The world, to me, is a spectacularly confusing and amazing place. I am, admittedly, wildly ignorant to anything outside of my own reality; we all are, save God-like intelligence on the order of omniscience. My ignorance is to such a degree that I don’t even know why I exist and I’ve yet to meet someone who does. The “fundamental question” and we don’t even have an answer!
So, we’re blindly cruising through life with some “feelings” about what we should be doing and from what I can tell there’s a bunch of other people equally clueless about what they’re suppose to be doing. We seem to be born trusting these other people, and over time learn to distrust them (often for good reasons). What’s worse, I’m not even sure what those words mean: to trust or distrust a person…
It seems to me that you don’t “trust” another person, you trust your expectations of that person. That is, that the person will act the way you thought they were going to act. In that case, “distrust” is when you are expecting things from someone where you have knowledge that they will not (or refuse to) comply to your expectations.
Our expectations are often based on those same “feelings” and can even include moral judgments; some notion of a perfect or right way of acting. Our expectation of perfection yields distrust in the world around us.
I would argue that while we have a desire towards perfection we would be silly to expect perfection (and breed distrust). If we release our expectations of ourselves we are free to pursue perfection while maintaining ultimate trust in ourselves, and the people and world around us. It then forces the burden of trust onto the individual, trust becomes a matter of learning and knowing rather than expecting.
In other words, my trust is only a measure of how well I know… my distrust is only a measure of how wrong I was in what I thought I knew.
I haven’t used my blender since I was in college. One of the few things I found through the move and give-away that I decided to keep. For a while I’ve been thinking that I should be trying different avocado recipes, though never seemed to find the time.
Rather than look for time, I changed the design. Call it feng shui or ergonomic usability; the design of the environment will effect the thoughts, perception, and outcomes of our actions. Surround yourself with distractions and you will be distracted. Place a blender near the refrigerator, on the counter next to the sugar above the silverware drawer. Milk and avocados in the fridge… Everything within reach. The human factors were there, the Qi was flowing…
The avocado shake practically made it self. I just simply enjoyed it!
I’ve finally moved out of Solana Beach and to La Jolla. Despite giving away most all of my possessions moving was still a pain — but this morning waking up to an ocean view did make me feel better!
Letting go of old possessions and changing habits seems to be as continuous as life itself. We acquire then purge, acquire some more and the cycle continues. The layers and layers of perceptions that bind us to this reality I’m not even sure have a limit.
In the meantime I’m happy to explore La Jolla; enjoy the restaurants, cafes, clubs and enjoy the view from bed.
I’ve given away most of my belongings, although strangely I am still surrounded by furniture, books, and other trappings. In the search of what really matters in life I’m thinking that the more we hold onto our possessions the more we resist moving forward.
I’ll be moving in early April. I’ll take some personal items with me but will not take any of my existing furniture. My Walden Pond will be on the shores of La Jolla, ocean view rather than lake.
Zen-like simplicity in a designed interior to compliment the context of who I choose to be. A place to sleep, relax, create, and live. Waking up to a view of the ocean from bed, the only other furniture will be lounge chairs and tables. No dusting as there will be nothing collecting dust. If there are guests they will have a place to sit, chat, and enjoy the view. The design will welcome communication, and there will be no entertainment center, no staring in dumbfounded silence at a television. As it is the future, entertainment is online and interactive, perhaps a cinema display or projector — unleashed from a one-way broadcast to encourage thought.
In the meantime I still have a couch
A glass-top kitchen table
This beautiful Armoire
A bed-only futon
Large desks (perfect for letting work master you rather than mastering your work)
A comfy queen-sized bed set
And plenty of other Salvation-Army-bound household items. Life will move forward as the trappings of my past are released to become new trappings in new lives.
In one moment the sky was a lush blue; in the next a soft gray filter
changed everything. The sun would peek out only to hide once again
behind a dynamic flurry of clouds.
I love that moment where our normal sense of awareness is altered, however briefly, by nothing more than what is in front of our face. In that moment I am no longer aware of my sense of self in my environment; the perceptions of the environment changed while my sense of self did not. This disconnect happens so quickly I normally never notice, I just sort of 'snap back to reality', so to speak.
