With every passing day, the panoramic view of my life grows ever wider. I continue to meet amazing people, and there is no shortage of inspiration in the seemingly mundane qualities of my daily existence. Lessons continue to introduce themselves to me--some of them I've met before but needed re-acquainting while, on rare and magical occasions, others have opened new doors and given fresh insights.
I wanted to take some time on this post to reflect on the things I've learned and come to value in my life. Well, just two things basically.
First of all, be kind.
Kindness is one of the most tender gifts you can give to anyone. Whether to yourself, your family, your friends, and even an enemy or two, it is the ultimate currency, and its exchange rate is immeasurable.
Kindness encompasses love, generosity, benevolence, and forgiveness. It's a lot like one big group hug. All of these things become joined together in a collective tenderness.
Hold a door open for someone on your way into a building. At the grocery store, allow someone with only two items to go ahead of you and your cart full of goods. In heavy traffic, let someone merge into your lane if they need to. Don't be so hard on yourself if something you tried to do failed. Smile to others more often. Stop thinking negatively about yourself and other people. Leave a note of encouragement on a friend's facebook page. Donate money to your favorite charity.
The opportunities for kindness every day are limitless, and if you believe in the idea that you get what you give, then there will be a mountain of sweetness casting its cool shadow upon you. Besides, if the last thing I ever did in my life was an act of kindness, then I would die a happy man.
Secondly, there is simplicity.
Strangely enough and in all my meanderings, it all boils down to simplicity. The beauty of pairing things down to the most essential is that you get greater value in return. There have been times when I was working on a song when the simplest solution wound up being the best one. Every time that I've de-cluttered a physical space, I improved its aesthetics and functionality tenfold. When I've been on trips, I would enjoy myself more when I visited fewer places instead of packing in so much to do in one day. I even work best when I just focus on something one at a time. Increasingly, it's become the common denominator in virtually ALL of my endeavors.
Keep it simple. That's all there is to it. You get less stress and aggravation in return.
Kindness and simpliticy. These things are what I see more and more of every day. They interact with me both in subtle and bold strokes. As a result, the constrasts are more striking, the colors more vivid, and the emotions more vibrant.
Happy Sunday everyone. This morning's post is a big group hug from me to you.
Constant vigilance. I feel like this is something we must all keep--a faithful, undeterred watch over ourselves. I've had several times in my life when I feel as if I lost myself in the fray of everyday living--a busy 40-hour work schedule, endless to-do lists, doing more for others and increasingly less for oneself.
First of all, there seems to be such a premium for selflessness. If we constantly do unto others, then we are kind and chivalrous. I don't disagree with this, but I believe we could do better by doing unto others AND ourselves.
Secondly, it's so easy to abide so strictly to one's priorities that everything becomes more of a chore. Things that once were fun and meaningful devolve into shear drudgery. Our true needs and desires somehow eventually get lost in the shuffle.
For myself, this week continues to be one of the most hectic I've had in a while. In spite of the fact that I will be off from my day job in the next couple of days, my schedule will reach its most frenetic during this time. (I can't wait for this week to be over!) I'm not doing so badly right now though. Past experience has taught me a few things that I try to live by with a vengeance. I list them here now in hopes that they might be of assistance to you.
1. Whether it's just ten minutes or two hours, take some time every day to do nothing and decompress just a little. Turn off the radar (and your cell phone too, for that matter), and just relax. Personally, I like to fit in a little power nap on particularly hectic days. Doing this helps me pace myself better in order to get me through what I need to do.
Man's search for meaning just might be the biggest cliche to have ever existed. I currently find myself in the rarest of situations where I have literally no care in the world. When the mind is not occupied by the myriad worries that wrap it up in daily life, is it any wonder that it turns to large pursuits with vague outcomes?
Spotty wi-fi. Ah shit, I can't dumbly surf the internet. Damnit, I want to play guitar but I didn't bring my axe with me. After long struggle with austerity and simplicity I have no I desire for shiny, new possessions so shopping is out. There is music I want to listen to, but that also requires internet. Oh no! I have nothing to keep me from looking around me and going on walkabout in this busy, alien city!
What woes did I birth in a past life to be given, despite my perverse nature's whining, the time and ability to think?
I take as a fact that the human mind is a machine that attempts to solve problems, and it is especially good at finding simple, uncorroborated answers. To that end, why is the assumption that the meaning of life is complex?
Evidence points to the fact that my function on this planet is to eat, poop, and sleep. Those are, indeed, the most overriding impulses I've ever felt, and each need manifests itself most painfully when it is dire. Sure I've felt love and hate and those certainly override reason, but I've never in my life thought "If I don't love right now I think I'm liable to pass out/die of waste poisoning."