Music is all we got.Read More
Looking back on 2016 as I take those first few steps into the new year.Read More
Have feelings of anxiety and depression after Tuesday's election? Your feelings are valid and you are not alone.Read More
"Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine."Read More
With Summer transitioning into Fall, I've started listening to different music as well.Read More
Together we can reduce the suicide rate 20% by the year 2020. Learn how.Read More
Last night, I watched Car Seat Headrest play The Ready Room in The Grove. It reminded me why I enjoy live music so much, as well as music in general.Read More
Things are movin' and a shakin' at LCS.Read More
It's never easy, letting go of who you used to be.Read More
I spent five days surrounded by mountains; I want to go back.Read More
Some thoughts on mental health and my new volunteer position at Life Crisis Services.Read More
Having a positive attitude is valuable but only when it doesn't limit us.Read More
Planning my first trip out to Colorado.Read More
My thoughts and reflections regarding Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of the most important books of the decade.Read More
Something I've been saying to myself lately is, "Don't let your ambition get in the way of your happiness." Meaning: stop looking so far forward that it robs you of today's satisfaction.
It's easy to do. In fact, we have a term for it: "the hedonic treadmill." We're constantly looking ahead to what might make us happier, our expectations always on the rise...
"If I had this job, I'd be happier."
"If I made this salary, I'd be happier."
"If I had this kind of relationship, I'd be happier."
...and yet the harsh truth is, this sort of happiness will always be fleeting.
Most of the things that we think will make us happy would only do so for a brief time. Some, once we actually got them, might not make us happy at all. Because so much of our life's satisfaction comes not from these accomplishments but is an internal state.
So how do we develop this internal state? Certainly there is no easy solution - at least not one that I've found - but a lot of it comes down to finding meaning (or purpose) in your life. Existential psychiatrist Viktor Frankl said that what drives us, as a species, is a "will to meaning;" a desire to feel that our lives matter. With that desire in mind, he reminded his readers (in his seminal work, Man's Search for Meaning) that "happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue." That we can only find happiness and meaning in our lives when we live true to our own hearts, forgetting the so-called "pursuit of happiness" altogether.
That has been where I've been putting my energy, as of late. Instead of thinking "What will make me happier?", I have been trying to live my life in a way that feels truer to my values. By living a life that is more authentic to who I want to be, it invites satisfaction in, even when the road gets tough, because I know it is the right road for me. That even if life is hard, it is meaningful because it is the life I have chosen for myself.
Dr. Frankl said, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way." Certainly we do not have control over every facet of our lives, nor should we seek it, but in many ways we will always have choice; if not in what life gives us, in how we respond. And that is what I would encourage anyone to do: understand what your values are and live by them as closely as you can. Whatever comes up in your life, you can ask yourself, "Have I lived by my values?" If you have, then that's all the success you need. Then, no matter whether the outcome is good or bad, you will find solace in your choices. If good things come to you, you will feel you've earned them; when bad things come your way, you will at least know you've been true to yourself. Because that is all you can do: live by the truth of your own heart and have faith that, in the process, happiness will ensue.
Got my ticket to the StrangeHouse Workshop social media event!
March 11th cannot come soon enough!
I've been keeping myself pretty busy, lately. Not only with work but trying to get out and engage with new people and activities.
This weekend, I visited a Zen meditation center for the first time. I'd been talking about it for awhile but had never followed through, largely because of anxiety. When you're going into a situation like that - totally green, a true outsider, all by yourself - it can be intimidating; but I tried to go in with an open mind, letting go of any preconceived ideas I might have had about what to expect. In the end, I had a really great time. It was super nice to have the chance to sit in meditation with others and to be in communion with like-minded individuals.
I've also been trying to get outside more - which is a form of meditation and communion all its own. Certainly we've had plenty of excellent weather lately, which had been so fantastic and rewarding, but sometimes, even when it's a bit cold, I've still been trying to just get myself out there and get moving. Last weekend, I went for a hike with Zach and Claude - which was really nice - but even just taking walks around my neighborhood has been a great way for me to relax, lately.
Overall, I'm working really hard to develop greater balance and acuity in my life; to carve out deeper and richer spaces in my life for personal growth as well as communion with other people.
For the last year or so, I had been pointing my domain at my Tumblr page. The previous iterations of my website were tedious enough to update that the site would often fall behind, leaving it this out-of-date and broken space; worse than if I'd had no space at all. So I pointed my domain to a Tumblr and kept things easy.
Now, I want more. I want to have a personal platform, once again, that represents me in a deeper way than a Tumblr can provide. I want something more robust. That's why I've built this website: so I can showcase the things in my life that I'm proud of. Right now, it's a very basic beginning but I hope to expand and develop it over time, as my life continues to grow, and expand, and develop.