Ready set riff go
Here’s a short personal update: I’m free. Yesterday was my last day at the job I’m not passionate about. It feels like school let out for the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to contribute to an impactful company. I’m just very ready to move on and live out my dream. I finished the Matrix trilogy last night, watched the last 20 minutes of Revolutions while I iced down my shoulder. Those movies are incredibly entertaining and thought provoking. Neo’s decision to let himself get consumed by Smith wins a peace between humanity and the machines. Humanity was freed because one man let go of his fear, the force that made him keep fighting. Look how far he went after he unplugged from the Matrix. I’m running on little sleep right now, my last week at work was ridiculous, but after a good night’s sleep, my first night ‘unplugged’, I am ready to take on the world fearlessly. With love, actually.
I’ve made reading at least 15 minutes of self-development a day a major focus of my life right now. I have a couple different books going and a bunch more on my list that I want to read. Some titles that are on the shortlist for up next are: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Talent Code, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, The Wisdom of Your Subconscious Mind, and The Master Key System.
On a side note, I was thinking about what my coaches would say about me if they were contacted by some of these Australian clubs. One club contact I’ve been in touch with in Melbourne said he’d reach out to them so it sparked my wondering. Would they have praise for me? I’d like to think so. One theme that came across my mind was that they would say I handle adversity well. I persevere and stick with something even in the hardest of times. Examples of this include my horrible sophomore season, injuries, and not getting voted a captain. That made me wonder. Do I bring this adversity onto myself? Am I attached to the idea that a real champion has to overcome massive adversity and that causes things to be more difficult for me than they really should be? Do I believe I must overcome everything just to achieve my dream? Maybe I’ll go into this in more depth in a future post. Just food for the brain thoughts. Back to my riff.
I was in Chicago the other weekend and made it up to the Bahá’í temple. A buddy of mine, who is now living his dream in Peru, told me about it a couple of years ago and mentioned how I’d really enjoy the place. Everything he told me was spot on. It was magical! I was reading about the Bahá’í faith a bit while I was there and I can get on board with almost all of it. One thing I have trouble accepting is how everyone is equal in their eyes. Depending on what the Bahá’í mean by that, I could agree with it. I’ve read a lot about the differences between masculine and feminine energy recently and I believe the interaction between them is a lot like electricity, with negative and positive charges. Negative and positive are different. I sat down to read in the gardens around the temple and to my surprise, the passage that I needed most right then comes to me in Thich Nhat Hanh’s, The Heart of Understanding. I read the chapter entitled, Roses and Garbage, and it speaks to exactly what my disagreement with the equality was all about. On the surface, on the level of forms, a rose and garbage are different, distinct entities. When we look deeper though, we see that the rose will turn into the garbage given some time and the garbage could turn into soil that turns into a rose with time. Everything in the world of forms has this connection. So even if I think I’m so different from a girl with our energies, we are still part of the same source, we are inter-related. More serendipity. I was at peace.
A passage in The Story of Buddhism, by Donald Lopez, talks about how nails, hair, and teeth are disgusting when removed from the body. Apparently, “Buddhist texts are replete with descriptions designed to generate a sense of revulsion toward the world,” (46) so that we become less attached to our impermanent reality. However, I thought about how this is a metaphor to show that when we get disconnected from the source of life, we rot. Our mind, our body, and our world. The more we are in touch with the divine spirit, the all-powerful life force, God, whatever you want to call it, the more beautiful and vibrant we appear. In our heart of hearts, we know this when we see it. A nail on a human being is beautiful because it is in touch with the system directly. A nail on the ground must become dust and then combined with other materials to get turned into something “beautiful” again. It is farther away from the source of life, though not completely separate. I think this is a sobering and heartening realization. No matter how unhealthy you are, how down, how depressed, you can still get in touch with the source and rejuvenate yourself. It also means you must take responsibility if parts of yourself seem rotten. You must regain your sense of being. That miracle. Appreciate it. Breath!
Though reading is generally a good thing, we must always take a step back and determine if other action could be more valuable for us. One of my biggest frustrations right now is how it seems like I’m addicted to acquiring more knowledge, but I don’t want to apply it. One example is how this fascinating book I’m reading, The Magic of Rapport by Jerry Richardson, has so many useful techniques in it to help people connect with others. I crave reading about the techniques, though actually using them in my own life constantly evades me. I want to act upon the strategies I learn, not just let them sit in my head. My next post will be about a few of the techniques discussed in The Magic of Rapport and my plan to start practicing them in my own life. Enough is enough. Take action to internalize new skills and thought patterns. Let’s go!