Some of you are probably wondering whether I am aspiring to any writing at all. All I am really doing is blogging. I think maybe that is the limit for me. I have vague dreams of writing comedy skits. But they remain vague and I can't help thinking my ego gets carried away often.
My idea is the more I write, the clearer I'll get in my head, what I want to write. If I had quals. in clinic psych. and counselling, throw in some Buddhist gap-year in Asia, and I might just create my own website. Offer people some feel-good counselling and pass the buck by having a whole page devoted to "external links". Quote Eckhart Tolle and the bible at the same time, to show how broad-minded I am.
It amazes me how people write novels, even short stories. To spend so long in the head of one's characters. Must be hard to come back to reality sometimes. The part that bores me is the descriptive stuff. I don't enjoy reading it and I hate writing it. I don't care about the shape, texture and colour of a dining room table. Just tell me , it's a table and I'll use my own concept of what a dining room table is. I'm more into the anxious monologues of Woody Allen. How writers show what is actually ticking inside our crazy heads. Then I feel better about myself, knowing I'm not the only one with racing thoughts, with suicidal tendencies. I think Dosteovsky does it well in stories like "the gambler". (because I used to be a pathetic gambler too)
I might be more suited to non-fiction as that is what I read mostly. Spirituality. Now that word has become so overworn, so cliché, but it best describes what I have a passion for. And I know I come across as a sarcastic s.o.b. sometimes but there is a part of me that hungers for this stuff. In my "humble" view, the minute we put our spiritual concerns on the backburner, is when we start to falter in our lives. OK, there endeth. Maybe I should write my own bible.
Writer? Well, many of you would say that I imagine. However, this question has plagued me all my life. Like a meaning of life question. Perhaps my problem is expecting a simple one or two word answer.
It has so wracked my brain that I think my best job might be career counsellor.
You know the last time, I went to a career counsellor, they couldn't stop with the cliché advice "make sure your resume is good, sell yourself before and during an interview and don't be afraid to take something less than you are qualified for." Somehow I was expecting more. Choosing the right job requires really good self-awareness. And of course, different jobs suit at different times of our lives. But I think there needs to be more time spent on getting to know the client personally. What are their likes and dislikes outside of work. What do they want to achieve in their life besides earn a living? How is their mental health? Are they stressed around people? Just because you are anxious around people, doesn't mean you aren't suited to a human services job/career. Of course pragmatic concerns like resume are also important. But I think I would be interested in helping either high school students or university students who wish to change courses. Help them question their own motivation for making choices. Do you really like kids? How is your level of confidence in front of a group? How might you build that confidence?
There are many of us who had to change our course at college. I baulked at psychology and chose education instead. But looking back, my reason for rejecting psychology was "oh, too much science and statistical analysis, I can't do that". But look at what psychologists end up doing. Most end up in human service/counsellor roles to my knowledge.
Ok my conclusion is, that choosing a job, a career requires time, patience, research and asking yourself the "hard " questions. The more ruthless we are in examining our motives, in separating healthy idealism from delusion, the better we can do in life. I'd like to see students spend a whole week or two in their last year of schooling on a meditation retreat with a career focus. or has it already been done?
If I ever get to the U.S. I want to go to Gesthemene, the monastery where Thomas Merton stayed. I think it is in Kentucky? Anyway, I read Seven Storey Mountain like millions of others did. Written in 1948, a best-seller. OK, critics might say it was full of naïve idealism. And very catholic. Still I've remained a fan of Merton and his later books show growth and maturity. Too bad he died so young as he was just about to embrace Buddhism. I'd love to visit a Catholic/Buddhist church, one day. Do they exist already?
But mystics to me are like great writers. They can see more and have more enthusiastic imaginations. They cross boundaries, they help you join the dots, see connections. They live in their spiritual imaginations like St. John of the Cross. They aren't caught up in the material world. They transcend intellectual pride and any form of ego for that matter. They know the value of humility. Humble, humble, humble. That is the key. God aint interested in how smart you are. He's interested in your heart, in your soul.
Before I get accused of preaching, I'd better stop. Each to his own. Good luck on your journey. And wish me luck on mine.
Two Aussie guys in their twenties were executed in Indonesia last year for drug smuggling. Myron Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. They had been in a Bali prison for 10 years.
There was a feeling from some, that they got what they deserved as the damage they would do to drug users would've have been massive, immeasurable. And there were those who felt a life sentence would've have been more appropriate than facing a firing squad.
Can you imagine how you would feel being on death row? Being obsessed about execution day? Apparently they had to wear garments with a target over the heart so that the shooters got the right spot. And I heard that sometimes they miss and it takes longer to die. Imagine the agony of those last minutes. I'm thinking I would require a diaper or pad for the last month before execution day. Just absolutely petrified. Constantly pooing my pants. The level of anxiety would be through the roof. I'd be requesting benzodiazapams too but I guess they wouldn't agree to that, and the irony of asking for drugs when you are being executed for smuggling them. Apparently they became born again Christian, Chan a pastor I think.
They showed courage and remorse and went to their deaths with dignity in my view. They apologised for upsetting their grief-stricken family and for their wicked crime too. Who am I to judge these two guys? If I could show the same guts, at the hour of my death, I will be happy.
Imagine too, any of those tortured in war-torn countries before their deaths. How much courage is being shown right this second, somewhere in the world.Because violence and murder and torture are so common, such everyday ocurrences. We can at least send a short prayer to them now, no matter what our belief is.
Don't tell me you have never been envious. C'mon! Just think back to high school for a minute:
-those kids that scored higher than you in tests
-the kid that could run light years faster than you
-the guy who had a shopping list of girlfriends
-the guy who had an absolute doll of a girlfriend
-the guy who had a girlfriend
-the guy who could speak to girls without having a panic attack
-the pubic speaker guy who had truckloads of confidence, and talent I guess
-the guy who could play guitar like Mark Knoepfler
- the all round jock
But you know what? Statistics show that we are wasting our time being envious. We should be focussed on honing our own skills. Our own progress. As if others don't exist. Life may be a competition, but as far as we know, the only challenge is bettering ourselves. The people who can use this approach are the winners in life. It has been scientifically proven, that those who ignore others' achievements and focus on what needs to be done at this very second:
-live at least 2 weeks longer on the average
-sleep at least 13 minutes longer every night
-have 0.27 more children than the average family
-have 1.269% better chance of not getting run over by a moped
Envy is a waste of time and energy. Do the green thing. Vote "No" to envy!
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