Monday, December 14, 2009

How much of your life are you willing to GIVE away?

How much of your life are you willing to GIVE away?
by Jim Donovan
A story....
I was stuck on Interstate 80 in the middle of nowhere PA. Ice storm, jack knifed trucks, cars flipped over...what a mess. As I lay on a bed of djembes in the back of my Kia waiting for the road ice to melt I had a moment of clarity. The idea struck me that holding on to unhelpful ideas and behavior patterns is akin to giving portions of your life away. A new year is coming soon, and with it, another opportunity to start fresh. Is it possible that we can reclaim our vitality simply by revamping how we choose to invest our moments? How much of ourselves do we give away maintaining the safety of our status quo?

Imagine an apple...
The place from which the apple grows is from the core outward. Inside the core of an apple are the seeds which represent future potential. In human beings, these seeds are our beliefs and what grows from them are all of the ways in which we interact, understand and behave in the world around us.

Imagine when a parasite gets into the core of the apple- how suddenly its integrity is compromised and the decay begins from the inside out. In a similar way, unhelpful habits and beliefs are the parasites within our core that keep us from reaching our ideal potential.

Which of your beliefs help you to grow?
Which ones drain your energy?
How much of your life are you willing to GIVE away by holding onto beliefs that no longer serve your betterment?

Comments are always welcome...


  1. Well stated Jim and very true. May your core continue to blossom into greatness!

  2. John Binde asked me to post this comment for him -

    "Take the metaphor a step farther, the seeds of our core have results in the world. Healthy seeds produce healthy trees. Trees produce fruit. If the core is rotten, the seed will at best be unhealthy. They may never produce other healthy trees. They might not produce trees at all. Our core values determine our legacy for the future: our children, those lives we touch, the lives of our childrens's children."

  3. Thank you for another wise (and timely) perspective.

    In this holiday season of giving, yes, too many of us are failing to notice that we are giving away our very lives by clinging to beliefs and habits which fail our true nature to become the best we can be.

    How much of our potential is squandered? How much of our time is wasted? How much of our lives forever lost?

    Limiting beliefs, destructive beliefs... indeed they are like parasites attacking the fruits of our labors.

    We are blessed with many gifts to share with others in the universe. Now is the time to protect those gifts from decay caused our own self-imposed neglect and abandonment.

  4. Well put guys, these beliefs affect the web of our whole experience as well as those who take cues from us as we model behavior.

  5. Beliefs that help me grow: I am grateful for everything, including the situations and feelings that I don't enjoy very much. Things do no happen to me, they happen for me. I am responsible for what I attract into my life. I am responsible for the beliefs that drain my energy. I have the power to change my draining beliefs.

    There were many occasions, with a variety of different people, where I felt bad, because I felt like they were being disrespectful toward me. Having that belief and trying to not let them bother me was a waste of my energy and upsetting my peace of mind. I work at a group home and sometimes the residents do or say things that seem disrespectful toward me. Usually, I am pretty good at not taking it personally (although, it can still bother me a little bit). I figure they don't know how else to express their emotions - and their actions are not really about me. I realized that this is true for all people (including people who don't live in a group home). When anyone does something that seems disrespectful toward me, I no longer will take it personally. Unless someone says, "I don't respect you," I will no longer feel that they do. I came to this realization after learning about “The Work of Byron Katie.” Are you familiar with her work?

  6. I haven't seen her work, I will check it out. Thanks for the tip. Great comment too!

  7. I feel like I know you...have you played with David Newman before? He was my piano teacher for a very brief period of time.

    I liked your story. I was in that ice storm, too, panicking my head off. I didn't have any revelations then, but I've had that same revelation about wasted moments and unhelpful ideas in the past. Right on.


  8. Thanks Gina, I haven't played with David but I have heard of him. I did some playing with Krishna Das..maybe there?

  9. I really relate to this post. It reminds me, too, that sometimes when you hear something the first time - it doesn't quite sink in, then there's a switch, and all of a sudden the same thing you heard from 10 people over the last 10 years now makes so much sense. Thanks Jim for helping me make the switch!!!

    I truly appreciate the metaphor of an apple, and have not always felt that healthy from the inside. Often, the outside is a facade - what I want people to see - but what is not true. Living from a healthy core means going deep-getting real with myself-and becomeing a bold, proud, healthy tree - thanks to John Binde for enxending the metaphor : )