Please Note: Linda's blog has moved to her new website: LindaKavelinPopov.com
From now on, please visit her new website to enjoy all her upcoming blogs

Planning Your One Wild and Precious Life

January 30, 2013

“Tell me,” says poet, Mary Oliver, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” This is one of my favorite lines of all time. It holds such promise. It is our awesome opportunity to continually choose our path in life. And there is far more freedom to do that than we may realize.

According to many sacred texts, this is the realm of choice, possibly the only world of God in which we get to fall flat on our faces, make mistakes, keep learning and find redemption through transforming ourselves. I’m a great believer in little by little and day by day changes. The wise little book, The Kaizen Way, describes the wondrous changes that can occur in our lives and our character by taking tiny steps, biting off chewable bits on a regular basis.

A strange phenomenon occurs after a loss or a death. When we give ourselves respectful space and time for grieving, it empties us – in many ways, purifies us.  One of the gifts of navigating the journey of loss and grief is that we gain a new perspective on what matters. We are more ready to slough off the irrelevant, the excessive.

As we return to the routines and responsibilities of life without a loved one, it is good take our sweet time to ask, “What do I  need at this new season of my life?” Hold the question lightly, in a trusting, contemplative way. The virtue of discernment will bring clarity.

As our grief heals, it is as if we have shed an old skin, and a tender new body is emerging. Habits or work we have been accustomed to for years may no longer fit, or for some, familiar routines may be a salvation in adjusting to a new normal.

One of the things we need to give up at some time in life is the guilt-oriented drive to meet the expectations or approval of others – including our parents and our children! It serves no one to be under the tyranny of anyone’s sense of entitlement.

We also need to pause from season to season in our lives and ask ourselves what are our true yeses. We also need to know our “No’s”.  Not every opportunity can be taken. Because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. This is a chance to seek what a young skate-boarder once described as “pristine momentum”.

Using guilt only as a signal for change, not as a lifestyle or a signature perfume, gives us huge freedom to repaint our pallet (or adjust our palate!).  For many of us it means keeping our sense of excellence while giving up perfectionism. I made a promise to myself in the second year after John’s passing, when I kept hearing him whisper to me, “Be happy, Lin. Life is so short.” The promise was that I will never again be driven by guilt. I choose to be led by my soul. Guilt comes from the ego and is closely related to fear – of not being loved, accepted, thought well of. When I feel the tug of that old feeling, I don my T-shirt that says, “I just realized…I don’t care,” and have a good laugh.

What matters most is that we take the time to ask ourselves the question, what do I really want now? What do I need? To give ourselves permission, within the boundaries of our resources of course, to move to a desert island or a stimulating city, to seek out a new life’s work, or to stop working altogether. Tell the ones you love that you love them and take time to be with them. Give your passion permission. How can you do what you love and love what you do?

So, are you a gardener? A weaver? A sailor? A putterer? A writer? A reader? A volunteer? Say a hearty yes to what ignites your deepest enthusiasm.

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who are alive.

 - Gil Bailie

Devotion


Author photo
Linda Kavelin-Popov

More Posts:
  • BE THE CHANGE
    (July 23, 2016)

  • Time Management for Spiritual Efficiency
    (July 13, 2016)

  • Virtues are the Keys to Success
    (June 29, 2016)

  • The Gifts of Family
    (June 9, 2016)

  • Family Reunions: Blues or Blessings?
    (June 1, 2016)

  • Mothering
    (May 17, 2016)

  • Learning to Die
    (April 29, 2016)

  • The Power of Presence
    (April 15, 2016)

  • Set Your House in Order
    (March 30, 2016)

  • An Easter Journey
    (March 21, 2016)

  • Living Whole Heartedly
    (March 17, 2016)

  • Determination – the Dream Keeper
    (February 24, 2016)

  • Educating the Whole Child
    (February 3, 2016)

  • Virtues in Paradise
    (January 22, 2016)

  • New Year Hopes for 2016
    (January 12, 2016)

  • Reflections on a Year of Humility
    (December 31, 2015)

  • Home is where the heart is
    (December 15, 2015)

  • Coming Full Circle
    (November 24, 2015)

  • END OF LIFE WISHES
    (November 14, 2015)

