What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
The idea that we can’t thrive without pausing isn’t especially groundbreaking, nevertheless it is hard as diamonds to achieve while we’re also feeding the cat on schedule, exercising, keeping house, and working at our jobs all day long. Which is to say nothing of finding one’s purpose, and then figuring out how to enact that purpose.
Is pausing the key to finding purpose?
We bet you have at least one friend who is always on about the necessity of being; that life will offer us no end of invitations to do, and if we don’t seek out opportunities to be we’re missing one of the most important aspects of life: being aware of what is real in the wild world we live inside. Practicing presence is a fun practice if you are on a walk near Provincetown, MA (where Oliver rambled through the fields); it is a life changing practice in difficult and confusing moments; this is a crucial practice in finding your purpose.
We propose beginning with real-time awareness, and Mary Oliver’s “The Summer Day”. Maxine Kumin described Oliver as an "indefatigable guide to the natural world”, the world which created us humans, and in which we all reside. In one of the most quoted couplets of her opus Oliver prompts us to, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do/With your one wild and precious life?” and most readers think she’s asking us if we are living our purpose. But she isn’t. In the 17 lines ahead of this concluding pair, Oliver has cataloged her wild neighbors and her all-day stroll through their wild homes. Why does she spend the day on her knees in the grass? So she can rest in awareness while watching a grasshopper chew side to side. Why does she stroll idly through the fields? So she can ask herself (and us) “Who made the swan and the black bear?”.
Purpose is hard to hear over the neurotic din of doing.
If any of this has you thinking about your work, or how you might identify and move towards your own wild purpose, this is a great time to work with us.
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