Source: Life Doesn’t Owe Us Anything
Life doesn’t owe us anything.
In many ways, our work ethic is the most important personal skill we need to develop. It determines the altitude of our lives, and the quality of our journey. We have grown so accustomed to letting others take care of us that we have forgotten how to live at the “bone marrow-level.” We insure our lives against calamity. We minimize risk at every turn: in the workplace, at home, during recreation; then wonder why our lives often feel unfulfilled.
It is risk that provides the spiritual adrenaline that creates a meaningful life. We were born as hunters, bred as adventurers and instructed in the arts of high-mindedness. When was the last time you went “hunting” for something not found in a shopping mall? When was the last real adventure you planned and executed? What ideals have you inculcated in your life so deeply that others can observe these tenets just by the way you plan your day? If you are unsure of the answers to these, why don’t you try something new? Healthy risk is a welcome addition to any day!
I get lonely and frustrated when I isolate myself from others and adventure. I am most alive when I am on the cusp of something “dangerous” (mildly speaking of course! ;-). I have committed to being the man I have always wanted to be. I want to live through every moment. If I feel moved to meet someone and make a new friend, I move in that direction. If I want to get my haircut in China by a man who doesn’t speak much English, but wants to communicate with me…I do it. (Did it on Sunday! Had so much fun with Vic, the stylist!) He even did a few highlights and had one of the massage therapists come and work on my shoulders while I was being shampooed! Made the afternoon fly by, and I made a new friend! Not the very least of which means I also have someone who can cut and style my hair! It was often hilarious, sometimes scary as to what I would look like afterwards, but the experience was a priceless one!
As a part of my personal risk-management, I am learning to examine carefully the rubrics of my life. When they are authentically mine, I am at peace with myself and the world in which I live. When they are out of alignment, even the things I enjoy doing are often miscued and troublesome. When I was blessed with an opportunity to re-imagine my life, my “Ignition Point,” I started by removing almost everything from my life. I worked to simplify my daily regimine until it was mostly about survival. During that first 3 month period, I examined every aspect of my life. I rebuilt my personal rubric by adding back only those aspects of living that served me. I replaced religion with spirituality, the need to please others with a deeper love of myself, and the desire to have more things with the desire to have more friends. Gone was the need to “go.” It was replaced by a deeper sense to “be.” I looked at people who said they were my friends, and replaced them with people who acted like my friends. I replaced the dogma of a misguided religion with an acutely authentic spirituality taught by the same Teacher, but often misquoted in the desire to monetize spirituality. I slowed the pace of my life down to the point where small points of joy became reasons to celebrate.
I know some of this will not resonate with you. Remember, this is my rubric. Yours most assuredly will differ. That is the beauty of our individuality! I can celebrate your beauty, even as I radiate mine. You are welcome additions to my journey, and I hope I am an invited guest to yours as well. May you prosper in meaningful ways, and celebrate with those whom you love!
This week, a colleague and I both entertain birthdays. We plan on celebrating with our friends today at an expat bar and grill, where I know they have Guinness on tap, and a great wine list! Wish you were here to join us!
I think a lot about love. I guess because it is so important to me. What I have recently come to realize is that for such a long time, I never thought about what it meant. I took for granted that I knew what it was, how it looked, and how it felt.
But I was wrong.
I have discovered that love is absolute. That perfect love can only emanate from within a person who is totally, completely and utterly in love with themselves, and then able to reflect that love upon others. For many years I substituted cheap counterfeits for real love. I paraded career, education, accomplishment and financial security as meaningful goals for my life. I place no blame on others, but I was merely reflecting what I had been taught by those around me.
And I was a good student!
I had to bankrupt myself to clear the air of these false visions for living. Once my eyes were open, I was able to reconstruct my heart according to the original plans implanted within my soul when I was born. It is from this perspective I now live.
So I am learning to dance.
I cherish the moments I share with those who are important to me. I value their presence in my life. I have sought out and found a kindred spirit who shares many of these same values, and has the courage to carry out the imprints they know to be upon their heart. I desire to dance the up-close, connected dances where commitment is involved. Those waltzes where bodies touch, hearts mingle and souls are imprinted upon one another in meaningful ways that transcend the time we spend together.
And I will never be the same.
Oh, I know my life may look different. In reality, I haven’t changed at all. I just met myself on the plain of authenticity and fell in love with who I am, and what I am to do in this world. I’ll be honest….at times it is a bit scary. These are new “clothes” for my heart to wear, and I need time to break them in properly. For the first time since I was a child, I operate free from fear and judgment. I opine for unending seasons of passion, while reflecting pools of solace ripple with the contentment of this moment. Be patient with me; or better yet:
Source: Pythagorus’ Other Theorem