The Purpose of Privilege

In what ways are you privileged? We are all privileged.*

What does the universe want from you?

The universe wants something from you.

Do you know what your purpose is?

We all have purpose.

What makes a life worth living?

This man says "flow" is the secret to happiness.

So when do you lose yourself?

When you "lose yourself," you can become a vessel.

What is the self anyways?

It seems we love to define the self, our selves.

How do we transcend the self?

We need to get out of our own way.

What would you do if you could do anything?

We could start today.

Where do we start?

Perhaps our various privileges serve as guideposts.

No matter what we're doing, whether it's staying at home with kids or wandering the world with nothing, may we let the ways we are privileged reveal our purpose.

Let us notice how the universe nurtures us. Let us take it in and love it, then let us lose the self for a moment, let us get into the flow and release all that goodness back into the ether. Let our privilege become someone else's privilege.

This is vague, so I will offer a few examples. It could be music. Maybe you have a pretty voice or mad piano skills. Have you thought about sharing your music? You could go into a classroom and play a few tunes, you could join the music ministry in a spiritual community, you could write music and play it for friends, you could post videos to YouTube, you could go after a talent agent. Really, there's no limit, great or small.

It could be organizing messes or organizing communities. It could be counseling others or taking photos. It could be crafting or welding. It could be a job or it could be volunteering or it could be neither. It could be the main focus of your days or it could be a couple hours on the weekend.

The bottom line? If we feel good about our privilege rather than guilty about it, we know we are using privilege for the Greater Good. It's that simple.

May our privilege not be in vain.

Where does your privilege point?

To read more of my thoughts on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow my blog or subscribe via feedburner.

*Inspired by Roxane Gay's essay entitled Peculiar Benefits.

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Tell me what life is about

Lately she's been saying things like, tell me what life is about. Her voice dreamy and her eyes wistful. She wants to know. She senses that oceans and galaxies lie beyond her grasp. After all, her world only recently turned itself upside down when we moved from our hometown of Seattle. She seems to recognize that life is fragile, that small moments can change everything, that big feelings are fleeting, that nothing lasts forever, and ultimately we will all die. Her daddy & I try to answer her questions.

I said, love. Life is about loving other people.

He said, but people forget a lot. They think it's about themselves.

She said, I think it's about peace. And harmony.

There have been other questions, too.

I told her that I'm not really sure what happens when we die. That nobody really knows. That it's the greatest mystery of life. Death.

She worries about us dying, about her grandparents dying.

I told her that we will never be separated because we live in one another, we are one another. We are not the same, but we are also not completely separate. We are oneness, embodied.

When I see her smile, I smile.

When I see her hurt, I hurt.

When I see her learn, I learn.

I told her, I think life is about doing what you love. Someday soon, I'll teach her what it means when something moves you. I want her to recognize what moves her, so she can know her purpose. I want her to know that the universe will guide her by speaking to her heart.

She knows how to ask. My next job is to teach her how to listen.

To read more of my thoughts on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow my blog or subscribe via feedburner.

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Nothing Lasts Forever

I turn 29 tomorrow. My golden year is nearly over. Though it terrifies me to think of myself as 30 years-old in one year, in some ways I feel older than 30. As if I've been 30 for years. Which somehow makes sense considering that I also feel like I am my 13 year-old self at times.

Birthdays often bring introspection and this one is no different.

Right now I am sipping my espresso and milk, nibbling on ultra dark chocolate, nursing my baby and typing with one hand… Now she's in the swing next to me, asleep. I can see mountains and tree tops and water from up here on my perch. Though I have many things I still want to accomplish, many moments to look forward to, I am perfectly content where I am right now.

Things continues to change rapidly. Time never stops nor slows. Everyone is getting older. People come and go. Nothing lasts forever--a truth that troubles me deeply because I am happy now. I am aware that I have it good. I love being a mother to small children and though it is exhausting it is delightful and precious and wonderful. When James is at home we exchange glances a hundred times a day, smiling over the unbearable cuteness, grimacing over the tears, laughing over the funny; we are partners on this glorious adventure. We are in it and we love it and we love each other.

But nothing lasts forever. Our children are only getting older. So are we.

I might be especially preoccupied with time right now because it gallops along at an unfair pace when you have a baby. Just the other day Skyla was a skinny-legged newborn who slept all day and now she has rolls beneath her chin and she is attempting communication. She has beautiful brown inquisitive eyes and a generous smile. The rest of us won't stop gushing about her. That's four people head over heels in love with one tiny person. She handles our affection with grace. She soaks it up and makes it her own and beams it back at us.

The thing about having children is the love they bring into a home. Every challenge in parenting is punctuated with love. You've got to work for the love I suppose, but oh sweet universe, the rewards outlive the work.

It's like anyone's life's work, really. You don't need to have kids to experience this kind of infinite love. You need only to give your best away, offer it up to the greatest good. Your best efforts, your best creations. It's the only way to live properly: find what you can (and love to) do to add value whether it's by raising a person or founding a movement or taking care of people.

We have to do it now. Today. There's no time to waste. We must run with ideas, listen for callings, ask God and other people for help.

We're only getting older and nothing lasts forever.

Yet there's an undeniable beauty to growing older because youth is replaced with wisdom. Each day is a new experience and each experience lends itself to our understanding of why the hell we're alive and what we're supposed to do while we're here to make the most of our brief forays on this four-dimensional plane. So that we may not only leave the earth better than we came upon it, but we may in the process delight in the taste of water and chocolate, the sensation of sunshine and wind, the swell of love and connection.

Since I enjoy quotes and learning and wisdom, I will celebrate my birthday tomorrow by sharing 29 of my favorite quotes and pearls of wisdom--lessons and philosophies that have enriched my 29 years of life, whether or not I have mastered or even understood their meaning.

Until tomorrow.

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To read more of my musings on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow my blog or subscribe via feedburner.