Sunday, January 1, 2012

Viva La RevoluciĆ³n by Alisa

As 2011 rapidly approaches its end, I thought about the blog piece (New Years "Revolution") I wrote at about this same time last year. It turned out to be personal advice meant more for myself than it was a suggestion for others; things I felt necessary for personal happiness. Personal happiness is as difficult to define as ‘normal’.  Both are relative and subjective. I did do my best to approach ‘my best,’ although I’m sure I’m nowhere near it yet. It’s a lifelong journey not intended to have a destination. In this past year, I’ve lost things, found things, and discovered that the unimaginable is not only imaginable, but also quite possible if I am willing to believe in it.

People rarely change, it’s true. To do so is to wage war with our innate characteristics while at the same time attempting to forge new traits into semi-natural habits. Not easy, but we can try.  During the course of this past year, I tried so much that my husband recently declared that I am having a mid-life crisis, to which I snarkily replied, “Why wouldn’t I be having a mid-life crisis??” I would think that if, at my age (I’m 287 in dog years), I weren’t feeling the urge to do more and different things with what remains of my life, then I have surely fallen asleep at the wheel. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest, your fullest, without fear of what others might think.

A few years ago, I began tentatively dipping my toe into Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. Without the discipline required to embrace all of it, I dig here and there to find pearls of wisdom that resonate with me and help to fill the (many) places where my own wisdom is lacking. This past year has been about understanding and accepting (or trying to accept) the experiences that comprise my foundation, and this simple quote has gone a long way to helping me find some peace: No mud, no lotus. You know that sinking feeling you get when you see the Jehovah’s Witnesses headed to your door to proselytize you? Yeah, well, I’m not about to go all Buddha’s Witness on you. I think it’s enough just to say that it helps me.

In keeping with last year’s NYE blog post, there are no plans for any resolutions.  Better to stick with the revolutions and reflect on what works for me and what doesn’t. Revolutions come about when people have had enough of what doesn’t work for them. If you have the time and the inclination, consider reviewing your past year and seeing what worked for you or what did not. Sometimes it actually can be as simple as that.

And if all else fails.......