Free Advice from Dad
Look, here’s the thing: The entire vibration of the world is shifting – all the time. There is no permanence in life. The pendulum swings – that’s what it does. Control is an illusion. So, choose carefully. Choose compassion. Choose generosity. Choose right now. Choose helping others. Choose less stuff. Choose a nimble life with less impact. Choose love. Choose showing up. Choose living today, all day, as best you can with whatever you’ve got. Hug your kids, kiss your lover, walk the dog, clean up a bit, laugh, smile, create, dance, get some rest, and get up tomorrow and do it all over again. That’s the whole show.
Inevitably, someone or some thing will come along and distract you from what matters most. Take a moment to engage, look for resonance, and see if those distractions support who you want to be and what you want to do before you’re dead and gone. If they do, great. Invest a little, nurture whatever inspires you to be your best you. If those thing don’t resonate with your highest self, it’s okay. Move on down the road, doing what you do best – you.
When you feel like you haven’t figured it all out; when you feel your life isn’t as good as someone else’s; when you feel stuck, lost, confused, broken, or imperfect – welcome to the human experience. How you feel – that, right there. That’s life pushing you out of your comfort zone, probing you to evolve. That’s life’s job. So engage with it. Play with it. That’s why you’re here. Feel everything you feel as authentically as you can, without reading too much into whether or not it’s good or bad. Just let it be, and then move on.
From time to time, there will be obstacles, challenges, headaches, and undeniable unfairness. See those things for what they are: opportunities to experience gratitude, fortitude, humility, and ingenuity. Put yourself and the stories you make up about your experience into context with the bigger picture. While you’re wallowing in self-pity, don’t forget, you’re a miracle of nature, made entirely of energy and stardust. Remember this: Someday (in the not too distant future) you’ll be pushing up daisies. And that’s all part of the plan. That’s what’s supposed to happen. This is not a fight against time or death. Life is not a race to survive, it’s a quest to see how we can contribute before we’re gone. And even then, we simply move on down the road.
Put into perspective what you’ve got relative to those fighting to survive the day. Use your life as a platform, a megaphone, a quiet crusade on behalf of those with no voice, no choice, no hope. Become the mechanism for making life better, not just noisier. Learn to differentiate the difference between substance and excess. Distinguish between culture and clutter. See. Listen. Grow. Approach the world with the same curiosity and innocence you had when you were a child – not yet jaded by cable television, an endless boulevard of strip malls, and over-the-counter pacifiers.
When you see injustice, stand up. When you see opportunity, step up. When you see fear, speak up. When you see complacency, buck up. When you see need, put up. The proverbial sidelines are a place we go to rest, catch our breath, gain perspective, and rehydrate. But we die a slow, disengaged death if that is where we reside. We must be willing to risk real injury and invest a little skin in the game if we are to experience the joy that comes from battles hard won. Paralysis through analysis is a dead-end. Re-engage to truly live, in whatever way you’re able – every day you’re alive. Baby steps until you’ve found your stride and a direction that feels in alignment with your own sense of integrity. You’ll find it. You’ll get there.
In the meantime, remember this simple formula and you will find happiness in the journey. Less Stuff + More Love = Better Life
Remember, you are what you love. And love is not what you say or how you feel, but what you do. Now, go.