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Underbelly: 10 Things - Hidden

Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#146 in a series of wild and precious ways to accept what is hidden.

This week I contemplated hidden things. I contemplated this from two angles: First, the moments and places where hiding feels a lot like finding yourself. Second, the occasional exasperation of noticing that what’s important is often hidden and less than obvious. Sometimes unknown and unknowable.
We decided to drive two and a half hours late-ish Friday afternoon to hot springs. As the snow began to fall and the sky darkened, we questioned our decision.
We were not wrong. We descended the long, steep stairs to the pools and were greeted by an idyllic scene. Our own small oasis — hidden, quiet.
A good half of the week contained moments like this.
The other half filled up with conundrums — that consistent, modern and post modern question: “What is the next right thing to do?”
Am I alone that sometimes I feel like I have absolutely no idea?
The question arises, if it ends up being good for us to delay gratification, how far into the future should we collectively delay?
This is a question the philosopher William MacAskill takes up in his recent book What We Owe the Future. He argues that we should treat the well-being of future humans with the same value as present humans—no future discounting, at least beyond the hazard rate. “To see how intuitive this is, suppose that, while hiking, I drop a glass bottle on the trail and it shatters,” he writes. “And suppose that if I don’t clean it up, later a child will cut herself badly on the shards. In deciding whether to clean it up, does it matter when the child will cut herself? Should I care whether it’s a week, or a decade, or a century from now? No. Harm is harm, whenever it occurs.” —Jim Davies, Into the Future
3. Prompt
Last week I optimistically contemplated the personal responsibility we have to teach other people (and ourselves!) who we are.
That’s great, but did lead me to begin to question the hidden-ness of both who we actually are and how to actually teach this :)
Personally, I had a week of abject failure in this subject.
I came across a simple exercise that helped me (after I made my way past some pretty snarky emotions, honestly)
During the day, as you bump up against stuff that gives rise to strong emotion, ask:
Continue with:
How do these feelings make sense in my current context?‘
What am I feeling certain of right now?
Is that definitely so?
What might I be missing?
Can I expand my awareness in this moment and notice something unexpected?
Find yourself ruminating? Chewing over a (particularly unhelpful) thought that keeps you smack dab in the middle of the tension, making it impossible to move past to an actually helpful solution?
What thoughts and feelings are arising for me right now?
How can I be curious about these experiences?
What else is present that I might be missing?
Can I expand my awareness and notice something new?
Can I cultivate compassion toward myself for responding in a natural, human way?
Can I bring awareness to my context (the pandemic, work stress, injustice, sadness, and grief) to deepen my compassion and flexibility?
4. Quest
Curiosity and practice seem to be what it all boils down to — always.
Staying curious and also staying firm with yourself as you practice being more aware of others, being more aware of your own stuff, being able to kindly hand back to other people what is actually theirs while gracefully accepting what is actually your stuff :) will, over time, produce the assurance we need to navigate through the hidden stuff.
I’m pretty sure anyway :)
5. Level up
Take steps. Take actual concrete steps toward more compassion, more curiosity, more awareness. Sitting with what you know you do not know :) until it settles.
6. Article
7. Video
Every day you live, you impact the planet | Jane Goodall
8. Poem
9. Hero
Jane Goodall - Wikipedia
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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