“A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does”
― Dan Millman
Finding the love in what you do is easier sometimes than it is at others. Obvious yes but still how often do we miss the obvious because it doesn’t fell like it is worth stating? I love making art. I love writing poetry. I love thinking about thing I have never thought of before or thinking of an old thing in a new way. I love walking in nature. I love meditating. I love reading. I love talking to really amazing people both online and off and learning from them. I love music. I love exploring the nature of the All and of love. It has brought more joy to me than I can say that I’ve been able to do so many of the things that I love this past year or two and I feel like I have been touched by a unique grace.
Then there are the necessities, the things we don’t necessarily love that we have to do. Like cleaning the bathroom or washing the dishes or laundry. You can add to the list dealing with loved ones when they’re cranky or having serious questions with people who don’t want to climb out of their box even to look into mine. Yet still with some effort I can get those done. While cleaning I can engage in a conversation with myself about myths or legends or the nature of love. I can listen to an audiobook or I can make a game of the cleaning. Just how clean can I make that toilet? I can write an ode to the leftover pasta sauce on the underside of the bowl I can think of the faces of all those I love or recite a theme song to a 60’s television show. I can find the joy or the love in what I do. Oh its not always easy. You know what else isn’t easy? Anything you fail to try to do.
“Great artists make the roads; good teachers and good companions can point them out. But there ain’t no free rides, baby. No hitchhiking. And if you want to strike out in any new direction — you go alone. With a machete in your hand”
― Ursula K. Le Guin
There’s a difference between being lonely and being alone and its a key one. As much as I enjoy company and genuinely enjoy speaking with others, at times especially while creating, thinking or meditating I crave solitude. Those are the times that even if I have gone where others have I am still blazing my own trail. The territories of the mind, heart, spirit and imagination are infinite and while there is a lot of cross-overs each passageway is unique. We can admire the path that someone else has made but we cannot take it as our own, they’ve paid for it with their experiences and those are unique to each.
After we have journeyed for awhile, it is fun to call a friend in to show them what we have found on the passageway as it is to see what they have found. Since we create our trail as we go, we can never know when we will use something given to us by another. Each item whether internal or external is sacred. Eventually the trails will converge with lifetimes of experiences shared by all.
“Bottom line is, even if you see ’em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.”
― Joss Whedon
We’ve all had them. Maybe we didn’t recognize them at the time but all of a sudden we look up and everything has changed. I call them cusp moments, tho they can also be called crossroad moments or twilight moments or any other metaphor that catches your mind. It could be a parent’s death or a graduation ceremony. It almost always is when you lose your virginity. It could involve a bad breakup or an accident. It could even be a peak experience. However it happens in one fell swoop every map of reality that you have gets systematically erased. You look around you at places and people that were once familiar and you see strangers and strange places.
When this happens you can freak out and scramble towards anything that reminds you of your past and try as best as you can to recreate your own map or you can look at everything with the wonder of a child. You can be free to draw a new map with each new thing in front of you that you see with your new eyes. It can be the best thing ever.
I have spoken before about how every moment can be a new starting point and it can. You may not be able to force either a traumatic or a peak experience but you can consciously and willfully toss out your existing maps and look at your life and your environment with new eyes as if you’ve never seen it before. Redefine your relationships with everything and anything in front of you. Feel free to explore and learn and grow. Grab a hold of the potential new beginning that every moment brings
“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”
― Alan Wilson Watts
When too much is going on in my head, doing more or finding more to think about rarely helps. I have to sit with what’s there and let it gradually either fade or sink to the bottom. When I’m feeling frustration or impatience, I don’t find it helpful to dwell on the source of these emotions. That just adds fuel to the fire. It also doesn’t help to tell myself that I shouldn’t feel what I’m feeling. That adds guilt to the list. If I sit with whatever the emotion is, letting myself feel it, even watching myself feel it as much as possible and I find it start to dissipate. It feels quite a bit like muddy water looks when it settles, a clearing thats gradual at first and then picks up speed until only a few traces of the cloudiness remain. After the emotion has gone, I can look at causes and reasons and perhaps come to a dispassionate understanding. At the very least I can do it from a perspective of peace and calm.