Have you had an experience that changed your mind totally and completely about how you live your life? A moment of insight in which what was previously shrouded and fuzzy becomes clearly focused?
You could call such moments 'conversion experiences', and I know from my own experience, that they can be very powerful. After you wonder, "How did I not see this before?" You are a new person.
Such moments are usually associated with religion, but this concept of radical change can be applied to many things, perhaps to learning in general. I am particularly interested in examples in which such moments lead a person away from participation in a consumer lifestyle toward a more simple life.
To suddenly change one’s mind changes how everything looks. It is a voluntarily shift in the basic beliefs upon which one's life is understood. The fact that such abrupt and total transformations are possible is very encouraging. There may be hope for us yet.
But such conversions are not always supernovas of change. Often they are tiny fireflies of energy that push us in a particular direction. Everyone has the capacity for both, if you are open to such things and allow them to work their magic.
One such moment that I have personally experienced is hard to label as a total and sudden change, or something more gradual. All I know is that at the time it felt like a probe directly to my brain. It happened a couple of decades ago, and I still think of it today.
I had been canoeing and fishing with Linda on a pristine mountain lake in the Rockies. While on the water I caught a large silver-sided rainbow trout. Later we were transferring our canoe, gear, and my catch back to our van.
We were standing by our vehicle. I was putting the fish into our cooler when a man walked up, staring at the big trout. I looked up at him.
"You killed that beautiful fish", he said.
Then just as quickly as he had appeared he moved on, leaving me to ponder his statement. Fishing has never been the same since.
While I didn't feel an immediate change, that one brief moment in time came to transform how I feel about fishing, consuming fish, and ultimately about life itself. Call it a conversion moment, or an ah-ha experience, but whatever it is, I see these moments as opportunities to alter life for the better.
They are little gifts from the Universe.
Have you had a simple living conversion moment that has resonated with you, and that you just can't forget?