journal.It was the ending to Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day"
"Tell me,what else should i have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me,What is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?"
Yes what indeed.So very important stuff.I hope you keep posting asking the big questions

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.