Full Circles

Reflections on Living

Month: January 2020

How to Travel Light

When we travel, my wife reminds me that I have two kids now; it is IMPOSSIBLE to travel light.

Admittedly, I may be a minimalist by desire, but I pack like an opportunist. I bring stuff like an extra shirt, markers, 3 books in case I finish 2 in one trip, post-it notes, USB/HDMI/VGA cables just in case I might need them for work…

The question I asked myself is how do we carry a sense of lightness of being in ourselves?

We approach life with bows and arrows. We relate with life and what’s to come like targets. We walk around not only with blinkers on, but with a certain sense of heaviness and visceral tension.

One quality that manifests as a weight on our being is the invisible act of rumination. This mulling and chewing over stuff makes us travel with overweight suitcases in our tow. Not only that, many of the things in this mental luggage have low utility and value.

But here’s the thing: telling someone to stop thinking about something that’s bothering them isn’t exactly going to solve the issue.

Perhaps we have to learn to clear our minds, like the way we do with our real-world and digital trash. When we are done with the item, we place them in a bin. When the bin gets full, we empty the trash. In our inner life, we seem to think it’s okay to retrieve the banana skin off the bin and scratch off more of the fruit to eat.

We can only hold so much in our heads if we want to be present in life.

In psychological studies, we call this cognitive overload. We need to learn to overload stuff from our minds so that we can tune to the unfolding of each day. Try writing, doodling, bullet journaling, create to-do lists (don’t forget to pair this with a done list, mind mapping, gantt charts, Eisenhower matrix… and if your life is complicated, use project management softwares to assist you (Trello is one of my favorites).

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Do you know of people in your life who travel lightly, who has a lightness of being when you are with them? Emulate them.

Happy 2020,

Daryl

Do Not Find Meaning in Life

Instead, do what makes you come alive.

Martin Luther King Jr. was inspired by theologian Howard Thurman. He said,

”Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

~Howard Thurman,

The Living Wisdom of Howard Thurman: A Visionary for Our Time

 

So the real question is one that we need to ask ourselves, ”what makes me come alive?

There is no right answers, but there are real answers. All of us need to cross invisible thresholds towards a new frontier, leaving behind old meanings, and into the existential page of creating *new* meaning. New meaning arises when we embrace the forms of vitality in life where we become fully alive.

 

“People say that we are seeking a meaning for life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive.” 

~ Joseph Campbell,

from the Power of Myth

Life is too fleeting to be walking around deaden or beaten out of our true vocation in this pilgrimage, which is to be fully alive.

When death finds you and I, may it find us alive.*

Footnote:
* adapted from an African proverb.

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