Doing Deep Work

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“It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking to compensate for a self love deficit. “ ~ Eartha Kitt

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A vision quest is a rite of passage in some Native American cultures. It is usually undertaken by young males entering adulthood. Individual indigenous cultures have their own names for their rites of passage. “Vision quest” is an English umbrella term, and may not always be accurate or used by the cultures in question.

Among Native American cultures who have this type of rite, it usually consists of a series of ceremonies led by Elders. The process includes a complete fast for four days and nights, alone at a sacred site in nature which is chosen by the Elders for this purpose. Some communities have used the same sites for many generations. During this time, the young person prays and cries out to the spirits that they may have a vision, one that will help them find their purpose in life, their role in community, and how they may best serve the People.

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I am not a young male entering adulthood. And a vision quest is not what I will pursue. Yet, I am acutely aware of deeper trials that I need to and am choosing to resolve for myself.

“Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm.” “And the warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.’” ~ Author unknown

Love Yourself More

There is more meaningful work for this warrior. It is time.

69 thoughts on “Doing Deep Work

  1. Hi Eric, I was just thinking , I haven’t seen a post by Eric yet – then it appeared.
    Oh music to my ears this post, so deep, so powerful, so motivating , so inspiring …

    Loved it. Well I love all your posts they are so full, wholesome, thought provoking and I just love what you share.

    “It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking to compensate for a self love deficit. “ ~ Eartha Kitt

    Actually , I like all the quotes. Sometimes I feel, that our life is a forever quest, forever learning, and I think i like that cause not to move , not to learn would make me feel – well I would not enjoy such a life. But, sometimes the pain does become a bit unbearable and then you say – please could I have a break.

    Thanks for sharing a great post, I really enjoyed it and it was perfect for me to read.

    Regards Bella

    • Thank you for such kind words about this post and the blog, Bella. It is always warming to know that we are positively affecting one another. To your pain reference, I hear you… and I believe that the pain, the challenges, are what make our learning experiences and our journey’s so unique. For without some pain, how might we be otherwise tested and find ways in which to grow? 🙂 Wishing you much peace.

  2. Reminds me of a quote from an elderly man living on the street, and who seemed very content with his lot in life. He was asked whether he knew the secret to a happy and fulfilling life. He replied, with a big smile “Indeed I do sir. You just have to keep your bowels empty and your mind full. So many people today just seem to get it the wrong way around.”

    • It seems so many people get so many matters the wrong way around. This, in part, contributes to inabilities to communicate, an absence of tolerance and understanding and, both distrust and division across humanity. It’s going to take some heavy lifting to get us back on track. Because peace, happiness and love must prevail. Thank you for sharing your poignant perspective!

  3. Eric, my grandchildren all listen to the older generation. I work with many people in their 20’s who ask me, while we carry out our manual job, what I think of the political scene or current music.
    I think respect goes both ways, so~ “If someone wishes to be respected,” as my Dad once told a bunch of fathers at a Boy Scout outing, “Then don’t bring beer to a scout camp out.”
    Hope someone else has better experiences with either younger or older adults! 🙂

    • As adults, ones with a bit of accumulated wisdom, it is incumbent on us to model and set examples for others, especially those who look to us for guidance. If we are not taking active roles in our respective societies to demonstrate what is right and good – and why certain actions and behaviors make sense, then how are going to leave a memorable and worthy legacy. And respect, Robin, is clearly one of many qualities we can all embrace and encourage. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  4. A Canadia Elder (David Suzuki) posted an article with this thought provoking image, something to ponder on a vision quest…

  5. Beautiful post Eric. It took me many years to ‘let go’ of others. Yes, I can guide…but it was those expectations of an outcome that held me in its thrall for many years.
    And to be honest, they still come up to see if I’m still looking.
    Ah, the human condition…perfect one day, beautiful the next 😀

    • Ahh, yes, those expectations of an outcome, Mark. They can be tough to shake; to disassociate from – yet it is when we choose to to the work, to proactively effect the change (the proverbial) we need and want to see – that the more genuinely sought outcomes we seek will manifest. This, in part, is why I acknowledged it is time, for me. I love your closing sentiment. Thank you. 🙂

  6. The journey inwards is the biggest and most profound journey for us all. it isn’t therapy, just a way of being accepting and loving towards ourselves….. And therefore others. This what brings about peace.
    Great post. Thank you 💛

    • “The longest journey is the journey inward, for he who has chosen his destiny has started upon his quest for the source of his being.” Dag Hammarskjold nailed it! And he was a great man of and for peace, Val. Thank you for reframing his thoughts in the light of self-acceptance and self-love. Much peace and love returned your way!

