Fresh Living

george kaufman Renewal. Embracing change. Accepting reality. Taking responsibility for our thoughts, actions, and lives. These were some of the major themes at Omega Institute’s annual conference in New York City this weekend. At a small opening reception, author and former attorney George Kaufman, a man who’s been involved with Omega in one way or another for 25 years (as participant, director, board chair, faculty member, and counsel) gave a blessing to start the events that left me teary-eyed and moved enough to chase him down to publish it here. It’s an eloquent treatise on how we percieve the world vs. how it really is–and how radically beautful life can be when we live authentically.


Blessing Projects

We all need a project –
not the one that involves cleaning out the garage or
attending to the basement. Not even the one that addresses
the clutter on your desk or the thank you note you owe a friend.

The project I wish you involves living in two worlds:
the world as we perceive it and the world as it truly is.

In our perceived world
we see the hurts that our partner has caused us – and not our contribution to the pain;
we see the rebellion of our children – and not our indifference to their needs;
we see pettiness at work – and not our role in its creation.

In the world as it truly is
we see the virtues of our partner – and our ability to turn those virtues into brilliance;
we see the gift of children – and our capacity to shower them with unconditional love;
we see relationships as a dance – and know that we have a choice to heal rather than to harm.

In the first world we only a visitor. We ignore our part in creating the pain that surrounds us in the hope of “getting by” and “making do.” We neither reach out nor allow others in. We are more lonely than alone.

In the second world we see clearly, speak thoughtfully, act consciously, and are rooted in the present moment. We long for connection and common ground.

In the second world, we are difference makers, even when the only difference we can make is to hold someone’s hand, offer words of support, or share love.

In the second world, we are truly ourselves – and it is enough.

by George Kaufman, April 2010

George is the author of “The Lawyer’s Guide to Balancing Life and Work – Taking the Stress out of Success” (America Bar Association, 2006).  

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