Sunday, February 3, 2013

experiment adventure

happy flower

As I'm exploring the theme of TRUE in my life this year, I think I may change my approach here for a while. I've loved my adventures, but there's something about TRUE that is feeling more like an experiment. Perhaps the seed was planted when a dear friend mentioned Gandhi's Story of My Experiments with Truth. It was a bargain in the Kindle store today and I can't wait to really dig in. I loved reading this in his Introduction:

I simply want to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments, it is true that the story will take the shape of an autobiography. But I shall not mind if every page of it speaks only of my experiments. I believe, or at any rate flatter myself with the belief, that a connected account of all these experiments will not be without benefit to the reader. My experiments in the political field are now known, not only in India, but to a certain extent to the "civilized" world. For me, they have not much value; and the title of Mahatma that they have won for me has, therefore, even less. Often the title has deeply pained me; and there is not a moment I can recall when it may be said to have tickled me. But I should certainly like to narrate my experiments in the spiritual field which are known only to myself, and from which I have derived such power as I possess for working in the political field. If the experiments are really spiritual, then there can be no room for self-praise. They can only add to my humility. The more I reflect and look back on the past, the more vividly do I feel my limitations.

If this makes you want to play along, the experiment for this week comes from Natalie Goldberg's wonderful book Wild Mind:

A writer I know who is now in her sixties told me that in her late twenties, she had a nervous breakdown because she didn't know who she was. She moved to New York City from the rural South, and she was estranged from her family. She wandered down Thirty-fourth Street, completely lost. She said she found a therapist who slowly, over three years, saved her life. In the very first session of her therapy, the therapist asked her to find one thing that she liked, just for herself, not because her mother said it was good or the South said it was good or because she wanted to impress a New Yorker. Finally, by the end of the hour, she came up with one thing. She knew, irretrievably, just for herself, that she honestly liked the taste of chocolate. From that one pleasure, she and the therapist began the construction of an authentic life.

Don't you love that? And as my intention for my One Little Word class for February is to explore True Love, I will spend the week making a list of all the things I truly love, just for myself, and will share them here next weekend. You're more than welcome to join me!

And now I'll leave you with a collage I did today, exploring the theme of TRUE. As you can see, it involves deep inner listening...

listening for the truth