Podcast 46/52 – An act of rebellion

On Being.
Krista Tippett in conversation with Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin.
Topic: The inner life of rebellion.

At this point in time, a time of terror and natural disasters, war and tyranny, people fleeing from their home and countries, from death and destruction…. holding onto hope is a challenge. A struggle. Not always easy. But I stick with it. I stick with my hope of a better world, for all. With the knowing, deep within me, that the path of love is the path ahead, towards that world, which is better for each and every one. In times like these, holding onto hope is an act of rebellion.act of rebellion

This is the essence of this podcast. Holding onto hope. Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin remind me of the path I’ve chosen in life. The path of love.

Does that mean I never despair? Dread? Fear? Hate?
No. I feel it all. It’s a part of the human experience.
But I cannot, will not, let those emotions become the main route of my life.

That is not how I want my life to play out, focusing on those feelings, the feelings of despair, dread, fear, hate. It’s not what I chose. So when those feelings show up, I see and acknowledge them, I don’t shy away from them, but I have the choice not to dive headfirst into them, and that’s most often the choice I make.

Trying to avoid falling for the siren’s call of the cynic, the sarcastic, the pessimistic and the negative. Instead, I try to listen to the love, the creativity, the compassion and the positive. Simply, because it makes my life more enjoyable. That’s my act of rebellion. Holding onto hope, believing in and living my life out of love and light.

What is your act of rebellion?

 

How do you Do virtues?

I listened to Parker Palmer giving this commencement address to the graduating class at Naropa University, and several times I got goose bumps and shivers. For me, those have become telltale signs that there’s something important and/or very true being shared.


The six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I followed my urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts. You can read my thoughts on the first, second, third, fourth and fifth suggestion here.

BoldomaticPost_Daily-keep-your-death-beforeThe sixth suggestion is: ”Daily, keep your death before your eyes.” – St Benedict

If you hold a healthy awareness of your own mortality, your eyes will be opened to the grandeur and glory of life, and that will evoke all of the virtues I have named, as well as those I haven’t, such as hope, generosity and gratitude. 

We get to chose what virtues we hold high, which ones we try to model in the world. And the beauty is, we get a new chance to do so – model it, I mean – over and over again, moment by moment. And in a strange way, there is no tomorrow. Well, of course there is a tomorrow, but postponing my way of showing up in the world until tomorrow, that’s risky business. Because you might not be around tomorrow, and that’s a fact. There will come a tomorrow when I am not here, in this form at least, and the worst thing about that for me would be if I never got around to showing up as me, with my virtues and values held high, because I kept pushing it forward to the next moment, the next moment, the next moment.

Yes, it can be tricky to live according to your values. We are only human after all. That’s why it’s so important to be gentle with ourselves in our humanness. At the same time – it will never get less tricky, less awkward, less strange and unfamiliar, if I don’t start to act in accordance with my view of these virtues. And that’s actually something to ponder as well. I mean – virtues are all fine and dandy, love, hope, understanding, generosity, gratitude and so on. But how do I do them? How to express them in the world? How do I live in accordance with them, so that my actions mimics my beliefs? How do you do love for instance? Or gratitude?

A part of being human

I listened to Parker Palmer giving this commencement address to the graduating class at Naropa University, and several times I got goose bumps and shivers. For me, those have become telltale signs that there’s something important and/or very true being shared.


The six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I followed my urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts. You can read my thoughts on the first, second, third and fourth suggestion here.

BoldomaticPost_Since-suffering-as-well-as-joThe fifth suggestion is: Since suffering as well as joy comes with being human, I urge you to remember this: Violence is what happens when we don’t know what else to do with our suffering.

As Parker says, violence can be directed inwards as well as outwards. And it’s not the answer, it’s not. Hardest for me has been to stop being violent inwards. Beating myself up, verbally, in the harsh and terrifying inner chatter, that accompanied me for so long. It’s almost weird trying to look back at it. I have a hard time remembering what it sounded like, specifically, because it’s so far from the inner chatter within me right now. My mental chatter has shifted, and as a result. I don’t suffer as much either. It’s like a merry-go-round. I suffer, beat myself up over something, and then suffer more, think I’m a wimp for it, so I beat myself up over it some more…. and so on.

And now. A totally different tone. A gentleness. Towards me. And to think I only realized it was possible to be gentle towards myself around my 35th birthday. (Born in 1972, you do the maths.) When I stopped being harsh on myself (and yes, I do believe that to be a form of violence) something else became possible. Because at that time not only could I could start to take in all of my own feelings, I could also start to take you in. And with that, your suffering no longer scared me (as much anyway). Being less likely to want to thrash out, verbally or physically, at your ways to try to escape your suffering. Understanding it doesn’t say much – if anything – about me, and everything about you.

Me being ok with feelings of suffering (both my own, and yours), those same feelings seem to pass through me quicker and more easily. The rabbit holes of my past used to be so deep it took me forever to get out of them. Now I fall into them, but not as deep, and not for as long. Maybe because I no longer fight desperately to get out of them?

 

 

What’s your big job?

I listened to Parker Palmer giving this commencement address to the graduating class at Naropa University, and several times I got goose bumps and shivers. For me, those have become telltale signs that there’s something important and/or very true being shared.


