Category Archives: success

You and Your Works of Art

Whatever is renewing,

whatever connects,

whatever is kind,

whatever is lovely,

whatever can give us eyes,

whatever allows us to taste,

whatever is original,

whatever is gentle,

whatever is healing,

whatever is freeing,

whatever names the nameless,

whatever moves us,

whatever changes us,

whatever unites us,

whatever is present,

whatever is the song of your soul,

whatever is the poem in your pulse,

whoever you are…

do that.

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Flavor Bouncing Your Life

Often times we wonder, sometimes even to the point of not being able to make a decision, about where we should go with our lives, our relationships, or our careers.

We create an endless domino train of “if-thens” and, in doing so, never take the first step into what could actually and beautifully be.

What if our indecision is actually a lack of understanding about the flavoring combos of life?

What if we started to layer our questions about the direction of our days with questions about the flavors, harmony, and experiences we are truly after in this life?

What if we started with the bass note of joy and from there bounced ideas of peace, friendships, rest, weather, culture, and art until we arrived at a wonderfully calibrated milieu that was uniquely fashioned for each of us?

The video below is from Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago. I’ll let you take this metaphor from here.

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Our soul and our role(s).

The conversations here revolve around mathematics.

As for our roles, it’s an ever changing discussion on when to add, how to multiply, and what to divide. Learning which one to choose and when to choose it is the art form. 

As for the soul, the discussion must always be about subtraction to remove, undo, and unlearn that which isn’t necessary so that we can enjoy the well which never runs dry. 

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Little things helping me these days…

  1. Smiling while driving. This simple practice pulls me immediately out of dualistic thinking and into wonder and awe of the world around me. If I can do this in the most average city in America, you can too! Give it a whirl.
  2. Hand over my heart while speaking. The thoughts of the mind can feel like the pinballs in the noisy chaos of a pinball machine at times. Anytime I place my hand over my heart I’m reminded of the steady, always constant, and universal good that is moving through my veins and ushering in the moment…without my doing by the way. This is the place I want to live from and speak from.
  3. “If I knew the backstory.” This subtle statement has immediately changed my posture in conversations, conflict, and relationships. Deepak Chopra has been quoted before saying, “It helps to remember that people are doing the best that they can from their own level of consciousness.” I’m confident that this is true and can help us all if we can be present enough to recall, recollect, and remember such wisdom. “If I knew the backstory” points my compass due north towards a place of compassion.
  4. Take a toleration tally. Last week I blogged about this and I’ve found it quite liberating. What needs to go?
  5. Read…and share. Everyone wins when you do this. You get to repeat the beautiful insight you’ve been given and the receiver of this information gets the potential to be outfitted with a pair of renewed eyes.

Sending grace and peace your way today.

Ashton

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Finding The Divine in All Things with Jim Martin, SJ

Fr. James

REV. JAMES MARTIN, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America Magazine, and bestselling author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, and Between Heaven and Mirth. Father Martin has written for many publications, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and he is a regular commentator in the national and international media. He has appeared on all the major radio and television networks, as well as in venues ranging from NPR’s Fresh Air, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, and PBS’s NewsHour to Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988, Father Martin graduated from the Wharton School of Business and worked for General Electric for six years.

In this episode, take note of the joy and delight that Father Martin navigates his days with. His inspirational story of self discovery will provide insight and clues into allowing your passions to pave the path for your story.

You can download or stream this episode and all other episodes of Let The Music Play Podcast in iTunes and at AshtonGustafson.com.

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