risks are openings

We are afraid to do it wrong. Gandhi said, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Step out. Fly. Even if you get burned, you can fall back to earth and start again.

Zen Master Dogen laughingly called life “one continuous mistake.” Yes, there is the fear of looking bad, but later when you review your life, will you wish you had held back? Probably not.

Not knowing, a famous Zen practice, conveys the truth of life. Acting freely, you cede control of the outcome and willingly cast your unique spirit into the mystery. William McFee writes, “If fate means for you to lose, give him a good fight anyhow.”

Don’t worry when freedom seems daunting. In the Bible, angels of light always approach with the words, “Fear not.”

Philosopher Bertrand Russell says, “One should respect public opinion insofar as it necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.” Martha Graham amplifies, “No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time.

forget about trying to know- remember you are already living the knowing….

inquiry for today~ what can be new today?

you can’t forget how

We don’t create to achieve or make history, no matter how we’re schooled or what we tell ourselves. We create because we have to. And the reward for creating, in any form, is that it keeps us alive. This is why we devote ourselves to art. It is our covenant with life. And like anything we devote ourselves to, we will in time become good at it. But we don’t do it to become better. We do it to become whole. For while we can get better without becoming whole, we can’t become whole without getting better. 

Everywhere we look, life is burgeoning. Plants, trees, and flowers are always pushing up, breaking ground, and yearning to be. Like the seeds of the natural world, there is some innate impulse in each of us to break ground and sprout. But too often, the machinery of tradition aberrates this impulse into a compulsion to produce and achieve. And soon, we lose our lifeline to wonder.

Yet, despite the press of our ambitions, excellence is more a by-product of immersion. A dolphin breaches surface to taste the air. It doesn’t leap to be an acrobat. So yearn, sprout, and push your heart into the world. Immerse yourself and live. More than accomplished artists, the world needs impassioned creators to dive and break surface.

~Mark Nepo

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