187 Words of This and That
Tara Brach is one of my guides. It’s funny to be so spiritually moved by someone I never met, but I’ve mentioned her to you before. (If you haven’t been acquainted, I recommend hopping on her Spotify and checking out her reflections and her meditations.) Tara was recently interviewed on The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos. In that interview she reminded us that the greatest regret of the dying is that they didn’t live true to themselves. As Tara put it, “I lived shaped out of my own judgments.” This stopped me in my tracks. How often have I chosen to do something based off my own harsh judgments or those of society? How many times did I let what was possible fade and instead chose something I would not be criticized for? It’s been a lot. No one decision is that important. But collectively, the sum total of these decisions is significant. It has us abiding in a life that we did not create. Instead, we are living a life we un-created by making safe choices that did not have personal meaning to us.
Reminder from the soul of truth: It is the collective accumulation of what we did not do, what we relented from, that shapes our living. If we do not act in alignment with our truth, that will haunt us as our lives end.
Takeaway: How are you pushing your decisions toward full living? What does full living look like to you?
One of my daily mantras is: “I am dedicated to living free from the regrets of years of useless virtue.” It comes from a paraphrase of something Maya Angelou said once in an interview with Oprah.
I spent so much time in my younger years pursuing useless virtue. Part of that was imposed upon me by the religious system I was raised in. This unconscious shaping began changing in earnest for me 10 years ago. Since then, I have focused on moving my tortoise shell toward meaningful alignment, momentum and boldness in my choices. It has been terrifying, effort-full, and painfully growthful. And I’ve gotten some choices wrong. But this one idea of avoiding useless virtue fuels me.
What one piece of inspiration you’ve received fuels you?
From my bookshelves
I’m currently taking Jon Kabat-Zinn’s class on mindfulness on MasterClass. This book, the first of his I ever read, began rewiring my daily behavior toward mindfulness the first time I picked it up.
I love this quote.