Day four of the ThinkKit blogging prompts is all about advice. There is advice everywhere; some good and some not so relevant. I hesitate to say that advice is bad, because while it might not be good for my situation it could be the most important piece of advice for someone else.
This year with so much change occurring on the horizon of my life, I have been overwhelmed with advice, most unsolicited. Much of it has been good and others common sense to me. I have also gotten a ton of writing advice some of which I think “gosh why didn’t I think of that” and others to be dismissed with yesterday’s potato peels.
A couple pieces of advice stick out in my mind for the year. I came across them during my search for balance and happiness. Two aspects that my life desperately needs and I have to constantly keep up on. I strive to live a balanced life and be at peace with myself and my surroundings.
The first piece of advice was surprisingly from a fortune cookie. i saved the fortune a year or so ago, but it really rang true to me this year. “What is temporary has to be temporary. Don’t let it last longer than a year.” I have a habit of dwelling on things I can’t control and forgetting things are temporary OR the opposite, I treat things as they are temporary when they aren’t. This is a good reminder to me to live in the moment and not to dwell on the past or the future too long.
The second big piece of advice was the January 4th mediation from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. The instruction was simple:
Meditate on some threshold you are having trouble crossing in your life. It might be at work, at home, in a relationship, or the doorway to greater peace.
Breath steadily and look to yourself to see if you are carrying too much to open the door.
Breath slowly and with each out-breath put the things you are carrying down.
Breathe freely now and open the door.
The following is my meditation journal entry from that day.
I laid on the loveseat with my eyes gently closed and focused my thoughts inward thinking about a particular issue I was having difficulty overcoming. The first thought into my head was my writing, though not a pressing issue it was a nagging one. I had felt a bit of a creative block for a couple weeks, the inability to focus and create. I was frustrated by the lack of progress, thus making progress harder to achieve.
I imaged myself at the threshold of my creative mind. I took a third person / out of body scan of what I was “carrying”. I was weighed down. As I was breathing slowly and relaxed, I named all the burdens I was attempting to carry along with me. I realized I was carrying silly notion as if the were treasures, but in reality they were merely weights to keep me grounded into this life hoping to shatter my dreams for a different one. The first burden I sad down was “writing is a waste of time”. This worthless thinking is just a bad defense mechanism against the next burden “What if I am not good enough?” followed by “what if no one likes my work?” One by one I placed my fear (burdens) down outside the theoretical doorway. I only picked up one to carry with me into the door of my creative mind….“What if I succeed?”
This particular mediation I like to revisit often. There are always so many burdens that hold us back, if we let them. It’s nice to periodically to take stock of what we are carrying that is blocking our entry into self-development. I have found many of the passages of this book to be rewarding and wonderful advice. I recommend it to anyone looking for further meaning into their own life.
Nearly everyday I see a quote, a ray of sunshine, an odd flower still blooming even though it below freezing and in each one of those things is a lesson to be learned. The best advice for me is to take off the blinders, leave my fears behind, and see the world around me so I can love life in all its imperfections.