Maybe I just have a face that makes people think I’m non-judgmental or a good listener, but random folks have always gravitated toward entering into open discussions with me. I’ve chatted casually about everything from asinine weather opinions to in-depth conversations about addiction histories or mental illness. Personally, I welcome the shoulder shake out of my daily routine and the fascinating humanization of people I wouldn’t otherwise notice beyond a casual glance.
What is it about the people we meet that leaves such a lasting impression on who we are and how we view the world?
Letting go of things both metaphysical and physical is one of the hardest, but most
fulfilling achievements of a human life. Meditation helps a person practice what it takes to let go. It focuses your thoughts away from the millions of swirling ideas and feelings passing through your head.
Think about when you sit in quiet stillness and close your eyes. Your mind is very active. It does not linger on one thought very long. Images, sounds, memories, emotions, sensations all seem to pop up and vanish as quickly as they materialize. The goal of meditation is to let go metaphysically. You are practicing the ability to accept each moment with awareness and without expectation, as these expectations lead to suffering. The goal is to experience each moment fully.
The reason that meditation is such a necessary training exercise is the same reason that we write first drafts of essays and show them to friends and editors: it’s a safe space to try new things. We don’t have to worry about the weight of our new routines and ways of thinking completely obliterating our credibility or ruining our lives. Practice is the key to success, after all.
All of our difficulties would be alleviated if we possessed thoughts that didn’t need to attach itself to expectations.
When you’ve decided that it might be time to vacate your present position, it can be a daunting decision. It’s so easy to stick to routines and decide not to explore. You may feel a misguided sense of loyalty to your current company despite how they’ve treated you.
How do you know when it’s time to go?
These 7 questions are the perfect litmus test for weeding out true career ambitions from the sea of fanciful idealism.
It’s easy to go through a normal week of routine and wallow in the pain of the moment. With so many minor pieces of your day and week that don’t go exactly as planned, it’s common for people to internalize and catastrophize small obstacles.
Instead of telling someone or yourself to minimize the seriousness of the struggle, instead focus that energy on remembering things that did go your way. Find aspects of your life experience to be grateful for. Be thankful for the myriad of good things and details that far outweigh the bad.
In times of political and social upheaval and attacks on commonly-held ways of thinking, it’s easy to hit the panic button and explode into Nostradamus-like predictions of worldly destruction. That kind of thinking does not lead to change, answers, or progress, however. It’s better to take your misunderstanding by the horns and lead it to new places of self-discovery, skepticism, and eventual insights that could help shape the future.
I recently picked up Yuval Noah Harari’s “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” and, like a canary in a coal mine, its loud tweets have been a wake up call to my own way of thinking. The following passage, on which this article will be based, spoke to me in such a way that it’s helping me realize my own internal panic and has inspired me to try to guide it toward someplace different:
“We are still in the nihilist movement of disillusionment and anger, after people have lost faith in the old stories but before they have embraced a new one. So what next? The first step is to tone down the prophecies of doom and switch from panic mode to bewilderment. Panic is a form of hubris. It comes from the smug feeling that one knows exactly where the world is heading: down. Bewilderment is more humble and therefore more clear-sighted. Do you feel like running down the street crying ‘The apocalypse is upon us’? Try telling yourself, ‘No, it’s not that. Truth is, I just don’t understand what’s going on in the world’”
Much like the reality that you can’t please everyone, it’s also a universal truth that not everyone can’t please you either. There will always be negative forces in everyday life that threaten your ability to be happy, healthy, mentally stable, growing, and/or your best version of yourself.
These negative people may resent your successes, cling to your place of subservience in their life, feel jealous, or prefer stagnation to change.
The effects of these feelings on the way the negative person treats you can range from anger to manipulation to outright cruelty and a whole mess of dangerous emotions and reactions in between. They are sabotaging every step forward you take and clinging to your wrists to hold you back in their sad little rut.
It’s time you commit to identifying, understanding, and removing these people from your life before they steal more pieces of your precious life that you can never get back.
The idea of poetry strikes me as the highest form of language. It takes all the pieces of language that matter: context, sound, rhythm, pace, emotion, truth, shape, form, purpose, and places them into a package where all of the beauty of words can be experienced in one place.
Rita Wong is a Canadian poet who has authored several collections of note. Her words take a very semantic dissection of heavy topics such as the environment, social justice, decolonization, and the way in which human beings can take words and assemble them in a poetic fashion to elicit emotional truths and evoke change through a unity of experience.
Many people struggle with the idea of being social. You could be an introvert, lazy, insecure, unmotivated, depressed, anxious, or a combination of all of the above, but the first step is knowing that you want to change and admitting that it’s a shortcoming.
Like any journey to self-improvement, you can’t climb the mountain in a day. Every effort you put into surrounding yourself with more positive people who will uplift you and round out portions of your personality or call you out on your blind spots is a worthy pursuit. Lay a single brick toward this end every single day.