Life is crazy/amazing.
As small as our world is, it is still stocked with infinite possibility. Unfortunately, it is all-too-easy to get caught up in minutiae, societal expectations, avoiding perceived selfishness — and in the process, losing mindfulness of the self.
Mindfulness seems to be the new buzz word, right? We talk about it on many different levels, psychologically, metaphysically, spiritually, and so on. As such, it can seem a bit daunting, and really pretty out there.
But in the reality of this crazy/amazing life we live, mindfulness is the key to building the life we most desire. Turn the key of mindfulness, and you get to start the engine of conscious reality creation.
This might seem a bit out there, because it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that we have little to no real control over our “fate”, or “destiny”, or what-have-you. But that’s not true. We have far more control than you realize, and it doesn’t take some tremendous, overly-involved religious or spiritual approach to work with.
What does it take?
Choices. Decisions. Awareness.
This crazy/amazing life is only as difficult as we make it
The truth is, if we choose to make this life hard, we do so. We take steps to add layers of complexity to otherwise simple things.
One of my favorite books is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. As the book explains, in alchemy, the Emerald Tablet contains the secret to the universal language of life. But one of the concepts that both the alchemist and the main protagonist of the story are constantly exploring is this: The make-up of the world is simple, but humans like to complicate it.
An Englishman studying alchemy, whom the protagonist encounters and befriends, has numerous books with elaborate, complicated, coded interpretations and extrapolations of the meaning of the Emerald Tablet. When the protagonist and the Englishman reverse their studies for a time, the Englishman gets flustered by the maddening simplicity of the protagonist’s approach to these same things.
What it comes down to is that both are seeking the same answers, but taking very different paths to getting there.
When we look at how life is crazy/amazing, we tend to get ourselves into complex, nuanced, convoluted theorems and ideas for finding answers.
What answers? The answers to the questions EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US asks.
To be more specific, these questions include:
· Why am I here?
· What is my purpose?
· Who am I?
And others. Some people loudly ask these questions, some only do so subconsciously. But I am pretty sure nearly everyone looks for this along the way.
In truth, the answers are generally easier than we accept them to be. Why? Because as we have evolved, we have accepted less and less simple notions for complex ideas.
Mindfulness provides answers
Most human societies tend to live in a linear manner. But Einstein and others have told us that reality and time are illusions of our own perception. The notions of past, present, and future, are driven by the way in which we have chosen to make our cultures function.
When human beings were hunter-gatherers, long, long ago, they lived in the present. As far as we can tell, they didn’t get caught up in the past or anxieties for the future. They lived in the moment, moving along to follow the game and vegetation that could sustain them.
When we shifted to agriculture and more sedentary societies, we began to reject the simplicities we knew before. I think when we didn’t need the instinct to run from predators and find shelter from the weather, because we already had it, how we did our thinking shifted.
The animals of this world have instincts. This is why birds fly south for the winter, bears hibernate, and various animals react to earthquakes and other natural disasters before humans know they are approaching.
We also have instincts. Humans are animals of this planet. However, because of the cognitive capabilities of our brains, as we grow and develop we tend to reject our instincts.
Further, we tend to allow our lives to be dictated by expectations, abstract notions, and the power of outside influences. I have no doubt that for many, this is perfectly fine. If you are content in going with the flow and taking what is handed to you, more power to you.
The crazy/amazing life can be how you desire it to be
If, however, like me you desire more than this for your existence, you are seeking to get back to that mindfulness. Why? Because it is in the simplicity of mindfulness and being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and actions, that we can find answers to the questions.
Letting others tell us what’s what feels easy. And it is for this reason, I think, people turn to religion, demagogues, spiritual and self-help gurus, and so forth. We live in an instant-gratification focused society, and as such we get caught up in seeking quick-fixes and easy ways.
But in order to do anything to directly change our own lives, we have to be mindful. Specifically, we need to be mindful of our thoughts, feelings and actions. Since these are pretty much the only things we can well-and-truly control, being mindful of them is imperative to choosing how to live this crazy/amazing life.
Being aware puts the onus on ourselves for finding the answers. That can seem intimidating. But I believe that it is the only true place where the real answers lie.
The only person who knows you is you. Others know what you let them see, but nobody but you is inside your head and your heart. When you get to know this, and become more accepting of it, practicing mindfulness gives you all the context you need.
Further, it’s important to recognize that there is no one answer to any of the big questions. We are constantly changing and evolving. As such, the answers to all the questions also constantly change and evolve.
That’s the craziest aspect of life. However, it’s also the most amazing aspect. Why? Because it means you are never stuck anywhere, save where you put yourself.
Choose your own adventure
Despite what we are often told, we are capable of choosing our own “adventure.” Life can be both crazy and amazing, but when we work on being mindful of who we are, what we are thinking, how and what we are feeling, and the actions we intentionally take, we can consciously create reality.
This illusion is yours to live, the story is yours to tell. If you accept the limitations as they are given to you, then that is going to be your reality. But if you can see just how much you are really capable of, and how broad and amazing and crazy life can be, you can do more to experience it as fully as possible.
Breathe. Be present in the now. Learn from and release the past, don’t worry so much about the future, and relish in all the amazing opportunities you have. I know this can be really hard, and super difficult for us all, but it is not impossible. When we are more mindful, we can experience this better for ourselves.
You are amazing. Be mindful of that, and see what you can do to make now amazing, too.