The Heart of the Matter
May 10, 2017
No Excuses


ED NOTE: Last night, Paul Murtha emailed me the following inspired rant. Here it is, for your enjoyment -- deeply considered reflections on the gift of life that he is very much enjoying. Paul, by the way, is the gent who launched an astounding initiative, in Ecuador, that helped end teen-gang warfare on the streets of Ibarra.

In 1967, I went to Ecuador as a 17-year-old exchange student. The culture, the people, and the ecology got under my skin. In 2005, I sold everything stateside and returned to see what would happen. It was an excellent decision.

Along the way, I learned some techniques of meditation -- as in focus -- that have made all the difference. It is amazing to know, not just believe, that the fulfillment I am looking for is already parked inside me -- full-on, pre-installed, ready equipped, standard issue, innately inherent, and unequivocally right under my nose.

I suspect that if we human beings spent more time discovering what already exists, rather than groping about trying to find what seems to be missing, that the whole ball game might make a lot more sense.

The interesting piece of the puzzle is that I really do know this. I know that the whole enchilada is a pre-given -- closer and more easily available than I can imagine.

As a being of deft feeling, it was a matter of simply redirecting my attention inwards. I mean, what would happen if this stupendously fantastic ability to feel were carefully aimed at the most beautiful, the most spectacular -- the unhinged joy hanging out within?

This already-existing-wonder-within is not owned by anyone. Therefore, there's no certificate to show off, no master's sash, craven image, team membership, rule book, mountain tops, ultimate sacrifice, fees, or donations involved.

I like to consider that an exquisitely wise, creative force knew that I would need a leg-up to complete the mission in this tricky short lifetime. So, all things considered, the treasure was duly placed in the most accessible spot (where I would least think to look) -- smack under my own pillow, as if my million distractions, delusions, and ignorance were already taken into account.

Great, OK then. So let's say that this modern-day mega-bombardment of distractions was un-diagnosed and not taken into account in the original grand design. Meaning, that my increasing inability to focus is thereby a legitimate excuse for staying ignorant of the obvious. That's it, of course. I'm officially off the hook!

But, what if (as gracious compensation for said prevailing challenges) the entire treasure trove was placed intentionally so close-by, handy and easily relearned as to be not only helpful, but generous, kind and trusting to boot?

And Ecuador? I now manage a foundation for social service in the Northern Andes. The latest project is diminishing the crisis of infant malnutrition via agro-ecological family gardens. It is super interesting. And yes, I maintain some sense of clarity in it all by directly accessing the beauty within, regularly. I have no excuses.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at May 10, 2017 07:35 AM

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Welcome to Mitch Ditkoff's blog about what's really important in this life: Peace, gratitude, love, joy, clarity, and the effort required to wake up and smell the roses. Enjoy!

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