(a little long but worth the read)
Yesterday I was feeling a little under the weather with some stomach pain. I slept as long as I could but not doing anything is always a struggle for me. I decided resting would be a perfect time to catch up on some reading. Reading has been one aspect of my life that I can always depend on to bring me joy. I remember spending hours when I was younger getting lost in books. Through the years of having to read more and more academia material though I lost the joy of reading for pleasure and relaxation. It was always about studying and memorizing the words. Thankfully, that is no longer the case and for Christmas my parents bought me a Nook…which I absolutely LOVE. Its like a library at my fingertips!
Anyways….before I left for Nica I asked a couple of my good friends what they suggest I read. My wonderful friend Kathy suggested “A Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman. I downloaded it and it has been just waiting for me to read it. Yesterday was the perfect day. The problem I have with reading good books however is that once I start them I don’t want to put it down until I finish, I am too curious or maybe impatient. Either way, yesterday was the perfect day to start AND finish Way of the Peaceful Warrior. I realize I’m a little late with reading this book as its been around for awhile. But never to late.
I am a thinker, an analyzer and pursuer of the difficult questions in life. One reason I created this blog is because more often than not I am thinking about the purpose of life, meaning of happiness, how to be hopeful…etc. This book, my friends, compelled my ever thinking mind and took me for a wonderful journey of finding peace within oneself. Its not that the book had “the answer” to all my questions about happiness or that it even said anything different than I have heard before. What it did do however is make me reach deep into my mind and soul for how I live my life and how I pursue happiness and peace within myself. It challenged my thought process and I will probably have to read it a few more times just to sufficiently absorb everything it has to offer.
I could write for days about this book but for now I want to share a few of the main concepts that I was able to grasp:
- Happiness within ourselves and for our lives takes hard work. Most, including myself, feel like happiness is something that should come naturally and with instant gratification. Whenever we are not happy we become even more unsatisfied with ourselves and the cycle of unhappiness continues. The real problem though is that we are not working at being happy. It should be a constant and conscious effort on our part to strive for happiness. We depend on material things, our job, others, etc to make us happy when in reality it is only ourselves who must choose whether or not we are willing to put in the work to be in a state of true happiness.
“Happiness is not just something you feel-it is who you are.Everyone everywhere lived a confused, bitter search. Reality never matched their dreams; happiness was just around the corner- a corner they never turned. And the source of it all was the human mind.”
- We must strive to be like an infant. So much time we waste trying to conceal our feelings and as a result we only hurt ourselves for longer. Its like holding a knife blade in our hands so that it won’t hurt. We know that when somebody pulls the blade it will slice us so we hold tighter out of fear… but when they pull because we have held on tighter it only hurts more. Babies are masters of emotions. Have you ever watched as a baby cries or laughs? They know exactly how they feel and they do not have the capability to over-think or hide their feelings. The only choice for them is to show their emotions to the fullest. When a baby is upset, lets say she is hungry, what happens? She cries and lets the world know that something is wrong, once she is fed she stops crying. She no longer cries. She let go.
“It doesn’t wonder about whether it should be crying. Babies accept their emotions completely. They let feeling flow, then let them go.”
- There are no accidents in life. Trials and tribulations make life interesting but even more so they are the purpose of our lives. In the mists of our pain we make a choice. That choice determines what our true being really desires. We choose to spend hours or even years of our life replaying or regretting the “accident” or “bad luck” in our lives, but in reality the only thing we have the power to change is the choices we make. How we view what happens to us in life and whether or not we let them defeat us. Pain is a true indication of character and will. Any athlete can tell you that. There is no victory without an amount of pain in training. That pain can transform us if we let it. The soreness of unused muscles eventually work for us instead of against us but only if we choose to keep going.
“There are no accidents in life, everything is a lesson. Trust in your life. Everything has a purpose. A warrior doesn’t see pain, but if pain comes, he uses it.”