Thursday, May 20, 2010

Desiderata



written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Making Friends with Transition

Transitions can be brutal, yet many of us don’t give ourselves the credit for what we are truly going through. Instead we hid from the emotions like they are some creepy monster that is going to eat us. We consume our time with meaningless activities, hide behind objects such as a bottle to erase the truth that evolves within us, and simply ignore it when it comes knocking on the door.

Transitions can occur in the simplest fashion… These kind can be the easiest to tackle if you aware, but typically we don’t deal with them until our bag is full with emotions that we have carelessly thrown away like some moldy banana. Then all the sudden that bag of moldy bananas seeps into the carpet; the stench and stains ruin the carpet, and now we’ve got a bigger problem to deal with… Sometimes, as hard as it may be, it’s best to just eat the banana when it starts to turn brown instead of letting it rot…

The most difficult transitions to deal with are the big ones. The complex changes that we are totally aware of, and due to fear of actually feeling the emotion’s authenticity, we run from it instead. We put on our track suits, strap up our cleats and begin our long haul around the track that ends where it begins.

The other day I caught myself on the track all suited up and ready to start jogging. I literally manipulated my train of thought to not think about the fear I felt in my gut, and picked up a book to read instead. I started reading, and instantly the problem was gone, I successfully ignored it. As I kept reading I came across a pivotal part in the book, or maybe it was a pivotal part in my life, either way the author wrote “the easiest things to do in life barely ever lead to anything greater.” A wave of guilt swept across my body, I couldn’t help but to put my book down and think about how easy it was to throw away that fear, rather than to actually feel it and deal with it. It was a simple fear that could have been easily cured if I would have just taken a second to understand it. Instead I chucked it in my backpack with the rest of the garbage I’ve been carrying on my shoulders.

It was then that I noticed I was doing everything in my power to avoid this transition that I am currently going through.
It was then and there that I chose to take control of my emotions before they took control of me. I cannot explain how painless it was to eat the brown banana compared to dealing with getting new carpet.

Anything that undergoes change is considered transition; this means things as little as a new hair cut, to events as big as your spouse leaving you.


“Transition: movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.” ~Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Sometimes we are prepared for transitions, but most of the time we are not. What we human beings need to realize is that change will occur with or without us; it is our choice whether we will participate willingly or not.

As Rafiki says: “Change is gooooood.”


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Costa Rica: Opening a New Door

Friday February 19, 2010 was definitely one of the greatest days of my life. For the first time I opened a door that will never be closed, instead it will be a life-long journey & mission. As we drove to the wellness center I had the opportunity to see Costa Rica (another country) for the first time. All the ideas I had in my mind about what life is “supposed to be” diminished within a two hour drive. It was beautiful, simple, & free living at its best! When we arrived to the wellness center my eyes were captured by the flourishing vitality in all shapes and forms that surrounded me. We walked along a wire bridge that hung above a river & as soon as we reached the entrance we were greeted by smiling white teeth and brown faces saying: “PURA VIDA & MUCHO GUSTO” Except I could see in their eyes there were not repeating some line, they truly meant it. I haven’t been surrounded by such genuine people in a very, very long time. We traveled through the forest where we found a herd of horses, so clam & content- I could tell they were trained by Earthy people. I was scared at first, my only experience with horses in my past have been frightening… But this ride was calm, and even meditative. We rode horses to the top of the zip-lines in the rainforest. As I rode the zip-lines (12 of them) I was amazed by the “buena vista” & I felt a freedom in my heart that opened a whole new form of mentality. I have to say, it was a BLAST!
video
We arrived back at the wellness center where we were served an amazing Costa Rican cuisine & I decided to get a massage. But first I basked in the river to regulate my body temperature (my blood is so think from the cold mountains). The massage I received was the best I ever had! She even caressed certain areas which I was not used to being caressed by a stranger, but I embraced the experience. I didn’t know if I was supposed to but, I tipped her at the end and felt very confident about giving money to her family. After the massage we headed back to the resort & Amy (an amazing girl I met on the trip) & I decided we had to see the Costa Rican night life… So we went out dancing at a bar full of natives (and Americans). There was a Mariachi band playing so instantly I went to that portion of the bar. The Costa Rican guys and girls were so amazing at salsa dancing I was nervous to get on the dance floor, but within good time I was shakin it! A very tall native gestured for me to dance with him & of course I jumped at the opportunity (free salsa lessons-OK!). Even though he made me look horrible I had a blast.. God, they’re good at dancing! We ended up taking the 1985 ripped apart taxi back to the hotel & had the clever idea to go play in the ocean. As we tried to find the water we were sinking up to our knees in sand (the tide was very low), all the sudden we were being chased by security guards with flashlights.. We ran back to our beds, and fell asleep with total contentment. The whole day was spectacular.


“A Proud People”
The blood that flows in the veins of the people of this Republic is too generous. The Costa Ricans are a people of such excellent mettle; ardently patriotic, they are very proud of their independence, their autonomy, & of a prosperity due almost wholly to industry. The country is one of flourishing villages. There is that the population of Costa Rica dwells, since it is there that are found the hardy toilers who rest from the Earth the products which form the wealth of the land. An air of ease combined with antique simplicity characterizes these villages.




Already, I cannot stop comparing the U.S. to Costa Rica. Instantly, as I walked in the American doors I was drilled, rushed, and pushed through lines like a stampeed. Typically this would have seemed normal and an ordinary rat race that I participated in willingly because I didn’t know of much else. But after spending only 5 days with simple people who live uncomplicated lives- living on “Costa Rica” time, has truly changed my perspective on America “The Land of Freedom”.
My life is changed.
The door has been opened.


To Start.

I don't claim to be a great writer or philosopher; I just want to share my experiences with the people who care.