restless peasant: life, changing :

Our stories

One of Seth’s best, from his blog this week:

“A million things happened to you today. The second bite of your lunch. The red light on the third block of your commute…

Tomorrow, you’ll remember almost none of them.

And the concept that you’d remember something that happened to you when you were twelve is ludicrous.

What actually happened was this:

After it (whatever that thing you remember) happened, you started telling yourself a story about that event. You began to develop a narrative about this turning point, about the relationship with your dad or with school or with cars.

Lots of people have had similar experiences, but none of them are telling themselves quite the same story about it as you are.

Over time, the story is rehearsed. Over time, the story becomes completely different from what a videotape would show us, but it doesn’t matter, because the rehearsed story is far more vivid than the video ever could be.

And so the story becomes our memory, the story gets rehearsed ever more, and the story becomes the thing we tell ourselves the next time we need to make a choice.

If your story isn’t helping you, work to rehearse a new story instead.

Because it’s our narrative that determines who we will become.”

From Seth’s blog


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There Is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In: Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen and published 24 years before the US election 🙂

 

It’s coming through a hole in the air
From those nights in Tiananmen Square
It’s coming from the feel
That this ain’t exactly real
Or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there
From the wars against disorder
From the sirens night and day
From the fires of the homeless
From the ashes of the gay
Democracy is coming to the USA
It’s coming through a crack in the wall

 

 

photo credit: Rolling Stone


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empty cup

Lately I’ve been using the image of an empty cup to find a more peaceful state of mind.

One of the most peaceful, meditative states is when you’re just open to noticing what’s around you and happening in the present moment. You’re just receiving the world around you (yourself included), soaking in the light, colors, shapes, sounds, touch sensations, just noticing.

When you’re completely open to noticing this moment, it can be amazing — you notice things you wouldn’t have if you were in your normal dream state, you start to appreciate little details of everything around you. Most of us miss this almost all of the time. We all walk around in a trance, thinking about what we need to do, spinning stories about what’s happening.

Here’s the thing: if our minds are full of thoughts and stories already, we actually can’t notice the present moment. We can’t see what’s all around us, when we’re caught up in our normal dreamlike state.

You can’t fill a cup up with the present moment, when it’s already full.

So I have been practicing emptying out my cup.

I notice that I have an emotional state or story that has filled my mind and is blocking me from noticing what’s in front of me.

I let all of that flow out of the cup of my mind.

And then I soak in the present moment, noticing the physical sensations of everything around me. Noticing my body and how it feels. Noticing what’s flowing through my mind.

Then, of course, I get caught up in my thoughts again. When I notice this, I empty my cup. I soak in the moment. Then once again, I get caught up, I empty my cup, I soak in the moment.

Over and over, I empty my cup. And that leaves me open to whatever is happening right now, the wonder-filled beauty and joy of the emerging moment.

From Leo at zenhabits


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On the Loneliness of the Divided Mind – Alan Watts

“When … you realize that you live in, that indeed you are this moment now, and no other, that apart from this there is no past and no future, you must relax and taste to the full, whether it be pleasure or pain. At once it becomes obvious why this universe exists, why conscious beings have been produced, why sensitive organs, why space, time, and change. The whole problem of justifying nature, of trying to make life mean something in terms of its future, disappears utterly. Obviously, it all exists for this moment. It is a dance, and when you are dancing you are not intent on getting somewhere… The meaning and purpose of dancing is the dance.”

Full piece on Brainpickings here


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Money vs Wealth – Alan Watts

“Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself. A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft. He needs real wealth, in the form of a fishing rod, a compass, an outboard motor with gas, and a female companion. But this ingrained and archaic confusion of money with wealth is now the main reason we are not going ahead full tilt with the development of our technological genius for the production of more than adequate food, clothing, housing, and utilities for every person on earth.”

Full piece on Brainpickings here.


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100 blocks

Most people sleep about seven or eight hours a night. That leaves 16 or 17 hours awake each day. Or about 1,000 minutes.

Let’s think about those 1,000 minutes as 100 10-minute blocks. That’s what you wake up with every day.

full piece by Tim Urban here:

100 Blocks a Day


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