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ANSWERS from Chief Joseph

from the August 2005 2005 Star Beacon

Gone Fishing

by Chief Joseph and John Cali

John Cali
          With summer here (at least for those of us north of the equator), people’s thoughts turn to summer vacations. When I was younger, one of my favorite summer pastimes was fishing.

          In the Washington Post the other day, I saw an interview with a local fisherman. The man said he didn’t care if he caught anything or not. He just wanted to get away from his stress-filled everyday life as a trainer of firefighters. Fishing, he said, was a great way to do just that, and to relax and daydream.

          This fisherman typified the stressful, burnt-out lifestyle so many Washington area residents lead. (A lifestyle I know well, having lived there many years before fleeing to the wilderness of Wyoming.)

          The interview closed with a telling insight from our wise fisherman: “Around here, people spend so much time trying to make a living, they forget how to live.”

          How often do we race through life, even through our summer vacations, forgetting how to live? Where’s the joy in that? And isn’t joy what living is all about?

          Maybe, every now and then, we ought to put up a sign on our doors, “Gone Fishing.”

Chief Joseph
          It would be well if more of you, more often, were “gone fishing.”
Your lives today are often filled with many stresses, worries, distractions, and dramas that take you from your centered place of peace. They take you from that conscious connection you have with your higher self.
Life in your modern world is filled to overflowing with “stuff” you neither need nor benefit from. And yet it’s all there — you cannot deny that. You cannot wave it away with a magic wand.

          And that’s okay. The world is what it is. And it, like each of you individually, will ultimately find its way back home.

          What’s happening today — the seeming disasters and traumas — are simply part of your growth, Mother Earth’s growth, the growth of all that is.
However, having said that, we still maintain your purpose in life is joy. Pure and simple — you came here to seek joy.

          You often forget that. You knew it as little children. But then you “grew up” and forgot. Now, friends, it’s time to remember.

          We do not deny your world is full of distractions, ranging from the disastrous and tragic to the mildly annoying. But we do say none of that has anything to do with you, unless you choose to immerse yourself in it.
We realize it’s sometimes challenging for you to avoid immersing yourself. But it’s not impossible. It’s not even difficult, if you put your mind to it.
You all create your own realities. The realities the world (that is, the mass consciousness) and nearly everyone around you are creating are not your reality. The whole world could be going to hell in a handbasket, as you say. But you are totally free, in every moment, to choose and create your own reality — a reality totally different from the whole rest of the world.
Life is supposed to be fun. Life is supposed to be joyful. But if you immerse yourself in all the world’s woes, if you immerse yourself in the mass consciousness, you’ll find it difficult to be joyful. It will suck the life out of you.

          And yet, almost paradoxically, the best way you can help your troubled world is to remove yourself from it, for however long it takes you to remember who you are. To remember you are this divine creator in human form.

          Once you remember that, you can then jump back into your troubled world and really make a difference. A difference that will be noted.
And so, friends, the best way to live life in your modern world is to get away from it now and then.

          Live in the now, in the present moment. You don’t need to race through your lives, your work, your relationships, your vacations. You’ll miss all the joy in your race toward — what?

          Slow down. Look for the joy. Savor every present moment. All moments are golden, and precious. Put up a sign on your door — Gone Fishing. 

The Book of Joy: How to Live Every Day of Your Life Happily Ever After

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