Staydecent

2022: Year in Review

Well, I didn't blog for a whole year. My last post was a reflection on 2021 where I left off saying "For now, I’m still feeling introspective and perhaps in waiting. For what, I can’t say—though I have some ideas. Yet, I sense a new beginning in 2022." So, let's start there!

Indeed, that introspection continued in what I guess I would call my path towards spirituality. I struggle to share with people that I'm now a "spiritual person" or "on the spiritual path" without sounding like a dork. Oh well 🤷‍♀️. This has mostly been guided by books, podcasts, and the wisdom of my partner.

As for the new beginning: my partner and I sold our house and moved to a new town! This decision was largely guided by intuition and spiritual guidance rather than reason, which has resulted in a jolt of exuberance in both of our lives. There seem to be certain moments, at least in my life, where a life decision presents itself with two main paths: the first being one of reason and rationality, which garners support by friends, family, and even society at large; the other is one that eschews reason, yet pulls on you despite all the reason you throw at it. When debating internally, you often refer to the reasonable option as the one you "should" choose. The other option is the one you "want" for seemingly inexplicable reasons. In my experience, following the second path consistently leads to unknown outcomes that exceed whatever I could have dreamed of.

Otherwise, world events and other external matters played a smaller role for me in the last year. I have forgone social media and news in favor of the aforementioned spiritual and personal growth. Which, I believe, allows me to remain open and compassionate regardless of the situation at hand. I am deeply grateful for my current circumstance that allows personal growth to be such a focus at this time in my life.

Some Favourites from 2022

I plan to share a bit of an outlook on 2023 in a future post. To wrap up 2022, I wanted to reflect on some memorable books, podcasts, videos, and other content that stood out to me.

Books

I don't really rate books. If I finish a book, then I'd give it a 4 or 5 stars. Anything less, and I wouldn't have finished the book. So, any book I finish is a book I would highly recommend!

  • Alan Watts - Out of Your Mind: Some of Alan Watts most revered lectures compiled into a book by his Son. An enjoyable introduction to Watts and some tenets of Buddhism from his perspective.
  • Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche - In Love with the World: Interesting to learn about the early life of someone who grew up in Tibetan Buddhism from birth and the eventual wandering meditation they took on that nearly led to their death.
  • Kathleen Riordan Speeth - The Gurdjieff Work: Ah, the "rascal sage" who was perhaps one of the first people to integrate "Eastern" and "Westen" wisdom for European and American seekers. The Work is an interesting system with many aspects applicable in our modern times. Fun, yet heavy reading.
  • Carlos Castaneda - The Second Ring of Power: Really, I recommend the whole Don Juan series by Carlos Castaneda. I think I've read nine of the eleven books he wrote on the teachings of Don Juan. The teachings are quite esoteric, and would likely require a lifetime dedication to fully integrate. While all of the books are interesting in their own right, I'd say The Second Ring of Power had the most gripping tale.
  • Chögyam Trungpa - Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism: For anyone interested in spirituality, I'd recommend this as a must-read. Compiled from lectures that Chögyam Trungpa gave in the 1970s, advising on how the spiritual path, if jumped into naively, can actually reinforce the ego leading to hardened egocentricity. I will likely reread this over the years.

Podcasts

I don't really listen to podcasts. Haha, however, when my partner are in the car for extended periods of time, we often throw on a podcast episode or two. This last year, Here and Now by Ram Dass has been consistently good.

Skateboard Videos

After taking a decade away from skateboarding, I've been getting back into it over the last few years, with 2022 being the heaviest yet. That said, there is just way too much skateboard content to keep up -- and I'm not even on the 'gram! Anyway, here are some fav videos I bookmarked.

Movies

For context, I generally limit my movie watching to action-comedies and romcoms.

YouTube Channels

lol, why not.

  • Dianxi Xiaoge: Peaceful and beautiful channel about food from a small town in Yunnan, China.
  • Kurt Caz: If "Gonzo Travel YouTuber" is a thing, I'd venture Kurt embodies that perfectly.
  • Gas Giants: Best "Skating with Friends" type YT channel out there.

Okay, I'm bored if this. Happy new year!

December 28, 2022