Staying on the Path…

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Pitching in for a friend/artist colleague from whom I have learned so much. Thanks Lani!

Time to give back. So this Monday, I am posting a “Monday Challenge” and linking in to her site.

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Mindfulness and self-compassion are my areas of growth for the present moment and the present moment is the only one we’ve got. Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, this life in which you find yourself incarnated, is all you have; this present moment is yours to savour and to learn from.

In a little Facebook group we’ve carved out to learn more about “Elephant Training”  we’ve been talking a bit about goals, their uses, their benefits, their drawbacks. How and why to set them – and when not to.

I’d like to go across the grain and say that I feel there is a seduction in goal setting that can get us stuck, keep us procrastinating and often push us to be self-critical in the extreme. I have good company.

Leo Babauta has helped me to view goal setting as counter-productive if it takes me off that perfect path, out of the present moment.

Jonathan on “Paid-to-Exist” speaks eloquently on goals as a means to cultivating your path, but unhelpful when they pull you off it – which really speaks to me.

But as I reread for the third time, “The Mindful Way through Depression” I came across this, “Over time these goal-driven mind states will become more familiar and less of an enemy or an obstacle…Rather than a reason to despair, however, such goal-driven and judgmental mind states can be treated as cues, reminding us of how easy it is to get caught in difficult emotions around ‘getting somewhere’ or ‘making progress.’”

Kent Nerburn speaks so poignantly about not letting “goals” get in our way here:

Your Assignment … should you choose to take it

Just for today try to be more in the present moment, not letting goals – yours or someone else’s – get in the way of the wonder that resides in that unique and fleeting space in your life.

Tonight, write or sketch about that in your journal and smile, enjoying that presence and that moment twice in your life.

Be well!Image

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8 thoughts on “Staying on the Path…

  1. Susanna–you make some great points here about goals. I often find that in the effort to meet a goal, I have to be one pointed (something that’s not bad in and of itself), but because of my own energy (or lack of it), in order to meet the goals I’ve set, I have a hard time taking in anything extra, not to mention relaxing, letting go, just purely enjoying myself for the sake of enjoyment. I think you’re wise to mention both the benefits and the drawbacks–in other words–it’s back to the path of mindfulness!

  2. Beautiful, Susana! Such inspiration… kind of like saying, hey, it’s good, all of it ;) Perfect way to start the week…. with gentleness! Many thanks, and yes the photography is so soothing! xx

    • Yes, one always shares what one also needs … gentleness and self compassion … all good! And thanks for encouraging my photography. I’m learning and I have a great teacher!

  3. Pingback: Belated Fun Monday Challenge #8 meeting mid-week pondering: the Power of Now | artevolutions

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