3627658_sIt is Day 7 of Quest 2016, and I have found myself slowing, pulling back, drawing down,  resisting the sparking pace that others – also journeying through these same December prompts – seem to be able to muster.

The second prompt offered by Jonathan Fields, which we received last Thursday,  was long and unwieldy.  I wished I could easily place it in my heart’s pocket (which is normally what I do, after writing it long-hand on an index card)  It just didn’t fit and was challenging to ruminate over and meditate on and there were just no easy answers.

Here’s my journey wrestling with this prompt:

Friday:   I am standing in the kitchen with my coffee and iPhone, hoping to interrupt my husband Mike who is at his laptop:

“Can I read you this question? I just don’t get what it wants me to do.”

Theme:  Get Clear with Yourself
Visionary: Jonathan Fields

Prompt:   “You wake up to discover a knock at your door. A wealthy uncle you barely knew has passed and left you a fortune. It’s more than enough to live out your days in glorious splendor, but there is a condition. To be eligible to collect, you must commit your full-time working energies to the pursuit of an answer to a single question of your choosing for the next 12 months.

You are welcome to continue that pursuit after the year ends, for years or decades if it warrants, but you must remain fully focused on seeking the answer until the last minute of the 365th day.   A minute shorter, the entire inheritance goes to your annoying and equally long lost cousin, Philly.

 What is your question?”

Well that’s easy, Mike says, assuredly. “My question would be: ‘How can I solve the world’s energy crisis?’ [Yes, he is a chemical engineer in the petroleum sector]. So what are you thinking about?”

“I don’t know.  Things like ‘Is there a God?’ or  ‘What happens when you die’

“Those sound good.  Go with one of them.”
Then, a moment later, he adds “though, you know. with questions like those, you’ll never get to an answer, Colleen”

I know this, but still, these are the questions I most often ponder.


On Saturday:   Again with coffee mug in hand, I say to Mike:

“I hate this question.” My husband is trying (unsuccessfully) to read The Economist.

“I think it’s trying to get me to quit my job.”

“It’s not telling you anything,” he says, amused with me, I think.  “Look if you think you should be writing more, then write more.”

I offer a harumph, and turn to watch the birds.


On Sunday:  I am at the kitchen table (yes, with coffee) sloughing through The Economist’s “The World in 2016”  [I have made a pact with myself to read every page of its year-end edition – even if I understand only 5% of it –  because I absolutely need to learn more about the world]

So here is the ad I open to on the magazine’s first page.


UBS ad in The Economist

Okay, so I’ve found my question.

JONATHAN FIELDS -is a New York City dad, husband and lawyer turned award-winning author, media producer, and entrepreneur. His last book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance (Portfolio 2011) was named the top personal development book in 2011 by 800-CEO-READ.

Jonathan’s current focus, Good Life Project, is a global movement that inspires, educates, connects, and supports mission-driven individuals in the quest to live better, more engaged, connected, and aligned lives..

7 thoughts on “Resistance

  1. I love this post, the simple honest humanity of it. Well, I love your writing in general….
    And wow, I love the ad (UBS is who I have my investments with, and this feels exactly like the folks I work with!)


  2. I don’t know if you remember this. You and I went out for coffee once and I was asking myself something like this question. You said, “But your work touches people. You’ve seen it.” Implying: nuff said. You had a lot more confidence in this answer than I did! Nonetheless it made and continues to make a difference to me. I feel certain you also truly make a difference every day to your family and your workmates. So it is very tempting to turn the tables and say: you can and do make all kinds of difference. What difference(s) do you truly want to make?


    1. Anne (my bosom friend), Your note to me meant the world and kind of spun me on my head. I don’t remember our coffee together, or this comment specifically, but I can so imagine myself saying this to you! And oh how much I looked up to you – and continue to look up to you – as a writer. Thank you for turning the tables on me and for posing an important question: What difference do I truly want to make? I’ve been holding that new question in my heart for a day now. I know it is tied my being brave, risking vulnerability, and likely opening the large moving box in my closet that contains all my writing and which I packed up last May. The box is marked – Do Not Open until Mother’s Day 2016. The difference I truly want to make in the world is the weaving together of that Story and the letting go of it, into the world. I want my words to offer an experience of beauty to the Reader, to offer light, where there seems only darkness. I want to inspire others to take risks, to speak up, by being brave myself.


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