What are you earnest about? (Not so much what you ought to be earnest about, what what are you earnest about now?)
"That which you are most earnest about orchestrates your whole life - inner and outer." - Adyashanti in satsang, November 14, '06
I committed myself - hmmm, that begins awkwardly like the way one is committed to a mental asylum...
I committed myself to run the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996. That doesn't seem like such a big deal, but one doesn't just waltz up and send an application in for Boston.
You must qualify to participate in the Boston Marathon. Qualification for my age bracket at the time meant I needed to run a 3:40 marathon the previous year. That means run 26.2 miles in an official marathon in under three hours and forty minutes. Still no biggie, right?
Perhaps I neglected to mention when I said that I was Ugly Betty, that hanging out at the library (or my room) reading Austen and Salinger correlated precisely with being the last (perhaps second to last, Jimmy Knickerbocker was usually last) person to be chosen for the softball team. P.E. was decidely not for me. At age 14, I thought that bermuda grass edging the asphalt could have been my last dying vision when I had to
run manage to go the three laps around the track (yeah, that's less than one mile).
To make a very long story short, I did finish the St. George Marathon in 1994 with a qualifying time of 3:28 (and was euphoric crossing the finish line...this is when you picture Rocky heading up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps and you start humming the theme song). I went on to run the 99th and 100th Boston, plus many other marathons and quite a few rugged trail ultra-marathons (including a few 50-milers in Texas and California and a gorgeous 41-miler on the wild and scenic Kepler Track in New Zealand).
My running group, the Locomotion Running Club, witnessed the transformation of a mediocre jogger into a Boston qualifier then an ultramarathoner in the space of roughly a little over two years. So they'd ask me once to speak to an audience of newbies before a marathon as if I knew anything really.
You see, I figured if I (aka the-person-least-likely-to-be-or-care-about-being-athletic) could do it, anyone could do it.
The only 'secret' I had was that I knew I wanted it, and I really wanted it. And then I followed the thread until I did it.
"Regardless of the name of this Great Power, or the conscious admission of a God, the Power is capable and willing to carry out to a complete and perfect conclusion every earnest desire of your objective mind, but you must be really in earnest about what you want." - R.H. Jarrett, It Works
My issue is I don't always have that same conviction, that same earnestedness, the same dogged clarity, as I did back when I first said Yes to running the Boston Marathon. I have definitely had that steady earnestness come up in a few scenarios from snagging a CTO spot at a venture-funded startup to what is classically termed 'awakening' (which is contrary to popular opinion only the beginning, not the end of the path). At other times, I drift in not being sure what it is I want or second-guessing that which I clearly do.
"Your objective mind and will are so vacillating that you usually only WISH for things and the wonderful, capable power within you does not function." - R.H. Jarrett, It Works
This year I'm committed to following my heart - wherever it leads me.
I'll say Yes to that which I feel wholeheartedly committed to, No to everything else, and eliminate Maybe from my vocabulary. (To me, Maybe is vacillating.)
Last night I wrote out four pages in my journal totalling ten conditions or things that I do want in earnest written in vivid detail.
My list ranges from the fruition of the teahouse to having a personal chef to a new place to live (moving north, either to Palo Alto or the city) to "living completely spontaneously" to the establishment of a social finance REIT that invests in community spaces to collaborating with filmmakers and musicians to being in relationship with a muse-collaborator-playmate-lover partner.
What's your earnest list?
p.s. The etymology of the word earnest:
O.E. eornoste (adj.) from a noun eornost "passion, zeal" (surviving only in the phrase in earnest), from P.Gmc. *ern "vigor, briskness" (cf. O.H.G. arnustarniba "struggle," Goth. "safely," O.N. jarna "fight, combat") The proper name Ernest (lit. "resolute") is from the same root.