Look at this window: it is nothing but a hole in the wall, but because of it the whole room is full of light. Being full of light it becomes an influence by which others are secretly transformed.
– Chuang Tsu
What we do matters. Our lives matter. Some days it may not seem so. Some days nothing makes sense, obstacles abound, and life is hard. Especially on those days, it matters. How we live our lives, the way we walk into a room, smile and continue moving forward with--and toward--purpose makes all the difference--to us and everyone we touch.
In this early part of 2017, recommit to creating your life each moment. Know that you make a difference every day, whether for good or ill. I know the choice isn't always easy. It's easy to pretend the choices we make don't matter. They do. What you do, what you say, matters.
Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere, but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.... A path without heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it. For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart.... And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly.
--Don Juan, A Yaqui Warrior, as told to Carlos Castaneda
Take time each day for silence. Stillness. Just being.
Sit quietly, Do nothing. Listen to the sound of your breath. And become fully present. This is the greatest challenge of our time--to experience the power of presence in the midst of distraction. This leads to a path with heart and a joyful journey.
The present moment, like the spotted owl or the sea turtle, has become an endangered species. Yet more and more I find that dwelling in the present moment, in the face of everything that would call us out of it, is our highest spiritual discipline. More boldly, I would say that our very presentness is our salvation; the present moment, entered into fully, is our gateway to eternal life.
--Learning to Fall, Philip Simmons
January draws its name from Janus, the Roman god of openings and closings. Janus was two-headed, one head facing the past and one facing the future.
Take stock. What's working and what needs changing? Where is your energy strong, and where is life a struggle? What is the struggle trying to show you, and what are you willing to do to create the life you want?
The repeated practice of centering, of balancing, of flowing with an opponent causes a gradual change in the person doing the centering, balancing and flowing with.
–Aikido in Everyday Life, by Terry Dobson
Live your life knowing that you're inventing it from moment to moment. Excellence is a habit. Happiness is a habit. Find the joy in difficulty and let troubles be your teachers.
The future is not a result of choice among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created... created first in mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.
--John Scharr, Loyalty in America.