Emotional spasm

1) Placing inordinate emphasis on the most trivial matters by reacting to shallow momentary emotional spasms are not the best grounds for developing any sort of deeper fulfillment in life and leads one to continual momentary dissatisfaction.

2) I say explore life’s deeper values and exercise the governance (not blind governance) of all deeper values in ones life while rejecting the shallow emotional reactions. Just the starting point to any sort of meaningful life: practice.

3) Balance and moderation in all things is an art: habit.

Learn To Setting Systems, Not Goals

I thought the below video was great and several years ago I sort of abandoned goal setting and starting the process I call ‘learning to live’, or as the video says “Setting systems”.  As we age we begin to see that life has this sort of pulse feeling to it.  We set a goal and achieve it but soon after we feel empty again.

The idea that I construct is I somehow think that once I arrive at a particular point then I will have made it, then I will feel satisfied, or then I can rest; however, this is one of the greatest lies. The lie persists in our society that it is money or obtaining a particular material wealth. I found myself achieving my personal goals as well as the societal goals; however, I still had this permanent uneasy unsatisfied feeling. Why? (If anyone reading might now think this is about bashing on our current system/culture but I don’t believe so.)

Over the past several years I started to teach myself to enjoy the process. I can set goals but this is merely one aspect of the process; learning how to enjoy where I am now is another; learning how to be ok with this uneasy feeling within is a part; learning how to connect spiritually; learning how to connect culturally. Lastly, and this is for me the most important part, learning that ITS ALL LIFE!

An example in my own life right now is that I’m learning to play the piano.

1) I want to learn how to play and I have an idea of where I’d like to be; this for me is setting the goal.

2) I now set sail on that journey; now I must understand and be OK with exactly where I am in this process. This part is very important to practice. As we practice this step, and this might sound weird, but it get intergraded with our entire being. A flowing with life begins to emerge.

3) There have been days that I don’t want to practice but I do it anyway. This is being ok with feeling uneasy and knowing that these feelings are fleeting.

4) I learn that I never really arrive. It is always a series of journeys. Its a process of learning to be fully in where I am are AND being able to move forward. I begin to see that all these daily practices and daily investments in being is an opportunity for me to finally start living my life and while also moving forward at the same time. I’m learning to understand how to properly and see this friction and move with it, adapt if you will.

5) Some days are good and some aren’t. I see more clearly that it is all life! I move, I practice, I feel, I practice, I enjoy, I practice, I hurt, I practice, I set goals, I practice, I listen, I practice. I see that it has never been me, I practice. I added 5 which might seem off topic but really isn’t. It’s all connected. I’m not just practicing playing the piano when I’m sitting in front of it. Habits don’t really care.

Individualism: The Me Paradigm

Has the value we’ve place on individualism actually made us less happy and view the world with more contempt?

Has this value actually made us more isolated and brought forth a bounty of depression, anxiety and suicides?

Has this value divided our relationships, our family and our communities?

Has this value been a contributor to all the polarization that we’ve been seeing in our country?

His this value made us indifferent to those around us because it is all about me, the individual? “Fuck you! Do you know what you did to me?”

Has this value caused us to place excessive emphasis on feelings/our own feelings?

Has this value eroded other values such as free speech?

Is it this value that has been caused the breakdown of the more wholesome societal  norms?

Is it even ok for me to even question such a thing without being branded and labeled as some sort of collective extremist?

Response To The Minimalists #60

Hi Guys,

I wanted to quickly take a moment to address the journalist in episode #60, a critic, for which I know your response is crickets chirping. The problem with the journalist, and many other critics, is minimalism doesn’t fit their narrative as to what the problem actually is. Additionally, the degree to which they believe in their narrative and the degree to which they accept your message is the degree to which they have to admit they are wrong. This is a tough pill to swallow when your identity is deeply embedded in your world view. Here is an interesting article regarding : Neural correlates of maintaining one’s political beliefs in the face of counterevidence.

You have done a superfluous job at staying out, and I would argue above, the political arena and the reason being is simple. You have kept your message fixated on what you value and intentional by cutting out the excess, all with razor precision which is exactly what minimalism is about. Ryan alluded to this in the podcast as well. Thanks guys for all your hard work and the message you bring forth; keep up the great work!

Painfully Aware

Today I awoke without a headache! It’s quite a marvelously and I’m so thankful that I don’t have one, well come to think of it I really haven’t had one in years. Just like the The Minimalist article The Worst Christmas Ever about the child that become painfully away of all the presents he/she didn’t get after only after ungifting all their presents, we too are usually only thankful and/or grateful for something after it has been stripped away or shortly after suffering a painful infliction, and this could be physical or mental.

We have so much to be thankful for but sometimes it takes deliberate attention and cultivation to remind ourselves how rich we really are! What are you thankful and or grateful for today?

Thank you!

Where is there to go?

I know this person who is always in a rush at work, day in and day out. I often wonder where she is really trying to go?  I wonder what it is that she is really trying to achieve and if she’s ever really found it? I wonder if she even knows?

I see this person in traffic racing around, day in and day out I see someone else. I often wonder where they are really trying to go? Do they know that it will literally only save them 5 minutes at most, and probably only less than a minute! I wonder if they even know?

I watch this person standing in the grocery line looking angry and impatient. I often wonder where they are really trying to go?  Speeding around the parking lot looking for the best spot; look at all this time they saved! I wonder what they will do with it? I wonder if they even know?

Where is there to go?