Saturday, November 27, 2021 (Day 330)
Relaxing Music for the week: My Quiet Spirit: Liquid Mind (10:52) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qD1tif1eGs
Question: What is the one thing you could start going today to strengthen your sense of spirituality and your spiritual life?
Answer: One thing that I’ve started doing for the past two months in strengthen my spiritual journey is join a church. It’s nice to be at a place that has similar values as my own, in so many different ways. If you think about LDC work and purpose, it’s very much linked to a spiritual journey, when addressing becoming your best self in service to something bigger than yourself, PLUS helping others do the same. Yes, that resonates with my soul so much. And at this particular church, they also practice a “humming meditation,” which I love. It’s all about connecting with the soul on so many different levels, not about following a set of “rules” on what it means to practice one’s faith/religion. It doesn’t mean that you’re free to do whatever you want; it means that your here to profoundly serve your higher power and others from a place that resonates with your entire being, for the betterment of others. It makes me think about my work, as well as the “vocation” that I’m called to do in the next chapter in my life. It might be in higher education, it might not. If anything, it needs to be something that makes me a better person AND does the same for others, to make the world a better place. Young people, old people – doesn’t matter. We ALL have a place on this earth to contribute and make it better…we just have to find it, then do it. And before I forget, the other thing I need to do it meditate; now that my in-class meetings are done, it’s time for me to get back to my 5-10 minutes every day, just to get me to rest my mind and my body for a few minutes. I am moving in SO many directions right now, it’s crazy. Having a little bit of time to NOT think about stuff would be HUGE, since I haven’t had much time to NOT think about stuff. I can already feel my body and mind feeling better just knowing that these two pieces are going to be more prominent in my life.
So this morning, and with every morning indoor bike ride, I spend it reading and watching a Brian Johnson Philosopher’s Note (PN), I think over the past month, I must have read and watched at least 50 Notes, as I prepare for my next Life Design Catalyst Training in a little over two weeks. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time, since it’s bringing together 40 people interested in how to integrate LDC work not only in their own lives, but in the lives of others. And for me, it’s about depth, not breadth, because the magic occurs in the moments outside the room, when conversations and connections rule the day.
Anyway, I re-read/re-listened to the PN on David Brook’s “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life.” There are a couple of NOTES that I would say are my favorite – this is DEFINITELY one of them! I’m going to share two excerpts from the Note that I love (two of many, for sure). This first one is to describe the difference between the first mountain and second mountain:
“Every once in a while, I meet a person who radiates joy. These are people who seem to glow with an inner light. They are kind, tranquil, delighted by small pleasures, and grateful for the larger ones. These people are not perfect. They get exhausted and stressed. They make errors in judgment. But they live for others, and not for themselves. They’ve made unshakable commitments to family, a cause, a community, or a faith. They know why they were put on this earth and derive a deep satisfaction from doing what they have been called to do. Life isn’t easy for these people. They’ve taken on the burdens of others. But they have a serenity about them, a settled resolve. They are interested in you, make you feel cherished and known, and take delight in your good. …
Life, for these people, has often followed what we might think of as a two-mountain shape. They got out of school, they start a career, and they begin climbing the mountain they thought they were meant to climb. Their goals on this first mountain are the ones our culture endorses: to be a success, to make your mark, to experience personal happiness. But when they get to the top of that mountain, something happens. They look around and find the view . . . unsatisfying. They realize: This isn’t my mountain after all. There’s another, bigger mountain out there that is actually my mountain. And so they embark on a new journey. On the second mountain, life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment.”
So, what mountain are you climbing right now? My current job/role at UNCG is NOT my second mountain, for sure! The Training will help me explore where I can start (and continue) my second mountain. Later in the Note, he shares this gem between happiness and (moral) joy and how it relates to the two mountains. This description perfectly describes me and my life – a life of moral joy instead of happiness. Here’s the gem:
“Happiness is the proper goal for people on the first mountain. And happiness is great. But we only get one life, so we might as well use it hunting for big game: to enjoy happiness, but to surpass happiness toward joy.
Happiness tends to be individual; we measure it by asking, ‘Are you happy?’ Joy tends to be self-transcending. Happiness is something you pursue; joy is something that rises up unexpectedly and sweeps over you. Happiness comes from accomplishments; joy comes from offering gifts. Happiness fades; we get used to the things that used to make us happy. Joy doesn’t fade. To live with joy is to live with wonder, gratitude, and hope. People who are on the second mountain have been transformed. They are deeply committed. The outpouring of love has become a steady force.”
Wow. That’s awesome. And that’s what I stand for, life of moral joy on the second mountain. Wanna join me?