Add To Your List [Seer Crawl day 48]

A few paragraphs at a time. It’s is how I have been reading books lately.  Maybe a page or two. To really read and not just consume. Recently, I decided to re-read my book in the same manner. So, your thought to ponder today from The Seer.  Day 48. [all material from the book appears in italics]:


Me: This seems…overwhelming.

Virgil: Start simply. Begin with a sheet of paper. Draw a line down the center of the paper. On one side at the top write: “Things I can control.” On the other side, write: “Things I need to let go.” Add to your list every day and soon you will clearly see what is within your control and what is not.


I went to the coffee house to do the exercise Virgil suggested. It quickly became very clear that there are not many things that I can control. For instance, I can’t control what other people think or feel or believe. This was the big revelation. At the table next to me I heard a woman say, “I don’t want him to think I’m a bad person.”

How much time have I invested in my life in the idea that I can determine what another person thinks? Too much! How often have I said, “I don’t want them to think that I…,” or “I don’t want them to feel….”

I was beginning to see the true value of this exercise: my emotional, mental and physical health is invested in something over which I have no control. No wonder I’m stressed all the time. No wonder we fall into the “things happen to me” story! My energy is wasted if I am trying to control another person’s thoughts or feelings.


alice's restaurant, california websitebox copy


Stand Firm And See [Seer Crawl day 14]

a slow read through THE SEER. day 14. [1) all material from the book will appear in italics. 2) No commentary necessary from me. This is a meditation crawl so I will get out of the way]:

After our latest chat I took another walk. I was pissed again. Not right away – everything he wrote made sense. And then I started thinking about it and the more I thought about it the angrier I became. I’m starting to think that being pissed is one of my patterns. I had to process what we discussed. I had to clear my head. I wanted coffee.

Virgil was challenging the foundations of everything I’d been taught and led to believe. As I walked I felt stupid and also more than a bit impatient. I wanted to know how to whip up my curiosity. There must be a recipe, a few simple steps. Besides, I identified myself as someone who is curious in the world. I am a risk taker. He was implying that I was not who I thought I was. He was implying that my world was built on old information and the reason my business failed was merely a matter of a pattern of applying old information to a new…dare I say “problem.”

And during our chat, just as happened before, as I was getting frustrated because I wanted a concrete answer from him, because I wanted to know what to do, his response was the opposite of what I expected. His answer was to embrace the truth which was that I did not know where I was going. I was lost and his suggestion was to embrace rather than fight the truth that I did not know what to do. He’d written:

Virgil: Stand firmly in not knowing and see what’s there. Why do you insist on rushing past your truth?

Needless to say, when I read that, I shouted at my screen, “This is crazy!” while at the same time, for some reason, I typed that I agreed to try his suggestion. So, I had to take a walk.

While I was walking off my irritation, grumbling that this whole thing was a waste of time and I’d have been better off to have never contacted the mysterious Virgil and his insistence that I practice “not knowing,” I remembered the alternative schools. Those teachers were more innovative, more creative and alive than anyone I knew in business school.

It occurred to me as once again I stood still in the middle of my street, that those teachers were vital and innovative because they were certain that they didn’t know what to do. Virgil was asking me to be like the teachers I so admired.