dum vivimus, vivamus

“While we live, let us live!”

images joie de vivreimages joie de vivreimages joie de vivre

What does this mean to you?  What does it mean to “live?”  Of course, if you are reading this, you are already “living.”  We breathe, we eat, we sleep, we think, we love, we do…and so we live.  Yes.

And yet…we understand, of course, that this “dum vivimus, vivamus” portends to something…more.  To a certain “Joie de Vivre” – that certain Spirit, intoxication, or fullness – of being richly immersed and present and in love with your life!  YES! That is our goal.  Yes?

The older I become, the more I believe that we must be our greatest ally in the making of our own lives.  That sounds incredibly obvious, doesn’t it?  And yet, all around me I bare witness to this very “obvious” fact of ownership, all but ignored, or disrespected, or…trampled upon.  We must protect ourselves from the insanity that prevails “out there” in the world…lest it begin to infect the “in here” of our own precious being.

There are times when I simply need to remove myself from the onslaught of “News” – ie: bad news about bad behavior regarding people who’ve been deluded and reside within the scope of “bad decisions. ” After the Bernie Madhoff scandal I stopped reading the newspaper/listening to the news on the radio/and refused to check the news headlines online.  I was filled up with the horror show of humanity and could consume not a morsel more.  I pulled the plug, and remained unplugged for roughly 2 years.  It helped.  But at a certain point, I began to feel negligent for my lack of knowing what was going on in the world, and so I returned…and it was pretty much the same as it was when I left. More bad behavior being reported, in depth and in great detail, on a daily basis.  This takes its toll…the way a river will slowly erode the soil along the banks…so too, this kind of “information” has the power to slowly erode the “warmth” inside our soul.  I’ve learned to listen to when I can absorb, and when I can not – so I “plug in” or “un-plug” accordingly.

In truth, however, I feel a strong repulsion to the bombardment and explicit attention given to the worst of human behavior, which is repeatedly given the lion’s share of bandwidth. There are a great many amazing individuals, doing amazing things for this world, culture, society of ours…and they remain, by and large, hidden in the shadows.  Why is “News” only that which is twisted, ugly, despicable? What is our fascination with the foul stench of human behavior gone bad?

What we feed our minds, feeds our souls.  Quite like food.  “You are what you eat!” – we are well aware of the “logic” of that slogan, and understand the direct correlation of a diet based on junk, creating a body that is junk! Or, in other words, a body “strongly lacking in health.”  And yet…somehow we do not care to admit, or even allow, for the possibility that if we continually feed our minds, our spirit, junk: violence (in real life, as well as “entertainments”: video games, music, movies, etc.) trashy news, celebrity gossip, porn, the onslaught of reporting that concerns bad human behavior, the overwhelmingly endless content that is absent of nourishing information… it will create a “junk” spirit, “junk” mind.  The lack of acknowledgement of this direct correlation is very puzzling.  Very puzzling, indeed.

So – I descend from the soapbox and ask you – how do you maintain a sense of vibrancy in your own being, in the midst of the nonsense that surrounds, and attempts to swallow us whole?  What secrets do you maintain in order to keep a sense of innocence, wonder, Joie de Vivre, as you exist in the culture and society of the United States of America?

IMG_1668  Here are some of mine:

* My kids!  They are such a beautiful lens for looking at the world anew, for seeing the “best” of what we can be, and what we can continue to strive for…as well as reason to continue to strive, always, for the best of who we might be.

*Art!  It is the manna of my spirit, the excitement of my breath, the salve for my wounds, the release of my “self” as I enter the larger arena of WE.  I mean Art in the very broad sense, of all things created, shared…gifts from humans – to other humans – that are meant to be shared, experienced, pondered, witnessed, felt, and…absorbed.  Bless All Artists in this world of ours, for continuing to strive to bring humanity Forward, Deeper, Wider, Higher…more Inclusive and Alive, as it profoundly asks that we be willing to Feel and Experience more than we think we are possibly able.

*Mother Nature!  No place releases my shoulders, my breath, my heart, quite like stepping outside, into the quiet, into the trees, the sun, the rain, the snow; into desert, into mountain, into ocean, lake, river, puddle; into dirt and seed and flower and tomato; into starlight and moonglow and sunbeam and unknown.  Expanse…I yearn for it so deeply that the mere image of wide open plains, moves me to tears.

Please, let me hear from you.  We are here for each other.  We are nothing without one another.  I would love to share what keeps you grounded and stable and alive and glorious, in these often times…challenging days.  Let us inspire one another.   Let us support and provide the scaffolding for one another.  Let us spread Joie de Vivre with all that we meet…It is contagious!  Let us change our world, one day, one breath, one wish, one act, one laugh, one good deed, one selfless moment, one shared moment, one intention, one resolution, at a time!


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