Keep Going (This is the Work – Vol. 1, No. 5)

Here are few things I’m sharing this month:

1. New blog and more:

2. Question I’m living with:

  • “And above all, how will you shape a life equal to and as beautiful and as astonishing as a world that can birth you, bring you into the light and then just as you are beginning to understand it, take you away?” – David Whyte (from Consolations)

3. Quote I’m considering:

  • “As improbable as it often seems, it is possible to act. To lead. To use your imagination to build practical structures that will in some form improve the lives of the people who enter them. Paranoia about action – and the motivations for action – is the sickly indulgence of intellectuals and philosophers. The truth is that some people have a gift for action. In some people this gift is outsized, disproportionate, extraordinary to witness.” – Zadie Smith (from Intimations)

4. Poem I’m pondering:

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.

by Rainer Maria Rilke in The Book of Hours

5. Something inspiring:

6. Something useful:

  • Jordan B. Peterson in his 12 Rules forLife quoting Carl Rogers about how to listen: “The great majority of us cannot listen; we find ourselves compelled to evaluate, because listening is too dangerous. The first requirement is courage, and we do not always have it.” Peterson then goes on to review a thought experiment Rogers asked his readers to conduct the next time they found themselves in a dispute. Rogers says “Stop the discussion for a moment, and institute this rule: ‘Each person can speak up for himself only after he has first restated the ideas and feelings of the previous speaker accurately, and to that speaker’s satisfaction.” (p. 246)

If you’re reading this newsletter for the first time, you can read previous issues here, view lists of poems, questions, quotes and songs I’ve shared before here, and subscribe here.

Feel free to leave a comment to share your thoughts or just to say hey. I love hearing from you all. Thanks so much. And, have a great day! – shawn