These past few weeks, I’ve noticed that instead of being a participant in my life. I am becoming more and more of an “observer” each day and I know we all can agree, that’s not a good thing… at least that’s how I feel. I asked myself if this is how I want to live my life? The answer is no.
I have been living my life mostly inside my head. Not really seeing what I’m seeing. I am there but not really. I’m sure you are familiar with this running joke that physically you are inside the classroom but your mind is elsewhere. But I’m no longer a bored student needing an escape. We are now talking about the everyday life here.
All of us somehow are probably doing this just in different circumstances and especially not even knowing it. Like going to workplace on zombie mode. You do the things you are expected to do but you can also be absent-minded and wishing you’re out there somewhere instead. You are content of wishing because in reality you are afraid to go that far. Even that “far” means it’s the life that you wanted, it’s the place you have always dreamed of. So you do the same things everyday and just let your mind wander and wonder.
We are not giving our 100 percent presence in what we are doing. We are not fully immerse in the experience. We are not in the “now”. One way or another we all know how exactly it feels like. We feel we are missing something. We feel we are not truly living our lives to the fullest. Hmm, sadly I think we got that one right.
Life on earth is changing so fast compared to many generations before us. It’s a good thing. Our advance technology made all the difference and impacts on our daily life. We don’t have to do most things by hand. The faster the better it is. We have all the “instant” in the comfort of our homes. But is it really for efficiency or are we just getting lazier? I’d like to think it’s both.
Ironically, all the extra time we have now, we still end up filling it with something. Our past generations doesn’t have the same luxury. They have to do things hands-on and manually but why do I think they were more productive and happier than us?
Why is it it’s harder for us to slow down, to pause and reflect? Like smelling the flowers, watch the sunset and just stare to each other’s eyes. Why is it that has become now the new luxury or the luxury of our time? Why do we idealize the fast paced environment so much? What’s in it for us?
This fast paced world we live in has so many stimulus and distractions. It seems impossible to get away from it. Like how hard it is to get away from our cellphones now. We are chained to it. I feel like we are lead to believe that it’s okay to have all these distractions and the idea of not entertaining them just doesn’t fit.
We are somewhat like the working ants, if we don’t hustle we won’t survive but somehow and sadly it makes me think our “queen ant” comes in different forms of consumerism or materialism or our own selfish desires instead of just surviving like the ants. We humans have unfortunately also discovered power or greed or selfishness and many other things and somehow also improve it or made it advance like how we did with the technology. Most people are living to work not working to live. There’s huge difference between the two.
Why despite of all these richness of resources, the efficiency and the advancement of our technology which made our lives easier or for the better, we still end up having this nagging emptiness… not truly living our lives and not completely and deeply happy. Our lives have become so mechanical in a way and the magic of living is simply missing.
Deep inside, we know we are the culprit and the victim at the same time. We are not wise enough to realize we our doing this to ourselves. We made it happen. We choose to ignore it. Easier that way…
Interestingly enough, I took this psychological test last week and gave me the answer I need. It shows the factors that is affecting your life most. Mine, anxiety is leading with 94%… warmth, orderliness, imagination and sensitivity are also in the running. Huh, figures. It’s why I have been feeling “off” again lately.
I know I have to do something. So two nights ago, I was in the mood for some documentaries. I have come across this one on Netflix entitled “InnSæi” an ancient Icelandic word for “Intuition”. Oh, so interesting… I have always been fascinated with this subject since time immemorial.It tells you to slow down, to stop or pause and to fully immerse yourself in the present. Things that our fast paced environment won’t let us… you know its mortal enemies. InnSæi interestingly and literally means “the sea within”. This reminds me of the book Way of the Peaceful Warrior which quotes “I call myself a peaceful warrior because the battles we fight are on the inside.” The sea is like that… it can be waging a war against us through its dangerous waves if she chooses it. The sea can also be very peaceful and we can cruise smoothly and silkily without problem. Good news is: we can choose which way because this sea is within us.
Our physical world has taught us to be easily distracted. We are not taught how to “mind our mind” or the art of mindfulness. Naturally we are so fearful of the unknown or uncertainties in life. The mind is like a garden, if we don’t take care of it… it will grow weeds instead of sunflowers or lilies.
Intuition is our friend… all of us has it but only a few uses this innate beautiful ability. It’s part of our human nature. It’s why a baby’s laughter is so infectious and warms our heart. It’s why the adoring stare of your husband makes your heart flutter and weakens your knees. It’s why a smile from a stranger makes you feel you are not alone. This is how we are naturally hardwired to connect with others.
I also find it amazing that the ancient Icelandic word InnSæi has multiple meanings. The other two are “to see within” and “to see from the inside out”. If you ask me the secrets of InnSæi… well, there’s really no secrets. It’s simply about exploring your inner workings, understanding how your mind works and minding it, planting the seeds of beautiful flowers in the garden of your mind, cruising peacefully in your sea within.
My husband loves to tell me one thing: to just do it and to pour all your heart in the process. We are naturally inclined to overthink instead of taking a leap of faith, we love to waste our time and then regret it later. We are loud and easily distracted then complain that we can’t find inner peace.
Last Wednesday, our vacuum cleaner broke so I have to clean our house manually because our dog’s fur are all over the place. I used the old broom and I actually enjoyed the slow process. It made me feel a whole lot better afterwards. This is why sometimes I miss the old CD or DVD players, I like to feel the texture of the objects and putting them into the player makes you feel you are participating and the anticipation of finally viewing the movie. There is something with the “instant” that kinda robs us that experience.
I think that’s where the magic lies: when we are having that slippery access to what is inside us. When we are slowing down. To really see what’s in front of us. Our surroundings will become vivid, more colorful… alive… and its when we can truly see the beauty. When we stop, pause and reflect. We are tapping the sea within. Our InnSæi.I am happy to have shared this with you. I hope we all can practice being mindful. To live in the present. To be 100 percent in the now. To have that magic in our life back (I’m not saying here go buy a broom instead of using the vacuum lol). Like how we enjoyed playing outside when we were kids. It’s when you are truly making beautiful memories and living fully when you are just simply having fun. No cares in the world…
Magic is everywhere, it only takes “you” to have an access of it. Now, it’s not a secret anymore…
See you on my next post.