Have you ever done something that you said you’d never do? I certainly have. I bet you have too. Such is a mark of flexibility, open-mindedness, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
Only astoundingly rigid people continue to live their lives in the same fashion for many years or decades, doing the same old things, holding the same old beliefs, projecting the same old personalities.
Today I was reminded of a post that I wrote on my HinesSight weblog almost two years ago, “I’ve become the person that I warned myself about.” It’s one of my favorites. Still makes a lot of sense to me (so I must not have changed hugely since April 2004). I talk about how my approaches to the marital arts and to spiritual practice have both become a lot more eclectic.
Not so many years ago, eclecticism was something I didn’t believe in. Traditional Shotokan karate isn’t big on blending martial arts styles. The Shotokan way is pretty much considered to be the way. Similarly, the traditional Sant Mat philosophy isn’t big on blending practices from other spiritual traditions. You’re taught to meditate in a single fashion, regardless of whether it works for you.
I used to think that sticking with a single martial arts or meditation system through thick and thin was the best thing to do. I used to advise other people, and by implication, myself, not to try to cobble together an idiosyncratic blend of styles, techniques, and approaches.
Now I hold a different opinion. I consider that I’ve grown, not regressed. Read my post. Tell me if you agree. It’s fine if you don’t. That’s the beauty of eclecticism. Different strokes for different folks.