The Space Between Ambition and Frivolity

So, it's the new year, and it didn't take long before people were asking me if I had made any resolutions. I admit, my standard reply was a rude scoff. That's a pretty unfair reaction to the notion of making a resolution or two. Where's the harm in taking stock of your habitual patterns, seeing where they are leading you astray from your values, and then putting in some effort to correct that? None at all...until there is. We live in a culture that values, I'd say even worships, ambition over all else. There's even some research showing this cultural phenomenon. You don't have to search your own experience, history, or even your own movie or tv show lexicon to see the dangers of putting ambition above other values, such as relationships, compassion, love, peace, kindness,...etc. Our busyness is a formidable barrier to compassion. But that's another post...

Personally, I have an amusing mix of shame and pride in my shunning of ambition, it's not the side of the equation I really struggle with when it comes to how I spend my time! Nope, I struggle with the other side, frivolity. If you've been reading my posts at all, this will not come as a surprise, I'm sure. If I was at a job interview, it'd be much better for me to say I struggle with "taking on too much." But I'm not. It's just us chickens here, so I'll tell the truth. I take some comfort; however, in knowing that I'm not alone. I know you're out there. I can hear your Netflix bingeing from here.

The fact is, there can't really be a problem with frivolity without it's opposite (ambition) also existing, and vice versa. My frivolous behavior (and only you can judge what that is for you, just be honest. Remember, it's not so much what it is, but how it feels at the time), is simply a forgetting that there is an inner space between ambition and frivolity. It's a quieter space. A space where you can really BE with your SELF. It can be a bit daunting to face this quiet space at first, but I would wager that it wouldn't take long before you get that sense, maybe even just the fragrence, of peace that lies in that being. 

Now here's the tricky question: Can we resolve to spend more time in the space between ambition and frivolity, without turning into another ambition? Hmmm...

Note: Thanks and gratitude for the late Chögyum Trungpa Rinpoche, from whom I borrowed the concept of "the space between ambition and frivolity."

Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there lies a field. I'll meet you there."
- Rumi