“Every day when I awake I am torn between saving the world and savoring it…”

  • As we stand at the gateway, a summer stretching out in front of us, this quote is particularly meaningful to me.   Full quote:  “Everyday when I awake, I am torn between saving the world and savoring it.  It makes it hard to plan the day.”

    And that reminds me of another poem by David Whyte What to Remember When Waking where the poet states 

    “…What you can plan

    is too small

    for you to live.

    What you can live


    will make plans


    for the vitality 

    hidden in your sleep. …”

    Is there a kind of planning that is more like a conversation with a person?  Where no one leads, you aren’t leading and life isn’t leading but you are co-creating the dance together?  I believe there is.  Conversational planning may be the secret to 21st century well-being, whether planning your family’s summer or your organization’s vision and mission for the next 3 to 5 years.

    Recently, I lost a most dear soul friend.    It reminded me of the futility of a plan that does not include the following:

    1. Interruptions
    2. The random…things taking a surprise turn (positive and negative).
    3. Trust in oneself and life.

    The last one is particularly important I think, because I cause myself unnecessary suffering when I get out ahead of “now” and tell myself a story about a possible future that is not here.  But when I am able trust the unknown (unplanned interruptions and the random), what C.G.Jung called God, only then can I stay present and fully available to this moment instead of my story about this moment.  How do I trust the unknown and random?  By trusting that I can meet whatever life is bringing.

     I Part of what makes this a bit easier is staying in this moment where I can’t truly see if what is happening is actually good or bad, in the long run.  What I can know in this moment is only that I like it or I don’t.  I want it or do not.  But I can’t actually know how I will feel about it 20 years from now.  You see until our last breath, we are all always in the middle of a long play.  So this “detour” or “setback” might actually be a kind of divine intervention giving me the chance to pause and relook at what I am  doing or where I am heading.  If you don’t believe in Divine intervention, no worries, you can still take a pause and ask yourself the question, “How is this potentially a gift to me?”  In other words, use it as Divine intervention giving you the chance to pause and regroup.  Even if it is not!

    In that pause, you can ask yourself questions, like:

    • “Am I all in?”
    •  “Do we have anything nagging us that we keep turning away from?”
    •  “How is this actually a good thing?  Even though I still don’t like it.  

    By the way trusting the unknown or trusting Life, doesn’t mean I don’t get to feel, sad, mad and/or scared.  But if along side those feelings, I can squeeze in a little curiosity and wonder via exploratory questions (like those above), the whole thing opens up again and I can move forward with more confidence and commitment.  Not in outcome.  No one gets to have that.  Confidence and commitment in myself and my direction, come what may.

    So back to 21st century conversational planning.  What exactly does that mean?  It means planning expecting a partner (Life/the Unknown Future) that will ultimately help you create more than you could have without her.  Planning for interruptions, detours and reversals.  Keeping the end in sight, but holding the “how” and the “when” loosely.  And trust yourself, especially that vitality hidden in your sleep and your dreams.


    May 26th, 2015 | admin | Comments Off on “Every day when I awake I am torn between saving the world and savoring it…” | Tags: , , , , ,

About Nancy


Nancy C. Wonders is an interior designer. The “interiors” she designs are psychological, not physical, space -- a client’s personal interior landscape, or the emotional barometer of a team, or an entire organization. Nancy’s office includes a “design bar” where clients have a chance to re-invent how they see themselves and/or their organizations. These re-structurings result in discovering what is fresh, new and alive. This discovery prompts profound, immediate change, on both the inside and in interactions with others. Read more»

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