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They Call It Understanding.

December 12th, 2009 2 comments
Snow geese in flight.
Snow geese in flight.

The past is history. The future is a mystery, and this moment is called a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present.’

From The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

Now I get it. Or at least maybe I’m getting closer.

Some things aren’t meant to be, or perhaps just not meant to happen at the exact moment that we would have them occur. Once this is understood, things can get easier. Deepak Chopra refers to this concept as The Law of Least Effort. He says that (and I’m paraphrasing) nature always follows the path of least resistance.

Grass doesn’t try to grow. It grows. Birds don’t try to fly. They fly.

The first time I heard that, it sent shivers down my spine (in a good way).

Here is a quote from Jesus (Matthew 6:28) which I believe is the same idea (this one’s for you, Liza):

So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

I think this notion has a lot to do with success–in fact, almost everything. Talent and smarts are great, but faith, timing–and understanding timing–make a world of difference. Think of a baseball pitcher. Now, let’s say that this pitcher throws an amazing curve ball, and maybe he really likes throwing curve balls. But maybe the curve ball isn’t always the solution he needs to achieve his goal, which is to strike out the batters. In order to apply the best approach to any given situation, one must apply understanding which comes from awareness. Very successful people don’t waste time tarrying about and carrying on. They are often quick to measure how well their energies are being received, and from there they determine what the appropriate next step should be. This is how some of the greatest systems have come to be.

Here’s Bob Seger with Understanding.

Have you ever been driving on the freeway at a moment at which all the drivers seem to be moving in sync? Traffic just flows and it seems like a well orchestrated symphony. Then other times, not so much. Life can be similar. On one day your movements and actions might match or compliment those around you, and might be very well received. You are happy and those with whom you interact are happy. Other days, nothing seems to work as you might have expected or hoped for. This is where creativity comes in. You are aware of your situation, and so you make notes, and then adjustments.

I’m a writer. Words matter to me and I know that words can change the world. Not everyone agrees. Some people don’t think words hold much value or maybe they simply don’t remember how words may have impacted them. They might have sung New Years Day at the top of their lungs at a U2 concert once upon a time. They might have worn a Nike T-shirt bearing the slogan, Just Do It. And they probably felt something at the time… something like connectedness. Somewhere else at that time, someone else was listening to something else, and someone else was wearing a different shirt. My point is that we aren’t all on the same page at the same time, and that is OK, and in fact; it is just as it should be. But when we are on the same page–even if it’s just two people–it can be great… magical, even. And great and magical things can happen.

A great deal of time and energy can be wasted in an attempt to gain things like acceptance, attention, praise and even love, but such things can never be forced if they are to remain genuine. The best situational outcomes occur when things happen genuinely… naturally… and when the timing is right.

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Thank you, David Lynch.

June 5th, 2009 No comments
David Lynch - self portrait

David Lynch - self portrait

I’m not a gusher. I tend to find gushing unappealing. But if and when I meet you, I shall ask you if I may give you a hug. Thank you for writing, Catching the Big Fish. I felt as if it were written directly to me as I was reading, and I couldn’t put it down. It made me feel like I can really make movies, and that it doesn’t simply have to be a dream. Thank you for all of the personal insights and advice on craft. You help to simplify many things that at times, can seem arduous and daunting.

I like what you have to say about heroes, and that Kubrick was/is one of yours. I’m glad that Eraserhead was his favorite film (congratulations). I can only imagine how fun it must have been to receive that news. He is one of my heroes, too. So are you. Some people say that you shouldn’t have heroes, but I disagree. One just needs to keep in mind that we’re all human, and yet we can each be a hero to someone at some point.

I started learning about Vedic Wisdom and synchrodestiny a couple of years ago, but I have just recently begun to practice meditation, thanks to having read your book. Some may find it interesting, however; that had I not read works of Dr. Deepak Chopra and attended his lecture this last winter, I may have not been inclined to pick up your book on the table at Barnes and Noble a few weeks ago, despite the attractive cover, and despite that I am a fan of your work and a lover of film. It just shows that once you begin to increase your awareness, you can’t help but to be more aware of the opportunities–what many of us think of as coincidences–that we are presented with. Every day we are changing, and that in and of itself, is an opportunity. Anyhow, thanks, once again for your compassion, and for helping to expand my vision.

Best,

Trish Hundhausen

p.s. You said, “The woods for a child are magical.” The woods are magical for adults, too, but I’m sure you know this. I just recently rediscovered how magical they can be.

Moss covered log at Whitnall Park; Hales Corners, WI.

Moss covered log at Whitnall Park; Hales Corners, WI.

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Creative Moments, Shiny Baubles and Mushroom Hunting.

May 21st, 2009 4 comments
<i>Marcel in ecstasy... or something like it.</i>

Marcel (a beast) in ecstasy... or something like it.

Creative moments are fleeting. They come in glimpses like fireflies on a warm summer’s night. They are beautiful, magical and fragile. When you hold them too closely, the light goes out, and the magic is gone.

<i>Fireflies.</i>

Fireflies.

I think creative types sometimes spend so much time searching for the shiniest bauble that they fail to see the ones that roll right up to their toes. Many artists are addicted to extremes… to the edges of things, because indeed; these are the places to which others seldom venture, and therefore they abound with splendid secrets and answers to questions most dare not even ask–or so it would seem. However. Extreme existences can be extremely exhausting, going from agony to ecstasy to agony, and very little in between. Furthermore, it may very well be a waste of creative energy.

By paying closer attention to the subtleties and nuances of daily life, it may be possible to experience an even greater level of awareness and overall personal fulfillment. It requires patience, discipline, focus, openness and concentration. These are things I’m working on wrapping my head around in order to achieve a greater sense of passion and fulfillment.

Recently, I parted ways with a job that as it turned out, wasn’t a great fit for either party. I was looking for a role that offered more creativity as a copywriter, and eventually it became like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. And this square peg is here to say that when you keep trying to wear down your own edges to fit into a particular mold, not only is it counter productive; it’s downright painful. The lesson here for Creative Beasts is A) try to avoid these situations whenever possible, and B) if people aren’t buying your brand of honey, find somebody else who gets and appreciates its value. Artists get paid when they meet/find their market. That is appreciation, and from that comes gratification.

While the initial parting of ways was a bit sad for me at first, I soon realized that it may have been the best thing that could have happened. Now I have the chance to leap headlong into new creative endeavors, and see where they lead… writing, painting and filmmaking projects await. Passions are reborn.

Aside from that, I have since discovered a new passion which is morel hunting. For those who are unfamiliar, morels are exquisite mushrooms that grow only in the wild, and only in the spring for a period of 2-3 weeks. They look a bit like a piece of coral on a stalk, and they are perfectly delicious and altogether magical. They grow in the woods when everything is just coming back to life. Perhaps one of the greatest pleasures of seeking out this magnificent edible is the chance to witness nature in all its splendorous glory. Then there is finding the morels, which, incidentally, has turned out to be a wonderful metaphor for my current place in my creative path. Sometimes you look and look and you find little or nothing. Then, you cross a road or a stream, and there they are. You may not see them at first. They are elusive and well-camouflaged. But as you squat down, and look hard and close to the ground, suddenly, they start to appear right in front of you. And it is amazing.

Morel magic.

Morel magic.

If concepts like synchronicity, syncrodestiny and pursuit of passion ring true with you, I recommend checking out the following books/authors:

Deepak Chopra

The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire

Malcomb Gladwell

Outliers

Blink

The Tipping Point

Sally Hogshead

Radical Careering

David Lynch

Catching the Big Fish

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