DAYS 95 & 96: 13 Minutes & 20 Seconds of Gazing

dark orange sunset
Brian Hogan

“Life is far too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde

I have acquired some new abilities since my gazing adventure began in April. These new abilities of mine might seem like normal aspects of any functional adult to most people, but if you’re like me, you probably have a pile of dysfunction to overcome and the mental gymnastics you play with yourself day in and day out can get pretty exhausting. So these new abilities I’m referring to have so drastically changed my quality of life and experience of living that they seem to me to be like super powers. 

For one: I believe in myself. I mean, yeah, I guess I have always believed in myself in that obligatory “my life is meaningful” Hallmark kind of way. But now I am not just thinking about confidence. I am not practicing it or rehearsing it. I feel confident, in my cells, bones, blood and heart. This confidence is a completely pervading sense of security and tranquility. My self-confidence used to be linked to my aspirations and my goals and achievement of those goals. And that isn’t very restful. Because in order to validate my manufactured “thought-up” sense of confidence I had to keep achieving stuff, or at the very least, try to achieve stuff. My sense of well-being was based on my self-conjured identity as a go-getter, a dreamer, a quote/un-quote good person. Now my confidence isn’t located in my mind, it’s a holographic serenity that is spread out among every cell of my being, charged by the sun, void of anxiety, and fully relaxed. I don’t feel confident in my abilities, or my aspirations, or my accomplishments necessarily anymore, I feel confident in the guiding, loving, supportive nature of the universe itself. And that confidence, knowing I can’t mess it up because the Universe doesn’t get tripped up by my moods and cravings, is stronger, deeper…pure. I think it’s what the ancient mystics called faith. So I’m looking forward to moving my first mountain soon. I’ll keep you posted. 

Secondly, my wisdom is growing. I’m wising up! I’m not saying I know the secret to enlightenment (although I might know it, because I’m starting to think the secret is sun-gazing), but I seem to have an ability to more quickly pinpoint the cause of suffering in my own life when something crops up and I can nip it in the bud. I can easily pivot my moods from my obsolete habits of despair and crisis to peace and hope, without the mental gymnastics twisting me into a mess of anger and worry. And when others have asked me for advice lately the shit that rolls out of my mouth surprises even me and, I’ve been told, was just what so-and-so needed to hear. Solutions are the focus, problems are the seeds of opportunity now, something to welcome with faith, not something to shun. And when solutions fly out of my mouth they are always brief and simply stated, as I can imagine the universe would want it that way. The Universe is complex, but not complicated. Love rules the day, and grudges leave smudges that keeps the wisdom at bay. I’m grudge free, smudge free, and feeling like a wise guy. 

Lastly and perhaps fundamentally most important: I am completely and utterly happy with my life. My circumstance aren’t vastly different than they were on April 7th, when my sun gazing experiment began, but my perception of those circumstances is completely transformed. There are still family issues to deal with. There are financial hiccups, technology glitches, and unexpected accidents. Events still spark tumultuous emotions at times and I still make just as many mistakes as I always did. But as Oscar Wilde suggests, I don’t take it so seriously anymore. The solar energy has caused my soul to relax. If sun bathing relaxes the body then sun-gazing relaxes the soul. My mind has been trained to count my blessings, thank my lucky-stars, and take a few long whiffs of those goddamn roses everybody’s always taking about. Let me tell you, they smell damn good. I realize now that I do not need to achieve happiness, I can simply choose it. And now that I know that you better believe I fucking choose happiness. As Abe Lincoln said “folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” 

I don’t know how to explain or account for the transformations taking place inside me except to say that since my gazing began my transformation began. Science doesn’t yet know how to quantify these types of results, so we are left only to share our stories and inspire each other. We are left with faith. Take a leap because I can tell you with certainty now, The Great Whatever out there is going to catch you. I’m serious. But not too serious. 

“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look what happens with love like that.

It lights up the sky.” 

— Hafez (Persian Poet)

SIDE EFFECTS: As per usual, none whatsoever anymore. 

BENEFITS: Confidence and Faith, Wisdom and most importantly Happiness. 

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.




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