The writing of the Letters has taught me I think far more than I can ever share and teach through them. The discipline, the getting over myself, the being vulnerable, the incredible amount of research. The joys of someone commenting or writing to me to tell me they think I am full of shit. The dealing with that with a sense of humour, and what this is teaching Marley as I read them out loud and we all crack up. The crazy spreadsheets with colour coding so no quote duplicates in the same colour (I mean, the horror, it happened once, I lost a year off my life..joking, only about 10 months). The fact they are just a gift to put out, expecting nothing in return. The community, the beautiful feedback. I’m sure no one reads them all, but they’re about something so much more than ‘writing a letter to students’.
So, I wanted to encourage you to create something for no obvious reason, that’s of service to others, and see what kinds of joy it fills you with, whilst wanting for nothing. You do have time. We all lie about that all the time. When we are in flow with creativity, and feeling fulfilled, then time expands dramatically as opposed to contracting when we tell ourselves ‘we don’t have enough time’…
And whilst you are at it, you are likely going to have to let go of some need for approval or being liked, or being worried about what other people think. The amount of time I hear I would so love to do karate but my partner would mock me no end/I was never a good painter and my kids would tease me/I would definitely have to hide that one from the guys at work breaks my heart.
This is an excerpt from a speech Theodore Roosevelt made and I reread it from time to time “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.“
Sent with love,