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  • Meighan Leibert

Less is More

David Whyte's audio book has both inspired and broadened my understanding. Thrilled for this. Poetry is not one of my 'go to's'. This has been a beautiful experience.


https://www.amazon.com/Midlife-and-the-Great-Unknown/dp/B001NXPJP4/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ZH7GHML2IYP5&keywords=david+whyte+midlife+and+the+great+unknown+book&qid=1582212898&sprefix=David+Whyte%27s+midlife,aps,208&sr=8-1&pldnSite=1


How many times have I felt like a troubled guest? How long have I lived in exile? How long have I not harvested, been present or loved?


Periodic moultings.


I am on that edge.


"We never know why we are made the way we are...One of the great qualities...a sense of self compassion for the way that you are made in particular. That you wouldn't lose faith, no matter what, in your own difficulties and awkwardnesses...our failings are actually a core part of our experience of the numinous..." 


This is something I want to place on my dining room table so we can consider it daily. A truth in being for all that sit here. Just as we are. That everything we experience/generate has purpose.


I am living proof of choosing to extricate myself from a past Meighan. I am recognizing how my old tools are no longer serving. Time to get some new ones. "If only I can control the climate of my existence." I used to LIVE by this idea and it no longer serves me. I am shedding a skin of sorts, seeking "Radical simplification ... through presence". When I get now, enjoy immediate focus, my experience blooms: "And I actually started paying attention to things they seemed to be in their own voices." This is a key to harmony. Ceasing reaction is possible.



My son and I watched "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" last night. https://youtu.be/nPkr9HmglG0


Staying OPEN to my kids' ideas is an important gift with tremendous reward. This is where I get to "cultivate relationship with the unknown". When I look at my inability to accept anything new from their brains/mouths, I am limiting our magical experience.


"When your eyes are tired, the world is tired also." Cultivating a sense of belonging. "Without any faculties of attention, there was no world to be found". I like noticing where I put my focus. I appreciate managing my energy. I am growing my ability to nurture myself and in turn finding priority anew.


"It's time to throw yourself away...putting the burden down, let go of the mask...waking everyday to the great 'to-do' list." Yes. burdensome living is hell. And I certainly do not want to model this for my kids. Where do I inspire and grow myself toward the dreams I hold dear? Why do I think I cannot have what I want?


"To go on the grand tour, a man must be free from self-necessity." I absolutely do not want to burden anyone with bleak and predictable. Much of my recent struggles stem from barfing SHOULDS all around. Blaming others for not caring about my own 'shoulds'. Standing face to face with my 'petty' is quite revealing. And it is not without compassion, I can completely understand where this is coming from, I learned from everyone along the way. Where I could not choose my company as a child, I can certainly be discerning now.


"How many responsibilities do we carry as weight?" This is a fantastic question, worth investigation. I find myself checking in before I execute: Do I want to do this? Does this need to happen now? Is it necessary? Does it feel burdensome?


"One of the cliched human answers to stress and overwork is to increase your speed and velocity...After a short while you become a stranger to the slower cycles of existence." This pretty much sums up my 20's and 30's, maybe even my 40's. I am exhausted in just admitting that. I had every minute scheduled. I was totally afraid of stopping because my identity was so wrapped up in doing. I possessed deeply, unconsciously, 'an existential impatience and a lack of generosity'. When I look back, I am certain this was a manifestation of survival.


Upon my first listening, I was so struck by these lines: "The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest. The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness." I repeat this to myself daily, as part of my check-in. What is driving me forward? Knowing this is really useful. Nurturing my being is what I need. Being faithful to this will set me free.


In contemplating 'loving what I love', I first detect fear. I know I am getting closer to authentic being, as I shed all this chaff I have collected over the years, and I can tell you it is really emotional. The courage to choose what is right for me is one thing, negating others and dealing with the fallout is another. Ownership can be compassionate as long as I communicate from my heart. My struggle rests in defensive explanation. My old default "I am wrong"  shows up a lot. It is the initiating factor in my doing for everyone else- actively proving I am worthy. Redirecting my focus and choosing what I love will be the first steps in exercising my freedom. Looks like I may just be ready to harvest. I will practice with the 'fullness of the moment' whenever possible.


I have packed my plate full in desperate measure to justify and fix. My current mantra: "Less is more". Amidst reprogramming I am in great need of nurturing. I find myself digging in to hold myself close. Being with my kids in their comfort and delight. Remembering to go slow so that I may really see and feel the moment.


I super love these lines:

"And I do think it's very important for every individual to have a form of spaciousness in their life. A place where they can actually pay attention to the world which is uncontaminated by worry or tension or stress. Where something other than what they expected has a possibility of happening. And that its incumbent upon each of us that it is a necessity for each of us, to find a moment in the day which is our own. A moment in where we can actually hear voices other than our own, where we can pay attention to the world and the beauties in the world."


I am appreciating my garden. The birds, the buds, the color and the majesty. I have sanctuary. I can relax and renew. Life is beautiful and I will enjoy.



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