Today I explore one of the most famous quotes by Thoreau, one that never fails to hit me with its validity and deep truth. I write this post during the rising Holiday buzz in the United States, a time in which I experience more stress, more worry, and more exhaustion from those around me; an intense chaotic rush and push. What always strikes my curiosity is the proportion of people who DO because they “HAVE TO”, which makes me ponder why we have chosen to create such intensity under the guise of “celebration and love”???
While I am not immune to enjoying presents, or the joy of watching other people receive gifts, I am more deeply touched by sharing time with others, by making sincere connection in the present moment. Like Thoreau, I grow more and more quiet as I come home to the pure joy, love, grace and gentle beingness which resides within. I experience immense pleasure in watching a sunrise, observing others in playful connection, witnessing the pure presence of a dog who is not burdened with yesterday or worried about tomorrow. I love taking a long deep slow breath to grind chaos down, to bring the moment into full view with soft openness. I did this the other day in a very busy large store. I watched everyone zoom here and there, standing in lines with their phones in hand, plopping things into their carts, all while maintaining an isolation that kept them from making eye contact with anyone else. In my bubble of quietness I felt the energy of those who passed me, as I inhaled and exhaled I wished all a quiet slowing down, a moment to be, an acceptance of the grace which always is…
We are taught to go after our goals, tackle the “to do” list, jump through the hoops of success defined by societal standards. We measure ourselves against our neighbor, colleagues, leaders and government. Judging not only others, but most cruelly ourselves. As I expand into the infinite peace, love, and joy which is ever present, I find myself more and more quiet, detaching from outside stuff, letting go of busy doing-ness, questioning with honesty “why” I am choosing to do something.
Today, I am going to leave you with the wisdom from Thoreau and Einstein, both of whom could see what was.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.” ~ Thoreau
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” ~ Albert Einstein
“A stereotyped but unconscious despairs is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for that comes after work.” ~ Thoreau
“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein
“It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion…” ~ Thoreau
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ~ Albert Einstein
(I wish to thank the person who gifted my river walk yesterday with these fun ornaments.)