The Pioneering Spirit

We all have the pioneering spirit!  As little babies, we are eager to explore the many wonders of the world we live in. All our lives, we are eager to see things, and feel gratitude about the experience of wondrous beauty. I remember my daughter as a baby in my arms, after a trip, visiting relatives. I carried her into our kitchen and she smiled, seeing the familiar floral pattern on the wallpaper. These days I am aware of hundreds travelling with camper-trailers to see the beauty of wilderness Australia and it is refreshing after some day-to-day problem solving. They may not think of the pioneers of old, who explored the many wonders of a vast Australian wilderness.  Yet, it is the same inspiring experience that motivated their tireless efforts to see “what’s new to their eyes.”  Babies learn in this way that “an attitude of gratitude brings altitude.” A wise spiritual teacher, reminded me that I already knew this fact.  I think it is this attitude that drives us to be inspired and some of us learn the value of gratitude as a habit.  I have been long aware of  “burnout” in the human services, when some feel it is a “thank-less job.”  This comes of a normal (but not natural) habit of thought to expect services that are paid for and thus not requiring any expression of gratitude.  However, if gratitude is expressed, both sender and receiver experience a slight increase in altitude or transcendence, which is of the Heart, as I have explained earlier.

Many spiritual (not necessarily religious) philosophies, suggest that it is a good idea to thank God, when we wake up in the morning.  Thus, we meet the day with a little altitude and a perspective that problems will be solved with the help of the “Thinking Universe,” as I mentioned earlier.  This “help” is available to all living organisms. This understanding, referred to in earlier posts as a “sense of coherence” stated by Antonovsky as a key to stress reduction.  So we can enter the day with the optimism of the pioneering spirit. 

Not too long ago, ABBA recorded a song called Dancing Queen. If we listen to it today, we can recapture the same sentiments of the song.  We can experience it when we hear:

Friday night and the lights are low,  Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, Getting in the swing,
You come in to look for a King.

Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high.
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance.

And when you get the chance…
You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine, oh–oh
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life.
See that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the Dancing Queen.

The expression of a pioneering spirit is a creative act of discovery; and inspiration comes of being open to the new and beautiful.  As hinted, with the story of my baby daughter, the pioneering spirit lives in all our Hearts, whether we explore the “unknown” or perceive the truth of beauty in nature, or even if we have a vicarious connection with a Dancing Queen’s urge to dance.

As I mentioned, “An attitude of gratitude brings altitude!”  This is more than a metaphor. Feeling grateful, and more so expressing it, to another human being, allows us to transcend as our experience is of Heart Awareness.  This ties perfectly with the strategies of Mindfulness Meditation in the previous post.  Thus, being inspired is often inspiring to others. What more can we ask in life?

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2 thoughts on “The Pioneering Spirit”

  1. I agree that seeing newly is an art – we can get so jaded and bogged down in the daily requirements. As you say, a moment of thankfulness, or just ‘going inside’ to the still centre, can ‘reboot’ our view of tasks and responsibilities.

  2. What a great thought:
    “An attitude of gratitude brings altitude”!
    Learning gratitude as a ‘habit’ is a certainly valuable life skill. As is stopping to really see the world, noticing what is around you, really appreciating the details of your day, and just being nice … because its, well, nice!
    These skills can be tough to maintain though, especially when there is so much around you to drag out the worst behavior.
    Thank you Paul for the reminder

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