Wholehearted Work


While reading Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity by David Whyte, I came across a quote that I loved. Whyte describes a conversation he had with a friend, Brother David. Whyte is exhausted from work and asks his friend to tell him about exhaustion. Brother David replies, “You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest? The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”

How true! We seek respite from our work in vacations, time in front of the television, reading, etc. Sometimes we feel so burned out from our fast pace that we feel physically and mentally exhausted, completely sick. If only we could see that it is not rest we need, but living a life that is true to our hearts. I am coming to realize this now, and reading this quote was affirmation of my feelings. I have rushed through two degrees and a full-time job without really stopping to think if my heart was in it. Now that I have stability, I am searching for some wiggle room. Luckily my job affords me a lot of time off to pursue my passions. I am deciding now how to live more fully in the wholehearted state, while still maintaining stability.

Brother David goes on to say, “You are only half here, and half here will kill you after a while.” I have lived a half life for quite a while, too afraid to jump in completely. I have dipped my toe in the waters of my heart, and pulled it back quickly when what it asked of me was too much to bear. No more. I am now wading into those waters, and finding that the temperature is just right.

Originally from http://spiritualiteablog.wordpress.com/

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