2015 was a year of lightness and bliss. I learned the following:
- spending time by the ocean is absolutely essential for my well-being … the only thing better than being BY the ocean is being IN it or ON
- going different places helps me make sense of who I am and what is important to me … it also helps me fall in love with vancouver time and time again
- creating keeps me from feeling crazy … words are my go to but drawing, playing my guitar (badly), singing (worse), etc. also help
- all craft breweries should serve beer in one ounze glasses … any more than that is TOO MUCH
- I’d rather skip the small talk … I want you to talk to me about the universe, the energy that connects us, and how you feel about social issues … I want you to argue with me and make me laugh … I want you to talk to me for hours without looking at your phone
- barter economies are the way of the future … let’s break the system … I’m willing to offer yoga lessons, fashion advice, pictures of cute baby animals texted at random times throughout your day, writing / editing documents, and hand-drawn sharpie tattoos in exchange for meal prep, grocery shopping, and car fixing stuff
- opening my heart even the tiniest bit sometimes lets love slide in (and in a related aside … kissing is the best)
- tattoos, motorcycles, messy hair, guitar chords, good hands, tanned skin, flipflops, cutoffs … in no particular order
- riding my bike, rollerskating, doing handstands, driving fast, listening to (my) music, dancing, moving, SUNSHINE, etc. always make me happy
- the good ones are worth the effort
I’m beginning 2016 by picking up on #10. I want to spend way more time with the good guys and way less time with the not so good guys. I spent too much time, too much energy, and too much thought last year on people who do not treat others well.
Being nice to each other shouldn’t be so hard right? But it is.
I’ve started to come to terms with the fact that we are not naturally predisposed to be kind to one other. In fact, our most primal instincts are those of fight and flight. When we are in difficult situations (either in our day to day lives or globally), those responses are automatically triggered. With everything that’s happening in the world right now, we’re almost always in a hypervigilent state of fight or flight because we feel under attack from one source or another. This sense of vulnerability brings an edginess to all of our interactions (special thanks to the media for ramping this up beyond any rational level). Our solution is to take flight (by escaping in the many creative and habitual ways we have at our disposal … addiction, isolation, absorbing ourselves in our far more controlled virtual lives and less in our actual lives) or to fight (by taking down those around us in brutal, twisted, mean ways or in ways that are designed to slowly erode the well-being of another).
But I think (sincerely believe that) we can turn things around. I want to be part of a kindness (r)evolution. Kindness is EVOLUTIONARY because it takes consciousness. It takes intention. It takes energy. It takes willingness. It takes faith. All much higher order programming than our primal fight or flight genetic hard-wiring. It is REVOLUTIONARY because it really can change the world. In fact, it might be the only thing that can. In the words of MLK … “darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
So my intention for this coming year is to keep going with the lightness and bliss vibe while adding a massive dose of universal kindness that generates a feeling of oneness with the rest of humanity (metta / maitri).
I want to contribute to making the world a sweeter place. I want to spread love. Spread kindness. Spread happiness. Spread compassion.
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words, actions of my own life contribute in some way to happiness and freedom for all.
metta (pali) / maitri (sanskrit) … the sincere wish for the welfare and genuine happiness of all beings without exception … unconditional positive regard