Thoughtful Thursday

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I’ve been reading a lot about friendships and relationships in general. The type of people we allow to affect our lives, our beliefs, and ideas. Who we choose to spend our precious time and energy on. Slowly but surely, we become like those we are around the most. It is up to us to do an honest assessment of whether those we are closest to serve as a “fountain” (positive reinforcers who support our ideals and end goals), or a “drain” (negative reinforcers who want us to stay stagnant to benefit their own complacency and inability to handle the growing pains associated with furthering oneself in life). And that certainly goes both ways; we also need to evaluate what sort of person we are and the impact we have on others by our words, actions, and the ideas we perpetuate. Like anything else in life, it’s about finding balance; allowing ourselves to be a valuable resource to others, and a listening ear when need be…but not so much that it affects us negatively, dampens our desire to be and do more, or dulls our disposition. Life is short and we should never apologize for being picky about how we spend it and who we spend it with.

Immersion

I have been reading a lot lately about the concept of immersion in relation to creative non-fiction writing. You find a subject of interest and then immerse yourself in that culture/trade/way of life, whatever it may be. In memoir style writing, YOU ARE the subject. You are essentially immersing yourself in your own life. Not in a “head in the sand” type of way (unaware of what’s going on in the world surrounding you, or uninterested, caring only for yourself). Rather, in this refreshing, self-enlightened kind of way, albeit incredibly vulnerable at times. You learn what made you, what moves you…tapping into memories, emotions, hesitations, and ambitions that shape you in one way or another.

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When you lose someone close to you suddenly, you begin to think about all of the lingering questions you wish you would have asked them and the stories that were yet to be told. That was, in part, the reason for me to begin writing…the realization that there were many adventures and tales unique to my Father that died with him. Narratives I will never be privy to. I decided I didn’t want the same to be true of myself. And then, as if to cement that way of thinking, I came across the following piece of advice: “Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that – but you are the only you.” – Neil Gaiman.

One definition of immersion is “deep mental involvement”. In a world that’s become obsessed with being “involved” in the lives of others (even those they’ve never met), the idea of developing a deep mental involvement in my own life, an awakened consciousness, is a concept I’ve welcomed with open arms. Something I truly hope sticks with me through the remainder of my life, whether that life includes a future in writing or not. It’s something I want my children to observe and to learn because what this world lacks greatly, is compassion. And I believe compassion cannot be shown without understanding, and understanding can’t be achieved without consciousness and recognition. We understand others when we can relate in some way, either with feelings or experiences, aspects of ourselves that we must learn to be in tune with if we wish to tap into them for the better good.

To write about something, actually, to write WELL about something, one must have a level of interest that mirrors passion. I have, through this process, become ┬áincreasingly passionate about my life…how, where, and with whom I spend it, and most importantly, how I view it. As my immersion deepens, I have found the following state of being to be less and less elusive:

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And that is what I wish for anyone that is reading this. Now, and for the coming New Year.

 

Thoughtful Thursday

My quote or “thought” for today comes from Allan Lokos, author of one of the most insightful books I’ve ever read: “Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living”.

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(From the book Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living)

Being honest with ourselves and about ourselves is crucial in our quest to become the best version of “us” that we can be. It may not be easy to address our own faults, but the end result of self awareness, self restraint, and the practice of healthier habits (whether it’s our reaction to trying situations, our dealings with others, or even our dealings with ourselves), is a beautiful one. I truly believe in never becoming complacent with who we are. Rather, always striving to become a more well rounded, compassionate, contributing member of society.

I hope everyone is having a positive week!