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Happiness Now: discernment, choice and commitment
10th Jul 2011Posted in: Text 0
Happiness Now: discernment, choice and commitment

“Do not wait for life. Do not long for it. Be aware, always and at every moment, that the miracle is in the here and now.” – Marcel Proust

Ever feel like you’re in an Econundrum of Knowing in this co-creative universe?

For as long as I remember, I have known what I wanted to do, what I dreamed of doing, what came easily to me, and what I loved, yet when it came to “careers” I was bamboozled as if there was nothing in the established lexicon of work categories that could fit or contain what I wanted to do. I was stumped. I remember sitting in front of more than one of my beloved mentor professors, in tears over this very issue. It was as if I wanted someone to just tell me what to do.

“What does god want me to do?!” I would joke through the deluge. Even Arjuna from the Bhagavad Gita asked what he should do. “Do your duty,” was the response.

Why did duty sound like work to me? I feel like it has taken until now to feel the collision of moments – where the span between the two points of where I am and where I want to be lose all that structural tension into the miraculous peace of the present. I do realize that sounds a little wu, but the chasm I’ve felt between what I know I want and what I’ve tried to fit into in the world was an image that functioned like this: I could not do what I wanted to do, or be what I wanted to be, because I needed to fit those skills into something normal – or that I needed another degree of certification. It’s like telling an artist to become an architect. Or, in my instance, telling me I couldn’t inspire people to live deeply in connection with life – as one career counselor once told me, “Ali, you cannot be a philosopher on a log.”

For really? I could not get paid for positively influencing peoples lives by inspiring insights to the experience of our humanity? My heart was crushed right there.  (Clearly someone was making coin based on all those books I read at Borders.) “Then what is this life for,” I thought, “to fit into some prescribed professional category and from a menu of options and get a prepackaged McMansion happy meal of a life?” That was horrifying to me on so many levels. Yet, that storyline branded itself in my psyche as I lived out the myth until I found the comedy in that tragedy and scrapped all stories of that genre. The lines left on my psyche’s pages are the living breathing momentous one pulsating from the beatbeatwhisper of my heart, embodied here and now.

I think Whitman said it best in the opening lines of Leaves of Grass: “…re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” That line is worth rereading, over and over.

Our duty is our calling: that persistent dream that won’t subside, all those things that knock from your heart begging for you to come in. In my daily practice, I make a commitment to stoking the fire of spirit that makes you come alive by doing what I love – and consciously choosing that. And why not? As Osho said: “Existence wants your life to become a festival.”

Who’s story is it that says life has to be less than what we want? I’m writing a new story with flow and ease, and I like how it fits. There’s plenty of room to grow. In this story, it’s a commitment letting life in to give you a daily-bliss-bath. It’s a commitment to what makes you happy, to doing what you want to do with your whole self and a commitment to the trueness of your own path.

Realize what story is yours, beating within you, and what story needs to be re-written or scraped entirely. You can create a giggling delight of a lifeline storyline right now. Choose happiness now: commit, and show up for what arises. What you are seeking is also seeking you. What you want is waiting for you to let it in.

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