Happiness and Love

Buddha;s hand and head

When I think about the synthesis of all that’s happened in the past few weeks and all that I’ve done, I realize how easy it is to think superficially about it. It’s reactionary. It’s thrill seeking. It’s crazy. It’s just me pushing myself too hard. It’s me over compensating for some thing I feel I’m not.

How about the idea of just being in the present moment. Being fully present. Not being afraid – even though I was sometime – a healthy fear because if I didn’t have that, I might fall off a cliff. Not hesitating – even though I did hesitate to make the decision to run the marathon until that morning and I felt pretty good, so I went for it. Not thinking about the future – even though I should have because I was definitely in a lot of pain in my shoulder Sunday night after the marathon  – not to mention my legs – trying to sleep…. but isn’t that to be expected? Not thinking about the past – because Sam and I got into a huge blow out fight the week prior unfortunately – yet the reasons for the fight seemed  to have burned off albeit we proceeded with a little trepidation for the first few hours of seeing each other.

I have been accused of being a plan maker. Honestly, after some failures due to plan making in the past, I’ve given it up. It can be difficult for some around me because I’m a little bit fly-by-night really – just living by intuition and following (or subduing) desire. I close my eyes and feel this single fleeting moment – I open my eyes and see clearly all these possibilities – I am … or … I am that, as Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj would say (something to strive for, at least) – I am here, right now in this present moment within and among everything.

As a yogi immersed in the yoga world for so long, I used to roll my eyes at that concept after the 3000th person said it as if it were new … Now, being a little more away from it, I am happy to say I can appreciate it again. There’s been a lot of change and a lot of growth throughout my years – which is the primary reason I write. I write this as a deconstruction of the ‘why’ I do things for myself – and for who ever else finds some comfort or answers in it. It is not a need to explain myself just a synthesis cued by the  words ‘adrenaline junkie’. And, if I am that – I am a slow one.

Some would think that following desire is purely hedonistic, but it’s not. Life this way is far from wallowing in the swells of debauchery. I have found, actually, trust of self and others becomes much stronger and I hone my instinct much more succinctly by allowing myself this freedom. Say, I could sleep with whoever I want … but I don’t. I could drink all day long … but I don’t. I could run off and live in the wilderness … but I don’t … I could do a lot of things, I suppose … but my desire to be a good, thoughtful and reflective person exists and so … I don’t.

All this in the pursuit of happiness and love. Happiness and love: for self, for others, for the earth, for art (inanimate objects), for other living creatures (animate objects), for destruction (whereby there comes growth), for understanding of philosophy.

Anyone who has hunted for happiness and love will probably agree on it’s futility. Yet, still, we either hunt for it, exist in it or have abandoned it.

So, what does this have to do with the fact that I would run a marathon and hike a fairly difficult trail with a broken collarbone? The answer simply is because I can. Matt Fitzgerald sites in his book Brain Training for Runners how when it becomes publicized that an athlete has broken a barrier – the 4 minute mile for example – then suddenly people realize it is possible and the barrier that existed for decades suddenly is broken multiple times within the next few years.

Now, I’m certainly not saying everyone should go run a marathon with broken bones. What I am saying is that it was thought out, it was intuitive and it’s possible to do fairly safely. (It’s especially nice when you have a good friend who brings you ibuprofen at mile 17 on the run.)

Does this make me happy? Yea, kinda. I’m pretty happy I completed the mission at hand, so to speak… even if it was moment by moment decision making. Does it make me feel or give love? Yea, it kinda does. There was a lot of camaraderie on the trail and among marathoners, and, on a level up, there is the care that closer friends give to each other, and the care we take of ourselves. And, isn’t that the definition of love? To care deeply. There was no fighting or bickering over stupid things – there was just admiration, affection, feelings of warmth and closeness.

Maybe it doesn’t always happen this way – maybe I got lucky. It’s okay…. I’ll take it.  I’m not going to lie – it was a lot of work. And it was all worth it. And I don’t mind getting a little luck anytime anyway. Who would?

This time of year especially can be difficult in the pursuit of happiness and love. Seems to be the time of year when everyone questions love and is too stressed to be happy. This is exactly the opposite of how we’re supposed to feel around the winter holidays – but it’s usually inevitable. So this paragraph is a reminder to just focus on what’s really important to you and to let the rest go. Be late. Don’t worry. Smile. Hug. Greet people. Be kind. Slow down. It will all be okay – and hey if you forget something there will always be the next day and the day after that and you trust yourself – you’ll get it done.

Okay  – that’s it for now … work beckons.

With happiness and love,

M

 

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