Madeleine Peyroux-Half the Perfect WorldMy lovely friend Isa has been back in town for the past couple weeks and as soon as she was here it seems she has gone again. Back off on her free spirited adventures. As always, she seems to inspire me whenever I am around her. She inspires me to listen to my inner being.
I have told her that I don't even know if I have a soul, she insists that I do. She said it is something personal to each person and that it cannot be defined. That it is a feeling. I guess I have been rather out of touch with this " inner me". She advised me to really start working on mindfulness and being in the present moment. She was passionately emphasizing to me how beautiful the world can be when you forget everything else, the past, the future and just focus on the present. After all, the present becomes the past and determines the future. As she was speaking to me it hit me how true her words were. This resonated with me. It is still up for debate on whether I have a soul, but I feel that if I start focusing on the present and listen to my senses as much as a listen to my mind, that I might start to discover new aspects about myself which I did not know existed.
I find my mind constantly in other places. Thinking about embarrassing moments or sad moments or happy moments, but always in the past or the future. I then freak out about this life we have here on earth and how short and fragile it seems to be. But the one thing that we are in control of it staying in the present and experiencing what it right in front of us. How many opportunities and experiences have I missed out on because my mind was somewhere else. I need to open up my heart to experiencing the now. This, my friends is easier said than done.
Right now I am trying to track my patterns of thinking and am just trying to notice when my mind begins to wander, and then try and bring it back to the present. This is going to take a lot of practice and is not something that I expect to grasp anytime soon. Especially for someone like myself who is constantly somewhere else in my mind but the present.
As I was driving home last night in my car after my talk with Isa, I really focused on being in the present. I watched the trees pass as I drove down the highway, the moon shining above and I just soaked in all that was there for me to experience. I got the biggest smile on my face, to the point where I almost started laughing. If driving could bring me such joy by being in the present, then imagine the joys and experiences that could come my way by consciously being present in my own life! Like I said, this is a major work in progress.
I am so trained to feel the necessity for distractions in my life. I can't eat a meal without turning on the t.v. or surfing the internet. I am constantly distracting myself from the present and it is going to take a while to deprogram myself, but it is something that I know is worth investing my time in. I have been doing some reading, taking advice from such literary masterpieces as "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism." I have also started reading "Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life" by world renown zen master Thich Nhat Hahn and am going to go pick up "Enso: Zen circles of Enlightenment" by Audrey Yoshiko Seo from the library on my lunch break today.
The Enso is the Japanese calligraphy symbol for staying in the present. In Zen Buddhist painting, the enso symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create. That is my ultimate goal and this little symbol will be my reminder of the never ending journey of mine to be in the present and to experience what the world has to show me.
I by no means plan on becoming Buddhist, or Zen or putting a title on this journey of mine. I think that, as much as that can work for so many people, it does not really work for me. I am a person who likes to have a title for things. I used to feel the need to have a title for my beliefs but I have realized that this has ultimately turned me away from investigating my beliefs further. So, this is me, embracing the now, embracing beauty in everything around me, experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly, but either way, fully experiencing it.
I will keep you all filled in on this journey of mine as I read more, develop my own opinions and experience new things on this journey of mine. If you have made it to this point in the text, I applaud you. Take a breather, stretch out a but. I realize this is a lot longer than my normal posts, but I want to be authentic with my blog. As much as I like posting inspirational photos and quotes; life isn't all pretty pictures and words....