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The World in a Grain of Sand

William Blake Quote

A wise astrologer once told me “Getting older is doing more and more with less and less”. As I’ve added more annual turns around the sun, his words often go around with me. Less agility, less strength, less memory, less patience! Sometimes, sadly, less of the people I’ve loved and who’ve loved me. Certainly less time on the horizon ahead.

But here’s the thing, the other piece of truth that the astrologer didn’t say: Getting older can be about being more and more with less and less; less need for material things, less time for trivial matters, for engagement with non-essential tasks that seemed to be, or possibly were, more important in younger years.

I know it’s been true for me, that replacing doing with being - being present, truly present, with my family, my friends, my patients, my clients, with nature, with Great Spirit as I am blessed to experience it - is so much more available to me now. The wisdom I’ve managed to accumulate, and cultivate, over the many years I’ve been given, makes so many things much easier than they would have been, than they were, years ago.

I’m not saying it’s always easy. As an Aries Sun and Virgo Moon, I often feel I need to keep doing more and more, and then some. One of the kindest things I’ve ever been told was said to me by my brother, my only sib, an accomplished, charismatic, heart-based Leo 4 years my senior, as we were walking along a beach together one year. ‘Jan,’ he’d said, ‘you’ve done so much with your life, surely you can’t think you have anything else to prove’. His words were such a relief! Someone I look up to had noticed, and his words felt true. Still, I need to remind myself of them when I get too caught up in the ‘doing’ of my life. Like emptying my wardrobe of old clothes that no longer fit, I need to keep culling my expectations and self-demands to match my maturing self. When I do, I find my self more free, really liberated to explore what my being, my Being, is offering.

When we truly know that, as William Blake said, the World exists in a grain of sand, that every moment is an opportunity to touch Infinity, there can never be less and less, of anything. There is only more, and more, of everything, everywhere we look.

As we end this year and begin the next, I send you my wishes for presence, and that you, too, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.

Happy New Year!


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