"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How Do You Live Your Life?

In my meditation class we were discussing Right Livelihood. I have to be honest, I thought I was going to get a freebie on this one. I thought this was all about how do you earn your money and is it ethical. Well, I was in the clear, I don’t work outside the home and my husband is one of the most ethical people I have ever met. Cool! Of course not only was that not the case, it is probably one of the more important subjects for me and where I have a lot of work to do.

It really comes down to how do you live your life. How is your time spent? Where is your mind when you are doing….well, anything? Are you using things as an escape to get away from your life? How are you using the very limited precious moments of life each one of us has? Le sigh, lots of work have I.

I think those answers will be different for everyone  I think the distractions and hindrances will be different. It all depends on your motivation.  There is not a hard fast list of rules for anyone and everyone to follow. You know it won’t be that easy.

I have spent a great deal of time really thinking about this subject. What is going on with me and my life? Am I wasting my time? How can I do better?

I know first and foremost the internet, especially Facebook, is a mind -numbing time suck for me. Surprised? No, I am not either. However, I really don’t want to leave either. As far as the computer, it would be very hard to do without it.  Our home school groups, banking, bills, weather, heck since we only do Netflix even our TV needs the computer. Truthfully, I don’t want to leave Facebook. I may be deluding myself but Facebook has given me the means to encourage and connect with some amazing people. These people simply would not be available without it. I honestly believe I have the self discipline to conquer this problem.

There are other distractions for me. Re-reading fluffy books, puttering and doing not much of anything, some mindless tv watching. Let me be clear, I do not think anyone of these things are bad or objectionable in or of themselves, not at all. But if I am using them to escape life, different than relaxing, then they are a problem.

These things may not seem to be a big deal but to me they are. If they lure me away from living a mindful, loving, intentional life then they are a hindrance. My goal is to strive to reach a very high bar I have set for myself. Will I ever reach perfectly? No, but that is okay. It is the effort and journey that matter. They are the true gain.

Ultimately, I am looking to live a life of peace, true kindness, and focus. Now I am aware of the obstacles I can look at the positive things I can do to achieve this life. Meditation and a daily yoga practice are strong factors in this equation. In a very short time, it has become clear my life is far more balanced and I have a greater beginning peace each day with these practices present. They are very important to me.

Nature is also a huge factor for me. The children and I have been hiking a lot. At least once a week and some weeks even more. The moment I step out onto a trail peace and tranquility surround me just as much as the woods. I find my focus clearing and sharpening almost immediately. The transformation is so quick and so strong it almost takes my breath away.

My environment is very important to me. My true nature is empathic. I feel the emotions present around me deeply and fully. Yes, I can raise defenses and keep out those emotions but that effort takes a great deal of energy. I find it so draining. Therefore I have decided for now to avoid situations and conversations filled with anger, unkindness, complaining, and divisive energy. You do not need to tell me how ironic my timing is and how alone I may be considering the hotly contested Presidential election looming! But so be it.

There are so many people I truly love and care for but I just don’t have the energy for their anger and pain right now. I think that is okay. I really do. Perhaps one day I can be help to them but I know I won’t be helpful at all if I don’t get my own house together proverbial speaking. Draining myself completely would just serve to cheat my immediate family and myself of my love, care, and energy. That is not an acceptable sacrifice at this time.

So here I am pondering how do I live my life. I truly want to live each moment as fully and intentionally as possible. Since perfection isn't going to happen, then I would like to live as many moments as I can in a mindfully loving manner. I realize this is my story, my legacy I am creating here. This is the life my children and perhaps others will someday look back on as an example. What kind of example, well that is up to me.

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