Thursday Thought: Slow

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It takes the corpse flower about 17 years to bloom. Cicadas come down from their trees in about the same time period. It takes a human life about this same time to even begin the process of maturation. It took Leonardo Da Vinci nearly 17 years to complete the Mona Lisa — and he thought himself a failure the entire time. There are indeed events, flash events, that instantly change the landscape of the Earth, or our lives, or both. The hurricanes and earthquakes and tsunamis. But even after these events, time must take its course to recalibrate and realign to a shifted landscape. For, most of life is slowly unfolding. It is going through its half-life decay as things slowly erode and imperceptibly shift. The human life seems so short — butterflies flitting about the stolid wind for only but a day. Or maybe it’s our time that seems short, particularly when compared to the majestic mountain or the vibrant pulse of our very Earth. But our perspective seems myopically proportional to our own lifespan.  Perhaps the red giant star laments that it is only able to blaze brightly for 300 million years,  quietly envious of the humble suns able to shine for billions. A great many things happen during the human life. Flashes of an infinity of teachers who look into the eyes of youth with hope and promise, and assure them that they can become all that they dream of. And some of them do. For in the sum of our lives, as many things happen as are capable of happening for a single individual. That’s because there are many hours that go unacknowledged. Many minutes that happily sing in the background or hum melancholy hymns as they quietly pass, never invited into the arena of our…

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Thursday Thought: Identity

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Where is our sense of self? And where does it change? “Man can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown” — Claude Bernard I am… What is your identity?  Identities are born out of the ether of the unknown. The give us definition as contrasted and juxtaposed against the mist of the formless. But like an ethereal mist, intertwined bundle of narratives can be just as difficult to grasp. They are formed at the deepest level of our being far before we are ever conscious of them: our socioeconomic status, a reputation for athleticism, praise for being the funny one or a quick thinker. But sometimes identities can become cages. We form expectations around having to live up to a certain reputation. Or worse, we fall into a limiting belief around our identity.  “I’m just a big guy, that’s just too I am.” “I’m just impatient…have always been that way.”  “I’m just not good with people, that’s what everyone tells me.” How would you complete the following statements? “To most people I know I am the ______ one.” “To myself, I am the _______ one.” Regardless of what your statements may be, the brain relishes in these reinforcing loops. The subconscious mind loves nothing more than repetition and expectation. If we can expect to wake up day in and day out and be the awkward person or the outspoken person or the messy person, then we don’t have to brush up against the unknown. But so often we do want to change these fundamental identities in order to spark our own evolution. And yet, we’re afraid of becoming a different person who people — or maybe our self — may not recognize. “I’m afraid I’m going to look into the mirror and see a different person.” …

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