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Because I want to see Autumn

It is a beautiful autumn day and from where I sit in Joseph’s apartment, I can see the glorious mountains and orange tree tops.  Aahh….I love this season of transition.  I feel more and more that September is the true beginning of the New Year.  Maybe because it’s the start of the school year and that has stayed with me.  I truly appreciate the ability of the trees to let go of their summer glory and transform.  I don’t always approach change as gracefully and I am thankful to learn from nature, these wiser ways of riding life.  As their leaves turn colour and prepare to fall, the tree isn’t thinking, “I’m dying, I’ve failed in being a tree.”  It just is.  It doesn’t resist or judge itself for losing it’s most celebrated form.  In fact, what I find so special is that it is in this state of letting go and vulnerability, that the core of the tree becomes even more distinct and attractive.  And when the leaves fall, that tree expands even further into the world around it, filling it with life and colour.

Imagine what one could accomplish each day without the fear of failing.  What would you try if you knew that your success were assured? 

I strive to explore that way of being with more awareness of what holds me back and what motivates me forward.  I strive to eliminate fear from my motivations when choosing thoughts, intentions and actions.

I wrote a short story recently based on what little I know about the Binukot in the Philippines and I’m excited that it has been selected to be paired with the skills and talents of a filmmaker, Mark Borowski, in Victoria.  I’m actually getting paid to contribute to this project called “Scene and Heard”!  I discovered in the process of writing this short story that I actually really enjoy creative writing and I feel energized by the process when it is something that I have personally selected.  Often in school I experienced writing only as a requirement and somehow that took away from my feelings of enjoyment.  Is that a similar dynamic when we stop enjoying something when it becomes a requirement?  Like when I wash dishes, I usually enjoy it.  I like making things clean and refreshed.  BUT, if I know there is an expectation or requirement that I do the dishes at a certain time or a certain way, the idea of doing dishes changes and the experience of washing the dishes is not as enjoyable, if at all. 

I woke up before the sun started to come into the room today, before 7:00am.  It’s Sunday and I went to sleep after 12am last night.  I wasn’t tired and my body had enough rest and it wasn’t a sound or my bladder that woke me up.  I was just ready and happy to wake up.  This in not a rare happening.  But what’s interesting is that I can’t do that during the work week when I know I must wake up for 7am so that I can go to the job that earns me my current living salary.  What a joy it is to wake up simply motivated to be alive.  My hope is that I can start each day with that enthusiasm and love for life, regardless of the required tasks within a day; for each day is a new gift with infinite possibilities to be surprise and delight.

Have a magnificent Autumn Day!

  1. Mike Dorris
    November 27th, 2007 at 19:12 | #1


    Fascinating question regarding motivation diminishing once an activity becomes expected. I have certainly experienced this in my job as well. It’s amazing how a shift in context/control can make the same activity joyful or tedious. Ultimately, I like to think that joy drives me, but don’t disparage fear so quickly; it drives our productivity. Without fear we may never get off the couch.

    Ideally, but often not successfully, I wish to dissociate/free myself from fear (somehow like Leonard Cohen did in one of your previous “perfect offering” quote). I think it is the misleading to ask how we would act if we knew that success were assured rather than how we would act if our pride didn’t hold us back. Here is a belated autumn quote from the leaf’s point of view:

    A leaf was riven from a tree,
    “I mean to fall to earth,” said he.

    The west wind, rising, made him veer.
    “Eastward,” said he, “I now shall steer.”

    The east wind rose with greater force.
    Said he: “‘Twere wise to change my course.”

    With equal power they contend.
    He said: “My judgment I suspend.”

    Down died the winds; the leaf, elate,
    Cried: “I’ve decided to fall straight.”

    “First thoughts are best?” That’s not the moral;
    Just choose your own and we’ll not quarrel.

    Howe’er your choice may chance to fall,
    You’ll have no hand in it at all.

    I’ve read a lot of op-ed pieces in my day and you should consider filling a psychoanalyst/martha stewart/buddhist niche.

    P.S. What is a Binukot.

  2. December 7th, 2007 at 21:37 | #2

    A Binukot is part of a fading tradition in an indigenous tribe in a south island of the Philippines. It’s a title given to a maiden woman who is extremely protected. She does not work and is carried anywhere she needs to go. Her role in the tribe is to sing epic chants at special ceremonies likeweddings. I’ll write about the presentation when it happens in Victoria in the New Year. Thanks for asking.

    Imagine that you do something purely because you want to, because you see the value in the act, not out of fear that something bad will happen if you don’t.  I don’t believe that humans need fear to be motivated.  I think that is a misconception about our power to create pro-actively.  It’s true that many are fear-based when choosing action, but we have it in us to rise above the fear and act our of the love and joy of creating.  For every action and thought is creating our world.

    What’s ‘op-ed pieces’? I like the poem. I take that it speaks of control and acceptance and it’s something I work towards to be as gracious as the leaf. However, a person is more powerful than a leaf in knowing how to direct one’s course through this world. One can’t control how the world and the people will react or respond to my choices, but if one becomes disciplined and wise enough in choosing one’s own thoughts and actions, the world will follow. In fact, even if we aren’t disciplined and mindful, the Universe follows our example and as such, we have the world as it is.

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