The task of mowing my yard takes a long time to complete. Besides mindfully guiding the mower back and forth to avoid missing swaths of plant growth, there’s not much else for me to do but think.
Oddly enough, mowing can be a form of meditation. In a way, the chattering of my monkey mind mentally blocks out the constant roar of the lawnmower. On and on it goes with thoughts of retribution and schemes. Sometimes it revisits unresolved quarrels by thinking of snappy comebacks I should have said. At other times, nostalgia settles in for quite awhile. More rarely, daydreams of ideal life fill my head. The meditation aspect is the art of paying attention to my thoughts and returning focus onto the task of mowing the yard.
It is when the monkey mind becomes future-oriented and idealistic, that I’m most distracted from the boring job of mowing. Those minutes of daydreaming about a friendlier, kinder world are when I remember the overarching vision for my life. While it is unwise for us to announce to others the exact nature of our goals and vision, it is OK to mention the general direction that these continue to direct my life. That direction is towards bettering my relationship with my circle of acquaintances and the world as a whole.
By no means do I claim that visions of betterment are special and unique to me. Millions of us empower our lives by nourishing our visions. For us, life without the vision combining love, rebellion, and freedom is not worth living. This vision has come down to us from the ages. The vision manifests in the lives of those who have improved the lives of people around them.
History is filled with people who were dissatisfied with negativity and the status quo to the extent that they rebelled against the common norms. Conscientious, positive rebellion manifested in the lives of leaders like Mohandas Gandhi who rebelled against British Colonial Imperialism. We also remember the rebellion of Nelson Mandella whose suffering and works for human equality are famous.
The drive to achieve freedom and liberty is the fuel that empowers individuals and groups towards fulfillment and happiness. It is the overall freedom for oneself and everyone that is the most satisfying freedom of all.
After analyzing these elements of positive vision it is easy to see that vision is vitally necessary to the art of creating a satisfying life. Positive vision guides us to constructively move towards the attainment of our dreams.
“We have lost our vision for the future. Before, we say, ‘Nothing will be the same. Cars will fly, and we go to the end of the universe.’ We have this kind of naive but exciting idea of the future. Now, the vision has been reduced to ways to select our garbage and how to survive global warming.”–Jean-Michel Jarre
The words of the visionary composer and artist Jarre have haunted my mind for a long time. Certainly, it is very important to address the problems of pollution. We can be mindful of vital, mundane things, yet still not lose track of our innovative dreams.
Our world works best with visions that include overall love, non-violent rebellion, and freedom for all.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes writer and professor of English literature, Azar Nafisi. “The negative side of the American Dream comes when people pursue success at any cost, which in turn destroys the vision and the dream.”