The Art of Living Attuned

What Do We Want More Than Money?

Have you ever asked yourself if money belongs where you have it on the priority list?

Money has an enormous cultural influence in our lives. It is a rare day that goes by without it passing through our minds, usually in terms of how we’d like to have more than we do.

It’s also true that much of what we believe about money – and who we are in relation to it, is so deeply ingrained that we rarely question it.

For example, most of us assume making more money will lead to greater happiness. Period.

Really?

Money Can Distract Us from the Treasure

In my alternate career as a fine artist, I found myself becoming less and less satisfied with doing the work in exchange for money. Since it has been my primary source of income for several years – this realization felt like somewhat of a problem. Like any good problem, the solution lies first in fully understanding what’s at the heart of it.

It is a commonly held perception that money is a key incentive that motivates high levels of performance. But there are other factors that compel us more strongly, and are mandatory for us to feel truly fulfilled and successful in our work. More importantly, the quest for money can greatly inhibit our performance – and mess with our happiness.

This talk given at the RSA by Daniel Pink gives some great insight into why money is not the incentive we might imagine:

Forget the Money and Bring More You

Turns out what really turns us on is being on purpose, expressing who we are, honing our skills, expanding what is possible for us to create in the world. Making a difference. If our primary focus is on getting the money, it is easy to lose our connection with this important truth and take a detour down the wrong road.

Even more interesting is the current trend in business to give value, lots of it, for free. Why? Because giving, of ourselves, of the value that we uniquely have to bring, is the best kind of getting there is. When we focus our energy there, on what amazing things we personally have to add to the mix, and get busy sharing that, it naturally leads to greater success, well being and abundance in our lives. There’s no way it can’t.

Good to ponder:

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” – Bernard Meltzer

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How to Have Fun With Your Problems

Bottom line: some of us are better at dealing with “problems” than others, and attitude is what makes the difference.

It is intriguing how we have this idea that one day we are actually going to be problem free, as if that’s the goal. Get everything dialed: more money, right partner, great health, everyone showing up exactly how we’d like them to – all the time – and then we can just coast on through without a care.

Built into this illusion is the notion that problems are wrong, should not be in our lives, and are the reason for our anxiety, anger, frustration, depression – whatever. But the truth is, life is an ongoing series of predicaments. It’s kind of the point.

 

Step Fully Into Your Life

We aren’t here to lie on the beach drinking margaritas 24-7. We’re here to seek, to stretch, to grow, to become more – and to share our acquired wisdom so that we all benefit. And problems are the number one way to achieve this end. Problems ask us to be creative, to look deeply, to ask meaningful questions that might not otherwise occur to us. to find our center, to get clear about what’s truly important. They push us toward our very best selves if we embrace and utilize them instead of freaking out and insisting they should not be happening.

So Why Not Have Fun With Them?

Having fun with your problems might seem illogical,  but is it really when you consider the alternative? However upset I might be, however hard I may be resisting ‘what is” (which, for the record, is futile) – when I imagine Jack Sparrow’s lilting voice offering up these words of wisdom, it is impossible not to smile. And that’s a great way in. As soon as I bring in humour, everything opens up, my resistance loosens its grip, and I feel spacious enough to consider more empowering perspectives.

Get Clear On Who’s in Charge

Here’s a way to play with your problems. For the next week, whenever you notice yourself caught up in resistance (you can tell by the fact that negative thoughts are running the show) – make a choice to shift your attitude. Repeat Jack’s words (out loud is most awesome), and notice how your thoughts and feelings are influenced when you stop resisting and just observe your resistance. Then ask yourself, “Hmmm, what’s another perspective?”

Start with the small stuff, you should find several things to work with in no time at all. The big, life changing, overwhelming problems require an even higher level of presence, but if you’re feeling bold, dive on in. Once you become skillful at this game, problems transform into opportunities to align with your most wise and authentic self.

Good to ponder:

“Life is full of ups and downs. Character is measured by the grace with which we handle the downs.” – Unknown

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How to Live in the Moment…

…and 3 questions to ask if you aren’t.

This little outing is as clear and true an example of how to live in the moment as I have ever come across:

Questions Worth Asking

When’s the last time you moved through the world this way?

What’s in the way?

Is that okay?

This kid is mindful in every moment. I just love the attention he brings to laying the leash down, and the backward glances to make sure the dog is still with him. Then he proceeds to pour his whole heart into the task at hand. Engaging in pure, simple joy. Awesome! (It’s worth noting that the pooch is totally rocking mindfulness too…)

Obstacles Worth Overcoming

We’re busy. We’re doing. We’ve got a lot going on.

We just keep buying into the madness.

Really? Spend time out walking through puddles with no agenda other than to let life live us? That isn’t what responsible, successful, productive adults do. Okay maybe on holiday, or the weekend, but definitely not in the middle of a busy work day. The world we adults inhabit is structured and time bound, it doesn’t honour the organic process of letting life unfold at it’s own pace, it demands the “important” things happen now.

Add to this our “grown up” propensity to worry about things that haven’t happened yet, argue in our heads with people who aren’t in the room with us, get things ticked off our to do lists as they continue to grow at the other end, try to respond to every email, phone call, and request for our presence that shows up on our doorstep – and who has time for splashing in puddles?

Unless we make it a priority, we never will.

Good to ponder:

“Allow extra time in your schedule for wandering.” – dylan

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Wanna Feel Inspired? 3 minutes REALLY well spent

Sorry guys, this one’s for the girlie girls (but you’re beautiful too!):

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Might As Well…

Found on FB – had to share. Let’s do it!

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