Living TA-DA Today!
Last Friday (March 31st) Richard Bolles — the author of the perennial best seller What Color Is Your Parachute? — died. Over the years, we’ve owned multiple copies of Parachute. Although each edition was largely a rework of the previous one, we always found something new, practical, and inspiring in its latest version.
What Color Is Your Parachute? grew out of Mr. Bolles outplacement work with college chaplains, supporting their moves to new vocations as career opportunities in that field waned. Instead of a simple guide for finding another “job”, Parachute was designed to help them look at their careers in the broadest possible light — to move from making a living to making a life.
Reflecting on Parachute, we find ourselves wondering whether or not “Big Love” might be something that could be akin to Mr. Bolles’ work. In the same way that Parachute focused on vocation, “Big Love” is designed for people to find a renewed way of life — a spiritful life beyond both traditional religion and/or a more secular humanistic or scientific viewpoint.
And, in the spirit of Mr. Bolles’ Parachute, “Big Love” is also meant to produce a “soft-landing” as change is made. It values our life experiences, values, and strengths — coupling them with our heart desires — to move us to an enlivening way of being and doing.
Finally, both Parachute and “Big Love” are intended to be life-fulfilling solutions. They consider the whole and all of its component parts, providing helpful approaches that lead to practical, livable, but holistic outcomes. This is why (on our new, soon-to-be-announced website) we invite you to “Think of Big Love as Your Partner For Living More Spiritfully — Every Day in Every Way!” By doing the result is a radical condition we call Living TA-DA Today!
Restarting By Reviewing
Over the past few weeks, we’ve introduced “Big Love” with a “Backgrounder” and 6 weeks of The Big Love Newsletter (this series of blogs). In preparation for next week’s announcement of our all new website (we might call it “Big Love 2.0”), today we offer a recap of what we’ve shared to date.
But instead of sharing them in the chronological order of their appearance, we’ll reorder them in terms of 7 major themes that “Big Love” is (currently — everything continuously evolves, doesn’t it?) built on. [These themes are presented in bold, red, underlined italics and correspond to the words on the composite image featured with this blog!] Here goes:
1. Feeling More Inspired [“The Big Love Backgrounder”: https://thebiglove.org/big-love-backgrounder/ ] Here we introduced the concept of “Big Love” as a fresh, new approach for a spiritful worldview — one that is appropriate for the 21st Century. We briefly reviewed what’s taken place over the past 500 years. Based on this history, we staked our claim about WHY this is “The Time” for “Big Love” Implicitly, this is an invitation for you to reflect on how you’re experiencing the change that is happening all around us — and hopefully discover how “Big Love” might help you by Feeling More Inspired.
2. Finding Greater Connectedness [“Big Love — The Big Picture and The Particular”: https://thebiglove.org/particular-big-picture-big-love/ ] In our most recent post, we describe “Big Love” in terms of both “The Big Picture” and The Particular of our “Big Love Community”. Whether you connect with the idea on the universal or the particular level (or, hopefully, both!), it is a way for Finding Greater Connectedness — and to experience the pulse of “The Heartbeat of the Universe” as you do.
3. Being Freer and Braver [“What Makes Your World Go Round?”: https://thebiglove.org/makes-world-go-round/ ] One of “Big Love’s” key principles is that “we are spiritual beings having a human experience”. As such, our first calling is to connect with and understand our spiritual essence — and then bring it authentically forth into the world. This is the two-step dance of life. As we develop our own “Personal Spirituality” and adopt an approach we call “Authentic Living”, the result is a coherent, confident, and fulfilling experience that we call “Spiritful Living” — living more spiritfully, every day in every way as we learn to experience Being Freer and Braver!
4. Feeling More At Home [“I’m Not Lost, I’m Just Exploring” https://thebiglove.org/im-not-lost-im-just-exploring/ ] Here, we addressed the issue of “Feeling More At Home” — of having a solid, workable, and healthy set of relationships with ourselves, our communities, and all of creation. By “finding ourselves” — personally, in relationships, and in the Universe as a whole (“Big Love” calls these “Me”, “We”, “All”) — we are standing on a firm foundation and have solid points to reference for handling whatever circumstances may arise.
5. Being More Centered [“From Resistance To Insistence”: https://thebiglove.org/from-resistance-to-insistence/ ] Even when we have a firm foundation, we may find ourselves feeling off-center — uneasy with what we’re experiencing. There are three key dynamic, interactive, and “existential” issues we face: Safety, Meaning, and Self-Worth. By increasing our mindfulness about how we’re feeling about each of these — and then taking appropriate corrective actions — we achieve a sense of Being More Centered. Isn’t that something that we all want to feel?
6. Being More Grounded [“Five Heartbeats — A Key to Fulfilled Living”: https://thebiglove.org/five-heartbeats-wholistic-view-life/ ] “Big Love” suggests that seeking mastery in these five areas holds the key to being Being More Grounded. The five are Wisdom, Wholeness, Oneness, Co-Creation, and Nitty-Gritty. Working with these Five Heartbeats we discover an approach to life that provides guidance and a context for everyday living — for each and every choice we’re called to make.
7. Being Fully Alive [“Partnering With The Idea of “Big Love”: https://thebiglove.org/partnering-idea-big-love/ ] As we put all these pieces together, we’re more fully prepared to live the life of our dreams. We’re ready to do what we came here to do. That means that we are prepared to “partner with Big Ideas” — to make a difference in our lives, our communities, and the world as a whole. We do that by adopting “Big Love” as a way of life — making a commitment to living full-out in an inspired and conscious way. As a result, we have an increased sense of Being Fully Alive.
A Composite Picture of “Living TA-DA Today!”
Sometimes, however, a visual is a more powerful way to convey the summary of the messages we’ve shared here. We’ve designed the image at the top of the blog with that in mind. (Please note how the items in bold, red, italics in this blog correspond to the image!)
Perhaps as you contemplate it, you’ll begin have a deeper and more visceral connection with “Big Love’s” overall intention. The themes summarized here — together with their associated images — when taken together, represent “Big Love’s” overall invitation as a path for living the life you desire at your deepest level. We call this “Living TA-DA Today!”. In this way, “Big Love” provides much more that just a parachute-like soft landing. It’s a way of bringing more “TA-DA!” into your life — right here and right now!
Here’s to “Big Love” And Our Greater “TA-DAs”!
Olivia and Steve
It’s Your Turn!
Imagine yourself experiencing more “TA-DA!” in your life. What is your “TA-DA!“? What does it look like? How does it feel? What will help you attain more “TA-DA!“? …. Take a few moments to record your reflections on these questions — answering them with as much specificity as possible. [And Have Fun doing it!]
If you’re willing, please share your responses in the comment section under this blogpost as it appears on the Big Love Community Facebook page.
Big Love News:
Through his writings, Richard Bolles has been a role model and mentor to us. He followed his passion in love and service to others — making major contributions and being richly rewarded in both tangible and intangible ways. If you’re interested, read about his life in the New York Times article found at this link.
If you there are topics you’d like us to address, please send us an email from our “Contact Us” web page.