Back to Top

Death by creative exhaustion

About me: West Texas raised. Artist by vice, programer by choice. Tortillero in the AM, game designer on the PM. Arriva la maquina!

Until we stop ourselves or, more often have been stopped, we hope to put certain of life’s events “behind us” and get on with our living. After we stop we see that certain of life’s issues will be with us for as long as we live. We will pass through them again and again, each time with a new story, each time with a greater understanding, until they become indistinguishable from our blessings and our wisdom.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

-Kitchen Table Wisdom

Perfectionism is the belief that life is broken

A perfectionist sees life as if it were one of those little pictures that used to appear in the newspapers over the caption “What’s wrong with this picture?” If you looked at the picture carefully you would see that the table only had three legs or the house had no door. I remember the “Aha!” that these pictures evoked in me as a child. I wonder now why anyone would want to take such satisfaction in seeing what is missing, what is wrong, what is “broken.”

The pursuit of perfection has become a major addiction in our time. Fortunately, perfectionism is learned. No one is born a perfectionist, which is why it is possible to recover. I am a recovering perfectionist. Before I began recovering, i experienced that I and everyone else was always falling short, that who we were and what we did was never quite good enough. I sat in judgement on life itself. Perfectionism is the belief that life is broken.

… Few perfectionists can tell the difference between love and approval. Perfectionism is so widespread in this culture that we actually have had to invent another word for love. “Unconditional love,” we say. Yet, all love is unconditional. Anything else is just approval.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

-Kitchen Table Wisdom, Beyond perfection

As usual

I like to share some of the stuff I read with ya’ll

This was a letter written by Josephine Pearce, a member of the French Fourth Army’s Ambulance Unit 282 after the armistice was signed between France and Germany during WWII.

France was just one mass of different regiments, different generals, hither and thither, none knowing what the other was doing. And it wasn’t until we got into the Champagne territory that we began to realize that we were retreating. Sometimes we got proper instructions, and when we got to where we were told to go, they had gone. And it was constantly so. We were going to set up a hospital there. They’d gone. Till in the end we found no one and we realized we were on our own.

Then came the terrible day when the armistice was announced. And then we were the enemy. And if it hadn’t been for the medical orderlies, medical students, staying with us, and the medicine chef Dr. Gosset saying with us, as long as they did, I think we would have been taken prisoner. They stayed with us as far into the south of France as they could possibly stay. And in that way we managed to get petrol, until came the day when we were siphoning petrol from one car, one van or one lorry into the next car, all the time saying “But where are our own soldiers? Where is our air force? Why aren’t they here?”

After the armistice, we knew that we were the enemy. and the most dreadful thing to us was that as we passed through villages, they would throw flowers at us thinking we were the British, coming to save them. That was the state that France was in. Nobody knew what was happening at all.

You felt so futile when you saw a granny hugging a baby that was absolutely dead, sitting on top of a cart piled up with furniture and being machine-gunned. And the baby had got the bullet. And the granny swaying backwards and forwards with the baby, holding it to protect it. And she didn’t know she was protecting a dead baby. One saw so much that was utterly unbelievable.

-World War II: The People’s Story

In times of difficulty, meaning strengthens us not by changing our lives, but by transforming our experience of our lives.

The Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli tells a parable about 3 stone cutters building a cathedral in the Middle Ages. You approach the first man and ask him what he’s doing. Angrily he turns to you and says, “Idiot! Use your eyes! They bring me a rock, I cut it into a block, they take it away, and they bring me another rock. I’ve been doing this since I was old enough to work, and I’m going to be doing it until the day that I die.” Quickly you withdraw, go the next man, and ask him the same question. He smiles at you warmly and tells you, “I’m earning a living for my beloved family. With my wages I have built a home, there is food on our table, the children are growing strong.” Moving on, you approach the third man with this same question. Pausing, he gives you a look of deep fulfillment and tells you, “I am building a great cathedral, a holy lighthouse where people lost in the dark can find their strength and remember their way. And it will stand for a thousand years!” Each of these men is doing the identical task. Finding a personal meaning in your work opens even the most routine of tasks to the dimension of satisfaction and even joy. We may need to recognize meaning for the resource it is and find ways to pursue it and preserve it.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

