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Worldly needs and daily delights

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Worldly needs and daily delights

By Sandra J. Cohen and Roger Cormier

This posting marks the beginning of our fourth year of “Tips for Growing Older,” available to you on this Amigos de Bucerias web site. We are revisiting the topic of personal daily delights and world needs with a description of a daily practice that may appeal to you. At the third anniversary of “Tips” and going forward, we welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Seniors and younger baby boomers often find themselves torn between wanting to address the big picture of people and planet problems and getting through days filled with too many tasks, choices and decisions. How can we resolve this dilemma?

Comparing ourselves with people featured in the media for chucking a career and starting an amazingly innovative and effective medical, social or environmental program can be very discouraging. Putting ourselves down because we barely get our day-to-day activities done and cannot even find time to volunteer in our community will make matters worse. Even resolving to stop thinking about it may make us feel guilty.

We sometimes hear exhortations such as, “Follow your passion or your heart’s delight and you’ll find your role in the world and your own personal happiness.” Yes, we can pay more attention to what makes us feel good about ourselves and alive to our experience. But how can we be sure that such attentiveness will help reveal who we really are, and how we can make a difference in a world full of so much injustice, suffering and waste of the Earth’s gifts?

Talking about it with a professional or personal friend can help. Putting it aside at times can give us much needed relief. We can, however, try a practice that can both nurture us and at some point help reveal what will draw us forward in a direction that will feel right and enliven us.

The practice is to write a list, at the end of each day, of experiences that gave us delight, made us feel lighter and more alive, and perhaps told us something about who we really are.

We will be surprised with how many small, quiet experiences and unexpected twists brought a smile to our face and left a good feeling in our mind and heart. Some days, we may recall just a few such moments. At other times, we may fall asleep before completing a long list.

It may include things we saw, heard or tasted; what someone said to or did for us, or something we said or did that brightened someone else’s day; an insight we gained, or an incident that made us laugh out loud. All we need is a small pad, a pen, and a commitment to revisit our daily delights.

Sandy Cohen & Roger Cormier (email: [email protected]; free blog: starguide4growingolder.wordpress.com)

By | 2017-02-15T09:17:52-06:00 February 15th, 2017|Featured, Tips For Growing Older|1 Comment

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  1. Steven Cochrane February 21, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I thank Sandra and Roger for their own expression of what matters to them. Inspired, I also will act in this way, giving expression to the knowing that wells up within me. An action, after which, I too will rest. I thank them for saying that the action of the one who knows and cares, by way of expressing such, is as significant and valuable for the one and to that one, as the action caught on tape and broadcast about. I have a story, many throughout my days, as well, no less important than any one or all the other ones. The media is correct that stories matter. But those who criticize the media are correct in that all the other stories matter as well. So where does that leave us. It leaves us to each one knowing and giving expression to our own stories, whether it ends in a publication, or in our resting; either way, all stories matter equally, with ongoing potentiality. The implication is that as long as we can find a way to know and express ourselves, the only additional thing we need to care fully about is that others have the same right and room to also know and express their stories. My right to do so ends where I listen to yours beginning. I really appreciate Sandra’s and Roger’s recognition that many of us will carry a concern and care for the “world out there” throughout our lives, even to the end of our lives. There are many ways to know and contribute to the well being of ourselves, our communities, our world. Our role (knower or actor – knowing through action or action through knowing) will change but our contribution continues, in many diverse ways. Sandra and Roger are so right to say that the consciousness and experience of the one, whether alone or quietly among the many, also carries great value. The dynamic is the ancient process of prayer or attentiveness and respect for the great one as well as for the least among us, or the great universe of the many, as known through the very local and smallest manifestation of life in action. Action has many means; it may be thought in action, attention sustained; it may be an essay in action, a thought explained; it may be poetry in action, a thought of beauty in emotion; it may be corrective action; a healing hand; it may be a list of what matters; leading to closure and rest in action; it may be action-for change, creating or going with that flow – a process so important that just as when we were children, if we ourselves cannot change or act, then we allow others to change for us. For, the smallest, shortest simplest manifestation of life and being are not only windows and reminders of what matters, they are the foundation, the very building blocks of what matters. No matter how young or how old we are, action, change, all begins with the basic awareness, the will to know and express our knowing, and the wisdom to allow the action that is possible, if not by us, then by others. We think of the insight, the awareness as the precursor to action and action being the real goal. But the great ones as well as the most common among us have always known that to know and to act, are simply different forms of the same intelligence. We do not get to decide or control what form we can take when; life is a developmental process; it changes and our resources for action change over time; we simply act in the form we are given at any one time, and that is what is asked of us, that we always realize this dynamic potential and accept both roles. In life, we have learned and acted as much as we have acted and learned. Life is not only the universe expressing itself through us, it is the universe knowing itself through us. I see that to every thing there is a season. If our season blooms with knowing, then knowing is our action and we let the universe translate that in to other forms of action through time. Knowing this, and knowing others know this and will equally care, listen, learn, and act as they can, I rest easy.

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