Posts Tagged ‘discovery’

The presence of confidence

June 4, 2011

I surreptitiously spy upon other people while they are living their lives. Unknown to them, I survey their actions, listen to their attitudes, and gaze upon their accomplishments. Watching them encounter challenges, I am often humbled by their bravery and confidence.

Some people take on life’s challenges because they have a certain kind of confidence that ensures their success. Success is not necessarily that they accomplish the specific task. Success is instantly measured because that person chose to meet the challenge, regardless of the outcome.

My outcome-based criteria often stops me before I have even begun. For all my life, my confidence has been fed by successful outcomes. I did not take on what I knew I could not complete. Living such a limited existence has kept me from exploring what Joseph Campbell called “your bliss.”

I was called to many things that brought me bliss while I was growing up, but never pursued them because I lacked confidence that I could. I let others encourage me down the path of least resistance.

I blame them not – this is one of the lessons I came here to learn. Other people are living instruments who help instill this lesson. There is a next iteration of my existence and this quality of confidence will be required.

Growing up late in life, I wonder at the luxury of exploring my bliss now. I know what calls to me and exploring what captures my interest is bliss in itself. Exploration often has no outcome except discovery. That discovery can be anything from an ancient artifact to new self-revealing truths, methods, talents, and ways of being in the world.

I am not so confident that I can attach an outcome to my explorations except that confidence itself is now allowed to be the outcome.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass


Warrior presence

April 25, 2010

We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.  James Joyce

Self-exploration and discovery invite all sorts of people into my life. The experience is whatever I choose to label it: good, bad, frustrating, enlightening, exhilarating, boring, stimulating . . . any adjective I want. Encounters inside and outside myself always reveal and reflect who I am.

In my imagination, as I become more and more my eternal presence in my day-to-day living, other people become easier to get along with and my response to those who are a little contrary is one of benevolence and wisdom.

That is my imaginary life in the land of Supposed-To-Be.

My lesson recently has been to learn how to merge my eternal presence in all my interactions while I am clearly so very human in my responses. While playing tennis yesterday, I felt the warrior that I am bring her best to the game. I know it is a game and there is nothing really to win. Tennis is a strategy of skill, endurance, and presence. One cannot be thinking of what to make for dinner or the argument she had earlier in the day and play well. I wanted to win (and we did), but most of all, my warrior pride wanted to play her best.

In another encounter, I responded harshly to a person who intruded on my life uninvited and in a threatening manner – a very human reaction. I tried to reason with the person first, but that person insisted on being abusive, and the warrior in me said “Let’s get rid of you.”

Would someone who was truly enlightened and living as her eternal presence even worry about being threatened? Maybe. Maybe not. My human programming endures regardless and will rise to defend me and those I love with a coldly unemotional attitude.

Perhaps this is my task in this existence, my reason for being, is to learn to be myself totally and continuously connected to my eternal presence in the discomfort of a world that makes no sense to me.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

The presence of progress

April 23, 2010

By its definition, progress implies movement, advancement, and growth. Movement is forward. Advancement is up. Growth is more.

Complete stillness is seemingly impossible. After all, the molecules in our bodies whir unendingly. Nature designed us to be in constant motion.

Look outside of yourself. Everything that exists rises and falls. Becomes and decays. Scientists claim we are hurtling through the universe at atomic warp speed (i.e., faster than my limited little brain can calculate). Life is in constant motion, but where is it going?

Once done, no action can be undone. This one-way rule is an absolute law. Nothing is exactly the same twice. Perfect imitation is nonexistent.

So what, then, are we progressing toward? We can never recreate what has been, even though we repeat patterns over and over and over. We exist just once as the person who we are right now. In the next instant, I will be different.

Perhaps, progress is not a destination, but a discovery.