Decades ago, I had the opportunity to sit with a teacher named Patrick O'Hara of The Growing Place. What he had to say made a lot of sense then...makes even more sense to me today.
People are very much alike, even if no two are quite the same. "We are very, very simple, but we're very subtle.... we are each all mankind as much as one drop of seawater is the ocean."
Patrick believed we can be our own teachers. "You must understand you are literally the creator of yourself. Thought directs energy. Start to think of yourself as an energy pattern."
And then start to increase the beneficial energy in your life, while you decrease the negative.
You start by doing nothing.
"The first cause of all things is being still," Patrick pointed out. In other words, get a grip. He suggested meditation. I know, I know.
To be honest, I suggest a long shower or a long walk. You have to be able to see what you're looking at, so you can act, instead of react.
The stillness, achieved daily, will present you with the opportunity to see what you've become.
And to see how your life might be transformed when you accept the responsibility of creating it.
Patrick O'Hara had apparently spent countless hours in contemplation and thought he had some answers. He shared some with me, and so I will share some here.
You will have to provide your own questions.
You have to give up to gain.
You cannot have an emotional feeling without a physical reaction.
When you love, you make yourself whole.
Your power is in your softness, and your softness is in knowing who you are.
It's not enough to say "There's got to be something better." You have to follow up with "And I want it."
The way to make change is by example.
Forget what you want to get away from. Take aim at where you want to be and go for that. Keep moving. Keep your goal out there in front of you.
Reality is never the way it seems to be.
Finding a spotless clean restroom on a cross-country drive is a spiritual experience.
Man's only problem is the refusal to accept his own greatness with humility.
If you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, things will work out. Believe this.
You don't have the slightest idea what you can do. So, why lack self-confidence?
You must see life the way it is, so you can laugh your way through it.
It's the space between the notes that makes the piece.
What you believe is what you create.
You have to let go in order to get somewhere new. You have to make the cycle linear.
If it's no fun, you're not doing it right. - JDW