Thursday, November 22, 2012
The Strangest Secret is a record made by motivational guru Earl Nightingale from the olden times. We actually bought it on CD back in the early part of last decade. My husband had studied motivation and people skills since he was a teen, and a lot of it was Music Man type think system.
I mean, I'm going into Thanksgiving, when I will see people who haven't seen me in a few months. There might be discussions about what I'm doing. I kind of hope there's not, but it got me thinking about it, and I remembered what, for me, was the essence of the strangest secret. Nightingale himself thought the essence was "we become what we think about." I had been trying that for many years, but I failed to capitalize on another part of it, which is to "not wish 100 other incompatible things just as strongly."
Today it occurs to me that in contemplating the 1 thing life is about, it's not that there can't be more than 1 thing, but that the things that matter to us need to be compatible. You get people who say strength is better than cardio or vice versa, diet is more important than exercise and vice versa. Healthy lifestyle vs. weight loss. Eating well vs. eating clean (that is, include good stuff vs. avoid bad stuff.) I've seen people get pretty emotional about these divisions.
Did you know that among secondary music teachers there's a big divide over whether Band or Orchestra is better? I was helping someone edit a paper about it one time, and I was, like, "Who knew?" So sometimes people get kind of divisive about things because we have this idea that we have to be focused on "The one and true" thingamajig. And I do think there will be a one and true motivation, but often we are arguing the details. The one and true idea lies underneath.
I did an exercise exploring this back in my self improvement days, and the biggest idea I finally came to, the word that held the greatest power for me, was Grace. At the time I meant it as a principle of motion and aesthetics, but over the years the spiritual sense of it also became important to me, which I think has a unity with my original feelings. As Karen Eiffel says in Stranger Than Fiction, "it came inexplicably and without method." That is, grace came into my life not by seeking for it, but through living in a way that invited it.
Bringing this back to my journey for health, I haven't lost 40 pounds by trying to lose 40 pounds, but by letting go of 1 pound 40 times. That, there, is my answer.