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Painting by Catrin Welz Stein

To forgive is to put oneself in a larger gravitational field of experience than the one that first seemed to hurt us. We reimagine ourselves in the light of our maturity and we reimagine the past in the light of our new identity, we allow ourselves to be gifted by a story larger than the story that first hurt us and left us bereft.

— David Whyte

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Part of the twist of fate is that our destiny hides exactly where we are least likely to look for it. In the fateful issues, and the darkest areas that most of us tried to avoid, to outwit or outrun. Stated another way, fate ties us to the world and its limits, while destiny calls us to a divine errand set deeply within us. Whenever we brush against the limits of our fate, we’re also standing near the doors of our destiny. And avoiding fateful issues in our lives, we miss our appointments with destiny, and we build the inner zones of avoidance. When not considered as something predetermined, fate implies, both an innate destiny and the hidden unity of the soul. When we face our fate and life, we also begin to move it. And when fate moves, destiny moves closer to us.”

-- Michael Meade

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“The whole point of the Oriental wisdom and mythic themes is that we are not in exile, but that the god is within you. You can’t be exiled from it. All that can happen is that you don’t know it — that you don’t realize it, that you haven’t found a way to open your consciousness to this presence, which is right within you.”

— Joseph Campbell

These three very different quotes have a common theme, it seems to me. If we were connected to our most fundamental self, our lives would look very different. Not forgiving, nurturing buried resentments, having unconscious fear and anger, keeping rigid beliefs — these things take up space in your mind. They consume energy and they obscure who you really are. Living as who we are involves letting go of accumulated detritus.

In my forties, I came into some money and kind of went hog wild for several decades. It was fun, but it became a heavy load. It’s easy to become attached to beautiful things, but you notice how it dams up your energy. Eventually the effect is mental, even if it starts as “stuff.”

I think most of us live in “zones of avoidance,“ as Michael Meade calls it.

Living your real life means living from your real self, but there’s the rub. That’s something that is strongly discouraged in our world. Dropping things we don’t need, living lightly, is one aspect of staying clear, but we’re hardly aware of all the mental constructs we maintain that don’t serve us.

Creativity and joy in living require staying light and clear, playful. Even if your life is complicated in other areas, if you can establish a creative practice where you can stop pretending to be normal, you’ll experience your real life, the one you came here to live.

The constraints of circumstances is only part of the story. The biggest blocks to our best life are in how we habitually think and feel. We assume we’re reacting normally to reality when in fact we’ve conjured a story that has nothing to do with reality. We all do this, as much as we try to be level headed and smart about how things work.

How we work is the mystery. When we learn to keep ourselves unburdened and unhampered by our own inner life, we may find we’re more interesting than we thought.

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