Nobody has one single path they will take in their lifetime.
You will choose more than one path along the way. This occurs for multiple reasons.
At different times in your life, you’ll desire different things. What you desire as a child is likely not what you desire as a teen. The things you desire change as you grow and change.
When I started college, I wanted to work in professional theatre. Most of all, what I desired to do was direct and produce. But as I looked more closely at what living the theatre life involved, the desire faded.
Also, during college, I wanted to work in professional radio. I loved being a DJ on the college stations. Additionally, I handled production management and created PSAs and other recordings that went out all day. The college station was so popular in town that I developed minor celebrity status of a sort.
But when I couldn’t land a steady radio job in a low market in Upstate New York, I lacked the drive to go farther out into the boonies for work, too. This desire also faded.
In my 20s and into my mid-30s, I desired very much to be a father. However, I had some pretty massive commitment issues, and couldn’t get comfortable enough to sustain a relationship where that might be the intended result. When I finally got into a real, honest, steady relationship in my late-30’s, the desire to be a father had passed.
Three paths once desired, all abandoned. But that’s how life unfolds.
But not all paths fade.
This has been a lifelong pursuit
When I was nine-years-old I hand-wrote and illustrated a 50-page sci-fi novel called Wildfire. I put my heart and soul into this work, and even tried to get it published. But that was a pipedream, and it wasn’t all that great as books go.
(Also, I really do think a child psychologist may have had a field day with me and my psyche. Given that in my story the kids rebel and end up killing all the adults, one has to wonder, right?)
At 13, I typed my first 36-page single-spaced sci-fi book. The Secret Computer World was a Tron rip-off, admittedly (it WAS 1984, and yes, I liked Tron!) Still, it was a work of sci-fi more derivative and original than ripped-off and written wholly for pleasure.
When I was 17, I took a creative writing class in High School. When the teacher gave the standard write-what-you-know speech, I ignored it and wrote a technothriller. (Yes, I was reading Tom Clancy novels like eating potato chips at the time.) But the teacher was so wowed by Secrets Revealed that I won an award for it.
I would write in fits and starts for the next decade or so, largely abandoning this calling for others (theatre, radio, dating, etc.) Then, in 1998 or so, I started writing what would become The Source Chronicles series. This was high fantasy, though easily targeted to Young Adults fourteen and up.
Slowly, it dawned on me that this lifelong pursuit was the path I had desired to take all along. This path has always been before me, and now I was choosing to walk it.
To be fair, I was only beginning to consider it. The notion of Pathwalking and practicing my philosophy was still to come.
This path, that path — why a path?
Humans tend to perceive and measure time linearly. Day to day, year to year, birth to death, etc. Despite what brilliant minds have told us about the truth of time, this is the dominant measure used for it in our society.
As Albert Einstein said,
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”
If you are going to focus on the linear, then the notion of moving from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ comes naturally.
Life, in my experience, comes in three pre-set primary options. They look like this:
- Let life live you. Do the routine. Exist, survive, take what you can get. Minimal effort, minimal return.
- Curl-up in a ball and await death. Complain about everything. See little to no good. Focus on the negative. Pray for an afterlife but ignore life itself in the process.
- Take life for a ride. Make choices and decisions. Look for or create potential and possibility. Act on ideas.
I find that most people choose option 1. And I have made that choice many times, too. But I also find that if you let life live you, you cede control and lessen potential, possibility, and finding and/or creating experiences.
To take life for a ride is a matter of taking control. That ride, like any drive, hike, or flight, is a path you take.
Life is full of paths. Even when you let life live you, you are on a path of one sort or another. If you desire the slightest semblance of control, you choose the path to take.
The Philosophy of Pathwalking is what came of this notion. In summation, this is conscious reality creation borne of mindfulness.
Mindfulness and this path
What is mindfulness? It’s super simple. It is you. More specifically, it’s your mindset/headspace/psyche, underlying psychology and make-up, as well as your beliefs and habits. On the surface, it’s your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions.
Modern society tends to steer you away from being mindful. This is for several reasons, not the least of which is control, power, and consumerism.
Mindful people are harder to manipulate because they are more proactive than reactive. Reactive people buy out of fear, beliefs in lack and scarcity, and how it makes them look to the outside world.
This path — whatever that looks like for you — is a choice for conscious reality creation. It’s employing the third option of taking life for a ride and striving to do, be, and have more. Whatever this path is, for you, is about you — and not being a sheeple manipulated by the mysterious (and not so mysterious) social forces of the world.
To practice mindfulness, you start by being more aware and conscious, right now, of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions. That awareness puts you in touch with the deeper depths of who you are and shows you if a path you are on is one you’ve chosen — or are simply walking out of expectation.
This is available to all — but not for everyone. That’s because there are people perfectly content to let life live them. Also, some people are unwilling to do anything but curl up in a ball and await death. You, and you alone, know what is right and best for yourself.
My path is not your path. But there are abundant, infinite paths available to all. Choosing any to walk is a matter of deciding that you desire to go somewhere in life and have control over what that looks like.
What does this path look like for you?
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, the philosophy of choosing and walking your path, and similar life lessons.
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Originally published at https://titaniumdon.com on December 2, 2020.