It's been almost a year and a half since I last posted. A year and a half of growth, sorrow, joy, prayer, release, healing, love and learning. I have a lot of gratitude for my community, my friends, and my home.
This past year was a really painful time. My photos try to capture the warmth and beauty I see in life, but I want to break any misnomer that everything is just great and fine all the time. Growth is sometimes painful, and sometimes beautiful, maybe both. I can look back at this past year and a half with perspective and feel a completion of a cycle. My life feels whole right now, I feel happy, I love where I'm at and all the growth that has come from this past year. It feels important to distill that time and harvest the learnings that come with it. So for what it's worth I'm going to try and do that.
Below are some of the distillations, along with photos from this past year+. My photos remind me how much beauty and love runs along side everything, and how good life really is.
I have absolutely fallen in love with woodworking. It's something I've been learning for about 4 years now. I used to struggle with how long projects would take. It's easy to grossly underestimate how long it takes to physically build something, especially when you're paying attention aesthetics. A good friend Dan told me however long you think your project will take, multiple it times π and that's how long it will actually take.
Once I let go of any notion of how long something should take, I really enjoy the process. There's no should anymore. This is the thing I'm building, and this is exactly how long it's taking to build it. Sometimes I need to completely scrap it and start over. That's just part of the process. And part of doing good work is just accepting what is. Shit, maybe we've hit on something here? Maybe that's a good mantra to follow for life. Accepting what is happening, and letting go of any preconceived notion of how I think things should be happening.
Accept what's happening
No matter the thoughts, preferences, or opinions I have about how something should happen, it's going to unfold in its own way regardless of my preferences. I might be able to influence it in someway or another, but regardless it's not going to be exactly how I may have wanted it. I can choose to be upset about that and continue putting effort into changing things, or I can accept what is happening and adapt with it.
I often convince myself I'm in control of the things that are happening around me, but in reality I have very little control. What I can control is how I react. I can choose to accept reality. I can choose a path of ease that lets me adjust to the current situation.
It's become quite apparent to me that loving myself is an act of loving the world and people around me. How am I supposed to love others if I can't love myself first? My external views and actions are a reflection of my internal world.
Changing my thought patterns, having a spiritual practice, making healthy habits with exercise, food, sleep; are all vital pieces to a happy and healthy life. And no one is going to do it for me. It's constant work. It takes courage to be happy. I'm not great at it, but I'm getting better. I do not to take for granted how privileged my life is. I have a big prayer to be a kind and loving human being in this world, and in order to be that I need to really, truly, love myself.
Being happy takes courage, it takes work. I have to choose it, moment after moment. Not in some fake way where I'm ignoring difficult or uncomfortable parts of my life either. Life can be challenging, and through that I can still choose the happy path. Making time to take care of myself makes me happy, surrounding myself with friends makes me happy, doing work and personal projects that I care about makes me happy.
I really do love my life, and I'm grateful for all the challenging parts of it that help me grow and become a stronger man. I want a happy, healthy and long life. And I'm going to do just that, and let go of anything that isn't serving me in this prayer.
"give what you most deeply desire to give.
every moment you are choosing to live,
or you are waiting.
why would a flower hesitate to open?
now is the only moment
rain drop let go
become the ocean
possibility is as wide
as the space
to hold it"