Yes, I didn’t write anything HERE yesterday, though I did write–just not for public consumption. I’ve realized that when I’m at work, I tend to get morose, depressed, overly self-judgmental, highly reactive emotionally–obviously, I need to change my work environment. And I’m working on that, but it’s a long-term process (at least as long as the company stays in business…).
I linked to a blog on Simple Mindfulness this morning that was titled Experimenting with Failure. I expected it to be the usual commentary on how you have to fail to move forward, but I was jolted out of my complacency by the very beginning, where she said,
I don’t believe in failure. The word doesn’t have a purpose or meaning in my life.
Everything I do is an experiment: Test. Assess the results. Learn something and take the next step.
Sound familiar? It’s the scientific method!
My goddess, what a simple concept, a guidance on how to live a life. Life presents countless opportunities; we are constantly choosing what to do (or, in far too many cases, not do). Instead of looking at each opportunity as a measured step on a predetermined path–as an act leading to a particular outcome–consider it a chance to expand, to bring new knowledge and joy into your environment.
I know someone who does this supremely well: my sister, who celebrated her birthday yesterday. (Everybody say, Happy Birthday Peg!) Her life has gone through a series of twists and turns and heartaches and knockdowns and resurrections and explorations and she never stops! She has learned to listen to her heart and follow her interests and passions. She has organizational and managerial skills, creative and artistic talents, and interests that she has learned to follow to see where they take her. She has taken risks that most would never have dared to even think of pursuing–including piloting, quitting her job to be a stained glass artisan, moving 3,000 miles away, establishing a publishing company, parasailing. And–oh, yeah–she was a scientist early on, interesting in biology, so she’s quite familiar with the scientific method!
Look around you; think about who you know who has that spirit and that quest. I can think of one off the bat (Ph.D.s in botany and psychology, a passion for horses and dancing and out-of-date couture). They’re there, and they’re living the experimental (and experiential) life.
And now–back to the morosity and self-judgment (remember the first paragraph?!). It was triggered by looking at introductions made by people who are signed up for a course in Positive Psychology I’m taking at Kripalu, starting next week. (Ironic that people taking positive psychology send me into a tailspin, right?!) These bios, the information people chose to write about, painted pictures of very, very accomplished people. Ph.D.s, pharmacist yogis, coaches, lawyers, people who had pursued dreams. I felt like an interloper: No advanced degree, no established business, not even a steady yoga practice these days. What the hell was I thinking? I didn’t belong there.
But then. Then I remembered one of the reasons I signed up for the course (aside from and interest and belief in the topic): my desire to change the mix of the 5 people I spend the most time with. And guess what: these are the types of people I want to be with–smart, evolving, excited, passionate, questing, questioning, spiritual. And I started crafting my bio in my head to honor their influence on me and all I hope to learn from and with them.
Yup, experimenting with life.