How we change in life! A month or so ago I bumped into a very lovely couple in Madrid who listened to the Notes in Spanish podcasts, and they said they felt they knew me from listening to the audios.
This made me think, later… I realised that the Ben they knew was the Ben on the audios, mostly recorded from 2005 to about 2013, but that that Ben was somehow different. I had shifted slightly in ways of thinking and living.
So this was not the Ben they knew from the podcasts… and yet was! The feeling this gave me was very liberating. We are impermanent beings! Free to change as much as we like in life, and able to change whenever we like into whatever we like!
My adult life has involved many changes. On the ‘doing’ front it looks like this: (in London) working as an extra on films, being unemployed, studying photography, (move to Spain), English teacher, translator, blogger, podcaster, online business builder, event organiser, happiness writer…
All these changes have taken time, even the move to Spain – I came here first over the New Year of 97/98, but took 9 months to get here after that – and quite a lot of agonising. It’s hard to unroot the ego from attachment to a project and set it on a New Course. Recently I’ve been feeling the agony again, that anxious feeling, that a new course is required. A new creative or work course that is.
Everything suggests it’s about drawing, or art, and writing about life on a simpler level, not so philosophically, or searchingly. The last few posts have been in that line. The same thing happened, I notice, with my blog Notes from Spain. I wrote there prolifically about Spain for 7 years, then slowed down, one day posted there about happiness, and feeling it didn’t fit in with the original theme, decided to begin writing about happiness here instead. Our themes change.
So to beinghappiness.com. Writing directly about Dharma, and ideas about happiness, I think, for now is done. If this were a book, this would be the final chapter. It’s time to write the next book. If I had to write a conclusion, I would perhaps invite the reader to flick back through the pages of this blog at random (this link does that). Each post is about happiness, each as good as another, and I don’t think I’d change anything.
In fact, checking the original post I wrote on happiness at Notes from Spain, before starting here, I don’t think I’d change much or have learned pretty much anything new since 2012! Which just goes to show, stop searching, stop searching – everything we need to be happy is already here. I guess I’ve learned that. Stop searching. But don’t stop moving and creating. (“Inspiration, she never visits the lazy”, I heard David Hockney say in an interview!)
What I increasingly realise is that happiness is about taking care of unhappiness, and knowing our mind (“Know thyself!”) Of knowing what takes us out of the here and now, where nothing is lacking, and taking care of it. In my case, the only problem I have is an overactive mind. THAT’S IT! And mostly my overactive mind tends towards the future (what should I be doing next, what project am I working on, what will I do for the next 50 years+…) Exhausting!
Calm my mind, or question it totally, and all is so well in the world.
Calming it works very well for me. Drawing is great for that. And walking, exploring. Thought slows or stops.
Whenever and however I come back to the absolute present, to what I’m doing now, there are no problems. Which is what made me realise that my only problem is an overactive mind. Properly directed it’s also a blessing of course! But when it gets carried away with the ‘what shall I do, what shall I do’ of the future, I’ll just draw, create, or go for a walk, whatever works to calm it down and bring it back to now. The better I know it, the easier life is. The more I can react with a smile.
Life is wonderful. It’s a miracle, and it’s absolutely fascinating.
What next then? This transformation continues. I love to write. I love to create. I love to publish my work and hope it inspires others to love life and the world too. I want to continue to head in the direction of creativity – away from adminsitering websites and businesses and events. To create, with the hands, the heart and the eye. Will I continue here? I don’t know! Perhaps for now, perhaps for good, but if I move elsewhere I’ll publish that move here. Perhaps this time a new title isn’t needed. Perhaps it is. I don’t know yet.
But this is a moment of change. From exploring ideas to exploring reality again. From searching to loving what already is. From concepts to creation. On with the observation of this wonderful life!
Thank you, as ever, for listening.
(Update: Thanks to all the comments below, and a little common sense, I’ll be staying here!)