Happy Thanksgiving, all!
In addition to turkey and football, Thanksgiving is a great time to take some time out from the busyness of the everyday and practice some gratitude. The number one thing that I am grateful for is life itself. It is truly a miracle to exist, to be conscious, and to have the capacity to sit here, thinking and typing. I am thankful for friends and family. I am thankful that my Dad’s back surgery went well yesterday, and I am hopeful that he is up and about soon. While I miss my two grandfathers and my mother, I am thankful that I got to know and learn from such wonderful people. I am thankful that I have a plentiful supply of shelter, food, and clean water. I am thankful that I have work that, as much of a pain in the ass it is at time, allows me to challenge my dominant thinking function and work on topic that interest me. I am thankful that I am able to indulge in fun, and that I am able to get out into nature and travel.
Even for things that might appear “bad” at first glance, I am thankful. To my stress, anxiety, and depression, thank you for ultimately steering me onto a more fulfilling path. Thank you for helping to find something closer to the life tat I was seeking.
I feel that some big changes are coming for my life. Good ones. There are several things that I’ve been mulling over for a while that seemed to have hit a critical mass recently, and I’m looking forward to the new direction that they will take me.
One has to do with my general state of restlessness. After passing down opportunities to move recently, I feel that I have finally settled into Athens for the time being. I love the town and my little place in it. I’m trying to take some steps to establish some friendships here and become more a part of the community.
Another has to do with career path. Although I love outdoor recreation, I think I’ve decided that it is not necessarily a good career path for me. I think that my brain fits perfectly with economics. I want to find a way to be on the front line of adapting economics, which is a continually changing field of study, to better address the problems we’re facing. I am saving up to potentially go back to school a couple of years down the road. in the meantime, I will try and do what is best for me to learn and practice in the areas where I can make a positive difference through my work. More on that in a few weeks.
Another area has to do with all of this spiritual searching transitioning from a data gathering, analysis, and experimentation phase to an implementation phase. I think that I have more or less figured out what type of spirituality works for me. It:
- Exists to flourish as an individual and to contribute to happiness and harmony in the world;
- Is grounded in the natural world;
- Centers on action, not belief;
- Seeks knowledge using logic, reason, and the scientific method;
- Develops wisdom, compassion, and kindness;
- Follows a path of self-actualization guided by Buddhist teachings;
- Finds sanctuary in nature;
- Makes meditation and mindfulness cornerstones of practice; and
- Draws inspiration from the various religious, spiritual, artistic, and philosophical traditions.
So, my spirituality is custom fit to me. If I had to call this path anything in particular, it would be “spiritual naturalist”, a spiritual journey grounded in a naturalistic view of the world. I’ve been thinking about various approaches and experimenting quite a bit the last few years. Something inside has shifted however, and I feel that the next phase is to reduce thinking and start doing, to start living life according to these principles.
I wish all well on their individual paths! I leaves you with a good quote from a new book on meditation that I started this morning:
…true happiness comes from within, which means that we can always find joy, in both good times and bad. Although pain and pleasure are an inevitable part of human life, suffering and happiness and entirely optional. The choice is ours. A fully Awake, fully conscious human being has the love, compassion and energy to make change for the better whenever it’s possible, the equanimity to accept what can’t be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Metta to all,