I spent part of my day watching TED videos. First up was Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices.
This talk was about recognizing that there are deeper factors in the choices we make that relate to what we value as human beings.
Drifters allow the world to write the story of their lives. They let mechanisms of reward and punishment, pats on the head, fear, the easiness of an option to determine what they do. So the lesson of hard choices: reflect on what you can put your agency behind, on what you can be for; and through hard choices, become that person. –Ruth Chang
There were times in my life when I let convention dictate my choices in my life rather than conviction, or what I felt deepest in my heart. There were times when I knew that by choosing to do the “right” thing, I was choosing against love. That has resulted in a life of secret longing. I have made an opportunity to rectify that longing, but I am faced again with the choice between convention and conviction.
Convention says that I should stay where I am because here, I am prosperous. Here, I have some surety of my support. Here, I will know with greater assurance where my next meal will come from. Here, my physical needs will be met. But I am also concerned that if I stay here, my passion of spirit will suffer. If I stay where I am, I will more likely be a Drifter, as Ruth Chang would call it. My sense of spirit and passion would be restricted.
Conviction says that I should take the leap and go out because I am better supported emotionally and spiritually elsewhere. A relationship that I have found emotionally supportive has been offered to me again. In this relationship, I feel my passion expand, and not just in the physical sense. I feel in this relationship that my sense of my own abilities is expanded. With an expanded sense of my own abilities, then certainly I would be in a better position to prosper while doing something I love and something that I feel is important.
The other video I watched today (that is important to this post, at least) was How to quit your life (and reboot): Priya Parker at TEDxUHasselt.
This talk offers determining what values are important to you as well as a tip or two in how to make the leap into a life that better fulfills those values. Priya Parker challenges the listener to ask,
What is the biggest need in the world that I might have the passion and capacity to address? –Priya Parker
Priya Parker offers some tools for determining what you value.
If you were to write an obituary of your life, would the result satisfy you? Would you feel that your life had meaning?
Ask your family and friends when they had seen you most alive and most passionate. What were you doing? Draw a comic strip about that time.
Get comfortable with discomfort. Do things like sing while standing in line while shopping, taking yourself out to dinner with no reading material and without your phone, and facing the back of the elevator instead of the door.
Give yourself a “life sentence.” A business might call this a “mission statement.” What qualities do you want to express? What do you do? Why do you do it?
Do the Dwindling Cash Experiment to explore how you might live at various levels of income. Determine how you are spending now. Determine how you might live at various percentages of that income. Use this information to decide how much income you will need.
Help someone else. Identify five friends who do interesting work and offer them an hour to help them solve their stickiest problems. Ideally, what they do should be something other than what you do.
Set a withdrawal date and send out evites. Inviting others to share in your withdrawal and reboot creates accountability.
Don’t avoid thinking about meaning just because it scares you. Changes in the Universe are very hard to make, but they’re even harder to make if you don’t spend time thinking about what most matters to you. … Changes in the Universe basically need time, and need space, and need risk. So what I would urge you to do is to think about what matters to you, think about what makes you come alive, and think about what is actually happening in the world. And then think critically and deeply about how you want to dive in. Otherwise, you might be cheating the future on all you have to give. –Priya Parker
A certain complication has developed in my urge to withdraw from my current life. I think perhaps it was introduced by the gods as an inducement to move out of my comfort zone into my true purpose. My communications with the gods have revealed that so long as I stayed true to that purpose, the indulgence of that distraction would be supported and protected. Jesus and Pele have both expressed a sort of preference in favor of the distraction as opposed to where I am now. It is also possible that the path of my true purpose may ultimately include neither influence.
With respect to the communications with the gods mentioned, I often ask myself if I am just making things up when I am meditating or journeying. In Shamanism, we are taught that imagination has reality. Channelers such as Steve Rother will also say that these processes will always feel like we are just making things up. In other words, the feeling that I am making things up may not make it less real.
The main thing that has become clear is that I have felt stifled where I am. Ultimately, I guess I have to ask my heart what it wants. Ultimately, conviction will have to win out over convention.