New Year’s Goals

Happy New Year’s Day! Before I set new goals for this year, I want to reflect on my goals for last year. Last year I wanted to immerse myself in Vipassana meditation so I had a clear understanding of what it was, I wanted to establish my daily meditation practice, and I wanted to start living in the world as a Vipassana meditator. While the last 366 days have been long and challenging, I feel that I’ve been successful on all three fronts. I’ve meditated morning and evening every day that I can remember. If someone is curious what this practice is all about, I feel comfortable explaining it. I’ve completed my first year as a Ph.D. student in Biology at the University of North Carolina.

This year, I want to rediscover how to immerse myself into this community full of wonderful people. On my journey to discover myself, I’ve become isolated and disconnected from the world around me. I feel healthy and independent, not lonely and depressed, but I still feel like something is missing. My life and people around me have changed so much in the last 3 years since my Dad died, and I’ve lost touch with that.

There was a time that the most important thing in my life was the family, friends, and community around me. I want to get back to that, but I also want to live each day with my meditation practice. While rebuilding the foundation of my new identity through meditation, I felt I needed to protect my practice. It was too easy to get distracted and sidetracked if I didn’t disconnect a little bit. Now that my practice is well established, it’s time to get back to sharing in the daily experiences of life with the people around me. This will be a challenge, but that’s why it’s a goal. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

One thought on “New Year’s Goals

  1. Hang in there Ryan..you are an amazing person. I don’t read every entry, but this one really touches on life at the moment. I think it is very possible to be lonely and depressed even in a room full of people. I read a little card today about allowing yourself to grieve each day while you are experiencing loss. To let it run it’s course….to let it all come out, so you won’t have to revisit grief over and over ? Be well and keep cool!
    Love, Giana

    Like

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