It is often in the smallest, most unexpected ways that we are inspired, and in the last two days, I have been blessed with two experiences in the same place which grabbed me, and left me feeling like I had made a connection with something greater.
On friday night, I biked back from my friend Andy's house in the high hills overlooking christchurch. Passing through Riccarton and Ilam, I felt frustrated I didn't have any friends to go out with that night. It's an odd thing that during the week I can stick to a spartan routine, but as soon as thursday night rolls around, I feel empty and caged during the weekend if I can't spend time with a whole group of friends going somewhere out of the ordinary.
Anyway, as I biked back to my house past a bunch of boisterous, drunk kiwi folk, I saw a few people running in the middle of the night in a field by my house. They were running nonstop for 24 hours to raise money for their friend Sam, who had cancer, and needed 15,000 for an operation.
I got an instant urge to join, so I grabbed my toe shoes and ran back out to the field, and rain till my feet were about to give way. At 3:30 in the morning, I finally stopped, but felt amazing despite the fact that my feet were about to explode.
However, it wasn't really until the following morning when the beauty of what was going on really struck home. I showed up at the field for a barbeque, and all of Sam's friends, family, college acquaintances, and kids had showed up to see the final hour of the fundraiser. It was amazing to talk to Sam, and see the dozens and dozens of people who came back to show love for their friend. In a single night, they raised $9,000 to help him out, simply because their friend was in need.
Seeing that, and witnessing that love made me feel like I could do anything in the world, and I'll have to apply that lesson to raise money for something I believe in, like Saving Orangutans or Forests.
On Sunday, I woke up slightly hung over, and didn't do much the whole day, as I was sucked into what was going on in Occupy (Mass arrests in Oakland, WTF). After shuffling around and making only small progress on minor tasks, I felt frustrated, and a bit disgusted with myself that I had slipped into an old habit of procrastination that I had been on so long to break.....so I went to a massive oak tree to meditate in the rain.
As I was meditating with my headphones in, I was startled, to open my eyes, and see a woman staring at me with her dogs, which was awkward as I was breathing heavily and chanting, "Ahhhhh".
This woman stopped, and asked me if I was alright, and I said "Oh yah, I'm fine...just, meditating". She persisted though, and asked if I needed someone to talk to, so we ended up talking for about an hour.
Belle ended up sharing her life story with me, as a woman who had faced more pain than I could imagine, and still was able to have unconditional love for life.
She had two daughters who ran away and had kids in their teens. Her grandkids and oldest daughter disappeared without saying a word to her, and she even had Breast cancer a few years back. On top of that, the earthquake destroyed the job she was working at, and her marriage had suffered as a result of all those things.
As this women let out her entire life story, I felt my problems, and my challenges absolutely dwarfed, and insignificant compared to what she had gone through. It made me think...what problems to I have to overcome, what great demons do I have to slay to reach my greatest potential?...HABITS!? My demons are not drugs, post traumatic stress, or emotional scars, but mere habits created my procrastinating on the internet through the end of college. After hearing what she had to say, I was deeply touched, and strolled back to my house more determined than I've been in a long time....
So here I am, typing away, and though I am still tempted to read doom and gloom news about climate change, and fart about online, I know that there is a clear purpose to what I am doing in New Zealand....
I'm here to help others, and help myself by living life without excuses. This youtube channel we've started will give me the opportunity to show the world something...that you can deeply enrich your life by doing something new each month...and by helping others, you help yourself.
So with that, I say, take care, and best wishes from New Zealand. If anyone is new here, I suggest reading my brother Owen's blog, now HE is going through one hell of an adventure, and his stories are absolutely insane in the best way possible.
Lots of love to mom and dad, owen, and my friends at home, miss you guys alot.
Now...it's time to get beaten up for 30 days straight in martial arts.