In honor of the Solstice I took the day off yesterday from responsibilities to others (except my hungry cats). It was so lovely. I began reading Eat, Pray, Love which is going to be "one of those books" which consumes me. I've been thinking about something I heard on a podcast from a Zen teacher in which he spoke about the mind. The mind, he stated simply, is the most malleable thing. If you do not consciously shape and discipline your mind, it will be shaped for you by the world; by society, popular culture, family, "norms", etc. It's a simple idea, but not necessarily an obvious one.
I think my quarter life crisis was, and has been, primarily made of my first time attempt to shape my mind for myself, despite the influences (and there are SO many) around me. I have been learning how to cope with suffering without letting it stop me, I have been learning how to discern more mindfully what I allow to mold myself. One of my best qualities is my childlike enthusiasm for the world at large, but it has also been my Achilles heel because I soak up many things that are detrimental.
Eat, Pray, Love is going to be a great book to read right now because I'm becoming more fully aware of the kind of person I am and the kind of things I want to endow my future person with and that's what it's all about. It's a nice touch for me that she too is a passionate goofball writer with a love of language and a compulsion to seek "The Love that moves the sun and the other stars".