On My Way to Paradise

by Christopher Lovejoy on July 14, 2021

Note to readers : on 01.13.2023, I changed the title of this post from Only State of Mind Matters to On My Way to Paradise to better convey my current intentions for this subject matter

For many, the notion of paradise evokes images of beautiful elaborate gardens, but when we look at this notion more closely, we realize it doesn’t just point to an idyllic time and place, but a state of being, one that can almost always be summoned to attract an idyllic time and place.

The idea of idyllic itself evokes thoughts and feelings of peace, love, joy, bliss, grace, ease. With a little imagination, an idyllic time and place can be conjured in keeping with a desired state of mind. In following the logic that follows, how might we dare conjure our days in paradise?

a personal sketch for yet another day in paradise . . .

a warm, comfortable bed in a cool, comfortable space
a fragrant whisper of a breeze at the crack of dawn
a stroll at an early morning hour along the shore of a beach
a real moment with a most curious and mysterious stranger
a sunrise that rivets the eyes and takes the breath away
a thick banana berry smoothie blended with coconut water
a hike through hills that stretch for as far as the eye can see
a moment of wonder as the afternoon sun slips behind a cloud
a fading light on a field of flowers as the day draws to a close
a real moment with a beloved tree, pet, relative, friend, or lover
a play of shadows cast by majestic trees under a full moon
a surge of ecstasy that disappears into the eternal now
a restful, rejuvenating, refreshing sleep that seems to last forever
a warm, comfortable bed in a cool, comfortable space

I wonder: could I allow my relationship with reality to orchestrate this experience into existence with uncommon grace and ease? Could I allow this relationship to guide and goad me into processing and releasing any controlling desire that might interfere with this orchestration?

What is a controlling desire? A controlling desire is any desire that takes control of who you are. Controlling desires come in a variety of flavors, through such vices as sloth, gluttony, lust, greed, wrath, envy, and Pride. Now get don’t me wrong; each of these has an angel in charge.

the angel of sloth would have us be carefree
the angel of gluttony would have us binge on delight
the angel of lust would have us find sweet release
the angel of greed would have us have as much as we desire and deserve
the angel of wrath would have us be righteous in the right measure
the angel of envy would have us stay alert to glory and success
the angel of Pride would have us be just as good as any other

I wonder: could I allow my better angels to guide and goad me into paradise? Was it not Tagore who said that “relationship is the fundamental truth in this world of appearance”? Even as I write this, my better angels are, in succession, whispering fervently into my ears, as follows . . .

I awaken to peace and love
I open myself to experience
I take it nice, slow, and easy
I see and feel no real difficulty
I say and do what is meaningful

I start my day with beginner’s heart
I am carefree, and yet . . . I still care
I hold myself to no one and no thing
I am free of any concern for respect
I pride myself on being gender free

I am a soft submissive transmissive
I am warm, kind, and compassionate
I appreciate the fullness of each moment
I appreciate the kindness in each moment
I open to my every thought and feeling

I am both a witness and a wizard
I am attentive, sensitive, responsive
I favor warm, kind, gentle encounters
I invite and explore the depths of love
I live to love . . . truly, simply, profoundly

I conduct truth, beauty, and harmony
I am free to follow my focus with flow
I rely on instinct, intellect, intuition
I welcome my good fortune with ease
I feel an incredible lightness of being

security, satisfaction, significance embodied,
I find myself wedded to serendipity with serenity
and fulfill all my desires for intimacy and ecstasy;
awakened, I dream a thousand different dreams
and in every moment, I realize ultimate fulfillment

But then, the deepest and darkest of fears and doubts arise, calling out for resolution . . .

have I nothing meaningful to say or do?
have I nothing meaningful to contribute?
have I no reason to care about anyone?

have I lost all sense of who and what I am?
have I lost all sense of when, where, why, and how?
have I lost all sense of what it means to care?

have I lost myself to oblivion for eternity?

more to the point . . .

if Life gave me nothing I desired and this was not on my own terms,
would I still have the gratitude and the generosity to show up for it?

My better angels whisper: “tap and tune patience, passion, and power with presence, promise, and purpose; feel the fear and do it anyway.” As I mirror softly, “feel the fear and do it anyway?,” this list appears to me, one practical item at a time, slowly and methodically:

consider a slow, simple, steady pace
and make time to find and follow your bliss

have a warm, cozy space to retreat
to bring the mind to rest and do your favorite thing

be devoid of chaos, conflict, and confusion
to remain free of any and all drama and trauma

claim the prospect of purposelessness
to explore and feel deeply without justification

welcome restful and refreshing sleep
to soothe the nerves and refresh the senses

exercise a caffeine- or alcohol-free option
to restore a sense of calm and keep the mind clear

make time for nutritious, delicious meals
to sharpen your focus and sustain a good mood

put yourself in touch with those who understand you
to regain some semblance of visibility with vulnerability

make time to feel, to have a good belly laugh,
to indulge a few giggles, to gently weep a few tears

foster close relations with some one or some thing
to explore deep connection through meaningful interaction

explore the promise of a new and different path
to flex and stretch the muscles of both mind and heart

have a creative, productive, constructive outlet
to channel energy into art, craft, music, or poetry (and more)

make time for creative, meaningful work or leisure
to write a novel, travel the world, or support a cause (and more)

make time for the beauty and splendor of nature
to restore, rejuvenate, or refresh your sense of life

open up a crack of mystery to think about the big questions
to explore who you are and your raison d’etre (here, now)

restore and/or refresh your benevolent sense of life
to keep you from going sour or bitter (pessimistic or cynical)

spend quality time with your angels of desire
to pamper yourself deeply and truly, and to no useful end

give some thought to a major change on the horizon
to keep the stress and strain of overwhelm in its place

In coming to terms with these prescriptions, I realize . . .

fulfillment is no illusion;
much more than a product,
it’s a prospect, a process

curiously, paradoxically

the eternal wellspring
of happiness and fulfillment is
knowing I am enough

~ yours

Previous post:

Next post: