Real life conversations are one of my favourite things. To hear and understand what makes people tick and how a life is lived. Every encounter lets me look at my own life. In the past I probably compared my life to other’s lives and judged it in a way that made a stand. “I would never be able to do that” kind of thinking. But now I seem to be able to let it sink in how deeply happy I am with myself and my life as it is and what the future holds.
Everything that happened so far has taught me something, some things are still teaching me now as I’m feeling an unresolved item come up. Like the disconnect in our society and the addiction it’s causing. Addiction to technology & entertainment to escape dullness, hyperpalatable processed food that’s poisoning us, alcohol to relax us, drugs to excite us. Even to be grateful for these things is a start to think deeper, and deep thinking is certainly a great tool to introduce change. Stephen Guise has written an excellent post about deep thinking, check him out.
The choices I made in my life so far have undergone a great deal of deep thinking. Maybe I even had some deep thoughts about other people’s choices, which was less effective.
My one-on-one dialog with a fellow thinker would probably go like this:
I needed to be there at that point in time so I can be here now the way I am. But need inplies an urge so lets call it just “was” as a time in history. As a human being I have the brain capacity to look back and even better, apply it to now and future. We can all look at what shaped us, it’s great fun and also more beneficial than watching TV and consuming entertainment etc. It will give us a competitive advantage. One we can share with the others who sat on the couch that time and now got off and ask: What happened, where was I?
That was me at some point and can easily be me in a few months or years. It’s good to change a little bit each day, on this planet while we have our human experience.
I’m just going to stick with the easy spelling on the “dialog”, not the “computer dialog box” meaning that pops up when researching. There’s surely a few people who might think the spelling of this blog title is the evil work of an ignorant rambler. But they might not have started reading this blog….
For me it’s not dialogue vs dialog, which is just logistics. For me it’s conversation vs dialog. It sounds different to the “Let’s have a conversation”. A dialogue is scripted, some say. It’s only between 2 people, others say (going back to “dia” vs many). A real good conversation is a 2 way thing for me in any case, a give and take which makes 2 humans just the perfect ingredients. Diablo goes back to 2 as well? The devil can be in the detail…. sometimes.
A great dialog leaves me feeling alive, like a swim in the cold mountain lake of my home town. I feel the other human has also experienced a meshing of energies. The connection is more than skindeep. Not just from heartfealt advertising clips, we know we all have something in common with our fellow humans. It’s about looking for it, and finding out what we share is so invigorating. I’m lucky I’ve met people in settings outside their label and capacity. The real person shining through with their weaknesses and human messy things and being grateful for everything that shaped them. I want to be like them when I grow up.
When we sit down sometimes amidst the busy days full of beavering and working away, and look around at our cherished accomplishments, do we feel we belong where we are? I always thought belonging is tied to a place. Maybe it’s where our cherished accomplishments are, our physical assets, our family, our friends. Maybe belonging is tied to a person, a loved one, THE one we want to spend the rest of our days with and are willing to go to the ends of the earth together.
I had a great small house in Germany, out the back of my parents house. My job was paying well, I had good career options, lots of friends to hang out with. But something didn’t feel right. Now after over 2 decades I realise I didn’t feel I belonged. Maybe because I needed to see more of the world. So the longing for more diverse experiences got in the way of belonging, or my meaning of belonging at the time.
If I’m longing for something does it mean I don’t have it at that moment? Say I get up early, it’s a lovely day and I long to experience the cool morning air. For it to rush into my lungs as I walk up the hill to greet the rising sun. The moment the warm rays stream over my face, I feel I belong. I belong exactly where I am, right now. I belong on this earth because it’s a very fortunate string of events that lets me be here in the first place, starting with the egg inside my mother when she was conceived. I belong here because I got up and put my shoes on and I walked outside.
Belonging starts with one step, motivated by the longing for change of what is. Action leads to belonging. If we are feeling disconnected, and we go to work every day, have the same conversations every day, have the same thoughts every day, we can take action. We can change the schedule or way to work, switch thoughts, switch conversations. Surprise ourselves and others. When looking at things from a different point of view we create belonging. Even if it’s not our point of view. Using the brain we have is the biggest action we can take to create belonging. That’s where it all starts and the internet is full of actions, mediations, podcasts on increasing consciousness. One doesn’t need to move to the other side of the earth to belong.
Do you need to step out?
