My name is Mari Rosario Hale, and I am a self-help-oholic. A back-seat philosopher. A ruminator of all things psychotic. I mean psycho-therapeutic.
Just kidding. I am a writer. I know this because I write a lot and I have a free blog on Wordpress.com. I am a student of awareness, authenticity and a voracious seeker of sublime, dreamy happiness and Be All That You Can Be.
I’m getting there. We crawl before we can walk, right? We’re unconscious before we are conscious.
The “consciousness movement” can get really lofty. I know this because I have inadvertently made myself a self-improvement project. Like the weekend warriors at Lowe’s updating their electrical, I have been on a quest for my own rewiring, ignited by transition and change. I have been to traditional therapy, alternative therapy and handwriting therapy (yes, really). I’ve written love letters to myself, I’ve screamed and hit pillows, and screamed and hit people (karate therapy). I’ve been to church, yoga, dive bars and read the musings of many learned authors, all in the name of trying to fix what is wrong with me.
I have noticed things along the way. Many of the buzzwords and theories are either foreign concepts written by people with multiple important-looking acronyms after their names, or they make you do an ‘Oh, please...’ and run from the self-help connotations of it all — perhaps to the toilet to gag on how revolting and self-righteous “self-awareness” can actually be. A worthy pursuit, indeed.
But what I have found is that I fix myself by realizing that I don’t need fixing. An update to my operating system, maybe — the rollout of Mari 2.0, or 5.0, or 40.0, which is where I am heading in September. (Yikes! How is it that I’m still not perfect?) Each version works out some bugs with little tweaks, the applied wisdom of mistakes and failure, and the gentle hand of correction. And yes, sometimes it’s gentle like a freight train.
There are many truths out there: interpreted, over-interpreted, misinterpreted and uninterpreted. They apply to everyone, whether they are a sojourner of “growth” or not. My intent for this column is to bring the often high-and-mighty ‘awakeningness’ of it all to those of us who don’t have four degrees in philosophy, divinity, psychology or yogi-o-logy. I want to explore the everyday value in seeking to live mindfully and with a degree (however minute) of real, functional consciousness. I want to, in writing, pursue that golden thread of what brings us all together, regardless of creed, gender, religion and etcetera.
What is it that Thomas Nagel, Abraham Maslow, Jesus and Pink Floyd are all trying to tell us? Wasn’t it Pink Floyd that said, “The point is ... to live one’s life in the full complexity of what one is?” Didn’t Nagel opine that “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life”? Maslow who instructed “Love thy neighbor as thyself?” And Jesus who said, “Have a cigar”? No?
I want to explore. These things people say — philosophers, psychologists, rock gods, Jesus Christ Superstar. And others. I want to explore the “truths” of humanity and the beautiful messiness of living. In the process, taking nothing too seriously, especially myself, I solemnly swear not to use any words that you can’t easily Google. (If they’re big, it’s probably where I got them in the first place.)
Here I am, Semi-Conscious. That space in between. Exploring how I want to be in and to this world, knowing that I’m not (yet) quite what I’m capable of being. That the full complexity of what I am isn’t always loving my neighbor as myself. That I’m not smoking nearly enough cigars. That I am still stumbling through, running blindly into walls I know are there. I know they are there, because I mortared every brick myself. I hope you will join me. I hope I can make you think, smile, and who knows? Maybe even grow. Have a cigar.
Mari Rose Hale is a Glenwood Springs writer. She blogs at mariroseland.wordpress.com. Semi-Conscious appears on the fourth Tuesday of each month in Body & More.