advice to a depressed man

Stuart Jeffries:

He cites the advice of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke to a depressed man: “If your daily life seems poor do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.”

if the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine

Rilke:

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. And as you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, this intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world shall cease to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
And to the rushing water speak, I am.

do you have diamonds on the soles of your shoes?

paul simon says she has diamonds on the soles of her shoes.

do you?

seth godin:

You are hiding your best work, your best insight, and your best self from us every day.

We know how much you care, and it’s a shame that the system works overtime to push you away from the people and the projects you care about…

We’ve been so thoroughly brainwashed and intimidated and socialized that we stay huddled together, waiting for instructions, when we have the first, best, and once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something extraordinary instead.

change your life in four lines

Zen Habits:

1. Start very small.
2. Do only one change at a time.
3. Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results).
4. Be grateful for every step you take.

Notes from Brené Brown’s talk at TEDxHouston

3:12 – Connection is why we are here. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.

4:36 – Shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection. Is there something about me that if other people know it or see it that I won’t be worthy of connection?

7:16 – People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

8:53 – The original definition of courage… (from the Latin word cur, meaning heart) was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.

9:05 – (People who believe they are worthy of love and belonging)… have very simply the courage to be imperfect.  They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others… we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly… they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were… They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful… They just talked about it being necessary.

14:46 – We numb vulnerability.

16:00 – The problem is… that you cannot selectively numb emotions… You can’t numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects and emotions… When we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness, and then we are miserable and we’re looking for purpose and meaning. And then we feel vulnerable so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle.

17:12 – The other thing we do is we make everything that’s uncertain certain. Religion has gone from “I believe in faith and mystery” to “Certainty”. I’m right, you’re wrong. Shut up. That’s it.

17:40 – You know how blame is described in the research? A way to discharge pain and discomfort.

19:26 – This is what I’ve found – to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen, to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee… to practice gratitude and joy… and the last which I think is probably the most important is to believe we are enough because when we work from a place, I believe, that says “I am enough”, then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves. That’s all I have.

what’s remained constant?

Ben Casnocha posts this gem:

From a 1997 interview between Dan Pink and Richard Bolles of What Color Is Your Parachute? fame:

Pink: Despite all the things we’ve discussed so far, you’re not totally sold on the idea that the world of work is awash in change, are you?

Bolles: No, I’m not. There is a basic truth about what a human needs in order to survive; our culture seems unable to understand that. Human nature survives and has survived through the ages by being able to hold on tenaciously to two concepts: What is there about my life or world that has remained constant? and What is there about my life or world that has changed or is changing? I have always argued that change becomes stressful or overwhelming only when you’ve lost any sense of the constancy in your life. You need firm ground to stand on. From there, you can deal with that change. Observing the constants in your life gives you that firm ground. The thing about the great faiths is that they talk about what’s constant in the world: God, grace, prayer. But our culture, in general — and the profession of career counseling, in particular — gets absorbed with a single question: What’s changing? Nobody remembers to ask the other question, What’s remained constant?

in this life, the ball going out is not a very big problem

NYT:

Toni Nadal is constantly reminding his nephew that his worst day on the tennis court is better than most people’s best day. He drove home that point after Nadal sported a long face throughout his first-round match against the 93rd seed, Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia, who extended him to two tie-break sets.

After the match, his uncle talked to him about his demeanor. “I tell him you must be always grateful of the life,” Toni Nadal said. “I think one of the most important things I say always to Rafael is to have a good face. Because in this life, the ball going out is not a very big problem.”