Happy New Year, Happy Inauguration Day
I know it’s been a while since the last newsletter. I trust you haven’t been too worried! Thanks to those of you who found me to ask what I was up to.
In mid-November I moved from Louisville, Kentucky to Blanco, Texas, with a stop at the Hitchhiker factory in Chanute, Kansas. (Our trailer is a Hitchhiker) I was sick with the flu during the move, and I made the move alone. Deb had to stay on the job in Louisville, and she joined me in Blanco around Christmas. When I got to Blanco, I rested for a couple weeks, then I began my job at the headquarters of the State Park we live in, registering campers and the like. When I was a girl, visiting State Parks in Minnesota with my family, I would think how wonderful it would be to live in a State Park. Lo and behold, 50 years later I’m living in a State Park!
As always, I’ve been doing readings all along, for local folks in person, and via phone for the rest of ya’ll. Plus, I’ve had more on my mind to write about than I could fit in a single newsletter. So I just had to wait for clarity. You can tell me if I’ve found it.
I was born. I’m alive. All I have to do is live my life.
One thing I’ve been thinking about is life, and about the amazing fact that, in all the universes, in all of time, in all of creation, I am here, now, in this body, on this planet. Awesome, don’t you think? Truly amazing. This remarkable happenstance of my life is mine to live. I can (I do, we all do) choose the energy to live life in. Moment by moment. Breath by breath. My choice. Wow.
We have a tendency, some of us humans, to take ourselves and the circumstances we find ourselves in pretty seriously. We treat many decisions and situations as though they were life and death (and so what if they were?) In truth, all we have to do is live our lives. Live our lives to the best of our ability.
But what does that mean, to the best of our ability? To me, it includes following the way that leads to fulfillment (see #47, May 2008). It includes doing the best I can in any situation, and trusting that others are doing the best they can (even if I wish they would do better!)
Another good question to keep handy
Am I doing the best I can? It’s a good question to keep around, a good question to ask when you’re feeling other than fulfilled. Is agonizing over this or that decision or situation the best I can do? Is believing that my happiness depends on external circumstances the best I can do? (If my friend hadn’t betrayed me, I would be happy. If my boss was nicer, if I had more money, if my father hadn’t been abusive, if my husband was more this or that, if my business hadn’t failed, if, if, if…THEN I could be happy.)
Is indulging in feelings of guilt or shame or blame the best I can do? Maybe at one time feeling guilty was the best you could do, “I got sick and couldn’t keep my commitment, and I feel so guilty.” But is it still the best you can do? Ask the question.
Is (you name it in the moment) the best I can do? Actually, asking the question is the best you can do! And if the answer is no, then you can wonder what your best would look/feel like. You can experiment. Hmmm, if holding my abusive father responsible for my lack of happiness is not my best, what would be my best? Ask the question — it’s the doorway to fulfillment. Then live your way into the answer. Stumped for a way? Always and always, you can feel appreciation for something.
You are dynamic
If you’re doing the best you can do, then you can do no better. The best you can do is the pinnacle. But life is dynamic, and we change all the time. So the best I can do now is different from the best I could do 20 years, or 20 days, ago. If I find myself responding to situations now in the same way I did in the past, then chances are good that I have not allowed my former best to mature into my current best.
Likewise, it doesn’t make sense to look back with recriminations at my past best, since back then I didn’t have the same abilities or wisdom that I do now. Look back at what you might now consider mistakes. Were you doing your best? Good. Let it go. My best now and my best then are different. My best now and my best at any other time are different. So be it. All I can do, the very best I can do, is do my best in the moment.
Doing my best also means realizing that my main tool for understanding where I’m going, other than that feeling of fulfillment, may be retrospect. There are just some things that I can’t know until I know them. I can’t know how something is going to turn out until it is done. I can’t know ahead of time the nature of the adventures I’ll meet on my journey. (If I knew, it wouldn’t be an adventure, would it?) I can’t know the outcome of a decision until it is lived. I can’t know where I’ve been before I get there, no matter how hard I think about it.
In a nutshell
It’s just life, all I can do is live it.
I do the best I can, and my best is dynamic.
My feeling of fulfillment is my guide.
I can only know the future in retrospect.
I’d love to hear from you.
A reader writes
I just re-read issue #30. Maybe I should say re-re-read. I was inspired by the reader who picked an issue at random to read with her morning coffee. So I did something similar. I tore 54 small pieces of paper, and numbered them from 1 to 54. I put the papers in a blue bowl, and every morning I pick a number and then read that issue while I drink my coffee. In the two weeks I’ve been doing it, I picked number #30 three times. As you would say, that’s a teaching to pay attention to. So I’m studying it, and trying to take in all the lessons you give us in that one small letter.
Then I re-read issue #23, because you mention it in #30, and if anything that one is even better. Jett, do you know how good this stuff is? Someone sent me a link to a famous “spiritually wise” woman, and I have to tell you that I found her teachings to be shallow compared with yours. You should be disseminated more widely!”
Go ahead, disseminate me
Share this newsletter with anyone you care to. I’m happy to be “disseminated more widely.”