Hopefully, this blog post inspires someone to take that next step in achieving their own grateness.Read More
We all can listen to the podcasts. We can all watch the same free online content about how to make your dream life happen. We all love hearing about the things we need to do, but very seldom to we take action on those very things to better our own lives. Are we content with what we have?
I have been working with Wesley Chapman with A Human Project and my experience has been a roller coaster. It was just last week that I had a 'lightbulb moment' and all things seemed to come together in this Big Bang.
I have always wanted to do good things with and for people. This was my gift and my curse. I had unconditional love but my love had conditions. I would do things that would have these unmentioned attachments. Some of these attachments, I wasn't aware of consciously. So, for the past several months, I have been working on this trait of unconditional love that I thought I had mastered so long ago. We all do this with our partners, parents, children, co-workers and anyone that we come into contact with. I started to realize that I had no idea what unconditional love was at all, but I screamed from the mountain tops that I was unconditional love.
Breaking apart every failed human relationship I have had in my past made me realize my fault and the part I played in the downfall of that relationship. It is only now that I can look at these people and truly forgive them while finding a way to erase the guilt from my own heart. The time of forgiving myself has come and gone. Moving to a country where I know no one has made me realize that, in this world and for it to work, we all need each other. Every one of us is a support to one another.
I look at the reason why people hate on each other and want to hide my head in shame. This world is a cruel place and we wonder why suicide is looked at as the only option for some. You have to know love to know hate. You have to know wrong to know forgiveness. You have to know a superhero to know a villain.
There are three reasons that you have negative feelings towards a person:
- They have something you want (a lifestyle, a talent, etc)
- They bring out something dark or negative that you possess (a person that is late, a person that fails to keep commitments, etc)
- They failed to meet an expectation that you set (Most likely, you didn't tell them that expectation.)
I don't bring these things up because I am pointing a finger at anyone but myself. I do have people that hate me, my life and my very being. How do I let my haters affect me? I don't. People hate some of societies most valued figures. As we approach Republic Day in India, I am reminded that even Ghandi, the leader of the independence of India, was shot dead because someone hated him. He promoted peace and freedom.
I can't speak for others, but I can speak for my own actions. Have I always done proud by my parents? No. Have I let people down? Yes. Do I regret any of it? No. Everything I have done in my life has lead to a lesson in some way. Have people been hurt by my actions? Yes. Have I burnt many bridges? Yes. Again, do I regret any of it? No. The stage in my life where I have started letting all this go has begun.
Life really is as simple as we want to make it. We need more kindness in the world. We need more compassion. We need more change. The world is already changing all around us everyday. Are you part of that change? - or - Are you leading the change in your own life?
If your answer is no to both of those questions, it's time for your own life to start. Unfortunately, in reality, no one is going to kick start your life for you. The time is now.
In India, I have needed very little compared to the things I thought important in the United States. An abundance of clothing, a refrigerator and cabinets full of food and all sorts of material possessions were necessities. I have realized that all of those things are not needed for happiness or even security.
Soon, I will be taking a voyage with just a camping pack to multiple countries. That is all I will have for an entire month. I have been thinking very hard about what I will fill that bag with. What is completely necessary?
Is underwear completely needed? If so, how many pairs do you pack for an entire month? Do I leave room to collect things along the way on my trip? How many Apple chargers do I need to bring? Do I pack shorts or pants?
I find the people here fastinating because of their need for less stuff. They don't even need more space. 500 sq ft is considered a nice-sized apartment. This takes me back to my days of living in California where my first apartment was the same size. However, the population of San Francisco is far less.
After looking at all these questions that flooded my mind, I came to the realization that I need none of these things. Yes, I do need clothes but not a different outfit for every day of the week. There will be places to do laundry. Also, as I have learned during my stays in Goa, clothes wash in the sink too. Do I need to pack underwear at all? No.
When you strip away all these things that we think we 'need', you come to know that you don't really need any of these things at all. In this day and age, there are stores where you can get what you forgot or need on the road or the train. Some items are available on the train itself or in an airport.
Ok, a toothbrush and toothpaste are two items that I know for sure I will be tagging along with me. I can't stand fuzzy teeth. It must be known that I find it pointless to wear deodorant in India. I am a sweat-er and it doesn't matter how much deodorant you wear something always smells worse and more overpowering than you do. Poor Doug.
So, in my upcoming trip in October/November, I will be doing a series of blogs about what we actually need on many levels. In this journey, I hope to explore, photographically and through words, the absurdity that we call needs.
This blog series will begin October 4th, 2017.
There comes a time when you look around you and everything is a blur. When this happens your pressence is usually absent and the joy is lost. I am currently trying to refocus my art career.
For the last couple of months, I have been running around on the pages of the internet researching engagement techniques for my Facebook pages and looking at other artists' websites. You know - the whole business side of owning your own business. At one point today, I rolled away from my desk in my chair that I am in about 7-12 hours a day and got a wide angle view of my life.
I have been checking off certain boxes and, at times, feeling shame for not checking off others. I have finally learned there are 24 hours in a day. However, now, I try to cram as much into these hours as possible. I guess, the phrase 'Excuse the motion blur' could be a mantra. While checking off all the boxes and feeling that instant gradification we are all trained to strive for, I forgot that I was doing all this to uncover the joy that I had been missing. After all, I am transitioning to make a career out of what I love.
In realizing this, I had to step back and remind myself of my intentions. If I can't be joyful while doing this, I have to ask myself "Is this something that I truly enjoy?" Or "What about this do I not find enjoyable?" This is the beauty of redesigning your life. I commit.
I have faith in this process called life. In these moments where my heart is working hard and my breath is heavy, I have to remember the only race I'm in is with myself. So, it's time to start being present and enjoying this ride. Otherwise, life is just one beautiful pan shot.
Unconditional Love causes me Conditional Pain. Not anymore.Read More
When looking at all of the amazing artifacts dating hundreds of years old, I have been thinking about what will I leave behind once this life is over. Do we leave behind things that people flock to or do we leave behind things that people run away from? Do we leave behind a blessing or a curse?
Statues of Gods and Goddesses, relics and stories handed down by mouth alone are all things that I am learning about in the cultural richness of this great country of India. History is something that the people here are surrounded by constantly. I am often asked why my fascination leads me to take numerous pictures of such ordinary things that the Indian people treat as common as a park bench. Perhaps, this is what we do with things in our own lives.
When was the last time you looked at your mother and/or father and looked at them as people who wanted to leave a legacy alive inside of you? Have you ever looked at the things that you have collected and wondered, or even appreciated, why you collected them in the first place? Can you hear, smell or touch the exact moment when you found the item? What was the memory that you attached to it?
We leave behind words, waste or emotions all the time and never think about it? In other words, we are not present to our own presence. When we leave these things behind with intention -both, positive and, unfortunately, negative, we are then an effective human being. Are we someone that people are happy that you are coming? Or, are we someone that people are excited to see you go?
Negative things can be a blessing and positive things can be a curse. Which one do you choose?
Comment below a time in your life when you have intentionally left something behind - positive or negative. What was the result?
Train Station in busy Mumbai. Photography by Jeremy Eaton.Read More