When we think about how we spend our days and years and ultimately life, and it’s just not cutting it. When there’s a deep longing for a change. Maybe a glimpse of something inside, a flicker of an idea of how the world could be a better place and how to do it. I hope we can sit still and let our breath lead us to the awareness of what we really want and how we want to contribute.
I have met amazing people who have shown that thinking outside the box can make real change, not just in their own life but in the community around them. Some of these people have had incredible road blocks. Mainly in the form of others saying “It can’t be done” or worse badmouthing and even personal attacks.
Going back through my own memories of crazy harebrained (which puts rabbits in a bad light) ideas, I have to admit that there were people influencing me, by non-support or sometimes open critique and ridicule. And that stopped me in my tracks. Now I wonder if it was a good thing not to have gone further starting a tourism magazine in the year 2000, but on the other hand, I could have invented TripAdvisor before someone else did.
The amazing potential in every human seems so wasted in daily processes. Mainly the need to earn money. We pay for the transport to get us to the work we don’t really enjoy. We also buy food & beverages that make us addicted and sick, like the overprocessed majority of stuff in supermarkets. Huge mortgages for houses that are too big so we stuff them full of things we think we need. What if our work can give us all these basic things but in a job that’s truly contributing to the wellbeing of all. Think outside the box what that could be for you.
One can step out in so many ways if one wants to. And it’s not an all-or-nothing stepping out. Small things can make us feel free from the system. Like using the bicycle to get to work or the shops. Feeling the wind on the face and breathing the fresh air. Try it.
Pale Blue Dot
In 1990 Carl Sagan asked NASA to turn the Voyager camera around and take a picture of our earth. From some incredible big distance, our home looks like a speck of dust in a vast lonely space of emptiness. Some years later we know a few more things about space, how to leave earth’s atmosphere fast and efficient, putting a red sportscar on a trip to Mars etc.
I am looking at everything I know on this pale blue dot. The vastness of the space around the dot leaves room to imagine, what else might there be. The recent dark matter findings or lack of it in an observed galaxy show there’s so many puzzles. For me science is complementary to wonder and imagination. I would also say that science benefits from it. A good documentary on this is “The Most Unknown”. It follows scientists in their chosen field talk about the things they don’t know and how it spurs them on to find answers.
Sometimes I find it hard to imagine the unimaginable. Increasing knowledge is helpful to show me how awesome humans are, how impossible the chance of me being here now. And here I am, looking at the pale blue dot I with me on it. Like I am looking out the window from the 13th floor, at myself walking down the street . What I don’t know down there and how it changes when I zoom out. It’s pretty exciting to ponder what I will be looking at in a few more years with more knowledge. It also opens up the Unknown to imagine more than we know and then more again.
I listened to a Rich Roll inverview with Zach Bush. Here is a short extract, the best 10 minute monologue I heard in a long time and one I go back to often.
Since first listening to it, I feel wrapped in a blanket of calmness. A calm and stable brain has been the side effect of eating whole plant based foods. This is deeper. People stepping through the veil of death feeling total love and acceptance has me feeling love and acceptance from myself for myself. From that place within me I will be able to emit it out to the world around me. Not “I will” as an action. More like the action of staying present, not running away with thoughts and feelings concerning my daily life. Stepping back and observing. Smiling, making eye contact, appreciating everyones circumstances. Most of them I won’t be able to really understand as we all have our own experiences.
Maybe acceptance can be the first step. Love can then be, instead of by act of willing, like something that flows all around us and we tap into it. It doesn’t feel as if there is a shortage when we are with people we love. To extend the love is to accept that we are are part of the one unknown.
There is a lot we don’t know. Accept and learn, that is maybe what Albert Einstein thought too.
What’s in it for me…
My move into a tiny house was one of the best decisions I made in my life so far. Right up there with quitting smoking before my 30th birthday. Initially it was my only solution to not being able to find a house to rent. I live in a holiday destination and lifestyle village, the prices for renting and buying property are massive compared to what one can earn, especially in the biggest industry, hospitality. When my money worries went away, my desire to live life more meaningful and aware grew stronger.
Living offgrid also saved on powerbills, none of that. The next thing was the food bill. I stopped going to the supermarket where the majority of items sold hardly classify as food anyway. I came across Chef AJ, a plant based wholefood genius! She introduced me to a way of eating that somehow has given me lots of energy. The body weight I didn’t need was gone by month 3 and now I’m left with a calm and stable brain, a big help when trying to find my purpose. It’s a joy to discover how capable my body is, the amazing Serotonin hits I get from moving outside are better than any junk food quick fix. Sometimes I feel my purpose is to move that body of mine, to have fun in it and with it and just live life fully.
