The Landscape of Metanoia

I know the expression “old soul” gets thrown around a lot to explain those who seem wise beyond their years, but I don’t quite see it this way. For one thing, it has the connotation that these people are better than others, more advanced. This isn’t true and simply doesn’t feel right. Just as our human age is an illusion brought on by the sensation of time, I do not believe that our souls are any older or younger than one another, but that we are all in fact the same age.

In the same way that all the matter we see had a beginning, with its atoms taking shape and dissolving back into its rudimentary state, consciousness also had its spark of life that unleashed everything all at once. So what creates such a dichotomy between ignorance and wisdom amongst ourselves? How are the two able to exist simultaneously?

In order to explain this, I am brought to the landscape of Metanoia (for more information regarding this word, visit my About page). Just as the Earth has its peaks and valleys, there are highs and lows through this medium of experience that I am writing about.

As we began to travel, we all went separate ways. With different circumstances to face, ranging from troughs and valleys covered in vegetation, to mountain heights towering over all that is, a person is altered and conditioned. In some of these places, you might not be able to see the sky above, where your world is contained and dense. Like tunnel vision, all you can see is what’s immediately in front of you. In this sort of environment, the feeling that there is only what you see becomes very convincing. Naturally, the illusion begins to make more and more sense, and anything else a far off reality. When we no longer think that there is more, we get lost and prohibit ourselves from experiencing anything further. Generations upon generations of this can birth a sort of limitless ignorance that is almost impossible to escape. This is how false evils are created and perpetuated, delusions are free to run rampant, and people stumble farther and farther away from the truth they once knew.

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But with the landscape of Metanoia being as dynamic as it is, this is thankfully not how it is for every soul. Fields reveal a horizon that lead to somewhere, and a sky that offers the possibility of infinity. Those who find themselves in the ocean can see this sky as well, but must constantly tread water. Some struggle up onto hill tops and mountain treks, where the understanding of what everything is comes with complete clarity. There are brave souls, whom I admire the most and associate most heavily with, who are trapped under a dense vegetation, deciding to climb the tallest trees in order to get a better view, driven by the desire to orient themselves.

With the diversity of the landscape comes the diversity of experiences. What is gained is a unique mark, the fingerprint of the soul, and we are lucky for this. With diversity you can be sure that there’s an individual, or perspective unique to your situation, and thus has the means for you to get to where you need to go. It is as if you came upon a stranger who has traversed the section of land ahead, and can give you advice, or even a map. You can also do the same for others along your travels. This is why it is important to have such diversity and to understand that there is no one route, or one truth. This cannot be with the condition of the landscape. This is why we must embrace our differences, as long as it doesn’t hinder the journey of others, and encourages the trek we have ahead. It is both varying and unified, more connected than separate. While the paths intersect in some places, and diverge in others, they’re all headed towards the same thing.

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Photos credited to Daniel Ranger and Kathryn Beals 

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The Obvious (but forgotten) Ways We Can Create a Loving Environment for Ourselves

In light of my previous post and the pending arrival of Valentines Day, I wanted to go into more detail about alternative ways we can incorporate love into our lives, without the help of others.

I’ve already mentioned how relying on those around us for love can be problematic. Chances are, at one time or another, you were either alone, or surrounded by people who weren’t providing the feeling of connectedness that you craved or needed. But there are many other ways to make life just as fulfilling without another’s assistance, which we sometimes forget with the hype of romantics and popularity.

1. Create 

This might already be obvious for fellow bloggers, who are already creating frequently and sharing it with the world. Its great to take pride in your writing and enjoy reaching out to others who were otherwise unreachable. However, it is still worth mentioning, especially with the multitude of opportunities out there that are often forgotten.

Buy a paint set, or a sketch book. Reacquaint yourself with the high tech camera you got for christmas but were too busy to use. Do some gardening. Bake a cake. If you’re like me, you have numerous recipes for dinners and deserts piling up and haven’t yet had the opportunity to try out.

I could go on…

Heres some motivation: Red Velvet Trifle Recipe , How To Make A Water Color Mug , DIY Herb Garden

You’d be surprised how much our creations give back to us in terms of happiness, knowledge, learning, overall well being, and ultimately love.

2. Sift through the impersonal and hold onto sentiment.

Whether or not it is solely due to technology (as it is at least part of the issue) I think it is safe to say that we hold a certain amount of detachment with one another in our society. The internet seems to do a great job at keep us from losing touch with everyone, or anyone, but also impedes our ability to make deep connections. Find a pen pal, a hand written letter has a vintage quality in the midst of our digitized existence.

Make dinner instead of eating out one night, and invite someone over if you don’t live with anyone. Host a movie marathon. Host a wine and cheese party. If you’re an animal lover, host a dog play date with your fellow animal lovers. If you’ve found yourself making less and less plans lately, get away from the computer screen (after you’re done reading this) and make time for it.

Also, don’t wait for someone to buy you flowers, take you out for dinner, or get you that gift you always wanted. Treat yourself from time to time, which leads to my next point…

3. Reward yourself

Whats the point of completing a to do list if theres no feeling of gratification afterward? Do this in what ever way works for your lifestyle. Even if the reward is small, it is better than ending the day with something other than the mere completion of a task.

4. If something makes you happy, even if its minimal, give it your attention and make room for it. Find beauty in simple things.

This can pertain to your physical environment, an activity, or really anything involving your emotional/mental well being. Perhaps it means having a collection of sea glass, hanging a tapestry, coffee in the morning, taking a walk to the ocean at least once a week. It will be different for everyone.

Do not let small pleasures slip through the giant cracks of your expectations.

There is a lot more to enjoy and to cherish than we realize. Its just a matter of noticing it.

5. If something is toxic to you, whether it be a person, a place or thing, don’t grant it your attention.

Life is too short to spend energy on something that will only bring you down and set you back from your purpose, which is fundamentally to be yourself (whatever that may be in your case), and make this world a better one. To do this, you must first become skillful at recognizing a toxic situation. I have a knack for this, but I realize that its not always easy for others. If it were, many of us would not end up in the circumstances we’ve been in or are in now. Once you are able to recognize whats hurting you, your decisions in eliminating unnecessary negativity will become much more effective.

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Romantic love is different and unique, but that doesn’t mean its more valuable than what can be attained from what already surrounds us.