Living the Muddle

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Entreprenurial Ponderings | 5 Comments

How can I write a meaningful post for you today? I am feeling muddled. Not crabby, but my head is a little achy from two sips of unaccustomed red wine last night and not going to bed at the usual hour. Too many parts of the house are in disarray from one, small room being painted. Orderly piles of books and papers have grown tall overnight. The new web site is on hold while I finish a pressing client project. Sometimes I feel like a very sensitive jelly fish; too many disturbances in my Thrive Zone when all I want to do is float and enjoy the undulating water.

jelly fish

What brings on your muddle place? Mine seems to show up when I’m about to make a course correction and my internal GPS isn’t picking up the coordinates yet. It’s tough to love “what is” in the muddle.

I’m reaching for a line from a book I read some thirty or so years ago. It was on my bulletin board at my place of work at the time, scribbled out on an index card. Now I can’t find it, but the gist of Ursula Le Guin’s quotation is that there comes a time when we can only do what we must do. Nothing more, nothing less. It meant something lofty to me at the time, but now it feels like the road I’ve been on for some time. It requires more awareness of my daily round than I’ve ever been accustomed to. Somehow the muddle is part of discerning that nothing-more-nothing-less path.

It must be a fine-tuning of some kind that shapes us like the ocean washing the face of a cliff over and over.   And as this soul-shaping is revealed to us bit by bit, as our work of “dismantling the internalized dreams of others”* that were never ours bears fruit, our path grows narrower.

In front of me is a smudged photo of me at four in an angel costume. In front of that I have a slip of paper on which is printed out the ancient Hawaiian healing mantra of reconciliation and forgiveness: Ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono). I ask her forgiveness for ever disowning her, for asking her to be quiet, for abandoning her at times.  She smiles out at me, ready and willing to touch me with the wand she holds, the one with a star on its tip, and help me find the path again.







[This isn’t the quotation I was looking for, but it comes close.]

“Do nothing because it is righteous or praiseworthy or noble to do so; do nothing because it seems good to do so; do only that which you must do and which you cannot do in any other way.” -Ursula K. Le Guin


*Gloria Karpinski, holistic counselor, spiritual director, teacher and author




  1. Corinne
    June 26, 2014

    I think the muddle is the birthplace of creativity… May your lotus blossom emerge from the mud(dle)…

    • Jana Jopson
      June 26, 2014

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! Mud=Good!

  2. Merry Mahry Magpie
    July 2, 2014

    As I read about your search for a line from a book, at that moment, I knew exactly the quote you were referring to, and I can see it in my minds eye, a copy of the index card in your hand. I will see if I can put my hands on it, for I have saved it all these years. With you in my heart. mmm

  3. Jana Jopson
    July 2, 2014

    I had that index card on my bulletin board, lo those many years ago! Amazing that you remember it. It will be sweet if you find it … thanks, Magpie!

    • magpie
      July 3, 2014

      Found it! I’ll scan it and send it to you! :).


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