  • Gathering for Gratitude
    Global Mentorship Canada 2015

    (October 30, 2015)

  • Raising the Virtuous
    (October 6, 2015)

  • Too Blessed to be Stressed
    (September 21, 2015)

  • Balance Your Virtues
    (September 8, 2015)

  • Whatever You Do
    (August 30, 2015)

  • Recognising Teachable Moments
    (August 7, 2015)

  • Celebrate Life
    (July 27, 2015)

  • Tap the Power of Thought
    (July 2, 2015)

  • Hope
    (June 17, 2015)

  • Call on your A Team
    (June 6, 2015)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (May 24, 2015)

  • Banking on Virtues
    (May 18, 2015)

  • A Mother’s Virtues
    (May 9, 2015)

  • Virtues Shine
    – in a South Pacific College

    (April 28, 2015)

  • Being a Good Spiritual Accountant
    (April 23, 2015)

  • Bullying in the Workplace
    (April 13, 2015)

  • Easter
    (April 2, 2015)

  • The Best Present
    (March 13, 2015)

  • A Virtues Valentine
    (February 14, 2015)

  • Cleaning Up Our Act
    (February 10, 2015)

  • A Pace of Grace for 2015
    (January 18, 2015)

  • Choosing Your Best Life in 2015
    (January 2, 2015)

  • Gifts from the Heart
    (December 22, 2014)

  • Transform Holiday Stressing to Holy Day Blessing
    (December 6, 2014)

  • An Attitude of Gratitude
    (November 27, 2014)

  • Simple Ways to Bring Joy to Children
    (October 25, 2014)

  • A Perfect Day
    (October 8, 2014)

  • Let Peace Begin with Me
    (September 18, 2014)

  • Islands of Love
    (September 4, 2014)

  • Keeping Love Alive
    (August 16, 2014)

  • Integrity: Taking the High Road
    (July 27, 2014)

  • Parenting in Paradise
    (July 18, 2014)

  • GIVE YOURSELF A DAY OF GRACE
    (July 6, 2014)

  • Help Strikes Again
    (June 24, 2014)

  • Help for Troubled Souls
    (June 13, 2014)

  • Tapping the Power of Wisdom
    (June 1, 2014)

  • Path Finder
    (May 9, 2014)

  • Discover Your Joy Quotient
    (April 17, 2014)

  • Trustworthiness: Lemon with a Twist
    (April 3, 2014)

  • Spring Forward
    (March 20, 2014)

  • Appreciation
    (March 7, 2014)

  • HOLY GROUND
    (January 22, 2014)

  • Virtues Path for a New Year
    (December 31, 2013)

  • HOLIDAY BURNOUT OR BLESSING?
    (December 17, 2013)

  • Thanksgiving is Conducive to Bounty
    (November 28, 2013)

  • Flow
    (November 11, 2013)

  • SUCCESS-ion Planning
    (October 23, 2013)

  • In the Moment
    (September 22, 2013)

  • Be Here Now
    (September 17, 2013)

  • Grace in Our Tests
    (August 19, 2013)

  • A Pace of Grace Revisited
    (August 5, 2013)

  • Only Us
    (May 29, 2013)

  • Barbecues and Blessings
    (May 8, 2013)

  • Decisions in Paradise
    (April 23, 2013)

  • Daffodil Memorial
    (April 14, 2013)

  • How Full is Your Fruit Bowl?
    (March 20, 2013)

  • Rediscovering Joy
    (March 12, 2013)

  • The Power of Intention
    (January 4, 2013)

  • From Violence to Virtues
    (December 21, 2012)

  • What can we do – before and after a tragedy?
    (December 15, 2012)

  • The Presence of Light
    (November 30, 2012)

  • Circles of Compassion
    (November 21, 2012)

  • Dare to Stop Postponing Joy
    (November 5, 2012)

  • The Rain of Grief
    (October 27, 2012)

  • Opening to Gratitude
    (October 18, 2012)

  • The Power of Gratitude
    (October 8, 2012)

  • Time to Celebrate
    (September 22, 2012)

  • The Gifts of Waiting
    (September 13, 2012)

  • Linda’s First Post
    (September 1, 2012)