My hikes bring me to such a state of being and enigmatic enlightenment, that’s why I do them nearly everyday. Here is what I discovered (or rather reflected on) yesterday on my hike. Talking with my mom about addiction and coping has made me realize how far I’ve come in a year, especially the last 3 months. I’ve been battling myself and my body for so long. Last year I gave up grains, starches, and sugars (since May the only bit I’ve had was the rice in the few sushi rolls I had on my birthday), but still I struggled fluctuating 5-10 pounds, just overeating. Then 3 months ago it clicked. In my late teens and early 20’s I would succumb to bingeing. Either eating or sleeping away time to keep from feeling-stopping myself from living. Punishing myself. I realize now that I set myself up, trying to be perfect. Not even for myself, but trying to portray and image for everyone, caring what others thought entirely too much. When my eating wasn’t perfect I would punish myself with more food because somehow more was going to make something better, but actually making it worse. Addictions work this way, alcoholics try to numb themselves and escape with booze. I was so out of harmony both physically but spiritually as well. After reading the Tao, I realized a lot and I work on different aspects at a time. I’ve been working on judgment. I’m a aware I do a better job, although I still find myself judging sometimes (although I’m more aware of it and pick it up a lot faster so that I can change my thought). My main desire in life is to be content and live a Tao life. In addition, I would say this and health (my #2) are on my mind most of the time. I still judge, but I’m aware of it and constantly test it, practicing my skill. In most of society, we label everyone: fat, ugly, smart, stupid, etc. we construct these boxes for people to fit in to and predict their behavior based on this. We do this for ourselves as well. We separate ourselves from others. I always thought of myself with labels like the smart one or the artistic one. Here’s a scenario, this is how I’m going to react. I’ve caught myself thinking this. When hitchhiking, I stuck my thumb up and thought this is so out of character. Same when I decided to go skydive. Who is this character? Where’s the rulebook that says I have to act a certain way? I’m judging myself, just like when I would binge, I’d judge myself before others could. I was striving for this conventional/societal view of perfection. What I didn’t realize is that I am already perfect. Born of the right time, meant to be where I am now (because everything in my like has happened to bring me to this realization). My body is perfect and it is what it is (my heart pumps and my lungs process air all without me thinking-they know what to do because of their design by Nature). Now it is my job to treat my body like it is perfect. Nourish it and not poison it. Give it what it needs to function at its best so that it can serve a long/disease free existence, as Nature intended. I no longer fight with my body image. Food is nourishment, not a control. Now I can focus on living. I wish that others could feel this freeing feeling of acceptance. I don’t judge others struggling (or at least that’s what I’m working on). Part of the Tao is to see yourself in others. Therefore, by not labeling myself or placing titles for myself differentiating myself from others, I listen more and see myself in others. If they are me, and I don’t judge myself, then I don’t judge them (rather I just let them BE). Like I said I still stumble with this, but I have come leaps and bounds and am aware of it. This is freeing too. Because I now love myself and see myself in others, so I realize how much I like people. What a problem to have- to like everyone and not harbor and hatred to anyone. Imagine how peaceful. Although some people may be a little more challenging than others may, I embrace the challenge and still do not harbor any ill intentions for them. Trying to be perfect led to disharmony, whereas accepting that I already am perfect has led to happiness. I feel contentment with life and feel so alive, like an electrical energy just radiates throughout my body.
Another aspect to my contentment is being and not questioning, but following my instincts while reading the To I though I need to move out of my house and live more simply. I didn’t question it, but packed my stuff that night. You should try it out for a week to see if you can do it first- is what my mother said. Why would I do that? I’ve already made up my mind that it’s possible, so it’s not going to be hard. Two weeks later I was moved in to my grandma’s storage shed ( I had intended to build a cabin, but this was already there-like it was meant for me). Was it challenging? No for most of human existence, we’ve lived without heating and electricity, plus I already made up my mind that it wasn’t going to be hard. Lesson from my simple living thus far is living with less makes you realize how much you have. To the outside world, I am poor, with hardly any possessions or money, but I feel wealthier than the richest men do. One I’m closer to Nature, hiking 5-6 days a week. Two, I’ve spent more time with my family and friends. What a great support system and spectacular group of people I get to spend time with. That is it time! Actually, spending time, engaging with others rather than mindlessly being in the same room, taking for granted their presence. Experiencing things and talking about things that we find meaningful. I do not have to worry about my stuff or cleaning my ‘cabin’. I spend time hiking with Dad, playing Yahtzee and talking with mom, chatting and planning with my sister, hunting with my brother and grandpa, playing catch with Shadow, dancing in the kitchen with Tab, pottery/rock climbing with Elizabeth, being creative/trap shooting with Chelsey. All this time and these memories are valuable, not a closet full of clothes, a vault full of cash, a mansion, or a fancy sports car. I thought I needed to go to California and I did. I didn’t question the decision or instinct, I just made it happen. From the experience, I learned so much about Tao practices and myself. I broke down all kinds of restrictions and labels I had assigned to myself. It was one of the most uplifting experiences of my life. Live life not questioning or judging and you will be free to BE content to accept your own perfection (and the perfection of all, as we are ONE).