Live like your life’s disease is mystery & the cure is curiosity. How seeking change has brought me exactly what I have been looking for.
We’ve all heard the saying, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” This question draws on many notions, one of which is the self, and that if one does not experience something, than the question is— did it really happen?
But let’s go back and think instead of this scenario: “If lighting strikes in the woods and starts a fire, but no one is around to see it, will it still burn a part of the forest down?”
The answer, of course, is yes. Our perception of reality does not dictate what is real, but merely what we are perceiving as an active part of the world in which we exist. So the question becomes, how do we include this lightning strike in our lives so that we can be an active force in stopping the forest fire?
The answer is simple. Since we can’t change where the lightning strikes, we have to always be out looking for it. In short, in order to experience the world, we have to be an active piece in it.
Our bodies are temples for our minds— fleshy prisons with which we traverse this life in order to seek balance and peace and freedom. However, in this belief, our bodies are still players in the game of life; they are the temple within which our minds reside, so shouldn’t we be treating our temples like… temples?!
And by this, I mean to push our strength and endurance and stamina to their limits and to seek constant improvement on this physical form in which exist.
Let’s play the “what if” game for a few moments:
What if you are walking to your car and three people get the drop on you; could you defend yourself?
What if your home catches on fire and the only way out is the second story window; do you know how to jump and land safely? What if your son was in the next room?
What if you worked a few minutes from home and your wife had an accident and needed you home immediately, but your car was dead in the parking lot, could you run all the way home?
Can you protect the ones you love? Could you outrun something hunting you down? Can you survive on your own when technology may not be within reach to help you?
I spent the week practicing Huaquan and running. My best friend, also an adventure enthusiast, and I spent the weekend climbing through aerial obstacle courses in the trees of the Berkshires in Massachusetts. After the long weekend, I began the week like I always do, exhausted; but I could feel the happiness in each sore muscle fiber. The elongated sigh as one settles in to the couch after a long day at work, or into a hot tub on the first day of vacation, that is what each of my muscles feels. After my body is spent and I finally settle in to relax, I can hear a unanimous “Aaaaaaaaaaahh” coming from every muscle in my body.
So what has this shown me?
Well first, let’s recap the recent four week’s challenges:
I have begun to refine some of the changes that I have made over the past several weeks since I began this journey. My girlfriend started a new job as a photographer for primary and secondary schools which requires her to be waking up at 3:30AM most mornings (Last night we awoke at 1:45AM). I have begun to wake up with her, as opposed to 6am, and ensure that her breakfast/ lunch are ready for the day. I don’t work out for two hours, but for a half an hour: a warm up routine consisting of push ups, sit ups, leg raises, and tricep dips. I spend the remainder of the morning immersed in the online world— checking emails and social media feeds, networking, working on writing/ editing, or some mornings just gaming.
As my life evolves, so must I. Those that are afraid of change get left in the dust. Milan Kundera, Czech born existential writer, posed that:
Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.
I time last week working on exactly what I set out to do. I drew up a business plan for launching my own company. Over the course the past several months I have researched similar people to myself and their ventures. The verdict is in: starting out on your own is difficult; in ways that I could sit here and describe to you, but I don’t want you to be afraid of ever doing it. It requires patience and persistence and a lot of hard work.
As Anais Nin wrote, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” If you desire strongly enough and possess the proper courage, anything is possible.
I presented my business plan to my best friend over coffee. We spoke at length about the pros and cons of my plan. It will require huge effort and a large amount of our free time. However, after much deliberating, we have decided to pursue this avenue as a means to a brighter future. It will still be some time before we build up a platform from which we can launch.
For now, this means that the first four weeks of my journey have been a success— I’m well on the way to loving my life and finding more and more ways to battle my depression when it rears its ugly head!
However, I’m not out of the woods yet, and for the purposes of this metaphor, that’s a good thing. The only way in life we could ever hear that tree fall, or stop that forest fire, is to be present; and that means putting yourself into situations that you wouldn’t normally be in.
Though… What is normal? The trend of a thing to remain at a constant accepted by a majority of people in a certain place. Because normal for you may not be normal for me. Because normal all over the world is different. So go learn about other “normals.” Live. Journey.
Adventure. All of life is adventure.
‘But Dyllon, I don’t have the time to be adventuring, or starting new things… I’m an indoors guy, going out and adventuring just isn’t for me… I live in a city, where am I going to find a tree in a city in 2015?’
These are all valid concerns. But other than the last guy who is still caught up on the tree metaphor, keep in mind what I mean when I say, Adventure.
Take a moment to remember any time period in your life. Observe that you are remembering the time period based on the events. You don’t remember every minute of your days because every minute wasn’t exciting; every minute didn’t leave a lasting impression on you. What stands out in life— what really gives you energy and makes you go is the unusual, the change, & the awesome.
Any exciting, bold, and usually risky undertaking that would result in an unknown outcome— this is adventure.
Walking to the bathroom on your hands. Building a fort with your kids. Cooking a foreign dish for Around the World night for your wife.
Seeing a trend?
Remember: challenging yourself will only produce positive effects. New experiences can only cause us to grow. Thusly, my challenge for this upcoming week will be to adventure at least once a day, and do something really exciting at least once each week.
Live like your life’s disease is mystery, and the cure is curiosity.
Curiosity is the fuel of the soul.
Photo: Sophie ffrench-Constant/Flickr