Chicken Marsala Monday

Chicken Marsala thoughts from the melange to help you start your week:

MASTER assumeawe WITH EYES jpeg copy 2.jpg Almost every spiritual tradition offers a form of this thought: make no assumptions. Sometimes it is called ‘detachment.’ Sometimes it is called ‘the middle way.’ Often, it is referred to as ‘presence.’

It sounds so simple. Be where you are. Be here now. Aspirations always sound easy but are never easy to realize.

In my past life as a consultant/facilitator I regularly issued two “caveats” prior to beginning the work of the day. The first was, “Have the experience first, make meaning of the experience second.” The idea of opening to an experience, that they might actually be capable of stepping out of their roiling story of assumptions, was a revelation to my clients.

And, that’s the point. The revelation, the insight, the heaven-that-you-seek is just on the other side of the story-fog that obscures your experience of life. That is why it shows up so often in all-practices-spiritual. Quiet your mind. Make no assumptions. Open to what is there beyond what you think is there.

However, we are human. That fast running inner monologue, that incessant storying of experiences, pre-and-post occurrence, is what we do. So, a good first step toward the quiet mind, toward the suspension of assumptions, is to make life-giving assumptions. Our runaway minds chug down a track so why not put that train on a generative track: assume awe.

ASSUME AWE merchandise

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assume awe METAL WALL ART copy

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read Kerri’s thoughts about Assuming Awe on Chicken Marsala Monday


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assume awe ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood




Sit Down

google "Chicken Little" and this one will come up.

Google “Chicken Little” and this one will come up.

Many years ago I was feeling disoriented in my life. I told my friend Rob that I was lost in the woods and looking for my way out. He replied, “Sometimes when you are lost in the woods the best thing to do is nothing. Just sit down.” His message was clear: no one gets oriented or reoriented by spinning. Running in circles, although it might feel useful, will only make you dizzy. Sit down. Get quiet. Listen. It was great advice and at the time nearly impossible.

Orientation to life comes from getting quiet. In one of his books, Deepak Chopra wrote that an important practice on the path to success is a half hour of meditation in the morning and another half hour at the end of the day. Make a practice of getting quiet. Exercise the muscle of stillness. Listen. Clarity will ensue. That way, when the inner compass goes awry, the right tool for the job will be more readily available.

Sitting down can be hard. Stillness and disorientation are not natural bedfellows. The impulse is to action, any action. I was once in a car on a remote mountain dirt road. The road collapsed and the car slowly rolled into a gully. My friend and I spent two days trying unsuccessfully to build a road out. It was only after we gave up and sat down that we were capable of thinking things through. Disorientation generally inspires panic. Panic-driven actions, like running in circles or hauling stones to build a road, are generally comical and make for great stories after orientation is restored. We’ve all turned the wrong way down a one-way street when lost and panicked. Pulling over would have been better but much harder to do when dedicated to forcing an outcome.

Beneath Rob’s message to me was a more important lesson: let go. Let go of the need to do. Let go of the need to solve, fix, or find. The path to orientation always leads through a necessary disorientation and the disorientation comes from hanging on to old ideas, old roles, old baggage, old heroics. The cycle is perfect as hanging on necessitates letting go and letting go often means to sit down, surrender, and breathe. To sit down always affords the opportunity to see where you are as distinct from where you think you should be. To surrender is to open. To breathe is to invite in the new. No one is lost when they stop trying to be some other place.

title_pageGo here to buy hard copies (and Kindle) of my latest book: The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, Innovator, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator,…You.

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Clear The Channel

Something else from the archives.

Something else from the archives.

It is the day before we fly to the Netherlands. We started the day early with a long walk, coffee, and a chat about everything but our prodigious to-do list. We’ve learned that it makes a huge difference to our day if we start slow. It makes a difference if we make a conscious choice about where we place our focus in the day.

For years I rose early and read something that inspired me. I read sacred texts, philosophers, artists, seekers, children’s books,…, anything that pulled my mind from my to-do list and grounded me in things that seemed more important to give my thought space. It was a form of meditation. I learned early on that my readings influenced what I saw during the day and, so, influenced my experiences; I interpreted my life according to my meditation instead of my to-dos. I opened to experiences instead of predetermining how I should feel about the list.

Now, after so many years, I have developed an automatic response to the flotsam that might catch my attention. When some clutter catches my attention I say to myself, “I don’t want that to occupy my mind.” And, like a cloud, it evaporates. I want to keep my thought channels clear. I want my thoughts focused on attention to and appreciation of the moment, creative processes, or noodling with cool ideas – and not snagged on the news of the day. Thought channels are like arteries and too much gunk will jam the flow. Gunk is a great source of depression. Last year I went on a news moratorium when I started my walk-about and found that I had a lot more thought space without the news-cycle-chatter. I learned that without turning on the news or opening a paper I heard everything worth knowing. I learned that I  had no need for the endless cycle of breaking news to be well informed; 24 hour news is like bad cholesterol. It is an addiction. It is a false high. I learned the necessity of questioning what I was plugging in to (what I was plugging into my mind).

Knowing what you don’t want clogging your mind necessitates becoming clear about what you do want occupying your thought. Thought requires a focus and focus is a choice. Mostly, my answer is no thought. I want silence. I want presence and presence requires almost no interpretation.

Go here to get my latest book, The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, title_pageSeeker, Learner, Leader, Creator…You.

Go here for hard copies.