A Message by Karen's Guides
Q: Surf’s up. The waves are coming. They are warm and wild and delightful. Are you surfing or swimming? Are there colorful boards and balls around? What do you see? Bliss? Leisure? Freedom? Joy? Escape? Bandages? Inevitable injuries? Recklessness?
What do you see?
Karen: I see laughter and easiness. I see being free from responsibility.
Q: Recklessness, too? Because the surfers are not conscientiously living productive lives?
Karen: No. If people can have that freedom – good for them. We all want it.
Q: What does summer represent?
Karen: Leisure and fun.
Q: Leisure and fun.
There are some messages that are just so obvious, it seems like a waste of energy to even mention them, but, ultimately, it’s worth the time because the idea has somehow gotten put on the back-burner.
THE ANSWERS book talks about the purpose of life being to love, to create, and to learn, in that order. The fundamental principal is profoundly true, but let’s look at a nuance of these three functions. Each strategy can be achieved on earth through negative or positive means. Growth in one’s ability to love may occur when a loved one is no longer present. The value of the relationship and the person is recognized with fresh senses and renewed interest. Growth occurred, but the impetus for the development feels negative.
An example of expanding in one’s ability to love through positive means is volunteering after a natural catastrophe. The experience brings an opportunity for the volunteer to expand in his ability to love and the feeling is reinforced by the results, feedback, and appreciation he receives. Likewise, learning can occur through positive or negative means and it’s simple to recognize the difference. For example, one can set her sights on winning a championship and address the components of physical and mental training necessary. Learning the value of commitment can then become apparent after winning. Contrarily, one can be unaware of the necessary components of training, and the opportunity for learning can occur by losing the competition.
The area in which it is perhaps the most difficult to recognize how we present ourselves with negative opportunities for growth is in creating, and I want to use summertime as an illustration.
Spanning before you is a wonderful opportunity. Summertime is often associated with bliss, leisure, recreation, freedom, amusement, and vacation. How will you spend your summer?
For many, the creation of the summer experience elicits the positive aforementioned elements. Summer becomes a time when you experience more, explore more, entertain more, visit more, read more, relax more, and enjoy more. For others, however, summer is not regarded as a season for enhancing one’s leisure. The desire may exist to recreate that wonderful limitless feeling of childhood, but an adult sense of responsibility disallows the experience. Summer becomes hectic with camps, activities, and continuing work responsibilities, and before you realize what happened, the season fades.
You CREATE your experience. Now, at the onset of this season, think about what you want to create. How do you want to feel? What do you want to achieve, or not achieve?
The truth is that we create our realities during every season. And each season and each day is an opportunity to create it through positive means. Being mindful of what you intend to create at the beginning will help you achieve the reality that you desire. Think of it as 20/20 foresight and enjoy its power!
[By the way, there’s truly no such thing as “negative” and “positive” as you understand it, but we’ll address that topic in next month’s essay.]