Wednesday, 13 April, 2011

a Moment for Wisdom…



To see what a person really wants, look
at what they already have.”

Sharif Abdullah


“If you plant corn, you shouldn’t expect tomatoes.

If you don’t want it,

don’t plant it.

Sharif Abdullah


Personal Wisdom:

Are you always aware of what you are

Look at what you have (your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual “belongings”). Are you aware that these are things that you planted?

Do you ever feel like a “victim”? What victimizes you?

Are their times when your expectations seem at odds with your results?

Societal Wisdom:

On the level of our society, what are the times when America’s expectations seem at odds with your results?

America says it wants “peace”, yet (for example) refuses to sign the treaty banning land mines (virtually every other country on Earth has signed it). What is it that America “really wants”? [Think carefully here: neither Republican nor Democratic Administrations have signed this treaty… This is not a “Republican plot” when Obama refuses to sign it. Something else is at work… what is it?]

a Moment with Sharif…


This double-barreled quote from yours truly actually causes ME a bit of a problem!

On one level, it’s about our life choices: the choices we make now, the seeds we plant now, are what our future will look like.

For example: I live in a small apartment, over top my small office, in inner Northeast Portland. (Portland doesn’t really have a “black community”, but this is as close as we come.) I must “want” this, since I “have” it. And, I do! (I alternate between really tiny
living accommodations and really big houses. I never thought about this much, until I looked backward and saw the pattern. For years I lived in a space with exactly 65 square feet of walking space – smaller than a prison cell. I went from there to a huge four bedroom house, with an entire room for my books(!). I have the feeling a house is in my near future…)

On the other hand… there have been many occasions when I say, “I could have SWORN those were tomato seeds I was planting!” I really INTENDED tomatoes – how come I got the corn? For example, I intended to be in an intimate relationship… so where did my years of celibacy come from?

Well, in order to answer that, I have to tell you a joke:

A woman confides to a friend, “I’ve been married 3 times, but I’ve never had sex.”

Friend asks, “How can that be?”

“Well, with Husband #1, war was declared on our wedding day. The soldiers came and
drafted him and he was killed in action.”

“With Husband #2, on our wedding night, when he saw me naked, he got so excited he had a heart attack and died.”

Friend asks, “So, how did Husband #3 die?”

“Oh, he’s not dead… we’ve been married for years. But, he’s a professional planner –
every night, he sits on the side of the bed and tells me how great it’s going to be!”

Yes, there is a difference between PLANNING and DOING! There’s a difference between holding the seeds in your hand, and planting them. As my friend, teacher, co-teacher,
former house-mate and all-around good guy Calvin Hecocta said to me recently:

“When I wanted to sing in public, the first thing I did was go up to my room and start singing.  Then, someone joined me.  Then, we started singing in public.

So, Sharif, what are you doing?”

Good question. As many of you know, I’ve been planning lots of things over the years. Most of those plans have not borne fruit. That’s because I’ve saddled my plans and visions with assumptions and conditions precedent (I need a certain number of people to act with me; I need certain resources to act; I need a grant or large donation…). But, what Calvin was saying was that the DOING attracts the energy you need to take the next step.

So… take the step, without waiting for support, for resources, for money. (Or, as the joke says, stop sitting on the side of the bed and get busy!)

I’ve been waiting for “Praxis” to get more organized before I launched the first steps of a
“Commonway Praxis Center”. No more! I am launching the “Praxis Center” with the energy, resources and support available to me at this time. (When, where, how to be determined shortly.)

I’m planting my seeds… I will invite you to join me in taking our Wisdom Practice into 3-D!




All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.


This entry was posted in A Moment for Wisdom and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Wednesday, 13 April, 2011

  1. Holly Wells says:

    Wow and yay! What a powerful moment of wisdom. I’ve recently realized, too, that planning and scheduling is not as important as fueling and following the inner impetus for being authentically me–and the doing has followed (a few tomato sprouts at last, after years of frustration).

    Thank you for being authentically you! Am I correct that the Commonway Praxis Center can start with 2 or more gathering in your office?


    • admin says:

      “Where two or more are gathered…” Yes… stay tuned…

      A number of us met in the Commonway office on Mondays and Fridays a few years ago, to set the energy. I’ve got something else in mind…


  2. Chuck Willis says:

    celibacy … ? 🙂

  3. Chuck Willis says:

    OK, you’re FINALLY ready! Let’s talk.

  4. August Mears says:

    Beautiful!! “with the energy, resources and support available to me at this time. . . ” That was exactly the declaration I made on my birthday about moving my work forward. With amazing tales to tell, nothing has been the same since.

    Much love,

  5. Wow, this is so great! Happy for your launching.. : )

  6. Veena fp says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Sharif (and hello by the way!). It’s a puzzle I often ponder myself. I know how I got the things I have in my life that I want (usually by working damn hard for them in some way or another). But I often wonder how I created the things I have that I don’t want. Clearly I created them somehow, but it isn’t always the conscious mind that does so. So I think the trick is to become aware of how or what we create when we’re just not thinking about it. These goodies come from our life/energy patterns, family lessons, social imprinting, etc. So fun to see the Commonway Praxis! I’ll look for your next posts. 🙂

    • admin says:

      Always great to hear from you!

      This is something that is simply a puzzle. Some talk about “Coyote” or “Trickster” energy. I’m sure you are familiar with the Rumi quote:

      “I shoot an arrow to the right and it lands to the left.

      I go hunting for a deer and get chased by a boar.

      I should be careful what I ask for.”

      I’ve had more than one boar bearing down on me in my lifetime!



Leave a Reply to Linda Littleton Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *