Okay…so I’m back home, and if you wonder what I do when I’m home, let me tell you – I read.
And if you can believe it, I read ALL DAY long. Currently, on the floor scattered around me (in front of the fire, of course) I have open, Guns, Germs and Steel (Jared Diamond), Sacred Contracts (Caroline Myss), Lonely Planet India, Travel Tales India, The Religions of Man (Huston Smith), The Dharma Bums (Jack Kerouvac), Once Minutos (Paulo Coelho) and a Spanish dictionary, The Complete Works of Kahil Gibran, Mystery and Myth of Atlantis (Warren Smith), Journey of Souls, Undefended Love (Jett Psaris, Marlena Lyons), Conscious Living (Gay Hendricks), and Dreams – Your Magic Mirror (case studies of Edgar Cayce) and a dream dictionary.
Today I finished and retired to my bookshelf stories of Greek mythology and a compilation of essays called, Take My Advice (edited by James Harmon).
The final book is what has brought me to this blog. It’s a “book of letters to the next generation” from those that have survived and learned from the prior.
“Brilliant!” I say. How many times have I ignored my urge to go tromping through a old folks home demanding answers from those who’ve already spent a lifetime seeking solutions to my same questions. And here it is, a book of lived regrets and wisdoms. As I perused the pages, I found myself constantly shaking my head — either up and down in firm accord, or side to side in complete disagreement. I wouldn’t know, for I’ve never had living grandparents to provide me council, but I have a feeling the experience would be quite the same had I conducted my own experiment in the retirement home. For some wisdoms are simply timeless and others…well they should be retired along with the era.
So as usual, I took to my journal to record my final thoughts on the book and ended up just compiling my own “Take My Advice” reminders from myself TO myself;
Eat slow. Try to taste every single bite as if it were the first. Close your eyes if necessary. And disregard all the books on eating etiquette and smell your food first.
Turn off the TV. Even better, trash it completely. It’s a mind suck. And it jades you of the adventure in your own life that you could be playing out. Your own life is a comedy, a mystery, a thriller and a romance waiting for you to make it so. Snub Hollywood. You’re the star.
Walk barefoot every single day, preferably outside. Be reminded of your connection to the Earth. Don’t be afraid of the cold or sharp. Let them give you appreciation of the warm and soft.
Look up. At every opportunity look up. There is no better way to remind yourself of how small your problems are than to look up to the clouds or night sky and find your tiny and perfect place in this universe. And always reserve a window seat on planes to get REAL perspective on the world.
Get a hammock. Sit in it, swing in it or be still…but BE silent.
Never reject a gift. If you have problems receiving, it’s because you have problems giving. Start giving and learn how wonderful it is to give. Then you’ll understand that it is your own favor to allow someone else to experience that same joy of giving. It is always a gift to the giver that you happily receive.
Have conversations with yourself. Jesus. Who cares if people think you’re crazy? Being normal is so damn boring. A conversation with yourself will yield amazing answers that you had no idea were inside of you. And you don’t have to do it out loud. 😉
Touch everything. Our hands and bottoms were slapped too often as toddlers. But now you know the difference between hot and not. So go ahead. If it looks interesting, touch it! Play with it. As you walk, reach out to life as it passes by and let your touch bring you back to the present moment.
Assume that every single person you meet in your life has some secret message for you, and it’s your job to reveal it. Even the people that drive you mad, they’ve got something good to teach you, they’re just gonna make you work for it. And when you get really good at finding your messages, start recognizing the secret messages YOU hold for others.
Read. Read. Read. If you don’t know what to read, then go to the library. Take your fingers for a walk down the isles and let you intuition choose the book that chooses you. The beauty of books is in their integrity. Books do not blast their messages over bars drowning our your conversation with friends, they aren’t sold to you by pushy salespeople or constantly interrupted by commercials, their words don’t blind you in flashing neon and their messages aren’t held up by a girl in a bikini. By its very nature, literature maintains a two-way relationship with its reader. At the end of every single sentence, you have the option to decide if it’s worth your attention and energy to continue with the next. And the book, should you show no interest in what it has got to say, has no obligation to keep reading to you as you stare blindly at its pages. Books are free tickets to life travel. They’ll take you to lands, people, and times that no plane can reach.
Have a romance with yourself. Take yourself on dates. Spend endless hours finding out what you’re passionate about. Lay with yourself under shaded trees in grassy parks for lazy afternoons giggling over the exploration of your own imagination. Understand your uniqueness and become enchanted with your own charms. Before you even think of falling in love with someone else….fall in love with yourself.
Buy the ticket. If you want to travel, but can’t find the time, just buy the ticket. Preferably non-refundable. Time to travel will suddenly find you. 🙂
Routinely ask yourself this, “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?” Write down the answers. Then write out the steps you will take TODAY to start overcoming the fears that block you from your dreams. Then, walk the written.
Watch the sun set and/or rise every single day. You have a lot of things to be grateful for, so as you watch the day begin or end, count them ALL and smile over the day of life you’ve been so graciously given the opportunity to live.