To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. ~Oscar Wilde
I live in questions. It helps me thrive. Being open-minded (and open-hearted) is incompatible with anxiety and depression. Instead of seeking concrete answers, I aim to dwell in the questions, look deeply at details, and remember that the answers are always unfolding and evolving with time.
This morning, this question came: How do I want to spend the rest of my life?
It’s a question you could ask yourself every day.
The phrasing of the question strikes me. It’s not asking where, nor “what I want to do” with the rest of my precious existence in this particular incarnation. It’s asking how.
Maybe it’s an obvious question, but because I’ve been so focused on the where and what rather than the how, this question feels rather revolutionary.
So, I’ve been pondering and responding to it in various journals all day long. Mostly prose, some doodling. And, a poem:
How do I want to spend the rest of my life?
Living in questions
Gazing at violet sunsets
Cherishing the moment
Learning precious lessons
Practicing nonstop mindfulness
Breathing with equanimity
I know I’m moving in June, because I have decided to move in June, but I don’t know where. I’ve been in a state of major fertile confusion regarding my future. I signed up for an international teaching job fair in San Francisco in mid-February, but I am more intrigued by the possibility of moving to nearby Lake Atitlán than by the idea of starting over in a totally new foreign city where I know no one and don’t speak the language.
Fear is holding me back from “taking the dive,” as it were. Having acknowledged that, I will sit with and experience the fear rather than hide from it. Is it fear of being poor? As a school teacher in Asia, I could put away up to $20K per year in the bank; as a school teacher in a Guatemalan pueblo, I’d make just enough money to cover my living expenses. But there’s always the variable yoga teaching income to consider. With regard to my still somewhat blurry vision for expanding Yoga Freedom, which would be SO IDEAL to do at the lake, is it fear of failure? Or of success?
This gem from Free Will Astrology landed in my inbox this afternoon and made me feel better.
Let me remind you who you really are: You’re an immortal freedom fighter who longs to liberate all sentient creatures from their suffering. You’re a fun-loving messiah who devoutly wants to help all of your fellow messiahs claim the ecstatic awareness that is their birthright.
Yeah! I am!
How do I want to spend the rest of my life? Writing, teaching, healing, traveling, serving, loving, expanding. Moving as gracefully as possible from moment to moment. As for the specifics, I’ll figure those out in due time, I trust.
I also stumbled upon this wisdom on “The Optimism of Uncertainty” by Howard Zinn:
“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world . . . An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.”
How do you want to spend the rest of your life?