The six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I followed my urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts. You can read my thoughts on the first, second and third suggestion here.

BoldomaticPost_Take-on-big-jobs-worth-doingThe fourth suggestion is: Take on big jobs worth doing. Jobs like the spread of love, peace and justice. 

Dare to dream, go for the seemingly impossible. I know I have these past 3-4 years. But I don’t even want to go there right now. If you’re interested you’l be able to find out what my goal for 2020 is.

The important thing for me is that we avoid playing small. Belittling ourselves. Yeah sure, maybe I can’t make a huge shift to society…. but maybe I can! Right? I mean, how would you know? If you don’t go for it – how would you ever know what might have been?

And don’t get me wrong, playing big doesn’t mean setting a big goal to change society, starting revolution, inventing something extraordinarily magnificent and winning the Nobel Price for it. It can just as well be about becoming the best parent around or spreading love and warmth where ever you go or volunteering at a local shelter…. or anything really. As long as you really have the feeling it’s worth doing. That’s what to look for!

Playing big, for me, is therefore more about stretching myself, growing, expanding. You know, like a balloon. When you first try to inflate it, it’s hard. You have to blow hard on it to make anything happen. And then – all of a sudden, it starts to expand, and finally – you’re there, with a beautiful ballon in your hands. Now. If you deflate it, and then inflate it again – it’s much easier the second time around, isn’t it? And possibly you can get a few more breaths of air in it. Just don’t blow so hard it explodes.

You know where that boundary is within you. I am certain of it. Just make sure you listen for the proper voice though! It’s not the harsh voice telling you ”You’re pushing it too far”, ”Don’t even bother to try it, you’ll fail!”, ”Who are you thinking you could do something like that?”… that you should listen to. No. Listen for the silent knowing, the kind that fills your entire body. Wordlessly it let’s you know, what the right amount of air is to stretch the balloon just a tiny bit further. That’s what you should listen for when you go for the big jobs.

So. I’m curious to know. What’s your big job?

Afraid of otherness?

I listened to Parker Palmer giving this commencement address to the graduating class at Naropa University, and several times I got goose bumps and shivers. For me, those have become telltale signs that there’s something important and/or very true being shared.


The six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I followed my urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts. You can read my thoughts on the first and second suggestion here.

BoldomaticPost_As-you-welcome-whatever-you-fThe third suggestion is: As you welcome whatever you find alien within yourself, extend that same welcome to whatever you find alien in the outer world.

There is no other, that is not also a part of you.

I’ll write that again: There is no other, that is not also a part of you.

So be hospitable, curious and meet the world with the same sense of adventurous journey of discovery that you hopefully have embarked upon within yourself. There is no need to be afraid of otherness. Or rather, you do not need to act upon the fear. You can see it, witness it, and let it pass through. Because you are meeting yourself, when you come across someone, something, which you do not recognize, that feels new and different and unknown to you. That is how to grow. That is how to benefit the world. And that is where my hope for the future lies. Just imagine what will be made possible when we no longer fear otherness. I can see it in my minds eye. Can you?

The event horizon

I listened to Parker Palmer giving this commencement address to the graduating class at Naropa University, and several times I got goose bumps and shivers. For me, those have become telltale signs that there’s something important and/or very true being shared.

BoldomaticPost_As-you-integrate-ignorance-anThe six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I followed my urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts. You can read my thoughts on the first suggestion here.

The second suggestion is: As you integrate ignorance and failure into your knowledge and success, do the same with all the alien parts of yourself.

What I hear him say is that each of us is a complex individual, with lightness and darkness within. A friend of mine talks to me about black holes, something I know very little about. As I understand it, the boundary between so called normal universe and a black hole is called the event horizon.

That is just about the most poetic description of an edge that I have ever heard. When I heard Parker Palmer speak of the alien parts of me, I saw the event horizon before my eyes. It’s within me. Light. Shadow. Both exist, and are invaluable to me. And we can only ever know ourselves, if we acknowledge and cherish all parts of ourselves. It’s along the edges where magic happens, where light and shadow meet.

So when we utilize our full self, with light and shadow both, there is no end to what we can accomplish. That’s how the impossible becomes possible. And when we dare to see both our light and our shadow, our power is increased. Have you claimed and named your shadow?

Be reckless

I listened to Parker Palmer giving this commencement address to the graduating class at Naropa University, and several times I got goose bumps and shivers. For me, those have become telltale signs that there’s something important and/or very true being said/shared.

BoldomaticPost_Be-reckless-when-it-comes-toThe six suggestions Parker provides on living a life worth exploring are simple. And powerful. So powerful I feel an urge to split this recommendation into six consecutive blog posts.

The first suggestion is: Be reckless when it comes to affairs of the heart.

He urges us all to fall passionately in love with life. And to go boldly, not fearing the vulnerability that is a certain companion when living a life worth living. When we give of ourselves, there will be times when we risk getting hurt. But the alternative, of holding back, of not giving of ourselves, of not letting that happen through me, that is mine to give the world. That’s just too sad to even contemplate.

So – go out there, and be reckless. Love. Live. Create! Because if you are anything like me, you are more afraid of regretting what wasn’t done rather than that which was done, when lying on your death bed. Or?