Inspired by Mark Nepo: “Fame or Peace”

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These words are from Mark Nepo’s day book, “The Book of Awakening:”

“Fame or Peace

“Rather the flying bird, leaving no trace, than the going beast, marking the earth.”  Fernando Pessoa

“Much of our anxiety and inner turmoil comes from living in a global culture whose values drive us from the essence of what matters.  At the heart of this is the conflict between our outer definition of success and the inner value of peace.

Unfortunately, we are encouraged, even trained, to get attention when the renewing secret of life is to give attention.  From performing well on tests to positioning ourselves for promotions, we are schooled to believe that to succeed we must get attention and be recognized as special, when the threshold to all that is extraordinary in life opens only when we devote ourselves to giving attention, not getting it.  Things come alive for us only when we dare to see and recognize everything as special.

The longer we try to get attention instead of giving it, the deeper our unhappiness.  It leads us to move through the world dreaming of greatness, needing to be verified at every turn, when feelings of oneness grace us only when we verify the life around us.  It makes us desperate to be loved, when we sorely need the medicine of being loving.

One reason so many of us are lonely in our dream of success is that instead of looking for what is clear and true, we learn to covet what is great and powerful.  One reason we live so far from peace is that instead of loving our way into the nameless joy of spirit, we think fame will soothe us.  And while we are busy dreaming of being a celebrity, we stifle our need to see and give and love, all of which opens us to the true health of celebration.

It leaves us with these choices: fame or peace, be a celebrity or celebrate being, work all our days to be seen or devote ourselves to seeing, build our identity on the attention we can get or find our place in the beauty of things by the attention we can give.”

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As I develop a simple website to synthesize my holistic life coaching practice, expressive arts workshops and studio work, Nepo’s writing reminds me of my original intention — to nurture creativity and well-being  — and illuminates the path I’m longing to follow.  I feel reassured: that it’s OK to keep my plans simple and modest; and that it’s good to focus on giving attention rather than receiving it.

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Published in: on June 27, 2016 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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