Over the past few years, I have been collecting the blogs of people building and working “alternative” forms of career. Or, you might say, doing work lives differently from the set wage-an-hour, 9-5 setting. One thing I’ve noticed amongst nearly everyone writing these blogs is a passion for life that bleeds through their words. Even when they’re writing about something miserable, about some form of suffering, there’s still an energy quality present that I find myself attracted to. An underlying joy or ease perhaps?
One of the blogs I follow is called “Zen Habits.” It’s author, Leo Babauta, is clearly influenced by Buddhism, although I don’t know whether he actually practices or not. This is what he says his writing is about:
“Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness.”
I like Leo’s blog because while it tends to appeal to a consumerist crowd with lots of disposable income at hand (or folks in need of “downsizing” their attachments to stuff), it’s not limited to that. Some of the articles could easily be used by someone who is totally broke and trying to figure out how to financially support themselves in a more beneficial manner. And some of the posts are simply redirecting our attention, drawing from Buddhist and other spiritual teachings.
For example, there is this observation from one of his posts:
Gratitude solves all problems. I am grateful for having this friend, or stranger, in my life, and I’m grateful for the chance to even be here, and for the incredible life I have.
However, go back to that first sentence. “Gratitude solves all problems.” I think this is a perfect way to describe tapping into the universal energy that flows through everything all the time. That “place” where it is all perfectly okay right now, regardless of the difficulties of current conditions.
My back is sore from a long day of work right now, but I’m grateful to be able to read, type, and be able to share this with people from around the globe.
Gratitude isn’t just something that is “good” to do or moral, it’s also practical. In fact, the very act of being grateful can break through suffering. I’ve felt this over and over again in my own life. Maybe you have as well. Things might be really rough today, but as long as I am breathing, there is something to be grateful for. This doesn’t erase the miserable stuff, but it certainly expands my perspective on it all.
So, bows to Leo for the reminder, and for offering his blog to us. May you all experience the power of gratitude today.
Gratitude by freeflo via Flickr Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.