My mother has told me for years that I go through life with my pants on fire. It’s true. I rush around in panic mode as my default state, always seeking more, More, MORE in the way of experiences. Sure, I’ve covered a lot of ground, but I don’t really get a chance to admire the scenery. I’m tired of going through my experiences in such a panicked rush that I often forget having been there at all. Disposable experiences. Done and on to the next. When I do recall the things I’ve done, I only have a vague sense of them, like half-remembered dreams. Flashes of images which don’t give me a sense of having actually been there.
I don’t want to float through life like a speeding ghost anymore. Life needs to be slower. Not dull, just more intentional. That sense of mindful living is something I’ve been struggling with this summer as my personal life went through a period of turmoil. I think it’s time to find some peace in my own home. Peace in my own skin. So I’m going back to basics.
I spent the day tidying my office. Not a mad rush to simply put everything away, but just a steady tidying. I’ve been doing the same in my house. Sorting, purging a lot of stuff, reevaluating the quantity of stuff and realizing how very little I actually “need”. Once I’ve gotten my life going at a steady, sane beat, I can resolve to place the same mindfulness in the projects I do. To be fully present and enjoy the process of the making of the thing.
Life is kind of like laying down tracks of a song. You first need to make sure the underlying beat is solid. That’s your daily life, work and home, family and friends. Then, when that backbone is going solid, you can begin adding the instrumental tracks; education, hobbies, travel, personal projects, goals and dreams. Then finally, the vocals. Your voice, your will and mind and soul, giving meaning to the narrative of your life.
If the melody starts to fall apart, go back to the beat. If the beat starts to falter, center on the internal beat of your heart, always, until it gives out. Find your underlying harmony. Like Siddhartha in the river, listening intently to the underlying Ohm.
Then build your song again. Again and again.