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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mike Bikes

As I head into work this morning, I see Mike riding by on his bike.  Mike owns the local bike shop, and every day I see him ride his bike to and from work. Mike sells bikes, and he rides bikes.  This is one definition of integrity—“the quality or state of being undivided.”

What “business” are you in?  Are you living it?

PS  I pay a steep price when I live a divided life—feeling fraudulent, anxious about being found out, and depressed by the fact that I am denying my own selfhood.  The people around me pay a price as well, for now they walk on ground made unstable by my dividedness.  How can I affirm another’s identity when I deny my own?  How can I trust another’s integrity when I defy my own?  A fault line runs  down the middle of my life, and whenever it cracks open—divorcing my words and actions from the truth I hold within—things around me get shaky and start to fall apart. 
                             Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

Doug Wysockey-Johnson
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  1. Hi, Doug

    Another provocative question:)

    I ask a variation of this question to individuals and groups when I say "What do you do even when you are not being paid to do it?". Not aiming for hobbies or entertainment activities here, but rather how do you interact with and relate to others, how do you approach dealing with life, and how much does your behavior depend on income.

    I know some folks who are very skilled healers and counselors, but they turn it all off when they leave their "day job". I also know some folks who are just natural healers and counselors and they are that way all the time in whatever situation they encounter.

    When I was in counseling, we talked a fair amount about the concept of "congruency" and I think that is another way to describe what Palmer is getting at. As human beings, we strive toward congruency in our behavior and our beliefs, in our words and our thoughts. When we do not have this inner consistency, we feel that lack, although we cannot always explain what we are feeling or identify why we feel it.

    I really like the concept of thinking of all this as the "business I'm in". Seems a handy way to visualize it. I know this ongoing self-analysis and checking has helped me more closely define the specific gifts of teaching, sharing, and communicating that need to be in any endeavor in which I participate.

    Thanks for an interesting post.


  2. Thanks John, for taking the conversation further. I too have been drawn to the word "congruency." And it was interesting for me to think about "the business I'm in"....not always as simple as riding and selling bikes, but worth thinking about for sure.

  3. I know this is going to sound crazy but I read an awesome comment you made about a year ago regarding feedburner - I write on blogger too yet none of my followers can see new posts, I was wondering if you could help. I'm not very tech savvy but you seemed to have a cool solution.

    I'm at 100daysinbed@gmail.com Thanks!

  4. Lead an undivided life is more achievable now that I am retired from the paycheck. What I do is my passion! I am a novice, but agree with this thought of the undivided life.

  5. Sandy:
    You raise a good point--how is it we live undivided when we need the paycheck? For starters, I don't think it is possible ever to live fully undivided. So we are all on that spectrum somewhere. And maybe living undivided goes deeper than doing what we like or love. Could it be that we can be whole even as we are doing things that aren't our passion?