My journey is a jumble of internal and external.
The internal includes cultivating peace through pursuing simplicity, appreciating 'enough', and practicing mindful gratitude. This includes my relationships, material possessions, consumption of resources, and all aspects of my health. I'm getting really good at learning 'less is more'; I need to get better at remembering it.
The external includes using the time, talent, and treasure that I conserve through work on the internal part to promote equity and justice in the world across the intersections of sex, class, race, gender and sexual identity, and culture. My worldview is that my life as a rich, white, male is privileged and my personal morality calls me to use this privilege to dismantle aspects of oppression where I can. I'm starting small but my goal is to spread out and be part of a transformative movement.
The blend of my energy and attention between the internal and external is rarely 50 - 50. Weeks can go by where I seem to be focusing more on my external activities and (sometimes much) less on my internal needs. Unsurprisingly, those weeks are usually followed by an extended period where I need to disengage from the world, recharge, and find my way back to balance.
Drummer and lyricist of the rock band Rush, Neil Peart, died last week. I was a huge Rush fan in my teens and early 20s. Their music was massively influential in my early development as a hobbyist musician. Let me share a segment of Peart's lyric to the song 'Marathon' from the album Power Windows...
You can do a lot in a lifetime If you don't burn out too fast You can make the most of the distance First you need endurance First you've got to last
Pretty decent journey-takin' advice, no? My challenge is to find practices that result in maintaining balance and experiencing fewer, shorter, and shallower periods of imbalance. Balance will lead to endurance; balance will help me last.