#AtoZChallenge: Applying Zen And Zeal


Here we are, friends, the sprint to the end!! If I get this up by midnight that will be 5 posts in 2 days, a personal record!  I shall carry that pride for a while yet.  Many thanks to all who have visited from the A to Z Challenge this month, to all those who supported me through it, to the regular readers, and to the writers whose work I have had the distinct pleasure of reading.  We made it!!  And now, the last…

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, again:

Zen:  a Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism that aims at enlightenment by direct intuition through meditation. [On this last post I interject my own connotation for this word, as synonymous with peacefulness and thoughtful serenity.]

Zeal:  eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something: fervor, syn(onym) see passion.

Today listening again (still) to Amy Cuddy’s book, Presence, I learned a new relationship between cortisol and testosterone, in terms of power and behavior.  Cortisol rises under threat, when we feel powerless.  Testosterone rises when we feel confident and powerful.  But they are not mutually exclusive, and just like meaning and stress, they can coexist in variable amounts.  By Applying Zen and Zeal, I mean to describe what it looks and feels like when we think and act in the combined state—a low cortisol, high testosterone milieu:  Confident, strong, calm, powerful, and proactive.

One more time, through the alphabet:

Attitude.  Peaceful passion.  Confidently Aspiring to higher goals.

Behavior.  Measured, less impulsive.  Intentional, purposeful.

Conduct.  Consistent.  Steady.  Forthright.

Demeanor.  Welcoming, friendly.  Inviting.  Quietly exuding a mission.

Effect.  Inspiring.  Aspiring.  Cohesive, motivating.

Focus.  Clear, directed, sharp.

Goals.  Meaningful, worthy.

Happiness.  Derived from within, determined by Honoring core values.

Influence.  Stirring, benevolent, collaborative.

Judgment.  Wise, responsible.

Kinship.  With all of humanity, transcending skin color, ideology, rhetoric.

Lessons.  Lifelong Learning in humility, applied with grace and gratitude.

Mantras.  Expressive, centering, grounding.  Ideas to foster engagement with the world.

Narrative.  Analytical, honest, ongoing.

Objective.  Peace in action.

Pursuit.  Integrity, fairness, equality.

Query.  Self-awareness, withholding judgment, telling new stories.

Rest.  Respected, taken in intervals.  Recharging, never slothful.

Strength.  When collaborating with others—Synergistic.

Timbre.  Deep.  Resonant.  Moving.

Universe.  Vast, inclusive, mystical.

Vibration.  Stimulating.  Multi-synchronous.

Wealth.  Deep connection.

Xanadu.  World peace.

Yield.  World peace.

Zenith.  World peace.


Peace to all.

13 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Applying Zen And Zeal

  1. Zen and zeal … it’s really great …. Beautiful post…. Thank you…. it was an exciting month… wishing you the best ahead …. have fun and keep smiling …. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, Catherine, on taking us A to Z throughout April. You made it!—and on the journey you inspired, informed, and entertained us. Can you take it easier in May—perhaps relax and enjoy some Absurd, Abundant, Aimless Adventures that lead you to some Zestful Zzzzzzzzs? Thanks for so many great posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😄 Haha thank you so much, Donna!! It was such a fun ride, I’m SO glad I did it!! I’m definitely better for it–for all the thinking, processing, and connecting, not to mention now knowing that i can write this much and my family and I can all survive! 😆
      Yes, some relaxation in May, for sure…And I hope I can keep the inspiration of the challenge! After 26 in 30 days, twice a month will be no sweat, right?? 😆 Excited to see how things continue to change and grow as a result of the challenge… Thanks for coming along, I’m so happy to know you!! 😊


    • Thanks Sandy Sue!! It DID feel REALLY good, hahaha!! 😆 A cool mixture of pride, disbelief, relief and inspiration. Looking forward to see how it will transform the writing experience hereafter (or not 😜)! Have a great week! 😊


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