This four letter word is more demanding of our thoughts than the strongest of all gale winds, wetter than the wettest of all storms, deeper than all rivers, and thicker than all trees. It follows us on every path, every road, greets us at every waking, and usually sends us to sleep every night. No matter at work, play, home, or away, love follows us.
Wherever you go, there you are ~Confucius
Love often sways our mood greatly. Those of us that get effected by sadness, love is usually a large player in that game. Happiness is usually associated with the freedom to love. Sometimes woes with our family comes from wanting to send with love some wisdom, and having our love insulted when the other doesn’t jump up and thank us for that same wisdom from the heart.
It is a weird bird, this love. Is it pesky? Is it warranted? Is it necessary? Are we being told to love, and therefor wanting to love? Continue reading →
One of my deepest questions I think about frequently is about happiness in life. I read constantly about people being blessed, having the best life, doing awesome things, going on vacation… having the good fortune to do things like sitting all day by the pool, cruising in a boat, head down to LA for the weekend, partying at the coolest club. I always hear the words: “I have the best friend in the world,” or people saying they’re so lucky because they’ve got the latest iPhone before it’s been released onto the market for general consumption…
I’ve been surrounded somewhat by death these days. Well, there is also some beautiful new life in my world too, but this is on death so we’ll ignore them for the time being.
My grandmother says that as she gets older her friends just keep dying. It seems like for me, the older that I’ve been getting, my friends, or my friends friends, or my uncles, or my great uncles, or my… have started passing away.
I was talking last night with my father about this, and he said it’s disgusting. This death. Specifically with regards to cancer, but I think premature death is always sad, not necessarily disgusting, but just unfortunate and sad. I’m talking death from a disease or accident.
Sitting here, I’m thinking about books my grandmother has given me on yoga.
Let me step back a moment.
I am very interested in photographs, and I’ve taken most of my grandmothers photographs from her albums and scanned them and made them digital. For her own continuity and for mine. Who knows what will happen to those albums. As a result, I’ve gotten to know a lot more about my grandmother in her earlier years, in her young adult life especially, and I have seen how beautiful she was as a young woman.
This leads me to think about how graceful she may have been. How she would have practiced yoga? Did she use it for meditation, or did she use it for exercise? It’s funny, some of these books date back pretty far, long before Lululemon came around [isn’t that when/why most kids these days get into yoga? (kidding)].
Then, I phase back to reality and look at her now. I see her requiring 3 swings to get up from a chair. I see her hunched over with age. I hear her talk to me about how exhausting it is to even make breakfast in the morning. I am trying to convince her and everybody around her that she needs a maidservant to help her with daily tasks, just to make it easier on her.
My grandmother is 93 years old this year.
It kind of scares me how life has already just swept past me as if I’ve been sleeping. I know I’ve been awake, I know there have been many memories in there and many large events that have carried me along, but it still scares me how it goes so fast.
Father keeps telling me how he hates getting old. Who can blame him? I hate getting old too.
I want to live forever. If I was given the chance to live forever, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Easy choice.
I talk to people about this sometimes, and they look at me saying things like: “Why would you want to live forever? You would get so bored of things, and it would be so sad when all of the people you would come into contact with, your lovers, would die and leave you to continue on.” I say that’s hogwash. Sure, that would hurt. It may hurt so much I’d want to take my own life after a while, but I’d still do it, I’d still live forever. So what if I had a year of depression. So what if I slept a whole day away. I’d live forever. This kind of stuff would soon pass, and I’d find other things to occupy my mind keeping me in the moment. I like to think I’d stay motivated. Perhaps there could be a clause that if I didn’t stay motivated, I would start to age. On second thought, that would make me pretty anxious I think, so perhaps no clause. I don’t need a clause.
In my life right now, I know 4 people being effected by Cancer. I have lost people in my life who have meant a great deal to me from other causes too. Heart attacks, strokes, accidents, sicknesses.
How do you deal with death?
I take subtle queues from Qi. It teaches that one should not get too excited, nor too depressed, and that one should strive to find the balance in the middle where all of life just is. Expect that everything happens as it should, whether it’s good or bad, it’s just the way of the world and we cannot control that.
I like this attitude for some aspects in my life, like death, but I also feel that as a human I can inflict change into my life, change that I want to see happen. So sometimes I just don’t take things as it happens, sometimes I push forward for more. I think this attitude, after all, is what it means to live.
The mind, in all matters concerning it, must be exercised in order to keep it healthy and growing strong. It is as a muscle, requiring constant and consistent activity to stay healthy. Sports players, cards players, computer programmers, engineers, and on and on all continually and relentlessly practice their profession; going over and over selected scenarios, developing new ideas, or reaching new depths of creativity are all ways to exercise the mind.
Starting at birth, new parents are encouraged to challenge their child with new responsibilities, play memory exercising games, or teach them multiple languages. This makes headway into the starting of the child’s academic career, where it is quite obvious it is demanded that they do indeed use their brain for scholarly purposes: calculating formulas, creative writing, memorizing biological systems, etc.
It is easy to sit back and let the exercising be demanded of a person and let it grow in a passive pushing mode, but the real character comes when graduation is upon the student.
At this conjuncture in life, the student is now free from all prescribed and demanded learning. This is where personal motivation comes into the equation. The new graduate is only looking for fun adventures and to explore the limits of their newly found freedom; which by all means is necessary in the growth of the person, but there is a certain tipping point, or balancing that needs to be acquired. After all, balance is the key to life.
The exciting part is now that the graduate is indeed graduated, it is upon them to decide which path they wish to explore.
No longer is the learning prescribed, but rather opened up for interpretation where the mind is the school master cracking the whip, and the conscience is the poor school boy waiting eagerly with big wide eyes for what is to come next; open to be influenced.
Activities like reading and writing are great ways to keep the thought processactive and firing on all cylinders, which incidentally can also be used to keep the mind focused (this is a good thing). You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again; in this day and age of the internet and instant communication, it’s hard for people to stay focused on one topic for any length of time.
Writing down ideas can help keep the thought process aligned straight towards success, in all essence of the word.
The main point, however, is that without activities that keep the mind thinking, keeping all those neurons sparking like luminescence in the midnight waters, the brain will not keep the doors open to creative thought.
Before you know it, you will be a machine working at a dead end job wondering how you got there, feeling sorry for yourself the whole time.
SO! I encourage you, don’t let it happen to you! Exercise your mind!
Do you have any other ideas or games that will help keep the mind active?