Hello, my name is John. I am now a 45-year old married man living in the Dayton, OH area trying as best as I can to live and love and grow and wake up and stay awake in a culture that seems to embrace sleep, mediocrity, comfort, and the path of least resistance as if they were virtues, and who is quickly coming to realize that the quality of our lives will only be as good as our courage and clarity in our most pivotal moments of decision, as well in the day in and day out seemingly innocuous little choices we make. In both extremes of decision-making, we are defining and creating ourselves and affecting who we are and how courageously and wisely we will be able to choose in the future.
That’s what defines us and the quality of our lives and relationships—the capacity to consistently choose courageously from what’s best in us both when the going gets tough and even when things are going smoothly, and not automatically opt for the easiest, most comfortable, least effortful path, most safe and familiar path.
Thus this blog will be dedicated to the learning of the art of waking up and living more courageously and with more clarity and awareness! If we are to truly wake up and live while we are alive and not, when we come to die, realize that we have not truly lived, then we will need to learn better how to live more deeply and more meaningfully and courageously. And as such this inescapably means learning how to better embrace a much fuller cross-section of life. It takes a lot of courage, inner stability, and deep resoluteness to be able to engage the full intensity of living and loving, to not so quickly and automatically self-preservate and automatically back down and shy away from intense and unprecedented and frightening experiences and emotions, to not back down automatically from everything in life that frightens us and makes us uneasy. It takes a lot of heroism (courage) in everyday life and often in seemingly little and easily overlooked ways (read: choices) to be able to consistently (or near consistently) bring the gift of one’s best self to one’s relationships and all aspects of one’s life.
And this also requires a lot of mindfulness—a lot of awareness of both others as well as oneself and one’s own inner processes and real motives—if we are to live deeply and well. Our best possible life is a very examined, eyes- and mind- and heart-wide open life. And this approach to life is only possible if we are heroic, courageous, wise, discerning, aware, inquisitive, persistent, intense, determined, —meaning that we do not allow ourselves to break and sell out and automatically avoid intense experiences and interactions—experiences that might actually work in our benefit and help us to grow and become more courageous and confident and fully alive.
Life is change. Growth is optional. Only as deeply as we are willing to look and reflect will we be able to see.