More and more, I’ve come to believe that usefulness is a key ingredient to a happy and fulfilling life. From my own experience, when I feel useful, I am more focused, productive, motivated and self-assured. Even if there’s a struggle involved. If I feel that what I’m struggling for is of use, then vats of commitment and dedication seem to make themselves available. I think usefulness is a feeling that emerges subliminally, but there’s no doubt that we’ve all felt it. In fact, most of us feel it at some point every day. Think of the farmer who is planting crops that will grow and feed. Think of the therapist who is helping someone resolve a difficult issue. Think of the tradesman who is repairing the roof of a house. Think of the teacher who is coaching someone how to use a computer. Think of the photographer who is taking pictures of a couple on their wedding day. Yes. There is no doubt that work and usefulness are inextricably bound. Yet we mustn’t forget that work doesn’t always come in the form of a job. A mother and father raising a child, or a child looking after sick parents, is just as much a form of work. Disagree? Think of it this way; they are exercising their powers towards useful ends . . . isn’t that what work is? Essentially? (And ideally).
In manifold ways, work offers a steady flow of useful energy, consistently providing wellness and regulation for our mind-body. In brief, work is crucial. We need to work. More than that, though, we need to determine what kind of work we find interesting. For when interest and usefulness collide, we feel satisfied with what we’re doing. And let’s not dismiss the importance of satisfaction.
Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labour and to wait.
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and so, for this Meditation Friday, I thought it would be apt to write a spiel about love…
Except now that I’ve started to write, I realise all the things that could and can’t be said about it – mostly the things that can’t be. Love is a complicated thing to explain – perhaps the most complicated thing to explain. Ever. And so, I’m going to keep this short, because the most truthful thing I can write is as simple as this: Love Is.
We are made of flesh and stars Round the moon we love to dance Find us in all sorts of bars Serenading with jactance Sloppier than apple pie Deeper than a tub of cream All of us are born to die Dosing in a timeless dream Shapes we make with paint and prose Black white keys and neon string Looping lines that have no close Circling and circling
Think about it: when it’s your birthday, you feel totally fantastic. This is mostly because:
You Step Outside. You walk like a Badass.
You look your Best. You do things that make you Happy. You use your Smile.
You connect with people you Love. You let People treat you like you’re Special.
You believe you’re Special. You don’t rush through the Day.
You Celebrate. You embrace Gifts. You’re grateful for your Life.
Now imagine if you lived like this all the other 364 days of your years. Imagine if you made every day your birthday and treated everyone else as if it was their birthday, too. How would that look? Let’s try it for the rest of this month and see…
A visual meditation this week in the form of a short movie comprised of video clips I’ve taken with my phone throughout the month of January. It was a sinuous month. These are just some of the things my eyes lingered on . . .