Everyone’s going home
To the source.
And you’re place in it.
…since rushing sets up a whole multitude of antagonistic vibrations.”
When I slow down, my life-time increases.
With more time, there’s more to experience.
Because with more time, you have more focus, and more presence.
Quote credit: Alan Watts
(40 seconds to read)
Money influences government. But really, it influences almost everything. Because we like money.
Most everyone’s actions are fundamentally driven by it. Moneyed elite? They are elite because we like their money. Not because they’re elite by some inherent power from the money itself. Our reaction to money gives them their power.
It’s never been about us versus them, or them versus us. The class-warfare argument that divides us never seems to go away, because our love for money hasn’t gone away. But it’s never been about money. It’s about how we value money.
It’s always been about us. All of us, as a human society.
Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.
If this is something you care about, then SHARE it.
A friend of mine died recently and it got me thinking about life. Our most precious commodity, how much I waste of it, while pursuing other less satisfying commodities, chasing the next thing, the next girl, the next pair of shoes, the next paycheck, stymied by things that I’ve made into problems in my mind.
But my friend simply lived. Wherever he was, he was present. He listened, he offered help graciously and without expectations or pride. He did not judge, he remained calm in the face of life and soaked it all up, knowing both the good and the bad was part of the experience. And he planted a seed in me to do the same, to pay attention. To be mindful of life. But that seed wasn’t in the right conditions. I didn’t listen, though I heard his silent lesson and saw his example of a life well-lived.
I wasn’t ready, but years later I awoke, and the seed sprouted, and the fruit appeared. But he has disappeared, forever. And I can’t say thank you. I can’t tell him how his little part of my life grew into so much later, and made me a better person. All I can do is spread the uncalculated love he showed me and everyone else in his life.
You will be missed, Patrick. You helped make me who I am today. And if I don’t appreciate my life, if I don’t live it fully, helping, sharing, contributing, then I am not remembering you, and I am not honoring you. But I won’t forget, and I think that is the best way to honor someone. It’s applying their good in your life and forgetting your petty anxieties and appearances and instead, finding your love and then giving it away.
I rebound my efforts to live as you did.
And I don’t know if you can get this message, wherever you are, if you even still exist… but thank you. Thank you from my heart, truly.
As I started my gratitude meditation, my cat came exploring around me. He sniffed my knees, then my hands which lay upon my knees. I watched him, thinking I would need to send him away, but I stopped, and let him climb up into my lap and find a place to settle there. He started purring after a second and I smiled and thought, “This is exactly what the gratitude meditation is about”.
Gratitude means showing some love. And that’s how you get the love.
Let me explain. In my gratitude meditation, I go through all the things we often overlook as we focus on the negatives in our lives. We can’t help it. It’s what drives us to be better people, but also it makes us depressed. It can turn us into unhappy seekers, always looking ahead to a future point, never satisfied, or maybe it can overwhelm us, as we see so much danger around us, that we never bother trying to get what we want.
So the gratitude meditation for me is usually a thanksgiving (without the huge coma-inducing meal to distract me) for what I tangibly have. The roof over my ahead, the dependable car, the job that allows me not to worry about my bills, and so on.
But a large part of gratitude is seeing that there are people in your life that care about you. These could be the unconditional investors in you, like your partner or parents, and maybe an old friend. But it also means the people who you bring value to in their lives. At work, you have an opportunity to be a contribution, not just in completing assignments, but in how you conduct yourself. Do you remember the person who is always on diligent and reliable so you can get your work done easily? What about the person who takes a moment to ask how you’re doing, how your week is going and shows interest in you?
Like a lot of things in life, what we have in hand is less important than the attention we are given and the appreciation we are shown. This morning, my meditation allowed me to not only reach the awareness of what positives things I have in my life that I overlook every day, but also the awareness that I need more than those things. And now I realize that the value we seek from others is something that comes from putting ourselves out there, and providing some value to them, too. A value that could come from a skill you develop, but also just showing interest in them first. Why?
Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves.
Just listen to most any conversation around you. “I’m doing this…I did that…I think that…” So if you find your gratitude waning in the love department, just ask yourself whether the love you think is lacking from others couldn’t be because you’re not putting any out there yourself.
I walked into the grocery and picked up some food for the week. In the self-checkout, the bill rang about $13. I walked out to my 12 year old car. It started up without hesitation. I pulled onto the road and got home in 5 minutes. I made dinner and then settled in to read one of eight books I had borrowed from the public library, one of three branches that are within 5 miles of me. I thought, “I have a lot to be thankful for.” At the end of the evening, after a relaxing time reading, I realized I hadn’t finished my writing for the day and I felt bad.
Recognizing what we have is vital. Gratitude is the foundation of happiness. But what’s just as important is recognizing what we want. Our wants come from the hedonic drive to have more. Not just to have more stuff, but to have more accomplishment. It may be that the accomplishment value lasts longer than the material value, but the cycle of wanting and getting and wanting again continues either way.
The fact is, we’re here for more than a comfortable life, because we will acclimate to whatever standard of living exists in our present day society. What we’re here to do is create something valuable and connect with others who value our creation. Determining what’s valuable is up to each of us. It will lead to our purpose, and then taking action on it. Whether it’s a form of art, or being the best damn office manager ever, we will be happy as we master something.
So realize that our hunger is unstoppable. The trick is, learning how to feed it as our appetite shifts.
When are you at your happiest?