  7. I guess our life is one big vision quest, ever changing, learning and challenging us to grow and let go. Great insights and quotes Eric. But at the end of the day, no-one gets out of this journey alive ha! 🙏🏻

    • Thank you, Karen. Whether we term it – a vision quest, a journey, an awakening or whatever, yes – life is about embracing change and learning. It is also about being proactive with how we channel our time, passions and energy. And it is that intentional view to which I have committed my forward actions and alignment. Thanks for sharing your validating (to me) thoughts. And while we may not get out of this journey alive – think of what beautifully follows! 🙂

  8. Great post, Eric – so important for happiness to accept and love self, the alternative is eternal search for something often not even fully understood

    • Thank you, Ina. So simple these concepts yet so challenging at times to embrace, accept and unconditionally share them. I believe few of us are interested in the “alternative.” 🙂

  9. It’s amazing and releiving to me how we, humans share the same quests, sometimes same trials, but most of all that busy mind searching for purpose and one heart meant to love.
    I feel like you do: we need to understand and learn how to love ourselves to become better in loving others. Giving doesn’t have to compensate a love deficit, it has to come out from a heart that has embraced wholeness.
    You lit up my Sunday morning, Eric! So meaningful and beautifully illustrated post! Warm hugs

    • Wow! Your beautiful thoughts nail it, Camelia. Thank you for eloquently expressing much of what I feel and for what underpins the deep (and personally meaningful) work I am setting out to do. Hugs, love and heartfelt appreciation returned.

  10. Bravo! I too have been digging in recently, this time using the talents of a gifted healer. Soon it will be my time to roll up my sleeves and finish clearing away that which the healer shook loose. Here’s to you- peeling away more layers that are not the true you.

    • Appreciate your “bravo”, Susan. Doing the work of peeling back the layers of what is not true for any of us – is, I believe, profoundly necessary and ultimately rewarding work. I am ready! And looking forward to the journey enhancing experience. And here’s to you soon rolling up your sleeves to address and accomplish what has already bee loosened for you. Wishing you beautiful outcomes!

    • Whether recent or always, Robin, the simple act of being aware of what doing inner work can do for each of us is potentially very significant. It is good to learn that the work you have chosen to do inspires and contributes to your forward progress and growth. Congratulations!

  11. Love your post, Eric. The quotes from Mary Oliver and Eartha Kitt are so spot on. We sometimes fail to see the gift in an experience — what with it presenting as so challenging, demoralizing, and depleting. We grow in spite of ourselves — all through the myriad emotions and circumstances. Thank you for the beautiful reminder in your post. We have so much to absorb some days, it is tricky to see the way through. Thanks!

    • Of course we grow in spite of ourselves. 🙂 Imagine what such growth could look like when we choose to do the deep work intentionally? As for matters being tricky to see the way through I say, Bah! We can choose to simply set aside the mitote and the cacophony that’s out there and focus intentionally on opportunities and what we need/what to do. 🙂 As always, your comments are thoughtful and appreciated.

  12. Such wisdom to this post, Eric. A vision quest is necessary, I think, to give life meaning. Weather it’s for our people, as in the native story, for the world, or for our sanity. We are here for a reason. We are the storm, and/or the sunshine, or both. And as you say, it is time. Age is not a factor.

  13. Agreed, Silvia, If the work we do is absent meaning and significance (depending of course, on how one defines significance), what constructive growth does is yield more awareness and opportunities to align. “We are here for a reason.” – BINGO! In my humble opinion, more of us ought to be “the storm,” be the Gandhi’s, the Mother Teresa’s, the MLK’s, the whomever’s. Age is not a factor. Yet time to take action is a factor. It is time. Thank you for sharing your spot-on reflections.

  14. Hi Eric, My name is Nikki and I just found your blog through my friend Debbie’s blog (Forgiving Journal) I’m so glad I did.
    I truly needed to read this tonight. I’ve been at a cross road for such a long time. I feel that I’m finally ready to truly wake up and be myself. This post was simply wonderful with impeccable timing…and I’m thankful to have read it. 🙂

    • Nikki, it is thoughtful of you to stop by, acknowledge Debbie’s introduction and to share your kind comments. Thank you. I am always warmed when a reader finds something of value is any of these messages. Kudos for choosing to become even more awakened and aligning with your true self. That is both noble and exciting! 🙂

  15. We may take many journeys within our life time Eric but none is more Epic than the one inside of ourselves to discover our own hearts and to learn to LOVE ourselves.. Excellent Post my friend
    Sue

  16. becoming
    ~
    as a substitute teacher
    I hear the word
    “adaptability”
    many times
    during the year
    ~
    people being asked to transform
    be open
    to new ways
    of being, thinking
    ~
    everyday
    our world
    our knowledge changes
    ~
    how will our dance
    our colours
    our sense of ourselves
    shimmer
    in this beautiful process ?

    • And/or… some of us simply embracing and encouraging personal transformation. One thing I know and am committed to, is that the self who emerges from the work I am embarking on will openly invite and revel in what this “beautiful process” yields. It will be amazingly transformational. You ‘get’ this Geo. Thank for for highlighting (and reminding us of) what can be so valuable when we step into the possibilities discovered in doing deep work. With love and appreciation…

  17. Hi Eric,

    I found your blog through Balroop2013.

