reflections

In an alternate universe

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Only now do I see my wondering as a strange prompt that recommits me to the present, to the life I am living right now.

The era of self-expressive work

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Work that makes us feel alive, whole, and loved for who we are: is that too much to ask? When so much work today seems to ask everything of us, is it any surprise that we ask everything in return?

Zugunruhe

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Tell me you’ve never felt restless because it was time to go somewhere, even if it wasn’t yet clear where to go.

Being present with time

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Sometimes the gift of time—the gift of being present to the experience of time, in all its multitudes—feels overwhelming.

Performing a part (or, learning how to “expert”)

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Performance has its place, not least as a natural way to experiment and learn. But I wonder if it’s the performing of any part that prevents you from truly getting to know it for yourself.

Unlearning our rules for living

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As soon as we become aware of ourselves and others, we begin to learn and accumulate rules for living. How do we unlearn them?

Seeing clearly

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My parents, my sister, and I all love to please. When we’re simply with each other, it feels like love. But when we’re all together with other people, it feels like stress.

Our moment in time

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Life is so precious, I can barely stand it. And I can barely stand being in a world that persists in pretending not to see it.

Two-minute intervals of life

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There is something in my house which has become a kind of weird, private emblem for all the parenting woes I’ve ever felt. That something is my electric toothbrush.

Creating a clearing

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How is it humanly possible, I wondered, to work for most of the daylight (plus some of the nightlight) hours of (at least) every weekday for multiple decades and feel like one is living anything close to a full life?

In the middle of midlife

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Mid-flight, somewhere between California and New York, I woke up from a dream in which I was horrified to realize more than half of my life was likely over. I had lost years of time, without knowing where that time had gone.

Speaking up

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I wonder how different my life might have been if I always had been wholly unafraid to use my voice. I grieve a little bit for my younger self—and for everyone who fears, even a little, to speak.

The gift of being in transition

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The clients I know are constantly being thrown into some kind of transition. But they don’t often see the transition they’re in. Instead, they see themselves in transit.

A pop quiz from the universe

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I was on the verge of starting to tell my team that I planned to leave at the end of January to pursue my passion for coaching. Then an unexpected email arrived.

An invitation to live

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Early on Sunday morning, one of my dad’s best friends died. I’ll call him Uncle Q. Uncle Q. and my dad and three other men have been a “gang of five” for 60 years, ever since they first met in college.

Thinking about the cloud forest

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One day, I had no expectations whatsoever that we would go live somewhere else for a year. And then the next day, I was imagining a plan for doing exactly that.

Boundaries and banana fritters

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If my boundaries are constantly being tested and re-negotiated, how do I define them? If I can’t define them, how do I possibly protect, let alone communicate, them?

letters

Staying attached

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I’ve taken up one of my favorite at-home pastimes: looking through the things I’ve saved and considering whether there’s been any change in my attachment levels. Is there anything I am now less attached to?

In appreciation of the little mailbox

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We are often told that sometimes all we need to do to move forward is to let go of who we once were. But sometimes the gift might just be in embracing it.

On being a dilettante

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I was once taught that to be someone who only dabbles in things like a silly amateur, without ever achieving true mastery, was the worst thing I could be. Now I know better.

One hundred stone years

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What is there to learn from two large stones who are sad for one hundred years, before they are happy?

The magic of molting and metaphors

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Metaphors are magical. If we pay more attention to what metaphors we apply to our lives, we can understand more deeply what we’re experiencing and where we’re stuck. As we change our metaphors, we change ourselves.

The art of avoiding dreadful questions

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I had the courage to leave corporate life to pursue, well, life, when I realized that it’s not the answer that matters, but the question—and that we are desperately in need of better questions to ask ourselves and each other.

illustrative hedgehog

There is no one else

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Where it truly matters—in the living of my life, in the living of our lives—do we live the simple truth that “there is no one else” to do the living?