As we enter the last week of the Smartstart program I want to turn to some broader principles, of which this practice journey we are on is a logical outcome. In other words what does it mean that you have made this commitment to your practice. I think there is something noble about practice and the people who have one. There are four values that you stand for that I admire and salute.
For a start, you are making a stand for something different. All positive change in the world starts with someone who grows dissatisfied with how things are, and stamps their metaphorical foot and says “no more. I want something else”. If it weren’t for people like you and your stand then the world would be so much less. I admire your proactive championing of more meaning and well-being and capability in your life.
The next thing I admire is your willingness to make an effort in the service of what you have said is important in your world. It is much easier to live out of yesterday’s habits than it is to live out of today’s practices. In fact our brains and the cognitive biases that evolution has created leave us oriented towards efficiency rather than effectiveness. The result of this is that inattention, inertia and the status quo are the default trajectory of our lives. But rather than being a machine that repeats their past you have chosen to be a living being that is consciously authoring their future.
I admire your growthfulness. Choosing a different trajectory takes making a stand and being willing to make an effort. And it also takes someone who believes in their ability to grow their capability and mastery in the world. And if ever there was a logic to the notion of faith it is this. Faith is the belief in something that is not already obvious and manifest. To believe in one’s ability to build new capability and a new practice is to have faith in oneself. And that feels like a generous and beautiful thing.
And finally I admire that you are not only standing for something new but something new for yourself. I think that self-care is so underrated. If love is to start anywhere then surely it starts at home, with yourself. It reminds me of those airline safety videos. “If you need some air, oxygen masks will fall from above. Make sure you’re got your own mask on first before helping those less abled”. Yeah exactly. Because, if you’re not attending to your own well-being then you won’t be able to help anyone anyway. Your self-care and well-being is the invisible foundation of everything you do in your life.
I admire that you stand up for who your are and make the effort to take care of yourself. You are the author and hero of your own life. You deserve it. My hat off, to you. You stand for something that I think we need more of in this world.