Last week I learned about a contemplative studies conference happening in San Diego, one that seems certain to open my consciousness, make me more aware of my spirituality as well as become better versed in various world religions, and really just unlock my inner self on a whole new level. Plus yoga, obviously. $575 is a small amount to pay for what I am sure would be a life changing four days.
Then this weekend I heard about another conference through a writers collective where I’ve taken classes before. Two days of workshops would surely jump start my creative juices and give me the energy for a big writing kick. And at only $145, it’s a steal compared to the contemplative conference. But no yoga.
Then, just yesterday, a friend came over in a new pair of workout shoes that I’ve had my eye on for close to six months. They’re a little intense, but she said she never wants to buy another kind of shoe again in her life and had just ordered a second pair of the same kind. They are everything I’ve been wanting in a shoe but haven’t been able to admit, and with them, I’d be more in touch with nature and by default, obviously myself. Plus they are on sale and are cheaper than both workshops and will last longer than a weekend.
And then today came. And I went for a run in my regular shoes and now I’m writing a regular blog post without the benefit of two straight days of expert wisdom, and yet, even with my as-of-yet-unenlightened mind, I’ve come up with a rather obvious insight, but one I needed to remember.
What is it that I want? I want to be happy. I think it’s fair to say we all do, hence the title of this post.
I don’t need more things or more commitments to be happy. In fact, as I’ve recently griped about, I need fewer commitments and things are just another form of commitment. A commitment to a job. A commitment to a place.
What I need, now especially, is more time and fewer commitments. Not a four day conference to contemplate the brain-spirit-consciousness connection, though I’m sure it would be meaningful, but time to remember to take a deep breath a few times throughout my day. Not a two day writing intensive, but ten minutes to write a sentence, just one, to keep the habit going. Two days is too much. Two days is intense. And I don’t need intense right now. I need gentle consistency. What I need is not a new pair of shoes to connect me to the earth, but a barefoot Saturday morning on the patio with my cat, feeling the warm concrete on my soles, and maybe stepping into the soft dirt of my landlord’s garden for a few moments.
There is nothing wrong with these things, and nothing wrong with anyone who wants them or has them. They’re just not for me right now.
I don’t need more busy weekends. I don’t need another swipe of the debit card. I need moments to be here. Where I am. With what I already have.