Dear Why Team member,
We live in such a diverse world where everyone has a unique style and a unique story.
But, there are certain symbols that are recognized by everyone independent of the continent they live on and the language they speak. Think of Mona Lisa, the Nike sign, or the image of the globe. Do you remember the image of Atlas carrying the World on his back? Why the image of Atlas with the World on his back? What is His story?
Could it be a visual for the belief of man that if he doesn’t hold up the world it will fall?
I have felt such a burden most of my life and was gifted with the perceived fall of it all. How arrogant is it that we believe life depends fully on us! It’s not that we’re not important, it’s just that maybe, we alone are not as important as we think. These past couple of years I have learned to relax more into the flow of life, putting up less resistance to what life has brought me and have found that not only has life become more fun, I have become far more productive toward all that I aspire.
When thinking the world needed me to hold it up, I was often hyper focused on that which posed the greatest threat to my world at any given moment. I remember a session with my coach Dr. Curt Spear, who noticed the stress in my life and invited me to google Earth Rising; the image depicts an Earth rise as opposed to a Sun rise, filmed of course from outer space. His intent was to give me much needed perspective. I was so focused on a single tree, I could not see the forest.
Notice how we can become hyper focused on a single issue in our life - often to the exclusion of all the abundance around us - including possible solutions to the issue.
In the book, “The Road Less Traveled”, by M. Scott Peck, the first three words are simply: “Life is difficult.” Peck then explains that the moment we embrace this truth, life becomes easier. And he means embrace this fact and not complain about it.
Perspective = Attitude
When the weight of the world becomes too much, it might help to remember that we alone are not responsible for holding it up. That life does not unfold fully dependent on us.
Consider the seasons of your life. Are you currently in the winter of your discontent?
With a narrow perspective, many see winter as mostly cold and depressing, but because of Winter, how much more glorious the season of Spring? What is preparing to bloom in your life? Consider the flower; is the flower not a flower until it’s in full bloom? A Rose is still a Rose even when it has only thorns. Can you have faith in the coming season even though you may not see it? Seeds begin in the dirt.
Are the seasons dependent on us?
Perspective = Attitude
Notice how all these words are merely an invitation to put forth a different Perspective - to have a different Attitude toward life. These words do not change life, they do not affect the Seasons that have and will unfold. These words and thoughts, do not hold up the world and the world is not dependent upon our thoughts - or our actions. In fact, how many actions do we take out of habit and discipline with very little world-dependent thoughts? I have found that the more concerned I become about a single issue, the less productive I am in all areas of my life - including the issue of most concern.
Doesn’t it all come down to Attitude? If we could allow life to be what it will be and unfold the way it will - knowing we are a part of life and will naturally be a part of that unfolding, we shouldn’t feel like Atlas, always carrying a burden on our shoulders.
I once met a man that believed his relentless self-criticism is what propelled him to work 80-hour-weeks and was the secret of his financial success. Hmm...success?
At what point does he become rich? And by what definition is he rich? Would it surprise you that he’s changed jobs many times? And how productive, in the end, is he, really, when he’s selling more than serving - striving more for himself than for others? How heavy must his world be to believe that he alone holds it up.
Life is pleasure and pain. Life just IS. But isn’t it our Attitude toward the thorns that help us to see the Rose?
Let not the difficulties distract you. Learn to dance in the rain as the saying goes. That’s how my Mother began every Summer as a child - the first rain in May, the shoes came off and they played in the rain to celebrate the beginning of Summer.
Is not the rain needed for the flowers’ growth? Does not the rain soften the seeds so that they may eventually bloom? How easy it is for us to lose perspective when we’re so busy holding up our supposedly self-created world? Can we not trust that life is presenting us with different seasons and it’s up to us to make the most of them? If we but expand our awareness to take in more of the world around us, would that not make a single issue in our life smaller? The next time you’re so close to a tree that all you see is the bark - back up! Take in the forest! Google “Earth Rising”. Gain Perspective and consider more a change in your Attitude rather than a change in your Circumstance.
Is not our attitude toward your circumstances the real cause of suffering?
Life IS, but suffering is optional.
And haven’t we all experienced a change in circumstances because of a change in attitude?
As the saying goes: your Attitude determines your Altitude. A higher lighter Attitude can lift you above the minutia in life; and do more to call you into action - rather than push you into action. There is a lot of work to do and doing your part is important, but you alone do not hold up the world. That kind of burden can be crushing. Rather, notice how life has supported you and ask how you may in turn, be more supportive toward life.
This week I hope you’ll dance in the rain and as a result become more for yourself and others.
Make it a great week,