Write your own fortune by living in the moment

November 29, 2012 · 5 comments

in Inspiration

Post image for Write your own fortune by living in the moment

This has been a crazy year of changes and adjustments. The good news is that I have not only survived but flourished. Going forward, I am increasingly convinced that we all have more power than we realize.

While the fiscal cliff and various personal problems are very real, so is the ability to step back, take a breath and…

Live in the moment, baby!

The concept is completely alien to my upbringing as the daughter of hard-working Confucian immigrants. They made it clear that successful, good people plan and then, stick to the plan. To go my own way with spontaneity and flexibility has taken years of practice. And practice makes perfect, as they would say.  :)

Yes, planning is still critical. The difference is that it’s no longer a noose that spells F-A-I-L-U-R-E whenever I blow deadlines. For starters, there are fewer hard deadlines because I’ve become more realistic. For another, many of my plans are deadline-free.

On that note, I’d like to share something that was posted by a Facebook friend. It’s a quote from C.S. Lewis that best describes my top planning priority. To be free, to be happy — it’s all about love. The hard part? To love takes guts. Here’s his quote:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. 

Isn’t that beautiful?

For a little group inspiration, this post includes my doodle of a blank fortune cookie fortune. You can fill in with a wish for your day.

Here’s what I would scribble in write now:  “You will become fabulously wealthy next year.”   Ooops, haha! What was I thinking. Let’s take another shot at that…

Okay, okay. Here’s a real fortune. It will keep me on track emotionally for the next 24 hours: “You will realize today just how rich you really are.”

There! I like that. As a single working mom, paying the bills is a top priority. This message puts me in a grateful frame of mind with a sense of wholeness and confidence. I hope it will turn me around during those encounters with split-second grenades when I want to scream $#%^%#.

Well, that’s my in-the-moment fortune. What’s yours?

********

And for more therapeutic one-liners, here are two earlier posts:

Everything you need, you already have. (March 27, 2012)

Therapy talk to get us through the day (June 5, 2012).

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Toby November 29, 2012 at 8:09 am

When I first left home for college, my dear and wise father presented me with a copy of Desiderata, saying he could not improve on it as advice for living. I have kept it and contemplated it all my life. It is one of two quotations that have always had great importance for me, the other being 1st Corinthians. Chapter 13. Both are well known compositions but in case any of your readers are unfamiliar with them, here they:
Desiderata (Desired Things)
“Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.”
And the second quotation that I have always treasured and found wisdom in is the passage from 1st Corinthians, chapter 13 – also well known but always worth repeating
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains and have not love, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things…….
13 And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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Taylor R. November 29, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Great one, Betty. if you live in the past, you’re usually in regret. if you live in the future, you’re usually in fear and uncertainty. if you live in the present, you’re in acceptance

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betty ming liu November 29, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Toby, so soothing to read your passages. I vibed with both and esp liked the idea of “gracefully surrendering the things of youth.” Thanks for being a child of the universe :)

And yes, Taylor, it’s all about acceptance. A good way to go forward!

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Charlotte November 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Wow, C.S Lewis and Betty Ming Liu in one post!! Amazing! What a treat :) Thanks for another lovely post. Always a pleasure to read your blog

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MJ & TJ December 2, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Betty,
That is a lot better fortune than I got last chinese place I wnet to “Accidents becknon get out on the road as soon as possible.” What’s up with that?
The word which should replace OWNERSHIP in our lives should be STEWARDSHIP I have found. With ownership we are constantly compairing ourselves with others in a way that in many instantces is unhealthy. Either we have more than others and can look down on them or we have less and want more. The fact is that God has given us gifts and we should strive to take care of what we have. Take for example where we are living. Generally people who own their home take much better care of it than those who are renting. How much better care would one take of their home if they felt it was the house of God? Start applying that attitude to your life and see what happens. I promise you that things will change for the better.

It is good to see that you have replaced the desire to control everything in your life with Serindipity. In case you don’t remember the story of the three princes. They sought their fortunes but found something better because they were open to accepting it. Being open to those happy accidents.
I think the other thing that brings joy to our lives is sycronicity and synergy.
What do you think?

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