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Home > With Ourselves > Finding Fulfillment in our Lives

Finding Fulfillment in our Lives

This is, of course, a very personal journey for each one of us.

Gib on Beach
Our web site is focussed on the well-being of our planet, and we think a great deal about what we can do to make a contribution to the betterment of our one planet home. So much so that sometimes we neglect to take care of ourselves. These words of Thomas Merton are particularly helpful when we try to be all things to all causes:

To allow one's self to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns; to surrender to too many demands; to commit one's self to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence.

For all of us who want to make a better world, it is sometimes the hardest thing to stay positive, to keep our spirits up when there is so much to despair about. Action is impossible without reckoning with the problems, without grieving for what has been lost and destroyed. And action is impossible without hope. Action is impossible if we give in to fear and despair. Adding our negative energy to the planet will not change it for the better. Keeping our spirits up in whatever personal way works for us is sometimes the most important thing we do in a day. As Terry Tempest Williams says, "Despair shows us the limit of our imagination. Imaginations shared create collaboration, collaboration creates community, and community inspires social change."

CB White Sands
Spending quiet time by one's self, just being, and not doing is important for our sanity. It is also helpful to take each action one act at a time instead of rushing and thinking several steps ahead. The jobs don't get done any quicker when we think of all the stuff we have to do. Eat the elephant one bite at a time! We need to treat ourselves with the same care and concern that we offer to others. Take time for reflection and studying things that satisfy a deep longing. A meditation / contemplative practice also helps us stay centered in ourselves in our busy, fast-paced lives, and connects us to the Divine Source within. It is easy to forget our self-care. Take time to smell the flowers, watch the clouds drift, and the rain fall. Notice the day. Catch the magic and the synchronicities. Daydream. Breathe. It's a short life and only we know how we should live it.

Connecting with ourselves, our loved ones, our community and our natural world sustains and encourages us. Friends, family, co-workers, associates and colleagues of all kinds weave the tapestry of our lives, and nourishing those connections is vital. This community extends beyond our human family to include our animal friends, the environment around us, all living things.

Creative work is essential. Play is essential, as is following our hearts and dreams, wherever they may take us. This usually means taking risks, but as Barbara Streisand sings in her brilliant performance in Yentl, "Sometimes where danger lies, there the greatest of pleasures are found."

What makes us happy and fulfilled? Bread, and Roses too. In this culture, it's predominantly about Bread. We are told that getting and having stuff will bring us happiness. But most of us feel especially happy when we have offered something of ourselves to others, when we've been able to ease another person's suffering, and when we are content with what we already have in our lives. When we are fulfilled, love, optimism, courage, a sense of freedom and purpose, pro-activity, security, health, spirituality, generosity, perspective, and humor pervade our lives. These are the Roses of our lives. We wish you endless bouquets of them.

Now What? Use these resources to learn more and work for change: