We all wish for a simple, peaceful, calm and enjoyable life, but challenges and problems are inevitable. Awesome advice from Demetrius the cynic on how to rise to life’s daily frustrations and annoyances.
“If you have nothing to stir up and rouse you into action, nothing which will test your resolution by its threats and hostilities; if you recline in unshaken comfort, it is not tranquility; it is merely a flat calm.”
Bear as bravely as possible the things one cannot avoid. Clothe yourself with a hero’s courage. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca . . .Read more stoicism philosophy –
I am currently researching and planning a trip to visit the best of Bali. I want to find the less traveled, secret and sacred places. Oh what an adventure this will be. 95-miles-wide and located in the Indian Ocean, Bali is a part of the Indonesian archipelago known as the Lesser Sunda Islands north of Western Australia. I am sure one of the highlights of this trip with be a bike tour through the bamboo forests of Bali and have found Bali Countryside offering what looks like amazing tours.
The Future of Space Travel
In the meantime, I have been pondering the potential of space and mind travel – the last two frontiers of exploration. I’m currently reading and recommending Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. If you are interested at all in space exploration, than I believe you will be fascinated by his mission to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets. For up to the moment news on his progress, follow space exploration @elonmusk on Twitter
The Creative Possibilities of Mind Travel
I became very curious about the idea of creative mind travel this morning after reading this quote from John O’Donoghue’s book Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom “No one else has access to the world you carry around within yourself; you are its custodian and entrance. No one else can see the world the way you see it. No one else can feel your life the way you feel it.”
Dance Trance, Strobbing Lights and Whirling Dervishes
All travel and stories start with an idea in our minds – in the inner vast space of potential, limitless creativity. Now imagine taking self-exploration to the next level – tripping if you will, sans drugs, for mind expansion.
This is not a new idea at all. Psychologists and neuroscientists have been experimenting with stroboscopic lighting techniques to activate the pineal gland which in turn produces visions not unlike a psychedelic trip.
Entering a dance trance have had many throughout time traveling into the spirit world. Native cultures such as the Australian Aborigines, African tribespeople, Sufis and American Indians have utilized the power of dance to make contact with the spirits as they enter a world of vivid color and surreal architecture and archetypes.
Those that practice insight meditation have reported experiencing hallucinations. From simple shapes and colors such as one might see on a low LSD dose to full on “out of body” experiences where entire characters and environments are formed and interacted within.
Interested in touring the deep vastness of your mind without magic mushrooms, microdots or black sunshine? You can read more in this article How to Hallucinate Without Drugs.
Adventure as a Mindset
To embrace the unplanned experiences and to fully appreciate the spontaneity of life is to believe the next adventure is about 5 minutes away.
Have you thought about what pace feels right for you? At times I do have a need for speed and love the energy and creativity that feels supercharged in big cities like Manhattan. Right now, I feel the need to breath deeply, chill out and slow down to refocus. Not unplug, just down shift to first or maybe second gear.
Something clicked the minute I stepped off the plane at Providenciales. An assuring voice inside my head delivered a comforting message “a more intentional pace.” This slower island pace. Not the harried, brisk and hurried hustle of New York, but the more deliberate and intentional easiness, much like the gentle movement of the waves and soothing breezes of this island. I am not describing a snail-like, creeping, lazy/boozy pace, but that of speaking, thinking, walking and working which is more conscious, considered and purposed. More thoughtful living. This is the pace for now.
And so it goes with meals, especially meals together. My memories of my youth bring me back to four hour dinners around the long outdoor communal table, under the grapevines, with my loud and excited extended Italian family. The never-ending conversations, the slow and relaxed experience of enjoying a meal together.
The Art of Slow and Mindful Eating begins with an intention to create an experience. Setting the mood, dimming the lights, selecting soft and slower music and smaller plates, create an atmosphere for mindful eating. Imagine setting a stage to enjoy and savor your meal. This mindful eating ritual can be extended to any meal – from breakfast to dinner. For more tips on mindful eating, check out Dara Rose, PhD, neuroscientist, foodist, author and the creator of Summer Tomato.
I start my meals by saying grace. Sometimes privately, sometimes with my family. Saying grace can transform a mere meal into an act of celebration, focus, and gratitude.
Listening to meditation talks from Tara Brach, I actually envisioned what she describes as “A Sky Like Mind“, a more expansive mind that allows me to open to the very healing, healthy and beautiful moment that is right now, this healing presence. Tara’s podcasts and book, Radical Acceptance has really helped release the fear, worry and pain that stems from the mental swirl of anxious activity, the grasping and wanting that only proves to enslave my mind.
It is by meeting each moment throughout the day with radical acceptance for what ever is going on and holding those feelings that arise with a compassionate and open heart, a forgiving heart, this is feels like true freedom.
With everything moving at a slower pace this week, I had the opportunity to try Pilates class for the first time. One of the slowest classes I have attended in a long time, a slight pick up from yoga, nothing about the Pilates Method is haphazard. The reason you need to concentrate so thoroughly is so you can be in control of every aspect of every moment. The one reminder that I have walked away with today is Active Abs and focusing on my posture, especially when sitting at my desk for hours at end. Two exercises to help you feel your abdominal muscles correctly.
On this amazing journey of becoming all that we are to be, we need to be reminded of the power that we have to shape our own lives. We are never stuck in any one place. We have choices and we have options. We can choose to make where we are better or we can move to a place that calls us. This is true freedom. Not sure which path to take? Start by being curious about life. What sparks your interest?
So, just how do we stay curious?Well, I have been experimenting with the idea of trying to see everything in front of me from a new perspective, with a fresh pair of eyes. Each morning as I set on my regular workout routine, whether that be a bike, a hike or a run in the same small town that I live in, I force myself to be curious, to find something interesting to photograph and post to Instagram, to see my surroundings in a brand new light. This active curiosity process helps me stay creative and closer to the divine spirit of life.
Why do our brains stubbornly insist on projecting us into the future when there is so much stuff to think about right heretoday? Why not be herenow and therethen?
The fact is that human beings come into the world with a passion for control, they go out of the world the same way, and research suggests that if they lose their ability to control things at any point between their entrance and their exit, they become unhappy, helpless, hopeless and depressed.Read more Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
Which reminds me of a beautiful poem about radically accepting this moment.
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightening bolt or containing a a tornado.
If you think about it, an enormous amount of damage is created by the myth of utopia. There is an intrinsic feeling in nearly every person that your life could be perfect if you only had such-and-such a car or such-and-such a spouse or such-and-such a job. We believe we will be made whole by our accomplishments, our possessions, or our social status. It’s written in the fabric of our DNA that life used to be beautiful and now it isn’t, and if only this and if only that, it would be beautiful again.
For love of bustle is not industry, it is only the restlessness of a hunted mind.
I like to play this game. I imagine a professional creative director documenting my day. A camera crew filming my every move, following me around, filming this very day and this day signifying what I did with my life.
How would I want that masterpiece to roll? No edits, just raw footage. Would I want my name on the credits?