Thought Cookie: Edition 11, Vol. 2
210 Words of This and That
I look up confounded in Merriam Webster. Confused, perplexed, it tells me. Damned, whispers another entry. It seems a leap to go from simple confusion to damnation. If we are looking at our humanity full in the face, we ought to admit we are a lot more confused or perplexed than we let on. And yet, it is an emotion often dealt with using shame. Throughout our educational journeys we are discouraged from being confused. “Stay on task!” teachers admonish, “concentrate!” Our questions are met with exhaustion or annoyance. In my mind, being perplexed is the precursor to becoming a learner. Asking questions is beginning dialogue. If we are not perplexed, how can we open ourselves up to new ideas? There’s a lot that is perplexing to me these days. As a country, as a world, as a human race, and as me, I am just as perplexed by what we have lived through over the last year and a half as we are by how we continue forward. Instead of rushing to concentrate, to focus or hustle to get rid of that perplexity, what if we took a deep breath and let it be instead? What if we saw what is perplexing as a big opportunity to gain perspective?
Reminder from the soul of truth: To be confounded or perplexed is not an undesirable state. Instead, it is the beginning of new learning and possibility, if instead of condemning it, we can welcome it.
Takeaway: What’s one thing in the world, or in your life, you feel you could use a new perspective on? Can you welcome the perplexing with joy instead of dread?
I have a good friend who reads herself a number of mantras each morning. I am inspired by her dedication to this practice. She’s in a challenging part of life right now and has every reason to set aside her book of mantras and not read them. But she hasn’t yet. Ever since I heard about her practice, I have slowly been chipping away at writing my own set of daily mantras. I take a lot of time to do things like this, so this is very much a work in progress. The naysayer in my mind tells me the mantras won’t change my state or buoy my spirits. But once I read them over in my head, they do. Madame Non is wrong. My mantras make me feel better. More than that: They focus my energy on where I want it to be, not where I happen to end up when I wake up in the morning. One of my mantras is adapted from a hero of mine, the poet, warrior, feminist Audre Lorde, who wrote, “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.” Yes. What are your mantras?
From my bookshelves
Several years ago I read The Untethered Soul and found myself rooting, reeling and rejoicing in its challenging and comforting concepts. I love Michael Singer’s approach and how he can challenge and comfort, all at once. In the years since I first picked it up, I return to it again and again when I need recalibration. Here’s what spoke to me recently.
Thought Cookie will be back on May 25 when I will share another freshly-baked batch. In the meantime, if this struck a chord with you, think of someone you love and, if you would, share it with them. Or share one of my pieces of art on your social platforms and tag me. I would be honored grateful. If you’d like to ingest more of my writing, visit my full website.