Category Archives: Following your spirit

My trip to Shangri-La

I did it. I purchased a round-trip ticket to the mystical land of Shangri-La where no one grows old. I journeyed to the strange land and while there, time stood still. But now I am back…and growing older by the minute. As I reflect on the trip and look at the photographs, I notice time slipping ever gently away.

Portal to Shangri-La

Portal to Shangri-La (Photo: Naia Jones, 2013)

Indian Mughal style garden

Indian Mughal style garden (Photo: Naia Jones, 2013)

The journey to Shangri-La is a marvelous trip down the rabbit hole into a garden of Eden that beckoned me to enter it and leave my mundane existence behind. As the portal to another world opened to me, I stepped forward without so much as a glance back. The grand garden fully surrounding me, instantly turned me into Alice-in-Wonderland.

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Fairy dust, nebulas, and thought clouds

Ever wonder what creativity looks like?

To me, it looks just like the ‘magic’ of pixie or fairy dust, you know that sparkly dust in Disney movies that turns pumpkins into carriages? Yah, just like that–matter from the ether mixed with imagination, transforming realities right before our eyes. Well not exactly like that.

In real life we don’t literally turn pumpkins into glittering carriages. And we each have more of an aggressive role to play in the magic of altering reality. Using the Law of Attraction requires ‘Cinderella’ to not only have a good heart, but to also dream the reality every day with discipline. Cinderella would have to imagine the dress, the carriage and the dance with the prince and how that all feels as if it were real, despite current conditions of menial chores and a wicked stepmother.

Maybe that’s the problem with our dreaming these days. We are a little too ‘Disneyed’ and don’t understand the prerequisite discipline of dreaming to get our fairy godmother to show up. We cannot cheat our way out of our part; we must do the work and use our imagination. And here’s why:

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Viktor Frankl on Man’s Search for Meaning

Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.

Viktor Frankl

Our lives must have meaning and as Viktor Frankl found we think money and career will give our lives meaning.  But as a survivor of the Holocaust, Frankl knows firsthand that stripped of all external possessions the meaning of our lives has nothing to do with such things.  At Jewish concentration camps he observed that man can endure tremendous suffering and remain hopeful if only there exists some glimmer of meaning for it–reuniting with loved ones; demonstrating the utter wrong of persecuting others; vindicating the Jewish people etc.

Finding meaning is no easy task however;  it is a deep inward search that even with focused attention can take years to sort out.  Perhaps we have one meaning as a child and another as an adult.  Its easier to not think about it.  In fact most of us prefer an unending supply of distractions over thinking about the meaning of our lives.  But the search for meaning is a quest that beckons even among the distractions and sedatives we administer daily to get out of it;  it persists beyond coffee, delicious food, fancy cars and beautiful clothes.  Although there is nothing wrong with loving these things! I certainly do.  But we are not here to just be comfortable.  We are each here for a reason that has more to do with internal than external rewards.

I know because I am one of those people with decent means to live, but who needs more than stuff.  I need meaning and this blog is born out of my own personal and ever incessant need to find it in my life.

And so with conviction, I proceed forward fumbling my way through a blog that will somehow give my life more meaning.  I can forgive my bad choices or my unkind actions, if and only if, I find meaning from such mistakes and I learn from the experience for the better.  If I can share my revelations and help someone else in the process so much the better.