December 20, 2010

Pema Chodron: Do Something Unexpected. Different. {Gwyneth Paltrow sings Country Strong)

Know Thyself? Surprise thyself.

There’s a great line in a Pema Chodron book, don’t remember which, where she advises just to do something different. Not to be so predictable. Maybe it’s a lojong slogan, in which case that’d be Start Where You Are, right?

Why does this matter? Because habitual patterns rule our lives—and smother and contain them. Get out of those ruts, and life becomes free and open and real, again.

Well that commentary came to mind when I read New York’s #9 Reason to love New York: which was all about how much fun it was to hate Gwyneth Paltrow for being beautiful, rich, happy…until they saw her perform this, which wasn’t at all her thing, and to see her rock it:

So maybe it’s not just for our own sakes that we need to do something different. Lots of folks in my childhood Buddhist community have set opinions, often negative, of me. Maybe it’d be nice for them if I didn’t fulfill their expectations.

Just once, or twice—and then I could go right back to being me, which is another great Buddhist value.

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