By J. M. Hawkins and Geoffery Moore
I wonder what the next step is.
You are correct—wonder is the next step. Go big our stay home. Take everything you’ve got with you today—take your whole self—and then add something extra: stay open to wonder.
Wonder? To be honest, I wonder how that can help me survive and get ahead. Life feels more like a hardhat area to me than a place for wonder.
You’re not wrong about life being a hardhat area. I’ve noticed that you’ve gotten good at using the pickaxe of your persistence and the wrench of your wit. You probably think of your mind as the ultimate toolbox and wonder why the world isn’t more fixable.
But let me gently remind you: Don’t forget the hammer of your humility. You may need it to get your toolbox shut!
And that’s important, because you’ll need a quiet mind to be open to wonder. And without wonder, without a sense of mystery and awe and richness, you will one day end up wondering what this was all about!
But I’m betting on you. I’m betting that one day you’ll be one of those people who walks among mysteries, a person who dares to live in this world with a brave heart but also a heart of wonder.
Today, I’ll be strong but open to the mysteries—the wonders—that are revealed through vulnerability, brokenness—even weakness. I’ll combine my gifts and my wounds to be a real human being.
*The Dear Soul/Dear Life dialogs by J.M. Hawkins are adapted and used by permission. They are excerpted from his collection, Word From Soul City and were used in discussion groups that met in cities across America in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to the Life That Loves to Happen seminars with Landon Saunders.
By J. M. Hawkins and Geoffery Moore
I’m angry with myself. I wish I could back up and undo the mistake I’ve just made.
There is no reverse on the universe—but there is renewal. Ask forgiveness from anyone you’ve wronged…and forgive yourself. Now, don’t look back—don’t look ahead. Just look around! Just be surprised—just be reborn into this new forgiven moment.
But there are some things I just can’t forgive myself for, so every time I feel really guilty about something, I stuff that part of me down deep inside.
Oh, I see. You’ve become a taxidermist, and the creature you’re stuffing…is you! So one day if you are very still, very quiet and more unresponsive than usual, I’ll know that you’ve finally unforgiven yourself to death—that you’re finally, totally, and completely stuffed. To avoid this fate, I suggest that you forgive to live—and never stop forgiving.
Today, and every day, I will extend forgiveness to myself and to others—again and again and again. Because any and every delay in forgiving is a loss of life.
*The Dear Soul/Dear Life dialogs by J.M. Hawkins are adapted and used by permission. They are excerpted from his collection, Word From Soul City and were used in discussion groups that met in cities across America in the 1990s and early 2000s.
J.M. Hawkins and Geoffery Moore
I feel that my life is becoming humdrum. I feel that I could really begin to live if I could just trade in my circumstances for better ones. What should I do?
In the first place, you should learn to hum. Without a rhythm, without a pulse, without some “inner music”, you’ll either fail to begin the journey or you’ll fail to enjoy the trip.
And then, you may indeed want to drum up some new circumstances. As George Bernard Shaw said, “The people who get on in this world are they who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”
But while you’re looking for the circumstances you want, don’t live in limbo, don’t settle for humdrum. Instead, keep repeating this line: In every circumstance, I dance!
Today, I will make the circumstances I can make; I’ll keep the ones I can’t make from making me irritable or unhappy. I’ll stay connected to the joy of my life that is deeper than any circumstance.
Guest post by J. M. Hawkins
To be honest, if I weren’t locked into a job and didn’t have a lot of responsibilities, I don’t think I would have a good reason to get out of bed in the morning.
That’s the reason we’re talking. Arise to be surprised!
And here’s the first surprise: It sounds like you’re so caught up in your own to-do list that you’ve forgotten how to “just be.” The problem is, a to-do list has a way of turning into a do-you-in list. So you may need to balance your to-do list with your to-be list—as in, what sort of calm, delightful, joyful person are you going to be today?
And remember: “to be or not to be” is not the question. You already are! The question is “how to be”—how to be alive, how to be human, how to be the one and only you, how to be present today.
Here’s a little ditty you can sing to remind yourself that as important as it is to do, you must balance that with to be.
Do-be-do-be-do, exchanging glances,
Do-be-do-be-do, daily romances,
Delight the whole day through!
Today, I will quiet my mind and take time to just be…to be still…to be mindful. I will balance the focus on what to do with a delightful focus on how to be. And who knows, I may even take a moment to be happy.
*The Dear Soul/Dear Life dialogs by J.M. Hawkins are used by permission. They are excerpted from his collection, Word From Soul City and were used in discussion groups that met in cities across America in the 1990s and early 2000s.