S2Episode22 It’s Hard To Be A Good Person

February 19, 2024

Good morning from Milano. I’m sitting here noodling something I heard recently. I was listening to David Whyte’s ‘Three Sundays’ series. He does three Sundays in March, three Sundays in January, which are three one-hour lectures usually around one theme. I love them because it’s kind of like going to church. It brings me back to my heart space He makes me think. I love listening to the questions that he addresses at the end. I love his use of languag0,e and I love hearing him recite He usually recites one or two during each lecture. He gives context – where he was in his life when he wrote them – and he gives you the meaning behind them. It’s a window into poetry from a living poet. Anyway, onto the story. I was giving you some context.

What I’m thinking about this morning is something he shared in this lecture. He was telling a story about his friend who was actually in the room with him and who apparently kind of out of nowhere started going to church. He became very active in the church and David was extremely surprised by this. Now this is an old friend of his, so one can assume there is a certain level of intimacy between them. He said to his friend, Hey, what’s the deal? Why are you going to church? And his friend replied, you know, David. Being a good person is hard.

That story was a sticky one for me. It has permeated my thoughts ever since I heard it. I think it’s simply because it is such a universal theme. I’ve been noodling what we do with that. What is it that we do on an individual basis with that desire to be a good person? And how does being a good person extend beyond our immediate circumstances, our immediate life, our family and our friends circle?

As I’m thinking about it, what’s going through my mind is that it doesn’t matter so much what form being a good person takes in our life as much as that actual thought of wanting to be a good person. And how we shift that from a passive thought or desire to more of an intention. When I say intention I mean more conscious, more deliberate, and more alive in your awareness. 

I found the story very sweet because clearly this gentleman wanted to shift from having this passive idea in his mind to being more actively intentional about it. His way of doing so was that was not only surround himself with other people who he presumed would have this being a good person energy, but also to put himself in the way of opportunities to act on that. I think in his mind probably the church is a place that serves the community or would offer him some opportunity to more actively be a good person.

Anyway, I don’t want to go on and on about this particular story or wanting to be a good person. But it does have me thinking about the power of surrounding ourself with people who have shared ideas or goals or missions, whatever you want to call them. I refer to that often as like-minded people. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people. That is not quite accurate because you can be with people that aren’t of like mind, but it’s more about being in an energetic circle of people with whom you share something in common, right?

When I did my experiment to invite people into this virtual circle that I’m trying to create, it was about coming together with this theme of how we can more consciously and more intentionally bring our thoughts back to working on creating a lives we love. It’s building that muscle of agency. It’s not so much about being with like-minded people as much as about being in the energy of people who have a shared intention. There is a lot of power in that.  There’s a lot of power in showing up, being seen, listening to other people, getting ideas from other people.

I’m sharing this story also as a note to self because I think so often we sit in our own soup and we struggle with trying to figure things out. Sometimes we simply need to seek out others because it’s so powerful to be around other people who have some shared goal or objective, whatever it is.  In fact, when I was preparing for that first call I did, I was Googling circling.  I’m going to read to you before I close here the notes I gathered for myself on circling because I think it really drives home the point of the gesture of going to church. It’s not about church. It’s about surrounding yourself with other people in circle, whether it’s a virtual circle or the circle at a church or a club. Coming together in a circle is an ancient practice. It has a lot of power.

So here’s what I wrote to myself on circling. Circling is gathering. It’s about connection, empowerment, and perspective. Circling is about the emergent collective intelligence of a group. It’s about extending our perceptual range through sharing our experiences, exploring blind spots, or our unconscious ways of being. We can influence others and be influenced ourselves in our perspectives, our choices, and our behaviors. Circling is taking the time to allow ourselves time and space to be fully with our feelings, and with the feelings of other,s thereby expanding our emotional range.. Circling is being aware and acknowledging our collective humanity.

et me end by saying this. Whether you are like me feeling called to convene a circle –  to invite people into a group – or you have somewhere in the back of your mind that maybe you should join a group or a club, take a class or hey, go to church, do it!  It is such a cool and beautiful thing to come into a circle, whatever that circle may look like. There is a lot of power in gathering. It’s about connection, empowerment, and perspective. That’s it.

I’ll leave you with that for today. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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