    A box of darkness as a gift! I can resonate with that. If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger. We make choices in life, well usually. Choices come with consequences.

    • Hi Traveller at Heart. Thank you for stopping by and sharing in this virtual thread. Do you have a blog that we can share with other readers here? Wishing you all that the heart can bring into your journey and life.

      • No, I don’t have a blog, Eric.

        I have toyed with the idea before but I have not plucked up the courage to do so. In the past, the school of hard knocks had left me left me worse for wear. However, I am going on a journey and supposingly, I am only have a 16 hour week in my new job. I would have to make meaningful and effective use of my time. I fear the torrent of words waiting to be unleashed.

  18. Never heard of this. Thanks for the enlightenment. I kind of wish I did this when I was entering adulthood. We need practices like this to introduce to the world, things that may seem nonsensical or unimportant to the “concrete” world.

  19. Many words in this post resonate with me, but “I am the storm” hits deepest. It seems that despite having done some deeper work for quite a while, there’s always more. I am now a happy recipient of your book, it arrived yesterday and went directly to number one on my reading list. Thank you so much, Eric.

  20. I believe many of us are “the storm,” Helen. We simply do not see ourselves as such. It could well be one of those beliefs that we’ve yet to acknowledge and then use to redirect our intentional efforts. And indeed, there’s always more. 🙂 Appreciate your acknowledging receipt of the book; you are welcome.

  21. Great post, dear Eric… you made me think of Joseph Campbell´s hero´s journey…. In his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, he basically indicates the phases of the heroic journey, as they appear in many different cultures, meaning in myths and also in the psychological development. You can see these stages here https://aquileana.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/heroesjourney-svg.png … I loved the ending quote as well… . Sending love and best wishes for your week ahead. Aquileana 🌟

    • It does not surprise me, Aquileana, that you would reference Campbell, one of my favorite writer’s and mythologists. The extent to which you research and then share with readers your significantly historical themes, myths and characters makes my simple post pale in comparison. Still, thank you for your thoughtful comparison. Additionally, the link to your heroes journey post is much appreciated. Best wishes returned your way!

  22. The feel of this post is extremely powerful Eric, and while I think many people often are warned “fear the storm” very few are able to confidently reply “I am the storm…” and I think you are one of the few. The concept of the Vision Quest is one that is good for every young person (young in years or in heart) to churn around and re-evaluate consistently in order to realize destiny. You tie it all so well with the opening quote of “It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you…” Creating value is an inspiring thought. Wish you well ~

  23. Your comments Randy are, as always, thoughtful and poignant. They add value and invite further reflection, which I and I know other readers appreciate. I am humbled that you think I am one who aligns with “I am the storm…” I simply share a bit of who I am and trust the messages will resonate with some people. The opening quote that you reference and I chose is truly significant… not only specific to the work I am embarking upon yet a focus that I believe many of us can benefit from. The potential that can then be realized and shared with others seems, to me, to be an amazing ROI. Wishing you well, returned, in abundance.

  24. Eric…you are always an inspiration regardless of the topic.
    I arrived at the “jumping off place” to the same quest quite unwittingly, nearly dead and seemingly unredeemable both physically, spiritually and mentally. Coming back from that place ignited a spark of life to something dead in me for so long, I had forgotten it existed at all. Something so wild and free that it cannot be named, and trying to catch and hold onto it kills it instantly. When it is left to be who it always was, it becomes the most liberating self discovery of all. I don’t believe in a commercial world it is easily found or appreciated by the young, it is only an old soul that discovers the pure joy of riding the untamed wind! I hope you touch down here once in a while as you journey.

    • “When it is left to be who it always was…” Beautiful, CK. So simple and profound. I love those awakening moments and am warned that you were able to experience and move forward from that place.

      This old soul is once again riding the winds though this go around it’s with far more wisdom and abilities to appreciate. Thank you for your amazingly personal and encouraging comment. It is always good to read/learn your insights. Wishing you much peace and joy as your journey continues.

    • Delightful to read your kind comment, Yvonne. I always appreciate when you stop by and share your thoughtful perspectives. Fall in the High Desert is a beautiful season so thank you for the invitation to enjoy it. I intend to and hope you do similarly. 😊

      • Hi Eric – and yes Fall is off to an ice start – I am in the green tree lands of. Virginia – AKA as fungi and mold spores and lots of spiders – and maybe not even close to the Desert terrain – but it is my place in life so making the most of it.

  25. Yes, I know, I am late to the party. I’m in an introspective mood this Sunday so have been reading posts I missed during my crazy-no-time-for-me summer.
    As usual, your posts are thoughtful, thought-provoking and inspiring, The quotes you chose are brilliant.
    I truly hope you are enjoying/learning/loving/growing on your present quest. So looking forward to your return.

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