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The Art of Fine Metalwork and the Art of Empathy and Nonviolent Communication- woven together for you....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

It's all written

I have a neighbor. He's very old, about 85 years, he sits all day in his living room in front of a big tv and talks to it for lack of anyone else to talk to. He came here from Greece, I'm not sure when, before or after WW2. In any case, traditionally, in those countries, people sat with their doors open, on balconies and talked to each other, way before modern life with it's smartphones and ipads, when hardly anyone looks at each other anymore. So he sits in his livingroom with the windows and the shutters wide open, watching TV and commenting, singing along, and whenever a neighbor passes by, hurrying on his way to work ( because he also happens to be situated above the joint car park) he always says hello,well, shouts hello.

I'm his favorite neighbor. I always say hi and a few words, ask how he's doing.I ask him what the weather forecast is, because he always knows. He loves my kids and has been watching them grow. " You've got great kids!" he always says. Once in a while, like this morning for example, he'll see me, and say:

 " Don't worry"

What? Am I walking around with a worried look? I must be. I am not known for my Poker Face. I am the most transparent person I know.
Everything, but everything I'm feeling, shows.

So, don't worry, he says...it's all written up there, he points to the sky. Whatever needs to be, will be...I give him the thumbs up, and feel inspired to go straight upstairs to this computer to write to you about it. Why? I don't know, just felt like sharing it.

Is it all written? Pre-determined? People have been asking this question for ages, and I don't think anyone has an answer. Some say we are living in an illusion of control. All this web activity, coaches coaching, Secrets being unrevealed, telling us we can dream up a future and it will be.

Once all mankind's wisdom came from the aged, the elderly folks of the tribe, who had seen so much and passed on their experience. And now? I don't want to say the world belongs only to the young ( and the internet), but let's face it, most elderly people, sadly, have no part in society.

But let's get back to you out there, I hope, like me, you can find some comfort from this man's words. It's all written... seems like sometimes I put so much energy in thinking about the future, and worrying about it, I have no time for the present. Maybe there's too much control tied to it. Sometimes I feel compelled to do things and then wonder why. Maybe it's not ALL up to me?

 So I'm inviting you, if you find yourself tense and caught up in worry, to ponder these words for a few seconds, and see what happens...does it loosen the grip a little?

Wishing you and myself peace

P.S. (how outdated is that? ...And still, an after thought):

A few days passed. I didn't publish this post, because the battery died out on me at the last moment.  All sorts of things happened, amongst them my smartphone getting stolen, getting angry with a rep of the telephone company, and mostly angry with myself for falling prey to sales talk and promises of freebies.( Sorry for being human , Yael). I have all sorts of decisions to make - about renting another apartment or finding one to buy...and plenty of other small, but pressing issues.

 And still, the words of my old neighbor reverberate.... don't worry...I'm taking a deep breath, trying to find solace in those words, in ANY words for that matter.

I looked in the Gandhi quotes page and my eyes rested on:

" Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."

And a little self compassion won't hurt...


  1. I love his perspective on life - he came from a world where life was so much simpler and yet I can't imagine what someone from that generation has been through (WWII/Europe). It's amazing too that here technology is supposed to make our lives simpler and then when it fails us (we drop our mobile or leave it in a cab) we fall apart. In some ways he's right...why should we worry about things we can't control!?!

    I recently read something in one of my favorite books 'Meditation from the Mat' which I'm still thinking about: Our suffering is largely due to our imagined relationship to the past or to the future; the breath, however, is a doorway to the present. Not only are we gaining significant and well documented health benefits by paying attention to our breathing, we are also consciously leaving an imagined world and entering the real.

    And you can wish me peace. I work in Berkeley which is full of old hippies. :)

  2. Lovely thoughts, Shannon, thank you for sharing them.Yes, it is also my experience, that when we focus on the breath it brings us immediately into the present AND into the body and out of our heads, where all the stories live.

    Berkeley,lucky you! Enjoy!