An Intriguing Challenge


It’s been a massive week in some respects, not least in the realisation that I need to remember more frequently to count my blessings and that what I want is actually where I am.

It sounds simple but if you’ve spent the best part of your life trying to get to somewhere better, the autopilot kicks in and the impulse is to relentlessly move forward despite the terrain about you being your desired destination.

So, a new challenge for me – learn how to stop and enjoy what you’ve been striving for when you realise you got there – and its an intriguing challenge.

It seems to mirror my main philosophical/spiritual guide, the Tao Te Ching in its focus on the small, the familiar, and in the eyes of the world the very tame, aspects and issues of our lives to become our real teachers. And yet it isn’t small – the contrast between momentum and control, mirrored in the practice of tai chi is subtle, yet profound.

Swinging kinetic movement is fun and gives at least the appearance of change and progress. Small, controlled and smooth movement appears to be unchanging, too slow for our modern tastes, stasis. But in these small slow movements new universes unfold.

I observe the movement of my hand as it waves across my field of vision. Its slow smooth action allows me to see the wrinkles and lines in my skin, observe the muscles containing their movement to my will, the colour and pigmentation, lines of blood vessels, calloused and smooth spots.

And so it is with life. The slowing down is allowing me to observe in closer quarters the beauty, both temporal and spiritual, that I may have missed in all of my activity.

This slowing of the pace, I do believe I like it.

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In some ways connected with the above thoughts, this week I performed what I intend to be my last standup comedy gig. It was a spot to help entertain some of the 500 volunteers who provide such necessary services to people in the community where I work. It was a privilege to be there and a good one on which to step down.
Comedy has given a lot to me over the past eight years – not least some great friends – and taught me much. I don’t know what happens from here, just that it seems like the right time to close that particular door, so thankyou to everyone who’s helped me, performed with me, and come to see me. Its been a lot of fun.

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If you’re interested in the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu there’s a great translation by Stephen Mitchell at:
http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/taote-v3.html
Its my favourite translation and a copy of it sits on my desk at work for quick reference.

Have a great week, everyone!

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