The Benefits of Wise Inputs
I've had a few long drives by myself lately. You know the drives. Windows down, radio up, singing along to your favorite songs from when you were a teenager. On these past two trips it was a healthy dose of Blink 182 & other late 90's early 00's pop punk bands.
That worked for me for a few hours, and then I noticed my mind drifting. I'm a big believer when your mind wants to wander, you let it. Given the proper space, my mind will go all over the place. It will think about breakfast. It will think about the next song that might come on. It will think about past regrets. It will think about future successes. It will think about all the dreams I'm pursuing or want to pursue. It will think about how I grew into the man I am today, and what combination of failures and lessons learned have got me here.
One of the things that kept popping up on these two particularly long and boring drives across the middle of our glorious country was different sayings/phrases/words of wisdom that I've heard come from my friends. I realized how grateful I am for the company I've kept. I've learned when I'm struggling through a problem, chances are if I'm truly open to finding the answers/solution/lesson/whatever then the answer/solution/lesson/whatever will pop right into my life.
"What you practice is what you get good at." - Morgan Day Cecil
I received this email in my inbox a few days ago and dang it, if it didn't hit me right in the gut. Reading through I'd realized how I've been spending a lot of the last few years practicing seeing the negative things in life. I've been practicing letting those things that didn't work out my way take a hold of me and wreck me in the form of losing my temper with my wife and kids, binge eating, feeling stuck, thinking the Universe is out to get me, among other terrible ways to live life. Morgan always drops major dope wisdom that catches me when I need it most. Thinking about all this has had me focusing on practicing gratitude, celebrating little wins like being good at getting the Jeep up on the tow dolly quickly and not losing my cool when I realize that I'm not going to make my session in Columbus, Ohio in time unless we drop the Jeep super fast and Jenny follows behind in the RV at her own pace (thanks Eastern time zone that we didn't think about because we live in Central). Don't worry, I made my session in time and was even 10 minutes early...the point is, I've realized I'd been practicing terrible reactions to stressful situations like that these past few years, but this time I was aware of it and practiced breathing, staying calm and trusting everything was going to all work out ok, and it did. Thanks, Morgan.
"Because in our pain we must find each other - mirror to mirror the grace of our shared humanity, the stunningly broken beauty of our shared grief. And you can let your grief see my grief and let our tears mingle into some kind of healing alchemy, and you'll know what I know. That we are never alone." - Jeanette LeBlanc
Is that not some beautiful wisdom right there? I'm so grateful for Kristen Kalp asking Jeanette to open Brand Camp a few years ago with a beautiful poem about lighting fires inside and birthing our true selves...because without that experience, I wouldn't have ever fallen into the words of the wise & courageous woman Jeanette is. How often do we feel alone? How often do we feel that we have to hide our true selves? That our grief and pain is ours to bear alone? How often do those thoughts take hold and lead us into some pretty scary places where we're just lonely? If you're anything like me, it can happen quite often. But surrounding myself with folks who love well and live a brave life keeps words like that hitting me constantly. And I can remember that even though I have thoughts that make me feel alone sometimes, or that I'm the only one struggling with whatever I'm struggling with in the moment, I can be reminded at the perfect time that I'm truly never ever alone.
Sometimes the wisdom comes indirectly from friends who pass along a podcast for you to listen to. Which is where I got these nuggets of wisdom...
These 2 quotes from Pete Rollins to Rob Bell
"God/Divine/Universe/Love/whatever you choose to call that quiet inner voice we all have inside of us doesn't help you fix things. He/it helps you bear them and turn them into something we can use to bless others."
"Is it worth it to live a long life if we're not living a deep life?"
These nuggets from Glennon Doyle Melton & Elizabeth Gilbert
"Being honest opens up others honesty."
"Our only job is to keep learning. We're not here to be experts."
"Now that I don't have to be perfect I can be good. I don't want to be good, I just want to be free."
"Show up before you're ready, trust your intuition."
This nugget from Amber Rae
"Not knowing the answer to a question doesn't mean you are confused. It just means you don't know. Confusion is: not knowing, but needing to know. The 'needing' changes everything. The needing is where the anxiety and stress comes from."
I had to stop and read through that one a few times. Because there's so much in this world I don't know. And I put a lot of pressure on myself because I don't know all the answers and feel like I should have something figured out. But it's ok. I don't have to know. I just have to let go of that need to know. I just have to keep doing my best at doing the next loving thing and that's really it. The rest will sort itself out just fine.
I'm learning the more I read stuff that inspires me or have deep, soul filling, honest conversations with people or the more time I spend meditating/yoga'ing, the better I feel. And it's because those are all positive inputs for me. And the more I cut out the negative inputs the better I feel.
What are some of your favorite positive inputs that you gleam wisdom from or help move you closer to the person you want to be?