The Price Of Freedom

Happy Groundhog's Day!

I am always careful to blog on Feb 2nd, to review my progress toward the moral high ground and avoid getting the same lessons over and over until I learn them.

So there's good news… and there's really good news! The good news is that with a bit of tweaking and toning my self-improvement practice brings considerable recovery, balance and serenity. The really good news is that after 30 years of practice and teaching I'm not perfect. Why is that better? Because it turns out happiness is NOT the result of perfection. What we really need to be happy, what really gets us up in the morning is progress. If we don't feel we're making progress the results are depression, apathy, illness and addiction. And yes, this is also true for all of you whose lives appear perfect. I think this is what my Buddhist ritual offering of practice refers to when I say “may I awaken from forgetfulness, and realize my true home…” I think the forgetfulness to which it refers is a belief that I have or can arrive at a final destination. Our true home is impermanence, which means that practice, curiosity and intention can continually bring fresh moments of awareness, well-being and enlightenment.

We often confuse self-acceptance with self-actualization. Self-actualizing implies getting to a point where we can match the goals of our heart with the deeds we do. But, self-accepting brings a different kind of self-actualizing. That which is not magical thinking, not manifestation, no knowing. These are the ills that harm our flexibility and our curiosity about whatever rabbit hole we’ve wandered into. Knowing exactly what you want and where you are going hampers learning. The map is not the territory.

So I shall continue to wake up and connect with my higher powers – Honesty, Curiosity, Compassion and Reason. When I let them lead, fear sits in the back and occasionally offers some driving suggestions, but doesn’t actually operate the vehicle that will keep me cruising through a life of happy usefulness. Then, I will get up tomorrow, and find my “self” and my life just a little improved.

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