The morning is frosty, and good. It is good because my children are all happy and well. That has become my measuring stick since I have become a mother – my happiness is directly plugged in to their state of being – this is how my life will always be from now until the end. I struggle to even use the word ”happiness” – it is very amorphous and generalized. I am more comfortable using the word content or the phrase, at peace. I can determine where to place the bar on contentedness – I can customize it to fit my outlook and view of all things worldly. As evident in my writing, I am trying, and being pretty successful, at lowering the bar of materialistic/worldly concerns and trying to live my life in spirit. I have, because of this altercation, found myself “at peace” more often than not – I’m not buying into it. I cannot understand how I once lived any other way – I was sucked in by the propaganda that follows us around and tries to penetrate our spirit. It is so freeing to disconnect from that ball and chain but it becomes more difficult to connect with many aspects of society, hence the term, recluse. I am not there yet, but it could happen! I have been blessed with the love of the arts and I look forward to the waning time of tomorrow when I can fill my days with painting and writing and growing my own food – I hope those days will be given to me, I hope to live in a state of peace. Anyway, the autumn air is chilly here and the season of commercialism is upon us – each year tops the one before. Where does it stop? I hope I have been able to instill in my children the value of developing themselves with challenges and intangibles and not relying on society’s morphed and materialistic measuring stick to tell them who they are.
“At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch – 22 over its whole history. Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have…enough.” (From John Bogel’s Enough).
Just more quotes from this book William is reading. I loved this one because it seems that we, people, always want more, especially when it involves money and possessions. Why can’t we crave more kindness, more spiritualism, more education, more silence, more creativity, more personal development?
“Materialism can refer either to the simple preoccupation with the material world, as opposed to intellectual or spiritual concepts, or to the theory that physical matter is all there is. This theory is far more than a simple focus on material possessions. It states that everything in the universe is matter, without any true spiritual or intellectual existence. Materialism can also refer to a doctrine that material success and progress are the highest values in life. This doctrine appears to be prevalent in western society today.”(Philosophy)
I think I would, we would, feel happiness if we declared, enough.
I am thinking about how much better off we all are when we focus on our aptitudes and gifts – we project optimism and the world sees and experiences energy that can be employed in positive ways in contrast to feeling stressed and tired over trying to be who we are not – attitudes that cast shadows on the universe and serve no one.
Celebrate your differences – free yourself from thinking you must conform – instead, focus on what is positively different about you. Why would anyone want to put forth an effort to be something they are not divinely designed to be? And how are all of these stereotypical lifestyles perpetuating? Who’s making all of these rules – and why are we buying the propaganda? We speak of the “dumbing down” in terms of education, but how about the “dumbing down” of society and our willingness to buy all of this marketing? Heck, yahoo even tells me the 10 jobs that would make me happy!! What??? We are all individuals and the only “rule” we have is to become our best self. Steven Pressfield says it best – “ Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.“ or as Pablo Picasso’s mother told him – “When I was a child, my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” Thank God he did not grow up in this stereotyped, status quo, plastic society we have succumbed to.