Spiritual sages have been telling us for millennia that to find true inner peace and contentment that we must be mindful. My definition of, “mindful” is to be grateful for and live in the moment as much as possible. Living in the moment is more difficult now than it ever has been. Modern life is frenetic. We’re bombarded almost each second of every day with things that prevent us from living in the moment. I’ve been meditating for nearly two decades and still find myself constantly having to bring my mind and thoughts back to center, concentrate on my breath, and having to “reboot” my consciousness.

More often than not the need to bring my mind back to the moment is triggered by some external thing or circumstance. My most recent reboot was brought about by the news that Robin Williams had taken his own life. The news truly brought about a flood of emotions very similar to when I heard of Michael Jackson’s death. I liked both artists work but never was what you would call a hardcore fan of either of them. Only after they passed did I think about how much their work had truly impacted my life and how much I appreciated them.

After Michael Jackson was gone I found myself wanting to go back and listen to Thriller and some of his deeper tracks that were intertwined with a good portion of my young life. More recently, with the loss of Robin Williams, I thought about the quality and richness of films and the hilarity of his stand up comedy. He created such an amazing body of work but the two films that had the most impact on me were Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society.

As a writer I’ve so often wished that people would appreciate the work of creative people more when they’re alive than when they’re dead. Instances like these make me realize I’m guilty of not fully appreciating them myself. Whether you’re a painter, a photographer, actor, dancer, musician, or author, all of us put so much of ourselves into our professions. It’s difficult beyond comprehension of most people who haven’t walked a similar path.

Think for a moment how much music, films, books, paintings in general can truly impact your life. Have you ever read a book or seen a film that changed you in some way? Have you ever had a song the elevated your mood or comforted you during a difficult time? I credit Pharrell’s song, “Happy” for single handedly allowing me to survive the polar vortex laden winter of 2013. Really, how do you place a value on that?

I guess the lesson I’m walking away with from all this is a major reboot of my appreciation for my fellow creative people. I know how hard it is. I’ve felt your pain but I’ve also experienced your great moments of triumph. In a way I feel as though we’re all part of some big family that keeps humanity laughing, crying, and sometimes when we really do our jobs we keep them thinking.

Have a great day all. I hope you appreciate and enjoy each and every moment of it. To quote the Dead Poet’s Society, “No matter what anyone tells you words and ideas really can change the world.”

~Eric Vance Walton~