Thursday, May 14, 2015

Article Club - May

Tonight we'll be discussing David Brook's Moral Bucket List. A great read if you have not already come across it.

My takeaways: "Character is built on a confrontation with your own weaknesses." 
In one of my very favorite yoga classes,  the teacher asked us to say thank you to our flaws - thank you my sadness, thank you my anger, thank you my hiding, thank you my secrets.... By doing this, by acknowledging, not repelling, our weakness - we can hold it and release it. How many times do we see a person overcompensate... they hide their lack of true confidence by boasting. They wish away their anger with passive aggressive criticism. Never really accepting and owning their weakness and therefore never learning the real tools to manage it.

"Their lives often follow a pattern of defeat, recognition, redemption. They have moments of pain and suffering. But they turn those moments into occasions of radical self-understanding — by keeping a journal or making art. As Paul Tillich put it, suffering introduces you to yourself and reminds you that you are not the person you thought you were.   .....The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be"

 I stopped subscribing to the "how to be happy" club a few years ago. I've learned that happiness is fleeting. That's not to say I don't experience moments of true happiness. Times when my body feels light and my thoughts are free of worry and angst. But those moments are temporary. As are the moments of sadness, frustration, doubt. It's all temporary - they come and they go as the wind, a wave, a season. It's all passing; constant fluidity. Instead of the fruitless search for "happiness" - I search for ways to balance my sad days and revel in my good ones. Year after year, I try to be more calm than I was, approach difficult situations with more maturity, embrace good moments with presence. I don't always succeed but I am proud that my trajectory seems to be toward improvement.

We'll have pizza and wine, too.  And the night will hopefully be another success.  A moment of connection, shared wisdom and joy.