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The FUSE Woman -- "Where Form & Spirit Become One"
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EMPOWERING OTHERS TO CREATE THE LIVES THEY WANT TO LEAD
Describing an important event is a very subjective exercise. Each individual has his or her own definition of what is a significant event. As an adolescent farm boy, I recall my friends talking constantly about the Indianapolis 500. They would save their money for an entire year, to spend a week in Indianapolis, and attend the race on the fourth of July.
Each year they would return to our little town gushing with excitement about the parties they attended, the girls they met, the beer they consumed, and of course, the race. Each year they would tease me about the fun I missed, and nag me to promise I would make the road trip next year. But I was never excited about fast cars, and the idea of watching cars go around in a circle never appealed to me. My definition of an event was the National Football League championship game, (later called the Superbowl). Boxing was also popular, and a heavyweight bout, featuring Muhammad Ali, was definitely an event.
As children, everything is an event. I remember how exciting it was to go, with my first grade class, to the Philadelphia Zoo. To go on a field trip to Philadelphia, (twenty-five miles away), and see wild animals I had only heard about, was definitely an event. Playing football in high school, and beating our hated rival on Thanksgiving Day, was more then an event, it was Birth Of A Nation. If we lost on Thanksgiving, it was Apocalypse Now.
As the years roll by, our perception of events changes. I remember having a friend who attended Woodstock. I was surprised when he described how Sly And The Family Stone came on stage at four o'clock in the morning, and woke everyone up with an outrageous performance that brought the entire audience to its feet, dancing and screaming. That moment is rarely described in Woodstock lore; but it was a matter of perception, and my friends description made it come to life.
In the course of daily chores and routine activities, we often ignore the amazing events happening all around us — the singing of the birds, the wind in the trees, the crashing of the waves. All of life is an event. We just need to pay attention.
Traveling to a new place always reminds me of what I quickly forget in my day-to-day routine: when you look up, look around, and explore something new, you get a chance for a new perspective. Being in a new place makes your environment ripe for new thoughts and ideas to emerge.
Last month I went to Japan with my family and a close friend. I’ve been lucky to travel to a lot of places, and Japan was distinctly different from the places I have visited thus far. Impeccably clean streets, gracious and helpful attitudes from everyone who lives and works there, and intense attention to details and design, of EVERYTHING.
Being there for 16 days gave me a chance to immerse for a short period – like a vegetable being blanched, cooking just long enough to bring out its color and shift slightly away from being raw. This very short insight into Japanese culture brought up a few new perspectives for me that are already changing how I go about my day-to-day life now:
• There is beauty in even the smallest thing. In Japan, everything, down to the smallest detail, is considered and designed thoughtfully and often artistically. That is not necessarily the case at home, but now I stop to consider – what is the beautiful part of what I see in front of me? And when you make a point to look for beauty, you will find it.
• Cleanliness makes physical space for emotional energy. There is no trash in Japan. Like, NO TRASH. It is spotless. And in busy public places or attractions, there are people whose job it appears to be only to sweep or keep a small area immaculately clean. Being in that environment, it felt like I could BREATHE.
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I realized that when my home is messy or my desk is cluttered, I feel a tightness, a resistance. When I make space, take away the clutter, I feel energy, excitement, forward movement. The clearing of physical space makes room for bigger emotional energies that serve me tenfold.
• Those who wander are not necessarily lost. We toggled between setting out purposefully for a monument or shrine or temple and simply wandering streets to see what we might stumble across. In the latter, we found some amazing treasures, including a cute restaurant run by a young couple with an eclectic menu, a little architectural office where a jewelry display was being set up, and the best soft serve ice cream. Sometimes in the bustle of our everyday, we forget to wander, to be curious without intention, to see where chance or our intuition takes us. There are so many treasures out there, let us not forget to wander, to be open to what we find both when we seek and when we simply go.
What new perspectives emerge for you when you travel or explore something new?