My friends...I have a confession to make.
I think I'm mostly full of shit. Apologies, I may curse tonight. It happens. I don't say I'm full of it to be self-deprecating, far from it. Rather, the more I strip away, the more I let illusions fall...the need to think I know things in absolution also falls away. We're all on a journey in this life. We learn as we grow. Sometimes we feel lost and cling to things that help us make sense of the world we live in. Help us to belong to something. So we absorb that, I think. We trade one illusion for another, depending on what we feel we're lacking. Always searching for answers.
There is no resolute answer. For any of it. There is me. There is you. There is experience, understanding, belief, and action. And a great big wheel that keeps spinning us around and around. Keep learning...nope, you fucked that up. Try again. Nope, you still don't get it...here it is again.
As I write about a woman who is...awakening...I chase down countless rabbit holes of knowledge. Some esoteric. Some theoretical. Some academic and historical. I would follow down a path about higher consciousness, enlightenment, spirituality... only to land in a world of demiurges and alien lore. Not my thing. Or chakras and ascending, which says that our spirit bodies can leave us and go frolic around somewhere. Not my thing either. Whether that's Ana's thing remains to be seen. It sure is fun to write about though. But I'm talking about me now.
One theme I touch upon in the book I'm writing is the duality we perceive. Thinking that we are spiritual beings in mortal bodies, and this often lends itself to either being your "physical" self, or being your "spirit" self. Tuning out the physical to resonate with your higher self. A lot of it is fascinating, and I still don't quite get it, I'll be honest with you. I meditate, I find inner peace, I find inner strength...but I certainly don't vibrate in different colors and I don't feel the essence of chairs and I don't see the molecules of the air. I relax, I sort through my issues, I find perspective, I choose to see the best in everyone, including myself... and I get to work.
That's it. There's no floating or chanting or channeling going on. Perhaps in the stripping away, I'm becoming a bit of a realist. And that's okay. As lovely as it can be to muse and ponder and imagine our lives the way we'd like them to be...I believe we must take action. We must. I keep returning to Buddha and the middle way. Head in the clouds, but feet on the ground. I do believe in intuition. And serendipity. And everyday magic. But it can't all be ethereal and whimsical. We've got to kick our own asses and do the work. The inner work. The outer work.
Sometimes we can get lost in the clouds; wondering, dreaming, visualizing. But our lives creep by despite this.
I suppose my point is...balance. A healthy balance of inspiration and dreaming, and good old fashioned work. Get your hands dirty, dig in there. No one else will. No matter how you're "vibing."
I'm turning forty in a few days and I've been reflecting a lot about this stuff, as I get closer to the end of this project, which is in itself, quite a journey. And I'll tell you something...I still feel like a kid a lot of the time. The world always feels new, like there's more to learn. About myself, human nature, and all the big ideas I like to muse about.
And I do.
I could spend hours talking about the universe, or utopia, dystopia, war/peace, all the different religions and schools of thought. Philosophy. Science. Where they might overlap. I enjoy thinking and talking about those things.
But I think to attach to it...to give away your own power, your own strength, the amazing ability we have inside of us, to an esoteric idea that good things are coming if you just sit and wait...is bullshit. Sorry. Like attracts like, yes. But the universe respects ambition and action, I think.
That's me. Unplugged. Dream and imagine, practice gratitude, be kind and open, choose love over fear, have a healthy positive outlook, but fucking do the work. Get out of the ether and get real.
I think the funk I've been in today, the frustrations, have been about one thing: I'm allowed to have a shitty day. And if I spend my time smiling around it, not paying attention to what's going on inside of me, I'll get stuck there. I won't see the lesson. And every time that issue comes up, it will be shitty. Because I didn't do the work, I didn't face it. I didn't dig into myself to ask why I felt the way I did.
I don't believe that life sucks. I think we are here to have a wonderful experience, filled with beauty and joy and connection and everyday magic. I am an optimist. I do feel that we're all the same and connected, yet I feel that we are all individuals, with unique gifts and attributes to share with other. But it was important for me to see and accept that... sometimes, things are just hard. And it's okay to get smacked in the face with something like that, it happens. Things can be hard. But it's how we respond. How we interpret that information. How we choose to experience it. We can get stuck in the funk...or zoom out, learn something, and keep moving forward. Keep learning, keep growing.
But to prance around in la-la land where everything is just loverly, all the time, just doesn't jive with me anymore.
We are spiritual beings, yes. But we live in a physical, real world. We must honor both in our everyday lives. Balance. Merge the two. For me anyway. I enjoy a green juice, I do. But I also indulge in a good bolognese once in a while. Because it's delicious and aromatic and enjoyable. I try to be honest, humble, respectful, and kind. I am spiritual and I wouldn't call myself materialistic. But I won't denounce the comfort and ease of making a decent living. I've earned it. I won't apologize for it.
And I won't feel guilty if I earn even more money. I work my ass off; I see no issues or conflict in spirit in knowing your value and worth. Money is the currency and result of our hard work, dedication, sacrifice, ethic, and generosity. We give of ourselves in service, production, labor, or other efforts, and we should earn what we put out.
So. Forty. Bring it on. I feel younger than ever. I'm focused. I'm smart enough to know that I'm always learning. Humble enough to admit that I don't necessarily know what the hell I'm talking about, but I really just write for myself anyway. Secure enough to admit that I'm a big nerd, I like my glasses, I don't care that I don't "fit in." I rarely wear makeup; it feels like gloop. It's unnatural to me. And I still see myself as beautiful. Not because I'm arrogant, but because I'm grounded enough to know that we're all inherently beautiful and flawed. We're people, not statues. I'm not afraid to face fears. And you know what? I'm having a lot of fun. I've found passion again, for living, for the basic notion of being alive. I love my life. I embrace where I've been and I know where I'm going, and I'm enjoying and appreciating the ride. I have amazing, supportive, real, honest, nonjudgmental friends and family. And I include coworkers and colleagues as friends because that's just how I roll. I love 'em all.
Perhaps my forties will be the best years... forward, please. All ahead, full.
(Disclaimer: I had watched a past Steve Maraboli broadcast on FB today, which inspired me, in case there is overlap. Not plagiarism, just inspiration. Sometimes I reiterate ideas that resonate, they all mish-mosh in my head. But check him out. Brilliant. Real deal, no hocus-pocus, effortlessly relatable.)