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09/22/2022 AGEIST Newsletter 306

Many years ago, I was told something that changed the direction of my life: “If you want to get in the chair across the room, you need to get out of the chair you are in.” At the time, I had little comprehension of what this actually entailed, other than: it would be a good idea to change how I was living. Decades later, it seems to me that the core of what was intended was the issue of identity and that if I held on to a certain vision of myself then I would continue on a certain trajectory.  If we see ourselves differently, we behave differently. It is a question of enlarging our imaginations of who we are and who we could become. 

This, however, is rarely something that spontaneously occurs. Sure, there are those hit-by-lightning types who just wake up one day and decide they are different from that moment forward. In general, we need something powerful in order to make that move to the other chair. It could be others tell us we are not who we think we are because, as another wise person once told me, all of us carry three core delusions about ourselves. Being delusions, and being core to who we think we are, you can see how these would be rather tough to objectively view. For people our age, with decades of living, it could be even harder.

It is very Action Jackson around here, which has its good points and bad. Mistakes get made, but these are ok, too, assuming they are not of the life-ending variety.  Belly button gazing and deep thinking about who I could be just hasn’t had much long-lasting impact on my life. What is effective are actions. Because not only does our identity shape how we behave, it also works the other way around, too.

I may have trouble thinking myself into right action, but I can act myself into right thinking. In other words, if I take an action that is aligned with the person I want to be, it in effect proves to my stubborn inner delusions that perhaps I can become that person. This is just how I work, and others may be able to do the reverse. To each his own. When I find myself in doubt, when I feel paralyzed by indecision, I ask myself: What can I do to be of most service? This, rather than: What is my passion? — or some other equally slippery question —  seems to be how I move myself to let go of who I may have thought I was towards something greater. My experience has been that when I am of most service to others, this is where I find my passion and where I find meaningful change in how I see myself. Take a chance, try something new, maybe you will like where it leads you. 

Onward and upward,
David

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Taylor Marks
Taylor Marks is a certified holistic health coach and professionally trained chef from The Institute of Culinary Education. Her passions include the latest research in health science, culinary arts, holistic wellness, and guiding others towards feeling their best.

 

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