I’m doing fine thank you. that is our usual reply right? When someone inquires how we are we say the standard “fine”. But how are we really doing? How much do we look at what we do as an indication of what we believe in and value?
John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” How difficult that can be? yes? We want to do right by others. We want to honor and do rightly to ourselves. I think we all truly want to take good care of ourselves and we “say” a lot of things but what do we do in our actions? Do our actions give us a hint or knowledge of what is real and true to us? Yes I think so if we pay attention. So many times in life we get up start our day and just go through the motions. It is only when tragedy or some event catapults us into fear or upheaval that we seek the important things in life — Love, family, faith, hope, charity, kindness, compassion, gratitude – I believe most people want these things to be part of their lives. We just tend to take them for granted most of the time.
It is not easy. When we try to practice patience, you can be sure it will be tested. When you try to practice being present, you can be sure you will be caught up in the past or worries about the future. So what do we do? How can we get our actions to match our words? By letting go. I know it seems counter intuitive, but it is true. To be truly present in the moment we have to let go of the regrets of the past and worries about the future, to truly love we have to love without regard to outcome, just love this moment. I am weary of all the articles which claim all the answers in “10 Easy Steps” – life is never easy – at least not if we are truly living. Life makes us think about priorities, things we need to get done, things we need to let go.
About three weeks ago I began an endeavor of “5 for 5” – for five minutes a day I would do one of these five things:
– Meditation, Prayer, Gratitude
– Jump rope
How have I done? I’ve failed with at least two already, but I am keeping on with the three I have success with. Making yoga, meditation/prayer/gratitude, and writing a habit daily have become easier. While jumping rope and practicing guitar haven’t come so easy. Perhaps I took on more of a challenge than I could master at this time. Or perhaps my actions indicate what is truly important to me. I have found an acceptance and a letting go of the things that I haven’t been able to consistently practice each day. I am still incorporating them into my daily habits, I just need to show more patience with myself in those areas at this time. Finding Ikigai (life purpose) doesn’t mean a one time, momentous event. Finding our life and our purpose is an ongoing daily blossom. Maybe today my Ikigai is to speak a friendly word to a stranger, or to make someone I love smile. Maybe tomorrow my Ikigai is to be simply present and learn I am right where I need to be at this moment. I’m doing fine.