Incandescence

So, today is going very well. After a long while of buckling down and doing some hard reading, I managed to get all my homework done for today, tomorrow, and Wednesday! That’s right – I am two days ahead in my homework!

I’m very lucky to have a good schedule this semester, especially one that allows me to work ahead in my homework and maintain a good balance of work and life. Counting my blessings about this has inspired me to take a break and post a little about fortune and happiness.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve found myself in a position where I can finally, in all facets of my life, reach out and take hold of certain hobbies, goals, and ambitions. Yesterday, I walked a labyrinth for the first time in my life, and while I was walking there came to me the following idea: such incredible opportunity must always be paired with a reflective, generous sense of happiness. Ambition is nothing without self-reflection, and success is nothing if not shared.

Upon this realization, I wrote my gratitude on a little slip of paper and left it near the candles and bowl at the center of the labyrinth. Filled with positivity towards my future, I practically danced out of the labyrinth, so excited to continue forwards!

Later that night, Chris and I went for a late-night walk around our neighborhood. Going for walks together is a great way for the two of us to wind down, compare notes on our day, and spend some time connecting with ourselves and with our future. While we walked, I shared a little more of my experience. Primarily I expressed that although it’s fantastic to have found some direction, the happiness and positivity that I currently feel is what makes that direction so special to me.

Allow me to go into it a little more.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, there a number of little things I want to reach out and work towards. Some are superficial, and some are simple; others, however, are rather personal. Improving my body through diet and exercise is one of them.

But in addition to this, I am also working to nourish my mind through challenging research and academia. Opening up new books and exploring new topics is like setting a bowl of fresh salad in front of my mind; it’s as delicious as a crunch of carrot and as delectable as a strawberry!

I’m also dedicating myself to interfaith activism and planning my career – most notably, planning Multifaith Alliance’s inaugural service project, organizing networking opportunities when I return from Ireland, and scheming towards graduation and graduate school (maybe at the University of Chicago)! All of these strengthen my mind as well, and keep me focused and active and inspired.

But the body and the mind isn’t everything. There’s also one’s heart, and I’m proud to say that I’m nurturing mine. I’m finally learning to let go of the past, and to dedicate myself to my current love, family, and friendships. I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by the people I am with, and it’s high time I let go of regret, fear, and anxiety in favor of simply enjoying the ride. For too much of my life, I’ve kept resentment and hurt stewing way down inside, and that degree of discontent always had the capacity to mar my optimism. My heart is finally letting those go, in favor of unbridled happiness!

Quitting Facebook in favor of Twitter and this blog is actually part of that. Reducing my communicative quantity in favor of quality goes a long way towards letting go of pettiness and focusing on productive positivity. Striking a good balance between work and life is part of it, too. Being gifted with such a nice schedule is allowing me to explore new projects and hobbies with a full heart and passion.

Last but not least, my spirituality has also found some momentum. I am typically the sort of person who wants to convert to everything, but since establishing my relationship with God and developing my Judeo-Christian affinity, I have begun to be able to discern. Being able to discern and discriminate between options tells me that I’ve finally found something I can stick with, something that matters, something that won’t get brushed aside by the next simple fancy. My Buddhism class is starting to provide that shove, but I am overjoyed to find that my spirituality is standing its ground, and instead of bowing to some new thrill it is growing ever broadened and stronger.

So, I guess what I want to express is this: Finding myself in a place where I can reach forward with intention and passion must be – and thankfully is! – coupled with a reflective, generous joy. This is true across all my endeavors of the body, mind, heart, and spirit, which is why I am so happy and can’t wait to approach my future.

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