Growth is not Exciting

A strange realization with my practice is that growth is not exciting. All of my life, and probably all of yours, I’ve been taught to get excited and to celebrate growth or progress. When I graduated or got a new job or reach some other milestone I would have a party and celebrate. As I make progress on this path, the reward is more stability, equanimity, and a slight improvement in my metta. Several times now I’ve reached a new milestone with my practice, realized I wasn’t excited about it, acknowledged that this was progress, and then I became sad because I wasn’t going to celebrate. I guess I’m realizing that I have an attachment to excitement which is strange to think of as a bad think. Maybe I’m off base, and I should be celebrating more, but I also don’t feel like celebrating.

This feels more like growing up. After graduating college, many more responsibilities were placed on my plate. People who have children have another large plate of responsibilities to attend to. With Vipassana, after you grow past a certain stage, you get your own new plate of responsibilities. This is progress. This is life. This is a good thing. But it’s not really exciting.

Am I reaching a point in my life where excitement isn’t as important to me. Is my ability to see the bigger picture of life, and the wisdom that I’m taking care of the important nuances of my world becoming more important than celebrating? Is there room for being both responsible and excited? Only time will tell. 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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