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Quotes for Inspiration
* * *
"Under every deep
a lower deep opens."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
* * *
"There are no
There are only
sacred places, and desecrated places."
* * *
"In order to really
enjoy a dog,
one doesn't merely
train him to be
The point of it
is to open oneself
to the possibility of becoming partly a dog."
* * *
"There is an old saying that a devil is appealing at first but leaves you in despair, while an angel appears terrifying at first but leaves you refreshed and hopeful."
* * *
Spring, with its riotous outburst of new life, seems an appropriate time of year to reflect on the value of "wandering." Just as seeds are blown about on the wind only to take root and blossom in unexpected places and unpredicted ways, so too can our own lives benefit from opening to the mysteries of meandering. My "Reflections," as well as several of this edition's "Resources For A Richer Life" and "3 Good Poems" touch on this theme. As Spring unfolds around us, may you find yourself carried by the winds of fate along some previously unimagined path...to a place where you can, as Harrell Beck once put it, be part of "an absolute riot of color and beauty."
"For all that is gold does not glitter,
and not all who wander are lost."
A few years ago, some friends and I drove down one Friday night to Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Company to hear Thomas Moore speak about his new book Original Self
Moore said that he had been under contract with his publisher to write an entirely different book, when one night he woke up with a quote in his head. Unable to get back to sleep, he got up, rummaged through the books on his shelves until he found the quote, jotted down a few thoughts that had occurred to him, then went back to bed.
He got up the next day, thinking he could now focus on the book he was under contract to write, but he found himself distracted by yet another quote, which he looked up, scribbled a few notes about, and then, again, tried to return to the task at hand.
But he found that this process--looking up quotes and then writing down his own thoughts about them--had taken over, and soon he had written, one meandering distraction at a time, an entirely different book than the one he was "supposed" to be writing.
He showed up at his publisher's office, handed over the manuscript, and watched as his publisher glanced at it and, with raised eyebrows, said to Moore "This isn't the book you agreed to write..."
But it was a very good book, and it was published, and all because Moore was willing to veer off the path, to break the contract, to keep moving and to keep trusting even though he didn't know where he was going.
Among the friends that accompanied me to hear Moore that night was Larry Murante
, one of Seattle's most gifted singers, songwriters, and guitarists. Larry, who at the time was unfamiliar with Moore or his books, nearly declined my invitation to tag along that night because he'd just released a new CD and needed to rehearse for a series of CD release concerts coming up in the next week. But at the last minute he decided to join us.
He wound up buying a copy of Original Self
, and came across the passage where Moore writes: "The door ajar is yet another image for the unheroic work of caring for the soul. It is not a project, as is the job of personal growth or self-improvement. It is not so much something we do as something done to us. Our role is to stand out of the way or allow a point of entry."
Inspired by these ideas, Larry wrote a song titled "Point of Entry
," which became the title cut for his next
CD, and which I've used in numerous workshops, including one I gave last year at the Oregon Dental Conference in Portland.
Think about it: a group of dental professionals in Portland, Oregon were touched by a song...because a songwriter in Seattle was willing to change his plans at the last minute...and follow a friend's invitation...go to hear a writer from New England...speak about a book...that came about...because that writer followed his restlessness, and saw insomnia blossom into creativity.
In a world that would have us believe the only way to accomplish anything is to set a goal, make a plan, and then stick with that plan, this story suggests there is another way: the way of...wandering.
Wandering invites us to put faith in our natural curiosity, to offer the uninvited a point of entry, to trust our tangents. Wandering allows us to realize that "dead ends" are actually filled with life if we learn to value the journey as well as the destination. Wandering reminds us that, more often than not, the most creative distance between two points is not a straight line.
3 Good Poems
"It is difficult to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack of what is found there."
~William Carlos Williams
Click on the titles below to read the poems online; you can also access them by going to the "Writings
" page of my web site, finding the link for my "e-newsletters," and then clicking on link for the Spring 2012 edition:
- "Garbage Truck" (Michael Ryan)
- "14" (Lawrence Ferlinghetti)
- "After" (Octavio Paz)
Resources for a Richer Life
More than just "self-help," Resources For A Richer Life is meant to bring you music, movies, books, magazines, web sites, events, videos and more that will stir your soul, and awaken the deepest, most alive parts of you.
(online video): "The Power of Vulnerability" (Brene Brown). A funny, brief, accessible introduction to Brown's research on how a willingness to "fully embrace" vulnerability leads, paradoxically, to the sense that one is worthy of love and belonging. Includes intriguing ideas on courage, compassion, and authenticity.
(movie/DVD) "Today's Special." (Written by Aasif Mandvi and Jonathan Bines, Directed by David Kaplan). When Samir, a gifted sous chef in a highbrow French restaurant in Manhattan doesn't get the promotion he's been counting on, he quits on the spot and lies about having lined up an internship with a famous chef in Paris. His grandiose plans are delayed when his father has a heart attack, and he has to take over the family's decidedly lowbrow Indian restaurant--except that, ironically, he knows nothing about Indian cooking. He knows nothing, it seems, about a great many things. It is here that synchronicity lends a hand, in the form of Akbar, a taxi driver who claims to have once cooked for Indira Gandhi. Akbar teaches Samir how to make "garam masala," and in the process guides him from alienation to connection, from head to heart, and from method to magic. This is one of those quiet, "under the radar" films that will very gently renew your faith in life's possibilities.
(workshop) "Mothering Touches Our Hearts And Makes Us Grow." Just in time for Mother's Day comes this workshop led by two colleagues whose work I know and trust--Lynn Tienken and Bonnie Bhatti. The workshop "will focus on the internal strengths and vulnerabilities of each woman as she meets the everyday obstacles of raising her children. Utilizing brain research, participants will learn tools that show how the body, mind, and spirit work together to support their intuition." Both Tienken and Bhatti are mothers, and each has more than 30 years of experience working with children and families. For more information, you can download a flyer for the workshop, and/or you can contact the facilitators: Lynn Tienken (206) 661-2825 (email Lynn), Bonnie Bhatti (425) 825-9992 (email Bonnie).
Psychotherapy for Individuals & Couples
I offer Jungian-oriented psychotherapy for individuals and couples. Whether you come to me with a problem (like depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues) or simply the sense that it's time for a change, I help you look at how that starting point is calling you to grow, and how you can respond with creativity, vitality, and hope.
To learn more, visit my web site by clicking here
To schedule an appointment,
or if you have questions,
call me at (206) 523-1340.
Upcoming workshops & lectures by Dan Keusal
I'm continuing to work on some "big-picture" dreaming and planning for the future, including ideas for new workshops. Watch future editions of this newsletter for details.
If you would like me to come speak to your group, please call me at (206) 523-1340, or email
On my web site, you can view a list of the organizations
that have invited me to speak, and a list of my recent workshops
This newsletter is one of the ways that I share helpful reflections and resources, and keep interested people informed about my work.
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That's it for this issue of "Living With Purpose and Passion." As always, I welcome your comments & suggestions. You can send me an email or you can call me at (206) 523-1340.To share this newsletter with friends, click on the "Forward Email" link, below.
Dan Keusal, M.S., LMFT
Jungian Psychotherapy for Individuals and Couples
Find Your Purpose, Heal Your Pain, Live With Passion
Web site: www.DanKeusal.com