Happy New Year!
Amazingly, 2019 has arrived. As many do on New Years, I’m reflecting on where I’ve been and where I’m going. I’m also 65, which is big milestone in life. I plan a number of personal changes and will share some of this journey here. To begin, I’ve created a new section on my website entitled…
To one degree or another, most people live in a perpetual state of anger, frustration, stress, anxiety, fear, sadness or other negative emotion. Usually the source of our distress isn’t connected to whatever is happening in the moment. Instead our mind is caught up ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Very seldom are we present — right here, right now — fully attentive, engaged and undistracted in this moment. Our minds are occupied elsewhere.
The masthead on this blog reads “Life happens whether you worry about it or not.” Precisely! So why worry? I’ve never once looked back and said to myself “Boy, I sure am glad I worried about that! Fretting made all the difference!” We can expend far more time and energy worrying about something than it takes to actually deal with that something and move on.
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. – Leo F. Buscaglia
There’s an expression that says you teach what you need to learn. So it is here. I’m putting this into practice today with the Life 2.0 section on my website. It features videos and information looking at meditation, mindfulness and acceptance of whatever is happening in moment even as we might act to change the situation. It might be dangerous or unpleasant or unjust or whatever. Acceptance is about being OK for the moment despite these things. Life 2.0 is about being calm, at peace and happy — without being passive, weak or resigned. Like in the martial arts, power comes from a clear and undistracted mind.
Getting to this clear space of calm and presence can be challenging, and might even seem impossible. It’s not what we do naturally. Our brains are wired from ages past to protect and defend against predators and danger. Calm mindfulness takes practice. And patience.
The feeling of the quiet mind is very near to the feeling of being entranced by a mesmerizing sunset. As the sun goes down and you are ever-present in the moment, you may feel as if time is suspended. – Richard Carlson, Ph.D.
I have definitely not achieved this yet but I’m on my way. This is a personal journey for me that I invite you to join. A lot of people have already started! The U.S. National Institutes of Health reports that about 8% of the U.S. population meditates on a regular basis. That’s about 25 million people.
My website lays the groundwork with extensive material and resources — all borrowed, I must emphasize. I’m a bit the teacher here as I said, but mostly student. Check it out.
The website section is just the start. The journey will continue here in real time on this blog where I’ll share ongoing thoughts and insights, and add new supplementary material. To find these blog posts easily, look for “Life 2.0” under Categories in the right sidebar. To find Life 2.0 on my website, click the button above.
Life 2.0 reflects just a part of what I’d like to do here going forward. Overall I want this blog, my website, my other social media, my work, and my life in total to reflect positivity. There’s a lot stress and negativity out there. It’s not without cause, we all realize, but day to day life doesn’t need to be so difficult.
We all have a full roster of problems: personal, professional and global. It can feel daunting but there are solutions if we open ourselves up. In those cases where there is not a solution — maybe serious illness or loss of a loved one — there can still be acceptance and peace. It’s possible to live through difficulty without suffering.
So that’s where I’m pointing my intention this New Years Day. I’m excited and invite you to join me.
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