The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Lean Into The Good

We spend a lot of time here dealing with everything that’s going wrong in the world.

Rather a lot.

The goal isn’t to be pessimistic, nor is it to be optimistic, the goals is to be realistic. But in some eras realism can be fairly depressing.

So I think it’s important to remember that there’s still a lot of good in life. Love, food, beauty, excitement and more. An excellent book or movie; a beautiful sunset or a gorgeous person; that feeling of warm mature love or the excitement of new love; warm soup on a cold day or the feeling of cheese squishing between our teeth.

Many people live too much in their thoughts: chains of predictions of bad events, many of which will never happen and even if they do, aren’t happening now. Instead, lean into the good stuff: that feeling of relaxation when you lie down in bed after a busy day or the pleasant languor when you wake.

If you look for these events, many of which are small, like my very comfortable chair, and you choose to rest in them, you’ll find life a lot better, I suspect. In ill times, savor what is good.

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  1. Joan

    This is a great point, and I’ll add that I think leaning into the good and getting out of the way of the bad is how productive social change can happen even in today’s world. We are headed into an era that will contain a lot of change, so prop up and support the things you want to continue and let the awful stuff go the way of all things. Give it a swift kick on its way out.

  2. Eric Anderson

    Like the exuberant smile of my 5yr old boy — still too innocent to know hardship.

  3. Trinity

    To fit with Ian’s theme of focusing on the good, there is a movie on Netflix I can recommend called The Kindness of Strangers. It leaves very soon, on the 9th, I think. Some of it is improbable but the story and the message are great.

  4. Ché Pasa

    Oou, Ian has a comfy chair. These days, due to spinal issues and nerve damage, some chairs have taken on the character of torture devices for me. But that is not to say there isn’t something admirable in the design and manufacture of a fine chair. A Victorian high-back here in the room with me fits the bill, now recovered in exuberant floral tapestry.

    The small things, yes. They’re everywhere, literally everywhere all around us, We often miss them, but we don’t have to. The kitty-cat stretching languidly at my feet, the smell of fresh coffee on the stove, the birds this morning chirping aways merrily greeting the morn.

    Yes, we see the bad, too, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. And yet, the bad isn’t all there is, or even necessarily most of it. Every moment is a miracle. In every miracle there is something precious.

    Keep on…

  5. Ed

    I’ll have what you’re having.

  6. Art_DogCT

    You may find this Diné ritual prayer resonant.

    Walking in Beauty: Closing Prayer from the Navajo Blessing Way Ceremony

    […] In beauty I walk
    With beauty before me I walk
    With beauty behind me I walk
    With beauty above me I walk
    With beauty around me I walk
    It has become beauty again

    […Hózhóogo naasháa doo

    Shitsijí’ hózhóogo naasháa doo

    Shikéédéé hózhóogo naasháa doo

    Shideigi hózhóogo naasháa doo

    T’áá altso shinaagóó hózhóogo naasháa doo
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Hózhó náhásdlíí’]

    Today I will walk out, today everything negative will leave me
    I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
    I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me.
    I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
    I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
    I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.

    In beauty all day long may I walk.
    Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
    On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
    With dew about my feet, may I walk.
    With beauty before me may I walk.
    With beauty behind me may I walk.
    With beauty below me may I walk.
    With beauty above me may I walk.
    With beauty all around me may I walk.
    In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
    In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
    My words will be beautiful…

    The Diné word “Hózhó” is translated in English both as “Beauty” and as “Balance” depending on context. Seems to me either work with the concept, “Lean into the good.”

    I believe if one is able to decide to be open to encountering it, willing to engage with the experience, this extravagant planet offers up endless beauty everywhere, in great variety, even in circumstances most terrible, dire, and dour.

    Best regards to all,
    Old Dog ‘wandering on a trail of beauty, living again’

  7. Trinity

    Joan, I love what you wrote. It’s really good advice.

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