The Burden of Thriving in Troubled Times

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Life is amazingly persistent at teaching us salient lessons along the way. We may not always clearly recognize them, but, if you slow down, be still and let go during times that have something to teach you, there is much to be learned.

“The problem is you think you have time” -Buddha

Sometimes it takes a tragic major life event to shake things up and break the routine just enough to help us rethink our world. What seems like tragedy may actually be an opportunity. Growing and making the best in the aftermath of a terrible loss will not change what has already happened. Using a dark time as a springboard into better times will pay homage and honor those who have been hurt or lost. When faced with any type of personal tragedy you always have a choice.

Often the most essential lessons about ourselves are presented in the most somber times. These are times when we stop and reevaluate our lives, our purpose and our plan. We feel heavy and burdened, not ready to take on any of life’s obligations. And just like learning, we all grieve in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to experience a loss just as their is no right or wrong way to learn a lesson. Life has a way of being gently abrasive. Life will find a way, but we all have the choice to absorb it independently, in our own way. The point is always to just internalize it in the end. Whatever you think the lesson is, it is. Being able to see the opportunity for growth means you are on the right track.

Troubling or challenging times is the perfect juncture to question dogma. Be brave and grow in the face of hardship. Experience profound movement in times of struggle. No need to be a hero, just be one for yourself, quietly, in your private moments.

The Long and Winding Road

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You embark on a journey and it fills you up and teaches you more than you ever thought possible.  This is the stuff of myths and fairy tales born from real life heros and explorers.  You ask the tough questions and seek the true answers.  You absorb the result no matter how energizing or shocking they may be because it’s better to know and grow than wonder and stay stagnant.  Along the way we make discoveries that we may not fully process until a later point in the journey.  The journey is never over, so I won’t say we process our experiences at the end.  This is an ongoing, beautiful movement through our life.  We are all on a journey, we all have a path.  Learning to be at peace with your life’s path will bring you just that, peace.  You have the power to interpret your journey and take action to make it serve you.  Be your own hero.  Live a beautiful life.

Then you reach the part of the journey where you have gone through vital self discovery and realize you want to make changes.  Maybe you feel like life and details are in the way and you are tethered to certain routines and will have to get crafty to make these changes.  But the changes are possible, anything is possible and change is good.

“How you spend your days is how you spend your life” – Annie Dillard.  For me, creating and basking in happy days is ultimately the only choice.  Though we may have to work hard to self discover and manage our findings, the task is well worth the struggle no matter how enjoyable or painful those outcomes may prove to be.  There are times you discover things that challenge you or take your breathe away.  It’s all in how you see those things and how you take action that make the difference.

This life is truly a long and winding road, and my life is made up of so many varied experiences and truths, but the truth I hold most dear and cannot breathe without is the belief that all of this hard work will continue to lead me on a beautiful, happy journey.

“I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery.  It’s a journey of recovery.  It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature.  It’s already there.”  -Billy Corgan

The Hero’s Journey

Be Your Own Hero: My Obsession With Jason Silva

“Be your own hero and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” -from Hero’s Journey by Jason Silva

I have a passionate obsession with artist, film maker and general mind blower Jason Silva. If you haven’t looked through his collection of short films “Shots of Awe” on YouTube then get on it! His short film above embodies his enthusiastic and contagious optimistic view of life and is an ideal example of how he makes living life to the fullest seems so obviously accessible and paramount. Of course we should be considering all of the things that make the universe the way it is and of course we should all be starving for more knowledge about how and why we have become our present selves. But, at the same time, leap forward into tomorrow with curious smiles and hungry minds full of memorized quotes of the greatest thinkers of the present and past. I admire the way he pays homage to our rich history of amazing sage scholars and masterminds and looks forward with a cheeky, bad boy grin and a savvy and wise mindset. I’m a fan in every way, but it’s how he turns me on and makes me feel so incredibly high on thinking that energizes me and leaves me wanting more insight and awareness every time I watch one of his pieces.

I get excited when he reminds me that our lives are given to us with the opportunity to turn them into a grand piece of artwork. We have the opportunity to be our own hero and expand into our highest potential. Every person we meet and everywhere we go has something to teach us, we just have to be open and ready to receive the messages that are constantly coming at us. My knees buckle when Jason mentions the idea of “Quest Physics” which was the premise behind the movie Eat, Pray, Love and presents the idea of seeing what seems like despair and hardship in your life as an opportunity to reinvent yourself. If you are capable of this, then you can become your own hero. Giving in to the mundane, living life with your head down and ignoring the ride is such a waste and waiting for someone else to come in and be your hero may leave you disappointed, or even worse, it may leave you numb.

It’s up to each one of us to shake up our lives and our perceptions. Leave the barriers of your comfort zone to see what lies beyond in order to satisfy feelings of wanderlust or a craving for the unknown, whatever it may be for you. Consider your patterns and patterns of thought and even how you process your processes. Create and reconfigure how you want your “life art” to appear in the final version of your “life reel”. We hold the brushes and we are the paint and clay makers. We are the conductors and we control the orchestra.

If you are on a quest for a hero then stop searching and realize that you can be your own hero. Breathe in your potential and breathe out a life of poetry.

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