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Just Being is Enough May 6, 2009

Posted by dmb677 in Uncategorized.
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When I was younger I was so hungry – desperately hungry. I wanted so badly – so terribly, and for what exactly? I didn’t even  know. 

I wanted to own my own business, and make lots of money and everyone would be so jealous of my success. I wanted to travel the world and explore the most remote corners and take pictures that I could send to my friends. I wanted to become a scientist and make breaking discoveries and documentaries would be made about me on PBS. I wanted to work on wall street and get chauffeured to work every morning in a big black limo. I wanted to be in a rock band where I would sleep through a hangover every morning and then party all night. I wanted to run for public office and change the world. I wanted to live in remote island in the pacific with only the natives to keep me company. I wanted to write a book about life and become famous and do interviews on the Today show. 

Strangely all these desires were never articulated. I never wrote them down and focused in on one, there were too many, but they hung vaguely in the back of my mind, haunting me. I always felt, and still do at times, like my life wasn’t interesting enough, important enough, that I wasn’t really living. 

As I’ve got older, I have done some pretty exciting things, but probably like most people my life hasn’t met the wild expectations of my hungry youth. 

I read “Dharma Bums” by Jack Kerouac a few years back, and I remember how Jack would play jokes on his friends like when they were all talking about something serious he would through mud in someone’s face and yell “Instant Enlightenment”, or do something equally absurd and inconsistent with mood of the moment. As I sit here and think about all the things life could have been, all the things I wanted life to be and then look around me and see what life actually is, I feel like one of Jack Kerouac’s friends with mud on my face and him yelling, “Instant Enlightenment”

The point is that I am here right now, that I am alive right now, that this is my experience right now. I could be hovering over a spaceship starring down at the blue oceans and giant mountains of Earth, or I could be sitting in a cold damp cave somewhere with the hard rock against my back, or I could be sitting in my office at work answering emails.  It is all the same. The richness of the moment is infinite, the possibilities of what are to come are endless, and my capacity to be engaged and integrated and focused is increasing.

So as I look back, and with a little bit of perspective, I am not sure that being so hungry brought me much more than anguish over what never was. It is not that I think that ambition only leads to heartache, but there is a real comfort in accepting life for what it is, and sometimes just being is enough.



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