It is so easy to give up. It is so easy to lose momentum. It is difficult to reflect on failures that we have experienced and face our weakness. It is even more difficult to pick up the pieces and try again in our humiliating defeat. But when you lose the passions and emotions that often times render us paralyzed in place, whats left is a blank canvas. Yesterday is a memory and tomorrow is a vision. Today is an opportunity to transform the blank canvas into a painting. But it’s best to remember, baby steps.
I see the momentum which I started this blog with and then I gave up. I’m not entirely sure what drove me to come back here and begin writing again but here I am and the why doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The important part is the effort, the work, the gradual steps toward building something that compels you to express yourself. We are given a finite amount of days in this life and time seems to be of the essence but we also seem to forget that. Sometimes thats a good thing.
The Zen tradition has a saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water”. Upon meditating on the meaning of this saying, I came realize that the importance of work matters not for success but for the process. We may not understand the mechanics of what is going on within us when we are performing tasks, duties and practices but something unfolds in our minds, bodies and behaviors when we put forth effort. In the Hermetic tradition, there is a saying, “As above so below, as within so without”. Bearing that in mind, not only is something unfolding within us but something unfolds outside of us as well.
While we lose momentum and progress in our undertakings, the ability to rebound is strong in human nature. “Where there is a will, there is a way”, they say. However, the big question we never seem to ask ourselves is, what is our will? What do we want our life to unfold into? Sometimes it seems like the world determines that for us but maybe if we take the time to slow down and really contemplate what it is we want to be doing here with our precious little time we are gifted, we can take charge of the chaotic spin we all get caught up in.
The chaos is daunting when you take a breath and try to ground yourself from the spin and see a disheveled home and life with no rhyme or reason to the things you were doing in the unconscious whirlwind.
This is my current experience. Trying to undo unconscious conditioning and programming that was done to me (or that I allowed to happen), like mindlessly scrolling on social media, snacking when I’m not hungry, getting caught in my head analyzing the past obsessively or fearing the future, or daydreaming distractions not serving my needs; it is a hard job to take on. But when I made the decision to take control over my life, these are the types of things I began dealing with. I can’t control the world around me but I can control my mind and being in it. This is a commitment I make day in and day out until I program myself not by the world, but by my own intentions.
The daily routines I was keeping needed looking over. I added meditating and breathing practice to combat anxiety and looming sense of fear of the future. Adding a piano practice instilled a sense of peace and served as a means to grieve a loved one lost too early who always encouraged me to get back to my roots of piano lessons as a kid. Writing my practices down in an organized and trackable way and designing a master plan, also grounded me in making definite moves in the direction I want to work toward.
When the explosion of destruction appears in your sights, whether its political doom, societal conflict, economic hardship; the best thing to do is keep your eyes on what you can control. If you try every day, effort and energy is put forth into bringing what is within you into the external world and there is an opportunity for that to manifest. If we look at the impending doom, it puts energy toward that reality. What force leans each person into either direction is a mystery but maybe some of it depends on our own inner will, persistence and commitment.