I have had so many ideas that I have wanted to write about in the past month. Despite how much pleasure I derive from writing, I have chosen to do other things that are not quite as fun – mainly homework. My greatest challenge is my cultural awareness class where I was asked to explore and embrace my “identity” which is in complete opposition to my spiritual goal of exposing my identity as a flimsy construct. I had a little bit of an internal revolt when faced with the assignment. Thank goodness I was able to soften and complete the task.
Right now one of my goals is to complete all my classwork for February by the end of January. This means four more full days of homework. Why would I do this? Well, I have another goal of spending more time in practice. Which is just an extension of my goal to become enlightened and know peace. My plan is to dedicate February to more intensive practice, but I have already tripled my formal practice in anticipation of this. I encourage everyone to simply double the time they are meditating and practicing internal arts and see what that does for them.
Setting a goal and keeping a goal is simply a matter of keeping cognizant of what you want in your life. When I reviewed what I wanted in my life and what my activities were, I made the following changes:
- Dropped a day at the spa – I now work only two days there and am considering dropping it completely
- Decided to finish my associates degree in substance use disorders – this was an intuitive yes, but I can also see how it contributes to my own growth and my potential to help others
- Committed to 200,000 mantras for the year – half focused on removing obstacles and the other on the six perfections (I already have 38,000 completed)
- Dropped weekly group at my house that was not contributing to my goals
- Committed to a new food plan that allows me more freedom, keeps me feeling great, and helps keep me aware of my addictive cravings
- Began setting things up so that I could have additional retreat time
- Limited social contacts and meaningless chatter
- Nurtured my home based clientele by obtaining new training, expanding my services, and creating space for new clientele
- Dropped recreational activities like movie watching
- Limited home improvement projects
I have some people imply that I should have more fun. Hey, just because I refuse a social activity does not mean that I do not say yes to an activity that nourishes me and is alignment with my practice. I had other people comment that I was too rigid, especially in regards to my food. If an alcoholic adamantly says “No” to beer or a diabetic adamantly says “No” to sugar is that being too rigid? Perhaps it is, but it also seems very self-serving.
Thoughtfully consider what it is you wish to nourish; thoughtfully consider what will best nourish it.
To thine ownself be true.
(Hexagram symbol for nourishment from the I Ching.)