Exploring Meaning: 2015

Welcome back to SunnyRoomStudio.

Today’s post launches our 3rd spiritual journal. I hope you will join us, recording thoughts, ideas, and questions as we go. Comments are also welcome, if you are so inspired.

In 2013, our journal focused on Seeing It Otherwise. In 2014, we looked at the many aspects of Turning Within. This year I want to delve into something even more challenging.

  • I hear so much about “finding meaning” or “finding my purpose” — I’m sure you do, as well. But let’s dig in, see what these ideals and concepts are all about. As our journal evolves, perhaps we can come to a better understanding of our existential yearning, or at least have a little fun exploring its mystical contours.

This year’s journal, Exploring Meaning, will include posts from now through February 13th. Studio Guests will be weaved in as we go. I hope you will join us!

“We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Initially, when I consider “life purpose” or “life meaning” in the context of an everyday routine, I see why such questions arise. With predictable schedules and repetition, the mind wanders, and wonders: what else? Can this be my life, in sum — just this?

Yes and no, comes to mind.

Who assigns meaning to activities and priorities, anyway? Where do all of our assumptions around meaning come from?

Many grow up hearing: do something important. But who decides what is important, or not?

It’s easy to see how “meaning” and “purpose” actually are impossible to pin down. Is that the real source of our angst and searching?

Luckily, this is a journal … free-flowing thoughts, questions, impressions, and ideas. A wonderfully liberating way to write. No prescribed length. No formal expectations.

Here’s a definition of meaning, I find intriguing: “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” ― Thomas Merton, Love and Living

Can we find meaning walking through a lovely summer garden; can we find purpose?

Why are we so hard on ourselves, expecting the moon, perhaps?

Applying what we know is always the challenge: transitioning from abstract thought, from a deep and powerful insight, to a way of life. Because inevitably, we forget what we’ve learned and then learning must happen once more. Always on a deeper level. Curiously, in life, we often think we are “going somewhere,” but actually, we are simply meeting the deeper parts of ourselves, via our inner worlds, time and time again. ~dh

JOURNAL 3 focus questions: where is life meaning found; how has life purpose impacted my decisions; does meaning change over time, or only in superficial ways?


 Thanks so much for joining us; see you again Friday, January 9th, as our journal continues.

In the meantime, here are a few words from readers about the 15th anniversary edition
of a book that is striking a chord with anyone seeking to grow in life wisdom.

I read the first edition and the second edition — ALWAYS RETURNING is a timeless window into our souls. I learned how “place” is what helps me connect to my inner world, returning there time and time again. As the author notes: “We’re always returning, coming back, coming round, as our perceptions ripen: as we gather the delicate strands of our lives, time and time again.” The new preface is wonderful in the second edition. I learned more about the author, what prompted her to revisit this topic, and what a “first book” experience was like. This is a small book with a big message. I will definitely be returning to its pages time and time again. ~ E.K. Hilton

“Opening up this book is like gazing into the heart of a geode, a very special product of the earth itself — plain on the outside, and wondrously complex and colorful inside, a strong rock that never loses its beauty. Readers will find their own deepest longings described. Those longings will shimmer and glow like crystals under the magnifying glass of love. Daisy Hickman has listened deeply to the Dakota landscape into which she was born and to the people who offer the kind of “prairie wisdom” the world very badly needs in the 21st century. Read this book to come back home to your own self.” ~ Shirley Showalter, author, blogger, kindred spirit

  • “Wisdom that is organic and commonsensical, that taps into our inherent spiritual awareness, has an authentic and powerful ring to it. And, fundamentally, since life is seldom predictable, we must draw from the curious well of experience time and time again until we find our true place within.” — ALWAYS RETURNING: The Wisdom of Place

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