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What I offer and know to be true: through love and support we have the greatest hope of supporting others in finding their happiness.
My dear friend and coworker Sara surprised the team by self-publishing her own book this year. I immediately grabbed a copy from Amazon and read it in one sitting. It's a lovely reflection on life framed as a letters to an imaginary friend June.
Dear June is funny, joyful and revealing the common work we do to show up. Sara introduced me to the idea that being human takes practice and Dear June shows that practice in action.
Personal stories like these are accessible and relatable and touch on experiences we've all felt. Maybe I loved Dear June because I love the author, but I think anyone could pull something out of it that is relatable and true.
Wherever you go, there you are
There is nothing quite as lonely I have found as standing next to someone you love and not understanding the space between you.
Have you ever felt like you needed to make a drastic change in your outer world in order to feel different on the inside? I sure have.
I had a friend in high school who decided that they liked my girlfriend at the time. We were feuding for a while and it was really stressing me out. I decided that to end the feud we both needed to go to the barber and get our heads shaved. I don't know why I thought this was a good idea at the time, but I was convinced that if we went through this shared experience of a haircut things would be good between us. I didn't tell them what we were doing until we got to the barber shop. Turns out, they didn't want to get a haircut and left. I followed through and ended up looking like an alien for a couple months. We were no longer friends.
If you go through a breakup and are totally depressed, changing where you're located will just make you depressed in a new place. It isn't until we do the work inside ourselves can we move on from heartbreak.
Sharing is caring
My tactic when joining a new team or starting something new at work is to operate from a place of seeking understanding before try to make decisions. This means I ask a lot of questions. I try to get to know the people I'm working with, what is being worked on, what is going well, and what could be better.
One problem with this approach is that I end up collecting more information than I share. I may know all about the people I'm working with, but they no nothing about me. Being an information sponge, but not squeezing out some liquid for others is not a great way to build trust in a relationship.
I relearn this with every new situation, but including "do you have any question for me" is a great way to start a mutuality of a relationship than being an inquisitor.
A new car!
My future self reminds me that the key to freedom is on the key chain that is already in my pocket, the time will come when this magical key aligns with this perplexing lock so that I am able to fly free.
My favourite chapter in Dear June is when Sara's friend convinces her to participate in a competition to win a new car. They needed one more contestant and she begrudgingly agreed to fill in. Turns out, she won the car.
Michael Singer tells us to surrender to the universe. By surrendering and not trying to make the universe revolve around our personal needs, we become open to opportunities and experiences we wouldn't have imagined. I've been trying to live in surrender for the past year and, though I haven't won a car, it has paid back two hundred fold.
When we were walking our dogs this morning I mentioned to my partner how I got really lucky to have the life I do. She disagreed and said it is because of hard work that I am where I am. I think it isn't solely luck or hard work. It's probably a combination:
ambition + hard work + luck = potential for success
I honestly feel like I've won a new car when I wake up each morning and do work that aligns with my values in a home with a family that loves me.
Present moment awareness
Please don’t abandon your memories or dreams in pursuit of presence, rather, call to mind these gems of memory when you need a reminder of who you are or what you are capable of accomplishing.
In the last post I wrote about the past and memory and how memory shapes our current existence. Memory and the mind have an lifelong volley back and forth. Memories change the mind and the mind changes memory.
To be present in the moment doesn't mean abandoning past experiences. Those past experiences are actually informing your present moment. Even moments from before your birth affect what is existing in this moment and this moment and this moment.
The elements that make up humans had to be formed in the center of stars. A part of you is stardust. And like I wrote in Chapter 2, when we die, our stardust will go on to form other things and those things will also be living in the present moment, informed by the past.
An object in motion stays in motion as Newton’s First Law of Physics says, and so again today I start anew. It is not easy to start, and yet we must begin.
Thanks for reading Booked! Dear June is a reflective journey that taps into our collective humanity. I enjoyed learning more about my friend Sara and was moved be her words.
I recently finished What is Ethics? by James P. Sterba. It was a pretty great introduction to the philosophy of ethics that is also practically applicable to sticky situations in life.
I've been listening to my new favourite podcast every night before bed: In Our Time by BBC is amazing program where they gather experts on a topic and ask them to explain it. I just finished the episode on Plato's Republic. Highly recommend this one!
Catch you next week!