Author: Anna Palmer
Today, I came upon a realization as I browsed through the spirituality section at the local used bookstore.Â After approximately thirty minutes staring aimlessly at the plethora of books, eyes scanning from title to title, I realized I had no idea what I was looking for. I was on the search, for something, something to draw my attention.Â I self-consciously stood there, worried that the man sitting at the counter would eventually come over to make sure I was finding what I came looking for.Â For the answer to this simple question, I did not know.Â I had come looking for a book, but upon self-examination, I knew I was looking for much more.Â I came to that bookstore looking for meaning, meaning I know deep down I cannot find in some book.
Since coming to New Zealand, despite all the amazing, unbelievable experiences I have had, I have noticed a subtle, yet drastic change, a shift in focus you might say.Â Iâ€™ve noticed myself consumed by the superficial world, pulling me into its tight grip.Â I have become preoccupied with this worldâ€¦consumed by concerns over my body and appearance, the party scene, the Facebook obsession, worried about what others are doing, thinking, saying, worried about my grades and stressing over my school workâ€¦all the minuscule things in life.Â Iâ€™ve resorted to this superficial layering of life that we all find ourselves trapped in more often than we would like to admit.
Taking a step back, I realize that my sense of balance has been swept under the rug.Â I feel like I have lost my connection to my spirituality, the part of me I deem most important.Â I have lost my sense of meaning, of purpose. I am uselessly trying to fill this hole, this emptiness with things of the superficial nature.Â Iâ€™ve noticed a hunger, a longing to regain this connection with my spirituality and I have responded by filling it with things of this nature.Â As much as I hate to admit it, I have resorted back to old habits. But itâ€™s time I start being honest with myself.Â Until I do, I will be trapped in the same cycle of self-sabotaging behaviors.Â I realize I must make a conscious effort to respond to this sense of longing in ways that actually work toward filling this hole.
My meditation practice has been basically non-existent since coming to New Zealand and I recognize now how much of an impact this has had on my day-to-day life.Â In the bookstore today I discovered I was searching outside of myself for something, some book to inspire me, to relight the flame of purpose and desire in my heart.Â But I now am beginning to realize, I do not need a book to achieve this.Â I must look within myself instead, for within myself lies all the love, comfort, meaning, and purpose I need.
Realizing how unbalanced Iâ€™ve become took a lot of conscious awareness and I know that each moment presents a new challenge to remain conscious and present.Â I must work diligently to regain this sense of balance, whether that is through meditation or journaling, some way to keep my focus clear of all the superficial clutter.Â I know this will not be easy and temptation will inevitably present itself, but I am up for the challenge.Â With this, I must bear in mind that perfection is not an attainable goal, not now, not ever.Â All I can ever do is my best.Â Each day is a new day, each moment a new moment, a new opportunity to realign my values toward love and acceptance, toward a state of balance defined by utter peace and harmony.