Since I was a kid, I wanted to write a book. Something helpful and engaging, important and impactful.
Over the years, I began to outline the book, and I found an awful trajectory. Though I had noble and ambitious values to share–peacemaking, sustainability, minimalism, thrift, and social service–my writing and logic were preachy, dry, and uninspiring. Not only that, my life was becoming incredibly unhappy. There's something incongruent in trying to convince people how to live a good life when I hadn't quite figured it out myself. So the book idea has been sitting on a shelf, as I sorted out some things in my life.
Voilà! I'm ready now.
May I begin with an intention: may all beings be happy and well. You, me, and all those around us. In the past, I have stumbled so many times in my thoughts, beliefs, words, and actions; and those missteps have sometimes caused discomfort to others. I anticipate as I embark on this journey to write and share, there may be miscommunication and discomfort. I now believe, though, that beyond any uncomfortable situation there is some resolution and peace. Please know that my ultimate goal here and now is good will for all.
That being said, I believe we each choose our own attitude and happiness. I used to think, "I want to make other people happy," and "I don't want to make others sad or angry or upset." These thoughts were foundational in the goal to write a book. Upon reflection, though, I see those as very heavy burdens to carry, and not really within my control. Now I feel it's somewhat of an oxymoron, to "force" happiness upon others. In my experience now, I find it's plenty of effort for myself to encounter the situations in my own life. What's working for me lately is to savor the enjoyable moments and to do my best to be cheerful and patient as the difficult moments to pass.
So what's left to write? At this point I think it's simply to fulfill the childhood dream of assembling my stories into a memoir that I find pleasing. I'd like to share many things that have delighted me, as well as things that have carried me through difficult times. A large part of this story are the people who have influenced my life, to whom I have so much gratitude, and I'd like to pay it forward to others before I go.