2014

1509700_566493238869_1320391097_n

It is true that I’m not a fan of arbitrary ceremonies, holidays, or social obligations I do see value certain objective moments to help spark change in one’s life. It helps to have a day to mark beginning and end, to provide a frame to view the past and the future. Our calendar system with the new year starting a week and a half after winter solstice is pretty arbitrary but in the end it works. So, as I reflect on the past and look into the future I can’t help but be happy. Every year has been better than the last as I have grown, learned to love others and myself, and realized happiness is internal.

Last year marked a time of growth and advancement for myself for society as a whole. Marriage equality grew by leaps and bounds, the Drug War is collapsing around us, and on a global scale just about everything is better as we continue to end war, famine, and poverty. Certainly there is work to be done, as the world gets better the United States continues a steady slide into a police state where the media and political class keep everyone paranoid of “terrorism”. In my personal life I have found a passion for writing and travel, am in a wonderful romantic partnership with an amazing woman, I was able to celebrate my best friend’s wedding, and have begun repairing relationships that have been nearly broken with members of my family. I am happy and with that momentary ball drop, champagne toast, and kiss to wish in the New Year approaching I find myself focused on three things for 2014.

Writing – My biggest struggle with writing is the feeling that I don’t have anything new or of value to say. With the internet we are flooded by thousands of writers (both good and bad) and it can be overwhelming. I need to realize that every person, every story, every idea has some value to someone. I am not writing for everyone, I am writing for the one person who may learn a lesson or become encouraged by my words.

Positivity – While I am generally a positive person I often find myself focusing on negative things, particularly on Facebook and other social networks. I want to start to change that. I still think it is important to comment on injustice and bring attention to abuse in order to bring about change (ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away) but solutions need to be provided as well. Whether it is pointing out libertarian solutions to problems or providing contact information for law enforcement officials accused of abuse my focus needs to be about fixing a problem instead of just pointing out the problem.

The Moment – I will continue to work on enjoying the moment instead of worrying about the past and future. Whether it means implementing more yoga, meditation, or just “stopping to smell the roses” I want it to become a habit to just be. The only thing under my control, the only thing guaranteed is now.

Advertisements

Self Evolution

self-improvement

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions but I kind of get them. New Years is a concrete day to change, it is something we can grasp, it is a benchmark… a new beginning. For me self improvement is incredibly important, if a part of my life stops growing and becomes static I feel like it is dying. My body, mind, and spirit needs to be constantly challenged and face new experiences. With this in mind I am not really making a New Year’s Resolution but I am committed to myself and making the most out of my life.

Body: These fragile sacks of water that we roam around in are what keep our spirits in this plane of existence. I have fallen out of shape since my bike ride and it is time to fix that. I need to improve both my exercise routine and my diet. It will all start with baby steps but I would like to do a half marathon this year and really get into a solid plant based diet. This will have the secondary effect of helping my finances.

Mind: To quote Thomas Jefferson, “I cannot live without books”. I read them constantly and my interests are diverse. I find that I rotate through different subjects in a cyclical way and my knowledge of subjects deepens with each cycle. I want to keep this up but I really want to add more writing to my time as well. I have ideas for my book about my bike ride and I have no excuse for not getting those ideas onto paper. I am also finishing up the requirements for a MA program here in Los Angeles, I’d love to have my first classes underway by the end of the year for a Psychology degree.

Spirit: Nourishing the spirit is important to me and at this point I find meditation and yoga to be the best practice. I will also continue to read varying thoughts on the subject and trying out new practices to see what works for me.

Most people advise actual action items for improvement. That has never really been my style but I see some benefit to it so here is a loose list of habits I’d like to get into to pursue my goals. I might do a blog post or have a private list of how I plan to accomplish these habits… or I may not. I don’t really know yet.

  • Run 2-3 times a week
  • Yoga 2-3 times a week
  • Complete Fire Dancing courses that are offered at Fire Groove
  • Apply to MA programs
  • Meditate daily
  • Finish the book of my ride before summer
  • Start making breakfast for myself 4+ days a week