Brianna V.S Donkey Kong: Beating Level 1
Isn't it funny that sometimes we can only see the light at the end of the tunnel once we’re already through the darkest, deepest parts of it? It seems that every time I come through a tunnel I find myself basking in the beauty of evolution; however, when I'm in it, in the really deep cervices of it, when I'm trying to pull myself from the depths of the dark hole, the light seems so far away - so distant. But when I come out the other side, everything is so much brighter. Colors are more vivid and the sky is more beautiful and awe inspiring than ever. The same sky that I once looked upon with doubt and confusion I now look upon and see the beauty and the wonder of the world. I now look at the sky and I see myself as being a beautiful spec in the wonder that is creation. But this same sky, I looked upon a week ago - only a short week ago - and saw nothing. Isn’t that funny?
I've always been able to find inspiration in my daily life. I have lived for the beauty of nature and life’s little moments. You know, those moments when you step out of your car and the brisk smell of fall reaches your nostrils and you just pause at the natural synchronicity of Mother Nature? Or in those little moments when the laughter of your family slows down time and the glow of love radiates in the room. Or even when you're walking in the woods and you come across a stream. Suddenly you see the complexity and simplicity of nature all wrapped in one.
Being an empathetic person is a blessing and a curse. Emotions are magnified. Saddness can be crippling but Joy – joy can be all encompassing. On top of this I’m an over-thinker. I analyze and deconstruct. This obsession can go either way. It can either be detrimental or – if harnessed properly, it can be a great tool for contemplation and consciousness. The trick is learning the difference between the two. In this quest for mindfulness and balance I thought the key was learning how to deal with the extremities of my addictive personality. Learnt how to move through the lows and harness the highs - but still – this didn’t sit well with me. What was the root of the problem? Why couldn’t I stop the extremes instead of trying to deal with them?
I'm a big believer that we repeat patterns that we need to heal through. It’s like playing Donkey Kong. You don't get to move to the next level unless you dodge all the weirdly muscular crocodile men, jump a few runaway mine carts, and ride into the exit cave on an ostridge, frog, or rhino... sometimes with Ditty by your side and sometime solo. Pretty simple right? Only unlike playing my favorite N64 game, we're not always sure if we've beat the level, the bosses are all undercover, and candy isn't waiting for you with a precious save point. So what are us mere mortals in the real world to do?
We pay attention. We ground ourselves to protect against the crocodiles in our lives. We surround ourselves with a positive, like-minded tribe to lift us when we're knocked down by those runaways, and we set up rituals that are our save points to keep us from going backwards like journals, meditation, vlogging, or even having our own personal Diddy to remind us to stay on course when the road gets tough. And in the mean time, we ride the wave of life celebrating our successes and walking through our deserts and mine fields with furious hope.
It always amazes me how fast we expect positive change to come and yet how slow we expect negative habits to form. These past few weeks I've really been focusing on expectation and what that really means to me, in my world. It's really helped me realize just how much expectation I put on myself in ALL areas of life. To look a certain way, to feel a certain way, to accomplish a certain amount of work each day, to be at a certain place in my life, to be a certain amount of busy each day/week/month. The more I focused on what I SHOULD be doing/saying/thinking/feeling, the further I got from actually achieving any of it, and the less productive, passionate, and creative I was. And so I took on this new challenge in the same way I take on most of life’s challenges. I gathered Intel. I paid attention. Simply watching my thoughts this month has led me to realize the root cause of these high highs and low lows. Without having the discipline to really ground myself and reign it in when I’m full of production, passion and motivation, I burnt myself out. I placed expectation on myself to maintain that high level of productivity and creativity, which of course is unsustainable without balancing it out with reflection and recovery leaving me once again exhausted and disconnected. I've been repeating this pattern of expectation, exhaustion, recovery, and rejuvenation. So all of this… is what led me to my next question... where is the line between preparing, planning, dreaming, reaching, manifesting... And judging, expecting, and pushing.
Well to me, it’s paying attention to life’s moments. It’s recognizing when you're low and having the courage to stand back up. But even more difficult, it’s realizing when you're too high and having the strength to reign it back, slow down, and reset. We need to stop more and find life’s little moments every single day. Because these moments help us stay present and are beautiful save points. Whether they be in the smell of your morning coffee, in the sound of laughter, or in the smallest ray of sun, I believe that when we reach this point of stillness and awakening we than become far more equip to face and heal through those emotions that are not serving us and lead to this state of unbalance and unconsciousness.
We’re constantly being told to be more aware and present.. but why? This month I feel like I found another piece to the conscious puzzle. Awareness of self, of life, and of this universe really helps us de-compartmentalize our own psyche so that we can figure out how to be the best versions of ourselves. Only with awareness comes evolution. So no matter where you are on you’re journey, take this vow with me to always remember to stop, listen, and walk through life with furious hope.