It isn’t always easy to remember to be a Jedi in every moment of life. When we’re logged into the Temple – sure! We’re surrounded by all things Jedi. There’s little possibility of forgetting the ideals that we hold ourselves to (even if we sometimes choose to ignore them!). But offline – life takes over. Old habits die hard. Human nonsense gets in the way. Perhaps there are days when the word ‘Jedi’ doesn’t even cross our minds.
As Jedi – or, more specifically, Jediists – our path and ideals are inextricably rooted in our understanding of the Force. The oneness of all life is what dictates a philosophy centred in compassion, empathy and servitude. When we feel ourselves drifting away from the person that we want to be, the Force is able to ground us, directing our focus back to the things that are important to us as Jedi. Perhaps ‘the Force’, though, is another of those concepts that doesn’t always cross our minds quite as regularly as we would like it to?
Take a moment to identify the times and places in your life where it is easiest to lose sight of the Force. Is it sat at your desk at work, with the phone ringing off the hook and your boss piling the pressure on? Is in the kitchen every morning when the kids are seemingly doing their utmost not to be ready for school on time? It is in your car at rush hour, when everyone else seems determined to drive like an idiot and make you late for your appointment?
Now think about the times and places in which you find it easiest to remain centred in the Force. Those times when it just comes as a natural feeling – no effort required. What are the common themes in those experiences? Are you perhaps outside in nature? Are you listening to a particular type of music? Are you in the presence of people you care about? Are you meditating?
So, the question is – how can you take the latter moments and use them to enhance the former? Personally, I find myself most grounded in the Force when I am outside surrounded by greenery – and I find it difficult sometimes to remain true to my path when frustrations at work boil over. Nowadays I keep a number of plants on my desk and windowsill at work, and they anchor me to my place in the Force when I might otherwise forget. I also struggle sometimes with taking life too seriously, so at home and at work I prominently display a few items that constantly remind me to live life with that childlike joy that is a hallmark of ego-lessness – a dinosaur mobile hanging in my kitchen and a dragon snow-globe on my desk at work. My friends and colleagues think I might be a bit mad, but I’m okay with that.
What can you do to pro-actively bring the Force into those parts of your life where your awareness of it may sometimes be lacking? What objects can you use, what sensory reminders can you put in place, or what routines could you add, to give yourself the opportunity to be the Jedi that you want to be in the places that it is hardest to do so?
Being a Jedi sometimes seems a very hard thing to do. The Doctrine of TOTJO has many different elements, all stating characteristics and virtues that we should seek to embody. We encourage years of study and self-critique in order to develop these traits. It can seem very daunting. But it doesn’t always have to be as hard as it seems. These traits are a natural extension of living as one with the Force – and we have the tools at our disposal to improve that ability in ourselves simply by taking advantage of our human disposition of finding meaning in the things that our senses allow us to experience.
Don’t wait for the Force to come to you over years of reading and contemplation. Bring it in. Throw it a welcome party it can’t refuse. It won’t turn down the invitation.
And then that lifetime of hard work – you’ll do it together as partners, and it will no longer be a lone man’s arduous quest but a joyful process of getting to know each other on an ever-deepening level.
So – what will your welcome party look like?