Be Ignited or be Gone

What I Have Learned So Far
by Mary Oliver

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of — indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

I woke up this morning with jealousy.  Who know how much of the night I spent jaws clenched, grinding my teeth?  How many times did I have to remind myself to relax my shoulders?  A few years ago, I wouldn’t have known what to do with this stress.  I probably would taken my jealous feelings and hidden them and then that energy, still needing to be expressed would have found its outlet somewhere else.  I would have expended it on my ex husband, mistaking love for co-dependency, or I would have used that energy to distract myself by consuming movies, or shopping, or going to bars.

“Be ignited or be gone”, says Mary Oliver.  Jealousy is fuel.  I woke up jealous of my friend because she is doing what she loves and is making a living doing so.  I started to feel sorry for myself, but then I noticed what those feelings of jealousy were making my body want to do.  They were making my body want to move.  I am clenching my jaw and it hurts because I am spending so much energy keeping myself from talking and sharing my voice and perspective.  My shoulders hurt and are tense because I am trying so hard to restrict myself from reaching out and grasping the life I want.  Holding so much energy back is exhausting and I am learning to let go.

So today, I let jealousy carry me over to my bike, and through the park, past the geese and to this coffee shop where I am now writing for this blog.  Later, I will let it help me as I do what I need to do to set up my meal worm farm and then I will allow it to encourage the discipline I need to study so that I can share what I learn to help others.  I don’t have the energy for indolence anymore, I choose action.

 

 

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Author: Action is Eloquence

I live in Grants Pass, Oregon with my wonderful husband and am in the process of re-imagining a new life for myself! I just moved from Portland where I spent the last 11 years on a metaphorical runway and now am ready to take off. College, a marriage, several customer service jobs, death, fear and shyness were all teachers, but it's time for me to take what I learned and use my talents to make a better life for myself and give back to the community. I have a passion for helping people remember their relationship with nature. I went to Portland State University where I earned my Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy with a specialization in Sustainability Education. I enjoy blogging because it is a way for me to help others regain this relationship and learn how to care for the Earth by living more simply and mindfully. Traditional cooking, natural building, living simply, permaculture and ecopsychology are my favorite subjects and I have a new obsession with eating bugs as a way to help live a more sustainable life. I only appear quiet and reserved until someone gets me going any of these topics!

1 thought on “Be Ignited or be Gone”

  1. I came to this post because I was searching for the poem containing “be ignited, or be gone” for use in a workshop this weekend in Seattle – Foundations of Authentic Leadership. My sense is that you might be interested in this community, which is centered in the Authentic Leadership Center at Naropa University and has a number of regional organizations and communities of practice around the world. We expect to offer this workshop in Portland soon. If you think you might be drawn to Authentic Leadership in Action, send me an email and I’ll pass on more information. You can also go to the web site for the ALC at Naropa…

    Warmly,
    Steve Byers
    smbyers7@comcast.net
    Olympia WA

    Liked by 1 person

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