All my decisions are based on my personal benefits, even now that I start to think a lot about what the world is getting out of me. How good a friend/sister/mother/daughter/soul(heart)mate am I? Am I supporting people around me enough to let them be their best? Is society unkind and disconnected from each other because everybody is busy with money worries and frustrations?
Because when the people around me are living their life fully, the world will be a better place with all our combined raised energy. I think we get there slowly but surely.
ANJA O’CONNORJANUARY 12, 2019
STILL EASY… TOO EASY?
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For a modern couch potato there’s plenty of research to be found on the internet that keeps one from getting up. The laptop on my lap, in a comfortable reclined position, I read about the heartrate one should monitor. Google “Running heart rate” and read the myriad of articles about how dangerous it is to run out of the recommended range. I know I haven’t pushed hard yet but wonder if I even should. Maybe it’s not about the physical pain one feels in the chest and ignores due to a goal that needs to be met. Maybe it’s about the daily grind to put the shoes on, and in my case, to sort out the 10 year old who does not want to participate and bike alongside while I run. There’s always plenty of opportunities to hit the “Fuck it” button. I’m happy to report that I didn’t hit it today and the last few days. Maybe it’s a little unconventional to leave the child under a tree for 20 minutes with books and snacks by a reasonably populated beach and set the timer for 10 minutes as turnaround time. Come back, check the child, do it again. It’s the middle of the day and it’s hot but not as hot as most of the Ultrarunners run in “Bake-your-skin-to-the-road-if-you-fall” land.
And the 2nd time around feels a lot faster, lighter, smoother. Finding out about personal warm up distance, which seems to be around the 6-7km mark.
This is a big deal for me. I was never able to run after a bus until a few years back when I really decided to work on my stamina. It was satisfying to know I could put on a short sprint. There are not many buses where I live. The sprintability came in handy when I looked at the wrong travel times once and had to really bolt to the opposite terminal. The child was 8 then and enjoyed running albeit with a worried look on his face.
“So what” you might think, but this is a my lippy dialog, and you are free to go away.
Swimming in open water is the next thing I am tackling. A few unused pool concession cards later I’m realising that I live in a paradise with a clear lake, so instead of pool entries I might invest in a full wetsuit.
To be continued…
One day I will go into more detail about finding out about my purpose here on this earth. What to do with “my one wild and precious life” (Mary Oliver and grasshoppers, always nice to listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16CL6bKVbJQ)
Let’s say I’m in the extreme fortunate position to be idle for a while, it’s been 6 months now. No work, no hassle of having to earn money, living off some savings and being reasonably frugal. Only a small voice in my head keeps asking when I will return to “Normal”. I’m still shutting that voice up on a daily basis, until one day it will stop asking. Then I create a new “Normal”. Of course I’m not living under a rock in the bush, so I’m in a lot of systems. But I’m starting to feel more detached from them, trying to observe emotions that come up and not let frustration creep in. Where awareness goes, energy flows.
I’ve been thinking about running, from a couch potato perspective. And just by going out and doing a little more each day, slowly it’s becoming a reality. After a few weeks on the interval training of the C25K (Couch to 5km App) I’m sort of starting to feel I can do jogging, I still wouldn’t call it running. There’s a lot of walking in between, mainly the uphill bits. The mindsets of Ultrarunners have always fascinated me. That’s where Rich Roll Podcasts come in, if you want to listen to some super interesting shit, go and look it up!
On my walk/slow jog today I listened to Rich Roll talking to David Goggins. My takeaway was to wonder about pain. Are you in enough pain yet to change something in your life? To go after something you really want. To face the pain to get there, that’s the real character building. To clean up your mind, to stop paying “rent” to some fucker who has taken up residence in your head, controlling your thoughts and actions. To find out who you really are. All of that takes effort, which will bring pain, embrace it and stick with it, the 2nd wind will come. And there will be doubters and critics, don’t let them take up residence, kick them out of your head real quick. What’s on the other side of that pain is extremely worth it. That’s what DG says, not me (yet).
So…. I started this blog after my jog. I ending up clocking 11km, and it wasn’t too painful.