Role Modelling A Healthy Lifestyle

Before I was introduced to Vipassana, I considered myself a leader. After practicing Vipassana for sometime, I realized how confused I was and just tried to be a good individual. While I was contributing to the world in positive ways, I was also hurting it in ways I didn’t understand. How could I lead other people in the right direction when I didn’t even know the right way to live? I spent another year living within myself trying to purify my mind and my actions. Learning to stop harming others is hard! Learning to tame my mind is even harder! Now, while I’m still learning how to properly walk on the path, I’ve gained confidence that Vipassana is showing me the right path and I’m ready to role model behaviors again.

But this type of leadership is different. In the past I thought I needed to know all the answers. If I didn’t know the answer, I would guess, but every action would be with confidence. People won’t follow someone lacking confidence. I think that’s still true, but the confidence within me has taken a new form. Instead of being louder, faster, and more assertive than everyone else, my confidence is quiet, slow, and strong. I don’t need to pretend to know all the answers or try win every battle. I just know that each small step I take is in the right direction and if I’m honest about why I live the way I do, people will be drawn to the true leadership within themselves through meditation.

It’s time for me to share myself with the people in my life again. The more I share myself with others, the more challenges I’ll face from others to break my discipline, but if I’m able to maintain my strength and committment, the people around me will be drawn to the process of purifying their minds. Social change always starts with relationships. We’ll see how this continues to develop in the coming months. 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.

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