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  • Cory McGowan

Touching Snow in June

You can only be working your way towards it or away from it. I suppose you could be in a holding pattern, but with the passing of time, the longer you are in that holding pattern, the more likely you are moving away from it.

The ‘it’ I’m referring to here is the ability to utter, with no hesitancy or doubt, “There is no place that I’d rather be, and nothing I’d rather be doing.” That has been very alive for me lately. In fact, I’ve mentioned it that I’m experiencing it to the people I get supported by on multiple occasions recently, and have yet managed to say it without getting emotional, which for me is a sign I’m really speaking from my heart. Not to mention feeling incredibly privileged to be having this experience right now despite all that’s going on in the world.

I’m not implying that being able to speak about your own happiness and satisfaction with true conviction is the “right” state to be in. However, since supporting people to at least see that it’s possible (and ideally to get them to experience it, although that’s not something I can guarantee...) is the service I provide, I am glad to be experiencing it myself right now.


Being in a state of true satisfaction with the life you’ve created is also not a destination. I had a client come to Minakami for a personal retreat recently, and we went on a hike to Ichinokurosawa, where there was still some snow left over from the winter. As exciting as it was for him as a Tokyo resident to get to touch snow in June, it would have been weird if he had just stayed there permanently with his hands on the snow, right? Yet, we don’t think it’s weird to think, “If I just do this thing I don’t like very much (but think I have to do) for a little longer, THEN I’ll get to where I am satisfied.” As if it will be a fixed or permanent state to be in.

Are you working your way towards true happiness and satisfaction? Nice work! And some things you may want to consider:

  • What are the structures you have in place to make sure you keep moving in that direction?

  • How clear are you on the actual gap between where you are now and what would create that state for you?

  • What is the compelling vision that gives you chills to help carry you across that gap?


Are you working your way away from true happiness and satisfaction? Great! How wonderful that you experienced it, and now:

  • What changed that no longer has you in that state? How much of it are you willing to take responsibility for?

  • What serves you about no longer being happy and satisfied (and “nothing” isn’t allowed - if it isn’t serving you, you wouldn’t be doing it)?

  • Are you actually fully committed to turning things around and heading back in that direction? (You don’t have to be, and it sure won’t be easy, as you learned from your prior experience!)

Personally, I believe this journey/dance in and out of happiness and satisfaction is what makes the human experience unique, and what makes life worth living. And you’ll forgive me if I change my opinion on that next time I find myself moving away from that state, right?

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