Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Notes to Myself

I just finished reading Hugh Prather's "Notes to Myself." I really like his writing. His books are always so introspective and honest and enlightening for me. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite selections:

"I need solitude like I need food and rest, and like eating and resting, solitude is most satisfying when it fits the rhythm of my needs. A regularly scheduled aloneness does not nourish me. Solitude is nearly a misnomer. To me, being alone means togetherness - the re-coming together of me and nature, of me and being; the reuniting of me with all. For me, solitude especially means putting the parts of me back together - the unifying of myself whereby I see once again that the little things are little and the big things are big. I believe that solitude is a profound and needed act of self-love and self-appreciation."

"Being myself includes taking risks with myself, taking risks on new behavior, trying new ways of 'being myself,' so that I can see how it is I want to be."

"It is not necessary to always think words. Words often keep me from acting in a fully intuitive way. Fears, indecision and frustration feed on words. Without words they usually stop. When I am trying to figure out how I should relate to someone, especially a stranger, if I will stop thinking words, and listen to the situation, and just be open, I find I act in a more appropriate, more spontaneous, often original, sometimes even courageous way. Words are at times good for looking back, but they are confining when I need to act in the present."

"The more I consult my feelings during the day, tune in to myself to see if what I am doing is what I want to be doing, the less I feel at the end of the day that I have been wasting time."

"There is something about compliments that scares me. Part of the reason may be that I am afraid of getting something that can subsequently be taken away. I put myself in the hands of this other person if I let my emotions lean on his statement. Another reason: I am being put on the spot and now must watch my actions to keep him thinking this way about me. Another: There is a part of me that knows I am not as good as his compliment implies. Another: I have often been insincere when saying similar things."

"My friendship with Laurel seems to typify a dialectic that many of my newly-forming friendships go through. At first we saw only each other's virtues. Now we are seeing only each other's faults. If we make it through this latter stage then maybe we will see each other and truly be friends."

"I don't want to listen to just what you say. I want to feel what you mean. I won't hold you to your words. Deep emotions are often expressed in irrational words. I want you to be able to say anything. Even what you don't mean."

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