A few days after we returned from suddenly “going off the grid“, we received this remarkable comment from a reader named Susan Taylor:
I think it is too soon for your return, take a couple of steps back off the grid. Your communique is too full of things to be done, perhaps urgently and the tone is anxiety filled. Step back again, breathe, resolve or give away some things.habits.wishes. The rush you feel is yours, not the universe. We want you to be where you need to be. With love
We’ve never met Taylor*, though know her as part of Improvised Life’s community through comments she’s left over the years. Reading her words, we felt like a good friend was calling us out, saying Hey! Don’t kid yourself. That you are tired and not fully healed is showing like a big loud sign. And if you can’t see it, then I am going to point it out because I care about you!
Serious candor, concern and some very bold words! Taylor was right in reading the signs. We were better, but not fully. We did push to get back to publishing, in part because we feel such a big connection and obligation to our readers.
But the real gift of Taylor’s message are these words: “The rush you feel is yours, not the universe.“
She put her finger right on the pulse of what we —and many people we know— have been mulling. What is the rush we feel?
What if we opt NOT to rush, to let go of some of the things we think are so important: “things.habits.wishes.”?
Taylor’s compelling words made us seek out a quote from Albert Einstein we’d heard years ago, something to the effect of “The universe is friendly.” It turns out, it is more complex than that. Here’s the gist (you can read the full quote here):
Einstein’s and Taylor’ words pointed us to the heart of the matter: How DO we view the universe?
While we were “off the grid”, life did indeed go on. We found people subscribing and reading and still there. Our community of readers seemed to gather in close. We received stunning letters of support…
…a reminder, when we forget, that..
…the universe is not in a rush…
…it IS a friendly place…
and has way more answers and paths than we can possibly imagine.
*Wondering who the very wise Susan Taylor is and how she came to be that way, we wrote her and received this answer back:
…I am a native daughter of San Diego who has lived an adventurous life here and in Baja. Taught my three children Spanish first so they could know the fluidity of life on the border. Yes, I am a Master Gardener who is a fruit tree planter, with 49 crammed into my urban home lot, and I grow red wine grapes as well. My passion is to volunteer in elementary schools teaching children how to plant a seed, watch it grow and make a big salad-it is always such a joy for us all during the process! I write a random garden column for the San Diego Free Press called “Gardening: America’s new Front Porch“.
I can only claim to have read what you said in your post as a thoughtful reader. I wish you help and support as you sort out the losses, emotions, financial constraints and detritus that landed in your path.
4 replies on “How We View Our Universe Determines How We Live”
Take care & take time to enjoy the seasonal shift. We’ll be here whenever you are back again to drop inspiration on our heads & hearts.
San Francisco, CA
Sally, I think this is the most beautiful post you’ve ever done. I’ve been a reader for a couple years (and a subscriber!), and in addition to daily reading, I use your blog as a go-to archive for all sorts of needs. THere’s so much wisdom tucked away in your posts, but this one tops it for me. What a wonderful treasure your readers are!
I wonder if you feel additional pressure to get back to posting because of the subscriptions – I think I would in your shoes (the “they paid for content so I had better deliver”) kind of internal pressure we all manage to put on ourselves. If that is the case, as a subscriber, I’d like to say right here that I’ll take your posts however often or infrequently they come. Each one is so much more thought-provoking and horizon-expanding than the average blog that a few posts a year would be value for the pittance I’ve paid out. I feel certain the type of subscriber The Improvised Life is likely to attract would feel the same. When you take the time to care for yourself first, we all win. Be well, my cyber friend (if I may be so bold, although we’ve never met). –RC at CatbirdFarm
I second Susan’s thoughts. Take time to catch-up, catch your breath, then take more time to really exhale and let your mind and body go slack. Stay there until the motivation to start up again comes naturally from within. Then maybe stay there a little longer and see what arises. I enjoy your emails immensely, but I’d rather they contain inspired improvising than forced reporting. Take care of yourself, please.
Ditto, Sally, time offered from another subscriber, a generous amount, a stretch beyond want-or-need.