In that moment though, if we're to pay attention, we ceased being conscious (that is, not being aware of ones self in the surrounding environment); everything existed without being connected to our perception of self, an unfiltered view of reality. There is no fear, no emotion, no logic, just the world as it is. Strange how my conscious mind can spend so much time unaware of the unfiltered view of reality. Or maybe I'm just not paying close enough attention. ;)
I love pineapple. It’s one of my favorite fruits. Particularly if it’s freshly cut and mixed with strawberries and kiwi. My mouth is watering just thinking about this.
Strangely though, I found that rather than enjoy my pineapple, I tended to tap people on the shoulder and tirelessly extol the virtues of this delicious treat. I mean, I know people will like it, so I figure I’m helping them by getting them to eat a pineapple.
“No” they would say, “it looks gross.”
“You’re an idiot,” I would exclaim.
Eventually most people would get around to trying the pineapple and usually like it, but never really thank me for it — especially after the unpleasant exchange and the pending “I told you so”.
I realized recently that I don’t need to knock on doors with my pineapple. I can just sit back and enjoy it. Seeing me enjoy the pineapple usually invites a friendly “hey, what’s that? You seem to really be enjoying it.”
At that point I can share my pineapple, and share the wonderful experience of eating this delicious fruit without having to find validation in getting other people to eat it.
And if no one wants to share, well, more for me!
There are subtle and simple changes over time, a continuous change from one moment to the next. There are times that things look dramatically different, barely recognizable from a previous state. For example, changing seasons can dramatically alter a landscape from winter to summer. Other times the world appears nearly identical to the previous state, though never exactly the same.
Those small changes can be the most dramatic; more dramatic than between a field of snow in the winter and dust in the summer. When we miss the continuous change it appears only as two isolated landscapes.
Through passive observation of change our mind will connect with the previous state and bridge the gap to the present. We re-frame our perceptions of the past state and build a momentum towards the next change. In this process we may guide ourselves through life shaping the world to our wants.
Sometimes even when perfectly relaxed I am still "doing" a lot. Things are happening, life is moving, often times quite fast.
I find that some of my best work is accomplished in a completely relaxed state. It is not stagnation; rather it is letting go. Letting go of active control of your life, allowing life to move you.
Work is accomplished when I let go and also when I fully engage. Life becomes like a swing on a children's playground. You do not force your weight into the air while on a swing; rather just let gravity pull and only shift your weight. The swing seat delights us in its efficiency to maximize movement with minimal effort; it requires relaxing in order to move.
Despite this, it is difficult to truly relax, you must trust that your ass will stay firmly in the swing seat while you let your legs dangle helplessly. There is a wisdom in letting go of our perceived control over our lives and knowing when to relax and when to take action.
I suppose the irony is you can never really control the outcome of your life without first knowing how and when to let go and relax.
I've had good success with the David Allen approach of Getting Things Done, in particular with the emphasis on context (e.g., "at the store", "at work", "at home"). In fact, I've had an empty inbox (to the amazement of past and present co-workers) for years despite growing amounts of email. And the context-dependent next-action approach I have found extremely effective. Everything else I take with a grain of salt (sorry 43 folder people).
On the other hand, the "5 year" vision that so many people seem to thrive on, I find myself avoiding that along with any "life goals". I'm just old enough to have achieved many of my goals and just young enough to be completely unsatisfied having achieved those goals. I have found happiness in the process but never the outcome.
For example, I enjoy traveling and I enjoy reading. I don't enjoy owning a bunch of books or owning keepsakes from my travels. It's not the book read (past tense), it's the book I'm reading that I enjoy. I don't enjoy owning nice things, I enjoying doing nice things. Happiness, for me, is in the process of life and not the outcome.
With that in mind, I realized that I'm operating under assumed contexts ("at work", "at home") that aim towards goal-oriented outcomes and not the process of living. I grew to have a different personality at work from home because I was separating those contexts (even though they often overlap). While this is understandable (and common) to separate work life from home life, ultimately I am one person and I'd rather not diverge my personalities into two competing creatures. I need better contexts to live within.
That being the case, I decided I will define and design my own contexts. I can focus my life on the process of living and design the very contexts to which I live within. I can let things blend and fall where they fall rather than forcing life into predefined areas. There is no reason to operate under the assumed contexts that the world and society expects of you.
The contexts to my designed life are quite simple: "creating" and "relaxing". I included a "meta" context so that I may continue to change the design, continuous improvement so-to-speak (I may never get it perfect but it'll get better). So far so good, I have blurred the boundaries of those conflicting areas. I don't have tasks "at work" or chores "at home"; I am instead living the "creating" and "relaxing" process of a designed life.