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Improvise

23


Do not fear mistakes; there are none.- Miles Davis


Life is a jazz tune. Sometimes it’s raucous, sometimes blue, but always full of unexpected twists and turns, and here and there a delightful new sound emerges.

Viewed from a staunch classical viewpoint we might be tempted to call the new note or harmonization a mistake, but in the free-flowing world of jazz, it becomes just another piece of the melodic whole.

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Move your center

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Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might- Ecclesiastes 9:10

 

Move from your centre.  It’s a lesson I learned in aikido. But it’s more than a lesson about martial arts; it’s an ancient lesson about how we’re to live.

Try this exercise. Walk across the room wishing you were someplace else-in your chair, in your car, or with your friend. Then do an activity for five minutes, like washing dishes, concentrating the entire time on something else you’d rather be doing, or something you’re worried about. Then, walk back to where you started.

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Respect the powers that be

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I watched the man out the window as he dragged his kayak out to sea. Just as he’d get ready to launch, a huge frothy wave would come barreling over the top of him.

The kayak would fly off in one direction. Then I’d see a paddle emerge from the sea. He’d walk back to his boat, try again, only to have himself and the boat tossed around by the wave.

Finally, the last wave took the boat and threw it all the way to shore. When the man, in his thirties, stood up, he looked up at the heavens and stretched out his arms.

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Move from your center

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Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might. - Ecclesiastes 9:10

It’s a lesson I learned in aikido. But it’s more than a lesson about martial arts; it’s an ancient lesson about how we’re to live.

Try this exercise. Walk across the room wishing you were someplace else-in your chair, in your car, or with your friend. Then do an activity for five minutes, like washing dishes, concentrating the entire time on something else you’d rather be doing, or something you’re worrying about. Then, walk back to where you started.

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Friendship

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There’s so much talk about finding that extraordinary love of our life. Maybe everything we need to know about romantic love can be learned from our friends.

We don’t expect our friends to change our lives and make everything that’s wrong, right. We just expect them to be who they are, and then we let them be that. It’s part of being a friend.

We don’t expect to like everything about our friends. We know they have defects of character. They do things occasionally that irritate us.

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Time of Friendship

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There’s so much talk about finding that extraordinary love of our life. Maybe everything we need to know about romantic love can be learned from our friends.

We don’t expect our friends to change our lives and make everything that’s wrong, right. We just expect them to be who they are, and then we let them be that. It’s part of being a friend.

We don’t expect to like everything about our friends. We know they have defects of character. They do things occasionally that irritate us.

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Lose those expectations

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So you meet someone, become infatuated, date, and allow your mind to create an exaggerated image of that person. Soon you find that he’s your soul mate.

 You don’t want to live without him; he means everything to you. And then he stumbles, somewhere around three months, maybe six months.

He fails to meet your expectations. He loses soul mate status.

“You just aren’t the person I thought you were,” you say, walking out the door.

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When the Time Is Right

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There are times when we simply do not know what to do, or where to go, next. Sometimes these periods are brief, sometimes lingering.

We can get through these times. We can rely on our program and the disciplines of recovery. We can cope by using our faith, other people, and our resources.

Accept uncertainty. We do not always have to know what to do or where to go next. We do not always have clear direction.

 Refusing to accept the inaction and limbo makes things worse.

It is okay to temporarily be without direction. Say “I don’t know,” and be comfortable with that. We do not have to try to force wisdom, knowledge, or clarity when there is none.

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