I hope you are well wherever you are on your chosen path. I saw this Tweet recently from an Internet sensei.
(for elaboration: life problem can be any thing like "live healthy" "earn enough money to get by", "basic food & shelter" or even "finding good companion")
It's a geeky way of saying that "the older you get, the fewer playbooks there are to live life". As someone who is quite a sucker for the self-help genre, I'm painfully admitting this truth. The moment it dawns on me that no one really knows how to live life, there is sadness, like the loss of an innocent fantasy that someone can come and rescue me from my life or at least give me some directions.
We often look up to successful and wise people for a playbook, but often by the time it takes to write one, the validity of the playbook already expires. It also reminds me of this Silicon Valley hierarchy of need where on the top layer successful people disperse life advice on Medium. Of course I don't have life advice yet. I can only contemplate with you about my life and the lives I've got to be more intimately involved in. The act of being together contemplating is already deeply healing in itself. That is writing this newsletter for me and hopefully for you too.
It's a paradox of life worth sitting on that we both urgently and intimately need each other and yet our life can only be lived by our own. As I'm beginning my work as a guide now, I don't promise people that they will find an answer, but I do promise that they will have a better sense of direction which comes from the capacity to be in a genuine and continuous dialog with oneself. I help people unclog their direct connection to their own truths.
That is the subject of a recent conversation with a friend I coach that I wrote about below. In a culture where self-aggrandization seems to be rewarded, how might we remember the anchor to keep us grounded in the deeper truth of who we are as interconnected beings? Could we reimagine confidence not a quality one can acquire but as what happens when we care for others instead? Btw, I'm also offering a free conversation to chat with me if you feel like you are going through a trying times and need someone to accompany, clarify and keep you encouraged :-)
Sharing is sprouting.
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Choose Care over Confidence [excerpt]
The most unhelpful thing to tell someone who is afraid is to "be more confident".
What you need first and foremost is a reminder that it's ok to be afraid. In fact, every important thing we do should feel a bit scary.
Then you need to realize that the solution to fear is not confidence. It's to care more.
You can learn all the tactics to be more confident, things like power posing and repeating mantras before a big meeting or jumping on an improv stage.
These are all good, but they are more like icing on top of the cake. The real cake is to *care*, for if you care enough, you will not only know what to do. You will also do it.
So the next time when you ask "How can I be less afraid?",
maybe try a different question: "How can I care even more so that fear no longer holds me back?"
The harder thing of course is how to care more, and even more importantly WHAT to care about. But at least now we know to focus on care instead of chasing fear away. No, fear will always be there, we may as well see it and then dance with it.
---words I found myself saying as I coach a friend---
Speaking of hierachy of need, I recently saw this thought-provoking photo (thx Maybel for sharing!)
It's really interesting how once we expand our sense of self to become more ecological and interconnected, we realize that the situation maybe direr than we think. For many of us who supposedly live in material comfort with internet and cool enough air, our basic needs of belonging - membership in participartory, free community - isn't even met. The challenge is inspiring to me though. There is a lot of work to be done for to better lives here on earth.
Which brings me to a beautiful speech, "Embrace the Grace", by Nipun Mehta, a man who embodies the spirit of the gift. "I discovered that technology’s quest towards the unknown requires us to accumulate more and more control, whereas growing in virtue requires an altogether different capacity: more and more surrender."