I was blog surfing yesterday, and came across the Take Action Challenge on Christine Kane’s blog. I instantly realized that this is something that could really help me. I have been struggling with taking action in regards to conscious living. I have spent countless hours learning about it. I have read books on the topic and listened to even more audio books. I listen to audio books about living consciously every day on my commute to and from work. I have spent hours sitting in my meditation room reading or listening to mindfulness books. My favorite teachers are Pema Chodron, Eckhart Tolle, and Marianne Williamson. I have been listening to them for months, so I am very clear on what conscious living is all about.
I can’t seem to take the next step and put what I have learned into practice. My meditation room is really only a reading room. It’s nice to have a peaceful place to read, but that is not what I envisioned for that space. I envisioned a place where I could meditate and practice yoga, a place where I could move into conscious living.
While reading Christine Kane’s blog, I stumbled upon a reference she made to morning pages. Basically, the point of morning pages is to spend 20 or 30 minutes every morning writing everything that comes to your mind. This sounded like a good tool for me to live more consciously, so I wrote my first morning pages today. Much to my surprise, after 20 minutes of writing I discovered why I have been feeling so blocked when it comes to putting conscious living into practice. I am afraid of what direction my life will go if I allow myself to live consciously.
I have a great job. I make a lot of money. I get a lot of vacation time. I don’t have to work long hours. I have a lot of freedom at work. But I also have this nagging feeling that this isn’t where I’m supposed to be. I started working here immediately after I lost my father. I was in a period of profound grief, which probably isn’t the best time to choose a life-long career. This job was the obvious choice. It was the easy choice. But was it the best choice? I’m worried that it might not have been.
Also, my husband and I recently bought a very expensive house. (We live in Los Angeles where all homes are exorbitantly expensive.) We both love the house and hope to live in it for the rest of our lives. If I left my great paying job, that wouldn’t happen. We would have to move. Every time I have tried to express my dissatisfaction with my job, my husband freaks out. He doesn’t want to move. I really can't blame him. I would probably freak out if I were him, too.
On top of that, I don’t think I even want to live in Los Angeles. There is so much concrete here. Too many rushed, stressed out people. Too many cars. Too much traffic. Any time we go on vacation to a beautiful woodsy less populated area, I find myself wondering why I don’t live there. I want to be surrounded by trees. I want to live with nature, not endless concrete.
If I allow myself to live consciously, I will be forced to pay attention to what I truly want in life. I won’t be able to stuff it down and ignore it anymore. The truth is I don’t even know what I want. I haven’t even let myself go there. I have a copy of Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck. This book is supposed to help you figure out what to do with your life, what your true calling is. I have picked it up several times over the last year or so, but I can’t get past chapter three.
I have decided to do Christine Kane’s Take Action Challenge. I am committing to do at least one thing every day to become more conscious. In practical terms that means that I will either meditate or do yoga. It’s scary to think about the changes that living consciously may bring, but I want to live consciously because I know that is the only way to have a meaningful life.