without something else beginning."
-- Alan Cohen
New: Audio version
[Classic post from 7-11-15]
Somewhere along our travels, most of us have picked up expectations of how things should work. For example, how long should a marriage last? Until death do you part, right? Well, for sure for some and surely not for others. A better answer to the question might be until we choose otherwise.
Once I start my business, how long should it stay in business? Forever? Answer: Until is doesn't any longer. I grew up thinking Macy's was a forever store, then they went out of business. Well, let's say it is still there but it ain't the same.
I opened a musical instrument store and had it for a year and a half. Does that mean it failed? That could certainly be an assumption, but that would not be the truth. It didn't fail. I no longer had the desire for it. I had a desire for something different. So, I stopped one and started another. As far as I was and am concerned, it was a huge success. If nothing else, it was a grand educational experience which is useful in my life and that of others 35 years after the fact.
We have all manner of expectations that have been handed down to us, but you know, the only thing that really matters is our own experience and how we choose to view that experience. So, what might be some of the values of a short-lived enterprise or relationship?
- Creation. We take nothing more (which is really everything) than an idea and then take that thought and breathe life into it (it was already alive there) and cause it to be created in our reality. In other words, it went from the non-physical into the physical.
- Co-Creation. We did it with others. It was not a single person's creation, but all who participated helped shape the outcome.
- The economy moved. Money changed hands. Funds were raised, expended.
- Education. We learned. There is much to learn every single day.
- Change. We changed. Others changed. Nothing is static.
- Difference. We made a difference. What we did mattered. What kind of difference may not be measurable from our own perspective. We cannot do anything and not make a difference.
- Improvement. We made some improvements. However small or large they may be, improvements are a given.
- Benefit. We provided a benefit, or many benefits to the community, to others, to the world.
- Friends. We find new friends. Maybe even lifetime friends.
- Passion. Beginnings are so often about passion.
- Love. We get to share our love. We get to expand and enrich our own love.
This is just a shortlist, and this process of thinking about things in this way is very helpful. Everything we do is a choice. We choose here, choose that, choose an idea, choose participants, convince others, promote our ideas, all choices. We choose to begin, to continue for a time, and then we choose to let go. If it continues to float on its own for a time, so be it, and if it doesn't, it is done for now, and on to another choice.
The most important choice we have is how we want to feel about our experiences. It is as easy to feel joy in having done something as it is to feel sad that it is no longer. Time is such a poor concept on the judgment of our experiences, and time is only an idea. Our living is always this moment, this moment, this moment. How we choose to feel is this moment, this moment, this moment.
I have found from a lifetime of study that to find ways to appreciate, love, and celebrate enhances our experience immeasurably. We all get to choose that or choose otherwise.
"In A Gentle Way, You Can Shake The World." -- Mahatma Gandhi
Spread Some Joy Today--by making it your choice to do so.