“I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone.” Henry Rollins
I spent a week off the grid, a week of nothing but organic food, tons of exercise, silence, meditation, and long hikes. I returned different. It was as if I marched off the edge of the map that is my life. Returning home, I longed to wipe the canvas clean. However, there are a few things I can’t wipe clean. The business is one, but my daughter is coming on board so my duties will change. Hmm. Here’s that word change. I like change. It’s like a breath of fresh air to my soul. For the last five years I have blogged about The Way and living a spiritual life. I think I’m at the end of what I have to say. That’s one of the things I learned on the ranch. I’ve said what I needed to say, and really what I’ve said has been said for centuries. Now it’s time to do something else with this blog. So, I’m going to take a different direction. While I’ll have a spiritual component, because that’s how I think and act, I will tackle new things, which will keep me fresh.
“Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will be fall you.” John Muir
I just returned from a week “off the grid”. We stayed at a fitness/wellness/spiritual retreat. It was something on my “bucket list”, something I had always wanted to do. No TV, no phone, no radio, just time to examine one’s life and where one’s headed. Each morning started with a hike, followed by yoga, meditation classes, water classes, healing classes, and some lectures. This time away from my life gave me a chance to re-evaluate and renew and reset my soul. Along with this task, I created a new order in my life. I hadn’t lost my focus, but a week away from all work was just what the Divine ordered. This place was sustainable–they grew all the food–lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, and clean water. John Muir would have been pleased. We were encouraged to take the ranch home and I have. One of my friends said I look less-stressed, my eyes are brighter. Now the trick will be to continue.
“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” Albert Schweitzer
Compassion is the source for inner peace. When you learn not to judge your fellow travelers, your being fills with light and love. We’ve all met those people who seem to glow. They attract people to them because of their persona. Unfortunately, we live in a society where many people judge continually. They are always looking to one-up someone, to criticize, and to judge. I believe these are learned traits, which adds angst to our souls. My advice if you want to achieve that glow is to learn not to judge and criticize others because you don’t know someone’s backstory. Oftentimes there are reasons they act the way the do. Learn not to focus on others’ faults, or what they did or didn’t do. When you achieve this state, wisdom will shine in through your soul. It takes time and work to achieve this state. Compassion is not a passive verb. It’s active. In order for a spiritual practice to be complete, it must be complemented by compassionate activities in interpersonal situations.
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. Remember what the Dalia Lama said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”