I felt like my next adventure awaited me. I may be old, but I have miles to go before I finish. If I am too old for anything, I am too old to hold myself back from my dreams. Enough already. I am a life long learner: body, mind, heart and soul.
Many people, myself included, have pursued happiness and pleasure in places where we know it will not be found. It is tempting to seek the comfort of material things, indulge yourself, pursue your appetites and the satisfactions of the flesh.
Do we really need all this stuff? Why are we eating so much? Why can't we focus on what's happening right now? The symptoms and effects of affluenza are plentiful, but there is good news -- relief is possible, and it can be put into action right away.
The other day, I took my high schooler out for breakfast after all the others were tucked into their respective classrooms. As we sat at the table, I took out a notepad and asked if she was up for a little game called "What I really want is..."
Even couples who have been together for decades don't possess the ability to read each others' minds. There are always (hopefully) going to be surprises in relationships which keeps things from getting too predictable and uninteresting.
I do know that awareness can be taught, it can be learned, it can be discovered, but I'm not sure that it can ever be arrived at. In other words, it's a gradual unpeeling where you never get to the core.
As the monk in the Zen tale shows, if we push away desire, we disconnect from our tenderness and we harden against life. We become like a "rock in winter." When we reject desire, we reject the very source of our love and aliveness.
Sometimes it can feel like dreaming of more than what we've got betrays our current reality. As if to wish for something different means that we're unappreciative of what we have. Dreaming and guilt should never be in the same room together.
The practice is to imagine yourself as an instrument through which the one blows a single, continuous, beautiful note called life. The wisdom of Rumi rings so profoundly simple: Listen to and honor your emotional longings, including those waves of both pleasure and pain.