Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Value, part 1 - I Yam What I Yam

I want to share how events of the year have shaped my learning about my 2009 word of the year: value. I am going to do so in three posts.

I start at the beginning where all long tails begin , the internet....


It was never expected that I would amount to much. I realized this when I was reading a blog post by Derek Sivers where he discusses his enthusiasm for achievement and consequent connection with Kimo Williams. An encounter that came at such a critical juncture in Derek's learning experiences that it became part of the foundation for some of his successful philosophies in life. It occurred to me after reading that post that entitlement had always been my challenge and one I missed repeatedly as I grew up. Much of the trajectory of my life was diverted by circumstance in a pattern that started at a very early age. It is not like I can or even want to change my past believing as I do that I am the perfect me in this second that I exist in now. I know I am an accumulated carbon basket mix of goodies, jewels and lumps and broken bits. Blah, blah, blah...we all love this cliche.

Ten years ago I would have thought this line of thinking to be a cop out but I do not think this now. A decade ago I still thought there was something in me to fix. I had estrogen. Now I am of the mind that the only true spot to begin or end is from where one "is". Endings with no returns or do-overs prove this and dropping dead confirms the reality. This happens every minute of everyday and to everyone eventually... or so this last year has made glaringly apparent. Likewise, one cannot begin anything clearly if their head is always in what will be or what was. Now I think with the economy of "I yam what I yam" and this is the point from which I begin each day. That's right. Everyday, these days, starts with this affirmation.

I have experienced a new kind of heady relief in this resolve. Retiring from my eternal petulant drive for self improvement is probably the greatest gift I've given myself this year in contemplating the word value. I suspect I knew all along that I was going for trying to conceive valuing myself but I can tell you right now that it never crossed my mind in January 2009 that I would end up quoting Popeye in December. Now with all of that judgment on hiatus, there is time enough to remember to wonder what each day will bring. Come to think of it, this is what I woke up to everyday as a child: wonder. I suspect, that while I may have missed the golden ring of entitlement, I managed to hold on to the carousel long enough to remember that wonder is what lies sleeping on the other side of the annoying habit fixing everything and everyone around us...

...and now for your viewing and listening swingin' Popeye short!


Thanks to Safari647 for the video post.

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