I’ve had some of these books for a while, I need to hurry up and finish them cause it’s the only thing keeping me from buying new ones. From top to bottom
The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain
Halo Evolutions
The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China
Einstein
The Wu-Tan Manual
Speeches that changed the world
WWII, the people story
3 more chapters and I’ll be done with Kitchen Table Wisdom

This book has been a real treat, especially since it was one of those “Hey this might be interesting and it’s on sale” book purchases at Bookman’s. If you are interested in reading some of what I have shared so far you can check out the tag.

mv12.tumblr.com/tagged/kitchen_table_wisdom

There is still plenty of it to share. Can’t wait to hand this book over to my little cousin, promised her I would let her read it once I was done.

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness.”

-The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexande Dumas

Attachment closes down options, commitment opens them.

Ain’t that the fucken truth

Often, times of crisis are times of discovery, periods when we cannot maintain our old way of doing things and enter into a steep learning curve. Sometimes it takes crisis to initiate growth.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

-Kitchen Table Wisdom

In the leadership conferences I participate in, I always try and pass on to the students the importance of always being willing to take on a challenge. When presented with a high level challenge, most people fear that they are not ready or have not been properly prepared to do the task at hand. But the only way to know if you are truly prepared to take on a challenge is by doing it. In life though, we don’t really have a choice, these challenges come and go every so often, some more challenging than others. The attitude that people choose to adapt to take on these challenges are what separate the proactive from the reactive. While the reactive person would find excuses and begin to point fingers trying to blame other things on the difficulty of life, proactive people look at these challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow. Reactive people see these challenges as proof of the sporadic and unpredictable nature of life, making them focus on the moment instead of the possible outcomes. Proactive people appear to live a more “easy” life, because their attitude conditions them to embrace life’s hardships as learning experiences, not as obstacles.

I had thought joy to be rather synonymous with happiness, but it seems now to be far less vulnerable than happiness. Joy seems to be a part of an unconditional wish to live, not holding back because life may not meet our preferences and expectations. Joy seems to be a function of the willingness to accept the whole, and to show up to meet with whatever is there. It has a kind of invincibility, that attachment to any particular outcome would deny us. Rather than the warrior who fights toward a specific outcome and therefore is haunted by the specter of failure and disappointment, it is the lover drunk with the opportunity to love despite the possibility of loss, the player for whom playing has become more important than winning or losing.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

-Kitchen Table Wisdom, Embracing Life

Without judgement, many things can be made holy

-Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

-Kitchen Table Wisdom

discus?

Perfectionism is the belief that life is broken

A perfectionist sees life as if it were one of those little pictures that used to appear in the newspapers over the caption “What’s wrong with this picture?” If you looked at the picture carefully you would see that the table only had three legs or the house had no door. I remember the “Aha!” that these pictures evoked in me as a child. I wonder now why anyone would want to take such satisfaction in seeing what is missing, what is wrong, what is “broken.”

The pursuit of perfection has become a major addiction in our time. Fortunately, perfectionism is learned. No one is born a perfectionist, which is why it is possible to recover. I am a recovering perfectionist. Before I began recovering, i experienced that I and everyone else was always falling short, that who we were and what we did was never quite good enough. I sat in judgement on life itself. Perfectionism is the belief that life is broken.

… Few perfectionists can tell the difference between love and approval. Perfectionism is so widespread in this culture that we actually have had to invent another word for love. “Unconditional love,” we say. Yet, all love is unconditional. Anything else is just approval.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

-Kitchen Table Wisdom, Beyond perfection

discuss?

Reclaiming ourselves usually means coming to recognize and accept that we have in us both sides of everything. We are capable of fear and courage, generosity and selfishness, vulnerability and strength. These things do not cancel each other out but offer us a full range of power and response to life. Life is as complex as we are. Sometimes our vulnerability is our strength, our fear develops our courage, and our woundedness is the road to our integrity. It is not an either/or world. It is a real world. In calling ourselves “heads” or “tails,” we may never own and spend our human currency, the pure gold of which our coin is made.

-Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

-Kitchen Table Wisdom, Judgement

Don’t forget, the coin is made of gold