On Distance & Absence from the Virtual World

Where do I even begin? I’ve been absent from the virtual world for the past few weeks (okay, so maybe it's months) and though it has been absolutely necessary,  it hasn’t always felt good. I feel a lot of responsibility to you, dear readers, which is why I feel both ashamed of my distance and simultaneously justified in taking  time for myself, without explanation or apology. 

I believe deeply in the idea of living by example. I know (because I have seen it in my own life, time and time again) that the best way to get people to change their behavior is to demonstrate that behavior for them. I notice that when I clean my room, my family members want to clean their rooms, too. When I drink water all day, the people around me stay hydrated. As of late, I’ve been needing to hibernate something serious. I’ve been going through a fucking lot. This whole year has been a lot. I’m in a huge transition phase, and it’s taken me a while to catch my balance. I’ve had to retreat and reflect in order to keep it all together. I’ve given myself permission to be present with what’s happening right in front of me, right now, knowing that doing so is ultimately in service of my community’s wellness, wisdom, and growth. 

That said, you all are constantly on my mind! I was given a timely reminder this weekend at a Buddhist study meeting that there is no such thing as the pursuit of happiness for oneself alone. We practice Buddhism so that we can manifest our life’s highest potential, and help others do the same.

It is with this spirit that I am moving forward — determined to shake loose the things that threaten to hold me back or drag me down, so that I can show the world it’s possible. So that you can do it, too. 

In the midst of what feels like a very human struggle, I’m gathering little bits of wisdom like seeds, and doing my best to nurture them. I am learning a lot about the heart, and how listening to it (and responding accordingly) changes everything about the way your life pans out.  I’m learning about courage, and how it never feels as valiant and glorious as it looks in the movies, but it is still always, always worth it. I’m learning (and re-learning) about grief, and how much information it has to offer if you just let yourself feel it fully.

For those of you who will wonder, I’m fine. Really...I’m okay. I’m still writing, recording my dreams and making lists of my life goals. I’m still taking care of myself, some days better than others. I’m still chanting, determined to really lean into Buddhist wisdom and put it into practice. I’m still making room for joy — dancing until I can’t anymore, delighting in life’s absurdities rather than being frustrated with them, throwing beautiful gatherings in my mama’s magical backyard.

I’ve got a couple part-time gigs to make some extra money for travel, which is my priority in the upcoming year. Working a “job job” really challenges me to use my non-working hours intentionally —  doing things that nurture, restore, and energize me. 

I’ve got so many projects and ideas floating around in my head, and I’m soooooo ready for them to get out of my brain and into the world. Thank you all for listening, for staying here, for loving me, for being my cheerleading squad from wherever you you are in the world.

I hope you all are doing the things you need to do to be great, staying hydrated and eating fresh things, and telling the people you love them that you love them, even if your ego tells you not to.

With love, gratitude, and adoration —

Jamila

Jamila Reddy