When life turns upside down…

It’s the end of the week in which life turned upside down where I live.

A couple days in, I was seized by an urge to bake. Every day since, I’ve had porridge with raisins and hot milk for breakfast. I have a no-knead bread recipe on my counter, waiting for the next baking urge to hit.

Comfort baking

I imagine this activity arose from a desire to ground myself in the familiar and ordinary as an antidote to the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in.

Like nothing else…

“Extraordinary” almost seems too tame a word. Even those of us who’ve lived more than seventy years have never experienced anything like this. 

It’s not that life has always been smooth and lovely. Lots of bad things have happened throughout history, and none of us has been completely untouched by the trials of being a human.

So what’s different this time?

Two things come to mind immediately:

  • There is no place to run. This is not happening to someone “over there” to whom we can send money and sympathy. It is affecting all of us directly, in every way imaginable.
  • It has shaken our foundations. We have discovered that most of what we’ve taken for granted is actually not secure. What could demonstrate this more graphically than gigantic systems being brought to their knees by a microorganism?

The opportunity…

What good is a crisis if it doesn’t prompt us to revisit and rethink our assumptions about life? 

  • What is good? 
  • What is bad? 
  • Where does life surprise us?

I included this video in a previous post, Only time will tell the whole story. That post mentions three beautiful books you might find timely.

Rethinking…

In recent days, I’ve found myself thinking back to things I wrote in Conscious Spending, Conscious Life. And so, I’m offering the digital version of my book free until April 20, as part of Smashwords’ Authors Give Back sale.

Download your free copy using this link which takes you directly to my book page. Click on the orange button in the right-hand column that says “Buy with coupon.” It will take you to the cart and show a price of $0.00. You can download the book in whatever form you prefer conscious(epub, mobi/Kindle, pdf, etc…)

And what about you…

What have you noticed about your response? What are you thinking? What are you craving? I’d love to hear from you…

A little change in social attitude…

*** Time for this post?  Reading…3 minutes. Listening…10 minutes. Considering…at your leisure.

The death phobia that pervades our consumer culture does not serve us well…

We get to indulge in death phobia because commercial interests are right there, ready to step in and do the difficult things for us. In this way, we avoid a lot of discomfort.

But we pay a price for our comfort…and it’s not just in money. We become death illiterate, with no language for what death asks of us and no emotional capacity to recognize that death is asking something of us.

The cultural story…

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Only time will tell the whole story.

I welcome reader comments on my blog. They get me thinking. Here’s one, in response to my post, written after I tripped and gave myself a black eye.

Great blog today. I love how an unfortunate event becomes blog fodder. 😊

It made me aware that I hadn’t actually thought of my black eye as unfortunate. And with that awareness, I remembered the story that first shifted my thinking about good and bad fortune.

Here’s a charming version, narrated by philosopher, writer, and speaker, Alan Watts. Born in England, he moved to the US in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Watts, who died in 1973, is best known as an early interpreter and popularizer of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience.

So what can we make of this ancient teaching?

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