Monday, December 8, 2008

A Meaningful Life

Stop with the online store emails announcing that I can get 20% off two items for the next two days or a $100 gift card back if I spend $400. It is making me feel cheap.  Not cheap in that I don't want to buy nice gifts for family and friends this holiday season but cheap as in tawdry, as in I'm done with being an active part of this whole consumerist, luxury laden society.  I don't want to acquire anything more than what I need and be grateful if I can afford to do that.  I want to get down to the basics, I just want to lead a meaningful life.

What is that by definition?  I've finally realized that it is different for everyone.  And it takes a long time to realize what that is for you.  Throughout these difficult, yet fascinating past two years I have gone from a struggling/ on the verge actress waiting for the phone to ring, having my spirit pummelled every time it didn't, not understanding as I was passionate and confident about the work I was doing, to actually feeling like I had am achieving something substantial and reflective of my passion and talents.  Now that I feel fulfilled and on my correct path (not 'the' correct path but 'my'), the glossy but bloated distractions of a magazine life don't seem as tempting anymore.  I'm seeing them for what they are now:  'Fillers'.  Quick, yet short lived fixes to that empty feeling.  I started this blog admitting to an addiction to online shopping and at the time that was indeed the case, but it's strange to say that the lure of acquiring something new just isn't there now (well, admittedly as I type on my xmas macbook pro gift) because I am full.  Full of purpose and full on life.  I type on my macbook pro happily because it fits into the newly solved puzzle that is my creative life - writing, blogging, photography, web producing (in addition to acting); different pieces, different shapes, finally fitting together, all relating to my career, my friends and my family.  My career truly defines who I am (it doesn't for some but for me it does), and in accepting that, and seeing those around me finally accept that too, it enriches the other elements and makes the time spent with family and friends more meaningful.  By reflecting on and embracing my love of creating, of storytelling, of expressing, of being part of a particular creative community, I realize that I'm just endeavoring to connect more with the world around me.  That's why I look to tell stories, especially those with a fantastical or science fiction twist, because I want to have a small hand in elevating the human spirit and psyche to a place where we can share a higher appreciation for our magical, yet fleeting existence on this planet. (OK -Don't laugh- our very existence on a lone planet supporting life,  circling a star is pretty magical).

In thinking about a meaningful life, I stumbled across a webpage that articulates and further clarifies what I have just come to realize so I thought I'd share it with you:

10 ideas for a meaningful life:

1.  We are all here for a purpose, your life here make a difference.  

2.  The secret to fulfillment is self- knowledge.  Start the journey of discovery.

3.  The second part of fulfillment is to apply your self-knowledge to what you do and how you live.

4.  Don't waste time lamenting what you don't do well.  Concentrate on your strengths- those reflect who you are.  Leave the other things to people who do them well. (This is a big one for me as I have to let go of the idea that I am the best at everything I do).

5.  Build on your strength.  Do more of them and give yourself recognition for doing the things you do well.

6.  Pay attention to the small details that you enjoy in your everyday life.  Do more of them!

7.  On the flip side, pay attention to the small details you don't enjoy.  Find ways to delegate them and or eliminate as many of them as possible.

8.  Keep a journal and put particular emphasis on the things about yourself and events in your life for which you are grateful.

9.  Make an effort to release the negative aspects of your past.  Try not to be imprisoned or defined by your past.

10.  Jumpstart your self esteem by giving back to the community.  Volunteer in a meaningful way that suits who you are and your interests.  (This reminds me how I must get back working with the Miracle Project- please see Autism: The Musical if you haven't already.)

Thanks to Dr. Lehavi and her page, those are my thoughts of the day.  Be back soon.

All Things T

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