Poetry (I believe all art does this-s) may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate; for our lives are mostly a constant evasion of ourselves.
T. S. Eliot
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.
Believe that with your feelings and your work you are taking part in the greatest; the more strongly you cultivate this belief, the more will reality and the world go forth from it.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Today in class we’re going to do a little experiment… Here’s how it goes if you want to do it with a friend:
- If you had to pick one thing that makes your life worth living, what would it be?
- Imagine the ideal or perfect situation in which you had that one thing that makes life worthwhile.
- Imagine having that one most important thing in that one perfect situation. Everything is just how you want it. How does that feel? Think about the feeling.
- That feeling… the feeling that you just imagined (and probably even felt to a small extent) is your core value. That’s the thing you really want out of life. You don’t want the things that get you to that feeling… but you want the things you want because that feeling is what you are trying so hard to obtain
So what’s this all about? It’s about you. Finding what you want out of life. That feeling is what you want. Did your vision of having that perfect situation that generated that feeling include being a doctor? Then don’t worry so much about how you have to be a doctor. Did that situation that generated that feeling have to do with being famous? Then don’t be distracted by fame. Did it have to do with owning something expensive? Then don’t worry about making tons of money.
For the vast majority of us, the things we want are free and easily obtainable in a variety of careers. I’ll be transparent enough to share what my situation was- I was on top if a cliff, overlooking a beautiful mountainscape, talking with some of my favorite authors and artists about the meaning of life. The most important thing to me is being able to understand beauty and being able to enjoy it, and having people around me that I respect and that challenge me to be a deeper lover of life. Fortunately for me I’m a teacher of art (beauty) and digital communications- so I get to interface with beauty from around the world on a daily basis. I am living my dream. Some of the people in this world that I really love and respect as artists are some of my students.
How does this help us? Let’s think about the things we’ve done this year- The first week of school we took some time to do the enneagramm personality test and think about our core character traits ( extra sources: 1, 2 )and organizations you believe in. That helps you discover (or at least narrow down) your core motivations. Then we talked about the problem solving process and how to learn on your own. We talked about chasing away the dark or the bad we see in our world. WE talked about emotional health and adaptability, and how to express yourself creatively so that your ideas that you want to share are taken more seriously and communicated with more emotion, feeling, and depth. We talked about Success in life and what the most successful, world-changing people all say the secret ingredients are. We have come a long way if your eyes have been open (and your mind!) to what we are thinking about.
If you’re paying attention and haven’t had a chance (or been encouraged) to think about these things in the past- there has been opportunity for you to really think about what you want your life to be- Who you are, where you’re at, and where you want to go. Often, like Noah’s image represents… all we need to do is step out of the rainstorm and into the light.
JOURNAL: What have you done with this information? Let me know in today’s journal. (5xp)